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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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

The Day I Almost Lost A Friend {because of what I said}

forgiveness wordsJames said it best, that in all of creation, the tongue is the hardest thing to tame. We tame and train large wild animals, but cannot seem to control our own little tongue, one of the smallest things in the body. Made in the image of a God who created everything with His spoken word, we are created to speak in order to bring more space for love, peace, and blessing. It doesn’t always work out that way.

This week as I put the finishing touches on an article for the newspaper entitled, The Power of Our Words, I prayed briefly and reacted too quickly and without wisdom to a post I saw on social media and ended up hurting a friend.

While we’ve known each other for over 11 years and experienced working, learning, and praying together during a 2 year period, I leapt when I should have kneeled. Call it surprise, shock, or concern, my mouth went into gear before I had time to hear the Father clearly about how to respond. When we are stunned by something we see in another, that should be the very thing that leads us into prayer. We can never know the whole story by what is seen in one photograph.

So realizing the wound I’d caused, oh boy did I pray then! The Father reminded me of my heart for women and what He has called me to do, and how that can never step in front of the leading of His Spirit in my life. After all, it’s His Spirit who called me to teach and coach women with the truth of who they are in His eyes. So it is His Spirit I need to listen and obey.

When I contacted her, my friend shared more of the story, giving background information of which I was completely unaware, and helped me to understand. And whether or not I feel something may be wrong, doesn’t make it mine to help or correct. It was mine to seek God and then reach out to her. Because of my reaction, it was then mine to ask forgiveness and thankfully it was granted. We talked through it and our relationship is restored, hopefully, stronger than before. To know that I have a friend who gives grace and forgiveness is a treasure.

Another difficult lesson learned? Yes. I will never be a perfect friend, but I am a loyal and honest friend, so when my honesty hurts another it brings many tears to my eyes. I am also a friend who has learned to ask forgiveness. Making excuses or rationalizing over reasons why only waste precious time and deepen wounds.

And I also remember that I have an enemy who loves nothing more than to trap us and then shame us. In order to give the Lord the praise for this experience, I am sharing the story here with you. We certainly need our hearts to reflect the unfailing love of the Father that is sent out continually to us all and available night and day. As we grow deeper in Him, that becomes possible.

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Never let yourself get too big that you hinder a true apology coming from your heart when you’ve hurt another. Lessons like this are part of the journey and require courage of us. While another serving of humility may not taste very good, it is always good for the soul.

Glad for grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where my heart is recovering its joy. – And hey, remember when you’ve messed up, you also need to forgive yourself and let it go.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, May 5, 2016

Leadership Vacuums Gather All the Dirt

Is this familiar?

You’ve been asked to lead something – a task group at work, a bible study, or a committee – and when you try to take your position, others monopolize the time, the room, or the conversation. Every time. You come prepared, yet aren’t sure how to manage those you are supposed to be leading in order to accomplish the goal. If this has happened to you, then I need to let you know something: you’re not leading.

leadership vacuum, dirtWhere there is a leadership vacuum, something will always fill it. It’s usually a person with their own agenda, someone with other ideas, or that certain one who always needs the platform to let everyone else know something awful that happened in their life. Again. Your leadership vacuum is gathering all the dirt it can hold and will continue until you unplug it and assertively take your rightful place. (That’s not mean, that’s leadership.)

Leadership vacuums gather all the dirt. – Robin Lewis

In 1995, I was hired for a ministry position on a local church staff. Due to personal issues, the pastor had resigned 2 months prior. I watched as several strong personalities sought to fill the leadership role in order to influence the direction of the church. The Deacons finally hired a temporary administrator who had no tact, did a lot of damage, yet who still had to fight off others who wanted to further their own agenda. It was a circus for several months until a permanent pastor who was a strong leader was found.

One of my coaching clients called this morning with a similar problem. She leads a bible study group at her church where a few individuals are frequently sharing about their problems as prayer needs and consuming the time scheduled for bible study. Her concern that she should have compassion and her pause in leadership created space for something else. This particular client is a strong leader in business, community, and family, yet sometimes struggles to know how to keep order in the bible study group. As we talked, I shared with her that she isn’t truly leading and that has created a leadership vacuum and others are filling it! We discussed offering options to the group from the beginning of the study time and she decided to lead in the future by letting them know they would be focusing on bible study. If they had a prayer need, they were welcome to share it with her afterwards, that she would be available for 20 minutes, or they could email the prayer request. Then without hesitation, she will then begin the bible study she has worked to prepare.

This method is not mean, it’s leadership! And it’s good leadership because the participants are going to receive what they showed up for (bible study) and go home on time. It gives the option to remain to share a prayer need in a specific block of time so that the leader isn’t there until midnight (Because that is what a good Christian should do? Not!) or send a detailed email.

Leadership is not a method used to control others (founded on fear). Leadership influence, trust,  order, and healthy boundaries. Leadership is characterized by honor, respect, and serving those you lead (founded on love). Leadership isn’t developed in a day but in the day-to-day. A person who cannot be led will never lead others. If you are in a position of leadership, you are tasked to lead. If you don’t know how or are unsure of your direction, then find a mentor. In my nearly 30 years of ministry and business, I’ve seen many individuals lead poorly and a few lead well. I’ve learned from both. Because I want to be effective in all I do, I continue to keep great mentors in my life.

Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness. – John Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Age is not a determining factor! If you’re older, it doesn’t mean you’re a leader and if you’re young, you’re not disqualified. If you currently hold a leadership position or would like to one day, become a lifelong learner on leadership. Then you will be able to lead effectively and mentor others as future leaders.

I coach women of all ages and work with teenage entrepreneurs up to seasoned people who are still seeking to grow. I happily recommend John Maxwell’s book mentioned above because his writing is based on biblical principles of leadership.

vacuum, 3 stooges

There will always be those seeking to take or weaken your leadership position – and yes, even in the church. Learn how to stand firm with assertiveness, great communication, and remember to pray to become the leader God created you to be.

Without wise leadership, a nation (church, business, or community)  falls; there is safety in having many advisers. – Proverbs 11:14

You were created in God’s image. That means you are here to influence and lead, but you can only lead with what you have. Never stop learning and never be satisfied with your personal growth level. Maintain a growth plan and keep pursuing your potential and your passion. Your leadership will follow the line of your destiny and if you seek to live your life with God leading you, instead of gathering all the dirt, you will succeed.

Lots of grace for the journey!

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is shining brightly after a thunderous rain!

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

Robin 4

 

For more on leadership, spiritual life coaching, or to book me to speak at your event, email me: robinlewiswords@gmail.com.

Please visit my homepage for more info on my Coaching, Speaking, and Writing! Your life and journey hold incredible significance and purpose. Book your FREE coaching session today – no strings attached, I promise! My clients are exceeding their goals in growth, change, and relationships! Come be part of my team and see where your progress takes you!

 

The Jesus Who Surprises Me – an artistic expression

There have been so many times in my life that my circumstances obscured my vision and I wondered if the Lord was still with me. Of course, as I waited and kept breathing, He would show me that He had been there all the time.

When you are faced with sudden disaster or feel as if you have been sinking for years in quicksand, when you don’t know the way forward, and when nothing is lighting the next step, just remember that He is with you. He is teaching you to trust Him. He has promised to never leave you. And He is doing a mighty inner work! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith in Him, the Jesus who surprises and appears in moments.

“Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on God.” {Isaiah 50:10}

There’s lots of grace for the journey,

Robin 

From the desk by the window on a breezy March day in the South.

conquer, wall, fear, goalsSpiritual Life Coaching is available for women. Get your FREE / no strings Introductory Session today! Are you really living the life the Father created for you to live? Are you experiencing fulfillment, freedom, and joy in every area of your life?

Let’s talk about unpacking what holds you back and “repacking” for the Sozo Life you were meant to live. Sozo Life Coaching is confidential and inspiring! Email me today: robinlewiswords@gmail.com or call (843) 319-5390. You are already amazing!