Heal Your Hurts & Show Your Scars

On my left knee are two pea sized scars that I have from when I tore my ACL in high school trying to be cool as I did a lap up in gym class. It wasn’t so cool when the whole school saw me lying in pain on the gymnasium floor. On my right wrist is a scar that I have from when I tried to be a cool Auntie and teach my niece to roller skate. I definitely did not win the Cool Auntie of the Year award but I did create a memorable moment. Most days I don’t give any of these scars a second thought, but every once in a while people will see them and ask me about them. I have no problem sharing the stories of how they came to be because the truth is these hurts are healed. However there are hurts on my heart that are invisible to the human eye and have gone untreated for many years, maybe even decades. Maybe you have them too. Hurts from bad choices you have made. Hurts from people who have rejected you, spoken unkind words to you, or betrayed you. Hurts from difficult experiences in life that have created deep wounds inside of you. These are the hurts we don’t talk about because they are not healed, they are still open wounds.  Maybe you have tried to ignore them, numb them or distance yourself from them, but God wants to heal them.  He wants us to totally surrender our pain, our hurts, our heartaches and let His love, mercy and forgiveness be the remedy...

Attracting The Life You Desire With One Question

You wake up and your day is already in motion. You are perpetually speeding around from one experience to the next, from one job to the next, from one activity to another without much thought as to how these move you toward the life you desire. When decisions come your way throughout the day, you feel indecisive and worry that you might be letting others down or risk missing out on something better, so you opt to not participate at all by making no decision. You struggle to find happiness in your life and feel like there is no time to slow down and just breathe. You have checked out of life and are just simply going through the day to day routines, waiting for that magic “someday” to come when you can finally start to pursue the God-size dream in your heart. Does any of that sound like you? Know that you are not alone and that your life doesn’t have to stay that way. I too was once there. Now however I am living the life I desire. I am manifesting my goals and visions. I have space in my life for what matters most to me. How did I do it? Well before I tell you how I changed my life, I want you to ask yourself “are you really ready to live the life you have always wanted?” I ask you this because the secret I am about to share with you, requires daily practice. It’s not a magic wand or formula, rather it is a mindset that requires you to let go of the...

On the Edge of Greatness

As summer winded down and the air temperature began to cool off, our family typically headed to our remote cabin for a well needed vacation. This was a unique lake cabin as in that there was no electricity and no running water and this was the 1990’s. In order to get water for cooking or washing, we would cut across the yard to the water pump. My dad taught us that before water would start to flow from the pump we would need to prime it. It was at this early age that I began to learn about the “before principle.”  Life is made up of befores. There are climbs before mountaintops. There are battles before victories. There is practice before perfection. There are steps before your destination. There are struggles before transformation. Many times however we let the challenges of today stop us from seeing the miracles of tomorrow because we are not willing to step out in faith with the before principle. Over and over again God shows us how the before principle manifests miracles. No clearer example of that is when Joshua and the Israelites wanted to enter into the Promised Land, but the Jordan River stood in their way. BEFORE they could enter into the greatness promised to them, they had to do three things. Be Still & Wait: In Joshua 3:1, it says “Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing.” (NLT) It goes on to say they waited there for three days. These days no...

Calling Over Comfort

“Teacher, can people really walk on water?” That was what one of my students asked this week as we explored the story of Jesus walking on water and then calling Peter to do the same thing. I paused and thought about how to respond and eventually I told her that I haven’t seen anybody physically walk on water, other than when the lakes are frozen over here in Minnesota, but I said lots of people are called to step out in faith and do something bigger than ourselves. She politely let me move on to talk about other points in the lesson, but our conversation continued to play in my head throughout the day. I thought about how Jesus called Peter to step outside his comfort zone that day in order to follow him. It is interesting when we talk about being “called” most people only think of it in terms of being a pastor or missionary, but the truth is God is calling each one of us. He might be calling you to step out and be a chef, a mom, an entrepreneur, a care giver, a teacher, a designer, a leader, etc. In the Bible we see lots of people called to do great things. Abraham was called to be a father. Noah was called to be a boat builder. Joseph was called to be an administrator. Deborah was called to be a judge. Esther was called to be a queen. Ruth was called to be a friend. Peter was called to be a fisher of men. No matter the calling though there is a common theme…they...

RefresHer Retreats & Webinars

  Sign up for my free 60 minute webinar called “RefresHer Life – Leap into a Life You Love: Discover the Unexpected Pathway to Joy, Abundance & Freedom” In this webinar we will explore: • The truth about the life you crave. • A simple, yet powerful model for discovering where you at on the journey to joy. •The secret strategies of being a joy junkie. • The anatomy of leaps of faith and how you can use it to transform your life. This master class is for heart-driven and faith led entrepreneurs and professionals who want to not just survive through life, but THRIVE in life. To find the latest webinar opportunities and sign up go to: http://www.dawnkaiser.com/refresherlifewebinarleapintoalifeyoulove Join us for our 2 1/2 day RefresHer Retreat in June where you will explore how to CREATE the life you crave. Cultivate joy-filled experiences Recognize  your soul’s calling Explore your joy style Attract and manifest abundance Take time to nurture yourself Express your life legacy The RefresHer Retreat creates a space that allows you to BREATHE, to BE and to BECOME the person who gets out of bed everyday and truly loves their life. To reserve your seat today at one of these amazing retreats go to:...

Joy of Chocolate

Want a boost of joy this Valentine’s Day? Ditch the flowers and dive into some chocolate. Chocolate raises one’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of elation. It stimulates the happy making parts of our brains. So chocolate is an edible pick me up and joy stimulant. Now not all chocolates are created equal. To get the healthiest version for your mind and body choose a dark chocolate that has at least 65% or more cacao in it because milk chocolate is full of sugar and will tank your energy. Don’t want just plain chocolate? No problem, these days you can have nuts, orange peel, coconut, chili and my favorite sea salt added for an additional flavor. However avoid a whole lot of nougat or caramel fillings because they again add sugar and fats which erase many of the benefits you can get from eating chocolate. Have fun with your chocolate by hosting a chocolate party. You can provide a variety of chocolates for your guests to taste. Some of my favorite brands are Lindt, Radiantly Raw Chocolate, Abdallah, BT McElrath, Dove and Nestle. Feel free to stop at Vintage Point in Fargo, ND to find some of these amazing bites of delight. Remember it doesn’t take a whole bar of chocolate to add joy to your life. Instead shoot for a maximum of only one to two ounces a day. And if you notice yourself craving chocolate A LOT take a moment to reflect and ask yourself if what you really are desiring is more joy and less stress and then do something to make you...

Secret of Sustainable Joy: Part 2

 To last, that is one of our deepest desires. In my last blog post, I discussed how we can last by being consistent with our choices and our character, now let’s dive into a third key area we need to be consistent in, which is CONNECTION! Connection Matthew Lieberman, a social neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted years of research to understand why connection is highly important to human beings. In the end he concluded that “our brains are wired for reaching out to and interacting with others. This social adaptation allows us to be the most successful species on earth.” However even though we are creatures of connection, there is an epidemic of disconnection and isolation sweeping our generation.  Through messages of needing to be independent and self-sufficient and the prevalence of social media and nomadic living we are losing our joy because we are no longer authentically connecting with one another. We have depleted our joy and are disrupting our success because we are no longer consistently connecting with others and that includes connecting with God. In Joshua 1:8, we are told “This set of instructions is not to cease being a part of your conversations. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to carry out everything that’s written in it, for then you’ll prosper and succeed” (ISV). We are to daily connect with God through his word in order to be prosperous and have sustainable joy. However if you were to ask individuals when is the last time you spent time in God’s Word or even when is...

Secret of Sustainable Joy: Part 1

In 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote a book titled, Built to Last, in which they shared results from a landmark study of what habits set apart companies who were successful and created sustainability compared to those who made it big for a while, but then fizzled out. The book was a huge sensation because I think we all want to LAST. No one wants to be a one hit wonder like Kris Kross, Vanilla Ice or The Rembrandts. We want to be like The Beatles, Bon Jovi or Beyoncé.  The same goes for our joy; we want it to be sustainable over decades of living, not just for a brief moment in time. In their book, Built to Last, the authors share the secret to an enduring great company, “the ability to manage continuity and change.” Just like enduring great companies, the key to sustainable joy boils down to one word CONSISTENCY. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then, is not an act, but a habit.” Sustainable joy is created or depleted by the constants in our life. Yes life has variables that will shift, but when we establish our joy in deep roots we can whether the storms life brings us. In the next few posts, we will explore the four constants we need in our life to cultivate sustainable joy. Constant Choices Joy is a choice. I didn’t say it was an easy one. We are creatures of emotions and sometimes we let those emotions guide the decisions we make in life. We cannot however let anger, sadness, hurt, jealousy, etc....

Patterns for Joyful Living Part 3

I am not a graceful person by nature. If there is a step I will trip on it. If there is a fragile decoration nearby, I will break it. If there is a wall, I will bump into it. If there is a screen door open, I will walk through it. (Yes that has really happened.) But the good news is that even though I might not be naturally graceful, I have discovered that I am a woman full of grace.  I am also full of gratitude, generosity, growth and gifts, all of which are patterns for joyful living. If you want to learn more about gratitude and generosity read this blog post. Today we will focus on grace, growth and gifts. Grace Being full of grace is not dependent on our agility or nimbleness; rather it is contingent on our openness and willingness to receive it into our lives. Once we receive it, only then can it be given to others. Now to be honest I have not always been good at receiving grace and love. I would much rather be the giver, but I am learning that joyful living is a two way street. If I deny someone else the opportunity to bestow grace and goodness on me, I am robbing them of the opportunity to experience joy. How can you open yourself up today to receive grace from others? The other piece of grace is becoming a grace dispenser into other people’s lives. That might mean ministering to someone who is sick or listening to someone with a broken heart or speaking words of encouragement to...

Patterns for Joyful Living Part 2

  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2, NIV) Last week we talked about how the world is full of patterns and this statement is reiterated in the passage up above. Notice however that it says we are to “not conform to the pattern of this world.” The world’s pattern is one of negativity, selfishness, greed, anger and fear. All those factors lead to the product of dreadful living, but we are to be transformed and begin to live a new pattern, one that is being shaped by our faith. As I have studied joy over the last three years, I have discovered five patterns that are present in joyful living. We will examine the first two in this post and then explore the remaining three in the next post. Gratitude For many years, researchers have said that gratitude is powerful and can change your relationships, your job, your health, etc., which is why even Oprah keeps a gratitude journal because she is all about creating transformation. Gratitude in essence is a spiritual discipline that needs to be practiced on a daily basis. As Henri Nouwen wrote, “The choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. Because every blessing I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious and seemingly mundane event or...
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