Design Your Life Postcard

Henry Travel PostcardSince September 2010, my friend, Henry, and I have been exchanging postcards on a weekly basis.  No, we aren’t on the road traveling, only living life within commuting distance from our hometowns. Some weeks I receive just 1 postcard, and other weeks I might find 4-7 postcards in my mailbox.  The quantity depends on the weather and how many miles Henry wants to walk to drop these little slivers of life news into the post office mail slot.

If the number of postcards stacked in our dresser drawers were counted, in truth, Henry would win our contest started nearly 7 years ago.  Although Henry has been more faithful in writing, I still contend I have the neater penmanship.  In this contest, however, we are both winners by investing in our friendship through this thoughtful ritual.

You might say, “That’s a lot of writing!  What do you write about?”  Some postcards are from our worldly travels, but mostly they reflect words of what we are thinking, observing, struggling with, and celebrating.  It’s an opportunity for each of us in the peace of our day to stop, put pen to paper, and reflect on our lives, days, thoughts, and feelings.  For me, it is an opportunity to randomly select a postcard from my inventory from past travels and reminisce.  Many times, I find myself feeling grateful that I was able to travel to such a destination to buy that postcard.

Today, I received the above postcard sent by my friend of over 35 years.  On the back, Henry wrote, “This is the PERFECT POSTCARD for your life!  Or close to it!  I don’t know if you take cream in your coffee, and we might swap the hammock, invented in the Amazon Rainforest, with a mission group, and the NYC Union Square Street grid for Bogota!  But otherwise, good!” [Note: I used to take cream and sugar in my coffee, until I forced myself to drink it black to save calories.]

As I studied the postcard with all its items spread across the table, I did agree with Henry that this postcard reflected what I would want in my life and never tire.  Give me a camera, iPhone (Bible App, Facebook, LinkedIn and call connection), my coffee, my itineraries, and the postcards that are the markers of my life lived.  I ask you, “If you drew a postcard representing the life you dreamed of, what would be on it?”  I would then ask whether this postcard looked much different than a postcard drawn of your current life.  How big is the gap?  As a coach, I encourage you to create a postcard of your dream!  Make multiple copies of it!  Frame it! Tape it to your mirror and frig!  Talk about it!  And don’t forget to act on it!


HE21118Davis_07-medAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  She can be reached at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741.

Three Big Questions That Can Determine Your Future

Future NowPeople have a propensity to concentrate most of their thoughts and energy into either the past, present, or future, with their preferred time realm a result of a complicated set of personal circumstances and experiences.  Without having thought much about this concept and its implications, we tend to behave in ways that align with our preferred time perspective. The first BIG question we should ask ourselves: In what time dimension are the majority of my thoughts and conversations directed?

A disadvantage of focusing too much on the past is that it cannot be changed or rewritten.  The past is valuable and should be honored for the learnings it provides and how it shapes our current wisdom.  However, if not put in its proper perspective, the past can be like a thief who robs us of creating a future.  Our future is still unscripted, full of limitless possibilities, and may only lack a destination and path to get there.

Those who primarily focus their thoughts and decisions in the present tend to react to their immediate circumstances.  They may enjoy living in the present but be unsure of what tomorrow holds.  Thinking of and seriously planning for the future can feel both thrilling and unsettling with a heaviness of responsibility.  Because it seems so overwhelming, some shy away from this responsibility.  They fail to realize that their future will be created from both decision and indecision.  The second BIG question we should ask ourselves: What time realm am I committed to work in? 

As a coach, I encourage my clients to dream big about their future—get a vision—one that has color and builds excitement.  People need a clear vision, because the necessary ingredients of hard work and sacrifice to achieve that future do not come easy.  It is unlikely that anyone would deny pleasure in the present for an undefined greater reward in the future.  The third BIG question we should ask ourselves: What painful decision will I make today to have the reward of my dreamed tomorrow? 

Regardless of our faith, most people would agree that life is a finite gift which comes with no instructions and plenty of responsibility.  Whether we accept that responsibility or not, our decisions of today create our life of tomorrow. When we decide to focus more on our future, a coach can be a partner who helps us through that process.


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including leadership, life purpose/plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  She can be reached at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741.

In Pursuit of Spiritual Gifts!

We are all born with innate talents such as athletic ability or intelligence; however, God has also placed within each of us His spiritual gifts that we are able to leverage for Kingdom purposes.  Examples of spiritual gifts include administration, artistic (music and art), evangelism, Parcel wrapped in mottled brown paper with coarse rope and buff tagencouragement, leadership, hospitality, and serving to name only a few.   When we choose to move strongly into our gifting, these talents grow, multiply, and become towering strengths, especially when used for God’s ministry.

Have you identified your top three spiritual gifts?  My top three gifts are writing, leadership, and administration.  Although I was not a Christian as a young adult and did not take the Spiritual Gifts Inventory until I was in my late 40’s, these gifts were available to me to some extent.  Since I have chosen to use them for Kingdom purpose, I have seen them grow and have specific impact.  I believe if you are not living out your top three spiritual gifts on a daily basis, you are not only cheating God but also yourself.  You were made for a purpose, and your spiritual gifts are your tools to move deeply into that fulfilling life calling.

If you have never heard of or taken a Spiritual Gifts Inventory, reach out so that I can email you a survey and definitions of the gifts.  I want everyone to have this resource.


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  Email: sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com

Life Purpose: A Tale of Three Trees

Have you ever bawled like a baby when reading a children’s fable?  I have!  Several years ago, as I was browsing the small bookstore at The Homestead Heritage in Waco, Texas, I picked up The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale.  I guarantee you this is no ordinary children’s story.   The tale tells of the dreams of three trees in the forest, who all long to grow into something that the world would value.  One wanted to be the most beautiful, the other the strongest, and the third the tallest.   After many years the woodcutters came to harvest these trees on the mountain.

Christ with CrossWhat these three trees wished themselves to be instead became how they were used to serve.   The purpose of each tree brought me to tears.  Can you guess how the tallest tree was used?  The third tree wanted to be the tallest tree in the land, and by some accounts this tree got what it wished for as it stood tall at Calvary with Jesus nailed to it.   This tree had one idea of its future, but God had another purpose and plan.  Despite the ugliness it endured as it co-labored with Jesus, the third tree had the opportunity to help bring Salvation to the world.  Now that’s worth first living and then dying for!

For those of you who identify with the Christian faith, I would ask you to think about  whether you are pursuing your own dream or seeking to know God’s dream for your life?  Sometimes God’s dream for your life will take you through ugliness, harshness, and cruelty such as what Jesus experienced on the cross?  Much of the time you will never be aware of the impact you are making and must maintain faith that God is using each faithful word and action for Kingdom impact.  On those rare occasions when I do get feedback, I find those are the fuel that keep me seeking the Lord’s will for my life.  My prayer for you is that God will clearly speak truth and purpose into your life!


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.