The Three Brains – Did you know?

“Coaching as a Learning Catalyst” was an important course in my Life Coach Training. I was intrigued as Jane Creswell taught about our “multiple brains” – Heart, Gut, and Mind. I was astounded to learn that the heart has 40,000 neurons and the gut up to 500 million. Of course, those are small amounts when compared to the almost 100 billion in the brain, but it’s still significant.  We are truly and wonderfully made!

Therefore, with reason we sometimes ask: What does your gut tell you? What does your heart say? What do you think?  It’s good to know how to pay attention to these three intelligences, the heart, the mind, and the gut (the body). The spiritual implications of this have opened up my understanding of how I can daily intentionally worship God with my whole being, loving Him with all my heart, my mind, my strength. It’s a way to offer ourselves up anew to God each day.

How can I love God with my mind? I have a say so about what my mind focuses on. I can focus on one thing or many things that are mentioned in Philippians 1:8: things that are true, gracious, and beautiful. Not knowing what to put in those categories is a telltale sign we need to take a good look at scripture focusing on the attributes of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Lately I’ve been drawn back to a book on my shelf regarding the names of God. As I read and pray, God is revealing certain names that I need to meditate more deeply. God is revealing some present weaknesses where I need His power and active movement in my life to help me find victory. This is being transformative for me.  These specific names of God are helping me stay more centered on Him as I allow Him to address some of my weaknesses.

How do I love God with my heart? When I meditate on the things of God there is every likelihood that those things will make their way to my heart. Emotions, values, feelings of love for God and for others are found here. Joy in the Lord and in life can flourish here and spring forth in action. That action is carried out through the body.

Another fascinating thing about the gut or body brain is that is it has something like a radar that senses when there is danger. The danger or fear may be real or perceived. It’s never a good idea to just follow what our gut is telling us since our instincts come from this place within us, unless we know it’s telling us to run for our life! We need to pay attention to it while also allowing the other two intelligences and our all-loving God to help us discern the right action to take.

We live life to its fullest when these three God-given intelligences are in harmony, integrated. How is that done? I was fascinated when I heard of the vagal nerve. This nerve extends from the brain to the gut. These three brains are connected because of this nerve. Messages flow from “brain to brain” through the vagal nerve. It’s not good to listen to only one brain.  We really need all three working together. When all three are in good alignment, there is peace and calm. That’s something I know I’m always in need of! Jane Creswell shared that a good way to have the three in harmony is through taking 3 deep cleansing breaths from the diaphragm. Take 6 seconds to breathe in and 6 seconds to exhale. Doing this three times has a calming effect upon every part of our being. It’s a place of peace with our Creator. It’s in this place that we can worship God freely and perhaps hear Him more clearly.

I’ll be the first to admit that there are mornings I get up and none of my brains are working! What can I do then? I make the decision, which is made by my mind, to get moving. Any kind of moving which gets my blood pumping is good. There are times running the vacuum cleaner works wonders for my soul!! That doesn’t work very well if my husband is still sleeping, but there are many other quiet things I can do to rev up this God given soul of mine. Researchers have found that even short exercise sessions can help our mind focus on the positive instead of the negative. As Christ followers we have many things to focus on which are good and lovely.

Another interesting finding for me is that these three intelligences play an important role in using the Enneagram personality tool for transformational growth. This personality theory teaches that there are nine different basic personality types. The nine personalities are divided into three triads: The Head, the Heart, and the Body. This is similar to the three intelligences.

Of course, we have all three intelligences, but we may not be in the practice of drawing upon all three as we live out our life each day. We really are wonderfully made by God!

For you to consider:

Which intelligence is the one that you most rely on? What are the dangers of leaning only into that one? Which other intelligence needs greater development? What are some ways you can develop it?

I love feedback. What questions do you have? Let’s continue the conversation . . .

Speaking Christmas like God


This year the Broadway version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was again on stage at a theater in London. Yet, this time there was no live audience. The filming of it meant people like me could enjoy it safely from home. How I love Broadway musicals!! Everything in this production of The Grinch Musical was outstanding! One of the best gifts of my evening was a very special “audience” by my side: three of my six grandchildren, Lily, Levi, and Lyla. The story, the cast, the props, and the music had us mesmerized.  

One of my favorite songs of the musical is “Where Are You Christmas”. When the Whos wake up on Christmas morning everything pertaining to their Christmas is gone, stolen, lost.  Shock, grief, sadness is in the air. Cindy Lou then sings: 

Where are you Christmas

Why can’t I find you

Why have you gone away

Where is the laughter…

Why can’t I hear music play

My world is changing 

I’m rearranging

Does that mean Christmas changes too.

I’m so glad Christmas hasn’t gone away this year!! It’s impossible for that to ever happen. Yes, there’s rearranging that we’ve all had to do and everyone’s rearranging is different. We’ve all experienced and are still experiencing losses. Some are small, some are in the middle, and some are massive.  But because of a love that has always been, Christmas will always be around. It will always be here because of love, the perfect love that God gave the world when He sent His one and only son, Jesus, to come to Earth. That Love changed everything and is still changing everything, especially people like me and you. God demonstrated His love for us by sending us Jesus! 

The grandchildren and I had some good discussion the morning after we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We talked about our favorite characters. One favored Max the dog. One, Cindy Lou. It was no surprise that the one who favored Cindy Lou is an 8 year old granddaughter, Lyla. As we were talking about the story, she said, “Cindy Lou teaches us that we are to be good to other people even when they do bad to you.” This has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it. The Love that came down from Heaven and dwelt among us said, “Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them.” “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.” 

Because of Jesus, Christmas isn’t going anywhere!! We carry Christmas—the Light of Jesus—around in our hearts every day when we love one another in action, especially when we treat those good who treat us “bad”. It shows who we really are. Without doubt—if the characters in Whoville can do it, Jesus followers can too.

Who is it that you are to show love in action to today? I’ll bet there is someone. There are definitely “someones” in my life. 

“For God so loved the world that He gave . . .” God spoke love! What language are we speaking? It will take some big time courage, but let’s check our hearts. What are others hearing my life speak? Is it the language of God’s love? What changes does He need to make in me? 

Merry Christmas!

Blessings in Affliction




It was a sacred place, being with Mother in her bedroom the morning she died. She had such a flair for decorating which meant we were in a place with beautiful surroundings in the physical realm as well as the spiritual realm. God was present.  That was 6 years ago. I’d been with her and Daddy for three weeks. Sleep for me had been restless. Each morning I woke up before 6:00 and quietly went into her room to see if she was still breathing. Hospice had been telling us we didn’t have long with her for the last 14 days.

That morning, October 23, 2014, I sat in the chair beside her and read “my” Psalm for the day. It was Psalm 119. That morning I decided to read the entire Psalm out loud to her. Her eyes were closed but I know her spirit was alive and that she was getting closer and closer to seeing Jesus.  I stood and walked around the room, reading the Psalm and praying out loud when something from the Word caught my attention that I believed warranted prayer.

This Psalm is full of affirmations about the Word of God and living according to it. I prayed for all of Mother’s family, even the ones not yet born; asking God’s protection over them, and salvation for them. In prayer, I expressed my longing that all those current and future little ones would read, love, and live according to the principles of God’s Word. Psalm 119 has a lot to say about the Word of God.

A way I honor and remember Mother on the anniversary of her death is by the yearly tradition of reading Psalm 119, again, in its entirety, knowing there will be certain words or phrases that shimmer.  The word that stands out to me this year is “afflicted.”  We all know what it’s like to be afflicted.  We’ve all had a lot of it this year. What do we do when afflicted? This Psalm guides us in knowing what to do.

  • We open our eyes and contemplate the wonders of our great and mighty God.
  • We offer prayers of thanksgiving and praise throughout the day, even at midnight if we are awake. We can always find things to be grateful for even in affliction.
  • We cry out to God for help. He shows up.
  • We hope in the One who is our shelter and shield.
  • We trust in the only One who gives salvation along with all that is needed that sustains us when afflicted.
  • We trust in the One who instructs us in the way to live. Meditating on His ways takes us to deeper places of understanding when we want to give up on life.
  • We go through the wall of affliction knowing that it draws us closer to God, takes us spiritually deeper, and gives us a greater desire to walk in the way of right living that God commands.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, always in prayer. Romans 12:8


Five Ways to Overcome Fear



Overcoming fear is hard, but it can be done. Good news: You don’t have to do it alone. As the song says, “The God of Angel Armies” is always by our side. In His strength we stomp out this enslaving enemy emotion that desires to keep us in bondage.

This bondage to fear keeps us from realizing and developing the awesome God-given potential that He placed in each one of us. Staying in the place of fear enslaves us so there’s no opportunity to experience the many joys that can come with the gift of just being alive. It keeps us from trying new things. It keeps us from the enrichment we can receive from meeting and getting to know new people. It keeps us stuck where we are so we don’t continue developing the amazing person we are. It keeps us from hope. The opposite of living in fear is living with courage driven confidence.

So how can we move forward to a place of courage and confidence?

  • Believe the truth about ourselves. We are wonderfully and uniquely made by God. We all have good gifts and abilities that God in love gave us.
  • Find ways to develop our gifts and abilities and use them to bless others.
  • Say no to comparison thinking or competitive motivation.
  • Get rid of negative, self-defeating thoughts. Say no to the lies of the enemy!
  • Be willing to take risks and do new things that are out of our comfort zones. Don’t allow the worry of failure to keep you from moving forward. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay and you’re still okay.

Decide today to do something that will move you forward in conquering any fear that may be immobilizing. We gain courage by action. We gain courage by right beliefs. We gain courage by faith in what God says. “I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:11


Powerful “Ifs” – Powerful Coaching


Courtesy of 1633309@N08/8674628537

During the hot days of summer I sometimes walk on the indoor track above the gym at my church. During one of my Wednesday walks I heard a basketball coach give a strong speech to the young men he was training at a basketball camp. His words were powerful and are applicable to anyone desiring to win in this journey called life. The speech was full of “Ifs”.

  • If you say I’m tired, you’re tired.
  • If you say I can’t do this, you probably can’t.
  • If you say I can’t get better, you probably can’t.
  •  If you know it’s Hump Day and are thinking “Yea, it’s Hump Day, this is nearly over”, then these are wasted hours.


  • If you say, I can improve my skills, you will.
  • If you say, I’m going to conquer this weakness, you will.
  • If you really get into these workouts, you will get stronger.
  • If you work in unity as a team, you will succeed.

I knew these words were meant not only for these young athletes, but for me as well. Life is difficult. Today and everyday of my life I need to get into the game to win, not just to get by, barely holding on. Unfortunately, some of my days are lived that way. But, the good news is I don’t have to live that way. I’m to live it with gusto and with Jesus I can. He is my strength and joy who gives me all that I need to really live. He is my “yes you can”!

Sneaking Under the Tree

Four Red Gift Boxes

I will never forget October 23rd, the day my mother went to be with Jesus. I was very grateful to be there during her last two and a half weeks of life. We kept her at home and it was a privilege to be there when she stepped from this life on Earth into the arms of Jesus, her Savior.


The morning of the 23rd, I woke up about 2:00 a.m. All of a sudden I had a memory I’d not thought of in ages. I remembered as a little girl catching Mother sneaking under the Christmas tree, unwrapping a gift, and then rewrapping it. She was so curious and eager about gifts that she just couldn’t wait until the 25th. That memory evoked such joy inside me. I was so excited because I knew she was getting ready to experience Christmas everyday. Christmas is all about Jesus and she was going to see Him face to face very soon. I had visions of her getting ready to start unwrapping gift after gift. I knew that the unwrapping of those gifts was going to continue for eternity because she had put her complete faith in Jesus for her salvation. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift.” Ephesians 2:8


That morning as I was sitting by her side, she took her last breath. Oh the unspeakable joy Daddy and I had in that moment and throughout the day. I will never forget the words out of Daddy’s mouth at the end of the day, “It’s been a very good day!”


What gifts have you opened, lately?


“Live your life with eternity in mind” is a main theme of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. That truth made an impact on me. However, I realize that, somewhere along the line, I lost that focus . . . but I want to return. The thought that’s been going on in my head and spirit is that I need to invest time every day intentionally unwrapping the incredible gifts He has already given me. I believe that focusing daily on these “best gifts” will translate into becoming more eternally minded.


  • His perfect love for me. His love is unconditional, unending, accepting, relational and intimate. His love is not dependent on anything I do. His is a love that’s with me in the happy times and carries me through sorrow and the messy trials of life. His love overwhelms and satisfies me.
  • God’s gift of salvation that was bought at a great price through the death of God’s perfect son, Jesus. This gift forgives my sin, makes me His child, and ensures I can live abundantly every day and will one day go to heaven.
  • God’s constant amazing presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy.In this new year of 2015 may a day not pass that we don’t thank our Heavenly Father for these three amazing gifts.


self worth

Photo courtesy of

  A few weeks ago I was cleaning out a drawer. I always stand amazed at how many different things I can stuff in one drawer. Needless to say, I threw out a lot and the drawer needs to be gone through again as it is still quite full. I never know what I’ll find when I tackle a drawer. That day I found a copy of something that captured my attention. I found a copy of a letter I had written to someone whom I love very much. I mailed her a copy and for some reason, I made a copy for myself. Maybe God knew I needed to re-read it one day. It was written on September 18, 2006.

We had had a phone conversation that left me saddened. I was saddened for this one who felt very insignificant. She had the habit of speaking very negatively about herself and no matter how much I would try and encourage her and build her up, it was to no avail. And for some reason, it seemed she had regret over things . She is one of the most beautiful women I’ll every know. She is talented, kind, sweet, and the list could go on and on. She is admired by many who know her. So, after the call, I wrote her a letter. These are some of the words I wrote:

From our phone conversation it seemed like you were having a day where you felt unloved. I’m so sorry you felt that way. I think we can all have days like that at times. That’s why I believe understanding the deep love God has for us is the only remedy to the desperation and misery we feel on those days. He loves me, warts and all. He loves you, warts and all, no strings attached. It’s not a conditional love, its an unconditional love. There’s nothing you nor I could ever do that will change that fact. We all do things we regret. God has provided the most wonderful way to live. It’s forgiveness. Life is a journey and part of that journey will include times where someone injures us or we injure others. With God’s help, we can forgive those who have hurt us and we can seek to be forgiven by those we have hurt. God forgives us when we mess up. On this life journey we learn, we grow. Hurts can be healed. Broken hearts can be mended. We will stay connected to each other, but I do have a favor to ask. Please try to focus on the positive things in life, with the most important thing being to understand your value in Christ. That’s where your self worth lies. You are infinitely loved and accepted by Him. I pray you will understand the depth of God’s love and accept that love through faith.

I believe that letter made a difference in her life, even though we never discussed it. I knew I was to write it and I prayed the truths seeped down deeply into the pores of her soul. It’s so easy to seek to find validation and worth from things and people. We will always come up feeling empty, lacking, and discouraged when we seek for love, acceptance, and value in those places. These places  are temporal and imperfect. There’s only one perfect place to find it. And, He has a name: Jesus.