I was interviewed “At the Table” with April Fiet!


Believe it on not, there is something on my blog today! I know it’s been a while. Have you heard me talk about the amazing people I’ve met on twitter? Probably.  I’m so excited to tell you about one of those people: April Fiet. April and her husband co-pastor a church in Iowa. She does Karate, is super crafty and has a wonderful voice (nothing like me!!). However, we hold many of the same beliefs about the church, God and even parenting.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her, first online, and then through phone calls and emails.

Through this, I discovered that April has had a coach in the past and she shared how much it helped her. Coaching is often hard to explain and I always love to meet people who have experienced working with a coach.

When April offered to interview me about coaching I jumped at the chance to be on her fabulous blog.  You might already read her blog, and if you don’t – check it out!

Here’s a snippet of my interview:

What experiences led you to pursue coach training?

JH: As it is with most career changes, I can follow the journey back many years.  Upon graduating from seminary in 2005, I began working at a non-profit in the inner city of Vancouver.  I spent most of my time there hiring, training, and working with volunteers. I helped them figure out where they would fit in our organization, what they had to offer, and what they wanted to learn.

After nearly ten years, I was feeling ready to move on. Around this time, I went to a workshop with a good friend of mine and we began to chat over lunch with a former-pastor-turned-coach. My friend Dawn asked him more about coaching and, as he explained what it was, she looked at me and said, “Jane, this is what you should do next!”  I agreed!  My seminary degree, work at the non-profit, and (ironically?) ten years as a swim coach, had me interested. I began coaching school in Sept. 2012 and finished one year later.

Who do you coach?

JH: I work primarily with Christian women who are ready and willing to make a change in their lives. That change can be in their career, attitude toward something, health, relationships, etc. What I have found is that often times Christians who have grown up in the church have learned something that really limits them, or they have unconsciously and unhelpfully twisted something they grew up hearing. For example, they have been taught that pride is sinful but have twisted it into “I can’t admit what I’m good at or really own my talents because I will be prideful.” This can become incredibly difficult when applying for jobs or even choosing a career. I help to untwist these things while still honouring what they believe about their faith.  I’m happy to work with men or people of other faiths as well, but the majority of my clients are Christian women.

What benefits of coaching do you see?

– You can read the rest here

I love the radio, but not ‘that kind’ of radio.


Last weekend I joined my “twitter friends” at the Faith & Culture Writer’s Conference in Portland. It was my second year attending and most likely not my last.  The ironic thing is I am so far behind in work that I’m going to quickly summarize my highlights instead of stewing over my post like the tortured writer I feel like sometimes.

Highlight 1: This year I attended a ‘special guest’ and was given the privilege of meeting with people as a spiritual mentor. What I really did was coach people.  Even though the conference planners asked me to come, I don’t think my offerings were very well communicated to the conference attendees because I heard more “what? I could have done that?” than I had actual meetings.  However, the ones I had were fantastic.  Coaching can be so helpful for writers, especially when facing insecurity, writer’s block or lack of direction.  Stay tuned for more on this because I will be doing a guest post for Micah Murray soon!


Here we are at Cha Cha Cha! (thanks for the photo Andee)

Highlight 2: Leading up to the conference I had the hilarious, fun and “I-never-thought-I-would-do-this” experience of being on Christian radio.  Yes, you read that right.  I, Jane Halton, was interviewed for an hour on Christian radio. The same people that tune into bad music and offensive sermons heard Andee Zomerman and I chat it up about coaching.  Andee, by the way, is the antithesis of Christian radio. Later that day she interviewed Rachel Held Evans (no. big. deal).

Highlight 3: I was chatting with Cara while stretching out my bad leg and instead of listening to “the guy who wrote the Shack” (yeah he was really there and it really didn’t interest me??). I asked her how her sessions were today and she said, “oh fine, but I really come for the people.”  So true.  I only went to two and a half sessions (and the key note speakers) because I was coaching the rest of the time.  But meeting for dinner at Cha Cha Cha! (thanks Stephen) and actually having conversations with my twitter friends and those I’ve met in The Clumsy Blogger Workshop was a highlight.

Highlight 4: Last but the opposite of least, one of my favourite friends, Julianne, flew in from Edmonton to join me on the road trip and conference. We had endless hours to discuss, as key note speaker Emily Freeman said, ALL THE THINGS (yes, she said it in ALL CAPS).

See you next year!






An Unexpected Gig


I felt like a bit of a fraud when I signed up for the Faith and Culture Writers Conference last year. I had recently started blogging and openly confessed it was more for my coaching business than my love of writing. I knew I had to ‘get my name out there’ to grow my business so I started blogging. However, I was surprised by how quickly my love of writing grew! Blogging and tweeting connected me to a world of wonderful people. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet them in person.  So I signed up for the conference with fairly low expectations and mainly to learn from others.

I was thrilled with my experience! The conference drew a unique, beautiful and gifted group of people together. It was clear by the ethos, speakers, and conversations taking place, that there was more going on here than just “networking” and “skill obtaining/improving.” People were making deep connections with each other and the connections previously made on line were being lived out in the flesh. Writing is such a heart-felt enterprise that it makes sense people would be deeply moved when hearing speakers like Sarah Bessey and Deidra Riggs while sitting in the company of fellow writers.

In addition to the depth, it was downright fun. I read a tweet by @TamaraRice describing it as “One big awkward blind date” and another person was commenting on how we should write our twitter handles on our name tags because we are often more familiar with them. Although I laughed in every session, I also witnessed deep transformation.

For example, so many of the conversations I had while waiting for a session to start involved women telling me they came to hear Sarah Bessey.  Now I am a Jesus Feminist, I read Sarah’s blog and appreciate her voice but I always found her words encouraging and similar to the way I’ve thought for a while.  However, I met more women at this conference whose lives were deeply changed by Jesus Feminist (and Sarah’s blog).  Women were finding their voice for the first time because someone told them they mattered.  Strangers welled up in tears as they talked about how writing had changed their life. I knew I would be back the next year and began to wonder about it.

As I continued to blog and coach (and coach bloggers), I grew in my understanding of how important the practice of writing and sharing your words means to people. Our passions, frustrations, encouragements and challenges all come out when we write.  The more writers I coach the more this rings true.

Because writing is so vulnerable, our identity is put on the table.

What will people think of this writing? What does it say about me if I write this or that? I want to be successful. I don’t want to be one of “those” writers. The list goes on. Our identity is wrapped up in what we write, for good or bad. And when you put a bunch of writers together this only gets heightened. But this conference seemed to be taking strides to approach this differently.  Instead of competition and comparison, there was a spirit of camaraderie and encouragement. It made me want to get more involved!

I sent an email to Cornelia, the Conference Director, with some ideas about how I would love to further serve this creative crew.

Continue reading here to find out more about how I’m going to be involved (and if you’re interested, sign up yourself!)….



Major Career Change 1-2-3


Last month fellow Regent College alumni Nathan Olson approached me to write an article for his website. He is running a series on people’s stories of how they chose their career. Funny thing: a major part of my career is helping people find a career. The story originally ran on his website here.


I don’t even like the term “life coach” – coach maybe, but to me “life coach” has an odd new-age and ambiguous ring to it. Technically anyone can slap this title on a business card and voila – a new career. In fact, coaches of all kinds are popping up everywhere! Sleep coaches, personality coaches, dating coaches. It’s all the rage. Nothing grates on me more than this label. Yet, here I am: a certified life coach. How did this happen? Why did it happen?

At first glance, the story of how I became a coach is simple. I was looking for a career change, met a guy who told me about coaching, went to coaching school, got certified and the rest is history. There was no loud divine calling or long-winded decision-making. But as I began to look more closely, I realized there was something going on!

When making decisions like a MAJOR CAREER CHANGE, three steps are needed. I don’t mean, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. But before any action happens, you will need to (1) Look back, (2) Look ahead, and (3) Look inside. You must remember where you’ve been, where you want to be, and what you’re made of.

Looking back

When I look back I realize that I spent the majority of my adult life doing two things: coaching swimmers and working at a small faith-based non-profit in the inner city. For the most part I loved and was good at both of these careers. But for reasons I don’t need to get into, I needed a change from both of them.

Looking back involved evaluating what I was and was not good at and what I liked and did not like about both careers.Helping/encouraging/empowering people – yes! Working with kids and parents (and addicts) – no! Pastoral care/administration/helping volunteers fit in – yes! Completely inconsistent working environments/working in the evenings – no!

When looking back, don’t forget to look at areas of your life outside your career. Volunteer work, friendships, travelling – all of these things shape us. I love when young women from my church would seek me out for advice or unofficial pastoral care. I love leading a team to get a task done at our church. I love encouraging people and calling out their gifts and talents. I don’t like the idea of working full-time because I want to be home with my kids and, of course, work on my domestic goddess skills.

Looking ahead

You must also look ahead. Where did I want to end up? I wanted to work on my own and with people. I didn’t want to work full-time. I wanted a combination of caring/helping/encouraging people and organizing/administration/writing.

Looking inside

Lastly, I looked inside. What got me really excited? Did anyone have a job I was really jealous of? Was God calling me somewhere?

When I was in seminary a friend told me about a job at her church that she thought I would be really good at. It was a pastoral position at a big church where you would help new people find out where they fit and how then wanted to serve, etc. She mentioned the words “personality test” and I was chomping at the bit – ready to go. This job wasn’t a realistic option for me at the time, but I never forgot about it.

So there I was, ready for a change, doing some soul-searching or as my lovely husband called it, “searching for my vocational wholeness.” It was then that I met a former pastor, turned coach. His brief description of coaching sent me straight home to research my next move. I knew where I was headed.

After a whopping 15 minutes I picked a reputable, in person, coaching school. The training took about a year and I now have 7 more letters behind my name. Technically, and only if I was trying to win an obnoxious contest, I am: Jane Halton, BA, MDiv, CPCC, ACC.


Now as a self-employed coach, I work mainly with Christian women who want a change in their lives. Changes like: a new career, a healthier body, a different parenting experience, a spiritual revival. The people who hire me have typically never worked with a coach before – although this is NOT required to work with me.

We build a relationship. We figure out how to work together and what is important for the client’s success. I ask thought provoking questions, listen, and offer encouragement and accountability. Together we find actions steps to get you moving! I like to describe my coaching with the phrase, “pastoral care meets your to-do list.”

As I look back, forward and inside, I can see God at work and how I’ve been prepared to do the work I now do. I may have dropped the “life” part out of my job title but I sure love coaching!


What I’m into October 2014 – The “Halloweenia” Edition


Well clearly blogging is not something I’ve been into in October! I can’t believe it is the end of month. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed that my last blog post was “What I’m into Sept 2014“! Here I am linking up with Leigh Kramer again (white-sox pumpkin, just for you…and all my die hard sox fan in-laws)


Photo credit (probably) goes to Andrew Stock.

Big News: I’m a wedding officiant again! For those who don’t know, being able to officiate weddings in Canada is tricky. There are no “online” certificates like there are in the US.  But I found a group that serves as an umbrella for people in ministry, non-denominational pastors etc. It is a bit of a stretch theologically but they were lovely, accepting and I’m glad to be part of them. In this regard, I’m back as an officiant and a relationship coach for Young Hip & Married.

I’m thrilled to be doing weddings again because it’s something I absolutely love.

Work News: My lovely Springboard Workshop partner Amy had a big baby boy last week!  Therefore we will be not doing any more workshops until the new year.  I’m also working on a promotion to connect my blogging/twitter community with my coaching practice. This will all be revealed very soon! Stay tuned.

 More Big News: We also traveled to Victoria for Thanksgiving and Dane and I ran an 8k race.  It was quite a milestone for us considering I hadn’t run a race since I was pregnant with Ben (and got a blood clot that prevented me from running) and Dane fractured his back about 18 months ago.  I was struck by the miracle of it all when I passed the halfway point. It was about ten years ago that I ran my first marathon at that same race. And let me tell you, the 8K felt as equal of an accomplishment, all things considered. To top it off, we both ran faster than expected and enjoyed donuts at the end. Does a donut ever taste as good as at the end of a running race?

Post race glow

Post race (and donuts) glow

Family News: There has been much anticipation about Halloween or as Sam (who is 3/12) relentlessly calls it, “Halloweenia.”  Much to my amazement my kids chose their costumes weeks ago and have not changed their minds!


Fiercest zebra & ninja on the block! (Don’t worry they will probably be in bed by 8)

Reading News:  We joined a small group through our church and they have agreed to read Slow Church after my recommendation.  I was roomates with one of the author’s wives years ago and I anticipated the release of te book. It received excellent reviews/endorsements from all sort of crazy famous people like Walter Brueggemann. So far, so great!  Speaking of church…

Church News: One of my favorite events of the year just happened: the Harvest feast. We harvest produce from the church/community garden and cook up a bunch of delicious soups for dinner. Home made bread, salad and fruit crisps are brought in and we all dine together in celebration of God’s abundance and our love of food. I’ve been a soup chef for this occasion foryears and I continue to enjoy cooking with friends and feasting with the whole church and neighbourhood friends.

Art work by Fiona Moes-Pel

Art work by Fiona Moes-Pel


Listening News: As you may recall I’m a big radio nerd and thus am obsessed with the new This American Life Spin off podcast called Serial.  Serial follows true life crime story with a new episode each week.  I can’t recommend it enough. I may have listened to the first four episodes twice because I didn’t want to miss anything.

Boring (yet enjoyable) News: I continue my obsession with the Good Wife. That is all.

Shopping News: I rarely have shopping news. I am a horrible shopper. However, I live in a rain forest and was thrilled to find these beauties. Little rain boots. I have worn them everyday.IMG_2314

Lastly, I want to remind you that Listening to the Marginalized Challenge is starting Nov 1. It’s an opportunity to hear voices of marginalized people that you may not have heard before. It is an effort to help us take the posture of listening in order to learn an grow.  You can read my intro post about it and/or sign up here.


What were you into this month? Any other serial fans? 

Are you one of those “I really (might/sort of/kind of) need a new job” kind of person?


3_Vocational_Trends_ info1

Are you part of the 75% looking to live a more meaningful life?

Or maybe part of the 56% wanting to make a difference in the world?


Let’s face it many of us have to spend most of our day ‘working’ – why not find a career you love? 

Yet, it can be overwhelming can’t it? Especially when you feel the desire (or pressure) to do the ‘right thing?

As you probably know, I do one-on-one coaching to help people figure all this stuff out.  After getting my MDiv and spending ten years in inner-city ministry, I went to coaching school for a year and now I’m certified to help blow up your baggage, find a new career, loose weight, whatever you want to get done.

I love it and yet, sometimes, I get the urge to collaborate and work with others because talking on the phone all day can kind of get, well, lonely.

Therefore, I joined  fellow coach and workshop guru Amy Wilson-Roberts to design Springboard.  It is the best of one-on-one coaching in a less expensive, group setting where you will have two coaches and a table of collaborators working with you!


Are you a parent reentering the workforce?

Are you working at a job that just drives you crazy?

Are you working at a job that feels ‘okay’ but you KNOW there is something better?

Are you a student about to graduated and look for work?




Well then Springboard is for you!

Here are what some past participants have said:

“Springboard is a great way to create clarity on what has worked well in the past, what needs to change in the present and how to work towards the future of your dreams.” – Nancy Shadlock, Spiritual Director

“I have done a lot of “self” work in the past but this course really helped me to take all of that self-knowledge and turn it into something I could actively use towards finding a meaningful career/vocation.” – Jen Burry, Grouse Mountain.



An opportunity to take a day FOR YOU – to help YOU process through what you really want.

You will explore and discover your personality, skills and abilities.

You will clarify your values and figure out what makes you tick.

You will make a step-by-step to get you pointed in the right direction.

You will have accountability for your plan.

This will all happen in a small group setting with two trained coaches who have been helping people figure out what they really want for years!

What it’s not:

Full of cheesy motivational speeches or heavy handed advice

Personality Tests out of Context (ie “I’m a, GREEN,  ENFP, 8w9, what does THAT mean?”)

A resume tune-up

A boring lecture

A bunch of fluffy exercises

Really expensive (you could easily pay over $2000 for a one day coaching program like this)


There is a full description of Springboard on my website.

Feel free to review that and email us any additional questions.


Why sign up NOW, instead of waiting until the day before?

1. MONEY: The workshop is $99 until June 4, and then goes to $109.00

2. FREEBIES:  The first ten people who sign up get a FREE one-on-one coaching call

3. PEACE: You have the peace of mind knowing that you are doing something to move you in the right direction!

4. TIME: You will have plenty of time to do the pre-work needed to jump right in on June 21st.


You can sign up at the bottom of this page

Are you interested in Springboard but don’t live in Vancouver? We are considering making it an online course. Join my mailing list  to be the first to hear if that happens.

Blowing up Evangelical Baggage – The Series (Intro)


The expression just kind of came out of my mouth one day. A friend asked me, “How’s coaching going?” and out it slipped.  The expression fit though, this thing I was taking part in.  People would come to me because they felt stuck or wanted a career move or a relationship shift, but again and again the same burden reared its ugly head.

As we worked through the sessions, this thing would pop up like a mouse peeking out of a hole in the wall.  “Hi again. It’s me. Your evangelical baggage.” You could substitute in “Catholic baggage” or “Baptist baggage” or “name your religious upbringing baggage.” But it has been my experience that there is none quite so worthy of the title than evangelical baggage.

Obviously there are a lot of ways evangelical baggage affects people. Hundreds, thousands of ways actually.  But the part that I am most passionate about opening up (or blowing up) as a coach is the baggage that suffocates who we really are. The part that keeps us people-pleasingly nice or prevents us from owning our skills and talents.

At first I saw the evangelical baggage as a subtle niceness, a people-pleasing “Do you like me? Please like me!” sort of thing. And I would say to myself, “That’s ok, Jane. They just want people to like them. It’s ok. Move on.”

But then it became a bit more obvious. It was like the mouse was running around the edges of the living room now. “I’m here! I’m here!” And I saw their dwindled confidence, their unwillingness or inability to own what they are good at. This baggage was dragging them down.

Somewhere, some how, we end up hiding who God made us in the noble name of ‘humility.’ We carry around this heavy burden of being good, nice, humble all the time. Or fake humble? This is one I see a lot. Somewhere we have mixed up arrogance with owning what we are good at. Admitting you are a great writer is not arrogant. Putting others down and constantly saying you are the best writer is arrogance.

We often candy coat our word choice to be more appropriate or likeable (there goes that people-pleasing thing again). As blogger Micah J. Murray said at the Faith and Culture Conference this year “I don’t want to be a Christian writer, if it means writing from the heart and then hitting backspace until it feels safe.”

God is in the midst of all our emotions (even the ones that don’t feel safe), and I think he wants us to really own them. The Bible is full of people expressing all sort of emotions! Anger, love, lament, joy – the list goes on. He calls us to love people, not please them. God calls us to be kind, not inauthentic. And he calls us to be image bearers – to reflect his creativity. What’s creative about just being fake nice all the time?

Now, we have to get one thing clear when I talk about blowing up evangelical baggage. I’m not trying to just rip on “evangelicals” – trust me, that is not my bag(gage).  It is an expression to encompass all the false beliefs we have acquired over the years.  It is all that stuff we have learned in church that we need to unlearn now. We don’t need to unlearn it all but there is some damaging teaching out there.  I have hope that there will be less to blow up in twenty years than there is now. I have hope in the church. But we need to unpack our baggage and live our lives fully in Christ because when we do that, we experience freedom like none other!

Therefore as a coach, I have no choice but to blow up that baggage!  We break down the beliefs, the lies, and all that is dragging us down. We do it gently and with lots of encouragement. But we do it and so much becomes available when we do.

To that end, I am opening up some space on my blog for others to share what is available to them now that they have blown up some baggage. These people are not my clients; they are my blogging friends (or as my friends Natalie and Cara say, “Online friends are real friends, yo”), and all these bloggers are excited to share what happened to them when their evangelical baggage was blown up. Every week (for a while…get comfy) we’ll hear from a different person. I trust you’ll enjoy their words.

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think, or share a victory you have had blowing up your baggage!

One Hit Wonders (Pay What You Can Sessions)


 You all know the song. You know the words by heart. You may even know the video. But you can’t remember the band or sometimes even the title of the song. It probably brings back memories of a certain time in your life – a time when you sang that song again and again.

The song was probably a ONE-HIT-WONDER.

The 1980’s seemed to produce a plethora of these beauties. The songs make a big splash, stay in your mind for weeks on end and then often disappear on your virtual mixed tape. “Take On Me” by A-Ha anyone?  The songs usually provide great memories but don’t have a lot of substance. The recording artist fizzled away before making a lasting impression. It’s kind of sad actually (no, not really).

I’m ready to give the One Hit Wonder a new name. During the month of April, I’m offering TEN One Hit Wonder Coaching Sessions.  I normally do coaching in packages of at least 8 but this  is your chance to give it a try with just one!

And here is the craziest part about this offer: the sessions are pay what you can!*

Here is how it will go down:

Next week I will post FIVE different One Hit Wonders on my blog. You can have a listen and choose which song you like and then buy a session for that song.  The contents of the sessions have nothing to do with the actual song but feel free to pick a song you like or post your favourite in the comments! I’ll do this twice for a total of TEN sessions.

Once you choose a song, I’ll mark it SOLD and you can listen to it over and over until our call (ok just kidding about that).

Here is a classic to get you in the mood:


One Word for 2014


Have you heard about this idea to ditch New Year’s Resolutions? Of course you have!  Have you heard about changing them to intentions instead of resolutions? Perhaps.  But have you have heard about ditching them all together and simply choosing ONE WORD to live into in 2014? I hope so.  Changing from resolutions to intentions, well if you know me, you can hear me making fun of such a thing. Sorry, but I am a bit cynical about such ‘coachy’ jargon. However, one word! This is something I can get behind.   I’ve never participated before but the idea settled in nicely.  Here is a bit about how I ended up with the word I chose.

My husband declared 2012 the “year of Jane’s vocational wholeness.” I know, who has a husband that does that? This moi!  He was more committed than I was to help me figure out what to do with my life. I mean I had a good job with wonderful people who taught me so much but we both knew that it wasn’t the path for me to continue on forever.  Through many a Monday night bottle of wine,  we decided I would take the plunge and invest in coaching school.  It was a big investment financially and a huge time commitment for a working mother of two but I did it and have no regrets. It was a fabulous year and worth every minute and dollar. In fact, I often say that going to coaching school was worth it for my own personal development alone.  I took the five three-day courses, I did the 6 month-long certification process which includes over 100 hours of paid coaching, supervised calls etc.  When I was finished I was abruptly thrown into the world of “Hi, you have your own business now.” WHAT? I mean I love the work but I didn’t know the first thing about starting my own business.

So I took some time. I hired Lance to design me a sweet website. I wrote some blog posts. I joined twitter. I did some more coaching. I read too many other coaches’ websites. I took an amazing online business course. And most importantly I found my niche.  I didn’t just find my niche, like “hey there you are, hiding under the rug.”  I ran smack dab, face first, full speed ahead into my niche.  There is nothing stopping me from coaching who I want to coach and who I feel drawn to/called to/unquestionable about coaching.

I want to help Christian women blow up their evangelical or religious baggage and become who God has made them to be.  I want them to own their awesomeness. I want them stop hiding behind “oh I shouldn’t” or “oh I can’t” or “oh I’m not good at that”or my fave “no, not me, I’m not that great at [insert the thing they are amazing at].”  It is so easy for us to buy into these lies. We can hide behind ‘humility or ‘selflessness’ or ‘nice’ but when we do that we miss who God has made us to be. Of course there are times to be humble and selfless and nice but I guarantee we embrace them at the wrong times too often.  I want to help women overcome this! I don’t want to do it in a passive, only reflective, ‘pray about it’ kind of way. I want to help them in loving, encouraging, practical and precise action-oriented ways.  And in order to help women become bold. I have to become bold.

Welcome to my word of 2014: BOLD.

Whoa. I just got nervous. I’m imagining myself writing a public blog post about the BOLD things I will do. Here goes.

I will boldly tweet the things I believe in.

I will boldly ask to be a guest blogger on blogs I love.

I will boldly work in ways that I know will help people, not just the ways ‘other’ coaches do it.

I will boldly write about things I care about and things that are hard to share. (I already bolding signed up for Story 101).

I will boldly ask hard questions to my clients and boldly tell them what I really think is going on with them.

I will boldly pray for patience in parenting and marriage so I can boldly love my family well.

I will boldly grown my business through marketing that doesn’t make me feel icky.

Whether or not you are participating in the official #oneword365 what will your one word be? Feel free to leave it in the comments!

Blowing Up Evangelical Baggage


Last week I wrote about my excitement for Sarah Bessey’s new book Jesus Feminist and how she was coming to speak with my women’s group: Preach it Sisters. Two of my favorite activities that Sarah is doing to promote her book are a community photo project and a synchro-blog.  One of the synchro-blog prompts is to explain why you chose what you did for the community photo project. Here is my rendition. Please note, I am writing about women because that is mainly who I work with. I am in full support of men being Jesus Feminists as well!

I blow up evangelical baggage for a living and I’m a Jesus Feminist. And the more baggage I blow up the more I realize how much we need Jesus and Jesus Feminists.

Seeing women the way Jesus does will radically change the way men and women engage the world.

As a coach, I work primarily with Christian women who come to me when they want to manage their time better. They want to honor God with their time AND feel like they are living with some intention.  Their choice to work with me might also involve making a big decision, finding a more fulfilling career, getting healthier. They want encouragement, accountability and results.  We work on these things, they get new jobs, they get fit, they make decisions; all these things happen.

But I keep discovering again and again that underneath the indecision, the lack of motivation, the fear of failure (or success) they are steeped in evangelical baggage.  It’s not their fault – and most of them don’t even realize they are living this way. They are living the “Biblical” principles they have been taught: principles surrounding how women should behave – that they should be supportive side kicks not leaders, or Sunday school teachers not pastors. Some are living straight up lies such as the idea that thinking good things about your self is equal to sinful pride. I’m sure their parents, their churches and their pastors meant well but somehow in the midst of it all the way Jesus sees them is lost.  The results: guilt, shame, inability to love themselves, and the belief that there is a very specific, narrow way God (and fellow Christians) want them to live as women.  It has left them thinking about themselves in ways OTHER than the ways Jesus thinks of them.

What happens when we embrace the Jesus Feminist in us? What happens when we believe this notion that women are people too? Or when we believe that Jesus is calling all of us to a life where God makes the call on our worth, our skills, and our vocation? Sometimes it takes a little work to wade through what we have been taught. Sometimes we have to blow up our evangelical baggage. What happens when we do this and women live as Jesus sees them? Here is a sampling from my work:

*She preached her first sermon even though she didn’t really want to call it a sermon because she wasn’t so sure about women preaching or her gifting as a ‘speaker.’

*She came to the conclusion that she doesn’t need to be perfect even though she is a pastor.

*She figured out that she was a great writer and it isn’t prideful to admit you are good at something.

*She decided to quit her “good Christian job” and take evening classes to pursue the field she is really interested in: stand-up comedy.

*She realized she needs major therapy after a traumatic journey into first-time motherhood.

*She decided that she wanted to marry the woman she loved and that she was ready to tell her Baptist pastor parents about it.

*She owned the fact that being a stay-at-home mom was where she really wanted to be.

Without even reading the book (yet!), they became Jesus Feminists by accepting the radical way that Jesus was calling them to the truth that they are not only people but they are beloved women created in God’s image.