Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Blessing of Sisters

For those of you that have them…you know that yes, they are a blessing. May not always seem that way, but what would you do without them? Hey, God set us up together and that is good enough for me!

I spent the day with mine yesterday in Gettysburg, PA, having a Christmas get together. We ate at the Dobbin House and wandered the streets finding some special gifts for loved ones that you just can’t find at Macy’s! Can’t say anything about them here…or the surprise would be ruined! Later we sat in a diner having a “sisterly” conversation over hot chocolate…the two young women working there gave us more than a couple of looks and smiles as we “discussed” and laughed, shed a few tears and even held hands and prayed out loud for our relationship. My two sisters are younger than myself and twins, adding a special dimension to our relationship in more ways than one!

Probably the most famous “sister act” in the Bible is Martha and Mary…connected by love for each other and Christ even in their differences. Both wonderful women, but uniquely spirited. Take a minute to read the story…Click here.

So today, I share with you the following video clip from one of my most favorite holiday movies to bring some cheer to you as we continue to wait in celebration of Advent!

And remind you to give your sister a call today to tell her you love her no matter what!
Enjoy!

Click here to enjoy the show!

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

A Picture, Just in Time

Sunday morning I woke up with a vague feeling of sadness. Of course my thinking self kicked in and needed to figure it out.

Saturday, I had spent the day in my kitchen with my new convection oven, my daughter and granddaughter (22 months old) and my daughter’s mother-in-law sister-in-law baking Christmas cookies, sampling Christmas cookies, and drinking a couple of glasses of wine. There was laughter and jokes, reminiscing and looking forward…and plenty of flour dust all over the place! The cookies turned out great, just one batch completely burned while we adored my granddaughter “baking”. A memory making day…

So why this feeling? A photo lovingly sent the day before by my cousin is the clue.
Here it is…

Me and MomThat’s my mom and me…isn’t she beautiful? Just glowing in her love for me just a few weeks old. I missed out on getting a lot more of that love because when I was 16 years old she passed away after a long, courageous battle with cancer. I remember some really important messages she gave to me…but a lot feels like it is missing.

One of the most important things that I have of hers is her statue of Mary. It sits on my desk where I do my writing along with her high school picture. She left me a legacy of my Catholic faith and trusting in God when times are really rough. She always trusted that God was her primary care doctor and could heal her in every way, even if it was not to be physically. This is THE most important thing she left me…it bonds us through the heavens and I feel her presence deeply. And Blessed Mary is there to help us along the way.

And the reason for the sadness? I just happened to remember that December 15, 1975 is the day she passed into the arms of the Lord she loves so much. It may sound strange, but at 54 years of age, I realize that she has been an incredible, maybe a better mother, from heaven than she may have been on Earth. She is right there in Heaven interceding for her children every moment…at least that would be what I would be doing! My deepest prayers are always for my children.

So my loving cousin sent me a photo of Mom loving me…just in time. Thank you Susan!

For all of you without your mom, rely on our mother in Christ Jesus. Our Blessed Mother Mary. She will console, encourage and uplift you every step of the way!

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Feeling Christ’s Presence

In my therapy and coaching practice, many clients share that they know Jesus loves them, but have a hard time actually feeling the love that is there for them. The reason for this is unique for each person. What follows is a wonderful way to feel the presence of Jesus. When I happened upon it today, I knew it was something to share…Enjoy the blessings!
And thank you Jim!

Prayer Exercise: Enjoying Jesus’ Presence

by JIM MANNEY

Remember a time when you saw Jesus with the inner eyes of your soul, when you Jesus Lovingexperienced his presence in a vivid way, when he came alive for you in your prayer. Remember the inner details and outer circumstances of the experience. Savor the richness of the experience and relive it in your memory, feeling, imagination, heart, and mind. Be attentive to God’s presence.

  • What were the circumstances of the experience, that is, were you by yourself, on a retreat, at a liturgy?
  • How would you describe Jesus’ presence in the experience?
  • What were some of your feelings, thoughts, and desires?
  • What differences did you notice within yourself as a result of this experience?
  • Do you notice anything new happening in you now as you remember and relive the experience?

As you relive it, be attentive to God’s presence. Share with God any feelings that arise, and listen to God’s response. Ask God for the grace to notice Jesus more readily within yourself and within your life.

– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/9508/prayer-exercise-enjoying-jesus-presence/#sthash.HB6SyQ1s.dpuf

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Simply waiting…for simple things

 

Two Candles Advent

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Second week of Advent, two candles.

What am I waiting for?
For Joy-Full days.
For Love unconditional.
For Peace all over.
For you Lord Jesus Christ!
MAY YOU ALL BE BLESSED WITH ALL OF THESE
…AND MORE!

 

 

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Sometimes we need to be dragged out of our safe space…

Change Me
Change me, God,

Please change me.

Though I cringe,

Kick,

Resist and resent.

Pay no attention to me whatsoever.

tiny houseWhen I run to hide

Drag me out of my safe little shelter.

Change me totally.

Whatever it takes.

However long You must work at the job.

Change me – and save me

From spiritual self-destruction.

— Ruth C. From 12 Step Prayer Book Volume II

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

What happens when you get out of God’s way?

I speak with many women who are experiencing the pain of not being able to share their faith life with their husbands. It is a difficult experience. We always want to share the most wonderful experiences in our lives with the most wonderful person in our life.

I had this experience in the first years of my marriage. In fact, as he will tell you, my husband told me he was an agnostic during our dating times. This was NOT good. The first thing on the top of my list for qualities in a husband was “believes in God”. But there were so many wonderful things about him…we ended up married…happily. Somehow I knew in my heart that he did believe. He is also very intelligent, which seems to be an extra obstacle to belief for some people.

boulder in roadI spent the years of our dating and early years of our marriage trying to share (or maybe force) God on him. We had children from my first marriage and two of our own and I tried to use this as leverage. Sharing a beautiful gift became a point of contention between us. It got in the way of deepening our relationship due to my resentment.

It was then that a very wise woman, my mother-in-law, Rita, who is like a mother to me and someone who I am very comfortable sharing with, gave me the piece of advice that changed everything! She told me to be quiet. To leave him alone. To have my own faith life and be a model. To LET GOD DO GOD’s JOB!

My repeated pleas for him to join the team with me pushed him farther away from being able to travel his own road. It clogged up his ability to hear from God because I was so loud and annoying!

letting goI followed her advice. It was actually quite refreshing. I lifted from myself the responsibility for his path and focused on my own, which needed a lot of help too! I grew into a relationship with the Lord that was all my own and in doing so realized that that is the only way it can be. While God is very present in our marriage relationship, we each love God differently.

Once I stepped away, he found his way to our prayer group, a Cursillo, a men’s group and on to the Deaconate. What wonders God has in store if we let God do it God’s way! The gifts are far better than we could ever imagine! And in many cases, like ours, God uses my husband’s relationship with God not only to lift up our marriage, but the faith lives of hundreds more!

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Taking Care of Business and Spreading the Power of God FEARLESSLY!

courageI have been working with a business coach for some years. And while it is an expense, it is also an investment in my continuing to grow, not just in my business, but personally. Anyone who has ever gone into business on their own will tell you that it is an unexpected path to personal growth!

Last April, I met in a private session with my coach. We spent the day with her asking questions and me answering them and always going off on necessary tangential discussions that reveal the real stuff that she needs to know to give me the clarity I need.
What came out in the first hour of our discussion floored me!

You see, I am a pastoral counselor. I took that route because I knew that I could not be with a therapy client without including God in the healing process. I was starting to consider coaching alongside that practice because many of my clients want to continue working with me when the issue they came to work out in the first place was improved. Coaching is a different type of work for the client and for the coach. But the ability to work with a client in both areas is a delight!

Here is what floored me. My coach identified what I want to do as The Catholic Coach! As soon as she said it I knew it was right. Now I knew I was an excellent coach, my feedback from clients told me that. The thing that floored me was that I had actually been FEARFUL of stepping out and saying that I am a coach that works with Catholic women specifically to find the clarity they want in their lives that will enable them to live life successfully because they live it from the core of their belief in Jesus Christ!

Peter denies ChristInside I felt ashamed. Why was I fearful of this? It is my calling and I know it! Why, I was acting like Peter had when he denied he even knew the Lord he loved so much in the face of possible personal injury!

It was that voice that quiets many of us when we want so badly to share what Christ has done for us and can do for others! The fear of “What will they think of me?” I was letting the errors of very human people involved in the recent scandals shame me into not following the purpose that God sent me here for!

Ever since I have taken on the role that I am suited for I have had an inner peace. Not that that voice doesn’t creep in once in awhile, it’s just that now I know it for what it really is. The devil loves to weaken those who are working in any way to bring others to Christ!

I will continue to spread the power of God while I speak openly about what I am doing with others who are planning their business ventures. When I step out in this way, when I talk about what I am doing, others are drawn out to talk about their own feelings about God and they inevitably let me know what a great idea my coaching work is! What an empowering incentive for me to continue this work! When we are courageous about God we are rewarded!

I urge you each to bring your faith to your work. Even the smallest action born of faith will grow into a vehicle for God’s love to be transferred to those you come in contact with!

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Honoring the Feminine Genius in the 1st Century

So here we are in the first week of Advent. Yesterday’s second reading from Romans told us, “…you know the time, it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than we first believed.” Although Paul was making his best effort to encourage his readers to live a life worthy of the Lord because he felt that the second coming must be very soon, the verse made me think of Advent.

This verse points us to the beginning of our waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ! We are to hit “pause” and contemplate what the world would have been without Christ! This is most important during this season when it is so easy to get caught up in the activities that mean very little when compared to our salvation because of this birth!

Another interesting fact about this particular letter:
Most scholars believe that Paul wrote this while he was in Corinth between 51 and 55 AD. PhoebePhoebe, whom Paul describes as a deacon (diakonon, masc., Greek) and as a helper or patron of many (prostatis, one who should be esteemed highly because of their work,Greek), was his emissary to Rome and it was she who delivered this letter to Rome on his behalf.  This is the only place in the New Testament where a woman is given these honors and it was necessary to describe her thus because it was an introduction to those in Rome who would receive the letter. Paul would not have entrusted a communication with Rome to just anyone, this introduction gave her authority that was rare for women in the 1st century.

Paul was a witness to the honor that Christ bestowed on women during his ministry. He continued what he had seen modeled by Christ through his trust in Phoebe. ‘I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.’ Romans 16:1-2

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!