Contentment & Sunflowers



I can struggle with contentment. Do you?

I want to see the better, the “could be”. Sometimes I actually do see it. I have strong senses and visions of what a situation, relationship, or opportunity looks and feels like in the future.

I am a developer. Of others. Of myself. Sometimes all I see is potential and I can miss the good that is right here and now.

I am a dreamer. I love to dream. God has given me many dreams and ideas. A very small percentage have come to fulfillment in my life so far, but I trust God has given me these dreams as investments into his Kingdom.

I can find myself burdened instead of thankful for these dreams sometimes. In my closest inner circle of people no one really gets my dreaming/potential/”but what if?” perspective. It's probably God's design that those closest to me are practical and live in the moment. My husband is that way and it's a good balance. But, sometimes I long for him or a friend to be excited about one of my dreams! That would be such a life giving act to me!

Just this week I thought what if we lived in Africa for a year??? Or India??? How could God use that? What positive effect would that have on our family? On our kids understanding of the world?

I often think about possibilities. What ministry is God calling me and us to? More foster kids? Some pastoral position at a church? More involvement in ministries we already do? Something else??

I've dreamed about trips to the big tennis tournaments with my hubby (I think we are actually going to go in 2021!) I've dreamed and worked towards physical goals... Race distances and times. New and harder challenges.

I've dreamed in detail about this pilgrimage walk in Spain. I've had to let this dream go for now. It's okay to let dreams go. I trust God will bring them back as he desires and wills.

So, see, my heart and mind just keep going.

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions. ~ Joel 2:28

And I consider it a privilege most of the time. God is in it. I believe often our hopes and dreams are whispers from God.
Without my dreams we would not have become foster parents and adopted our youngest daughter.

Without my "what can be better? Isn't there more to life than this?" mentality my marriage and family would not have done the hard work we did a couple years ago that has put us in a far healthier (not perfect) place! And God used that same determination of mine to form a sister in Christ friendship with a woman I am ever so thankful for.

Look, God can do whatever He wants.

He is God. He is Sovereign. But I know for certain He has used my dreams and discontentment to bring me and my family closer in line with his heart, kingdom and will. I look forward to how He will keep doing this!

I am, however, learning that not everyone operates from this same perspective of "could be"! Ha. That's a good thing. I am learning that I can overwhelm those close to me with my ideas. They can feel like I am always disappointed with them, with life, and hear my "what else?" as "this/you are not enough".

So, it's about balance.

For me this means more thankfulness. Telling God I am content. Telling my family and close friends that they are enough. Just as things are.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~Philippians 4:12-13

Seeing beauty in simple things helps me to be thankful. My sunflowers taught me that this morning. They are stunning. It was hard to not keep looking at them. Intricate design. Deep yellows and shades of orange and brown. Beautiful. And a bike ride to get a coffee with my favorite guy on a gorgeous day. Life is good, Anne! Period. Thank you God for this life. I am content and full. It's enough.

So, what end are you on? How do you need to find balance?

Do you, like me, need to look for ways to be thankful and ways to be content? Maybe think before telling someone else about all your dreams. How do they hear you? Think about it from their perspective.
(As a side note if you are my client or my friend I can assure you I can handle any and all of your dreams and ideas!! Bring them to me! I will cheer you on like no other! I will encourage you and pray for your dream and check in on you. I'll celebrate you when you reach it!)

Or are you on the other end of settling for status quo and being fearful of anything "more" or "better" or "different"? Do you need to ask God to help you dream? Stretch you a bit? (I can help if this is you! Call me!)

I also challenge you to be someone who encourages the dreams of others. It's an honor to hear the hopes and dreams of another person. Those whispers from God Almighty. As believers let's build each other up and spur each other on!

Your Coach,

Anne Marie

When Jesus Believes in Me

This is one of my favorite movies! Son of God. Have you seen it? Go watch it! You will feel closer to Jesus. I cry often when I watch Son of God (also Narnia— anytime Aslan comes into the scene, the tears flow).

At different times in my life different truths and pieces of this passage have stuck out to me. At times it has been the way Jesus gave his disciples instructions and promised to meet them later (He did!). Other times the power of Jesus on display in His control and command over the water has left me in awe and feeling safe in Him.

Today, however, I turned to this passage to be reminded of Jesus’ belief in me.

Jesus believed in Peter. Believed Peter could trust Him and walk on the water. That Peter could do what his master, his Rabbi, did. Peter then was able, in return, to believe in what Jesus said and to believe in himself. He took the steps.

Only two people in history have ever walked on water— the Son of Man, God Himself…. and Peter!

What are you facing or in the midst of that you need reminding of Jesus’ belief in you? Even when your spouse or friend doesn’t believe in you or doesn’t understand. I wonder what the other disciples in the boat were thinking as Peter stepped out?? Don’t do it! That doesn’t make sense!

Here’s the thing. Peter knew what Jesus told him. He knew what Jesus called him to do.

Jesus has given me a calling. And he believes in me!

Whatever your calling is— He believes in you, too!

Walk a Different Direction-- with Confidence!


I have shared before I often walk or run at several of our local forest preserves. I love them! They are beautiful and have become sacred ground to me. One Preserve in particular I have walked 178 miles at in 2017-2018 (thank you RunKeeper app). Until a couple weekends ago I have always, ALWAYS, gone counter-clockwise around the 2 mile loop. You walk down the entrance path and then you turn right and go.

I mean, doesn’t everybody!!??

Even though I am quite creative and tend to procrastinate, I also appreciate order, routine, and habit. (We are all a bit of a contradiction, right?)

Anyway, I was alone at this forest preserve a couple weeks ago doing solitude and decided to walk the loop clockwise!

I went the other direction. A new direction.

You know what? Everything was new! The trees, the lake, the horizon. All new and all beautiful. It captivated my eyes in a whole new way. It was a fresh perspective. I think God used it to give me a fresh perspective. The “uphill” parts of the path became easy and downhill. The parts that were always downhill before were now where I had to work a little harder— but also where the lake peaked out over the path. Just beautiful. God is good. And I am learning that God is kind.

I am in BSF again this year and we are starting in the book of Joshua. (Side note— if you are looking for an amazing Bible study check out BSF!!!!) Joshua and the Israelites are on the edge of the Promised Land. Moses, their faithful leader, has died.

The Lord calls Joshua to lead. It’s a new direction. A new perspective.

And you know what? Joshua doesn’t hesitate. Doesn’t question. Doesn’t second guess. He takes the authority the Lord has given him. He obeys and he acts! Joshua acts with confidence! And the Israelites follow suit. They follow suit with confidence!

There are areas of my life where I am confident of my calling. Confident in my leadership and the authority Christ has given me. As a Life Coach, as a teacher, as a foster mom— I am confident. I walk that direction. There are other areas of my life where I pray for the boldness and security Joshua had. As a friend and as a wife I am more uncertain that I would like to be. I pray for confidence to be who God says I am in those relationships. To show up as a well-loved child. To walk the direction He says to go.

I try to be vulnerable in those relationships and also walk in steps of faith and confidence each day. Joshua had this beautiful security, but before him was this man named Moses who said to God, “Who? Me?” And the Lord used them both.

We will follow your path God. We will not go to the left or to the right. Even if Your path is clockwise and we have always gone counter-clockwise!

Where are you confident right now?

Where are you uncertain?

Go for a walk “the other way” somewhere and ask God to show you His heart.

Your Coach,

Anne Marie

Personal Day of Solitude



I am offering three days this summer of a Personal Day of Solitude. What a gift to spend a chunk of time alone with God!!

Invest in your relationship with God! Spend the day at Hastings Lake in solitude and true rest! The day will begin with a time together, some teaching, and some guidance for your solitude. You will then enjoy between 3-4 hours of solitude. What a gift! We will close our time reflecting as a group and encouraging each other in how God has moved us.

As followers of Jesus we are called to a faith in action!! In order to know what those actions are and to be reminded of who and whose we are in Him, we need times of solitude and prayer. Time alone with our God. 

Cost for the retreat is $20 and includes retreat materials and teaching. A few snacks will be provided; please bring your own sack lunch to enjoy while in solitude.

I hope you will join us! You will be glad you did!

Message me on FB or email me to sign-up.

Here is the link to the FB event


Anne Marie




I returned to these waters and was reminded of God's Faithfulness.

We live in a lake community and we get to enjoy the benefits of lake living. Many evenings I see the sunset out of my kitchen window while doing dishes. Sometimes it is fiery and burning and I grab my camera and walk the three houses down to the beach area of the lake. I love to take pictures. This night, however, instead of just pretty pictures, God showed up. He showed up in the stillness, and in the orange-gold sun. He was so obvious. 

God is faithful. All His promises are "Yes and Amen" scripture tells us.

Last fall I was baptized in these waters. Tonight, at the lake, God reminded me of the promises He made to me. That He will never leave me. That He has chosen me and that He will not change His mind. What truth! What goodness!

Yes, we make promises to God, too. At baptism and at other times. We make promises to believe in Him, to trust Him, to raise our children in Him. And these are important promises! They are not to be taken lightly. But, I think it's important to see that God's acts first. God is faithful to God's promises!


What promises do you need to lean into today? In this season?


The story goes that Martin Luther used to say to himself every morning as he splashed water on his face, "Remember your baptism, Martin." Yes! I love this! Remember your baptism! Remember who and whose you are! Baptism is not a one and done thing! As a child of God I am learning to live it out and fulfill it a little more each day. I am so thankful for the physical, concrete water and lake to be reminded. Thank you, God!







Hi! I have had a break from writing blog posts, but am happy to be back! :)

As a Life Coach I often talk with clients about rhythms. Rhythms of daily life, rhythms of family life, work, spiritual life, exercising, etc.


Rhythm is defined as "a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. A pattern, flow, or tempo."


I love this! There is something grounding about rhythm, about routine. To know what is coming and what is expected. It can be counted on. It's familiar. It's being back to the same place, no matter the season. Some of our rhythms are physical and concrete-- running the same route every morning, sitting in that same chair for time with God, driving through the same coffee shop on the way to work (what do you get?? espresso for me!), finishing the dishes and turning off the kitchen lights at night. Some of our rhythms are more abstract-- words that run through our minds, subconscious patterns, etc. 


Our rhythms bring us back to the same place, no matter the season. Here's one example that sticks out for me. I have walked the same loop on a path near my home dozens and dozens of times over the last year-- over 100 miles. Sometimes it's 75 and sunny, sometimes 35 and quite cold, sometimes flooded from rain! But, it's the same path, the same loop, the same rhythm. When I first started walking there I didn't know where I was on the path; all the turns looked the same. Now, I know all the turns. I recognize benches and trees. I know what to expect. I love it. It's part of my routine.

How does this relate to growing as a Christ-follower?

I believe it's a picture of how to have a thriving prayer life. A rhythm of prayer becomes expected. It can be counted on. When I have a lifestyle and rhythm of prayer God can get to me. God doesn't have to interrupt me!

Let the world get quiet and hear the voice of God. He longs to talk to each of us! To you! To me!

God, today I carve out time for You. I know You will speak to me how I need to hear.

So, I encourage you to establish (again or for the first time) a rhythm of prayer. Same place, same time. It's expected. It can be counted on. It might "look" new at first, but soon you will recognize the trees and look so forward to this time with your God each day! I pray you and I will stick to this rhythm of prayer in all seasons-- when the parking lot is full because it's a beautiful, sunny day and all is going well in my life; and when the walking path is almost empty because it's cold and windy and life feels all wrong.

May God bless your rhythm of prayer!

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17



One Year Anniversary!



Hi! As of today it has been ONE YEAR since I have officially been running Anne Marie Christian Coaching! What a year. It went very fast! I have been honored to walk alongside those whom I have coached. Thank you to each of you have trusted me in that way. Thank you to those who read these blogs and find them encouraging.
God has taught me much this year in taking the step of faith into coaching. He has grown me in ways of learning to be His daughter, and in trusting His goodness and personal love. 
I look forward to March 2019 to see what God will do! If you would like to take a step of faith to have a coach to help you reach your goals and see more of who God made you to be please contact me. I would love to work with you!
Anne Marie


Life is Short-- Live it Well!



Switchfoot "Live it Well"

Take the burden from my arms
Take the anchors off my lungs
Take me broken and make me one
Break the silence and make it a song

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well


I have had these lyrics stuck in my head this week along with a recent sermon our pastor gave on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It has been a powerful and motivating combination. I'll share with you the highlights here.

As believers in Jesus we are created for more than an ordinary life. We are created for so much more! My coaching business is built on John 10:10 where Jesus says, "I have come that you might have life and have it to the full." Yes! Absolutely!

The world we live in has rewired us and reshaped us into something different that what God created. We think we can just associate ourselves with Christianity or even with Jesus and still keep part of us "in the world". We try, sometimes unconsciously, to keep one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world. This is NOT the full and abundant life Jesus offers!

The best available life is to have both feet in with Jesus. To be a follower of His. THIS IS LIFE. Jesus says, "Come, follow Me." He is saying, "Come and live like me. Don't just cheer for me and think I am great... LIVE like Me and WITH Me!"


This is the church. Through the power of the Spirit at work we can love others well (Romans 12) and show up as Jesus. No, of course we are not Jesus. That's not what I am saying. I am saying that we can indeed live more and more like Him as we reply on His power and let Him transform us. It's a radically different looking life! It's the life I want for sure!

I have only one life. You have only one life. LIVE IT WELL!


To read more about the Life Jesus is talking about check out Matthew chapters 5,6, and 7.

Click here for a video of Live it Well by Swithfoot.

Contact me for practical ways of helping you unpack this life. I would love to be your coach!

Glorious Adoption



I have been blessed to study the book of Romans in depth this year through BSF on Tuesdays mornings. We dig and dig each week into a handful of verses. We wrestle with each verse and let God speak to us. What a gift! Romans is a difficult and wonderful book! Either because it's so great, or because I am not "getting" it enough, God thought I needed more Romans. My husband and I just joined a Bible study on... Romans! It is using a book by Timothy Keller and so far it has also been challenging and beautiful.

I have been struck lately with the truth that we are Adopted as God's Children. I am a Child of God. If you are a believer, then you, too, are a Child of God.

Adoption is quite the word.

Last December I sat the courtroom for another hearing for our foster daughter's case. But this one was not just another hearing. It was her "best case" hearing. Basically, our agency was laying out evidence to the judge that our daughter's "best case" was to be adopted by us-- her foster family who has loved and cared for her most of the years of her life. It was gut wrenching and sacred. I am not "allowed" to speak in court, but I sobbed silently in the last row as the judge declared my girl's standing and placement to be "best" with my husband and me. She has been ours all along, but with this declaration she becomes a full member of our family and she inherits full rights as our daughter!

It's the same for God.

God, our Father, sees each of us as His Child.

How does God feel when we let Him claim us as His daughter or son? Probably similar to how I felt in that courtroom! 

We are His all along and then we can finally be freely loved by Him. We get the full benefits of being God's child.


 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." Jesus in John 14:18
Behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into His family-- calling Him Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

The Greek word for adoption here is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. God, our good, good Father adopts us. We will experience this fully One day (Romans 8:23), but it makes a difference in our life here and now as well. We are His. You are His. You are claimed and adopted. I am claimed. I have been declared His Child. What a gift! I get emotional when I let this truth sink in and when I live out of that place. How about you?


When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4-6

There were legal realities God had to deal with. His own justice and law demanded that we be punished and excluded from his presence for our sins. Righteousness was required and punishment demanded. God had to satisfy his justice and his law in order to adopt sinners into his family. This he did by the life, death, and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ.


God our Father cries in the courtroom, too.

It has been decided. We have been claimed. Let Him claim you. Let Him claim me.

I have Full Rights as His daughter! My prayer is that I sit in it and live from it. How about you?

2018 is Coming!



Goals and Dreams. So much fun for some of us!!

I am squarely in the camp of loving goals and dreams. I have many short term and long term dreams for various areas of my life. I have a spot in my Life Management Binder for dreams for each decade of my life. Some are just fun, like learning to raise chickens. Many are very important and meaningful, like our dream to pass along faith in Jesus to our daughters. I regularly spend time translating my dreams into goals and those goals into plans and into calendar space. It's fun!

My husband and I were given the gift of going out to lunch today and we talked through some of our dreams and plans for 2018. Honestly, it's a much harder exercise for him, but even he appreciates the time and planning to lay out our hopes for 2018 before the Lord and with His blessing to start going in those directions! We talked about a couple possible short trips to take, what we pray for in 2018 with our foster daughter, dreams for my business, goals for his work, hopes about friendships that will grow in 2018, race times I want to improve on in running, and other fun things.


Do you like to plan and dream? God is a planner, an expert planner. And we are created in His image. So, we can plan, too! Of course our plans come under His Lordship and ultimately we trust in His timing and His numbering of our days.


What do you want to achieve in 2018?

Growing closer to family and friends? Serving more somewhere? More clients in your business? Finishing a race or other health goals? Paying off a debt? Traveling somewhere?

What character traits do you want to grow in next year?

Patience? Presence? Courage? Being a more loving spouse? Having more confidence in the Lord? Many of us chose a "Word for the Year" to reflect this goal. How about you? Ask God what your Word for 2018 is. He will challenge you and grow you-- and He will be beside you the entire time! I almost have my 2018 word. I'll let you know in January :) 

How do you want to grow closer to the Lord?

Letting Him really love you and be your Father? More prayer time? A solitude day or other spiritual discipline? Joining a Bible study? Starting a Bible study?


Dreams and Goals are proven to be met and achieved more often when we first write them down, and second when we tell them to someone else! As your coach I would love to be that person! I will encourage you in your goals and together we will be on the look out for obstacles and plan how to reach the goals and dreams God has given you! Having a Life Coach makes a difference! I know, I have one, too!


Here is a New Year's Package Option for Goals:

Two phone sessions in January for 45 minutes each to plan goals for 2018.

Follow up phone session in February and one more phone session in March.

Total of 4 sessions (45 minutes each) for $200. (Regular rate would be $300) This is an investment in you! God has already made His investment by giving you gifts and dreams! Now is your chance to use them! As always, if you are interested please contact me and we will figure out the cost. I want to work with you and help you live the life God is calling you to!

Happy 2018!

Your Coach, Anne Marie



Bleached Hands & a Cracked Heart



Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Lots of us have struggles. Hmm... ALL of us.

All of us have storms and struggles.


Mine this week include kiddos being sick and therefore "messing up" my schedule both on Monday and today. Also my soul being a bit weary from a time of transition. My soul is longing for connection. If I am honest, I feel a bit alone lately. I know indeed I am not. I have amazing family and friends. And the Lord is near.

So, we all have storms. Mine are minor compared to what I know many of you are going through.

Today God gave me a reminder of His help and call in the struggle and in the storm. A reminder to have courage. You are courageous! I am courageous! The Lord is WITH us. He's with you and He sees you! He's with you in your thoughts and doubt and worry and wishing you had done something different. He's with you trying to figure out what the doctors say. He's with you in the stress of the holidays and relationships and family. He is with me today and my bleach scrubbing hands and slightly cracked heart.


Be reminded of Him. "Get into the Word. It helps." A wise friend told me this week. It helped!


He is Mighty and Powerful and Calm and Gentle and WITH.


Peace from Him,

Anne Marie

Winter. Death. Beauty



Even though the sun has warmed us these last couple days, winter has come. I know this for sure because this week we cleaned out our garden and backyard. I found that even when dead the flowers are beautiful. We also cleaned up and put away our fire pit and chairs. Sad day.

I do find winter beautiful and I love snow and our three girls of course love sledding and playing in the snow. I love making soup or coffee and curling up by the fire inside with a book. There is something calm and peaceful about the dark and quiet of winter. But, I really miss enjoying our backyard and fire pit! As I have written about before, this fire pit is our burning bush. We truly know we are on Holy Ground in our backyard when we share in food and conversation there.

Sometimes it's just my me and my Bible, sometimes it's just my husband and I enjoying a drink and talking. Sometimes it's the five of us, or family friends we have invited over, or big parties with dozens and dozens of people. However many people-- God's presence is there.

This year as I was putting away the fire pit I was struck with a sadness. You see, I have these ideas that play out in my mind of certain conversations or certain people that will happen in our backyard. They represent deep hopes and dreams. I think they are Godly hopes and dreams, but it turns out God's timing is different than mine! :) He has really been growing me in patience this year and I think I still have a lot to learn.

Can you relate to that? Have you imagined a conversation in your head and hoped how it would go??



So, as I packed up the fire pit I realized a couple of those conversations did not happen this year. Maybe they will next season. Or the one after that. Or maybe not. I am learning to let go of these expectations and trust more and more in God's perfect timing. He is time.

This winter, I am letting these pieces die. Jesus will bring them, or something else, to new life in the "spring". It's what He does. It's who He is.

There is beauty in death. What is not dead cannot be resurrected.

God's glory and goodness will be on display in that resurrection. Read the story of Lazarus in John 11 for a beautiful display of this.


What needs to die in your life? What needs to die so that the very Creator of Life can bring it back in newness?

Use this winter season to be reminded of God's great timing and to let it die.

If you would like a helper in this season give me a call! We'll do it together!
Your Coach, Anne Marie




Table. Convivium.


As we approach Thanksgiving next week

I am thinking about tables.

What's your favorite type of table? My favorite is a big, rustic, farm table. The ones that are made of beautiful old wood and tell the story of all the meals eaten there in the nicks and scratches and discolorations. We have a small farm table in our kitchen and I love it! It bows a little in the center, has various spots of paint on it, and definite marks from a fork where a toddler stabbed it. It was given to us when I was pregnant with our first daughter and we will keep it forever!


Most of us will gather around a table for Thanksgiving with family and friends. We will sit a little longer than usual. We will share stories and be thankful. We will eat a little better, a little slower, and probably a little more than we need! How fun! We treasure time at the table.


Convivium is the Latin word for feast. The fullness of the word means "a banquet, feasting, drinking, gathering with good company". I first learned of convivium in Randy Frazee's book, Making Room for Life. He argues for families and communities to make the daily dinner meal a true feast in both food and relationships-- a convivium. He reminds us that this is how Jesus, the disciples, and the first church in Acts shared many a meal. It sounds wonderful, right? To slow down enough to really sit and enjoy the company and food God has given us! It's complicated though. Schedules and our culture just don't place a priority on this kind of practice. 

My challenge to you is to think of how you can bring the spirit of the best of Thanksgiving dinner to each week in you home. How can we slow down a little? Be more thankful? Really talk and listen to the good company around us? Make and enjoy real food? Sit at the actual table. Turn off our phones (I am terrible at this!) Maybe light some candles. What else comes to mind for you? How can we thank & feast?

Getting better in these practices is good for our bodies and our souls!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Your Coach, Anne Marie



I never used to notice or care much about birds at all. I would say that has been changing in the last couple years. My oldest daughter loves birds! I remember when she was younger she would run towards the robins near our home and chase them. She would sob when she could not catch one. Now, she still loves birds and studies them, draws them, and knows a lot about them. This has piqued my interest in birds as well. My favorites are the cardinal and any eagle.

God has also drawn my heart to birds recently. He has used cardinals and eagles as reminders of His Presence. He has spoken to me by having a cardinal show up at just the right moment time and time again. I notice them in my backyard out the window as I do dishes and sometimes feel alone. They cross my path often when walking or running at the forest preserve. Seeing the red feathers is to me God saying, "I notice you, Anne. I'm right here." That's a powerful reminder. Seeing eagles is a reminder to me of God's Majesty and Power. The beauty as they soar is incredible!

I love how God brings back similar themes over and over. This summer I knew several times God was telling me to "fly", "fly high". In times of prayer and solitude this was confirmed to me. The symbol of a feather and verses about birds, eagles, and feathers stood out to me. It was an encouragement and a call on my life to break free, step up, and be who God made me to be! To live and breathe as one who is spoken for. Jesus makes me brave and in Him I fly!

This past weekend I went to a women's conference with a similar theme.

God wants you to be free! God wants me to be free!

In His freedom we are no longer wounded and broken birds. We are free. We fly. We fly out of the cage and captivity we used to be in. We can be saved by Jesus, but still not free. He desires a full and abundant life of freedom in Him for His sons and daughters!

What is holding you captive? Ask the Spirit to show you.

What truth are you believing that is not true? Maybe your worth or identity? Maybe in an area of your life that is difficult right now-- marriage, parenting, finances, etc?


Put on your armor! (Ephesians 6) Know you are protected by the Most High! (Psalm 91) Speak God's promises over yourself & others. All His promises are "Yes and Amen!" (2 Corinthians 1:20)

"Catch The Wind" by Bethel Music
I am strong and full of life
I am steadfast, no compromise
I lift my sails, to the sky
I'm gonna catch the wind
I'm gonna catch the wind

I am bold, no fear inside
Spread my wings, open my life
Like an eagle, whose home is the sky
I'm gonna catch the wind
I'm gonna catch the wind

Your faithfulness will never let me down
I'm confident I'll see Your goodness now
I know You hear my heart, I'm singing out
There's nothing that can stop Your goodness now

I am bold, no fear inside
Spread my wings, open my life
Like an eagle, whose home is the sky
I'm gonna catch the wind
I'm gonna catch the wind

Your faithfulness will never let me down
I'm confident I'll see Your goodness now
I know You hear my heart, I'm singing out
There's nothing that can stop Your goodness now

Like standing on the edge
Of a mountainside
I can feel the wind stirring
Lifting me up high
I was born into freedom
I was made to fly


Fly, my friend, Fly





What's in a name?


I think there's a lot in a name! What does your name mean? Is there a story behind why your parents chose your name? Do you have a nickname? Does it fit you?


One of our family assignments for our homeschool curriculum was to look up what each of our names mean and to make signs and display them. It was so fun and we learned a lot! My name means "full of grace" which I already knew. As a kid I got made fun of because I was not physically "full of grace" at all! I fell often and was clumsy. Now, as an adult, I know I am indeed full of grace from God and I love what my name means! I have nicknames, too. My family and some close friends call me "Anne Marie", my two brothers call me "Annie" (they had much meaner nicknames for me when we were kids!), and a couple friends call me "Soaps". I love nicknames. They carry a sense of closeness and story with them.

God gives those of us who belong to Him a name, too!

Child of God

Wow. What an important truth and an important name! A daughter, a son of the very Creator of the universe! And He gives us many other names, too. We are called Saint, Masterpiece, Beloved, Beautiful, Worthy, and more! All through and in Him!


I AM.png

God changes our name and our identity when we surrender to Him and live towards Him. Take time to look up some of these verses and reflect on their meaning.


What name do you need to lean into today? What truth is in your name? How can you ask the Holy Spirit to show you more of who you are in Him?


I would love to hear what your name means and how God has used your understanding of your name! Comment below!

Your Coach,
Anne Marie/Anne/Annie/Soaps
Any other nicknames you would add for me?? :)




Water is powerful. I know this well. I am married to the Culligan man! He says I know more about water from listening to him talk than some of the guys he works with. Ha! Water is common in our day to day life-- for drinking, washing, cooking, etc. But we need not underestimate the power of water. It carved the Grand Canyon afterall!

We have seen the power of water recently in the devastation from several hurricanes this season. Locally, we had terrible flooding in July. Water is powerful. This power can be destructive, but it can also be life-giving. We can not live without water. Our bodies, our earth are designed to need water. Water refreshes us and gives us life.

God uses water as a powerful symbol to us. 

Water as Washing

The word of God is often referred to as water in the Bible because the Word acts as a cleansing agent which explains what Paul meant when he wrote concerning Jesus’ cleansing the church “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:26-27). Ezekiel writes about where God says “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you” (Ezk 36:25) while the author of Hebrews writes “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb 10:22).

Water as Eternal Life

Isaiah says “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3) while Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10) because “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). In this chapter Jesus refers to water as the “living water” and it springs up to eternal life and He is the source of this living water that we can draw “water from the wells of salvation” from. In Revelation 21:6 Jesus says “To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment” and “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:1) giving further indication that Jesus is this source of living water, even in the New Jerusalem.

Water was powerful to me a few Sundays ago.

I was baptized in the lake in our neighborhood a few weeks ago! It was a holy evening. A few dear friends gathered. We prayed, worshiped, and shared communion. I declared my belief in our good, good God and His work on the cross for me. He is my life, my hope, my anchor, my confidence. Then, as the kids dangled their legs in the water off the dock, and my family stood beside me, my pastor, Dave, and my friend and mentor, Amy, led my under the water and back up again. Wow. In the waters of baptism God has provided a powerful symbol of who we are when we are in Christ. Water is powerful.



My prayer for each of us is to seek after God as our Water.

Oh God, You are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you!
My whole being longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
~ Psalm 63:1

Which verse about God as Water speaks to you? How does God refresh you and give you life? How is Jesus your living water? Thank Him for being your very life!

What is Life Coaching?


This blog post will be a little different that most of the rest of my posts. I want to help you understand what Life Coaching is and how it could benefit you or someone you know! Feel free to share!


What is coaching?  

The first time it was ever used, the word coach described a horse-drawn vehicle – a stage coach that would get people from where they were to where they wanted to be.  Most often today coaches are people who help athletes and teams move from one place to another that is better and where they want to be.  
But coaches also help musicians, public speakers and actors, who rely on coaching to improve their skills, overcome obstacles, remain focused, and get to where they want to be.  Today, coaching is very popular in business and corporate settings around the world. Executive coaches work with people in business to help them move from where they are to levels where they are more competent, fulfilled and self-confident than they would have been otherwise.    
In summary, coaches guide people from where they are toward the greater competence and fulfillment that they desire.  


"Christian coaching is the art and practice of working with a person in the process of moving from where they are to where God wants them to be."   Gary Collins, Coach and Author 


Yes! This is my desire and passion! To help others seek the life God has for them! It's an honor to journey alongside clients as we "face the Lord" together and work towards this life!


Why would anybody want a coach?  
Coaching helps people who want to get unstuck; grow through life transitions; set and reach goals in various areas of life- in relationships, in health, in parenting, etc; coaching helps those who want to grow deeper in their spiritual journey, and coaching is a place to be listened to well while being challenged and encouraged along the way!

Sounds great, right?! It is. Think about where you want to be in six months or in a year. What do you hope is different? Your job? A specific relationship? A certain area of your life? A character quality you want to grow in? How do you hope your walk with the Lord will grow in the next season? Change doesn't happen on it's own. We need to be intentional. Contact me to help you get there! We'll do it together!
Your Coach,
Anne Marie

Here is a podcast that help explain more of what Coaching is:



But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.
The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.” Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.” The man said, “What’s your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”
Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?” The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him. Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!” The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. Genesis 32:24-29
And he set up an altar there and called it “God, the God of Israel” Genesis 33:20

Have you read this passage before? Do you identify with Jacob? Have you wrestled with God?


I have been in and out of wrestling with God for the past two years. It's painful. It's heart-wrenching. But it's also been name-changing, life-changing. It's worth it. The blessing is God's very Presence.

I have wrestled with God about my worth and my purpose. I have wrestled through my prayers, hours of journaling, conversations with other Christians, many tears, reading and digging into His Word, miles and miles of running and praying. I have sought out helpers in my wrestling-- a coach, a spiritual director, a mentor, a counselor. They have each been a gift in the wrestling.

My prayer in the sleepless nights and doubts of my wrestling is the same as Jacob's. "I'm not letting go until You bless me." I tell Jesus again and again that I am committed to seeking Him. I know He will be found. He is the blessing. He is the peace. He is completeness. He is the star-breather. He is Yahweh. He is. I think I am coming out of the wrestling. I have confidence in my new name. I am His. I am a child of God. I am not ruled any longer by fear and doubt and feelings of unworthiness. Don't get me wrong-- these feelings still show up! I know it will not be until I am truly Home that I will not struggle with doubt and feeling unworthy. But I have learned in the wrestling that they don't rule me. Jesus rules me. He is my Hope and my Anchor. I have decided to follow Him.

Just like Jacob turned Israel did, I am ready to build an altar. A physical reminder to all who see it that God is. I'm not sure yet exactly what this will look like. I'll let you know!

Are you struggling today? Do you find yourself in a wrestling match with God? I know it's hard. I know the pain and the fear. I know the frustration as you try to come to peace with God’s plan for your life. I understand the fear of letting go of every burden and turning them over to God.
I also know the change that takes place in your heart when you have taken the time to engage God, to get to know His Heart. I know how He changes and blesses when you seek Him with your all. I know the joy of Him.

Are you in a wrestling match today? Hang in there. He will change you forever.

Your Coach,

Anne Marie


God's Presence


Two weeks ago I was driving north on highway 53 near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and I knew God's Presence was with me.

I was driving to northern Minnesota to direct and teach a week of leadership training for high school students. It is one of my favorite weeks of the summer. I was spending my windshield time in worship and prayer. Lately I have been loving Steffany Gretzinger of Bethel Music. So good!! I was listening to one of her albums, drinking good coffee, and praying for our week. I was praying for our students and how God would meet them at training. I was praying for my family and friends back home and for the challenges and joys I knew they were facing. There was a weight of peace and glory in that car. I looked left and a bald eagle was flying low to the ground, parallel to me over the median. He was only there five or six seconds, but I think I stopped breathing for those seconds. It was God's Presence. Maybe that sounds weird to you or maybe that makes perfect sense to you. All I know is it was God.

I have had many moments like that over the years of walking with the Lord. They have been much more frequent in the last year as I have opened my hands, my heart, my life to His Love. Often they are moments during worship or when I am praying or reading scripture outside. But they have also happened recently in line at a restaurant and in a forest preserve parking lot.

God is real. He shows up.

His Presence is with His people.


Where do you experience God? In a Sanctuary? In creation? In the love of other people? A smile? The embrace of a friend? In God's Word?

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

1 John 4:16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”


If God says that He will give us rest in His presence He will.  If He promises to be there among the body of Christ, He will. If we abide in love, He abides in us, knowing that He goes wherever we go. In this knowledge, you will find joy in His presence and look toward being in His literal presence someday taking comfort in knowing all these things.


How do you experience God's Presence? Could you benefit from a helper in learning to seek Him? Practicing some spiritual disciplines can help us draw closer to God and His Presence. It can allow us to get out of our own way. Contact me for support on the journey! We'll do it together! 

Our God is a "with" God!! 

Be a Caddie!


My husband and I both love to watch good sports. We love the talent, hard work, tradition, and drama of sports. We even like to watch golf! This past weekend we were watching The Open and got to cheer for one of our favorites, Jordan Spieth. He hit a terrible tee shot on the 13th hole, but someone managed to still secure the win. It was like magic to watch!

In his interview while holding the trophy, he held back tears as he looked at his caddie, also in tears, and said, "You kept me in it today. This is as much yours as it is mine." Love it! How can you not love golf!

This got me thinking about sports and coaches and how interesting the position of a golf caddie is. There are few other individual sports that have this built in human support system. I played tennis for many years and my coaches were not allowed to communicate with me at all when I was on the court. Look at the pictures above of Jordan and his caddie, Michael. Always near. Encouraging. Helping. So cool!

This relationship of a golfer to

his caddie is beautiful.

The encouragement that is provided-- in actual words, or just by his presence. The reminders of what to hit and how to calm down. Someone next to you to keep you grounded. Someone to celebrate the great shots with. Someone to breathe with. Someone who knows your game as well as you do. The caddie anticipates what the golfer will do. Someone to help you figure out how to get back on track. To help you get the ball back in the fairway when the tee shot goes way off course. 

Someone to stand next to you. Side-by-side.

Shoulder to shoulder.

Facing the same direction together.

Amazing, right!! I am a terrible golfer. Terrible. But I am blessed with a couple beautiful caddies in my life. These souls stand shoulder to shoulder with me as we face the Lord together. What a gift! What encouragement! This, I believe, is a glimpse of God's Kingdom here on earth. A glimpse of true and selfless love.

I now pray each day that as a coach I can be a beautiful caddie to my clients. It is an honor to walk alongside others! Contact me if you could use someone like this in your life! To help you reach the goal and plans God has for your life. I'll stand beside you!

Read this passage to see an example of a Biblical caddie :)

2 Timothy 1 (The Message)

1 1-2 I, Paul, am on special assignment for Christ, carrying out God’s plan laid out in the Message of Life by Jesus. I write this to you, Timothy, the son I love so much. All the best from our God and Christ be yours!

3-4 Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.

5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

8-10 So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.

11-12 This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.

13-14 So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. It’s as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.