Friday, September 15, 2023

The Write Empowerment: We Are 'More Than Enough'

 #JustWrite!! It's a September to remember as we jump into this month's book club selection. Most of us have found ourselves in a place of doing but not being, simply put, accomplishing so much without fully embracing the essence of who we are without shame. Curse-breakers, change agents, barrier-breakers, you name it, we all can relate to carrying the mantle to exceed the expectations and limitations of society our way. New York Times Bestseller, "More Than Enough" by author Elaine Welteroth details the many ups and downs that she experienced throughout her life and career. A profound journalist, Welteroth shares her lessons on how she navigated race, identity, and success throughout her journey. These intersections have been the catalyst for her as a barrier-breaker. "You don’t have to be defined by one dream or one job title for your entire life. Get out of any job or relationship that makes you feel small. Instead, position yourself for growth by surrounding yourself with the people and the spaces that encourage it. Identify what your passion is, then figure out what your mission is, and do it." Double AMEN!! 

From a biblical standpoint, scripture speaks to being more than enough:

1. Romans 8:1-2 – In Christ There Is No Condemnation

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

2. Ephesians 2:13 – God Has Brought Us Near Through Christ

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

3. 2 Corinthians 3:5 – Our Competence Comes from God 

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

4. Ephesians 2:10 – We Are God’s Handiwork

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

5. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – In Our Weakness Christ’s Power Rests On Us

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

6. Ephesians 1:7 – We Have Redemption Through Christ’s Blood

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

7. John 15:5 – Jesus is the Vine, We Are the Branches 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

8. 1 Peter 2:9 – We Are God’s Special Possession 

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

9. Galatians 3:26 – In Christ We Are Children of God 

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”

10. Ephesians 2:8-10 – We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Amen, amen, amen!

Join us on Tuesday, September 26th at 6pm as we empower each other to continue the journey and work that God started within us and be mission-minded. We are more than enough! See it, believe it, and be it! 

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Write Kingship: Exploring Becoming A King, The Path to Restoring the Heart of a Man

Hello August!! #JustWrite, this month we are speaking to the men. For some of us women, the term, "man" brings forth thoughts of strength, leader, vigilant, etc.  The book club selection is Becoming A King: The Path to Restoring the Heart of a Man by author Morgan Snyder. Snyder speaks to the men as it relates to them becoming who God intended them to be in terms of His Kingdom. It answers the question, "What does power and responsibility look like for Christian men in our world today?" The book sheds light for men on how to: 

  • Reconstruct their understanding of masculinity and who God truly intended them to be
  • Learn to become a man of unshakable strength and courage
  • Reclaim their identity, integrity, and purpose

Snyder wholeheartedly believes that when we start to look deep into the external issues surrounding us, then we are able to see what's internally wrong with us. "IT IS GOD’S DESIGN, DESIRE, AND INTENTION TO EMPOWER HUMANS AND ENTRUST THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ONGOING CREATIVITY OF THE UNIVERSE." This read is not only for the men but also for the women who walk alongside and support their men. It is compiled of over 20 years of experiences from Snyder's personal tribe of wisdom and men of faith. And there's more. For a deeper dive into the context of Becoming A King, there is a video series experience divided into six sessions: 

Becoming Powerful
Becoming a Son
Becoming the Man You Were Born to Be
Becoming a Generalist
The Way of Becoming
Becoming a King

Check out the promo below: 

To read more about the Becoming A King experience, click here and join the conversation on Tuesday, August 29th at 6pm. 

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley

Saturday, July 15, 2023

The Write Intelligence: The Theory of You're Smarter Than You Think

Hey #JustWrite!! It's 3 weeks until the new school year will begin for some and for those of us who have children, have raised children, or have educated children, the conversation this month is centered on the intelligence of children. Most of us who attended public school went through the emotions of being tested and understanding whether or not we were visual (see the content), auditory (hear the content), or kinesthetic (hands on with the content) learners. In my experience as a student, my favorite subjects were Math and ELA and I was definitely using the 3 different type of learning styles in one to process information. In my experience as an educator, I've found that it is important to understand and prioritize a student's intelligence in the same way the learning styles of a student are prioritized.

This month's book selection, You're Smarter Than You Think: A Kid's Guide to Multiple Intelligences by author Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. explores a theory by Howard Gordon that children have multiple intelligences. The three intelligences discussed in this text include Word Smart, Self Smart, and Body Smart. The book also includes an explanation of Life Smart where children are inquisitive about life, the universe, and spirituality. According to Howard Gordon, the 8 intelligences include: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. These intelligences go beyond the general intelligence normally expressed by the standard IQ score. We as writers fall under the verbal-linguistic and intrapersonal intelligences. 3 additional intelligences include spiritual, moral, and existential intelligences. Parents, as you read this text with your child, you will be happy to know that your intelligences go beyond buckets that we have all been placed in. It kills the idea within the education world that our intelligence is defined by standardized tests. These intelligences also influence the areas of psychology, neuroscience, and business within workplace environments and training programs. The following areas are ways that we can apply these intelligences to our personal and professional lives:

1. Identifying strengths and weaknesses

2. Learning experiences

3. Teamwork and collaboration

4. Self-awareness and empathy

5. New challenges

Join the conversation on July 25 at 6pm and discover the intelligences that we all resonate with. Remember Proverbs 22:6 and that:

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Write Exploration: The Power of Creativity

Hey #JustWrite!! We're at the half-way mark of 2023! What a journey it has been thus far! For many of us the year 2023 is considered a 'Jordan' year (Michael Jordan, former player for the Chicago Bulls was noted as one of the greatest in basketball history wore Jersey #23) and indeed 2023 has proven to be a great year of moments. I know for many of us, we have all had a reset from the residue of the pandemic, and are finding ourselves going back to our passions and creative pursuits. In these last few years, we as a nation had to get very creative with how we do things from business, schools, and communities. Creativity within these three sectors is the focus in the June's book selection, "Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative" by author, Sir Ken Robinson, PhD. 

In this book, Robinson discusses how we as a people would do our lives a great service by exploring more of our creativity within. The world today is filled with so much uncertainty, it's time for all of us to get back to creativity as it is one of the most valuable skills we possess. The world today exists because of the Creator and the abilities He placed within us to create. 

Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Since the world keeps evolving faster, creativity will be our way to stay on top. Yes, everyday, there is some new invention or adjustment within technology that causes all of us to pivot in our lives. Technology is here whether we embrace it or not.
2. You can look at creativity as applied imagination. All of us have the ability to imagine and from that imagination, the ability to create. It is when we apply that imagination, we open ourselves to infinite stories, projects, and inventions. 
3. We’re scared of being creative because we think we have to give up our rules and take the blame alone. Many of us are locked down by structure and routine. Those things are good, however, there is a place for creativity to flourish within the mundane and predictability. 

The pandemic proved that creativity will create opportunities and possibilities. We must not limit ourselves and take advantage of creativity in all forms.

And if you agree, please join other creatives on Tuesday, June 27 at 6pm as we embrace being out of our minds with creativity. 

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Write Calling: Exploring Life Through 6 Seasons

 Hey #JustWrite!! We MAYed it to another blog. We have also approached the end of another season of closed chapters and for some a season of change. This month's book club read dives into callings and seasons. We all have experienced seasons and we all have some idea of our calling. But how many of you have ever thought of your calling being spread out through different seasons? We know the creation story of how the Lord created each detail of the earth over a span of 6 days and then He rested on the 7th day. Such an order and method that speaks to who God is and how He orchestrates everything. The book, "The 6 Seasons of Calling: Discovering Your Purpose in Each Stage of Life" describes how God so effortlessly designed our callings to not be one-dimensional and stagnant. 

Our calling follows us throughout life in the following seasons:

Childhood – the season of bonding

Adolescence – the season of learning

Early Career – the season of serving

Mid-Career – the season of creating

Late Career – the season of giving

Transition – the season of leaving

Looking at this list, I can surely attest that my calling has been with me through the first five seasons. My love of writing began in my childhood with vocabulary building and reading, developed in my adolescence with journal writing, transferred into my early career with freelance blogging, mid-career with creating content for individuals and organizations, to now into my late career with giving back through consulting and serving with my gifts. My present reality is a result of the journey I have taken through these seasons and the development that came forth. Sanders encourages the reader to assess their current journey, allowing each season to provide a sense of structure and development and an opportunity to learn. 

Join us on May 30th at 6pm for a discussion on this book as a great beginning to understanding who God created us to be through it's insight, encouragement, and perspective.

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Write Revolutionary: Humility and Discipleship

Hey #JustWrite!! It's April and this month we are discussing humility and how it impacts discipleship within family, church, and community through the book club selection, "The Revolutionary Disciple: Walking Humbly with Jesus in Every Area of Life by authors Jim Putman and Chad Harrington. 

The book takes readers on a journey through the Five Discipleship Spheres. Those spheres are the following: 

1. Abiding in Christ

2. The Church Sphere

3. The Home Sphere

4. The World Sphere

5. The Spiritual Realm

In Chapter 4, Putman and Harrington break down the 4 core practices of humility of a revolutionary disciple: 

1. Serving

2. Submitting

3. Listening

4. Confessing

When we serve, we forfeit what's comfortable in our lives to help others. "Only by serving do we prove ourselves to be a servant leader." Jesus was the perfect model of a servant leader (Matthew 23:11-12). Submission is actively receiving from God's appointed authorities. Culturally, we as people flee when the word "submission" is mentioned because of abuse and misuse. From a biblical perspective, submission shows up not only as a gift to others but also the ability to receive from others who lead under God's spirit and authority. When we listen, we seek to understand what others have to say. There is a difference in hearing and listening. One is the act of receiving information and the other is the act of processing the information. Remember when Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the desert? Jesus rebuked Satan with the Word of God. He heard His father, listened to His father, and obeyed His Father. When we are prideful, it's hard to listen to others and we do the disservice to ourselves of missing what God wants to say. "Few Christians are adept at receiving Scripture’s rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness." Yes, God always speaks to us in His Word but He also speaks through His servants. We must be discerning, mindful of our actions and humble. When we confess, we freely admit to our wrongs and transgressions first to Jesus and then to other believers. Confession is akin to transparency.  When we are transparent with confession, we are rebelling, disrupting, and revolving to be different and allowing others to be humbled, freed, and healed. "His confession healed a wound in me."

We all know that the ultimate rebel, disruptor, and revolutionary was Jesus. As the authors stated, "the authorities never knew what to do with Jesus." He could never be boxed in and self-contained for He walked in His position and spoke in authority (Mark 14:48). Jesus served humbly and understood discipleship despite His glorious fate which is the overall charge to us as believers. Remember, "Pride leads to division and death, but humility leads to life and peace." Which will you choose, pride or peace? An additional quote from Harrington's father and something to think about, "You can’t teach what you don’t know, you can’t lead where you won’t go, and you can’t give what you can’t show." We are not only hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. 

Check out the video complement to the book by the authors and join us on Tuesday, April 25 at 6pm for the discussion. 

May God's peace abide forever with us all.

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Write Remedy: The Relationship Cure

Hey #JustWrite!! This month we are revisiting the topic of relationships. Relationships exist due to " two or more concepts, objects, or people being connected." This connection can exist by blood or marriage, behavior, and as an emotional or intimate connection between two people. Most people think of relationships as romantic only and place more emphasis on those types of relationships. A previous blog spoke about love and repairing relationships. All relationships deserve the same type of nurturing and significant attention as relationships centered on love. This month's book selection is "The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships." 

The 5 steps are the following:

1. Analyze the way you bid and the way you respond to others' bids.
2. Discover how your brain's emotional command systems affect your bidding process.
3. Examine how your emotional heritage impacts your ability to connect with others and your style of bidding.
4. Develop your emotional communication skills.
5.Find shared meaning with others.

What's interesting is that the steps speak to emotional commands, emotional heritage, and emotional communication. Emotional commands consist of responses related to emotional, behavioral, and physical functions we need. The seven emotional commands are 
  • Jester: play and fun
  • Sensualist: attraction and intimacy
  • Nest-Builder: affiliation, friendship, care, and nurturing
  • Commander-in-Chief: dominance, control, and power
  • Explorer: searching, learning, and goal setting
  • Energy Czar: getting rest, finding food, and staying healthy
  • Sentry: vigilance, defense, and avoiding danger
Emotional heritage examines a person's upbringing, experiences, and their endurance to life's situations which affects how one receives and adjusts. Emotional communication refers to one's ability to use messages to inform and influence other's emotional state. Emotional communication can be developed by the following 4 emotional intelligence skills: 
  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-management.
  • Social awareness.
  • Relationship management
In addition to the text, the Gottman Institute is a great complement for those who would like to discover more of Drs. John and Julie Gottman's research within different types of relationships and also for professionals there are great opportunities to obtain certifications and training for their practices. 

Happy learning and see you all on March 28th at 6pm for the monthly discussion.

In His service,

Lequvia Ousley