A lady once reported that her husband observes her going to sleep. He said she should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. Whenever he tells her goodnight, he says she only hears the word ‘good’….He cannot believe how quickly she goes to sleep.

From research and studies, it appears that no one really knows why we sleep. There are theories but it is still a mystery . I call sleep a ‘miracle’. Sleep is like our body gets recharged approximately every 16-18 hours as it begins to run low on energy.

If sleepless nights and low-functioning days are part of your existence, you may want to read on!

In their article,” The Secrets of Sleep”, National Geographic reported that the average person spends one-third of their lives asleep. “We have known for 50 years that we divide our slumber between periods of deep-wave sleep and what is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when the brain is as active as when we’re awake, but our voluntary muscles are paralyzed.” 2
We have learned a lot about sleep; types of sleep, ways to encourage sleep, the bodies need for sleep, sleep disorders, but how sleep recharges the body is still unknown.

According to in their article, “ Dreaming May Relieve a Bad Day”, they reported that during REM dream sleep, the researchers saw reduced levels of stress chemicals in the brain, which could be helping to soothe emotional reactions to the previous day’s experiences.

Without adequate REM sleep, the body is unable to function as needed. If we do not alleviate the stress from the former day, the stress compounds and carries over into the next day and the next. It has been suggested the average adult needs 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

Adapted from the book “Living in Balance” by Joel and Michelle Levey: “National estimates are that 25 percent of the population has difficulty sleeping, and that as many as 80 percent of the population are sleep deprived. Being sleep deprived also means that we’re deficient in REM or dreamtime cycles, an important source of inner balancing and guidance. Twenty percent of doctor visits are related to exhaustion, and more than half of the burnout cases that find their way to a doctor’s office are people suffering from sleep deprivation. And the vast majority of people who suffer from sleep deprivation are not even aware of it!”3 Lack of adequate sleep causes many other issues that are often not directly attributed to sleep difficulties.


Some sources report that indirect and direct costs of sleep difficulties to our nation may run as high as $14 billion per year. Factoring in other indirect costs it is estimated nearly $35 billion. Sources that include special bedding, pillows, mattresses,sound machines, room fragrances, body care products, mood music and other sleep aids indicate an even much higher figure. reports: “Money spent in the sleep industry annually is well over $20 billion according to some reports. In recent years the emotion driving the market is the equally disturbing studies that consistently relate billions of dollars lost in industry as a result of exhausted and stressed out American workers. “

Causes of sleep difficulties are attributed to stress, anxiety, depression, disease, pain, medications (warning to individuals who drink alcohol, the two drugs taken together intensify the action of both), actual sleep disorders or poor sleep habits such as not having a regular sleep routine. The temperature of your bedroom, the lighting, sleeping with the TV on, and other poor health habits may cause sleep difficulties.
Remember that caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, nicotine or spicy foods also may have a part in sleep disturbance?
Your quality of life and your safety can be severely impacted as well as your job productivity.

• “People with insomnia are four times as likely to suffer from depression than people who sleep well.
• Lack of sleep due to insomnia may contribute to illness, including heart disease.
• Safety on the job, at home, and on the road may be affected by sleepiness.
• People with insomnia may miss more time from work or receive fewer promotions.
• After a poor night’s sleep, many people report accomplishing fewer daily tasks and enjoying activities less.” 3

From Franklin Institute: “Any amount of sleep deprivation will diminish mental performance, cautions Mark Mahowald, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “One complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally intoxicating blood-alcohol level.”
There a many ideas to help you to relax and develop strategies to help with sleep difficulties.
Identify your stressors and determine ways to decrease stress in your life
Eat healthy meals in early evening and most importantly do not snack after dinner.
Do not nap during the day. If you do power nap, limit your nap to 15-30 minutes.
Exercise regularly
Choose a regular sleep routine and be consistent

Low lighting, warm baths and mood music may set the scene for a good nights sleep
An hour before bedtime, gear down to calming activities
Avoid any caffeine after 3:00 p.m.
From the American Association of Christian Counselors, in the article “Research Update: Does Sleep Really Matter,” by Laura Captari, the National Sleep Foundation offers some very helpful interventions for battling sleep deprivation. It’s amazing how, sometimes, getting regular and adequate sleep can improve mood, focus, energy, and even spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, journaling, and reading God’s Word.

When sleep difficulties continue, seek professional help. Your doctor can help determine how to treat your problem.

1 National Sleep Foundation, Arlington Virginia
2 National Geographic Magazine
3 Living in Balance, Joel and Michelle Levey
5 Franklin Institute

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Webster Defines Life Coaching and Gets it Wrong

Webster Defines Life Coaching and Gets It Wrong
August 19, 2012
This week the Merriam-Webster Dictionary proffered their definition of a Life Coach. While it’s gratifying to have our profession officially recognized, the critical noun used to define it is woefully inaccurate.
 The Webster Dictionary now defines a Life Coach as: (noun) an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems.

So what’s the concern? It’s that little word, “advisor”.
Professionally trained coaches rarely, if ever, play the role of advice-giver. It’s a valuable role, to be sure. It’s just not the role of a life coach.
Mentors give advice. Consultants give advice. Teachers and preachers and experts of all stripes give advice. But not life coaches.
Sports coaches, fitness coaches, nutrition coaches, even voice coaches give advice. But not life coaches. Why not?
These other forms of service are characterized by a knowledge differential. The knowledge of one person is desired by another, so the one who has it offers advice to the one who desires it.
Think mentor-to-apprentice. Teacher-to-student. Master-to-novice. Physician-to-patient. Consultant-to-business owner.
In each of these, the one desiring growth seeks advice from the one with expertise. Scripture strongly affirms the value of this: “Make plans by seeking advice…” (Prov 20:18a) “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” (Prov 19:20)  
But seeking advice is not the only means by which personal growth can occur.
Advisors work from the outside-in; an advisor has knowledge and seeks to impart it to the inner being of the advisee.

Life coaches do exactly the opposite; they work from the inside-out, because they don’t have the knowledge their clients are seeking.
Think about it. Life coaches cannot possibly be experts on their clients’ unique life paths, or giftings, or life callings. They can’t know those things until their clients discover them for themselves.
So a life coach’s primary role is to help clients do exactly that – to discover for themselves, through relationship with the coach, what God has placed within them.
“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Prov 20:5)
More succinctly than any other scripture, this proverb captures the inside-out nature of life coaching. A life coach “draws out” the purposes of a client’s heart – their gifts, their call, their passion, their path.
Drawing from the inside-out rather than advising from the outside-in sounds great, but how exactly do life coaches do this drawing-out?
They question. They question and listen, and then question some more.

If coaches are experts in anything at all, it is questioning; digging, probing, prodding, and then reflecting, clarifying, reframing, and challenging.
Think of detectives arriving on a crime scene. They have no more information to begin with than you or I. They don’t know whodunit, or why, or how. They can’t be advisors because they don’t have the desired knowledge.
The expertise of detectives lies not in having the answers but in knowing how to draw them out.
Detectives question witnesses. They search for clues. They form hypotheses and formulate more questions. And eventually, through an intentional process of inquiry and clarification, they discover whodunit and why and how.
They attain their answers from the inside-out. Just like a life coach.
God places specific gifts and callings in each of us, which are irrevocable (Rom 11:29). So life coaches approach clients like detectives, seeking to discover those gifts and callings and then helping clients discern how to fulfill them.
The differences between advisors and detectives couldn’t be more stark: outside-in versus inside-out.

Old Mr. Webster may not change his definition, but it’s a blow to the field of life coaching if he doesn’t.
His current definition leaves life coaches synonymous with mentors and consultants, creating a hot new buzzword for the same old services instead of distinguishing an entirely new profession.  

Christopher McCluskey, MSW, PCC, is President & CEO of Professional Christian Coaching Institute. Called by many the ‘Father of Christian Coaching’, Christopher has shaped this emerging field through his frequent teaching, writing, keynoting, and service on several Boards including the International Christian Coaching Association.

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Happily Married? Happy Workplace?

Do Happily Married People Make Better Employees?

Posted by Jim_Daly on Apr 18, 2012 12:08:44 PM

This past Friday’s Wall Street Journal highlighted a new hiring practice for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. When evaluating the fit of a free agent, team officials don’t just spend time with the player. They also invite and interview the particular player’s wife, assuming he’s married.  As explained in the Journal:

Shahid Khan, the Jaguars’ new owner, who made his fortune in auto-parts manufacturing, said he had the idea because he tries to meet all of the spouses of his employees. He said he has retreats in which his employees are encouraged to bring their spouses. Khan figured some of the things needed to be a solid player—like staying after practice or putting in extra work—require a stable home environment. The team’s new coach, Mike Mularkey, spoke with Smith about the importance of a good family life during his interview process and just like that, a new NFL personnel theory was born.

We’ve all heard the adage “happy wife, happy life,” and this practice would certainly appear to be born of such a philosophy. What’s so interesting, of course, is that a practice like this confirms just how important the family is to every sphere of life. In many ways, it’s impossible to separate the personal from the professional. We’re all a product of the lives that touch ours. A difficult or disruptive home life will inevitably be felt at work – even very subtly. Good or bad, we all bring our frustrations or joys into the workplace, some more visibly than others.happywife.png


Within my own leadership role here at Focus, I can attest to just how crucial it is during the recruitment process to take the entire family’s welfare into consideration. For example, when I joined the ministry 22 years ago, the person hiring me was keenly interested in Jean’s perspective and commitment to the mission. I was grateful for their interest in her opinion.

Ironically, state labor laws prohibit employers from inquiring specifically about a prospective employee’s family life. And while I can understand the rationale behind such limitations, I do wonder if such a practice, in many cases, is counterproductive and not in the best interest of both employer and employees.

Does a happily married person make for a better employee than someone who is mired in marital misery? What do you think about the Jaguars’ practice?encourage1.jpg

Speaking personally, it would be impossible for me to overstate the positive impact and influence that Jean has had on my professional life. She’s helped and encouraged me in countless ways, from providing helpful feedback to bringing out the best in me in various situations.

Do you have a similar story?

When it comes to work life, do you encourage your spouse? If so, how do you go about doing so?

Or are you the beneficiary? Does he or she encourage you? I would invite you to pay public tribute to them in this space for the contribution they’ve made in your life. After all, in the words of the apostle Paul, we’re to “encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).

Here’s your chance to do just that.

To comment on your spouse’s contribution in your life on Jim Daly blog , go above and click on Jim Daly.


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Hello world!

Hello World!

Blogging is a new word to me.  I seem to be relating it to the word bog.  You know, like bogged down!  Which is what I have been since November, just questioning what does one blog about?   I have read so many good blogs that I am thinking I don’t have anything that interesting to blog about.

Then I began thinking about the articles I have been reading lately that have been so fascinating to me.   In National Geographic magazine, I read the article, “Upstart Galaxies, Dancing in the Dark” by Timothy Ferris, and I have not stopped talking about it since.  He writes with such ease about concepts that are of such magnitude that the mind can scarcely grasp even the basic details.  I have read and reread the article and every time I read it, the awe and the vastness of the galaxies just seem to overtake reality and stirs up my imagination.  (186,000 miles per second)…really?

I made comments about the article in the margins and pondered what it all means.  The Hubble space telescope has opened up new galaxies to us and opened up doors for our minds to just marvel at the new discoveries!   If you have not read it, it is December 2011  issue.

Then just yesterday someone sent me this website:  The Universe: changing perspective,  it includes the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds…great!…check it out!  Let me know if you are as ‘star-struck’ as I am.

Dancing with the stars.....

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Meet Glenna


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In David Folsom’s book, ” Asssets Unknown”, he dedicated the book to his father, Willard K. Folsom.  He wrote that it was late in his life that his Dad settled the issue of his eternity.  While operating Folcom’s Lobster Mart in Boston, his Dad talked to him about how God intended him to live- by serving others as we would serve Him.  David described his dad  dressed in his white apron and soft felt hat, moving among his customers day to day always smiling and cordial even when he was in pain.

What impressed me as I read this was, his dad treated all his customers the same, regardless of their social status, wealthy and not so wealthy.  When he had as customers a large immigrant population, (with only an 8th grade education), he learned their native language so he could greet them and have simple conversations with them, some Italian, German or French.

David’s dad left behind a legacy that helped David to understand; “I had the responsibility to persist and to accomplish great things in my own life, not just for myself but for others as well.”

As we attempt to help others in our varied professions, we can learn from Willard K. Folsom a very valuable lesson!

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Glenna V Hiett

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