Saturday, August 8, 2020

Restoration, Renewal, & Rest

The past few weekends have been ones of restoration, renewal, & rest for me. These weekends were necessities; must haves in my world that helped me to reconnect my soul & mind with God & like-minded women who shared their encouragement, experiences, & testimonies. We all need something like these occurrences in our lives. Why? Because sometimes we don’t know the impact everything is having on us until these occurrences are brought into our lives as blessings we didn’t know we needed.

For the first weekend, I attended the virtual conference hosted by Priscilla Shirer & her sister, Chrystal Evans Hurst, entitled “Desperate For Jesus: Rooted. In this conference, Priscilla & Chrystal were continuing the legacy established by their mother, Lois Evans. The speakers for this conference were Jackie Hill Perry & Katherine Wolf. These women shared the stories of their journeys & where God has brought them from to where they are now. Also, their vulnerability at revealing any weaknesses showed that they are continuing to grow. It made me realize that we aren’t on this journey alone & that we all have story that someone needs to hear. We shouldn’t remain silent when God is leading us to step out & connect with others. Your story & testimony deserve to be shared. 
For the second weekend, I attended the Woman Evolve Virtual Experience 2020 hosted by Sarah Jakes Roberts & her Woman Evolve (WE) team. It was my first time attending a WE event. I’m so grateful that this conference was presented virtually because I don’t think my schedule would have permitted me to attend otherwise. Sarah Jakes Roberts, her team, & presenters spoke on everything from finances, entrepreneurship, mental health & Christianity, journaling, prayer, & more. There was even a mother-daughter panel & a pajama party! The information, testimonies, & energy of the entire conference renewed me in such a way that I was still feeling the emotion of it all on Monday! If possible, I would love to attend the conference in person one day. If the energy virtually shook me (in a good way!), I couldn’t imagine what the in-person experience would do! 
In attending these life-changing events, during this season of COVID-19 & other life occurrences, I discovered that there are still ways to connect & fellowship with others to meet our needs & to grow. Even in this season, the need to do something for ourselves still exists. In this “doing something” I continue to take steps to apply the seeds that were planted in these conferences to purposefully live. Not exist, but live. 

I needed both weekends & God made it in such a way that they were back-to-back; one experience rolling into the next to serve the purposes of refilling my cup in order for me to walk in this season while preparing for the next. 

Are you in need of restoration, renewal, & rest?? Are there ways that you can explore to reconnect with others, yourself, & God? Don’t lose your fire & drive to live in the midst of the circumstances. Sometimes we don’t know what we need until we step outside of the box to explore what’s currently available to us in this season. 

Restore. Renew. Rest. 

Until next time. 

Blessings, 

 

© Lisi P, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Black Lives Matter

These past few months have been tough & heartbreaking; couple this with everything else going on, add tiring to the list. My heart breaks for the families who have lost loved ones to the Coronavirus pandemic & for others who have lost loved ones at the hands of people & police officers, as we still live with the racism that exists in 2020.

Black Lives Matter (BLM), period! Many have taken to add “All Lives Matter” to this, but saying BLM does not mean that all lives do not matter---it means that BLM too. For far too many years, our voices, lives, liberties, & so much more, have been going unnoticed or are hindered. Our existence matters & our voices deserved to be heard. The intention of this is not to be just a movement, but a change in the direction of addressing so much that has gone unaddressed in U.S. history. Why has it become the norm to see Black men & women consistently dying at the hands of police officers as if this were normal? Of course, this is not normal! That’s why we are seeing protests going on (rioters are not protesters, by the way). People are tired, frustrated, & want to see changes occur.


Although there are divisions in our nation, there is unity apparent. Various races & cultures are standing with the Black community speaking out & joining the fight against the injustices that exist. Tough conversations are also happening between friends & family members. People are taking a stand & this must continue. It cannot stop here or because the news media may no longer cover the stories as they move on to the next topic.

Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

This appears to be the beginning of this generation’s continuation for where others have left off (ex: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.). Keep the momentum! If you see an injustice, report it. If there’s something you can do, do it. If you need to speak up, talk! Don’t let the ‘wrongs’ continue to be perceived as right.

Change is necessary & is difficult to come by, but it’s not impossible.

Matthew 19:26 NKJV But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Are You Different?

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone in some way; whether it be mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, there are aspects of our lives that have changed & will never be the same again.

The changes involve what used to be our normal: a quick trip to the grocery store, a walk in the park, participating in runs, going to church, going to school, visiting friends & family, etc. These events are so different now to the point where I know that I was taking these simple acts for granted. Even now, I miss what once was.

With so many changes & differences in existence now, I began to look internally to see the changes & differences that I’ve noticed within myself. Have I been using this time in a manner that has not been filled with anxiety and/or fear? Am I being productive? Are there things that I’ve been putting off doing for another day that could be done now? The list can go on & on. But I do notice the changes from within, even the changes that involve deep self-reflection & acknowledgement of areas for growth. Believe me this hasn’t been easy, but it is necessary. Also, during this time, I finished the first draft of my book, walked 3+ miles daily, caught up on some cleaning, & more. There’s positive in the middle of the all that’s going on!

I pose these questions to you---are you different because of this? Are there things that you’ve put off doing that you were able to accomplish during this time? Has reflection occurred regarding who & what you could’ve been taking for granted? Don’t let your ‘different’ outcome be consumed with worry, doubt, fear, or anxiety. Find & live in the positive that’s available.


Not one of us should come out of this time in history the same as we were when it began. We should be different, & prayerfully, in a positive way. This is not to say that negative doesn’t exist in all of this (my thoughts & prayers are & continue to be with those infected, affected, & who have lost loved ones). But there should be at least one thing each of us can say that we’ve learned from it all.

May you find your ‘different’ in this season, living each day as the gift that it is, & taking nothing & no one for granted. May your ‘different’ be better than ever before & the normal that’s coming be a season to grow in rather than fear.

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!! Jesus is alive. When I think of all that He’s done for me, I can both shout & cry. The unconditional love our Lord has for us is amazing & nothing else can compare.

As we continue during these times of the Coronavirus, loss, uncertainty, anxiety, & the plethora of other emotions that arise, let’s not forget the one thing that never changes---our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Celebrate Him today & always.

He’s risen!! He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. –Matthew 28:6 NKJV 


Praying for us all while walking in His love & light.

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Don't Forget To Laugh

The topic of this blog came to me a few weeks ago. At the time, I was reflecting on how in recent years I’ve learned to laugh at myself more. Whether it be that I do something silly or even had a memory of something that caused me to laugh out loud, I’ve learned further about what the gift of laughter entails. It surely can relieve so much that we carry on our hearts & minds.

Some say that laughter is the best medicine; I say that it is a part of the ‘medicine’ that we take daily along with a few others: prayer, spending time with God & reading His word, spending time with & talking to friends & family. These are to name a few; for each person, the list may be different, but I do recommend having laughter be a part of it.


I think that even God laughs at us (hopefully in a good way) because He created us. For those who are parents, just think about the times that your children have said something so funny & out-of-the-blue that you have to either react in laugher or even take a moment not to laugh in front of them (usually in the instances of chastisement)---in either instance, there’s this belly laugh that wants to come up & be released. But kids do say the darndest things, & God likely thinks that we do too.

If you haven’t laughed at yourself, or have had something to make you laugh recently, try to do so. Find that movie you haven’t watched in a while, take a trip down memory lane revisiting something funny, talk to a friend whose joy can spread your way. Do something, because life without laughter can be a difficult way to live.

This also applies as we face the Coronavirus outbreak worldwide. I’m in no way belittling the extreme of this virus & everything that it’s causing. Our ‘normal’ has changed & consistently changes daily. I’m praying daily for everyone impacted & affected.  I’m also seeing how it’s silently influencing us daily. Many are anxious or worried without even realizing the underlying stress that’s taking seed.  We see updates, warnings, & cases throughout the day at all hours. Information is easily accessible to us with every click. However, in this, the time has presented itself for us to slow down & reflect on who & what’s important. We are spending time with our immediate family, doing things that we’ve been putting off doing around the house, reconnecting with God & those around us (even if through technology), working on goals & dreams, & taking the time to just PAUSE.

Although there are many things that are closed, there are many things that are not closed. Take heed to these:


If you haven’t laughed recently, do so! If you have laughed, keep doing it. Keep praying, connecting with God & His word. Also, remember who & what’s important during these times & always.

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

Storms

Storms, most times, are viewed as bad occurrences both in life & in nature. As a native Floridian, I’m aware of the destruction of hurricanes & what they entail. Every year, from June through the end of November, we’re in hurricane season & are on pins-and-needles praying that a hurricane won’t form & hit us. Yet, the hurricanes have come our way & we’ve made it through to the other side & have rebuilt. Not that this was an easy process, but it was a process! Although there are cases in which some are continuing to rebuild as I type this.

Storms in life could come in as waves, here today & gone tomorrow; at other times, they last as long as hurricane season with mini-storms in between. Yet, we survive & rebuild, making it to the other side. Maybe the purpose of the storms include more than destruction; possibly the rebuilding that’s associated with them make us stronger. One time, my Pastor mentioned that storms are God’s way of cleansing. I can see this in some of the things that I’ve faced; however in other cases, I do wonder what’s going on. I began to look at the storms I faced in another perspective.

My storms have made me uncomfortable & have stretched me more than I could’ve imagined. The storms made me move beyond where I saw myself & aided in me striving toward my goals & dreams, rather than putting them on the backburner. During the storms, & even now, I remind myself that there’s a purpose in them beyond destruction---I have to weather the storms, focus, & rebuild. AND also, keep my faith & trust in God because He’s not surprised by anything that I’m going through. God is here with me every step of the way; He knows what’s happening & He knows what’s on the other side of the storm---He had a role in forming the storm & the purpose of it.


It’s not than any of us want to be in the path of any continuous, ongoing storm, but we know that storms will come. We have to be as prepared as we can be, knowing that something is will come from it. Even in the uncomfortableness of it all, God has a way of bringing us to places, in our relationship with Him & other areas of our lives where growth & change occur because of our storm experiences.


Be encouraged, stay strong, & faithful in your storm seasons!

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Encouragement

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Writers Conference where I met fellow writers from around the United States. This group of writers included those who were just beginning their writing journeys to those who’d just published their first books to those who’d published many books! The experience was enlightening because of the encouragement that was shared between us all; it was good knowing that we all had similar feelings about our writing journeys. Also, that we aren’t alone in the journey because our feelings, & overall experiences, weren’t isolated to us alone.

I’ve been in the process of writing my first book for a few years or so now. I can admit that there has been fear along the way & there have been times where I’ve wondered if I could do it. However, I can also say that I’m further along than I ever have been & I am excited about how far I’ve come. There’s still a more to write & complete, but it’s certainly not like it was on Day 1 of the process. I will finish it.

My writing journey has revealed to me things about myself that I didn’t know existed & other things that I need to work on. One of these things include the ability to encourage myself in the same manner that I encourage others. I can say that the majority of the time I’m sharing something with others, while encouraging them, it’s for me too. But in mentioning this, I’ve put more emphasis on the share & encouragement of those around me to push them, to show them what God says about them, & to let them know that they can do what they set out to do. There isn’t anything wrong with this because I know it’s a God-given gift of mine, but I do have to “put my own mask on,” as they say on the airplanes, too. I’m learning more about how to do this.

So, while encouraging myself in this posting, I want to encourage you to let you know that you can do what you set out to do. Don’t let fear or doubt get in the way & be sure to spend time with God so He can reveal His will & purpose for you. If you are in doubt & are fearful, know that only you can do what God has called you to do the way that He’s called you to do it! Just as my fellow writers & I discovered at the conference, there is no comparison nor competition. Yes, we may all be writers, but each of us has a distinct journey & purpose for writing. Sure, we can each be writing about the same topics at times, but my experiences & background can only be used to produce the stories and/or books that only I can.


Know that God has something specifically in store for each of us! Don’t give up & take a step off the shore to see what’s beyond it for you. Live beyond the self-imposed limits or doubts. I plan to do the same!


Remember:

A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. –Proverbs 18:16 NKJV

You can do it & so can I!

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020