All posts by Leslie Williams

About Leslie Williams

Leslie Sansone Williams is an experienced online entrepreneur, former CEO of two brick & mortar businesses and the author of Legal Break-In and Cover Letter Secrets. She is a Digital Media Producer specializing in video courses, e-courses, e-books and podcasts covering topics related to online business success, publishing and the paralegal career.

Managing Your Image or Your Soul?

15400750_sIn the book, “Replenish – Leading from a Healthy Soul”, author Lance Witt quotes a gentleman he met who said, “The older I get, the less concern I have with what I have or have not done and the more concern I have for what I have or have not become.”

What are you concerned with right now?

Is becoming successful driving you?

Are you taking care of your soul along the way?

And what comes first – the drive for success, the achievements, prosperity, notoriety or the inner you?

One of my first jobs was working as a sales clerk at an accessories store in a large mall.  If my mood was a bit off or if I felt a little under the weather, I had to put on a good face. My image had to be what my employer and my customers expected in order to keep them all happy.  And while my “outside” image appeared pulled together, my soul was not.

Does your inside support your outside?

That unseen side of you has to be considered very important and taken care of otherwise there’s a real danger of collapse.  What is it in us that for a while goes unnoticed by others (and sometimes unnoticed by us) that begins to seep into our outside image?

Is it the suffering and pain we keep to ourselves that we believe our friends or family might not be able to cope with or understand?  Whether the pain is from a traumatic event or from the hiding of secrets, sins, our insecurities,  “hiding” is what we do in order to keep our image intact.  However, the pressure of concealing what is happening on the inside eventually becomes impossible and it can take a real toll on us.

It really is like leading a double life.

So, how about taking a moment with me to do a health check of your all important soul?  What is it that remains a threat to your spiritual health?  Do you take time everyday to feed your spirit?

Do you confess your sins to God (unloading the baggage) with the full intention of turning from them?

God made you with a definite plan for your life.  Have you discovered what that plan is yet?  I have to tell you, as scary as it is to begin the discovery of your purpose in life, it’s also a lot of fun.

Give yourself that space for discovery but also give yourself the gift of time to rest and restore.  You know, our doctors recommend we have an annual physical, yet we sometimes forget about the need for a spiritual check-up.

When’s the last time you gave yourself a tune-up?

 

 

It’s Hard Being Holey

18686494_sGlennon Doyle Melton’s book, “Carry On, Warrior – Thoughts on Life Unarmed” really made me laugh out loud.  The following quote really popped out at me: “My experience has been that even with God, life is hard. It’s hard just because it’s hard being holey.”

The term “holeyness” simply means an “imperfect life” which we’re all probably very familiar with.

In counseling sessions, one of the most repeated statements I’ve  heard goes something like this “I stopped going to church because everybody there thinks they’re perfect.”  While some churchgoers may think they’re perfect, indeed, many experience what Ms. Melton shares in her book – an emptiness that goes unnoticed or unsaid because of a false front they’ve erected.  Instead of “perfection”, they are “holey” (yep – the “fabric of life” is full of holes!)  Not being honest or real fools no one.

All of us deal with this emptiness.  We may try to fill it with alcohol, drugs, food, shopping and maybe even how many friends we’ve accumulated on social media channels. This becomes our “front” or “wall” to hide ourselves but all of our efforts fall flat because part of that emptiness continues to follow us around.  And knowing that others feel this vacuum can be very comforting.

Do we really have to make it our goal to fill that empty spot or can we decide to trust God to be our “Filler”?

Once we come to know Jesus as our Savior and have the Holy Spirit as our guide, it’s important to make time everyday to commune with the Lord.  He longs for this.

What can we do if, in spite of having a close relationship with Jesus we still experience a void from time to time?  Personally, I think it’s pretty normal.

What is God showing us?  This discovery and understanding comes through reading God’s Word consistently.  During those empty times, it’s the perfect opportunity to get alone with God.  Go for a walk alone and meet with Him or pick a time of day to talk to Him about our day.

When the evil one tries to loop past mistakes in your head, rebuke him in Jesus’ name and then move forward.

When we share our weaknesses, it may feel as if we laying ourselves bare (and we are!), however, there will be some who will be helped by what you share.  If we’re afraid to show the “real” us,  we will continue to feel disconnected because no one truly knows who we are.

I have to tell you, though, once we make those trusted connections, friendships blossom and we’re able to serve, minister and share our holeyness with others.

Break Through the Brick Wall of Resistance

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As odd as it seems, when you finally begin to follow your dreams, make changes and use the gifts God gave you, you will hit resistance or what I like to call the “brick wall”.

This resistance you come up against could be from anyone, really, including you.  The brick walls that have surrounded you for so many years have at times felt safe, yet now they feel like prison walls holding you in.

It’s time to break through.

It’s time to tear down the wall. No, not brick by brick – remove that wall totally.  Remove your negative mindset – refuse to listen to the enemy – rebuke him in Jesus’ name. Shake off the bad attitude and allow the Lord to bring to your mind all that there is to be thankful for.

How do you begin to make these changes?

Well, for starters, who do you hang around with? People who encourage and support you or people who try to tear you or others down?  It’s important that the folks in your immediate circle (family and friends) provide you with encouragement.

Today’s the day to let go of whatever’s holding you back.  Excuses, no more!  Fight through  until you break your personal wall down.  Rebuke all negative voices in your head and in your heart.

 

Leave Your Broken Yesterdays

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When we continuously look backward, our past remains our life’s view.  In order for change to become real, we have to do a complete 180 degree turn.  Mentally, physically and spiritually we have to turn from whatever places a halt to our growth or to our change.

True, change can be scary.

Are there parts of you that are yet to be discovered?

Are there dreams you’ve held in your heart for so long that you’ve been afraid to even speak about?

You know, the Lord provided you with very special and meaningful gifts that are yours alone.  If you don’t know what they are, it’s time for discovery.  If you do know in your heart what they are, it’s time to use them.

Read His Word in order to grow in strength and power, to understand which direction He wants you to go. Pray over all of it. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truth to you.

It’s so important to pay attention to your soul first. Your spiritual health is of great concern to Him.  Becoming who He has ordained you to be allows you to show your real self, to be honest (warts and all!).

Layer by layer, you can strip off your past – all of it. All along this path, you are beautiful to Him.  Did you hear that?  All along the way, you have been and are beautiful to Him.

Wrap your head around that thought.  Our attempts to reach perfection are not necessary.  He loves you just as you are.

Fear Hurdles

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I remember sitting in my car right before an interview thinking, “What in the world are you doing here? They won’t like you or think you will fit in. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget this – you probably don’t have the skills they need, either!”

Fear began to overtake me and my mind seemed like it was a jumbled mess.

“How am I going to ace this interview if I feel this down in the dumps and scared?”

And then, I felt this reassurance that God would be with me, that nothing that happened in that office would harm me.  Peace washed over me like a warm, calm ocean wave.  Really, what was the worst that could happen?

Maybe I wouldn’t get the job, but it wasn’t the end of the world, right?

I felt at that moment that God had my back and no matter what happened with the interviewer, well, I’d be just fine.  After all, I did have what they needed.  If they didn’t see it, maybe it wasn’t God’s Will that I work there.

What “fear hurdle” stands in your way?

Is it fear of failing or letting others down?

What keeps you frozen?

Steven Furtick writes in his book “Crashing the Chatterbox”, “Remember…He adores you even when you don’t feel worthy He thinks you’re the best.”

What is it that you feel drawn to do?

It’s time to jump over those hurdles – the hurdle put in place by you or others.

One step…

Forward.

xo

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

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Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

Who’s on your side?

Are there times when you feel lost at sea?

Who lifts you up when you need it?

In Steven Furtick’s book, “Crash the Chatterbox”, he compares our “waiting for acceptance” to the tv show “The Voice”.  Once the judges push the button and turn their chairs around, you have a good chance of being accepted.

Have friends, family or co-workers neglected to “push the button”?

Do they acknowledge you, lift you up and care for you?

There is One who absolutely adores you.  In fact, He knew you before you were in the womb.  Before you were born, He set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

As Steven says in his book, “Before Jeremiah could do anything to merit God’s acceptance, He hit the big button.”  God’s love for us is not based on something we did.  There’s nothing you need to do or be to “earn” God’s love.

There are no try-outs.

You simply have to accept this gift of love…Jesus.

Period.

No contest to win.

Nothing to be compared to.

Insecurities can be very poisonous – God loves us, insecurities and all.

So, my friend, if you’re thinking you have to be 100% perfect before God accepts you, it’s simply not so.

His arms are wide open to accept you just as you are.

Your Belief System Can Make or Break You

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Your Belief System Can Make or Break You!

What really drives what you believe about yourself?

1.  Your past.

2.  Traumatic events

3.  Family relationships

4.  Friendships

5.  Church family

6.  School

7.  Mistakes

8.  Grief

As you travel through your week, what or who do you listen to? What is it that plays on a continuous loop in your mind? Positive, negative or a combination of both?

When someone tries to break you down, what is your reaction during and after the event?  Do you stop them or do you allow it?  If you allow it…why?

What is it that forces you to stand still as others use you as a virtual or maybe very present punching bag?  When you express your dreams or goals to others, do they ridicule you?

Do you believe you deserve bad behavior or put-downs?

Whew! Lots of questions to consider, right?

When I was a young teenager, my dream was to go to California, specifically San Francisco. When I expressed this dream to family members, they laughed at the idea and said I would never get there. Honestly, I was puzzled by their reaction since we had traveled up and down the East Coast for vacations.  Nonetheless, I set a goal and eventually reached it.  Riding those cable cars was a hoot!

You see, the people who spew those ugly words at you probably have dreams of their own that were scattered, stepped on or thrown out completely.  When you express your goals or dreams and begin to achieve even small successes, it tells them that in the end, it was their fault they let their own dreams die.

Yeah, don’t expect support from this crowd.

Now, my friend, it’s time to shake off the oppression, to stomp on the lies of others and even some untruths you have told yourself.  This is your official “Start Up”!  Begin to move forward toward that wonderful dream of yours.

God has called you to a purpose with a specific plan in mind. It’s time to discover what it is.

Let the reins go and make this your “Day of Discovery”.

Fraud Police Alert!

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“C’mon, get a regular job.”

“You know you’ll never finish that.”

“Why are you so interested in computers? What’s the deal?”

“Do you really think you can make a living doing that?”

“What makes you think you’re so special?”

“I could never do that. What makes you think you can?”

Boy, I could go on and on.

As you explore what your talents or giftings are, it can truly boggle the minds of family, friends and co-workers who simply do not understand your calling. In fact, they could be unaware that they have talents as well. Unfortunately, their reaction to your pursuit of your dreams might be very negative and at times quite mean.

I remember my Mother informing me that I would be a secretary because she felt I would be paid well and my skills would be sought after. I’ll tell you this – it was not my gifting and it didn’t give me joy. Mom left high school at the end of her junior year to help support my Grandmother and Grandfather. As a single Mom with little education, her only option was to work in a local factory, so her wish was that I have other options. In reality, the career my Mother chose for me was her dream, not mine.

How do you thwart the efforts of those trying to box you into a career that is not a fit for you?

Are you willing to pursue your dreams in spite of the naysayers?

Do you see where this negativity has a very ugly foundation of jealousy?

You see, God created you as a unique individual. No one else carries your exact DNA. No one. Not a single person. When you follow your true calling, the purpose God has had for you since before the beginning of time, it is a threat to those who have been afraid to do the same. If you succeed, the frauds who have tried to block you will have to finally admit the truth – they are the frauds, not you.

When you finally have some success, you can expect to hear “It won’t last.”

What do you do?

You put them on notice that their negative chatter won’t be listened to anymore. You block out the lies whose intentions are to bring you down. Instead, you focus on pursuing all that God has for you.

Chase after what gives you joy and the rest will follow.

Eat Gluten-Free for Less

Eat gluten-free for less.

When I discovered I was gluten-intolerant in 2001, the only place I could find gluten-free pasta or gluten-free anything for that matter, was the local health food store. And it was expensive!

But that scenario is slowly changing.  In fact, now I can find most of the gluten-free products I need at my local grocery store.

Living Without Magazine has a wonderful blog post entitled, “Eat Gluten-Free for Le$$” which provides information concerning how to purchase food, coupons, etc.  Click here to view the article.

Also be sure to visit Mambo Spouts for coupon deals as well. (The coupon link is at the top of the page.)

Enjoy!

Don’t Let Others Grade Your Paper

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Do you tend to compare yourself to others?

Do friends, family or perhaps even perfect strangers tell you that you simply don’t fit in or measure up to their standards?

Well, the One who knew you before you were in your mother’s womb says this:

13 “For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”Psalm 139:13-16

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord created us as unique human beings with talents that are individually designed. Comparing ourselves to others simply will not work.  So, remember how special you are to Him.