June 14th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

Dressed to Impress…or Eternal Success?

Colossians 3:12

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Thank you for joining me for Wednesday’s Word & Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United.  Summer is in full swing, huh?!

It was a workday and I stood in my closet in Yucaipa, California trying to anticipate what the weather would be like later on in Los Angeles. Hmmm, I wondered aloud, what to wear? I was trying to focus on the task at hand, but my head was wrapped around a new discovery: someone who I thought was a friend had un-friended me on Facebook and I was just a bit irritated! J I don’t want to give the enemy any more credit, so I won’t elaborate on this, but I am certain that you understand the feeling of rejection followed by frustration when this type of thing happens on social media. What a way to go into your day, huh? And yet, there is the fact that everyone is given freedom of choice, and we are not His puppets on a piece of string dangling from heaven. Oh, sometimes don’t you wish others were? J

As my hands ran through the hangers of clothes, my mind was racing, and yet there was a smile on my face because that earlier discovery of rejection did not overtake me, nor did I give in to the temptation to message that person to ask what the heck or defend myself. Instead, I actually put her first on my prayer list for the day. J

Oh, back to the “what-to-wear” dilemma!

I was preparing for an all-day video deposition, so I knew I’d need to not only feel comfortable but confident. Video depositions are quite a bit more challenging because you have to get every “okay,” every “hmmm,” every false start, and every sound, which can be challenging to write, let alone spell on our little court reporting machine. J J

My eyes skimmed over a couple of skirts, and I pulled a couple of sleeveless blouses off the hangers to see how they would look, and then a colorful sweater to finish each of the outfits off. I put my first choice on…and didn’t like it at all! Then I put the second choice on, and it just didn’t do anything for me. “Ugh, is it going to be one of those days?” I groaned aloud.

I hung them all back up and went back into my closet and gave one more glance at my skirts. I saw my pleated navy blue with off-white polka dots, quickly picked out a crème colored lacey top, and grabbed a navy blue sweater off its hanger and determined to like it. Wisdom has taught me to give more attention to how I am dressed internally than externally, and I can really work myself in a tailspin if I spend too much time in my closet.

My thoughts returned to the day ahead. As I get older, I’ve noticed that there are times that it takes a lot more energy to remain patient with attorneys and witnesses. You would think that with almost 27 years of experience that wouldn’t be the case, but then again, it’s just more opportunity for me to rely on Him, and invite Him into the deposition with me.

I quickly did my makeup, and hair, and then put on the outfit I had chosen, grabbed my blue strappy pumps and headed downstairs with the words of wisdom in Colossians 3:12 echoing in the hallways of my heart and I am grateful for the reminder that while I may need to feel confident and comfortable in my earthly outfit, I truly need to dress for eternal success more than I need to dress to impress.

I can be confident not because of what I wear externally, but because HIS word says I am dearly loved and I had spent the time I needed with Him that morning to be reminded of just that! Living like I am “dearly loved” will clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, even for those fast-talking witnesses and attorneys who sometimes cause me to want to throw my computer and run away. Something tells me that if I turn my focus on my eternal outfit, my external outfit won’t matter so much! I’m off for another day on the record!

Dressed for Eternal Success,

Evinda

 

June 13th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too!

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth, and Invitation, too @ Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. Come on in for what I hope will be an eye-opening truth for you!
In class last week we began the root of rage…and one of my leaders shared that many people couldn’t relate to the word “rage” because they don’t consider themselves to have rage, per say. He felt the word was a bit harsh, too strong. Well, that led into a beautiful open-group discussion and following along with the curriculum, we suggested trading the word “rage” for “anger” and then we shared some differences between the two.

Today, I’d like to share the first difference with you that I pray will help you determine if you have any seed of rage planting in your heart.

“Anger is temporary, usually situational whereas rage is ongoing and growing!”

Let me give you an example:  “All of us have gotten angry over something happening ‘in the moment,’ and when the situation is long gone, our anger goes with it. Rage is an over-the-top and excessive reaction having little or nothing to do with what has happened in the moment but more about things from the past.”

Rage is like an emotional pot where every hurt and/or wrong done to you gets added to this invisible pot and simmers and simmers until something else happens and then…poof, it boils over and everyone around gets burned!

So, Coffee Hour Friend, do you have an invisible pot simmering inside of you, or are you able to let it go?

One way to “cool off” would be to laugh! On that note, join us for a Night of Laughter and Squeaky Clean Comedy!

Hope to see you there

Evinda

June 12th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. It’s another Monday and hopefully our Monday’s Mantra will make Monday a fun day and not a mundane day! Grab your coffee and come on in.

Have you ever yearned for heaven, or wondered what it would be like? In our connection group last week, we were discussing heaven and there were a couple of very profound questions we had to share our answers to. One of the questions was what would we ask Him when we get there, and then what do we expect to be freed from once there.

It was a powerful discussion where we each shared transparently. Many of us had questions and a genuine lack of understanding about death and abuse of children. I mean we talked about some pretty emotionally excruciating tragedies that we all are either walking through or that our friends are walking through.

As I listened, tears in my eyes mirrored the tears in the eyes of everyone there.  I realized that oftentimes, in our humanness we want to understand these things, and the truth is that we cannot. We cannot wrap our brains around the why, or the how, much less know HIS thoughts and understand His ways. This is when faith is moved from “park” to “drive”!

The truth is:

Faith is not a denial of painful circumstances; it’s the ability to allow Him to work in and through the painful circumstances.

Coffee Hour Friend, are you going through something that is requiring you to take your faith out of park and move it into the drive position? He has much to reveal to us in His time, and one thing we can count on is that though we don’t understand now, we will then…when we are face to face with our Abba Daddy whose plan has always been to offer us a hope, not to harm us, to life us up, not beat us down.

Faith-ing thru the journey,

Evinda

 

June 9th, 2017

Faith Filled Friday

Welcome back to Faith Filled Friday. It’s good to have you back. 🙂

Yesterday I read something that really stood out to me. It said: “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” These words were a total gift for me. My entire lifetime I have wanted to help people, to be an instrument of love. I noticed at a young age it was the only way I ever really felt good. Seeing a smile on a person’s face was just a beautiful sort of motivation to me.

The more I thought about what I read, the more I realized that it’s not merely good intentions I am stitched back together with, but the very actions of love I have projected by helping my fellow man. I admit that at times I put down something I should have completed so that I could help another. Or I give so much I have little for myself…this can be a flaw, but I will always believe in my heart that God is pleased with me for following my heart in loving other’s…even perfect strangers.

In the end when stitches are pulled from their host we are left with scars that are not only visible on the exterior, but felt on the interior. These scars that span incredible distances and time are in fact the very teachers that carry sisterly lessons. Doesn’t Jesus carry the scars in the palms of his hands and feet? For some reason I find that comforting that Jesus walked, lived and even died amongst us for us. The older I get the more I realize just how special that really is.

Our inner and outer scars are surely reminders into marking and remembering the struggles in life we have been through. For me they are the bookmarks that tag the very chapters of survival through incredible fear, pain and heartbreak; still here, still living and most importantly, still loving. They bear witness in an innate ability to keep from turning jaded or bitter. How blessed I am to not turn to such things despite almost being the victim to it.

I will never be perfect, far from it. In fact I wear that transparency like a suit. And although scars are the bookmarks of celebration that we made it through, every breath of healing eventually brings me back to my favorite chapter of all: “Blessed to be Alive.”

~John

 

P.S. I shot this week’s picture while in the assistance of a little one that needed some help. These moments are surely gifts when you realize that God himself has trusted you with his precious wildlife. Several birds, ducks, horses, dogs, cats, a turtle & one seriously soft rabbit! All part of one huge blessing! 🙂

 

 

 

 

June 8th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, Too!



Happy Thursday! Thanks for stopping by for our moment of truth coffee hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Over the Memorial weekend, my husband and I traveled to Sacramento for the city’s traditional weekend-long jazz festival and the family’s traditional birthday party for mom (my mother in law). I’ve been in this family for almost 13 years now, and life always has something to teach me when I’m with them. This weekend was no exception. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know this before, but this particular weekend, it really hit me with a new sense of appreciation: This family loves to laugh…over anything and everything. And I thoroughly enjoyed laughing with them, being in the moments that took my breath away because I laughed so hard!

These words are inspired from that weekend and include an invitation for you to join us for a night of laughter!

Laughter…often unannounced, surprising, beautiful, and absolutely free

And yet it has no price tag when it takes up residence inside of you or me

And releases unabashedly, for others to see and involuntarily experience

Have you ever been captivated by laughter, giggled until you were delirious?

Oh, what a feeling of reckless freedom that makes you suddenly unaware

Uninhibited, ignorant to the stressors of life, not bound by a single care

It’s in those moments of time we gain our strength to face our tomorrow

No matter what the day may bring to us, even a measure of pain or sorrow

Laughter will be waiting to turn the tide in our next tomorrow

Join us for a funny fundraiser with Squeaky Clean Comedy!

Evinda

P.S. Join me today at 10:00 PST for Coffee Hour Live @ www.facebook.com/Evindalepins Let’s talk about what we want to talk about after this series of Loving the Unlovable!

 

June 7th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

Your Heart Can Beat against You!

     Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?

Thanks for joining us for Wednesday’s Word at Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power. Grab your coffee and your strand of faith. Trust me when I say that this Word definitely tied a knot in my faith…and in my heart!

Spiritual warfare is real! For weeks preceding our current trench class my heart has been heavy, and as we entered into this new trench, though I remain the main teacher, God has decided to take me back down in the trenches for more healing in a part of my life. The oppression has been incredibly real, which requires me to press in even harder, longer into my Jesus.

And when I do, one by one all of the silent questions I had been asking myself over the preceding weeks begin to surface, questions that planted seeds in my heart: “Why is this so hard?” “If this was really of/from God, surely I wouldn’t be this stressed out so maybe – well more than maybe — I’m on the wrong path.” “Maybe I made this whole crazy journey up. Maybe I’m supposed to just go back to working as a court reporter and forget this whole ministry thing.“Maybe since I’m having troubles of my own, I shouldn’t teach.”

Before long, I have filled my head with all sorts of negative thoughts, and it doesn’t take much time until my heart joined the party and had me buying them all as if they were truths. And then I began to “feel” these truths! What an incredibly sneaky process. The heart really can beat against you!

I love this truth that though whispered, cut through the dark with a bright ray of sunshine, filling my heart with hope:

God doesn’t call the perfect to any calling or ministry; He perfects those whom He calls!
The crazy part is how quiet the truth is. I wonder, does God whisper to me to quiet my brain so I can hear him?  Oh, no one knows me better than He does! But as soon as I get up and teach from the trench, all those lies fade into the atmosphere and disappear.

I just love how He ministers to us just the way we need it, when we need it for the reasons we need it! See, the heart only knows what we tell it so therefore, if we buy some lies and deposit them in there, the heart will take them, just like a thief, and deposit them into our emotional being and rob us of so much…so very much.

Are you catching what I’m throwing? Oh, let me tell you, Coffee Hour Friend, our hearts are quick to deposit every last one of those stinking-thinking thoughts we think, dropping them in there like a swooshed-in basket ball; nice and heavy they drop right in!  Before we realize what’s happening, our heart takes those lies to the bank, and robs us of all our joy, and strips us of our confidence in His purpose for our lives.

What sort of lies is your heart trying to get you to buy? Oh, that we wouldn’t even lend an ear to things that are not of Him, and not be fooled by the robber who waits to steal our joy and derail us from our calling. Instead, may we be a people that drop to their knees and give those lies up!

With my heart cleaned…

Evinda

P.S. Join me Thursday for Coffee Hour Live and Step 10 to Loving the Unlovable at 10:00 PST www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

June 6th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too

 

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, too! Come on in for a moment of truth.

Have you ever learned that your way of thinking was not accurate after vehemently thinking and/or voicing that it was? Oh, I have, Coffee Hour Friend, and too many times to count I’ve been served a nice large piece of humble shortly thereafter. I’ve learned that things are never as they seem and there’s always a bigger picture we don’t see.

The difference between black and white is not gray, but…GRACE!

Being stuck on one side of thinking can do more than lend itself to isolation; it can also leave you rigid and lonely. Everyone is entitled to their way of thinking, so when and if you strongly disagree with another’s way of thinking, don’t be all black, or all white, go in the middle where there is grace and give them some.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been given more than a cupful of grace, haven’t you? Because we’ve been given the precious gift of grace, we need to apply this truth: To much is given, much is required! In other words, why wouldn’t I want to share that which has been given to me…freely?

Join us for a weekend getaway to learn how!

Hope to see you there,

Evinda

P.S.  Join me Thursday for Coffee Hour Live and Step 10 to Loving the Unlovable at 10:00 PST www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

June 5th, 2017

Monday’s Musings/Mantra

                                                                                                       Is Your Love Alive?

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra @ Trench Classes United. Come on in for a few minutes and let’s explore this concept of love that is alive. I don’t know about you, but there are times in my “love” life that I need to be guided away from the propensity of falling into a rut instead of staying in love.

What do children, pets, plants, faith and love all have in common? They are alive and must be nurtured to be kept that way. What are the differences between children, pets, plants versus faith and love?

The first group is tangible, can be touched; the other two, faith and love, are things that most of us spend our lives pursuing, but not intangible by any means. When I think of the phrase, “Love is alive,” I can think of several analogies wherein that seems to be a true statement. Children, for example, are a good way to recognize that love truly is alive for if a child is not nurtured physically, it can die and if starved emotionally, it is crippled in more ways than one.

As a parent, we put their needs ahead of our own and care for them, nurture them, consistently, even when we don’t feel like it. We do it because our love for them motivates the actions. When they misbehave, we don’t send them away; hopefully we discipline them in love, and use their misbehavior as an opportunity to speak love into their life. This is love in action, love that is alive.

On the flipside of that, there is much to be learned from a child on the subject of love. Their love is not only alive, but so unconditional, so pure. Even though my son is twenty-six, every time I hear him say “I love you, mom,” my heart is squeezed.

Those of us who are pet lovers, don’t we go out of our way to care for them and provide for them, even when we don’t feel like it? Some of us even treat them like they’re people, talking to them as if they can understand what we’re saying, feeding them the leftovers from our plate and letting them sleep in bed with us. That is our love for them in action; in other words, it’s alive. And if you think about it, it is something we do day in and day out. We don’t even think about not caring for them, or not providing food and shelter for them. Our love spurs us into action.

Those of you who love to garden, or enjoy having plants in your home, again, you choose to care for those plants, to keep the weeds away from them, to feed and water them. Why? Because you enjoy what they bring so you continue to protect them so as not to lose the joy they bring you.

Your faith, though it is not necessarily something seen, is the same way; it needs to be fed daily. My faith happens to be in God so each and every morning I spend time feeding it, nurturing it, strengthening it so that in tough times, I am not so shaken. Instead, because my faith is alive, I am rewarded in more ways than I can count. If your faith is not fed, it will wax and wane with the wind.

So it is with love. It must be nurtured to grow. It cannot stay still and survive, but why is it when it comes to the kind of love we’re supposed to express and experience in our significant relationship, we tend to treat it like the air we breathe? We take it for granted. Isn’t that one significant relationship more important than a plant or a pet? Doesn’t that one significant love help us with our children, inspire our faith? I can’t help but wonder if we treated the one we love with a love that is alive, would there be fewer divorces? Wouldn’t life be a little easier with the one we love, less of a rut and more alive!

Father, stir it up in me, a love that is more alive than dead, a love that spreads, while speaking for itself.

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

P.S. Join me Thursday for Coffee Hour Live and Step 10 to Loving the Unlovable at 10:00 PST www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

June 2nd, 2017

Faith Filled Friday

Welcome back to Faith-Filled Fridays.

As a photographer, I have tried to tune my eyes and camera to hunt for things that are beautiful and appear to be the most free in this world. In this hunt, I have come to find an inner need to bring these small things that are often missed in the background of life to the forefront, to try and brighten the exposure just enough and show just where it was hidden and why it’s such a treasure to discover yet another gift from God above. I want to bring these things to the eyes of others, but it’s also important for me to bring feeling to the picture, or perhaps explain the feeling from the picture.

 

I have also found just how easy it is for us to miss these small things in the people we love. For example, the things people do in the background of our lives that for some reason we never notice or maybe we are living life so fast that we just don’t even feel.
How easy it is to find ourselves tuned out of the wavelength God wants us on, a place where love and feeling is not a gamble to give and especially feel within. Listening and hearing are truly a different entity.

 

We must listen from the soul what the ear hears. When we do we might just bear witness to the love that is trying to infiltrate the parts of us that have weathered the grief and mourning in life. I thank my Higher Power for not just the typical footsteps I have grown accustomed to, but even more for the new hungry ones that are only fed by the next one after it.

 

When we are listening to understand and not to respond in this world, it often works out. It is then in that moment we are equipped with the pair of eyes that God wanted us to see with, the eyes of the heart.

So what might you see when you see this image I attached? Do you see the bends in the road leading to a tree’s tunnel that breaks through to the sun’s morning rays? Or might you also see this bend in the road as a wavelength we can groove too. A wavelength we can gratefully ride toward the light of a new day and precious promise. The light that greets us and our hungry footsteps…

 

Listening, learning, feeling, seeing, all are parts equal in….Loving

 

John

 

June 1st, 2017

Thursdays Trench Truth

Thanks for stopping by for Thursday’s Trench Truth & Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I love sharing the Spirit inspired mini-downloads with you and pray that they will shine like diamonds in the darkest of times, and encourage you in your journey! Grab your coffee or your favorite break-time beverage and come on in for a quick few minutes.

How many of us react when “feeling” like someone hurt us in any way? Or when asked why we did such and such we say because she…? Have you ever heard the saying “Two wrongs don’t equal a right?” Oh, that is the biggest diamond my biological mom ever gave me.

To put it another way in the form of a digestible trench truth: Someone’s misbehavior is not our permission slip to misbehave!

The next time someone does someone to step on your emotional foot, try to say ouch…without an attitude!

Love,

Evinda

P.S. Join me on today for Coffee Hour Live on Facebook at 10:00 PST for more of the Loving the Unlovable series, Step 10! www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins