Ask the Coach – Nov 10, 2017

You are invited to a Lunch and Learn

Ask the Coach

You will leave with understanding what coaching is, how coaching fits into the workplace, into leadership, and hear first hand the importance of coaching skills in conversations.  Plus you will get your own coaching questions answered.

Mary Verstraete is the facilitator for the “Lunch & Learn.” Mary is President of the Center for Coaching Excellence, a distinctive training organization that focuses on developing highly competent coaches through a mentor-training approach and a training model of coaching that easily transitions into professional and personal conversations. Mary continues to expanded coaching into diverse industries by developing customized coach training used in companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and MJ Senior Housing.

Mary is a leadership consultant who works with organizations to establish a culture of synergistic teams, systems and processes for greater employee engagement, employee loyalty, and communication effectiveness. She trains leaders to maximize leadership competencies, develop greater agility, and achieve leadership influence through communication excellence.

The event is sponsored by Renewing the Journey


Event Details

Friday, November 10

11:45 am – 1:00 pm

6209 S Pinnacle Pl, Ste 102, Sioux Falls SD 57108

Lunch Provided

Space is limited


For more information or to sign up contact Cecelia Dachtler at (605) 759-7882 or




When we learn that truth is our friend, growth deepens.

I don’t know about you but I have discovered that there are things that I don’t want to be true and then there are things that I do want to be true.  I really don’t want to know that there are better choices than eating a Hershey’s with almonds chocolate bar with extra almonds on the side.  I would love to think that The Golden Rule always worked.  That people always treated everyone all the time as they would like to be treated.

Seriously, it is often hard to realize that there are areas of our lives that require growth, areas that we would want to change so that we could receive the benefit of growth that comes from the truth.  I am an energetic problem-solver, a strategist.  I can often see a good, perhaps optimal solution sooner than others. In my effort to use this as a strength to benefit, I sometimes interfere with the plans and joy that others might experience by promoting my own solution or micromanaging as the challenge is resolved.  I know this truth about myself and a careless use of this doesn’t support another value I have – that teamwork often produces the best answer in the end.  So – I have given certain people in my life permission to let me know when I am beginning to follow that pattern.  I never like to hear that truth but I am so thankful because truth is one of God’s essential tools for growing us up.  And I want to be growing up in the Lord.

If you have been hurt by truth not spoken in love, or are afraid of it, one of our greatest desires is that you will learn to love and seek it.  Truth is sometimes painful, but it is always our friend, because it comes from the Lord, whose love and truth protects us (Ps 40:11).  He dispenses it to us out of a heart of compassion and grace.  Like anything from God, truth works for us, not against us.   (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, How People Grow)

According to Dr’s. Cloud and Townsend,

  • Truth provides a path for life. Truth is that path: I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws” (Ps. 119:30)
  • Truth is married to love and grace. The Bible often puts love and grace together to show their closeness (Ps. 40:10; John 1:14; 2 John 3)
  • Truth preserves and protects a life for us. It warns us of the danger of not following God’s ways.  We search the Bible to solve problems.  We go to trusted friends with our struggles, dreams and desires.  Truth gives us answers, hope, and solutions.
  • Truth separates what is real and what is not. When we are able to clearly see it and accept it as truth we have to let go of those things that we wish were true so we can work with what is real.

Our spiritual growth then requires certain ingredients to work correctly.

  • A spiritual context where God is seen as central to growth
  • Abiding human relationships that are loving and truthful
  • Experience and competence in the particular areas of growth
  • Enough time for the process to take hold
  • A structure or framework that fits the need of the growers

We need not only to know the truth about ourselves, but also to act on it (James 1:22-25).

Excerpts from How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals about Personal Growth, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend


Cecelia Dachtler, MA

Professional Life Coach, Spiritual Director

Reflecting on Reflecting

You may notice that over the summer opportunities that invite us to renew our daily journey.    In our renewing, we may want to do some “reflecting on reflecting.”  Reflecting is defined as thinking about something seriously.  In Ken Gire’s book, The Reflective Life, he says that “Living reflectively provides opportunities during our day for a closer look at things, at people, at ourselves and at our God.”  We can do our reflecting in so many ways – thoughtful thinking as we drive, during devotions or prayer, as we listen to the hardships or joys of others as they share.  We can reflect or think thoughtfully about our day and what got accomplished as much as what is left to do.

Maybe most important is the work of “reflecting on our reflecting.”  What I mean is, are we thinking about whether or not we are reflecting the love of God, the grace of God, the Fruits of the Spirit, etc?  To reflect in that sense is to bend back a light so that it can be seen coming back from the source that sent it and visible to others.  As we live are we concerned that others see the light in us, God’s light reflected?

Many years ago, at a retreat I had helped plan we were using the theme of reflecting Christ’s love.  As we planned and were doing research on how we could bring home the idea of reflecting Christ I began to search for some music that would be helpful in achieving our goal.  The Lord led me to a song I had never heard before and perhaps you haven’t either.  The song is entitled, Portrait of Jesus.  Some of the words go like this,

Make me a portrait of Jesus,

Paint his love over my sin,

Make his eyes shine like a light through mine,

 Make me a portrait of him.”

To really bring home the concept of reflecting in a visual way, a gifted artist and painter prepared a canvas of a person looking into a mirror.  The painting was almost finished and a piece of smooth foil was inside the frame designed to represent the mirror.  As the singer began to sing the song our artist began to finish the painting and as the song came to an end she pulled back the foil in the mirror and it revealed a painted image of the face of Jesus.

The room was very quiet as each person considered the message of the mirror and seeing the reflection of Christ, the eyes of Christ.  It was quiet for quite a long time as the words of the song were read,

“Make me a portrait of Jesus

Paint His love over my sin.

Make His eyes shine

Like a light through mine

Make me a portrait of Him.”


We were a group of all different kinds of people, of all different ages and experiences.  If any of us had faced a mirror we would have seen our distinct face but we were all, in that moment, reflecting on reflecting.

What do you want to reflect today?


Cecelia Dachtler, MA

Professional Life Coach, Spiritual Director


Can you identify with this Mom’s reflection?

 “This afternoon I tossed my keys on the kitchen counter along with the dead cell phone.  The ridiculous thing didn’t seem to hold a charge for any time at all.  Running errands with three kids in tow had nearly been my undoing.  I was tired, crabby and didn’t feel like doing a whole lot of anything.  I pointed my boys toward the television while my daughter stretched out on the couch, stuck ear buds into her hears, and began selecting tunes on her MP3 player.  Glancing at the clock, I hit the power switch on my laptop and pulled a chair up to the table.  If I could muster some energy, I might be able to crank out a few hundred words on my manuscript before cooking supper.  That was a mighty big IF though.

A light flickered on the screen long enough for the “low battery” indicator to flash, and a black screen stared back at me.  I dug into my bag for a power cord and began hooking it up to my laptop just as my daughter poked her head into the kitchen.  “Can you get me on the computer, Mom?  I need to charge my iPod.  It’s dead.

I dropped my forehead to the table, arms hanging at my side.  “Mom?”  I think I grunted.  “You okay?”  “What do your mother, your iPod, the cell phone, and the laptop all have in common?” I muttered.  “How should I know?  Will you get me on the computer or not?”  “Whatever.”

The sad truth was that I really didn’t have the energy to care.  I’d get up tomorrow and do the same thing I’d just done today.” 

Plug Me In and Let Me Charge Overnight by Vicki Tiede


Let’s face it, it’s hard to feel excitement or enthusiasm about what might happen tomorrow in our life if we feel like we have been sucked dry.  In fact, we would be hard pressed to even see how God was at work today.  Have we even taken a few moments to look? To thank? To breathe?

I have a confession to make.  I have caught myself getting very panicky when I realized that I had left my charger at home – for the phone, the laptop, the iPad!  I bet there are a few of you that spent some focused time looking for the source of power that would get you charged up again – connected to the power source that has become so important in our lives.  My phone gives me plenty of warning that I am about to lose connection.  First, it is a bar that begins to diminish, then I see a yellow warning signal, then it becomes red and finally, my phone beeps and a message pops up unsolicited that says, your battery is running very low – it is almost empty – recharge at once!

Most of us are in desperate need of a recharge, a filling up of the good things that give us enthusiasm to live in the fullness God has promised.  But, have we ever had the same panicky feeling when we realized that we had not recharged by plugging into God’s source?

This week let’s set a pattern for the days ahead – to connect to the right power source and rest in His charger for a while.

“Are you tired?  Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me

Watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

       Matthew 11:28-30

The Message

Cecelia Dachtler, MA

Professional Life Coach, Spiritual Director

Repair, Replace and Repurpose

Are you good at repairing?  How about replacing?  Perhaps re-purposing?  It seems like these warm weather months bring out the decluttering, replacing and reusing nature in many of us.  For some of us, this process comes from our upbringing – that strong directive to “not waste anything.”  For others of us, the cost of replacing is “going to save in the long run,” we say.  Then again, many of us get a deep satisfaction in renewing or re-purposing what we already have.

The process of repair, replace and repurpose can also be applied to our hearts, minds, behaviors and relationships.  Sometimes renewal means that we have some repair work to do.

We fall short of the glory of God, miss the mark, fail and offend.  We may need to recognize what our actions have caused and apologize or forgive.  Perhaps some action on our part is required to get things back on track – restored.  When you repair something, you fix what has been torn or marred or broken.  Sometimes our prayer needs to be, “Lord show me where and how I can mend what has been damaged.”

If we developed a pattern of thinking or a behavior that consistently draws us away from living in truth and light as children of God, we can pray for insight so that we might replace our “rightness” for “His Righteousness.”  In Colossians, the new life in Christ is compared to what we take off that is old and full of decay and what we put on as our brand-new nature.  We must remember that He replaced the old nature for the new nature which He created in us.  We don’t have to live in the old any longer.

Finally, we must purpose in our hearts – and repurpose as often as necessary to live in this newness.  Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” NIV

As you are sorting out the “stuff” in your life this summer, making decisions to repair this – replace that and maybe thinking about how you can reuse or repurpose something too good to throw out, consider doing the same in your walk with God – your journey of faith.  Shed some illumination on your life as a Child of Light.  Is there some sorting out to do?


Cecelia Dachtler, MA

Professional Life Coach, Spiritual Director


Beginning Again

As the days of the holidays begin to run down we think about the future.  We hear these words:

  • “I resolve to . . .”
  • “I stopped resolving because I never followed through.”
  • “I keep making the same resolutions each year because I already know the outcome.”

We hear other words also, like:  

  • “My hope is set . . .”
  • “With God’s help, I intend to . . .”
  • “I want to dream big about my future – but I am not sure what that dream is anymore.”
  • “I want to move into my future, with hope and excitement and intention.”

It is good to reflect on what we have experienced in the last year. Honest awareness can help prepare our thoughts and actions to renew our life journey this year, no matter where we are on the way.

The beginning of our reflection is in the broken places. It’s hard work to admit defeat and start over, to work toward our dreams even after they have been broken. Yet every year we are invited to begin again in the midst of broken dreams, broken hearts, broken morality, or broken vitality. Like good scientists and faithful pilgrims, this is where our journey continues forward in earnest.

Most of us have had our hopes dashed at one time or another. Sometimes, even when we have invested time and energy, hopes and finances, we have not been able to experience the success we desired.

Other times, if we are honest, we have to admit we have shied away from opportunities that have presented themselves. Sharon Good writes:

One of the most difficult realities in life is to look back and regret that you never had the courage to live out your dreams. While we’re in the day-to-day throes of living life, our dreams often fall by the wayside. They seem “out there,” too hard to get to, an indulgence when we owe our time and allegiance to so many other people and things. We feel selfish and guilty rejecting a perfectly good, although less than satisfying, life to pursue elusive dreams. But they continue to nag at us, demanding our attention. (

Usually, the problem is that we have dreamed too small, and not large enough. We have settled for being safe and, to tell the truth, mediocre.

Our dreams demand more of us. And, what excites us also frightens us, especially after failure. Yet our fear is often an indication of our next opportunity for growth, of the next step we need to take on our journey toward fulfilling our dream and the purpose of our life. As the old year ends, and the new year begins, I ask you to ponder: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” (attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt).


Cecelia Dachtler, MA
Life Coach and Leadership Development