Posts Tagged ‘#encouragement’

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Welcome back to Faith-filled Friday!

It has been some time since I have been able to take to physical yet heartfelt dance. As I was out on my morning hunt for a picture to take the other day, I found one and grabbed it, well I grabbed several. As I squeezed the button a few times, the thought of dancing crossed my mind. Not the type that is upon dance floors in nightclubs, but more the kind that goes on between things in nature.

When I took this picture of the sun with the palm tree, it just seemed to really prompt a movement within me. I started thinking about all the distance in between and yet they are still connected. Some might think because the sun is 92 million miles from earth; that it has nothing to do with a simple palm tree. This photosynthesis effect of growth from so far away has always been most mind boggling to me.

 

It suddenly came to me that perhaps I am part of the equation? Maybe God has created the very curiosity within me. Perhaps this curiosity and enjoyment of appreciation is the dance floor for that warming and life-giving sun to create a sort of photosynthesis of being grateful enough to receive it on a spiritual level. Perhaps the palm tree that is considered a weed yet so beautiful and brilliant in the wind is the proof of life I am still here despite depression and heartbreak. Perhaps the fog between the 2 this morning was the light filter that let me grab such a photograph without one drowning out the other.

Is God in this natural fog filled light filter? Did he know I would get something from it and share it with others? It amazes me the countless ways in which we can absorb such beauty and gifts from a higher power, yet to so easily be missed.

 

A dance never happens by chance. It is never appreciated and enjoyed because we are required to love such a thing. These things that happen all around us that are in sync in one way or another. We lose the ability to not only appreciate but ultimately even notice them because we are not able to always see them due to the craziness and buzz of the world that never seems to stop. When you stop and take the time to just notice, to let yourself be the dance floor for such beautiful things to dance upon, it brings such a peace and harmony that opens us up more to the other things like birds singing, worms burrowing, flowers opening to the morning sun and even the early fog that just might have been sent for me to take a simple photo to share and talk about with you. All while the sun and palm dance within me in peace, in harmony.

 

I have prayed for so many years since my accident for God to let me not only dance once again but run. Perhaps I didn’t get to do that on this particular morning, but that sure doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this other dance that happens daily in so many things, especially within. The day will come when I break through the shackles of pain and dance down the street looking weird, but it won’t matter because I’ll dance as if no one is watching…

 

Much love out to each and every one of you, my friends,

~John

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation Too!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Welcome to Thursday’s Trench Truth and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join me for a couple minutes. Grab whatever you’re having and come on in.

Have you ever said something like, if so and so would do such and such then I’d be happy? Or, if so and so wouldn’t do such and such, then I’d be happy? How do we fall into that unhealthy cycle? More importantly, how do we get off and out of that crazy cycle without making it worse?

We recently had a huge tragedy in our community that was as a result of unresolved anger which turned to rage. This shouldn’t have happened. It’s such a waste; and now parents and children are left to deal with the aftermath of this senseless hate-filled murder of innocent victims. How do we explain this kind of anger to children, much less adults? Depression and anger/rage are real emotions, Coffee Hour friend. The shooter wasn’t born to kill others; everything awful in his life led up to him doing what he did. And please don’t misunderstand me; it’s not an action I condone…I just get it. This is what happens when we don’t deal with what’s inside of us!

Would you consider jumping in the trenches with us to learn how to live with real hope, fueling you towards healthy relational expectations and freeing you from frustration and anger? I’d love to work with you.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-fueled-by-hope-free-from-anger-tickets-32076892850

P.S. Join me today for Coffee Hour Live at 10:00 PST where I’ll be sharing Step 5 to Loving the Unlovable(s) in your Life! And if you can’t tune in at 10, no worries, just go to my wall, www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins and listen at your leisure…and then share.

 

 

Blessings

Evinda

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Say Nothing at all!

Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! It’s Wednesday, time to take a verse and chew on it so we can digest it into our very being and utilize it in this journey of life! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go strengthen our faith and trust in the Author of The Greatest Book ever Written. J

So when it comes to writing these blogs, I really like to write about what I’m learning, something I’ve recently been through or a recent conviction. This is why I say I write from my heart to yours.

Have you ever walked into a room or up to a group of “friends” and feel the tension as they become quiet with your appearance? You just know they’re talking about you, right? Maybe, maybe not! J But nevertheless, it’s a horrible feeling.

What do you feel when you hear/read the word gossip?  Most people when asked that question say they don’t like it; they think it’s wrong. The funny thing is almost everyone does it…but I must say unconsciously because they’ve become immune to their own form of gossiping! The word gossip is a noun and means: “Idle talk, rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of another.” Hmmm, personal or private creates a conundrum with the use of social media, but still, anything we say about another, if it can’t be said in front of that same person, shouldn’t be said!

Recently I was at a function with people I’ve known for a while, people that I truly care about – I have to be careful here because I don’t want to go down that slippery slope of gossiping! Anyway, one person in particular began the gossip fest with “What do you think of your new church ‘Active’”? The tone was one of sarcasm and I know it’s based on her own experiences with the church and the pastor. As I write this and rewind the evening, I remember I started to go down that slippery slope with her…but stopped her gossip train by sharing with her this truth: “As I’ve said before, I have based my opinions on him, and the church on my own experiences with him and them; all I can say is he has a heart for others.” I went on to give one of my opinions, which wasn’t necessary, but at least that definitely derailed the track she was going down.

After dinner, we moved around to our various tables and there were two people who every time I went around them, they were talking about someone different, and it was like they were pulling from each other what they could to find out what the other thought of the person. I sat in silence with another bystander and said absolutely nothing at all. AWKWARD! Now, years ago, I might have chimed in and given my two cents in order to feel a part of the conversation, to fit in, belong, but I’ve been the recipient of the harsh harm that gossip can cause; and though I’m not completely rid of this sneaky, slithering tendency that creeps in at the most unsuspecting times, I’d like to think that He and I have a better grasp on it rather than gossiping grasping me.

Within minutes one of them was sitting next to me and before I knew it, she was leaning over to me, and she began to whisper about the other’s son, something he had done, asking if I had seen the post on Facebook having to do with what she was talking about. I let her finish and then I looked her straight in the eyes and just said gently but matter-of-factly: “What if that was his need at the time and he didn’t do it with the intention that you’re implying? What if what you’re thinking isn’t accurate?”

Well that was like a splash of cold water on a cold day!

What if we were to just give people the benefit of the doubt, quit trying to drive their cars (lives) and base our own opinions on our own experiences…and then say nothing at all. Why do we feel the need to talk about others? Is it really about the other person, or more about us?

When we gossip about another person, it says more about us than about the one we’re talking about!

Gossip is like alcohol, legal but deadly! It causes so much damage. Father, help us to live by the golden rule: If we don’t have nothing nice to say about another, let us say nothing at all. Set a guard, O Lord, over our mouths. Help us to keep watch over the door of our lips.

Learning and unlearning

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m excited to share a true story with you that really drives this particular trench truth today. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Last Sunday, we were invited to lunch with a couple we’d been trying to connect with for weeks. You know how that is; making the time to take the time is…well, challenging when you have a lot going on, right? But finally, it happened and the funny thing about it is it wasn’t planned; it was spontaneous! She gave me the time and the place, and just like that, it was set.

As we were driving we realized they were right in front of us – they have a really fun, fast car – so when we pulled into the parking lot, it was simultaneously and I was able to see him go around to her side, and not only open her door, but take her hand and help her out! Who knows, maybe because of how low the car sits J 🙂 J but it was still so sweet to watch, especially considering he’s a pretty big guy and she’s pretty tiny.

Anyway, as soon as I got closer I felt her tension – body language says so much, doesn’t it? And as we made our way up the stairs, she just blurted out, “Can I talk to you for just a moment?”
“Sure.” So we went back down the stairs as our husbands went inside.  With the first stair we went down, she began to share what was bothering her. It had everything to do with one of her adult children, and she was so frightened, so upset, and so much so she was shaking. Have you ever been there? I listened to her and when she was done, I gave her a couple of solutions and decided it would be good to share those with her daughter. She dialed her daughter’s number and I got to talk with her long enough to suggest she not do what she was going to do and then, POOF, she was gone due to a bad signal on our end! Talk about helpless!

When we went back up inside, I noticed it was hard for her to concentrate. She was having a very hard time just letting go and letting God. I looked right at her and just said “God grant me the serenity…”

She smiled…but only for a second. It was really difficult for her to just let go and let God. It was obvious that her well-being was wrapped up in the well-being of her adult children in such a way that borders on unhealthy and interrupts her own sanity and peace of mind.

How do we work through that? How do we get to a point where our own well-being is not dependent upon others’ well-being?

Here’s one solution: We usually feel “let down” because we need to “put down” our expectations! Join us to learn healthy relational expectations that fuel us with hope and free us from anger.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-fueled-by-hope-free-from-anger-tickets-32076892850

Looking forward to working with you

P.S. Join us for Coffee Hour live on Thursday at 10:00 PST! Let’s talk about Step 5 in Loving the Unlovable(s) in your life!

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Take Him at His Word!

Welcome to Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join me today. Grab your coffee, or whatever your favorite break-time beverage is, and let’s talk about change.

When I say the word “change” to you, what comes to mind? Do you tense up at all, or does your heart kind of skip a beat, or tighten? Can you tell I’ve experienced so many side effects from the challenge of change? I used to wonder what it would be like to be able to embrace change, to ride it like a surfer rides a wave, sort of like poetry in motion, or to be unmoved as a branch abiding in a tree on a windy day. How can one go through change without allowing our faith to waiver?

Recently our church announced it was changing its 50+ year-old name and when I talked with one of the associate pastors about it, he gave me a great example: When God was doing a new thing within the Biblical giants, and wanted to establish a new identity, He changed their name: for example, Abram became Abraham and he went from “high father, prophet” to “father of many nations.”  His wife, Sarai, (dominative, my princess) became Sarah, which translates to “mother of nations.”  Simon, which means “God has heard,” became Peter, which means (a piece of) rock, i.e., stable, firm, steadfast in his faith. Then there’s Saul, which translates to uproar, as in destruction, who was changed to Paul, which means “pause, desist, refrain,” i.e., a man of self-control!

But in order to receive their name change, their story had to change; God had to do a new thing.

It’s no different today. For our stories to change, we have to let the Author do the changing, the re-writing and the editing for He owns the copyright! We must take the risk and take a leap of faith by taking God at His Word. His promises never lie, never fail and never bounce and they’re all for our good!

So when change comes your way, do you want to ride the change like a pro surfer, looking like poetry in motion, abiding in Him as a branch on a tree on a windy day? Find a promise in His Word and make it yours! Begin to take Him at His Word!

Bending like a branch in the wind…

Evinda

 

Faith Filled Fridays

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Welcome back everyone to Faith Filled Friday. If you hadn’t realized yet, I’m a pretty introspective person. But lately I have been trying to look even deeper, looking to understand why I feel things more than most people. Introspection has been something I have had my entire life. It can certainly take a toll on me, that is, to feel things so deep, but on the other hand it can be such a gift sometimes. I really want that out of life. I want to feel everything. I want to not only feel the wind on my face, but feel the words that people speak in conversation. I want to not only see the stars above my head but feel them from within.

Since the accidents I have been in, life surely has turned around and headed me in a different direction. I have really learned what it is like having to change life on a dime and go in a new direction. I can feel the fear that I have carried for so long, the fear that I finally started dismantling some years back. It’s taken so long and as I have overcome in some areas, I have worsened in others.

 

Sure I want to feel life, but I am so tired of feeling so much of the physical and emotional pain. I seek to feel balance. I have always sought balance in life, but I am uncertain how to feel it. Ghandi once said: “Where there is love, there is life.” I want so bad to share the things I love and am passionate about with someone I love. It seems so much at times that it can burst out of me at the seams. It might sound weird but every morning I wake, I do it for love. Every morning I tell myself that I want to not be led down the rabbit hole of hate, despair, negativity. When I wake I think of what I’d like to get done for the day and what I can get done for the day. Sure there is always work to do, but what can I do for the world, for friends, for others, for myself?

 

I have spent so much of my life putting others first. I often don’t think I even realize how much. I used to tell my last girlfriend that for me it was my church. She would want me to go to church with her, but things from childhood make it hard. I don’t want to go to a spiritual place to feel fear or have to pray. I want to feel spirituality in helping others. It’s then when I can feel an incredible feeling of being humble, being thankful, living life beyond the common denominator. I have been shamed so much in life for this. I can see why people have shared that with me. I used to say no. But if I really am open to this thing called feeling, well I really needed to not see what a few others have told me, but feel it. When I allowed myself to feel, I realized that in part they were right. I have often helped others to circumvent maybe taking on my own problems, maybe even my own feelings. So I have been working on me in a different way, and in more than one way.

 

I will continue to rise for love, but I am also learning more and more to rise for the love of myself. I really started thinking lately about how we can invite others to feel more and express in a productive mannerism than respond in some form of default mode to the things they see that bug us. I just know that the world seems to be on auto pilot of so much negativity. I feel I have so much to share with people, something that could make people close their eyes and feel the rain on their face, feel the cool water from the ocean as it rides to the beach upon a wave at its peak, to then feel the sand withdraw from the back of the ankles. Not so much just in the physical world, but the soul. To feel things that deep inside is intense, but we have to also protect ourselves from those who see these deep feelings and sensitivities as a default. To feel intensely is to wake within self.

 

So it all goes back to the balance of things… I want to seek more balance in life, to feel it rising from both sides of the heart and soul. Is that what being complete might be? Is there ever really such a thing? I am all ears at this point, but more importantly I am all in…a sort of sensory feeling from the watchtower…

 

Much love everyone,

John

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too!

Thursday, April 13th, 2017


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.

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

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

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation Too

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

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!

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, April 10th, 2017

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