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.

You Are God’s Image-Bearer {But who do you look like?}

We need to understand this: “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

God wanted you to exist and wanted you to look like Him. He has never changed in His good character and intentions towards you. As His child, you bear His image, His reflection, and more and more you reflect that image onto the world that needs to know the same love. Are you looking more like your Father?

cat, lion, image, identity

In the same way that you are influenced by those closest to you, you also receive more of God’s reflection when you spend time with Him. When you read and study the Word of God and as you gaze upon Him you come to look more like your Father. Even while invisible to physical sight, God is visible to the heart. He removes the build up of life in the world and helps you be more able to receive His love and reflect it back to Him and to others. As you focus on your Father, you begin to understand your own significance and value. “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” -Psalms 34:5

Sylvia Gunter writes, “When you are strong and full of light, you reflect the nature and character of God, but your soul has been in control at many points: stuck in the past, wounded, undernourished, in bondage, in fear, and shame. You have been run over by others through manipulation. You have been controlled by your own wounded or fearful reactions. You have been trapped. But you are not a victim! That is not the real you; you are made of the essence of the light of God. You have the best intentions, but the wounded soul keeps you from being seen as you really are. Be blessed to heal the soul by speaking truth to it.”

We take on the image of what we worship, what we focus on, and so the importance of daily walking with God and time set apart to just be with Him is vital to your health in spirit, soul, and body. Where we still struggle, where we walk through repeating problems, He is there. Invite Him to bring the change needed in you, the healing, the growth, and the maturity you need in order to be free in Him. Submit to Him in all things, recognizing your need of Him, and He will lift you up.

You take on the image of what you worship, what you focus on, and so the importance of daily walking with God and time set apart to just be with Him is vital to your health in spirit, soul, and body. Where you still struggle, where you walk through repeating problems, He is there. Invite Him to bring the change needed in you, the healing, the growth, and the maturity you need in order to be free in Him. Submit to Him in all things, recognizing your need of Him, for He promises to keep working in you.

“And being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” Philippians 1:6

Your heart listens to everything you say, especially about yourself. Speak truth daily into your soul and spirit. Come to know yourself as an incredibly loved child of God, your original Father, and everything in your life will change. There won’t be a day that you suddenly “arrive” or stop needing God. Your understanding of your complete dependence on Him for everything is the foundation of living life as His child. As you grow stronger in Him, you will be able to do the will of God in your life.

As His image bearer growing closer to Him, He will heal and change you to be the overcomer He created you to be; as you come to intimately know the truth about who you really are, “the Truth will set you free.”

Keep growing,

Robin

From the desk by the window where I am thankful for His love that changes me!

2016-04-27 09.41.29Robin Lewis’ program of Sozo Life Coaching for women is unique and accomplishes the results you need and desire for your life. Don’t wait – Contact her today for your FREE 30-minute consultation call. It just might be the critical difference you need!

Call or email: (843) 319-5390 / robinlewiswords@gmail.com

(c) 2016 Robin L. Lewis – Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC at www.sozolifeleaders.com

Sometimes You’re Wrong

oops, wrong, mistake, failIs that hard for you to hear? We never get it all right, do we? Of course not. But the brave keep trying. Not for perfection, but to learn and grow. And why is being wrong, making mistakes, or failing this awful experience we try to prevent?

There’s such freedom in accepting that we don’t have to have all the answers all the time! There’s freedom in knowing that I will be wrong and it’s not a failure to admit it. There’s creative freedom in knowing that I can take a chance, take a risk, be honest, and if I do fail, it can become an awesome learning experience for me!

wrong, fear, creative

“I don’t know.” Can you say that with me? “I just don’t know. But I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

“I was wrong.” Can you say that one, too? “I am sorry, I was wrong for ____________.”

How about… “I really blew it. But here’s what I learned!”

The best of lessons come through the hard days. Those days when we have no answer, not even a clue, and not much strength left. Our solution is in remembering that God is who He says He is and it’s “perfectly alright for me to just be me, in Him.”

He has all the answers and He never expects us to get it perfectly every time – in my thoughts, words, or actions. He created us to be human (imperfectly perfect) and our salvation, strength, and success are in doing what we resist the most: completely depending on Him in our successes and in our failures, where we are strong and where we are weak.

I love Psalm 46:10 and if you will allow me to paraphrase this verse, I understand it this way:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still (in your thoughts, words, and actions, in your soul that wants to know why) and know (learn and remember this) that I Am God (and not only are you not, you never have to be for I am everything you need).

failure, wrong, growth

 

The most successful people in the world understand the truth about being wrong and are OK with it. They have learned to not judge themselves harshly, but instead to give themselves grace and encouragement to learn and keep going forward.

Decide today that from now on, with God helping you, that it will be alright to admit defeat, mistakes, and even failure. Believe that it’s alright to cry out honestly to Him for help. For failures are not permanent, but simply the way to the solution. It’s OK to be wrong. It’s great to learn from it.

Grace for growing up,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the smell of buttered toast is still in the air and the coffee is still hot.

I love what I do! Every woman at multiple points in life’s journey needs someone to come alongside for a season to help her 2016-01-05 16.50.00forward. I’ve had these coaches and mentors in my own life and it’s made all the difference in coming to live an effective and fulfilling life. And oh boy, did I have issues to overcome! Visit my Start Here page and my Coaching page for more info and if you’d like to try it out, just ask for your FREE introductory coaching session. I’d love to hear your story. You are welcome to email or call me: robinlewiswords@gmail.com and (843) 319-5390.

 

The Secret Things We Hope Nobody Knows

secrets, vintageWhen I was a little girl, I loved sharing a secret! Along with my best friend, Laura, we sought out things we could confide in each other. If I knew a secret to share, it probably involved anything we wanted to keep to ourselves about our play time. If she knew a secret, it usually was about one of her sisters. We both had sisters we loved keeping information from and even letting them know that they “weren’t in the know” was powerful. We didn’t delve into matters of state, just matters of family.

But some secrets aren’t OK to keep. Keeping silent about wrongdoing or knowing something could harm another are secrets not to keep. In the same way, secret sins should never remain fully concealed. Secret thoughts and activities that you cannot share with another are only spiritual traps for your soul. God tells us in His Word that every hidden thing will be brought to the Light, His Light that makes darkness run.

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor secret that shall not be known and come into open view. (Luke 8:17 TLV)
Hidden things will always come out into the open. Secret things will come to light and be exposed. (Luke 8:17 Voice)

While we may not like this very much because we don’t want to confess everything we’ve done, are doing, or the secret problems that beset us, this spiritual principle is for our benefit. This doesn’t mean that God wants to parade your sinful self to the world in order to shame you, but that He wants to bring into the light what you are trying to hide in order for you to be freed from its grip! The shame that comes from hiding something can fill your heart and mind and bring chaos to your thoughts. The false comfort you may receive from your secret is really bondage in disguise. The only way to nullify the strength of a secret is to tell it!

secret bondange

You’re invited by God to bring those secret things into the warm light of His forgiving love, confess them, and be cleansed and freed of them. Unconditionally!

“His love does not waver based on your behavior.”

He laid down His life for you so that you can experience an ever-increasing freedom. Your part then is to stand in truth in such a way that those secret places are now being filled with truth every day. Paul wrote in the letter to the Ephesians about the importance of standing firm on the truth.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13 NASB)

Did you notice where the strength to do this standing comes from? “Be strong in the LORD and in the strength of His might.” It is the truth that frees, not our efforts to free ourselves! We are not strong enough to remove our sins, secret or known, but He is. He can work with us to change our wrong beliefs, detrimental thought patterns, and habits that weaken. His truth, when we know it intimately, surely frees every time.

What truth do you need? If you’re unsure, ask God and He will help you. Then develop a system to absorb it: type it up, write it out, post stickie notes about it – everywhere! Put it in the calendar in your phone and read it aloud when you hear the alert! But find a way to get it in. Years ago when I was struggling with my own personal freedom to establish the boundaries I needed in my life, I got a deck of spiral index cards and wrote scriptures and statements of truth on them. I called them my Truth Cards and I read and flip those cards all day long for many months, rehearsing aloud what God said was true for me. That’s a great way to become intimately acquainted with the truth that changes us!free, truth, birds, cage

Don’t wait for God to bring your secret into the light, address it with Him now and get to work on filling yourself with the truth you need to be free. Stop allowing feelings of pride or shame to keep you in hiding. Let your uncomfortable state be the motivation needed to choose freedom!

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (of any kind).” (Galatians 5:1)

You were created to prosper as you walk in truth. So when secret things are getting in the way, don’t stop until you have your freedom back! For more help, comment or send an email to robinlewiswords@gmail.com. Confidential Spiritual Life Coaching is available for women ages 16 and up! Get bold! You don’t have to struggle through life alone.

There’s so much grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is beginning to break through the clouds!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, March 16, 2016

The Value of Painful Experiences

hard times, difficultyI’ve come to believe that the amount of difficulty or pain we go through can be equal to the value the experience brings to our life.


We all go through hard times.  Some days the weight of pain on your chest can feel like it’s about to take your last breath. Someone said we are either moving into a storm or coming out of one.

Some storms are brought about by the choices we have made. As we exercise that beautiful gift the Father gave us, we make choices (some good, some not so good) and then live out the consequences. {Most of us would like to blame someone else, but learning to own up to our choices is a powerful growth habit.}

Some storms are God intervening in our lives by preventing harm, even removing something we want. Out of His huge love for us, sometimes that means stepping in between us and something that will cause harm or take us off the best path for our life. After all, isn’t that what good fathers do? {Some of us are wrongly blaming Him and need to “forgive God” so that our anger and hurt can then be healed by Him.}

We often think we know what is best for us, but we don’t. There are times we can’t trust our own heart’s motivations or desires, and the best way to live is in trusting the Lord to be who He says He is for us…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

I, the Lord, search the heart
    and examine the mind…” Jeremiah 17:7-10a

The way we respond to life experiences is key. As I teach my coaching clients, when we cannot control anything else in our life, we can choose our response to what life brings. No one can take our ability to choose our own response to what happens. We love blaming others though instead of doing the hard introspective work and learning to make better choices. But when we choose to respond with trust in the Father, that decision allows us to do more than just face the painful experiences. We can choose to embrace them, expecting God to use them for our growth and maturity so that we are able to receive the gift they bring and grow from it. stronger, difficulty

James calls believers to this level of faith and trust, to “embrace the friction of life” and even count it all joy! What the enemy tries to use to break us down, God can use to make us more complete in Him!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

Confession: I still find it hard to “consider it pure joy” most times, but as I remember that the value of my experience must be as great as the pain I feel, I can learn to embrace what comes. That doesn’t  mean I ignore my emotions, but I let them out to God, and declare (out loud) that I am going to trust Him through it. {The growth habit in action!} Then the burden lightens and I imagine Him so much bigger than anything I face. I choose to focus on Him instead of my circumstances for I have learned that what I focus on grows larger.

So what about you? What problem is gaining size in your life because you’re focused on it, complaining about it, and sharing it all on your Facebook timeline? This response weakens you. It’s so much nicer to bring it to the Father and watch Him lift the value out of it and use it instead to strengthen you.

There’s abundant grace for the journey,

Robin

From the desk by the window with a heart of compassion as we learn to embrace every experience of life.

  • Robin’s Spiritual Life Coaching helps you change your life.
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(c) Robin L. Lewis, Certified Spiritual Life Coach / Speaker / Writer at Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, January 30, 2016

Journaling for Emotional Health (Express, Emote, Just Get It Out Already!)

journal tiedDo you journal? I’ve journaled since the late 80’s and it’s a great way to express your thoughts, feelings, and stay sane. King David is one source of inspiration as he wrote anything he felt in the Psalms. Really, he did – check out a few really honest ones like Psalm 7, 28, or 69. And his example is perfect – he doesn’t stay in the negative or troubled place, but always ends in a place of faith in God, which is what we need to do.

To express ourselves is one of life’s basic functions. We were created with voices, feelings, thoughts, and they beg to be expressed. We hopefully learn as we grow up to express ourselves in healthy ways and not hurtful ways, but many if not most of us limit our self-expression. For a variety of reasons, we learn to hold stuff in that needs to come out. In the same way that our bodies use the best of what we eat and eliminate the rest, we need to do the same with our emotions.

Our emotions, thoughts, and words were given to us by God as part of our design in His image. Everything about us, even our feelings, were created to be part of our relationship with God. In order to be healthy emotionally, we can learn to express ourselves, and journaling is a great way to emote that is private. Share your emotions with God, then once you’re emptied of them, let yourself receive His peace through divine exchange. And like King David, remember God is good and that He is working in your life. Philippians 4:6-7 is my favorite verse describing how we can pray about anything and everything, choose not to fear, and then receive God’s peace that does something wonderful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4, NIV

 

journal believeIf you’re interested in journaling, but don’t know how to begin, here are some tips:

  1. Buy a journal and pen you like. Seriously, this is important. If you don’t like it, you won’t be inspired! (Maybe you want lots of color or like me, choose one with a blank cover to draw on.)
  2. Start writing at the same time every day. Your brain will be ready to help. You may want to set a reminder in your phone, but do it. (I usually write early morning and late evening. Sometimes I skip a day.)
  3. Write about your day, how you felt, who you saw, and be as honest as you can. Write about how you felt when your boss confronted you over your work, or how you felt when your spouse misunderstood you. Write about the color of the wildflowers that grow on the ditch bank or how frustrating it is to give yourself to a project and get no recognition.
  4. Always include God in your journal time. Always list things your are thankful for that day. Even your perfectly cooked fried egg. It doesn’t matter how large or how small, name the gift!
  5. When you need to express something negative, do it. Get it out, and always end on a positive note, even if all you can write is “I have hope because anything is possible with God,” or “Thank you, Father, that I can talk to You.”

The Bible says to not let the sun go down on your anger. To be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy, we need to express our emotions on a daily basis, pouring them out in journaling or prayer or whatever works, but ultimately releasing them to God. Remember, they are part of our relationship with Him.

That may not mean we are done with something, but we’re not letting it get bottled up inside. We’re letting it out! So express, emote, just get it out already! Emotions buried alive stay alive, and that’s not fun later when they either eat away at our insides or come exploding out unexpected and uncontrolled. Care for them now.

Express yourself and may you be blessed in your journaling!

Lots of love & grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window on a fresh, cold day that was created just for us.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, January 18, 2016

Spiritual Life Coaching is available for women ages 16 and up, up, up! Contact me for more information: robinlewiswords@gmail.com or (843) 319-5390.

Robin 5 - Copy
Yep, me with my journal! No, that’s not my house; that’s the library. 😀

The Manger Song

music notes 3 heartI’m feeling sentimental as usual for this time of year, and remembering when I was blessed to serve as Preschool & Children’s Minister at Oaklawn Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC from 1995 to 2003. For those 8 years, I learned much – including how to really serve, love, and lead a team. The children, who included my own, were dubbed the Little Oaks. There were a few tears from time to time, but much laughter and joy there. Christmas was always special mostly due to our Director of Music, Dan Suttles, who’s gifted, perfectionistic ideas brought about incredible musical dramas that  surprised the hearts of everyone in attendance.

One year, a little song came and surprised me which I called ‘The Manger Song’ and so I sang it for the Little Oaks Children’s Lesson in December 1999. I thought I’d share it with you this Christmas. It’s a lullaby for that Baby and all our little ones.

~The baby, the stable, the first Christmas morn

Saw Mary and Joseph, the King had been born!

Shepherds and sheep come to worship Him,

And angels sang over Bethlehem.

~A cow lows, a babe cries and breaks the night.

Above all a bright star shines its light.

And God smiles to see Jesus lying there,

The promised Messiah, God’s love to share.

~A family, a manger filled with hay,

A baby in soft cloths was gently laid.

May your heart be open this Christmas morn,

And be like a manger where Jesus is born.

manger scene

Just as in the beginning, God’s light broke into our darkness, our wounded world, our helpless mess, and came to make a way out. This Light shines His love-light into our broken hearts, minds, and bodies. “The Light of the world is Jesus!”, goes the old hymn, and it’s true! That’s Christmas – that the Light came and shone into our darkness, folding Himself into the skin of a baby to come to us. He knows vulnerability, what it’s like to walk this earth. The Unbroken came for the broken and offers His own hand. Christianity is the only faith where the God worshiped comes for us, where the tomb is empty, and the invitation to take His hand is always there.

And this Light? Nothing stops it, for light goes everywhere it can. And every time we let in more Light, we are more healed. So accept this little blog as an invitation to allow that Light to enter your life, soft and warm, heart-changing, and filled with all the acceptance, grace, strength, and peace you will ever need.

For God so loved this messy old world and all the broken people in it, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him will never perish, but will have everlasting, unending life with Him. He did not come to point His finger and condemn us, but to put in place His own rescue mission so we can be called the children of God.

Merry Christmas, friends. Christmas Light to you!

Much love,

Robin

From the desk by the window near the Nativity, where I imagine I can hear Mary’s soft voice singing thanks to God.

music notes 1

*This is my Nativity of collected pieces that my daughters, Rebecca and Rachel, and I assembled over several years. It’s the first thing out of the box every Christmas, and the last thing to be put away at New Years. I’ve placed a cross in the background that was hand-made for me by my friend, John Mitchell of Scotland. For even in that birthing moment, the Father knew what it would cost to redeem all of us. And He says you and I were worth it. Happy Christ-mas, all!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, December 15, 2015