The Brave Podcast

How to be Authentic with Shonda Carter

November 04, 2020 Season 1 Episode 44
How to be Authentic with Shonda Carter
The Brave Podcast
More Info
The Brave Podcast
How to be Authentic with Shonda Carter
Nov 04, 2020 Season 1 Episode 44

In this episode of The Brave Podcast, we get to hang out with Shonda Carter.  Shonda shares her journey as a creative and using that creativity to honor God. In our interview we talk about hearing God, finding your authentic self and identifying your purpose. I loved my chat with Shonda and I am sure you will as well! Seriously, she is so fun, get ready to have a ball!
She is one of those "Insanely Gifted" Christians, which makes her the perfect Creative Cattle-prod for her clients.  Currently, Shonda is in pursuit of her M.A. in Divinity (Spiritual Formation) and certification in the art of Spiritual Direction.  She is also a #1 Amazon bestselling author, whose greatest joy is in helping people find and develop their purpose and to encourage believers to reclaim the arts for God. It is through her arsenal of knowledge and performance skills she is able to get any client and/or message boring, unstuck and understood!  She brings over 10 years of experience speaking on every size stage and for every type of audience. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Creativity
  • Courage
  • Authenticity
  • Faith
  • Hearing God

Follow the Brave  Podcast

Learn More about Shonda Carter

Let's shop!

The Drifted Drum has apparel, gifts, and decor that are faith inspired and hand crafted by local artists in Tennessee. They will also host an online retreat on 12/5. See something you like? Interested in the retreat?  Use the code "Brave" at checkout to receive 10% off your purchase.

Do you LOVE bagels? Coffee? Just plain joy?

  • Guys, one of my new favorite spots to visit is Clingans Junction. It's a quaint little coffee shop in Squaw Valley that is on the way to Kings Canyon National Park. If you're a Fresno local or you ever visit this area, you gotta stop here. Yummy homemade pastries and delish coffee await you.  

Do you love to read but don’t have the time to sit down?

Try Audible! Get a month free:

Wanna learn more about me? Check out my website! 

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of The Brave Podcast, we get to hang out with Shonda Carter.  Shonda shares her journey as a creative and using that creativity to honor God. In our interview we talk about hearing God, finding your authentic self and identifying your purpose. I loved my chat with Shonda and I am sure you will as well! Seriously, she is so fun, get ready to have a ball!
She is one of those "Insanely Gifted" Christians, which makes her the perfect Creative Cattle-prod for her clients.  Currently, Shonda is in pursuit of her M.A. in Divinity (Spiritual Formation) and certification in the art of Spiritual Direction.  She is also a #1 Amazon bestselling author, whose greatest joy is in helping people find and develop their purpose and to encourage believers to reclaim the arts for God. It is through her arsenal of knowledge and performance skills she is able to get any client and/or message boring, unstuck and understood!  She brings over 10 years of experience speaking on every size stage and for every type of audience. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Creativity
  • Courage
  • Authenticity
  • Faith
  • Hearing God

Follow the Brave  Podcast

Learn More about Shonda Carter

Let's shop!

The Drifted Drum has apparel, gifts, and decor that are faith inspired and hand crafted by local artists in Tennessee. They will also host an online retreat on 12/5. See something you like? Interested in the retreat?  Use the code "Brave" at checkout to receive 10% off your purchase.

Do you LOVE bagels? Coffee? Just plain joy?

  • Guys, one of my new favorite spots to visit is Clingans Junction. It's a quaint little coffee shop in Squaw Valley that is on the way to Kings Canyon National Park. If you're a Fresno local or you ever visit this area, you gotta stop here. Yummy homemade pastries and delish coffee await you.  

Do you love to read but don’t have the time to sit down?

Try Audible! Get a month free:

Wanna learn more about me? Check out my website! 

Support the Show.

Shonda Carter 

[00:00:00] Alexis Newlin: [00:00:00] Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the brave podcast. It is November. What blows my mind is that Christmas is almost two months away  and the year is almost over. You guys, we're almost out of 2020. This year has been really hard, but also a lot of good things have come out of it too. I can't believe that the year's almost done. I'm just blown away. I remember starting this year and being so excited for all the things that 2020 would hold and then not expecting all the things that came with it. So. Yeah. What a year you guys, and we're almost out of it two more months to go hang in there. I hope you guys are all doing well with all the COVID things in that. 

Now that it's November, there's times with them, with our family. Some of you may not be some of you may be just getting together. So. Just know that I am thinking of all of you who listen and so much appreciate that you guys. Are a part of the brave family and the brave podcast. I couldn't do this without you. 

All right. [00:01:00] Before we get started. I want to remind you guys again about dr. April Jones retreat. She's having a retreat December 5th. Hosted by the drifted drum company that allows you to kind of find your purpose, allows you to rest. And I think it would be a great thing for you to sign up for, if you are interested, go to the drift of drum, click on events and you can sign up there. And if you use brave at  checkout, You get 10% off. And everybody loves a deal. So you should definitely jump on that. Alright. My next guest, I had so much fun talking to her. In fact, And she doesn't know this well, she'll know it now. ,I listening to her, I'm like, this is probably what I will be like, continues. Like I just related to her so much. I feel like we're kindred spirits. 

And she is a creative like myself. And she talks about her one woman show, her name is Shonda Carter and how she got that started and how she. Took creativity. And use that as a way to worship. The [00:02:00] Lord and kind of lead people to use creativity, to worship the Lord and to serve God. It was a really, really great. 

So without further do here is my interview with Shonda Carter.  

all right. So welcome to the brave podcast.  I'm Alexis Newland and I am interviewing Shonda today. So Shanda, thank you so much for being a guest on my podcast. introduce yourself. 

Shonda Carter: [00:02:27] Hi, my name is Shonda Carter and I am so honored to be here.

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I really appreciate it.

Alexis Newlin: [00:02:35] Awesome and tell people what you do and  why you're awesome.

Shonda Carter: [00:02:39] Okay. What do I do? That's a really hard question for me. and I know this is the brave broadcasts, but it's like, you know, I hear so many times they say I'm a , Jack of all trades and master of none.

And that's really funny because it's like, I can almost do anything  creatively. So I would say like my biggest strength is just being creative and being able to figure out how to do [00:03:00] things. I am a speaker, I'm an actress. Amateur actress, I'm a singer amateur singer. And, I do, I have a one-woman show it's but I, I spell it w O N a one-woman show.

and I can, I do videos and all of this came from not being able to find people that could help me. So I did learn a lot of things and learn a lot of things from scratch and, I've just been on this journey for a while. And I would say what makes me kind of awesome is that I don't quit. Well, I don't quit for very long.

I do quit. So, but then I get right back up, you know, when you fall down, you're like, I'm not doing this anymore, but then, you know, you get that strength to rise back up again. So I would say like, that's been, like, my biggest thing that I'm known for is just not. Quitting, even though people don't get to see the tantrams behind the scenes.

So I just want to get that out because a lot of times people will, you know, Oh, it's easy and it's not. Fulfilling your destiny is not easy. And I would [00:04:00] want to make sure that people don't look at me and think, you know, she's so talented. It's so easy for her. No, it's not. Wow. That's it 


Alexis Newlin: [00:04:11] what got you into wanting to do a one woman show? Like I hear that. And I'm like instantly anxious because i can't imagine having that much of a spotlight on me. 

Shonda Carter: [00:04:19] Oh my gosh. It took , okay. This is brave. I'm going to bravely say it took about 10 years to get up the strength and the courage to do that. No one believes me, but I had a horrible stage fright.

My husband believes me because, when I started going to church. Somebody found out that I could sing. And sometimes, you know, you never believe, you never believe your own. You never believe how talented you are. You never can see are the gifts that you have. Yeah. Someone overheard me singing some little song.

You can sing, you should be up on stage. I'm like, Oh my gosh, no. I'm a, I'm a behind the scenes type of person. And I had a drama team at church and I could always get other people, you know, bring out their gifts [00:05:00] and bring out the best in them and discover all these hidden talents. And it was like, all look all the while I was like, I was the one that needed the most work, but like I said, someone heard me sing.

And they, I don't know how they talk me into it. And I remember so much my husband had on this white shirt and I remember crying so hard. Like his whole shirt was ruined. He was like, are you okay? Are you okay? Like, no, I don't want to do this. So that was about maybe  17 years ago and I started singing and then I found out that it got easier and easier.

, I was scared for a while, but it started getting easier. I wasn't as petrified. I moved from petrified to just scared. And then I moved to not scared. Then I moved to, Oh, I've got this, but it took 10 years to get to that point. And like I said, no one believes me about this stage fright or anything like that.

But. That's how it happened. And then I just started, it was really funny because, I started, like I said, I had a drama team and then people would like, cause it was [00:06:00] volunteer, we would show up when they wanted to. And so I would have to step in and do their roles and it's like, you know, the first time I'm telling you, , I almost  passed out with fright, but it was the camera and I could control it. I could control what was being put out. So anyway, I started filling in here and there, like an extra. And then, like I said, about 10 years later, , I had all of these little videos that I had done and I love doing parodies and I'd had all these videos that I had done over the years.

And I'm like, this could be an act. And like I said, it's really hard to describe, like, it was no, 

you should go on stage and do a one woman show. It was just idea after idea after idea, it's like, Oh, I could do this. Oh, I could do this. So I would just say it was just one step at a time. Like, or you just take the next step and you take the next step and you take the next step.

And that's how the idea came was you could, this is like a one woman show. Like you are starring in all of these productions and [00:07:00] that's what happened. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:07:01] Wow. That is amazing how it happened. And I love that you said that you had stage frightened. You went ahead and have done all this anyway. What caused you to push past it?

Cause that's the one thing that people get stuck in fear and they can't seem to move past that to what helped you? 

Shonda Carter: [00:07:17] What helped me was having, very strong personality. And I could say, I say no a lot and given the freedom to say no. And then, you know, going back and thinking about it. Like I said, I just took baby steps.

I never allowed anyone to push me past the point that I could go. and I would say, no, I'm not comfortable doing that. And people would say, Oh, you should make a CD. You should be a recording. I'm like, I'm not Mariah Carey, like right. Not going to, you know, I always had the, I would watch American idol.

And, you know, you see those really bad singers and you're like, why didn't someone in their circle? Stop them. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:07:54] I know! It's terrible. I'm like, Oh my gosh, why would you let them go up there in front of the whole world? [00:08:00] Oh, no. 

Shonda Carter: [00:08:01] So I'm like, I was able to say, no, we're not going to do that. It's like, Thank you for your enthusiasm, but I know who I am and I know who I am not.

And I am not Mariah Carey. I am not going to go pursue a, you know, it's like I do, I do enough singing to get by off of what I am purposed for. And I've always had a really strong sense of purpose, even though I didn't know all the gifts that I had, it was like a set. I knew who I was. I knew who I was not.

And I was able to just take baby steps. And then sometimes, you know, you hear those lies in your head and you say, and you think. I can't do this and it's like, well, maybe you can't do this, but you can do that. You know, find something that can do and just take a little step. I have, four children and I would always think about if they would have given up learning how to walk.

Every time they fell down and I would feel ridiculous every time I would fall down and say, I'm not doing this again. I would always have that little vision in my head. So that's what helped me get through it. And it took [00:09:00] a long time and that's another thing people want to rush. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And I wanted to rush, I was one of those people, but you know, it was not to be rushed apparently.

So there you go. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:09:14] And so I read a little bit about you, you do a little bit of coaching as well. And mentoring what got you into that? 

Shonda Carter: [00:09:20] Because I, I always said, I did not know anything about the coaching business when it first started out. I didn't know that coaches existed and I always wanted to be the person that I needed 10 years ago.

That's okay. We can get into coaching because there were so many coaches that I had that were not a fit and they were trying to make me into something I was not, and I wanted to stay genuine and help people, you know, to be who they're supposed to be. Not who a coach says they're supposed to be about.

Like I said, I've always had a very strong sense of purpose and I knew that my gifts could help someone else. And it's like, you know, that's what you need to use your gifts for. Cause they weren't working out very good [00:10:00] for me, you know, sitting around. Yeah. You know? so when I started helping other people and, you know, getting the response, it really just kind of motivated me to do even more.

Like I said, I just wanted to be the person that I needed 10 years ago. Like. Oh, I would have loved to have had someone like me, like would have taken me so long. You know, I can't get mad that it took me so long, but sometimes I go back and go, if I hadn't had me. But 10 years ago that 10 years later. Me 10 years ago me.

Yeah. And tell me how far, what I've gotten way back then. So, 

Alexis Newlin: [00:10:32] so you talk about this like sense of purpose. What is your sense of purpose? And then for those who are looking for their sense of purpose, how can you kind of guide them in that direction? If that question makes sense. 

Shonda Carter: [00:10:42] It does make sense. I actually have like a, it's a two hour class.

I'm not, I'm not, Promoting the class or anything like that, but it's like usually, cause some people want, well, what's my purpose. And it takes, it takes them a minute to kind of work your purpose. But I always go back to, you [00:11:00] know, do you, do you want to, it's like, a phrase that I. Put together.

It's like, my purpose is, and then you fill in like, do you want to help? Do you want to influence? Do you want to, what's the other word? inspire. And I just give people those three words and then I get to pick which one did they like to do? And then I say, to help, who, who do you want to help? some people, cause everyone says, Oh, I can help everyone.

Like, no, you can't. You really can't. You know, you're assigned to, you know, I really believe in, you're assigned to a certain, Type of person or a certain group.   so I say, who do you want to help? And then I was like, what do you want to help them do? Or what do you want to influence them to do?

Or what do you want to inspire them to do? And then I say, How are you going to deliver that? That's your stage S T a G E. That is your skills, your talents, your abilities, your gifts, and what you always do with excellence or expertise. So yeah, you stand on your stage. That's how you deliver your purpose.

Okay. Oh yeah. That's that's the, that's [00:12:00] the, the quick guideline to my purpose class.

Alexis Newlin: [00:12:03] Okay. Can you say it one more time? The stage piece? 

Shonda Carter: [00:12:06] The stage is, S T a G E. It is skills, talents, abilities, gifts, and expertise, or, excellence, which you always do an excellence once you won't compromise. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:12:17] That is awesome. I absolutely love that. I'm actually, I'm gonna write that down for myself. And so another question for you being in this role where you're an actress, you're, you're singing and stuff. How do you, elevate. God ? , I know you're a woman of faith, but without elevating yourself, 

Shonda Carter: [00:12:35] that's really easy for me because I don't really like to talk about myself that much.

So that part is really, really easy. with the one woman show, I'm really, it's really how I tell my testimony. You know, we say, you will overcome by the words of your testimony and  I'm able to do that without talking about myself. I, I don't know. That sounds funny, but like, I can go into a character like. , I did not get saved until I was like in [00:13:00] my mid thirties, I would say like, say for real, say for real. and I have this character who is looking for her purpose in life and, you know, that's really what drew me to God was, you know, I like a lot of people they want to escape. Hell, that was not mine.

I just. I don't know why it wasn't. I just was looking for purpose. Like, there's gotta be something bigger than just escaping hell, you know, as far as God goes. So it was like, I knew, you know, he created me. So I knew he's the only one that could tell me, you know, that purpose part, that purpose piece. So. I really was searching for purpose when I, and I wanted to hear his voice, I always heard about people that, could hear God I'm like, what are you talking about?

You know, so I had some really specific things when I was searching for God and through the characters, I'm able to always point to God and how he brought me through it. I do. Various women of the Bible. Like I do the Shulamite woman, how she has helped me, how Hagar, you know, some people look at Hagar and Sarah and they just want to be Sarah, but [00:14:00] Hagar has helped me and I bring out little scriptures about that, but it all goes to how God has helped me help put me on this path of purpose. And lots of parodies and lots of, eighties music. Cause I'm a little older.

Alexis Newlin: [00:14:13] I love eighties music. It's awesome. 

Shonda Carter: [00:14:15] Lots of Eighties music, lots of, you know, and it just kind of drops your guard a little bit as far as you know how people think about God and it's like that just that alone makes me just want to keep going.

Like I can change the perspective a little bit, cause God is fun. He is, he's very fun. And, it's like, yo y'all are missing out seriously. He's fun. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:14:38] I'm just thinking about that.  I just went on a like camping, trip.  my relationship with God has always kind of been adventure.  I've always wanted to  have this adventure and have it with the Lord and, and using adventure to conquer fear because I've struggled a lot of fear and that's why I made this podcast.

And so I'm losing my train of thought, but like, Bye when this happens, [00:15:00] but yeah. Oh shoot. I just totally lost it. It'll probably come back to me. I'm so sorry. 

Shonda Carter: [00:15:06] That's going to happen to me too. You're fine. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:15:10] But, Oh gosh. Where was it? Ah, I hate when that happens. but yeah, like God using adventure to kind of walk me through fear because fear it is so, so, so paralyzing. And my like, since to one, like, it was so weird to have like the sense of adventure, but be so fearful. And God's like, let me take you to these cool places. There were a guy found it again. God is fun. Okay. , let me take it to this cool places and show you that you're safe with me.

And so I was recently in Yellowstone and. 

It was my last night there, it was storming. I woke up in the middle of this huge thunderstorm, like in California, we don't have thunderstorms. Like you live in Oklahoma. So like, you are used to thunderstorms. And I grew up in Georgia, so I knew what they were like.

And then coming here, I'm like, this is not a thunderstorm. This is just a little baby. I don't know what this is. It's not a thunderstorm. So waking up in the middle [00:16:00] of one, what I went through and Georgia, I was just like, Oh my gosh, I was immediately traumatized. And I was in a tent and I'm like, Oh my God, why, why am I here right now?

Why this is my biggest fear, Lord, like what, what is happening? And he's like, just get out and get in the car. And so I sat in the car trembled for a minute. And I realized that God is the creator of all this. He's  in charge of the thunderstorms in charge of everything. , so basically decided to like roll over and then like watch the storm and know that I'm safe with the Lord.

And that's what he's been showing me through my whole journey that he is fun. And then he is my protector and that if I could just  Even in my fear, just embrace it and embrace him and know that he's going to take care of me. And that's kind of really helped me 

in my journey as well. 

Shonda Carter: [00:16:42] , when you were describing your story, you reminded me of, we went on vacation and I bungee jumped and that was super, but it was like, the Lord told me to bungee jump and it was like, are you serious right now? And it was. So what I am a [00:17:00] instinct type of person, like I will jump. And it's so funny because it was like, I had control of like, whenever you're ready, you know, pull the it's been almost 20 years ago, but it's like, he's like pull the thingy Bobby. I know that does not sound good. Pull the lever or whatever. And my, my, youngest son went with me and he, And it was like, it was in my control. Like you can pull this or not, you know? So the Lord was showing me like, it's, it's in your control. Like, yeah, I, I asked you to do this. , I had it in my hand.

, as soon as I pull that lever, I knew what was going to happen, but it was up to me, the timing, it was up to me, you know? When to do it. And it was like, just, I was thinking, just rip the bandaid off, just get it over with. And I pulled it and it was like, this is great. But it was like, like you said, the peril, the fear will paralyze.

You .Had I , stayed up there and thought about it one second longer than I did. I probably would've said, no I'm going to change my mind. You know? So pulling that and it was like, this is [00:18:00] fantastic! So it's like, I've always done the. I'm going to pull it, I'm going to pull it. I'm going to pull it. And my husband thinks I'm pretty brave and it's like, I don't, I.

I'm glad you think that, but it's like, I do it because I know I'm going to get scared. So I pull it real fast. Yeah. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:18:16] I'm the same way. Like people say you're brave. And that's what I kept hearing while I was solo camping. And I'm like, if you guys knew how much fear there was actually in me right now, I am terrified.

But like, I think that's what the Lord, like , my big verse is Joshua one nine, be strong and courageous do not be frightened. Do not be dismayed. And in that verse, I see that like, you can still have 

fear, but. Don't let it stop you and just to push past it and just do it anyway. And so that's kind of been my whole life with the Lord is like, I understand you're scared take, like you said, baby steps.

Shonda Carter: [00:18:49] Yeah. Just do what you can do pretty much. Like don't get, when you start focusing on the big, sometimes you get like, it's paralyzing. Cause it's like, I can't do that. So I can do what you can do. [00:19:00] That's what I've learned to do. It's like, you know what? I can't, I didn't know anything about creating a one woman show.

I didn't know anything about that. Like, I remember crying because I couldn't figure out how to edit video. And now it's like, I'm known as an expert for any editing video.  it was like, and  I just remembered it. I was like, where'd you go to school? And like, I just got on YouTube and spent hours and hours and hours frustrated, you know?

And it's like, you know, it's just do what you can do. I can get on YouTube and watch a video to learn how to do that. I could learn how to Photoshop, you know, just. Over the years. It's just so amazing what God has done just by you saying yes. And then taking the next step. Yes. Take the next step. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:19:40] Yeah, that is awesome.

And so I want to talk a bit about you being a creative cause there's a lot of my listeners who are creatives and they're trying to figure out how to use that their, their creativity as a way to Either share the gospel or to make a business. Can you speak a little bit into that? 

Shonda Carter: [00:19:56] Yes, I can.

And you're getting me to plug stuff like [00:20:00] I don't, but   I have a book that I wrote it's called God is for real R E L. Okay. Well, I can play with words a lot creative. and it was because there were so many people. That were thanking me, like thank you for giving me the ability to use my gifts, to serve the Lord.

Because a lot of times in that aspect, artists are not looked at as, you know, being able to minister the gospel  it's Oh, that was cute. Or why don't you go to kid's church and, you know, draw with the kids or something like that. And sometimes you miss out on the magnitude, you know, the vision of an artist.

And so I wrote the book explaining how you can use your gifts, your talents, your abilities, the arts too. It was a matter of fact, the subtitle is used the arts to speak to the heart. So in that book, I break it down each like, you know, if you're a writer, of course a writer knows how to use their gifts for God.

I can write a book, but an artist like a painter. And I give examples at the end of [00:21:00] the book at the end of , each chapter and says like, you can. Paint pictures for habitat for humanity. You know, you don't have to spend your life. If you're a Christian artist, you don't have to spend your life recreating the Lord's supper.

Like you can do artwork donated to, you know, habitat for humanity, for people to decorate their houses that can't afford nice artwork. You know, those type of practical things that explain how, you know, dancing ministers. I explain how those types of things do, but. One of the main things about being creative is being authentic to who God has called you to be.

And when you're authentic to who God has called you to be, you give other people permission to be themselves. And that's why I say I'm a walking permission slip because people see me and go, Oh, I didn't know you could do that. I didn't know you could, you know, minister like that. And I , just got my master's degree in a Christian school.

spirituality information and you talk about, I was with some of the. Most uptight Christians I've ever been, [00:22:00] they were serious and I'm looking like, God, you know, I'm goofy now, but I've learned to be like, before I would just be quiet and not express, you know? But now they're not now I've learned to like, you know what, no, this is how God speaks to me.

He speaks to me through 80 songs. He speaks to me through movies. Ooh. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Like no, I've gotten a lot out of a movie and sometimes they're not always PG, you know, it's like, but God will speak to me through a movie and even just giving a different perspective of the Bible and what the word says, then what we've been, trained.

teaching is good, but you have to look at how you've been trained to view and, you know, listen to the Holy spirit, how he wants you to see that scripture. Not what you've always heard. So. When you do that, I just believe that you start living your purpose. You start living the way God has created you to live and your gifts that he wants unleashed to the world.

That's what I think. And that's what [00:23:00] I kind of, yeah. Help people get to the nitty gritty. And do 

Alexis Newlin: [00:23:05] I love that? Can you explain your masters? It's spiritual informatics. What is that? I've never heard that before.

Shonda Carter: [00:23:11] Sorry. It's a spiritual Christian spirituality and formation   and that's basically helping people get down to the nitty gritty on how they believe God.

How they have an attachment with God. kind of, it's a lot of discipleship. It's not, you know, people so funny because people think I'm an expert on the Bible. It's like, no, I'm kind of an expert on the soul. As far as how the soul, you get this, you know, your spirit. And I was like, how the soul kind of comes along with like you, like, you were like, you're saying what the bravery with, with doing it anyway with, you know, turning away from what you like to do.

To serve God when I say like, like some of the stuff you're not supposed to be doing that you like. so it's, it's basically [00:24:00] helping your mind, willing your emotions kind of get, get on God's plan. That's what my master's degree is really in. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:24:07] Oh, that's fascinating. I have never heard of that before. 

Shonda Carter: [00:24:09] I didn't either until I signed up to get a master's degree and that's why I said it's that those yeses and that I'll do it because.

I remember I have, I have it's so funny cause I have a bachelor's in criminal justice.  And I used to be a probation officer, you know, work with social services, all kinds of stuff like that. So I'm like, why would I go back to school? Like I did not want to go. I didn't like them. I didn't like the criminal justice degree that I got.

I just got to the point of no return. Once again, back then I let people talk me into stuff, you know? It's like, you should be an attorney. You can argue. I'm like, okay. So. Well, I don't know anything about being an attorney. I, so I majored in criminal justice. Then my advisor put all these classes on, by the time I realized I did not like it, I was already two years in it's like, well, I'm just going to have to [00:25:00] finish.

So I finished it.  Didn't  like it ,didn't want to go back to school again. And so when the Lord was speaking to me about school, no, and even when I finally agreed. I was just playing around on the internet, just like I said, just one baby step at a time and looking at, and it , just kept one step. Yeah. One step one step.

I made the appointment with the advisor and I was, I was just going to go get another, I was going to get a bachelor's in theology because that's all I knew. You know, I didn't know. There were different aspects of, you know, degrees, as far as learning about God. I just want to learn more about God and she's like, why would you get another bachelor's if you already have one?

I'm like, well, my bachelor's in criminal justice that has nothing to do with God. And she was like, it doesn't matter. So I'm like really? And then I signed up. Stuff. I didn't know. You gotta say you gotta be able to go in, say yes,  let me play around with this. All kinds of stuff. I didn't know.

And it just next step, next step. Next step. And then there you go. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:25:58] You have your masters now. When did [00:26:00] you get your master's? 

Shonda Carter: [00:26:00] In may. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:26:02] Oh, so you recently got it.

Shonda Carter: [00:26:03] I just recently got it. And, also I am still in, I'm on my second year in seminary. to be a spiritual director, which was something I discovered while I was in school.

I had never heard of a spiritual director before.  I had some book I had to read and I'm like, what is a spiritual director? Another thing I had no clue. I'm 47. Okay. Never heard of it.  Started researching. Wow. This is really neat. And then , people were like, you're crazy to do seminary and get your master's at the same time.

I was like, yeah, but my journey is not. Sane. So , I looked up a seminar, to get a certification in spiritual direction. And now I am going to be a spiritual director. I graduate from that program in may. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:26:53] Wow. So what does a spiritual director do? 

Shonda Carter: [00:26:57] The spiritual director.  this is hot off the press. This is [00:27:00] what God has told me that I have, how I describe it.

Cause I'm goofy. I am a heavenly hearing aid. Okay. That's basically, you know, I meet with meet one-on-one , it's a ministry where you. Speak people think it's counseling, but it's not, you are talking. And then we have conversation with God, because like how I said, when I first started out, I wanted to hear from God.

I didn't know how people could hear from God or like God never talks to me. So we're able to prayer through exercises, through disciplines, through, through speaking together, one-on-one intimate conversation is totally confidential. You know, I listen,  I'm a professional listener and, We just talk to God about that together.

And I help my clients see a different perspective. I help people see  where they wouldn't normally see God. Like when they're in bad times. And you're like, you know, has God left me? No, he hasn't left you, you know, it's like, let's take a look at this, you know? And then you just notice. That God is still there.

So cause sometimes, you know, you get,  to those points where like, [00:28:00] I mean, I've had it on my journey several times. Like, God, you know, what are you doing? Why are you doing this? Why did this happen? I thought you said this once again, being the person that I needed 10 years ago. So I'm the one that now through spiritual direction as well.

And it's different than coaching. Coaching is go out, do it, do it, do it. you know, spiritual direction is let's talk to God about this. Like let's hear what he has to say about this. And we do, and it's been so fabulous. Like I've been more blessed than , my directies seriously, on this journey so far.

Alexis Newlin: [00:28:33] So going back to  hearing from God, . How do you know when God is talking to you? Like how can someone kind of identify that? 

Shonda Carter: [00:28:40] Hmm. Well, that's a very hard question. Just off the fly. . I'll say it's a very serious question. he confirms really what he's, you know, he confirms like, always look for confirmation.

Like if you believe God has said something to you, don't go ask people. It's like, you know, God, , can you give me confirmation with that? [00:29:00] And he'll send a confirmation, like, you know, and I'm not saying that it's like, that's how he's done me. It's like, he really will confirm his word. Like one day, you'll say was that God?

And you, know, and it's perfectly fine. Not be sure it's okay to ask him. Cause it's like, that's what I do with spiritual direction. We ask him all the time, like, Hey, did you say that? Don't be scared of, you know, asking God that's okay. I don't know if that's you or not. Can you send a confirmation?

And I remember the very first time that I heard from God. , you know, I didn't hear the audible voice. I heard my thoughts say, I was sitting in my bed. And I saw some birds fly by and, and I heard consider the birds. And immediately I went to that scripture in Matthew about, you know, consider the birds .

They don't reap or  sow, and I  still  take care of them and I just flooded with tears. So it's like, you can get like an emotional confirmation. You can get, another person can come along one. There was one time and I'm just giving examples here. There was one time, there was a [00:30:00] book that came up and it said, if you were God, would you choose you?

And I was like, Oh my gosh, I would never read that book. He probably would never choose me.  I clicked off like, Oh my gosh, I'm never going to read that book. I kid you not two weeks later, someone anonymously sent me that book. Wow.

Oh my gosh! So it was really weird and it's like, you know, I read the book and it was fabulous. Like it was confirming all the stuff that he had told me. He's like, he really wanted to get that message to me. I was scared of that book. Cause I was scared of, Oh, you know, God would never choose me. No, no, no. And it was confirmation that yeah, I would choose you and I did choose you.

So those are just some of the examples. I would love to, you know, I'm the type of person that's like I don't just come in and just say stuff and then leave. It's like, you know, if you want to get deeper with that, you can contact me on, email or, you know, through my website or, [00:31:00] and then, you know, we can go into further detail because I just it's, like I said, it's a very hard question because it's so unique and individual, so it's like, I don't want to mess up people, you know, you're like, yeah, well God's never sent me a book and I know lots of times, like people like, Oh God paid all my bills off.

I'm like, he didn't do that for me. Then I got depressed, like asking him to pay my bills off or, you know, that's never happened. So it's like, everyone is so unique. And that's what I love spiritual direction because you get to meet one-on-one, it's not a. like God had to tell me to take it easy on my pastor.

Cause it's like, well, that word doesn't apply to me. It's like, he's got to speak to, you know, a thousand people like, you know, kind of calm down and take it easy on him. Oh yeah. Okay. Okay. You're right. You're right. So just another perspective, you know, it's like that word. That's never come true for me. Why isn't God done that for me?

You need another perspective. That's all there is to it.

Alexis Newlin: [00:31:59] I love [00:32:00] that. So, what are some of your goals for 2020? I mean, this year has been kind of a, Oh my gosh. I call it a dumpster fire, but there's been some good things, but it's been kind of like, you're like, wow, like did not see this coming. 

Shonda Carter: [00:32:16] Yeah. Yeah. And, I noticed this podcast, I wish you could get a visual would be rolling my eyes with that question.

Like this year has been the queen of different perspective and it's like, okay, I'm trying real hard here, but yeah. , This year, like I said, . I was graduating from my master's. I was planning on going to Virginia to walk the stage and get my masters. That didn't happen because of COVID.

, I had a full, city  for my show. I was going to be traveling with my show that didn't happen. but within this year I started my one woman ministries, which is WON ministry, women ministries. So I started that. And because I had to sit down because of COVID that's, that's how that got started, you know, something else on the [00:33:00] horizon.

I'm already making plans to kind of expound on that a little bit and like expound on the spiritual direction, because I don't know what I had thought with the spiritual direction. I didn't, you had to take on clients to practice, but I was like, well, I'll just practice. I didn't think I was going to be doing it and you know, got to show me no, you're, you're pretty good.

You need to be doing it. Yeah. So it's like, I will start taking on clients as far as for spiritual direction. And after that I do do not. My new thing is like, God, I'm just going to invite you into the situation. I don't. Have any plans, like I'm just inviting you to the situation to hear what you've got, because I am not going through this again.

As far as canceling my plans. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:33:47] Oh man. So many canceled plans. 

Shonda Carter: [00:33:51] Yes. So many. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:33:53] Oh man. Then my final question for you is when did you decide that you were brave?

Shonda Carter: [00:33:59] This is going to sound like a [00:34:00] total like kissing answer, but signing up for your podcast the  Brave Podcast.

That's like normally people With the title, like a brave podcast ] , Oh, I'm not brave. Oh, I'm not brave. And then when you ask me for the interview, I'm like, Well, yeah, that sounds kind of neat. I think I will do that. So it's like, I think I have decided, yes, I am brave looking back on my journey.

And the question that you asked, have helped me to look back on the journey and, you know, put it into perspective. It's like, yeah, if you keep going, you keep getting up. You're you're pretty brave. You're pretty brave. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:34:35] Yeah. I love that. You keep going, you keep getting up. You're brave. I like that a lot 

Shonda Carter: [00:34:39] I like that too. Oh, fresh off the press.

Alexis Newlin: [00:34:43] I love that Shonda. Thank you so much. This has been so awesome. And, I'll get all your info so I can put it in the show notes. People can find you and find your one woman show and connect with you if you have any more questions. 

Shonda Carter: [00:34:54] That is great. Thank you so much. I appreciate us finally, connecting.

Alexis Newlin: [00:34:57] I know  [00:35:00] Yeah. I'm like, man, God, , something is really intervening here. So this does not happen. I was like, what is going? Yeah. So I'm glad we finally got to connect. 

Shonda Carter: [00:35:07] Me too.  Stay in touch though. Seriously, and  make sure you let me know so I can just, you know, blast it with my social media.

So people listen. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:35:16] Yeah, I have to let you know, you said something earlier about singing. So I'm going through that right now. 

I've always just like singing, just to sing. I've always just liked to worship. That's why I love to do worship. And someone overheard me at church and were like, you should try out for the worship team. I was like, absolutely not 

Shonda Carter: [00:35:31] Wow. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:35:32] Because I'm like, I'm like you, I like to be in the background, like even doing this podcast. I'm like, God, I am a background person. I like to hide. I 

do not like. Attention on me. And so the Lord is like, you should really consider doing the worship team, brushed it off. And they were asking for volunteers and I went to the sound area for  volunteers and I've been doing podcasts and I can help with audio, but it felt like there was this clawing in my stomach. Like you are not supposed to be here.  I was so uncomfortable. And as [00:36:00] he's talking to me, the, the director of the sound thing, I can just, it kept increasing and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm in disobedience. I knew it. And so I pulled him aside and said, yeah, I can't do the sound.

I think I'm supposed to be doing something else. And I went over to the worship section and immediately stopped. And I was like, Oh man, like, I guess I'm supposed to apply for our worship team. 

Shonda Carter: [00:36:18] Wow,

Alexis Newlin: [00:36:19] So you said that I'm like, that is so funny because I had been struggling with that. Like, cause I, I don't want to be on stage. I want to. Be able to sit in the crowd and worship on my own way. And God's like, no, I really want you to consider this. So yeah, 

Shonda Carter: [00:36:31] I totally feel you on that. Like I said, my husband, I ruined so many shirts. Suddenly people were like, what is wrong with you? And I was like, why, why did I do this? so, yeah, I, I feel you on that. I mean, just look at God, look at that. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:36:50] Yeah. So funny. I'm like 

Shonda Carter: [00:36:52] Same story. Wow. Wow. That's amazing.  Thanks for sharing that with me. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:36:58] Yeah. No [00:37:00] problem.All right, Shonda, thank you so much. 

Shonda Carter: [00:37:03] You're so welcome.

Well, I love thank you. Great interview. Keep going. Okay. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:37:07] Thank you so much. 

Shonda Carter: [00:37:08] Okay. Bye. 

Alexis Newlin: [00:37:09] Hey guys, wasn't that such a fun interview? I related to us. Saundra so much as I was listening to her and listening to her wisdom, it just really spoke to me and kind of encouraged me with my walk with the Lord and how I can use the creative gifts that God gave me. To glorify him and point others to him. And so it made you guys who are creatives out there. I think YouTube can definitely benefit from this. And I love how she talked about looking to God to find your authentic self. 

And using that too. Basically glorify him in everything that you do. It was just such a fun interview. And I'm so glad I got to sit down and talk to her and I will put all her info in the show notes. So you guys can find her, find about her one woman show. And if you have any more questions about hearing the Lord. 

And kind [00:38:00] of finding spiritual direction. You can definitely email her on her website. She's wonderful and hope to us to keep in touch with her. All right. So next week's guest is my new friend, Alex, San Filillipo, you. And I think I said that correctly, Alex. I'm so sorry if I butchered your last name. 

, he is the founder of creating a brand. He also started a blog called the daily PS where he basically spreads faith and encouragement through his blog and through his podcast, which he only does once a month, which I'm like, wow, what is it like to only record once a month? I couldn't imagine doing that. 

So, yeah, he'll be on next week. All right. So my three asks my first ask is to subscribe, subscribe to the email list. You can jump on my  website@ Put your email and the. Contact box and you'll be on the email list. That way you get the episodes early,  you find out about any fun giveaways. I'm doing anything new coming out with the brave podcast. You'll get [00:39:00] all  that info through the email list. Second is ratings. If you love what you here or there, things I need to work on, you can just give me a reading and it kind of helps people find the podcast and also helps me out knowing what you guys are loving or not loving. And then finally share if you find something today that you loved in this episode, go ahead and share it with the friend. 

Thank you guys so much for tuning in and I will see you next week. Bye.