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

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy 2020!!!


Happy New Year!!! 2020 is here! I can say that I’ve been looking forward to a new year & the excitement it brings.

In looking back over 2019, it was another year of stretching. If I thought that 2018 was something, 2019 picked up where 2018 left off! There were times where I was drained emotionally, spiritually, & physically. Although I faced one of my toughest professional years, I am stronger because of it. The challenges I faced brought me to places I didn’t think I had the strength to withstand. God drew out of me things I didn’t know that existed inside of me. Without the experiences of last year, I wouldn’t have developed the spiritual muscles needed to face what is coming. I am stronger than what I know & am ready for what God has next for me.

Many need a new year as a new beginning to reset & start again. It’s a way to begin afresh. However, a new year is just another day if we’re going to repeat the same behaviors of last year with no changes. For instance, if we begin today with the attitudes & baggage from last year, how will it be different? Today is as different as we make it & how different we choose to be. There’s no way to get something new out of repeating the old. Use each day, not only a new year, as a new start! In doing this, we’re making the most of the opportunities each day brings.

By no means was 2019 all bad! Yes, it was a stretching year for me professionally, but the challenges made me refocus & renew my purposeful gifts from God. It made me think & walk into pursuing purpose beyond the box that I put myself in. I am going to continue to my writing & my goal of finishing my 1st novel. A novel is something I’ve wanted to complete for a while, & in 2019 I made tremendous progress towards this goal. 2020 will be the year of completion & the continual walking in my purpose, not existing through day-to-day life. There’s so much to live for.

In 2019, I also found love, or should I say that God lead it to me. The only way that the meeting of my guy & I can be explained is God. We continue to walk the path that God has called us to & let Him guide us along the way. We’re looking forward to what this year brings for us.

Every year I choose Anchor Verses to guide me throughout the year; they are verses that I focus on, pray about, & have as reminders to help me along the way. For 2020, I'm including one from past years & a new one as well:
  • "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" -Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
  • “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
For this year, I chose a word to take action on regarding my walk with God. This word is abundance. When I looked up abundance in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, its meaning is as follows:
  • Existing or occurring in large amounts & marked by great plenty
This word was revealed to me during my prayer time. I began to examine my journey & there have been various times in which I’ve lived life existing, rather than living fully in God & what He has in store for me. So rather than living day-to-day, I want to be in His abundance in all areas of my life, including my relationship with Him & Jesus, my purposeful career, & life’s journey. It’s a new year, my friends & family. Don’t take it for granted, but more importantly, don’t take the gift of each day for granted.

As it was mentioned at church last night: 2020 will be better!!! BUT, the better will depend on us & our actions.

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2020

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Release & Happy 11th Anniversary to Lisi's Place!


I came across the above quote & had to share it. It resonated with me so much & it made me reflect on my post from the 2019 New Year. The post contained my word for 2019 (release) & what it meant for me as the New Year rolled in. Also, how I would apply it to my journey.

There has been so much that I’ve gone through this year from the professional standpoint; many moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed & discouraged. I had to remind myself to release whatever it was that was allowing me to permit these feelings to enter my mind & actions. I also asked myself, “Are you fully releasing to God what you need to let go of?” In most cases, I can answer “yes”, but in others, the answer is “no”. If I truthfully examined what I was still holding onto in my actions & in my mind, I hadn’t “let it go.”

However, last week, I had a series of confirmations reveal this to me. Whether it was during my prayer time, my devotional time, conversations, or in sermons, God showed me that I hadn’t truly let it all go. I was still holding on to these things while trying to go forward. Most of us know that it’s not possible to go forward & backwards at the same time; a tug-of-war ensues! Yet, we remain in the midst of this because the release hadn’t occurred.

After one conversation in particular, I felt the weight that I was carrying remove itself from me. I hadn’t realized how heavy it’d been until I hadn’t felt it any longer. I literally felt my body change & peace come over me. I had one of the best weeks I’ve had in a long time.

Take some quiet time with God & look into the areas of your life where you continue to be in a tug-of-war about what you’re holding on to that needs to be released. I’m not saying it will be easy, it may be a day-by-day process, but it’s necessary! I’m reminding myself to not pick things back up that I don’t need to, while at the same time, examining the instances where I haven’t truly put faith & trust in God in these areas. He doesn’t want any of us carrying anything we shouldn’t. He’s got it under His control; it must be released fully to Him.


I’d also like to shout out a Happy Belated 11th Anniversary to Lisi’s Place! Thank you for taking the time to read, share, & comment on my blog over the years! I am blessed to share this journey with you all.


Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Why Me, Lord?

“Why Me, Lord?” This is a question I’ve asked God as I’ve gone through difficulties & hardships. There were many times where I blamed God for what was happening to me & what was going on in my life. Have you ever asked God the same?

 
The circumstances that brought upon this question ranged from me having to work three jobs to the loss of loved ones to the loss of a beloved pet to so much more. Yet, there were times where God’s response was etched in silence, but I have to admit that with the silence answers came. The answers weren’t necessarily right away, & at times, displayed in personal growth & in the growth of my Christian journey.

The growth was shown when I stopped asking God, “Why Me, Lord?” & started saying, “Why Not Me, Lord?” What I was facing & the challenges that I was going through were to develop something in me, to encourage someone else, for the benefit of someone else, & most importantly to build my relationship with God & faith muscles.

Although in the midst of the experiences, we want to question God & His motives behind it all, our perspectives may be skewed because what is happening to us is actually happening for us! God isn’t doing something to you, but for you. He has your best interest at heart. He knew His plans for you from the beginning. As Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV states, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV declares, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

So surely God knows what it takes for us to get to where He needs us to be for His glory, our growth, & to edify each other.

Be encouraged! In the “Why Me, Lord?” moments, know that His plans are bigger than what you see & know!

Consider, “Why Not Me, Lord?”

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Writer's Life & Dreams

I’ve been in the process of writing my first novel! It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. The dream that I’m working towards turning into a reality. One thing is for certain, it’s a process that I’m growing & learning from.


Writing entails revealing a part of myself that sometimes can stay hidden; however, you’ve been exposed to this part of me by reading my blog posts, commenting, & encouraging me to continue on. Some think that writing is an easy process, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There’s a process that exists for every writer & what may work for one may not work for another.

I’ve been finding my rhythm, best writing times in the midst of a crazy schedule, finished the UCLA Extension Writers Program a few years ago (an amazing experience, I highly recommend this program), & joined a new writers group, The Redbud Writers Guild (another amazing experience).


I’m being stretched & pushing during this part of my writing journey, but in a good way. I’m not allowing myself to get stuck in doubts, fears, old mindsets, & the like. When I do find myself in the moments of hesitation, I keep going. I’m writing the book one sentence at a time, with the end goal in mind. Not only looking at how far I have to go, but most importantly, how far I’ve come.

As you pursue your dreams, what realistic goals are you setting to accomplish them? Have you broken down the lengthy tasks into smaller ones? Are you researching what it would take to get to where you need to go? Met others in the field who have travelled the path already? (Make those connections)

We all have to begin somewhere along the journey to where we want to be. Start with a plan & proceed from there. Be willing to make the adjustments you need to in order to keep moving forward, but don’t give up! No matter what, your gifts & talents will make room for the doors to open & the right people to come. Do your part!

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

Don’t give up!! But be sure to do what you need to do to make your dreams come to fruition. Our Father God has your back!

Until next time.

Blessings,



© Lisi P, 2019