An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning Veteran Actress, Lisa Renee Pitts

An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning Veteran Actress, Lisa Renee Pitts

BIO

Lisa Renee Pitts is a veteran and award-winning (multiple Critic Circle and NAACP Theater) actress on stage, film, and television. You may recognize her from the highly acclaimed music biopic, “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON,” playing Verna Griffin. After graduating from Rutgers University, Lisa began her career in her hometown, NYC, where she graced the stage with numerous artists, such as Leslie Uggam and Chita Rivera on Broadway, in Regional Theaters, and in Europe. You may have also seen Lisa in her numerous TV roles, which include “The Shield,” “The Practice, “Lincoln Heights,” and many others, or in her many national commercials. Lisa is an award-winning audiobook narrator and producer, motivational speaker, and ministry leader. Most recently, you may have seen her in LA at the Mark Taper Forum’s 30th Anniversary production of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.”

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: The industry is a rollercoaster. You often feel out of control, having to wait and wait for projects and productions to happen. What have you learned about how to stay in control when you can’t be in control?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Most recently, God has taught me, or rather He has reminded me once again, that He is in control, at all times, all by Himself. His timing is not my timing and whether I can “see” His hand moving or not, I can stand on Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Kathleen: Our days are full of choices. What has God taught you about making the right choices?

Lisa: Making choices – GOD FIRST! Lay every choice you have before God, first, asking, “Will this choice represent who you have called me to be?… who I know myself to be.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “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.” Glory to God! We can go straight to the source for direction and clarity regarding every decision we have to make. What a blessing! Go to God first!

Kathleen: The Bible tells us in Nehemiah 8:10, “…the joy of the Lord is our strength.” We often forget this when we’re in the midst of suffering. And there’s lots of suffering today. What have you learned to do when suffering happens?

 Lisa: As I began to mature in my walk with God, I could clearly see the toll long-suffering was having in my life (sickness, isolation, depression, anger.) I could also see that I needed to change the way in which I responded to that season of suffering. (more…)

An INNER VIEW with Producer Janet Craig

An INNER VIEW with Producer Janet Craig

BIO

Janet Craig is an Arizona-raised actress, writer, producer, and director. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre while playing on the nationally ranked women’s tennis team at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, before moving to LA to pursue her acting career. Now a veteran actress, Janet has performed in a wide variety of roles on network television, film, and in theatre. Janet co-wrote, directed, produced, and acted in the award-winning narrative feature film WAKE UP, a project inspired by her personal experience with foster and trafficked youth. She has directed over a dozen short films, co-founded and created original content for ProReels, and co-written another narrative feature film that is currently in development. A lover of the ocean, mountains, and all things outdoors, Janet is grateful to live in beautiful Los Angeles with her family.

Janet was our recent guest interviewee at the Influence Women Hollywood Chapter Brunch and will be our next featured guest on the Influence Women Podcast. Catch more of her great, inspiring wisdom on the Influence Women YouTube channel.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen: Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and less demanding on our schedules, but in reality, that’s not the case. We just pile more on our plate. How do you navigate and prioritize your schedule?

Janet Craig: When I have more to do than I have time for, I have learned to stop and spend time with the Lord. In those situations, I am realizing more and more that intimacy with God is what I need. Meditating on His Word and praying is where I find His path for each day and the strength through His Spirit in me. I also realize that I must stop, pray, and die once again to my flesh when I start to feel my life spinning.

Making the movie Wake Up was a mountaintop experience for me. I watched as He allowed me to experience His hand on me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. During this time, I leaned into prayer and dependence on Him.

When I first created the story of Wake Up, I would stay up until all hours of the night, feeling energized and inspired. I did not consider myself a writer, but the story just seemed to flow out of me. After the movie was completed, I realized that a lot of the story I wrote was part of my own story. Not that I was trafficked myself, but I grew up experiencing trauma and brokenness from early childhood, and those experiences deeply influenced the story of Wake Up, making the movie autobiographical in many ways. God used my brokenness to teach me and turned all of my pain and suffering into deep dependence and comfort in Him alone.

Kathleen: Where do you turn and do when you need inspiration or encouragement?

Janet: I have been so grateful for faithful friends who inspire and encourage me. I often am inspired by the example of faith in others. I also get encouragement from listening to a great sermon and fellowshipping with other believers of Christ. Many kinds and genres of music inspire me also, but. the Bible is a huge salve to me. I love reading and meditating and memorizing scripture verses found in it. Spending time alone with God – journaling or praying at the beach, in my private prayer closet, outside walking/ hiking, or just sitting and observing the beauty of what God created is the best way I find rejuvenation.

One example that comes to mind is when a sister in Christ shared some tough stuff with me in such a beautiful way. She started by telling me something she admired about one of my children, and then she told me about the hard things she had gone through in her marriage. Her sharing these things first made her safe and trusted before she shared some hard news about the trouble my child was in. It was a lovely way of making me feel loved, encouraged, and safe with her.

Kathleen: What you’ve learned about making mistakes and times of failure?

Janet: I fail so often and believe it is a sweet reminder from the Lord of how much I need Him. When I fall on my face physically or blow it, I realize that nothing is beyond God. He is more than able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.

When I was a young adult pursuing a professional tennis career, it was all about my own personal glory. I had Bible verses written all over my tennis racket cover, but I actually wanted people to notice me rather than give all the glory to God. I felt that I was a failure if I failed to become the world’s number one ranked player. When I blew out my shoulder in the Australian Open, it was actually God’s grace that brought me to my knees and got my attention back on Him.

Kathleen: Today is about being an “influencer.” What’s the one thing you’ve learned about influence?

Janet: Our whole purpose is to glorify God, and we should use our gifts and talents to do just that. We need to be willing to be open and transparent with our story. When I first started writing Wake Up, I was inspired by hearing a young woman tell her story of being trafficked. I wanted to bring the whole world into that room to hear it because I thought that if everyone heard her story, they would feel like I did and want to do their part to stop trafficking. It was her courageous willingness to tell her story, a story of brokenness, that made it so powerful. As I look back, I realize that God had plans for me to walk in my own story of brokenness that would intersect with hers to create Wake Up.

Courageously sharing our brokenness with others connects us with others who are hurting. When they see joy in the midst of suffering, pain and our dependence on the Lord, it brings God glory. He turns what the enemy meant for evil to good.

An INNER VIEW with Actress, Singer and Beauty Pageant Winner, Tania Joy

An INNER VIEW with Actress, Singer and Beauty Pageant Winner, Tania Joy

BIO

Tania Joy is an actress, singer, speaker, and winner of multiple beauty competitions – Miss Teen Illinois 1993, Miss Teen America 1994, and Miss Illinois 1996. She started Beauty for Ashes and is the host of her show, The Tania Joy Show, which focuses on combating the many anti-Biblical ideals and cultural norms of today. She has dealt personally with anti-Christian attacks on her career and life and as a mom, has had her family and Christian beliefs and values targeted for sharing her viewpoints and faith. She has worked in corporate American finance, Bio-Pharma, Retail, and HR but currently travels the country speaking about what it means to be a modern-day Esther. She is passionate about preserving Christian values, political freedom, and the importance of preserving the traditional family unit.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: As a TV host and speaker, you are passionate about preserving Biblically based values, but in today’s culture, it takes courage. What has God taught you about being bold in a Babylonian world?

Tania Joy: He is good and faithful through all of life’s storms and circumstances. When He calls you, He qualifies you. You might not feel qualified when He first calls you, but never doubt that you are not placed here, at this point in history, for such a time as this. He will use the foolish things of this world to confound the things of the wise and the weak to shame the strong. Just like Esther, she had to be willing to sacrifice even her own life to follow the call that God had placed within her. She was scared, yet she prayed, fasted, and then obeyed.

I have followed Jesus since I was 3 years old, but I was not fully prepared for what would be required these days to follow the narrow road laid out before us. The cost and sacrifice to follow His Word and teaching is often a difficult choice but one that God asks of us. Yet, when we fully surrender, we step into His fullness of joy, blessing, and fulfillment like nothing we could ever imagine. We are living in biblical days, the days of Noah, the days of Esther, the days of Gideon’s army, and truly in biblical proportions. We are seeing in America, for the first time, the cost of being a Christ follower, experiencing persecution like we have never seen. But let’s not forget that He has already overcome this world. We are only passing through. This is not our forever home. We were called to occupy until He returns, so let’s love Him above all other gods and love our neighbor as ourselves. I believe this is what we must encourage each other to do in these days.

Kathleen: How have you been able to find hope when things look so bleak in our world today?

Tania: The Word instructs us in Matthew 16:24 that we are to take up our cross and follow Him; in other words, count the cost. We are called to lay down our ways, our hopes, and our thoughts and seek Him for His dreams over our lives. Sometimes, what we face on this side of heaven will not ‘feel’ as good as we would hope. Jesus told us in John 15:18 that the world hated Him first and that, as a result, if we truly follow Him, the world will hate us in return. How many Christ-followers truly understand what it means to have the world ‘hate’ you, the culture, the common world around you, the community, and the social networks – ‘hate’ you? If we choose to follow Him against all odds, regardless of how unpopular it might make us, we will suffer in this world.

I have watched my world collapse around me multiple times; the suffering is deep, long, and hard. But the Word tells me 365 times not to fear. We will suffer. The world does not like what we stand for. The way to get through the suffering is to surrender all our callings, our fleshly desires, our hopes and dreams, and everything that we think about, knowing that He will sustain us. We are to be in this world but not of this world. It is often hard to understand the suffering we see in this world, but we must remember that we are living in a fallen world. When Jesus walked this earth, He reminded us, “Be of good courage because I have overcome the world” John 15:33.

Kathleen: The world is relentless. It pushes us to our limits with 24/7 non-stop demands. How have you found rest, particularly as a TV host and with the travel you do?

Tania: The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about rest. He told me about a year ago it would be crucial to know when and how to rest in Him. We are in a spiritual battle. There are many scriptures about the battle that we are in; my favorite is Ephesians 6:12: we “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” The only way we can battle in this way is to know how to rest in Him at the same time. The Bible talks about rest; in fact, it mentions rest 57 times. Psalms 37:7 talks about finding rest in the Lord and to wait patiently for Him. During our busy daily lives, where we are surrounded by the push of the culture, social media, and 24/7 work, we have forgotten the importance of what rest can and will do to us.

Resting is vital for our health, increases our concentration and memory, healthier immune system, reduces stress, improves our mood, and gives us a better metabolism. What does that look like? Turn off the phone and let your thoughts be on Jesus! Put your mind on Him. (Col. 3:2) Then stay there. We have become a culture that thinks our ‘rest in the Lord’ is like a Tesla charging station: plug in for 30 min and then get back on the road of life. He wants our everything. This is how we renew our minds daily. He alone will refuel us. If we do not take the time to rest, we will have nothing to give out. “For out of the abundance of being in His presence, do we have what is necessary to flow out onto others. (John 7:38)

Kathleen: You have a big following and have become an influencer. What has God taught you about being the right kind of influencer?

Tania: The definition of influence has changed for me over the years. When I was young and dreamt of being an actress/singer, I thought of fame and fortune, of lights and cameras. That definition has drastically changed in me over the years, and I am thankful that the Lord was kind to keep me on the journey of transformation in preparation for today. Influence is a very powerful thing, it can sway culture, it can transform nations, it can change hearts and minds.

Being a woman of influence means that the words I say, the places I go, the things I support, the views I have, and the beliefs that I stand for – all have the potential to impact someone else. Both good and bad. My voice can bless or curse. Therefore, it is of high value that I surrender my life daily to Jesus, that I seek His face on a regular basis and listen for His words so that when I speak, I am not just sharing my thoughts, but I am sharing what I hear Him saying to His Bride in these days. Being a woman of influence is the power to touch others with the love, truth, and power of Jesus Himself in a broken and dying world. We have a great responsibility when we have an influence of any kind.  I believe He has placed many of us on this earth, at this point in history, for a specific reason. Like Queen Esther, she was prepared for the time at which she lived and was in the kingdom. Had it been years earlier or later, her impact would have been different. Every woman on this earth right now needs to be prepared and has been called for such a time as this to set the nations free and save God’s children from being stolen by the enemy.

An INNER VIEW with Acclaimed Concert Performer, Transformative Speaker and Houston Influence Women Chapter Director, Jade Simmons

An INNER VIEW with Acclaimed Concert Performer, Transformative Speaker and Houston Influence Women Chapter Director, Jade Simmons

BIO

Jade Simmons is an internationally acclaimed creator of transformational experiences designed to activate audiences into becoming the biggest boldest version of themselves possible. The world-class concert artist is also the CEO of Jade Media Global, a revolutionary live experience and global content distribution company specializing in 360 degrees of personal development and strategic transformation. Nicknamed “Classical Music’s #1 Maverick” and named one of the Best Keynote Speakers year after year, her electrifying, genre-bending concert adventures span Beethoven all the way to rap and include virtuoso storytelling, uncommon insights, and boundless inspiration. Her musical career has seen her performing in recitals and with orchestras in renowned concert halls, including the hallowed ones of the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, Jade’s experience not only delights concert audiences, but her dazzling, high-impact presentations are fast becoming the go to fuel for the world’s superlative brands and organizations from financial services to biotech, to entertainment, education, energy, and beyond. Companies such as Nationwide, Hershey’s, NBC Universal, Zillow, QuickBooks, and Raytheon bring Jade in to power up their most important resource…their people.

Jade is an ordained minister, creator of a dynamic coaching communiverse for visionary women of faith called Designer Growth Club, and the author of Audacious Prayers for World Changers and Purpose the Remix. She took her most audacious turn in 2020 as the founder of Operation Restoration, which powered her run as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: People often think artist careers just take off like rockets. Has it been for you, and what have you learned about a successful career?

Jade Simmons: Don’t wait around to be discovered. Discover yourself instead. God has front-loaded us with purpose, mystery, surprise, delight, and ever-evolving identity. We get to go through life on a perennial scavenger hunt to find out more about who we are in Him. I’ve learned that if we are not careful over time, we start allowing our goals to define us. We might let other people’s achievements change our direction, or we wait on others (as well as jobs, titles, and roles) to tell us who we should be. I personally like to spend time taking Revelation Walks, where I simply ask God, “Who am I in this season?” and “What do you want me to know now?”. You can ask these questions in relation to your art, your talent, your productions, and your projects. I’m never disappointed and always blown away by the discovery!

Kathleen: A life as an artist is one of constant uncertainty. How have you broken through that fear?

Jade: In a conversation about my tendency to leap fast when I sense the voice of God, my sister said to me: “You’re not just a leaper, you’re a free-faller in faith!” The biggest smile came across my face because I am so proud of that part of my identity. Today, I teach other visionary women how to get a little quicker with their jumps, leaps, and free falls where faith is concerned. I’ve learned that God rarely spells out the whole plan at the beginning, so you might as well take the first step so you can get on with the next one. And, it never fails that when I simply pick my foot up in the new direction, He begins to reveal more about what’s coming next. Secondly, I expect the things that are being revealed in my quiet time to start appearing in reality. So, when they do, I trust I can say yes to what’s being presented. Lastly, I also trust that if I make a wrong move, God will show me and help me make a new move or extract myself if need be.

Kathleen: Today, our identity is being attacked like never before. What has God taught you about embracing your identity in Him?

Jade: I truly believe God has created us to be extraordinarily unique beings made in His inimitable image. Nevertheless, we live in a society that prizes conformity on many levels. Especially in the case of survival (personally, professionally, physically, financially, and emotionally), conformity proves safest. Ultimately, those of us determined to get down to what I call our “Factor of 1” are in for a lifestyle of risk-taking. Impactful uniqueness looks like harnessing all of our gifts, skills, personality, and abilities to be used in the direction of purpose, for the good of many, often in ways that are different than what the world has seen previously. In doing so, we will likely buck against the status quo, move opposite the crowd at some point, and combine things that were once thought not to go together. More scarily, we will not be guaranteed of the outcome on this side of the action! But, when we risk moving like a maverick and we see the impact we have on an expanded and unlikely audience BECAUSE we took the risk, it gets a little easier the next time…and the next. My own career is one of lots of Divine detours, zagging when others were zigging, and daring to bring seemingly disparate concepts (music, businesses, or even people) together. When we look back on our lives and careers, we see that what was really happening was that we were not just doing new things or living through new situations. Instead, we were becoming more of our fullest selves in the process, our most unique identities.

Kathleen: Finally, our culture is driven to be influential today. What’s the one thing you’ve learned about being an influence?

Jade: Influence is happening whether we intend it to or not…so we might as well be intentional with it. I believe we each have a unique type of influence and a unique way of being able to influence. It’s pointless to imitate other influencers unless, of course, we are talking about Jesus, a worthy model. Remarkably, He was committed to His mission and His ministry, but He did not obsess over whether or not people were following! He was not constantly looking back to see if he was becoming popular! He simply focused on being who He was called to be, doing what He was called to do. His fruit created the following. As a highly ambitious person who can devolve into hyper-competitive thinking and overanalyze analytics, Jesus’s example of influence is the best reminder of the posture we should take.

Learn more about Jade’s audacious journey at jadesimmons.com as she takes the baton as the new Influence Women Chapter Director in Houston, Texas. Join her as she and the outstanding Houston IW team grow and create a “transformative experience” at each event.

An INNER VIEW with Producer, Podcaster, and Production studio owner, Amber Butaud

An INNER VIEW with Producer, Podcaster, and Production studio owner, Amber Butaud

BIO

Amber Butaud is multi-talented. As an executive producer and podcast host, she uses her God-given gifts to inspire and lead others through storytelling. Amber is the founder and owner of 4 The One Studio, which is excelling the film industry in Houston, Texas, and is earning accolades from industry leaders and corporations such as The Beach Boys, Wilson, and Univision. She co-produced UP TV’s first original feature film, “The Life of Me,” and executive produced the feature film “Multiplied,” both set to release in 2024. Amber hosts the weekly video award-winning podcast “Set Life: Inspiring Stories of the Entertainment Industry,” and her passion for uplifting others extends to her production company, No Judgement Media, where she produces films, TV shows, and shorts that impact the culture. Amber’s drive for above-industry standards fuels her mission and has ignited an unstoppable ripple effect to bring meaningful change to the industry. Amber is proud to be part of the leadership team for Influence Women Houston.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: What has God recently taught you that has enlarged your faith?

Amber Butaud: God has recently taught me to trust in Him and his timing. All my life, I have been able to see the big picture of God’s vision for my life, and recently, he has been showing me one step at a time and less of the big picture. This is a new level of trust as I am not often sure where I’m going daily, but I have faith that where He is leading me is full of goodness and mercy. I remind myself that when I cannot see the hand of God, I can trust His heart. It has been a new faith journey: trusting the Lord with daily obedience. He has taught me to pray through things when my hopes and dreams don’t reflect my reality. Keep praying. Don’t stop. Keep contending. This season may be difficult, but the unknown is a place of possibility. The two promises from God and His word that I stand on are Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Proverbs 3:5-6.

Kathleen: One of the things that impresses me about your accomplishments is your ability to “just do it.” What have you learned about when to push on and when to pull back when you’re working on a project?

Amber: After a few months in the industry, I learned that there is a time to push and press in. There is also a time to be still and wait on the Lord to reveal what He wants to do through the connections I make daily. I’ve learned to ask God before all my meetings to show me what His ambitions are for the relationship, whether it be a connection, a collaboration, or that it is just a time for me to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others by offering encouragement, praying for them, serving, and helping them. It has been humbling to watch God show up in the most miraculous ways through relationships He has brought my way. This has allowed me to temper the over ambitious, self-driving, achiever personality that I have been given. I surrender my own ways and ambitions by staying in the Word- the Bible and allowing His voice to reign true in my thoughts. His ways are always above my own. I love the scripture in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Kathleen: What’s a leadership lesson that changed everything for you?

Amber: A leadership lesson that truly changed how I lead was to lead from my strengths, not my weaknesses. I took an assessment and studied the teachings of Tom Rath called Strength Finders 2.0. The assessment taught me what my top five strengths were. The whole concept of his teachings is to stay focused on our strengths, and we are five times more productive when we focus on our strengths than when we are trying to fix one weakness. As I studied this, the Lord spoke very clearly and said, “What sets you apart? Is it your weaknesses or your strengths that I’ve given you?” His answer was my strengths. That’s what He has set us apart in and where His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. I learned to lead from my strengths and allow the Lord’s power to be made perfect in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, …“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”

Kathleen: We influence others daily. What have you learned about influencing others?

Amber: One of the most important things I’ve learned about influence is we can either be a positive influence or a negative influencer. As women, we have the opportunity to make a positive influence in our families, communities, and even in our culture. We are often tempted to sit back and allow someone else to set the pace for the rest of society. Still, there has never been a more important time for us to lead with love and integrity; whether you have the opportunity to be a leader within your neighborhood community, family, business, or even your church, you have the potential to influence others through your words, ideas, and examples. I hope the Lord will light a fire of influence in your heart and encourage you to stand up and step out as an effective leader or influencer. Don’t wait for someone else to carry out the job. God has equipped you as an influencer, so just do it.

An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning  Actress and Musical Artist, Cassie Byram

An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning Actress and Musical Artist, Cassie Byram

BIO

Cassie Byram is an award-winning actress, singer, and songwriter, encompassing theater, film, television, voice-overs, published songwriting and multiple album releases for adults and children alike. Cassie recently portrayed Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the film Forty-Seven Days with Jesus with son Jonathan Byram as Jesus.

Her stage roles include The Scarlet Pimpernel, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and West Side Story, with television credits including Jake and the Fat Man, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Civil Wars and The Time Changers and is a featured singing the solo If I Loved You in the film City Hall starring Al Pacino. The Fathom Event “Forty Seven Days With Jesus” will be in theaters March 11, 12, & 14, 2024.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: What’s the one thing you’d like to share with women that God has recently taught you?

Cassie Byram: The idea of “peaking” is unbiblical. The thought that you are past your prime is a message from the enemy, who constantly wants to disable you every step of the way. It’s a message that plagues our society and can start as early as our 20s. On the contrary, God is in the business of redeeming our past and working in our present, all while His Holy Spirit ushers us into our future. God truly does work all things together for good. (Romans 8:28) From my experience I can tell you that just when you think your ship is docked and anchored, you’ll experience Christ, walking on the water next to you, helping you sail. I love this quote I recently heard from Tyler Perry: God says, “You don’t tell me when it’s over. I tell you when it’s over.”

Kathleen: With that in mind, tell us about your new role in the upcoming movie, “Forty Seven Days With Jesus.

Cassie: Getting a role in the new film, “Forty Seven Days With Jesus”, at this time in my life is a great example of why I don’t believe in “aging out” when it comes to career or influence! I played the part of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which was a joy in so many ways. First, being on a film set again is always thrilling. It just feels like home. Add to that the amazing fact that my own son Jonathan Byram is playing the role of Jesus; well, I can hardly begin to describe what that was like. I believe it’s the first time a real-life mother and son are playing the roles of Mother Mary and Jesus for film or TV. I’ve had the privilege of portraying Mary before in other projects, but I had the opportunity to take it to a whole new emotional level in this film. It’s an experience I will always cherish and consider as a career and personal highlight.

Kathleen: What do you wish you’d learned more quickly in life?

Cassie: Comparison is your worst enemy. We must realize everyone’s gifts and time frames are not the same. If we are in God’s hands, then the timing of our greatest impact is also in His hands. Our responsibility is to be obedient to His ways, and then God does the rest. The Bible is clear that we can flourish at any age. We see time and again, through Bible stories and present day stories, how God uses people of all ages to make a significant impact. I think about amazing women like the late Edith Kirchmaier, who on her 105th birthday signed up on Facebook.  She didn’t compare herself to younger people and give up. Instead, she used the platform to spread the message of giving back to her 32,000 friends and beyond!  Passing away at 107, she left a lasting legacy of conduct, values, and perseverance.

Kathleen: What have you learned about failure?

Cassie: At times, we confuse transition and change with failure. Learning to expect the unexpected brings a new and healthy outlook on the twists and bumps along the way. I can tell you from my journey that a turn in the road doesn’t mean your dreams will die. Often, our skills and gifts flourish in ways we never expect. Once when I was experiencing a slowdown in the middle of my career as a professional actor, singer, I frankly felt ready to give up. At that same time, I was given an opportunity to write and produce bible-based animation and music for children. Now, I run my own company, Mamala Media, where I offer “Heavenly Resources For Family Life” by producing music, books & animation for kids and adults alike. It’s so much fun, but I never saw that coming!

This quote from Charles Stanley makes a great point: “Why would you give up now at an age when you’ve finally learned some things and have so much to offer?”

Kathleen: We all impact other’s lives, but what’s the one thing you’ve learned about influence?

Cassie: Influence comes only through perseverance and trust. Those are the keys to building your own fruitful growth, which leads to realizing goals placed in your heart that will be used to lead others. If we look at our lives as a slow fizzle, then we really aren’t living out what we say we believe when it comes to trusting God. For many women, the responsibilities of marriage and family can, at times, feel like a dream squisher! We start to create a narrative that discounts us from ever realizing our dreams or being viable again. But God promises, if we wait on him, we will mount up with wings like eagles! (Isaiah 40:31) This promise is not a once in a lifetime occurrence. God can renew our strength again and again at any time or age.

Follow Cassie:
Instagram: @cassiebyramofficial & @mamalamedia
Facebook: Cassie LaRocca Byram
Website: www.cassiebyram.com & www.mamalamedia.com