All posts tagged: growth

Picture This!: Capturing 2020 with 20/20

Twenty-nineteen is almost at its end. And if we are honest, we can say that this year has gone by with a flash! Like with years past, we prepare to tackle the holiday season with knives and forks as if this will be our last indulgence before the clock strikes midnight for the last time on this side of the calendar year. For then, then we must set our goals, put on our workout gear and run ourselves to the gym with the single purpose of being beach-ready several warm months from now. For those of us who are focused on pursuing our creative callings, our goals tend to involve a different kind of exercise with a completely different destination in mind. “Success is not one size fits all and therefore requires a unique pattern.” For me, the goals that I have in the crosshairs are goals that I have been striving toward for several years now. But as I set out to take hold of them this year I am doing so while letting …

Thanks in Everything: The Art of Thanks Giving by Briana Lassiter

Lately, the Lord has really been dealing with me on thanksgiving. Really it’s been about a straight year of Him actively teaching me about this topic and I kind of thought I had the hang of it until a couple weeks ago when He asked me to start thanking Him for the things that are not in my life. As a child of God there are things that God daily keeps from entering your life and harming you. In Psalms 91 He says that He gives His angels charge over you lest you strike your feet on a stone. He also says again in Psalms 121 that He is your keeper, He keeps your life and He keeps you from all evil. Sometimes it’s really easy to focus our prayers on the facts that we aren’t where we want to be yet or we still have healing to receive in certain areas that are causing us pain, and we forget to thank Him for the things that He has kept or removed from us. Whether …

Cultivating Steadfast Trust

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” ~ISAIAH 26:3 Steadfast. The word itself may evoke the feeling of self-effort, that you have to exert some strenuous force in order to accomplish some task or goal. And unfortunately, man has made the things of God, things meant to be freeing, into things that bind with the yoke of self-effort and righteousness. But the peace that I gain in this word, having steadfast trust, is birthed out of the truth that steadfast trust comes from a mind that is focused on the Lord. When we love someone, it is no great effort to gaze upon them, to sit in their presence. It is no great thing or effort to bask in their love and devotion and give that in return. The Lord Jesus invites us to abide in and with Him (JOHN 15). He tells us that He stands at the door of our hearts and wishes to dine with us (REVELATION 3:20). Just by reading these passages, we can’t help but see that the …

Waiting for Your Eggs to Hatch: 3 Things To Do While You Wait

*Revised from November 18, 2014 For many years now, I have been likening my creativity to that of motherhood. I often speak of my creations as my children, each with their own personality, some more giving than others, while some are just outright unruly. Through the span of the years, my creativity has produced many fruits that I cannot help but be grateful for. My spirit, soul, and mind have truly been fed and exercised which is why I created this platform for in the first place. But there have been seasons, and will likely be others that come, that as if everything is at a sudden standstill. These are seasons where you feel like you have nothing to say or give but at the same time, you recognize that you have so eggs in your creative basket. I will admit that I have experienced this anxious feeling while sitting in my creative silence. What to do? What to do? What to do? If I could compare this feeling to anything, it would be the …

Achieving the Greatest Expression: The Gift of Transformation

*Revised from July 1, 2016 “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~CYNTHIA OCCELLI Isn’t this the exact description of what happened to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ when He submitted to the death on the cross for our sins, was first brutally beaten and undone before buried in the grave? To anyone looking in from the outside, and even those who’d walked with Him during His three-year ministry of preparing the soil for the Church to be planted and born, it would appear that all of His work was for naught. He was crucified and pronounced dead after all. Nothing but destruction was left. Christ and His work had been completely undone.  But in fact, it was finished! “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” ~I COR. 15:20 From the ‘undoing’ and destruction of Christ’s body on the cross, …

Inevitable Change: Encouragement in Transition

Revised from August 18, 2015 “Change is inevitable, Growth is optional.”~JOHN C. MAXWELL Change. The only time that most people search out change and willingly run with it is when unsavory circumstances have begun to dim the light and joy form their life and they are desperate to get it back. Otherwise, change is seen as the unwelcome guest who showed up at your perfectly numbered dinner party, uninvited. Change requires sacrifice, which generally goes hand and hand with discomfort and for some of us, discombobulation. But change is necessary. It is going to happen whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. Think about an infant in their mother’s womb. Change comes and is without a doubt a straining shock to everything within the infant and around them. But what awaits them at the end of their travailing journey is something far greater. Consider the caterpillar who crawls through life, knowing in the core of their being that they are meant for greater heights. They must burn with the urge to …

Team Up! :How to Achieve Your Dream Pt 3

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” ~John C. Maxwell Everything God created was created to be most fruitful when it is connected with another. Why? Because there is such beauty and satisfaction to be had when triumph and victory are born from cooperation. When a man takes a wife, children are born. When a bee meets a flower, more flowers, bees, and honey are born as well as food for the world. When seed meets soil and is saturated with rain, new life is produced. Joy and appreciation from the works and gifts of others bless us with gratitude and cultivate a culture of encouragement. When we, dreamers and visionaries becoming creators, have taken the steps to: 1. Believe: Believe that we can achieve the dream that is inside of us. (See Believe You Can). 2. Simplify: Take your processes one step at a time without over-complicating each move you make. (See Keep it Simple). … we are on the path to productively multiplying our success which is found in our ability to properly align ourselves to achieve our …

Wrestling with Unbelief: The Strengthening of Faith

Wrestling with unbelief and doubt is nothing that we should be ashamed of. In all actuality, it is something that we should celebrate with joy. Why? Because it is a clear sign that we have enough faith on the level in our faith-walk that we are currently pressing in to press for more than what we have. We are wrestling with the limit of now until we breakthrough to greater levels of belief. We wrestle because we believe! If we were hope-less people, we would cease to ask God for more. We cease to ask the Lord to strengthen us to overcome the unbelief that is being exposed. The simple truth is that we pray for what we have hope for and what does the Word of God say about hope: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~HEBREWS 11:1 Our faith pushes us to pray for what we have hope for and what we hope for is more faith, especially in the area He is calling …

A Tale as Old as Time: Revelation in Relationship by Charlie Louthen

I think it’s important to share that I did not want to write this article. I literally tried twice to disqualify myself to Candice and to myself numerous times. But Papa (Christ Jesus) continuously tugged at my heart to do it. Why was I so resistant? I narrowed it down to one reason. Fear. Why was I afraid? 1. How do you write something on a topic so deeply personal like a hard break-up with care and consideration for the other party involved when you were hurt by their actions? 2. How do you help others with forgiveness when you are not fully healed? I prayed for days on these two questions and got wise counsel from close friends. In the end, the answer was simple. Truth and grace. The truth is sometimes God will give you exactly what you want so that He can show you what you really need. This is biblically accurate. He gave the Israelites a king when they begged Him for it. He even told them all the horrible things …

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

You’ve gone quiet,” their words weren’t condemning, still, it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid. Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.” “No?” “No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest. “Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.” This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.” “Like a sapling through the soil,” “Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.” “Spring is right around the corner you know?” Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.” THE …