The Difference Between Appreciation & Gratitude

While working on a writing project I was asked, “Why don’t you use the word gratitude instead of appreciation?” The person asking is a fan of the Joyful Journey book and the interactive gratitude process taught in it, as am I. At first, I thought, “why not?” Everyone is on the gratitude craze right now… Ann Voskamp, […]

The Life Skill of Keeping Your Cool

Did you know that your body knows what you’re feeling even before you do? In neuroscience today we’ve discovered that the right hemisphere of our brain is where our “control center” operates and it’s also responsible for the storage of “experiences”. In simple English this means that everything that you experience, and all the information […]

Quieting as a Life Skill

As a Life Coach who specializes in working with people that desire to grow in the skills associated with Life Model Works, I have noticed a very common thread amongst my clients. I see the same missing life skill in many of them that I also see missing in my friends and extended family. It […]

Relational Skills Aren't Just for My Benefit

This past weekend I was in line at Wendy’s for a quick lunch and I noticed the cashier was looking a bit frazzled. I heard her speaking to the person in front of me and she sounded angry and gruff. My first thought was, “Yikes, someone is in a bad mood!”. But almost instantly in […]

Side Effects of a Relationship with Jesus

Back in 2007 when I first made my Facebook profile, I distinctly remember pausing a bit when I saw the “religion” options. I scrolled through them and felt like I didn’t really fit into any of those neat little categories anymore. I’m pretty sure I settled on “Christian/other” and then in the About Me section […]

3 Things We Need for Emotional Health

Imagine this for a moment: you’ve been tasked with building a model airplane, but you’ve never seen a real airplane and you’re not at all sure what all these parts in front of you actually do. You pick up a propeller in your hand and you look at it from every different angle and ponder […]

3 Steps to Avoid Relational Speed Bumps

There is no way to avoid it, we all need relational skills. The problem is most of us don’t realize that we are missing some! Not until we start having problems in our relationships; or we notice that we keep repeating the same relational speed bumps over and over again. When learned in the early […]

Navigating The Emotions of Life Toward Maturity

Recently I read an “inner healing” sales pitch that promised “Freedom From Negative Emotions” and cringed. I cringed because I know that lots of people are probably thinking, “Sign me up for that!”. Visions of a life free of problems and a constant state of emotional bliss sure are tempting, but the truth is, that’s […]

Share Joy – Relational Skill #1

  It’s all about JOY. Every time I begin to work on my own relational skills, and every time I recommend a client to begin working on relational skills, I always start with Skill 1: Share Joy. Yes, there are 19 Relational Brain Skills that we can grow and master, but without Skill 1 the […]

5 Steps to Talking with God on the Good Days

“I don’t want to talk about you, like you’re not in the room… I want to look right at you, I want to sing right to you”. When the worship leader sang these words, everything changed for me. I realized that there have been many times when I “prayed” that I wasn’t aware that God […]

Working Through My Triggered Reaction

I’m going to be honest, when I first read Dr. Wilder’s recent blog saying that an important part of healing is feeling special- I struggled with his message. When I read that “feeling special flows from being a source of life to others and not from something we receive”, I objected internally because it sounded […]

Relational Skills for Real Life Relationships

Before I can talk about relationships, we need to look at relational skills. Before I can look at relational skills, we need to understand joy. Every time I write about joy, I feel a compulsion to define it. We all long for “happier” lives but we make a huge mistake when we switch out those […]

Joy-Plants Becoming an Invasive Species

On the bottom of my website, you will find a statement about my Life Coaching that says I “utilize philosophies from Life Model Works”. You will also discover the concepts of joy and relational skills woven through my entire business. Every client I meet with, every group I run- I am implementing, practicing, and teaching […]

Why Addictions Actually Make Sense

Addictions are not a fun topic for anyone to discuss. Just the noun itself brings up all kinds of word pictures in our minds- each one different depending upon your individual experience. For some of us, we are still struggling and battling within the chains of addictions right now. We are always making sure that […]

Why Attachment Parenting Works

There’s just something about smiling babies that instantly turns our attachment light on and tells us to smile back. It’s not surprising that videos of babies laughing and smiling end up going viral. It feels good to see their dopamine receptors growing and multiplying quicker than conscious thought. Trust vs. Mistrust When I was pregnant […]

Deflecting a Narcissist

I’m not sure if television trends depict real life trends or if it’s the other way around but either way, it’s becoming quite apparent that power hungry, controlling, narcissists are on the rise. We think we like them on TV, but characters like Tony Stark (Ironman) and Frank Underwood (House of Cards) make narcissism look […]

Valentine’s Day Challenge: End Loneliness one relationship at a time

Have you ever stopped to picture what it looks like for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to exist together? One of the first times I really gave myself permission to picture this was while I was reading a popular yet controversial book called, The Shack. (I don’t want to […]

Relief from the Taboo Ailment

Chances are, everyone who reads this will either have suffered themselves, or known someone who has suffered from depression. This blog is for both of you. Depression isn’t usually something people like to talk about. Those that suffer from it stay isolated with it and those that don’t are totally unaware of what to say […]

Interactive Gratitude: When God feels far away


Knowing that Immanuel is the “God who is with us” has impacted my life more than anything else. The knowledge that He is with me has given me the permission to interact with Him instead of just “thinking” about Him as a far off and distant watcher. The conversations that I get to have with […]

Immanuel Moments: A Key to Interacting with Jesus Everyday

What is an Immanuel Moment? Central to our approach to helping people mature and grow is learning to have an interactive relationship with Jesus. Like any relationship, we seek out special moments of connection and communication. We like to call these “Immanuel Moments.” The name “Immanuel” means “God with us” and is one of the […]