April 13th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too!


Thanks so much for coming by for a quick moment of truth at Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I hope you are experiencing victories this week!

Are you going through something that seems hopeless? Do you feel like you’re not being heard by the One you hope in? If we’re honest, it’s really hard to walk by faith sometimes and walk blindly, so instead we live bumping into depression and frustration, uncertain of our destination. Join us to learn how to live a life fueled by hope, free from anger, especially in those circumstances that send us scurrying and worrying.

I truly look forward to working with you

Evinda

P.S. Join me today at 10:00 PST for Coffee Hour Live to learn how to love the unlovable! If you can’t watch at 10, just click on it and watch at your convenience.

April 12th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

His Unchanging Changes Everything!

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Thanks so much for joining us for Coffee Hour and Wednesday’s Word @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I can’t wait to share with you how this scripture came to life for me just days ago. My prayer is that it encourages your heart in whatever circumstance that you are in, especially those circumstances that you believe may change everything for the not-so-good! Grab your coffee, your strand of faith and let’s go tie some knots in our faith. I’ll be picking up from where we left off on Monday’s Mantra.

When I got my job assignment on Friday for the following Monday, it was for my favorite L.A. firm with the infamous attorney who represents authors and agents, and the case I was assigned to just happened to be one of his, but the deposition notice said he wasn’t taking the deposition; one of his colleagues was.

It was actually an interesting case, and the witness was actually Jeff’s client. A guy from Germany who has invented this really cool thing – I can’t divulge what it is but I can say it comes out in January 2018. He was a really good witness and after the deposition we got to talking. He was bragging about how good his attorney is.

“I know,” I replied. “I’m trying to get him to help me because one of my publishers who published three of my books is going out of business and now I’m out of a publisher. I need to talk to him!” I sounded desperate to my own ears.

“You need to get him as your attorney,” he affirmed.

No kidding, I muttered to myself. I began to daydream about creative ways to get Jeff’s attention, and the witness brought me out of my creative fog as he recounted an interaction with him and Jeff.

We both laughed about Jeff’s aggressive attorney style and agreed that he really fights for his clients, though sometimes a bit too much. Then this witness said something that about knocked me over because I felt the wind go out of me, like the helium out of a balloon. “The only reason I got him is because Kevin Costner is one of my investors in this project and he represents Kevin Costner.”

No wonder he won’t talk to me, I thought to myself, along with about a hundred other negative thoughts. This changes everything, I remember thinking, as I numbly began packing up my equipment, wanting only to get the heck out of there and have me a talk with Abba. And then all of a sudden, the door opens. Guess who walks in? Yup, Jeff!

They shook hands and Jeff even gave him a side hug. He looked at his colleague and then did a quick cursory look at me and then something like recognition twitched in his eyes and he said, “Hey, how are you?”

“Good.” I didn’t waste a second and didn’t care if I sounded desperate. “I so need to talk with you, just 15 minutes of your time, because I know you’re really busy.”
“I know; I know.”
His client had handed him the product sample and before he opened the box I slipped in another plea.

“Are you going to be around tomorrow?”
He hesitated, holding the box up and removing the lid, “Yeah, I’ll be around tomorrow.”

“Can I call you tomorrow?”

“Sure.”
I finished packing up, went and visited the little girls’ room and as I was walking back towards the conference room, they were walking out.  I said a friendly good-bye and added, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

I grabbed my stuff and headed for the elevator on auto pilot. I was numb, in a way, and yet, to me, it explained why we hadn’t talked. I mean for Pete’s sake, he represents Kevin Costner and what in the world does he want to talk to Evinda Lepins for? The best way to describe how I felt is by just having you envision a helium balloon whose helium was evaporating at a more than normal rate of speed. I was so discouraged, frustrated and to be honest, a bit humiliated. Talk about a huge piece of humble pie! Maybe I’m just not good enough was a thought that accompanied me all the way home on the train. By the time I got in my car, I had put it to rest…until the next morning in my quiet time, my own coffee hour with God.

I voiced my questions, cried out my frustrations, feeling hard-pressed like that olive, knowing something good had to come out of this, but not sure what at this point. I really kept thinking this changes everything. I told God “I don’t want to hope anymore; I’m so close to throwing in the towel, especially when I compare myself to others who seem to have hundreds of likes and views without so much effort. And now I don’t even have a publisher for three of my books. How does one promote the message without promoting themselves?” I fired all of this at Him and then added, “I KNOW YOU KNOW MY HEART, GOD and while I’m not doing this to be famous, I’d love a little help here!”

As you can surely tell, I was getting pretty deep into my pity party, and then, in the depths of my soul, I felt a stirring of my faith and it whispered louder than all my frustrations: “I am the same today as I was yesterday and this doesn’t change anything, including My plan for your books.”

Well, that was a sweet but serious slap on the behind! He talked to me the way I talk to my transformers. It was like hearing an echo as He reminded me, as I have reminded them; that when circumstances happen beyond our comprehension, He doesn’t get knocked off His throne…for nothing; He never changes and because of His unchanging love, this really does change everything…for the better!

Coffee Hour friend, what are you going through that you feel has changed everything in a bad way? Can I encourage you to change your focus and lift it to the One who is still in control, serving you by working ALL things for your good and His glory?

Join me tomorrow for Thursday’s Trench Truth and for Coffee Hour Live where we will be discussing step 3 to Loving the Unlovable!

Love,

Evinda

April 11th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation Too

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Tuesday’s Trench Truth @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in for a quick moment of truth…just you and me

So how are your relationships going? Are any of them taking you to a place of frustration and desperation? Oh, Coffee Hour friend, we were meant to thrive in life and love, not just survive.

Chances are, your hope hinges on something or someone who keeps sending your hope out the door! Join us to learn how to have healthy relational expectations that fuel us with hope and free us from anger!

Sign up today 🙂

Looking forward to the journey with you

Evinda

P.S. Join me Thursday at 10:00 PST for Coffee Hour Live and let’s go through step 3 together of loving the unlovable!

April 10th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Nothing Knocks Him off His Throne!

Thanks for joining us today for Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. Have I got a story for you…one that needs to be broken into two coffee hours, so grab your break-time beverage and join me for some moments that changed everything for me but nothing for He who looks to and fro looking for hearts that are looking for Him in every situation (Zechariah 2:13).

Have you ever had something happen and thought to yourself, this changes everything? I have, and too many times to count. And to be honest, most of the time when I’ve thought that, it hasn’t been with a positive perspective, but when I fast forward the reel of my life, wow, am I amazed at this truth: While something happened to change everything for me, it has never or never will change who He is and His plan for my life!

Did I ever share with you how I became a court reporter? It’s a pretty interesting story, now that I look back on its origin and compare it to my present season. I was 12 years old, called to testify against my step-dad (the molester) and my mom. I remember sitting to the left of the judge one day, and to the right of him the next day. It was that first day that I saw her. She was fairly close to me. In fact, if I bent over I could have tapped her on the shoulder…and I did. I remember telling her, “When I grow up, I want to be a court reporter.” It took me a long time to “grow up,” but about 17 years after seeing that court reporter, I became one!

Fast-forward to my current season: I’m working two to three days a week as a freelance court reporter, and I go into Los Angeles at least one of those days. There is a law firm that I often go to that happens to be one of the largest in the world, and I have a pretty good reputation and relationship with several of the attorneys. Most of them know my passion is writing and teaching. In fact, there are three attorneys from three different departments within the firm that have said you really need to talk to our guy who represents authors and agents. That was nine months ago and the possibility of meeting him gave me hope!

To make a long story short, in November I was working with an attorney who is a monster on the record, but a genuinely nice guy off the record. Not many reporters volunteer to work with him. He can be so incredibly sarcastic and aggressive on the record; that’s his style and the way he does his best for his clients and because I’ve had several conversations with him off the record, I can say he’s really a nice guy. This particular day was no exception; he was going at the witness; I call it poking the bear…ever so softly at first and then harder and harder and harder until the poor guy was backed into a corner and Presto! He lied about something! J J

On a recess, Jeff and I talked about his methods, and he actually confided in me what he had done – which of course I can’t divulge, but anyway, the conversation got steered toward this mysterious attorney I needed to meet who represents authors and agents. “Jeff, everyone keeps telling me about this attorney that represents authors and agents. Can you make the connection for me?”

He looks at me with his piercing blue eyes and says one word: “Why?”

I sputtered and stuttered…”Because I’m a published author and I need some representation.”
He looked as surprised by my statement as I was by his question. “Well, then we gotta talk. Let’s talk after the deposition.”

When the deposition was complete, we were all pretty exhausted and as he left the room, I asked him if I could just give him a call the next day. “Yeah, give me a call.” And he left.

The next day, we played telephone tag; he was the last one tagged and he hasn’t tagged back. In the months that followed, I’ve gone to the firm at least six times. I have talked with his assistant, several of his colleagues and was even escorted back to his office one day, determined to get a few minutes of his time only to discover he had just left for an attorneys retreat!

I was disappointed, of course, and yet, I had this peace, knowing that it just wasn’t His timing yet, and that it didn’t change a thing for Him.

Join me Wednesday for the conclusion to this journey with the attorney…and in the meantime remember Thursday’s Coffee Hour live at 10:00 PST!

Love,

Evinda

April 7th, 2017

Faith Filled Friday

Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday…

 

So when is failure really failure? Is it the moment we fall? Is it the moment someone else crosses the finish line first? I think we as a society tend to look at one another and subconsciously judge them as failures. We don’t see the time they’ve invested, the sweat of their hard work. We don’t know how many times they have fallen and gotten back up. I have lived a pretty hard life of constantly falling, yet I never fail. Why? Because no matter how long or hard it is to get back up, I get back up. People looking at me seem to always have suggestions and answers yet they never invest the time to get to know me or see the progress I make, though at a much slower pace than most.

So again I ask the question when is ‘failure’ really failure? I know if I looked at failing when I fall, I’d still be down. I won’t lie; I used to think I pretty much failed at everything I attempt to tackle. But inch by inch I get there. Do I wish I could do things faster, correct the first time, better than most? ABSOLUTELY! But I have to be OK with myself at my own pace. I cannot judge myself based on others.

 

I so remember my school days of everyone else reading through the homework quickly and I was left sitting there to read and re-read the paragraphs over and over again. It was so disheartening. I just know that a person is not failing till he or she refuses to keep at it. If anything, falling is a wake-up call to motivate the mind.

As this mind has become older I have learned to start re-gauge each moment, thought and expression not only for myself, but toward others. I certainly don’t see things or even myself the same way I used to in my 20’s, 30’s or maybe even yesterday. Every moment in life is full of moments to succeed at everything. I am doing my best to rethink things and not always be so affected or feel so down by the way I see, think or hear people critiquing me. Far too much of my life has been about trying to make everyone happy around me.

 

I have always loved to bring plants back from the brink of peril. I can think back to my boyhood and when I saw a plant that someone tossed out while out on a walk I’d grab it because something in me wanted to help the plant not only live on but to grow to something better. I once moved to a home where the plant in the front yard was quite small and it looked dead. The tips of the plant in fact were dead, no leaves to be found. But after scraping the plant near its base I found it to still be alive. My landlord wanted to just rip it out but I convinced him and his wife to let me try and see what I could do with it.

Year after year it got better and better. It started growing again; some years it retreated. But I kept at it. Before I moved out and after 10 to 11 years of living there it was beautiful. It had come to even be drought-resistant. When it bloomed I felt so amazing and full of satisfaction. I find these things in these moments that most don’t seem to care much about. But that’s ok, for it’s my effort and my satisfaction I guess that counts, and I share that with the other half of the moment with that plant now. We did something together. Sure it’s just a plant to some people, but to me… well, I see an extension of myself and something I did in the world. It’s how I succeed; it’s how I grow but most importantly it’s how I love.

The other day my old neighbor sent me a picture of the plant. It was looking so vibrant and doing so well. It’s nice to see something I took the time to love and care for keep going strong. I am not always so blessed like that. Attached you will see the picture. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Keep at it everyone! Things might not be around the next corner; in fact they might be around several corners later.

 

 

Much love,

 

 

 

April 6th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth & Invitation Too

Thanks so much for joining me for a little break from it all! Come on in for a moment of truth and an invitation, too!

That which has our focus has our heart! Did you know there are five things we tend to put our hope in…even us “believers”? Join us to learn how to live a life fueled by hope and free from anger that disappointments can often cause!


 

And don’t forget to join me today at 10:00 PST for Coffee Hour Live to talk about this truth: Just as hurt people hurt people, troubled  people stir up trouble! If you can’t join me live, that’s okay; watch it when you can, and then share it if you like what you heard. Help us get the message of hope and help out to the masses!

 

April 5th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

When the Answer Doesn’t Feel Like an Answer

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him” (her} “in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he” (she} “trusts in you.”

Welcome to Wednesday’s Word and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m delighted you could join us today for a little break and hopefully some fresh perspective on a Biblical principle and promise! Grab your coffee, and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots together in our faith, so when life gets tough, and it usually does, we won’t come unraveled!

I hung up the phone and literally sobbed. “I just don’t get it, Lord” I cried. “Am I just not good enough?” I challenged Him, yet feeling maybe that really is the answer,  especially after listening to the literary agent of a Christian publishing firm that charges thousands of dollars to publish a book, even if it’s been published by a company who is now going out of business.

Our conversation played over and over in my head: The publishing world is changing; everyone is going over to self-publishing. You’ve got to keep building your platform. You can’t stop now. Gone are the days of getting a check before you even write your next book.  These statements spun around and around in my head like a load of laundry on a heavy spin cycle.

And in the midst of the cycle, I dared to ask her if agents ever signed any of their authors, to which she replied no, and then added, even if there is a chance of getting picked up by an agent and/or a traditional publishing house, of which there are now only three in the world, you would have to keep your platform going before that could even happen.

That statement collided with a statement my editor from New York told me just a month prior: “Your social media platform has become every bit as important as what you write, and in some cases, even more important.”  He didn’t have to say it, but his not returning my calls in the days that followed told me my social media numbers weren’t good enough.

And then there’s the attorney I work for sometimes who represent agents and writers who when he sees me says, “Yeah, I know, we need to talk; we will, we will.” And I am still waiting.

Just that morning I had finally found my files for the three books that have been published, which was actually a great relief because without those, I can’t get them republished. I had managed a not-so-thorough look several weeks ago and couldn’t find them. And because I didn’t want to deal with the possibility of not having them, I buried the chore in the sand of my zillions of thoughts, wanting to forget about it, hoping for something miraculous to happen to change my circumstances while trying not to focus on my circumstances.

What do we do in those seasons of wait? Where is our focus? I have learned, and re-learned and un-learned so much about this that you would think I wouldn’t have any problems waiting…but I am human and honestly, I began to struggle again, and we will struggle, Coffee Hour Friend, if we don’t learn to take Him at His Word!

When I dared to sit still the day after the conversation with the Christian publishing company, Isaiah 26:3 came to me. And then I thought I heard a little whisper: When something does happen, you won’t be able to deny who it is that made it happen.

When I focus on my troubles, I am not at peace; my thoughts are like a raging sea vying for my attention. Where our focus is, there we will find our heart! Oh, my goodness, conviction just washed over me. I’m so sorry, Abba, because I don’t want my heart to be anywhere but hidden in You.

Maybe you’re going through something that looks and feels hopeless. Where is your focus? Is it on the hopelessness of it all, the situation itself? As crazy as this sounds maybe it’s supposed to look hopeless so when an answer does come, you won’t be able to deny “Who” brought it. Where is your mind and/or heart stayed, Friend?
Love,

Evinda

 

April 4th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth & Invitation Too

Thanks for joining us for Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too at Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United.

When someone else’s actions are causing us distractions…in other words, taking up space in our thoughts/heads without paying rent, this is a problem. What is at the root of the problem? One thing it could be is unrealistic expectations.

When someone lets you down, do you fall down…or move forward? Join us for our next session of Transform, Living Fueled by Hope Free from Anger and let’s learn about healthy relational expectations that build up relationships instead of tearing them down!

April 3rd, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

 

 

Everyone Needs Hope

Thanks for joining me for Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I found this true story from over a year ago and I thought it was perfect to re-share it as it goes hand in hand with our upcoming class on learning how to live fueled with hope and free from anger. After all, everyone needs hope…at least the Author of Hope! Grab your coffee and come on in for a break from it all.

Last year, I met a young girl who I don’t think I’ll ever forget. She’s young, pretty, and looked so sweet, and still a little innocent. As I was setting up my machine and laptop, my client came in and was talking to the girl’s attorney and I heard the words “coroner’s report.” My heart skipped a beat when I realized what she had said. It meant we were going to be doing a wrongful death case.

The two attorneys walked out of the conference room, and I did something that I almost NEVER do – and am certainly not allowed to do. I began to ask her questions about the case. OMG, did I get an earful. I kept watching to see if the attorneys were going to come in because it doesn’t look so good for the witness to be telling the court reporter all about the case before we’re even on the record.

Her eyes welled up as she explained that they were in a drive-thru after a party, “and I’d been drinking,” she paused, “too much,” she admitted, and one of the guys in their car had slapped the guy driving who was at that time her boyfriend, and he turned around to slap him back. When he did that, he took his foot off the brake. In three seconds, they bumped the car in front of them. Well, this girl knew the people in that car so she got out and they talked. They agreed to get their food and get out of the drive-thru and then they’d pull over and work it out. She got back in her car, thinking it was all going to be okay… until one of the guys in the car that had been hit got out and came toward her car and began to take pictures with his cell phone.

Well that pushed the wrong button in her and she got out and pushed the guy. When her then boyfriend saw this go on, he got out of the car and came toward the guy she was pushing, intent on protecting her and intimidating this other guy. The guy she was pushing was about five-five and her boyfriend/protector was six-four. He hauled off and hit him a few times, and smaller guy falls to the ground. That caused the fight or flight response and they took off.

Two days later, the police show up on their doorstep – she was living with this guy – and they arrest him, and take her in and interrogate her for almost five hours – it took so long because she lied to protect him. To make that long story short, at the end of the interrogation, another officer comes in and informs her she’s under arrest for the murder of….

She’s released out on bail awaiting trial, goes thru the trial and is taken back into custody shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. She spent eight months doing hard time in County Jail, all because she fell for the wrong guy, drank way too much at a party, and just like that, her life is changed forever. The father of her child is now serving a nine-year sentence, but that will never bring this other guy back to life.

I can only imagine how the mother of the boy who died must feel. So much pain caused without rhyme or reason.

I sat there, speechless after she recounted it all. I checked the hallway again anxiously and begin to share with her that no matter how bad things looked, that God could take it and make it into something beautiful later on, if she would let Him. Her tears started flowing again. I said, “I’m not just here as a court reporter; I’m here to encourage you.” I went on to share a couple of my own tragedies, and though I have never been a part of a manslaughter-type crime, I went on to assure her that He uses all things in the tapestry of our life, weaving them together into something beautiful like only He could do. We just need to believe and accept His love for us.

I heard the attorneys approaching and I quickly gave her a favorite promise of mine: “He will restore what the locusts have stolen, that time you lost while serving time.”

This incident reiterates for me that there are so many people out there in need of hope today, no matter what they’ve done. Hope changes our direction and a changed direction means a changed life.

Have a great Monday and if you know of anyone in need of hope, pass this along and let them know of our upcoming class.

Blessings

Evinda

March 31st, 2017

Faith-Filled Friday

Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday.

 

Yesterday I watched a documentary about a man who had lost his face as a result of doing his job as a fire fighter. He was accustomed to running into the flames to save a life but one day it all changed and he was the one who would end up fighting for his own life. Years later found him with no face, no eye lids, nose or even ears. How does one get used to that? His family had gotten used to him wearing glasses and hats to hide the damage that the unforgiving flames had taken from him.

 

Years later he was approached by a doctor who had told him that they had been looking for a candidate to do a face transplant. He immediately was on board but it was most risky:  there was a 50/50 chance of survival. They would have to wait for a perfect candidate and one day it happened. A younger man had been killed in an accident and his mother wanted his organs and yes his face to be used for good like her son had previously discussed with her. So the face transplant was a go.

 

It took an entire day for this surgery and months of therapy for his facial muscles to help try and make facial expressions.

 

I can’t help but find this a beautiful story. The man was so thankful for a new face. It wasn’t perfect with issues of making facial expressions but he was so happy that he had ears, eye lids and a nose again, to not stand out in the crowd. His family was so incredibly happy for him as well.

 

I can’t help but wonder how he sustained himself through such dark times, how his faith was truly tested. Yet through all of that, he had a family that stood by him. They loved, cared and nursed this man back to life. It wasn’t just a face, but a feeling of being completely grateful for something that all of us could not even imagine. I can’t help but feel inspired by this man and his story, and if I’m honest, a bit envious of the love from his family to help him endure. We should all be so lucky to have such love and bond to family.

 

Life surely is too short to not appreciate something as simple as our very face and our expressions that come from it but ultimately start from the abyss deep within. Let us be thankful for all the things we have, even that which we perhaps don’t even think of.

Thankful,

John