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Let Me Introduce You {the blessing of hearing who you are}

“We are a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. We are the work which the artist loves intensely, and over this work the artist will take endless trouble, showing his great love for the creation.” ― C.S. LewisThe Problem of Pain

family 1960sWhen I was a child, my parents introduced me to others as their daughter; not that there was a need for I looked like them both. There was great security in hearing them say who I was for it gave me a sense of identity and legitimacy. As I grew and began a relationship with God, He began to tell me who I was as His daughter so I could walk through everything in life knowing I belonged to Him as one He has called a masterpiece.

You, too, are God’s masterpiece in the making. With tender brush strokes, He works His healing love and revealing truth into your life so that you reveal more of your Father’s image.  With immeasurable love, sweet compassion, and tender care to detail, He gently transforms your earthly identity into a heavenly one of knowing you are His child.

You are who your Father says you are.

You are exceptional, gifted, unconventional, memorable, created to make a difference, to add value to life, to solve certain problems, to bring change where others are desperate for it, and to experience joy – for you bring something no one else can or ever will. You were born on purpose – as a perfect part of the Kingdom of Heaven plan. No matter what your birth was like or who was there when you first breathed air, all of Heaven rejoiced with a shout! And the Father smiled at His creation of you and said, “It is very good!” Yes, you are who your Father says you are. Very good, excellent, His masterpiece.

You are learning to accept God’s definition of who you are, and learning to say “Yes, I am who my Father says I am!” With this new definition, your faith soars and fear has less place in you for it cannot remain when you are trusting in His love. As your security increases, you are choosing to not let fear and smallness or the desire for comfort and security talk youchildren of God, child's feet into playing it safe. You are moving away from a small version of God, and stepping into who you really are,  coming to know the Father really well. This is where life is meant to be lived.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” 1 John 4:18 (AMP)

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are.” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

As sure as when your parents introduced you, you truly are who your Heavenly Father says you are. Feel the new identity and security and let that truth be soaked up by your heart and bring you joy!

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is shining on the horse’s backs and I need to hear about God’s love again. Tell me one more time.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 20, 20162016-04-27 09.41.29

 

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I am a professional speaker, writer, and certified life coach building with the power of encouragement! Talks, workshops, and conferences are available on a variety of encouraging topics. The easy way to get more info? Call or email: (843) 319-5390 or robinlewiswords@gmail.com. And hey, make it a great day!

You Are A History Maker and Just May Be A Hero

I can almost hear you, “Me? A history maker?” I know, I felt the same way until I understood. It is common for most of us to think in terms of a history maker being someone like the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution or fought for liberty. People like George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr. But we too are history makers – every day, every moment.

The voices of culture and tradition want to define your life and make you dependent on their approval and acceptance. These voices say that your identity is linked to your position, income level, skin color, or circle of friends. These voices want to fill your mind with fear, doubt, and insignificance. They want to define and paint a picture of your life that’s less than who God says you are. This is small-scale living.

The truth is you are a masterpiece and you might just be a hero.

A few years ago, I took classes in an art gallery and learned that a Master Artist is one who has learned all the rules of shape and color, of texture, brush strokes, and canvas, and then breaks those rules in such a way that creates something new, one-of-a-kind, a can’t-be-duplicated work of art, a masterpiece.

Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) says, “We are God’s own masterpiece, recreated in Christ Jesus with a new start so that we may do all the good works for which we were created, taking the paths which He prepared for us ahead of time, so that we can walk in them and live the good life God thought out, prearranged, and made ready for us to live.”

journey masterpiece

You are a can’t-be-duplicated, without-rival, highly valued creation by God who rightly defines you. He created you to be a person who connects with Him for vision, a man or woman with a voice that is here to create positive change and make a difference for the betterment of mankind. God chose the timing of your birth to be in this generation. He chose the talents, spiritual gifts, and dreams that would be developed for the purpose of your life. And He chose your gender. Whether you are a man or a woman, you have been made in God’s image and have been created to be a person of power, love, and great influence.

Like an inspiring work of art, you are here to lead others into their greatness. As you grow into a person of authenticity, you experience freedom to move in your strengths, giftedness, and passion because your authentic self will always display your uniqueness. A false self will only display a clouded, partial version of who you are to be. You are designed to be an overcomer, not a copy. You are created to be a problem solver, not one who just accepts things as they are. You are fashioned to be a one-of-a-kind, greatly valued individual with a purpose.

Our problem? We don’t believe it. More people are held back by self-limiting beliefs than by any other barrier. We will always live out what we really believe is true or possible for us. It’s time to let the real you emerge, the beautiful parts, and the places where you are strong. For this to happen, you must be intentional about your personal growth. There are parts of you that need to be healed and strengthened. When you choose to trust and receive, you become your truest self, enabled by God to fully live with eternal significance.

artist, creator, canvas, masterpiece

In 2015, America watched my home state as the Confederate Flag was removed from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, SC. The news reporter kept repeating, “You are seeing history being made.” Events of historical significance are distinguished and memorable, but do you think of the importance of your own life in creating history? With your life, you are writing history! Your life has an impact on others around you and on the generations yet to be born. Generations after us will look back and discuss some of us who realized the power of our choice and voice and used them to set the stage for the future. Some of us will be thanked and honored and some of us will be ridiculed and shamed. Don’t let the authentic you be painted over or muted by the brush strokes of the world that seek to diminish your beauty and purpose.

We are all history makers, for better or for worse, and if we pursue Him, God will help you become all He originally intended you to be – a leader, a history maker, and a person characterized by confidence and joy. Our stories were written to be joined with God so we can know first hand His ability to restore! No more boxed in, insignificant living. With authenticity, you can learn to lead like the unique, significant history maker you are. History may write you down as a hero. How you walk out your one life with God will determine how history views you. Set your focus on Him and live with intention to bring transformation into your world.

Love & Grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window on a cloudy Saturday where the trees are waiting for rain.

You’re invited to email Robin L. Lewis at robinlewiswords@gmail.com about Spiritual Life Coaching or to book her to speak. Visit her website to subscribe to her inspiration blog at www.sozolifeleaders.com.

Some Days You Just Feel Like Crap

hard times, difficultyIt’s one of those. Yeah, you know the kind – a day where your head aches and your heart aches and your life just aches for relief. We’re all subject to those kinds of days.

And it’s when things seem to be falling apart and there are bills and sick people and laid off spouses and more questions than answers and if we draw close to the Father, we can get a measure of relief. I think sometimes He doesn’t explain our lives just so we’ll snuggle up close enough to hear His heartbeat.

When days are lonely and the work doesn’t seem to end and we feel like that old sweater in the back of the drawer, you know, the unraveling one, that we realize we need to be knit together again.

Even Jesus told us (and we act surprised when it happens) that “in this world, we will have trouble, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Wait – I don’t want some Hallmark card gospel! I need to know what this means!

That word “trouble” in its Greek definition means to crush, press, compress, squeeze, and symbolically means grievous affliction or distress, a narrowness of room. (We know this, don’t we? Those times it feels like the room and the lungs are too small.)

“Be of good cheer” literally means to exercise courage, confidence, and boldness. (Okay, that’s better.)

But the word for “overcome” means to subdue, conquer, overcome, prevail, and get the victory! (That’s what we want!)

When it feels like you’re being crushed, pressed, squeezed and under grievous affliction, you are to exercise courage, stir up confidence, and act in boldness in a way that stands in faith. That rise in faith helps us wait until the trouble has passed. With all that Jesus endured, He subdued and conquered all the evil in the world and gained the victory! And that victory? It’s the ability to receive His peace in the middle of the storm.

Our lives are supposed to look like His and while He had tough days, we will have tough days. Embrace it all and give thanks. As we embrace our life in Him, we come to know how He embraces us and sees us through every. single. thing.

But…I skipped over the first half of the verse:

These things I have spoken to you that in Me, you might have peace. -John 16:33a

peaceJesus’ peace, in contrast with strife, is a state of untroubled and undisturbed well-being found IN HIM and never found in the world. The same word is used in Ephesians 6:13 describing “the shoes of the Gospel of peace”. It’s protective armor!

This kind of peace doesn’t mean our emotions won’t be troubled and is not some state of unfeeling. It means there will be no trouble that can ever remove the peace He gives. The reality of the bad days is they are real and they will come, but as we focus on Him in the middle of the crappy days, the hard things, we will know that He has promised to help us through.

Ann Voskamp writes, “Let Him kneel & wash your wounded places… keep company with Jesus. Stop & feel the humming Peace of something sacred in our veins, enlarging our lungs. Even in our darkest places — look for it, feel along for it — there is the light of Christ’s graces.”

Jesus never stops praying for us standing right next to the throne of God, and His prayers are always heard. I have an affirmation in my phone that sounds every evening that reads, Being mindful of Jesus blood and His prayers for me keeps me calm and grateful. In this very moment, here, now, what do I need? Not a thing. So take a deep breath of His peace knowing that His plan for your life is active and good and nothing can separate you from His love.

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is behind the trees and the local deer have come to find their supper and mine is baking in the oven.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 13, 20162016-05-25 13.20.43

Spiritual Life Coaching helps with every area of life encouraging self-examination, growth, and maturity. Specializing in bringing clarity and building confidence, our coaching program may be just what you need to give your life the umph it needs to move forward into more of what your life was designed to be!

Don’t wait – contact me today!  And share this post with a friend!
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Gaps in a Dry Stone Wall

“For those of my friends abroad who have never heard of a ‘dry stone wall’, well, here is one. They are built, in the mountains and hills of the UK, by the farmers to mark out their land boundaries. The stones are simply placed in a workable but random order to form a wall. They stretch for miles and have gaps between the stones to let the wind through, resulting in very little damage from the brutal elements.” – Graeme Scroggie

England stone wall, Graeme Scroggie

My friend posted this on Facebook recently when he and his son took a drive through the Lake District of England, their homeland. I closed my eyes and recalled my first trip to the UK. We landed in Edinburgh, Scotland and took a train up past Aberdeen. The 3-hour ride took us through the country and along the cliff edges of the North Sea and into the Highlands. From the bright yellow Rapeseed blooms to the occasional castle and ocean views, I didn’t want to blink for fear I’d miss something. Later we would drive through the countryside where fields of sheep were kept in boundaries by walls just like this one. Dry stone walls separated pasture after pasture, farm after farm. The ancient barns and houses all built with heavy timbers and the same gray stones.

Passing the pastures and watching the flocks, I asked the cab driver, “Where did they find all the stones?” He answered, “The stones were in the fields. Now the fields can be plowed. Now they can be pasture.”

Even after several trips that were to come for me, I never tired of seeing it. It’s a good image for how we need to build our lives, letting the Lord remove the rocks and make our lives fertile ground. Letting Him use those same rocks to create a stronger and more useful life. Maybe our walls need gaps, too, so that the storms don’t blow us over and His love can flow through. If we’ve chosen Him as our sure foundation, even when the winds blow hard we are secure. And I imagine a song whistling through the gaps, the open spaces, where the breeze finds it way through. The song of the Lord! Only in the spaces of our lives can we have room to receive.

Are you feeling the gaps? Are you protective over the open spaces in your life, the tender places? Yeah, me, too, sometimes. They can feel so vulnerable to us. But that’s where God shows Himself strong. Let’s ask the Lord to strengthen us and fill every space, shall we?

Lord, fill us up with the wind of Your Spirit, mighty, loving, and sure! Not just so we can receive of You, but so that through our open spaces we can let Your love and power flow out to others around us. Help us be the blessing.

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is shining and the air heavy with moisture – a greenhouse for the pastures and fields where I live in lower South Carolina.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 7, 2016

Quote and photo used with permission from Graeme Scroggie, flight attendant, who takes some great photos from the air. Visit his Facebook page and follow him to enjoy the view!

Life Satisfaction Assessment: how do you score?

question, uncertainty

 

If asked, most of us would say we are dissatisfied with some area of our lives, and some of us would admit to several areas where we would like to see improvement. We easily recognize the disappointment and regret we feel that characterizes the lives of so many, yet we struggle with knowing how to actually live our lives. Many feel stuck not knowing how to take steps for change and growth while others live in some form of denial, assuming they will eventually achieve the life they want. Make it your aim to break free of this denial and realize that the choices you make every day impact and determine the rest of your life.

Below is a tool I use with my Life Coaching clients to help them gain more self-awareness by identifying areas that need change. This tool is partnered with “The Principle of the Path” by Andy Stanley, a book that teaches that if you know the destination you desire, but are not taking steps that lead IN THAT DIRECTION, you will actually arrive someplace else and miss your goal, living a life that is less than what God purposed for you.

Using the 10 life areas in the list below, rate yourself 1-10 with 1 being very dissatisfied and 10 being extremely satisfied.

  1. Spirituality / Faith
  2. Career / Callinghappy, sad, emotions, happiness
  3. Money / Finances
  4. Health / Exercise
  5. Friends / Family
  6. Spouse / Significant Other
  7. Physical Environment
  8. Personal Growth
  9. Fun / Recreation / Hobbies
  10. Future Plans / Goals / Hopes

All these life areas are a visible part of your outer, obvious person, but the pleasure or disappointment you experience in each area is directly related to your inner, sometimes secret person. In what areas are you the least satisfied? In those areas you need to choose specific steps that create a direct path to help you achieve the change and growth you desire. “Direction – not intentions, hopes, dreams, prayers, beliefs, intellect, or education – determines your destination.” (Andy Stanley)

Next, think about what current beliefs, thoughts, and habits need to change in order for you to take the necessary steps to attain your goals and enjoy those areas of your life.

Example: Your goal is to retire at age 65 and travel, but you are not putting much money into savings. To arrive at the destination you desire, changes must be made in your spending and saving in order for you to achieve your goal of retirement and travel.

Example: You think of exercising to become more healthy and strong, yet you never schedule the time. You just hope that your body will last until you die without weakness or disease. Unused muscles weaken so that your hope will not become reality without intentional steps in that direction.

Life is a process that never stops. The necessary changes will require an investment of time and intentional course correction.

directionRemember, our direction determines our destination; without the necessary steps simply hoping and praying won’t get you there. Our choices every day build into outcomes, and our decisions today invariably have ramifications later in life.

So what now? Don’t attempt to get it all together in a month. Choose 1 or 2 areas from the list and write down the next step you need to take in order to begin to change that part of your life. You don’t have to take giant steps, small steps will do. Set goals for the next 6 months and track your progress. You will find yourself feeling more optimistic and confident as you see favorable change begin to take place. You will realize that you really can adjust, grow, and alter your life’s direction for the better. The more fulfilled you become in living the life God created for you, the higher your general happiness and joy and the more you positively influence those around you.

Life Coaching helps you through changes like these. In the beginning change is hard, in the middle it can be a little messy, but in the end the life you make can be fulfilling as you realize your accomplishments. Take heart and refuse to let go of hope. Ask a friend to hold you accountable and encourage you forward. The choices you make each and every day do matter. Make better choices for a better life and remember to always seek God. He promises that His Word can light your way. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path”. When we commit our lives and choices to Him, He helps us know the way forward.

Keep growing,

Robin

From the desk by the window where I’m working on my choices as the sun shines in warm.

For more info on Sozo Life Coaching for Women, contact me today! DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER – this is your time, dear one.

Email me today: robinlewiswords@gmail.com

(c) Robin Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 4, 2016

Dear Spirit in Me,

woman in prayer

You have been renewed by God’s own Spirit and have full access to Him.

You have a voice unlike my physical voice and I want to hear every syllable you are saying.

You hear directly from the Father as if you were in the throne room with Him.

Can you help my soul to be stilled and quieted within me as I learn to hear and see You?

Can you calm my fears and help me understand your language of love?

Can you tell me again who I am, the woman Father created me to be, the brave lioness, the soaring bird, the deeply rooted mountain, and the playful sea?

Can you help remove all the labels the world and even the church has placed on me? One who can’t succeed, one who is limited, one afraid to try, one who should know her place, one relegated to back benches, one whose voice has been squelched into silence, one who will never be a mother, one who will never write a book, one who will be diseased, one whose music goes unwritten, one who will never know love, one who is bound suffer in isolation, one who must settle and be thankful for less than the story You’ve written for me – those labels.

Can you tame my soul of its anger, depression, and fear, and heal its wounds?

Can you heal me and free me in such a way that I am forever liberated into the Spirit of the Father’s limitless love?

Lord, You are the One I seek and you say that if I seek You, I will find You.

You are the One my heart is desperate to know and love.

Can You help me hold a little more of that love today as Your Light quietly walks across the floor of my heart and shines, warming the old boards until they glow?

I’m inviting You to take over, consume, saturate, and overflow my very life with the very life of the Father.

Do, come in! And bring Joy & Peace with You!

Lots of love to you the reader,

Robin

From the desk by the window, listening for Him, on the longest day of the year.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC – June 21, 2016

2016-05-25 13.20.43

Let your heart speak out what it needs to say, and even if you don’t like it, appreciate every word. Then ask the Lord to fill it more with Himself, more of His loving, sweet Spirit in you. It will be OK. You will be OK – if you keep seeking Him.

For more on Life Coaching for Women or booking me to speak, just reach out! I’d love to hear from you and listen to your story.

Robin – robinlewiswords@gmail.com

Instead Of {you don’t have to fill your days to be purposeful}

Instead of always trying to do more, what if we chose to do less?

woman tired at work

Instead of focusing on adding more “good” work, what if we subtract what’s not working or what is inessential for what is actually “best”?

Instead of filling our planner with all we see there is to do, what if we gave ourselves permission to be still and let our minds rest in order to be more focused on what matters, becoming more productive?

Instead of judging ourselves critically for what we think we “should” have accomplished, what if we spent more time getting in touch with what God’s Spirit is saying?

Instead of focusing on perfection, what if we focused on making progress a little at a time and dropped some of that negative self-talk and self-judgment?

Instead of always wanting to say “yes” to every request, what if we practiced that other little word (no) and left time for what is really important?

“Not everyone should have the same access to you,” says Danny Silk. “If you’ve been giving it away, take back your personal power to choose well,” says Robin Lewis (that’s me).inner circle danny silk

Learn polite, but firm responses to others who want your time and talents without working on their own stuff.  (People will suck the life out of you if you let them.) Learn to say no to those who want for free what you’ve worked hard to learn, be, or obtain.

Do more of what you were created to do. Do less of what you’ve been filling your calendar with what just keeps you busy.

Do more of what you are purposed to do. Do less of all that other stuff.

Reserve your “best yes” for what is a priority in your life, and your best “no” for what doesn’t. The Spirit of God will help you choose, but it means dropping all those expectations you and others have of what you’re supposed to be doing. It means building the healthy boundaries you need for your life. It means knowing that you are here for what really matters and takes priority.

This is what makes the real you come forth – in all that beautiful, unique identity, value, and purpose that is part of your design.

Growth Challenge: Take a few minutes today and look at where you are. Write down 3 things you want to accomplish in the next year, those 3 things you know the Lord has spoken to you about. (You don’t need 10 priorities.)

Commit to calendar and work on those 3 and see them completed by this time next year. You already hold inside all that is needed – you may need to get more equipped – but get your plan and work it! If you need help or accountability, give me a call!

Loads of grace, by the way,

Robin

From the desk by the window where everything calls my name, but where only few things really are allowed a voice. Now for that walk outside with the Father.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, June 12, 2016 – reposted

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The end of summer will come – will your life be the same or different?

*Offer expires Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Robin and Jeff

Yeah, that’s me with my sweet husband, Jeff, on the day he had the really hot chicken wings.