Tidbits for Midlife Women who Feel Lost


If you're an "older" woman who has achieved several goals and are wondering how to live your last half of life, let me assure you some of your questions are common. 

It is daunting to wonder what's ahead. It's a horrible feeling to not be recognized as having value in the workplace as an older woman. It's frustrating to knock on a lot of doors and not have them open. 

If you feel a little displaced in midlife, let me assure you that you are not alone. It's an epidemic. If you are of the baby boomer era (born 1946 to 1965), we are many. We were brought up to believe anything is possible. We were brought up as liberated women. 

But now as we creep over 50 and onward to 60, we learn not anything is possible. We are expected to stand aside while our children's generation take on roles we might like. 

Rather than fret or fear, let me give you a tidbit of advice you may put into practice:

1. Your period of feeling lost will not necessarily be easily solved. Finding your way may be a long process. Are you willing to go through it with God?

2. God wants all of you. He will encourage you to trust He is in control. He will wait until you seek contentment over striving before showing you your next new thing. 

3. You are more important than anything you will do. You are more important than a job title. If you have no busy job to run to daily, consider yourself special. God has set you aside for other special work. You are given more time to pause, pray, and ponder than those who are busy at paid jobs. You are given time to meditate and listen to His voice. You are being prepared to be released for ministry. If you are willing.

4. Use this time to rest, restore, refresh, renew and reeducate yourself. Learn something new daily. Work on your health. Interact with new people online and in person. 

5. Stop looking too far ahead. Live in today. 

6. Read my book "What's Next in Midlife." It is designed to help you narrow down your top passions. When you do, work on them! See where God takes you with them.   

Be Perfectly Imperfect, and Own it!


I was just reviewing one of my Facebook pages. You're welcome to join it. It's called Self-Coaching Tools for Christian Women.  It has snippets of prompts and is a place I can advertise my latest eBooks. 

Creating this page was a whim and risk. I'm shy by nature. I work from home selling web content and eBooks and often don't interact with my clients or readers. I've never been into business to be seen or for big money. 

As I was reviewing my Facebook page, I realized one of my eBooks got a rating on Goodreads. It was 3-stars and I'm thankful. But the reality of seeing stars made the idea sink in that I could be rated. The possibility of being rated or judged is something I have to buck up and face. I can't let it derails me from my mission.

Creating my eBooks has been a labor of love--my Christian ministry. It's risky posting so many things on the Internet. I'm shy. I'm sometimes fearful. But I'm willing to be perfectly imperfect. I have to be bold and take steps if I'm to feel my life is to amount to anything in its second-half. 

What's this Got to do with You?

If you're to move forward in midlife carving out new passions, you're going to have to take risks too. 

I took risks posting my art online. My dear friend Diane Cunningham-Ellis started posting her Heart Art on Facebook which prompted me to do likewise. I'd gotten back into creating art about the same time she started. I thought, "If she can post her work, so can I."

Doing so helped me realize how fun it is to share my passion for creating art. Sharing it is far better than creating pieces and leaving them sitting in the basement. 

Tip for You:  Share your passions!

Then, I learned I could create a page to sell my art as prints on Fine Art America. Again, it's more about sharing my passions than it is about making big bucks. Creating my page was so fun. I can post from it directly onto Twitter or Facebook. 

Through all of this I learned how many ways my art can be used digitally too. It can be turned into grocery bags, t-shirts, and even a duvet or shower curtain if someone wanted that type of thing. 

I've recently used my art to create a number of memes for Facebook and Twitter with the online program Canva.  

There are many, many people who are Internet-shy. I know all the reasons and many are justified. To me, the joy of being on the Internet is greater than my fear. I'm willing to be perfectly imperfect. It's all out here, flaws and all. 

How about you? What's holding you back? 



I Received a God-Whisper


I experienced a God whisper this week. Sometimes that's all it takes to put me back on track and to renew my faith.

I haven't been writing much as I'm letting my shoulder muscles recover, but since I want to keep my blogs alive, I decided to see if there were any posts in draft I could repost. Here's what I found and reposted.   

If you read it, you'll see one of the points is about being yourself. A key phrase I used was God likes variety. This post was originally published around 2012. 

THE GOD WHISPER

Last weekend, I was looking for new inspiration and had pulled a Christian book off my shelf of inactive books. The book made its way upstairs. The same day I re-published the blog post, I cracked open the book to where it was bookmarked. I began to read and this theme emerged: Don't try to copy others, don't compare yourself, you don't have to be like so and so down the street...  It was the same theme I'd posted that day!

My eyes bugged out and my heart warmed when I went on to read:  "God likes variety." 

Now that was a God-whisper--the same words and theme twice in a day. 

NOT A COINCIDENCE

I admit, the inspiration for the 2012 post may have come from that book published in 2004. I don't recall exactly.
But it isn't a coincidence that I would come across the same theme in the same day to the degree I did--from choosing a random book from my shelf and opening it to that exact page.

THE MESSAGE

God may have wanted to enunciate the theme to me to urge me to embrace my differences, but I took this whisper more as God saying, "I'm in the details. I've not abandoned you. I craft everything in your life together carefully. Trust me. I'm working on all your prayers. Don't worry so much. Just be the you I created. Be at peace with yourself." 

Do you ever receive God-winks like this?

Cambridge, ON Group for Women




Star Bakery
17 Queen St E, Cambridge, ON N1H 2A7

Local Group for Christian Women 

Hey women in the Cambridge, Ontario area...I'm gathering emails/names of women who are looking for connection with a purpose--a group that will help you gain life momentum. 

The first group will be in downtown Hespeler at Star Bakery & Deli  (pictured above) Tuesdays, around 1 or 1:30 pm - start date depends on signups. There is street parking and free public lots in the area.

It will be a short 4 week, 4 session group Tuesdays for about 1.5 hr. I'm just now putting together the curriculum. It will be more than getting to know you chit chat, you will leave the group feeling you've worked on your life in some way. 

First Group

I'm calling this first group FIRST GROUP. Why? Because it's a new first for me here in Hespeler (I've done similar groups in Winnipeg in the past). Also, this first group will be a first for you if you join.

FIRST GROUP is for women looking for CONNECTION and ACCOUNTABILITY. 

Faith 

I'm a certified Christian life coach and group facilitator so my faith is usually combined in my sessions in some small way.  Why faith? Because there is more power in moving forward in life with God beside you. This is a good group for Christian women or those open to the faith.

Cost 

The good news for you is it is no-charge, and I have no hidden agenda to get you as a client or anything of that nature. I merely want to reach out to others as well as stay involved in the community myself. I'm also a freelance writer and want to break my tendency to isolate. So I won't only lead the group, I'll participate in it for myself. 

You will be expected to purchase a food or beverage item from the bakery from as low as a couple of dollars to more. You can consume what you buy during our meeting (he has muffins, squares, soup and sandwiches) or you can take something home. If I know what you'd like (coffee and muffin?), I can ensure Dan has the item on hand when you arrive as he often has only a changing small supply on display.

You can even order a unique dessert, dinner meal, or bag of buns to take home. I've often ordered certain flavoured cakes or pies and bags of buns to take home for bbq parties from Dan. 

Subject Matter 

My initial thought for this FIRST GROUP is to look at LIFE BALANCE. 

We will look at and discuss the responsibilities God has given you, the situations you are in, your passions, gifts and abilities. We will look at our physical health too. 

We will look at all of this with the goal of checking what's in balance and what is out of balance. We will look at what we are resisting accepting that is causing us discontent. We will consider the idea that where we are is of God's design and if it is not what needs to change. 

You will consider what goals you want to set and over four weeks report back if you've taken any steps. 

What this Group is Not

This group is not for the purpose of business networking. Business networking may occur naturally, but no one is to join if their motive is to promote their business to gain clients.

This group is not for anyone who wants to Christian-bash. 

This group is not for those who want to join in just to do me a favour. 

This group is not to induce pressure to change. In four weeks, it's better to contemplate baby steps than to set high lofty goals in most cases. There will be no pressure to radically change your life. 

Proposed Benefits 

We all crave connection. This is one place you may find that. 

We all do better with accountability. You may find it helpful.

You may feel more supported. 

You may gain more clarity about your life.

You may have the chance to encourage or help another person.


The Target Audience

This FIRST GROUP will be non-age specific. It is open to at-home moms, working women, midlife women, those with a disability, seniors, etc. 

My hope is with this open range, I can see needs of various women and perhaps tailor other specific groups in the future. 

My plan is to offer further groups on various topics, some including art journalling, vision boards, and so on. 

There will be a group size restriction. To apply to be part of the group, please email me and tell me why you want to join this FIRST GROUP. 


Are You Being Tempted into Negative Thinking?


(re-write from 2 yrs ago)

I came to a conclusion in the last few years about how best to handle feelings of melancholy and hopelessness and how to prevent them from taking us into a deeper downward spiral of despair and depression. 

(I haven’t seen this thought written on by any other Christian writer, it’s something God pressed upon my mind.)  


The conclusion is that downward emotional spirals start with temptation. 

Yes, in many cases we are more vulnerable to emotional spirals due to hormonal changes, during periods of grief, transition or when dealing with pain or illness. 
You may want to read more on Perimenopause here. Some people do have chemical imbalances in their brains that sometimes need boosting with supplements or even doctor prescribed medications.  Therefore, being vigilant against temptation into despair is even more crucial in those situations. 

It Starts with Temptation

If we are willing to embrace this idea that fretting, worry, anxiety and despair starts with temptation, we can more readily be on guard to fight it.  

It makes sense that since most of our moods stem from our thoughts, that if we're not careful, we can be tempted to think negatively. Our negative thinking then takes us into troublesome areas. 


We can be tempted to get into a place our enemy Satan would like us. He likes it when we feel defeated or when we attack and hurt others due to our own hurt feelings. He loves to drive us into despair where we might consider taking drastic action out of God's best plan.


Seeing how these negative outcomes stem from temptation can help us fight them. 

A Look at Temptation into Despair

We all know we are to pray, “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.” What temptation do you think of when you say that prayer? 

I have sometimes thought of it as being tempted to get angry, to hurt someone, to cheat or steal something, sexual sin, or to take some other wrong action.  But what if temptation is also these subtle thoughts that overtake us? 


Protect Yourself

Live Defensively

In order to live defensively, become aware of the very instant you begin to feel overwhelmingly lost, sad, hurt, melancholic, depressed or when you sense you're falling into despair, fretting, worry, or doubt.

Then pray, “Lord, I’m being tempted to …” (fill in the blank).


Trust God to stop the enemy for you—to fight for you, to suggest something you can do that will help you escape from such moods.

Exodus 14:14 (NIV) says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Live Offensively

In Matthew 6, Jesus instructed his disciples to ask God, “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.” He told them to pray, “Give us today our daily bread,” or that which they would need to get through the day in his will. 

In order to live offensively, pray as demonstrated in the Lord’s Prayer.  Start each day asking God to keep you from the temptations of negativity, doubt, fretting, depression, and so on. And if you feel negative feelings creeping up, say the prayer again.  


Live Your Small Stories within your Bigger Story


I've noticed many TV shows today have a story within the story. They show the family life of the characters from time to time. Or they have an underlying theme to add humor to an otherwise intense story line. 

I don't know if that's the best example, but I want to convey something similar about life and purpose and hearing from God. There are always stories within the bigger story. 

Many midlife women search for their next big thing. It's "Do I go back to school, get a job, or join the circus?" But life is truly lived in moments of small activity not in big projects. Let me explain.

Perhaps you've sat with your Bible and prayed for God to give you a revelation about what to do. If only, you think, he'd make the lightbulb go off and give you your big idea. But no email arrives, no phone rings and no big idea pops into your brain. Instead, you get up from your chair and paint some old boards to put in your garden.

Let me tell you my recent story. I participated in a prayer and fasting day with the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. As I did the prayer journalling, I read various scriptures and prayed them. 

I eventually saw a number of scriptures from The Living Bible I was reading would be great for the garden signs I'd planned to make. Of course you can pray while working on something, so I got up during the prayer and fasting time, and got the old boards to prepare to make the signs I'd envisioned three years ago and now had the words for. The sign I created is pictured above. 

Later, I returned to the prayer process by referring to the handout. To my amazement, the topic started with the very verse from which I'd gained inspiration for my sign!!! I was blown away. I knew beyond a doubt it was a God whisper. 

Today, I stopped for more prayer journalling picking up a book I've been going through by Rick Warren. The section I read had that verse yet again! 

I could ask myself what's so great about this experience. I could feel guilty for seemingly wasting a day doing little more than praying and creating art. But I know that is what God wanted me to do that day. He inspires us with crazy little things like this and says, go at it. 

Now, I am also working on some new projects in the form of support groups or coached groups in the upcoming days which I picture as my bigger story. 

Do you have God-led small stories within your bigger story? 





Design Your Midlife Transition Roadmap (MTR)


Are you looking for a place to start your midlife journey? Maybe you've been in midlife for a while and want to gain some clarity. Perhaps you're entering the empty nest and dealing with a variety of new challenges you didn't expect. 

My new book Design Your Midlife Transition Roadmap (MTR) Module 1 is now up on Amazon for $2.99. This three chapter eBook can be viewed on any electronic device. 

This is a self-coaching tool you can work through it at your own pace. The idea is you create a journal or large picture that spells out where you've been, who you are now, and where you might head next. 

I will be adding more modules in the near future. It would be great to use as a discussion tool with a friend or in a group. 


Thinking You Need to Reinvent Yourself?


I read a comment from a woman in her late 50s where she suggested she needed to reinvent herself.

Yes, reinvention is needed at various points in life. Reinvention isn't a quick and easy process usually, though. First you need to decide what parts of your life need reinvention.

Sometimes reinvention is a goal to women who have recently retired. They've invested in a job for so long they feel lost without one. For them, the first step toward reinvention may mean looking at who they are now--what they are still capable of--what their passions are now as they may have changed over the years--what are their needs--where are there voids?

They will need to answer if reinvention means doing something that earns an income, ministering to others possibly for free, or getting a new job unlike any other they've held.

Reinvention may merely mean they long to have an area of specialty they develop and are sought after for. Maybe they'll write a blog, create a website, hold classes, or take classes and become a self-proclaimed expert.

It's important to know reinvention should not necessarily be a long-term destination. With any void, small steps are needed. Your goal should be to walk through a void not become frantic seeking the answer.

Ask good questions about what reinvention really means to you.