Coffee Can Be a Spiritual Experience

laptop coffee old tableI live again in the little town in which I grew up, a small farm-to-market town with a few stores and a great sense of community. After having lived away and been exposed to “big city things” I can sometimes find the local grocery store a bit of a challenge, but that’s OK. Except for the coffee.

My younger daughter worked as a barista at some great coffee shops when we lived in Tampa and Greensboro. That’s when I realized there was a lot more to coffee than the Maxwell House I’d grown up knowing. I learned about the power of the bean! The organic, fairly traded, and freshly roasted bean from Kenya remains my favorite. The oils on top of the French Press cup, the deep aroma, the earthy flavor with notes that linger, combined with honey and half and half make for a satisfying and rewarding cup of coffee. I’m spoiled – been called a coffee snob – but I know what I’ve experienced!

I’ve found it’s the same in my spiritual life. The God I grew up knowing in the same small town was taught about with faithfulness from the pastors who shared all they knew, but it wasn’t until my own relationship with God began to deepen and grow, until I experienced more of the Holy Spirit for myself, and had more real peace and joy did I understand that there was more to know and hold.

I have sought after God finding that He alone is my source of wisdom and revelation, and I’ve discovered an intimate relationship with Him where I can tell Him anything. Seriously, anything. After experiencing different forms of abuse and trauma, I find He has set me on my feet with a life of purpose. You may ask why I think I need more than what I was given as a child. That’s where the Kenyan coffee compares to the Maxwell House. To experience God is to find that life has more flavor and a sweet aroma, and just when I think He can’t show me anymore, He always does, speaking to my heart in a way I can understand and then encouraging me to share the truth about Him and all that unconditional love He has ready.

So now that I’ve come to know that God is more than a Bible story, and Jesus is more than a Savior, I am just beginning to live the restored, fulfilling, “Sozo” kind of life that was supposed to be mine all the time.  And I know what I’ve experienced!

Be satisfied with a “Maxwell House God”? Sorry, I can’t do that now. When I have been exposed to more richness and fullness in my soul, more identity and purpose about why I am here, when I’ve learned to hear God’s voice, why would I want to return to the way things used to be? Why would I ask for less than what is available for me? I want all the flavor, aroma, and purpose for a life that is mine to live well.

Don’t you have a responsibility to yourself to learn how to live your one life well? No one can do it for you, but…

You can have it, too! For more about how you can live a fulfilling life of significance and worth, send me an email today at robinlewiswords@gmail.com. My brand of encouraging life coaching and speaking topics can help. Your one life is worth it! Contact me today!

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window on a Monday full of sunshine and a tender heart for you.

banner cropped for constant contact(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, August 10, 2015. (Reposted August 18, 2016)

 

2 Minutes of Self Awareness

journal believe
Journal – If I am not aware of what I’m actually doing in a day, then it’s very hard to change my life consistently. To become more aware, it helps to examine my time. I can remember that God is involved to help expose any false or unbalanced responsibility I may have placed on myself. Then I can take steps to remove it so that my life can become more productive and peaceful.

I can become more aware of His work in me by stopping to examine my thoughts and emotions, asking Him about it, and trusting Him to do in me what is needed for growth.

I can become more aware of how I’m walking through a day by measuring something. What we measure, we improve. Not a measuring stick of judgment, but of love that increases what I want in my life.

I can make and keep appointments with myself to accomplish my goals instead of just hoping something happens. My real life example…

Read & understand a Bible passage or devotional
Spend 10 minutes with the Lord with an open heart

Walk 30 minutes
Read 20 inspiring pages
Record 5 God gifts in my gratitude journal
Work on my current writing project, measuring progress
Connect with 3 people

These are things that help build me, encourage my heart towards God, and help me become my truest self as I walk with Him each day. As false things are removed, my truest self is uncovered. With a more solid personal foundation, I will produce what is authentically me. That leads to more personal freedom.

Always comfortable? Of course not. Growth is not automatic and isn’t easy. Pursuing growth of who God created me to be is always worth it. This is how we come to thrive. This is how we come to live a more simple but fulfilling life.

“Grow my spirit, grow my soul,

Dig in deep and make me whole.

Nurture every living part

You created from the start. “

The grass is always greener where you water it. What steps should you take, what goals should be in place for you to become more of who YOU are created to be? Keep it simple, but kick it up a notch. You want to reach your goals so eliminate from your life what doesn’t need to use up any more precious time and get serious. And most importantly, remember you are greatly loved.

Loads of grace,
Robin

From the desk by the window where I am feeling incredibly thankful.

(C) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership LLC August 2, 2016

Keynotes, Workshops, & Certified Life Coaching are available – send an email to robinlewiswords@gmail.com for more info and visit my Services page.

Blessings on your day! Remember, to be self-aware is to know how to change in order to be more productive. So kick it up a notch!change, purpose, goals

Trying to be Something I’m Not

woman mirrorLiving in the world can cause you can take on a wrong idea about who you are, almost like a false identity that’s uncomfortable, like an itchy sweater, because it’s not the real you, the God-designed you. Many times this starts by what we learned from our parents, teachers, culture, or media, or by wanting approval and acceptance from others. If you’re concerned about disappointing certain people in your life or looking to others to know who you are, you are placing yourself in a type of prison where the real you steps back and is hidden by an impostor. What you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside. 

The Father wants you to recognize this false self and the wrong expectations you live under. He can “take the chains off” that connect you to a wrong need of other people. He is the only place, the only one who can surround you and heal you, to set you free. He wants you to become the unique, amazing, and precious person He created. He never expects you to try to fill the roles that others plan for you. He can see through the false self that’s been created and into the glorious future He plans for your life. And He wants you to know the truth: you have no rival. No one rivals you in His eyes. His enormous love is the same, and just as huge, for you as for any other.

You never have to compete or comply with the demands or requests of others to feel safe or have what you need. Your Father knows what you need. You can come to Him and ask for healing in all your relationships, and let the truth of who you are renew your mind so that your thoughts about you agree with what the Father says is true. Receive the blessing of His security, acceptance, and affirmation of who you are.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1 NIV

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 NLT

affirmation, live, authentic, lifeThe Father wants you to know that He doesn’t want you to be weakened by the souls of other people. He did not create you for that. Remain strong in Him by staying close to Him. His Fathering of you will be complete and perfect and He will set you free. There’s always grace and safety for the real you in the Father’s embrace…just like you are.

Let your heart respond to your Father’s thoughts about you…

Much love,

Robin

From the desk by the window where sunshine and a cool breeze beckon and the dog is wanting to go for a walk. Be back later.

yay, celebrate

Spiritual Life Coaching is available for women with Robin Lewis – robinlewiswords@gmail.com or (843) 319-5390. You never know how high you can soar until you begin to spread your wings! Contact Robin today for your FREE 30 minute introductory call! Don’t wait, dear one, this is your time!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 30, 2016

Thanks, Mary Crimmins & Learning to Become Fully Alive, for the image.

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

 

Want more?

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.

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

SUMMER COACHING SESSIONS – HALF PRICE SPECIAL

For a limited time, sign up for a 3-month coaching program at half-price!
Here’s the deal:

(2) 1-hour sessions per month for 3 months – at half-price
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Comes with text, email, and phone support to help you change your life,
meet your goals, and draw closer to God.

Call or email today for more information: (843) 319-5390  –  robinlewiswords@gmail.com

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.