Lisa Saunders – Featured Woman
At 17 years of age I experienced God in a very real way at a Young Life Camp retreat, and I gave my heart to him. But life would take me on a winding road of emotional abuse, dashed hopes, and broken dreams. But even in the midst of pain, in December of 1990, at the age of 26, on a Saturday night, the Holy Spirit came right in to a nightclub and snatched me out! I rededicated my life to the Lord the next morning, and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit two years later. I’ve never looked back!
Now today, I’m married to the first boy I ever gave my heart to, Mr. Anthony Saunders, and I’ve been blessed to see two sons grow to be amazing men of God, as well as add more children of love.
I’ve been blessed to have served in the birth of several ministries in the local Portland, Oregon area, at Northeast Community Fellowship Foursquare Church and currently I serve gratefully with my husband at Emmanuel Church.
As the Lord poured in to me over the years, he graced me to step out on PURPOSE in ministry. I founded Resurrection Ministries, and conduct an outreach ministry called “Crystal Gatherings” which endeavors to lead women to a place of healing, wholeness, and restoration in Christ their Redeemer. I faithfully flow in the gifts of prophetic teaching and worship (I LOVE to Worship my King), and I so have a heart to see God’s people purposefully walking in their Kingdom assignment.
My journey has not always been a straight path (in fact most of the time it wasn’t at all). I’ve not been perfect. But I can say that through it all, storms, wilderness, peaks, valleys, euphoria, and grief my Savior KEPT me!
1) What exactly is your business and what made you get started?
My business is shifting lives and atmospheres. I’m a Christian author, speaker, and budding Christian Lifestyle entrepreneur. My passion and calling is to go into spaces and turn up the heavenly temperature. Whether it’s a small intimate gathering of women getting together to encourage each other on their faith journey, or a large conference of people hungry to experience God in a fresh way, I stand as a facilitator of change.
It’s the desire to see the atmosphere of heaven in the spaces that I frequent day to day that caused me to get started with my business. An entrepreneur sees a need and fills it. Coffee shops, boutiques, and the local pizza hub – they’re full of people who want and need to encounter God. I like to hold gatherings in non-traditional spaces for that reason.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
Every day I make a conscious and tangible effort to remind myself of my purpose. I always have my journal with me. When I find myself getting distracted or overwhelmed, I usually take some to pull away from what I’m doing, quiet myself, get my journal in my hands and reread something that the Lord has spoken to me. Doing this resets my focus. Just taking a few moments to ground myself in why I’m even breathing at this moment does wonders to get me right back on track. I’ll usually take another look at my task list after I do this and reassess what I need to do with my day.
Where do I find inspiration? In the women that I encounter at my events and who reach out to me online. I marvel at the resilience and tenacity of women who get up, place one foot in front of the other, and take another step. I also find a lot of inspiration in 30-year old “Lisa”. There was a lot of brokenness in my life when I was 30 years old, and I remember asking the Lord to help me to hold tight to Him because I was sinking fast. I had a choice back then, and I summoned enough strength to hold on and keep walking. Lisa at 52 years old really admires 30 year-old Lisa.
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
I try to watch what I eat. I stay away from sugar as much as I can, and make sure that I have a low-fat protein every couple of hours to keep my motor running. I also make sure I get enough sleep. I’m no good when I’m sleep deprived. And I laugh. A lot!
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I’ve really had to learn this over the years because as I was raising my boys as a single mom, balance of any sort was a novelty. Now that I’m in this different phase of my life, I have the luxury of time to do some careful self-reflection and curating. I try to monitor when tasks and projects I’m involved in become too heavy, and be very mindful of when my emotions feel a bit out of whack. It’s a sure sign that I’m out of balance. When this happens I prayerfully do some inventory, and when the Lord directs me to unload something that I should no longer be carrying I obey! Also, if I get too wound up, all I have to do is talk to my husband. He never ceases to make me laugh and forget whatever I was moping about.
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The absolute best part of what I do is witnessing the moment when someone encounters God in a new and fresh way through something that He’s given me. That He would use me in these moments blows me away!
The worst part of what I do is managing the promotional social media stuff. I know it’s necessary, but it can be a time drain. I just want to go out and do the work!
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
I aligned myself with a project that, while good intentioned, was not something that fit into my purpose at the time. I had a deep personal relationship with the organizer of this project, and my love for that relationship caused me to overlook the clear red flags I was sensing in my spirit. I just wasn’t a right fit for this effort. After a few weeks, I chose to withdraw and I had to walk away from some wonderful people who were beginning to put their trust in me. I really felt awful about what had happened, but knew it was the right decision. I learned that while there are many noble causes out there, I’m not called to all of them. But somebody is. If we’re not careful we’ll occupy a space that actually belongs to someone else. Walking away allowed the person who was supposed to be involved with the project a chance to emerge.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I’d be the proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast in some tropical locale with my husband. Why not?!
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Diligently vet the people you partner with to assist you in your work, and be crystal clear about your vision. If you don’t have a solid sense of your vision, people are quite willing to give you theirs.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
Lack of confidence in who God called me to be. I had to overcome my own uncertainty that I had something to say that people would want to hear. I needed the Lord to bridge the gulf between how I saw myself, and how HE saw me. Moms with grown children I’m sure can relate to that sense of disorientation you have when your children have finally left the nest. While you celebrate the newfound freedom, you also have to rediscover yourself. From the time I was 22 years old my life revolved around my children, family, work, and later, ministry work. I was used to being behind the scenes making sure all the balls stayed in the air. Then the Lord said “Hey daughter, you’re the ball!” While I was quite adept in promoting others, I needed the Lord’s help to put myself out there.
10) Any last parting words?
Sisters, when you can’t believe in yourself, believe in God. His plan for your life is infinitely more awesome than you can ask, think or imagine. He’s got something amazing for you to do. Just relax. You’re responsible for saying “yes”, God’s responsible for saying “how”.
BLOG: _”The Heavy, Deep, and Real” – www.lisa-saunders.com/blog
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA:_facebook: Lisa Saunders, Author/Speaker