MarvaeIdentity0 Comments

Photo of an adult holding a baby's hand

Over the years my husband and I have had the privilege of supporting friends and family in the process of adoption. There are two things that stand out to me about the adoption process. First, no two adoption scenarios are the same. Second, the process is arduous and not for the faint of heart. More than twenty years ago, friends of ours adopted three children, over several years, from two different birth moms. With their middle son everything seemed to be fine until the birth mother decided she wanted her son back. In some states birth moms have the right … Read More

What’s For Lunch?

MarvaePriorities4 Comments

Illustration of a cartoon man looking at a table with many different kinds of food on it

In a recent post I shared how leaders often fill their plates with more than they can handle – “The Taco Salad Principle.” Sometimes it isn’t just what you fill your plate with; it is also what you allow to fill your mind! Imagine all the meals you will consume in the next month spread out before you. All the things you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, the snacks, the dessert – all of it! Even the beverages you will drink. Rather than partake meal by meal, you attempt to eat it all in one sitting. One big feast! … Read More

Ready for Adventure?

MarvaeRelationships0 Comments

Picture of a man rappelling down a cliff face

This past weekend, my husband and I enjoyed a quick trip to visit longtime friends. Brilliant fall colors flanked the roads making the drive as pleasant as the time with friends. On the way home, we reflected on the friendship and all the many stages of life we have come through over the past 25 years. Knowing people for long stretches of time allows you to experience many different sides of them. Even with all the history, there are new facets to discover. It just requires devoting time and energy to the relationship. Friendships, marriages, and working relationships can grow … Read More

What Lingers?

MarvaeCharacter, Influence, Leadership0 Comments

Picture of a loaf of bread on a wood table

Aromas leave a vast array of experiences behind, ranging from healing to offensive. Some scents are relaxing, while others make your mouth water. There are other scents that disgust us. Just the other day my husband arrived home hours after my bread had finished baking and he could still enjoy the smell. Scents linger long after. The same is true for leaders. The aroma you leave behind either enhances or hampers your influence. It doesn’t matter if you lead at home, work or in ministry, your character and what you stand for is important. How others experience you and your … Read More


MarvaeLeadership, Obedience2 Comments

Illustration of a map

I admit it, I am behind the times. Not in every place in my life, but a few! I love maps! I love how they show you your route with a bird’s eye view. I don’t own a GPS. Last week, I left a lunch meeting to join my husband at an unfamiliar address accompanied by his GPS. This virgin experience with being guided by a GPS was far from fun! I am willing to admit that user error played a significant role; and I did arrive safe – just a little frustrated! Thinking back on the experience makes me … Read More

Strong Leadership – It Takes Three!

MarvaeCoaching, Leadership2 Comments

Bradley and Marvae on their wedding day

My husband and I did some non-traditional things in our wedding. For those who know us well, this is not surprising! My favorite out-of-the-ordinary thing we did was braiding three cords together as the pastor read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which says: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, … Read More

7 Signs of Blurred Lines

MarvaeBoundaries4 Comments

The word "Identity" blurred

This summer the song clinching the #1 spot for more than 12 weeks was “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. This controversial song about violating boundaries reflects the clear lack appreciation for moral constraints in our society today. In the context of the song, boundaries are seen as something in the way of getting what you want – something bad. In no way do I condone this song. The truth is that boundaries are a positive thing. They are at the heart of defining who you are. In many ways, we all blur lines in our lives and leadership. We may … Read More

Let the Ugly Work for You

MarvaeMindset0 Comments

Illustration of a heart with discouraging phrases like "I'm a failure" on it

Not that long ago I had a “dumper day,” – a bad, discouraging, bummer sort of day. It was ugly! In the midst of this I said a lot of things: “I don’t care,” “nothing matters,” “I can’t” were some of the tamer murmurings. There were circumstances that contributed to my feelings. You could say I had a right to be down. The truth: I allowed myself to get pulled off center. Yep! Even a life coach sometimes gets off track! How does that happen? While circumstances and people can be frustrating, they trigger feelings I have about me. Feelings … Read More

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

MarvaeLeadership8 Comments

Picture of a woman wearing many hats stacked on top of each other

When was the last time you slowed down long enough to count your hats – the various leadership roles you are responsible for? Hats seem to appear out of nowhere. Suddenly your head is heavy, your balance is questionable, and your stress level is off the charts. As a leader, you tend to be in charge wherever you go, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how God wired you. The problem is that often you accumulate hats until the stack of hats on your head grows tall. You wear the stack of hats proudly, like a mature set of … Read More