the beauty of more to be: an interview with Elisa Pulliam

[vc_row column_padding=”3″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”THE BEAUTY OF MORE TO BE: AN INTERVIEW WITH ELISA PULLIAM” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:40|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][mk_dropcaps style=”fancy-style” size=”100″]S[/mk_dropcaps][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1505540296562{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]he’s the wise, indefatigable friend you wished lived right next door. The friend who loves God. The friend who mentors and creates and serves. The friend whose favorite thing to do is work alongside Jesus. The friend who does all she can to equip you to be the person God made you to be.

As a life coach, speaker, teacher, and author, Elisa Pulliam works to equip women, and the generation to come, to live lives of authenticity and courage. Through writing and speaking, Elisa communicates the message of Christ in 2 Corinthians–wanting women and girls to know the beauty and brightness of a life fully surrendered and awake to God.

Since meeting Elisa years ago–sharing with one another the vulnerable stories that have made us who we are–I have wanted you to hear her voice–particularly her thoughts about imagination, faith, and listening to the voice of God.

Here is my interview with Elisa Pulliam:

  • Elisa, what are some of your very favorite things to do with God? How do you fit these things into your week, your day?

Hands down, my most favorite thing to do with God is to spend time in His Word. In the last few months, He’s grown my appetite for Scripture in such a way that I want to read the Word, un-rushed and without commentary or a Bible study. I’m in awe at how the Lord speaks to our hearts and gives us fresh understanding of familiar Scripture, simply through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Fitting in this time is something I count as a privilege in this season and stage of life. As soon as the kiddos leave for school, I head straight for my time with the Lord before I start my work day. It’s a luxury to work from home! On the days I don’t have client appointments right away, I can linger long and spend extra time in prayer, journaling my longings and listening to the Lord, too.

  • What obstacles distract you from getting into God’s presence—and what is your favorite way to pull yourself back?

The greatest obstacle is my desire to meet everyone’s needs and “getting everything done.” I’ll break my own boundaries, allowing appointments and deadlines to crowd out the un-rushed time with the Lord that I know I need. If my mission is to live from the overflow of God in my marriage, motherhood, and missional work, then I need to make time for the necessary “in-flow” from God. When I realize I’m caught in a cycle of over-commitment with no margin space, I look ahead at the calendar and block off time to reconnect with God and re-assess my boundaries.

  • How would you define God’s “voice”? Do you think it is possible for everyone to hear Him?

I do believe we can all hear from God, if we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and have received the Holy Spirit as promised in the Word. But I also think that hearing from God requires being in the Word consistently, under Godly teaching, and in biblically accountable relationships. And I believe we have to guard ourselves from the noise of the world, which will drown out the voice of God.

  • What role does imagination play—if any—in having a conversation with God? Describe your state of mind—or your heart—when listening for God’s voice.

I am a super creative and visually-bent kind of gal, so my time with the Lord, and hearing Him throughout the day, tends to come in waves of metaphors and imagery. I see His lessons in the ordinary moments that take on some dual meaning and spiritual lesson.

  • What are some favorite resources—music, books, media—that you treasure and can’t help recommending to friends?

My favorite two resources are quite dated, but timeless. Henry Blackaby wrote the Bible study, Experiencing God, which radically shaped how I see my purpose in joining God in His work daily. Anne Ortlund wrote Disciplines of A Beautiful Woman, which influenced my understanding of intentional discipleship and forged my concept of Biblical mentoring. That book also inspired a desire to create a plan for today’s woman to be as intentional and purposefully as Anne, which culminated in my book, Meet the New You: A 21-Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change.

Elisa, thank you.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1505509537415{background-color: #a7dde2 !important;}”][vc_column_inner][vc_custom_heading text=”WIN A COPY OF MEET THE NEW YOU!” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1505510347177{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Want to win a free copy of Elisa’s book: Meet the New You? Leave a comment below, sharing what encouraged you most about Elisa’s words today. Your comment will enter you in a random drawing for this book. I will email the winner–and announce the winner here, on this post–on Wednesday, September 20.

So, go ahead, tell us in the comments . . . what resonated with you when you read Elisa’s interview with us here? [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1505926668773{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

UPDATE: Sally, in a random drawing, won a copy of Meet the New You! Thank you so much, everyone, for entering!

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  • I love this interview because:
    -I felt I was next to her hearing her answers. Such a simple, yet powerful and truthful answers.
    -I needed to hear her experiences. I’m going through a similar scenario. I can relate to her and I can prioritize Accor.
    -I needed guidance. My current obstacle is busyness and scheduling. Her response on how to make time with the Lord opened my mind how to overcome agendas and deadlines.


  • What inspired me the most is tge fact she make and have time to spend one on one with the Lord. I find it’s easy for me to spend one on one with the Lord when I have no job. Once I get a job, I find ny self struggling to balance my work life, my spiritual life with the Lord. I am supper tired when I get home from work. Once I get settle and try to open the Word I am very sleepy. I need help on finding a balance in my Life.

    • Hi Elsie, I am so grateful for your sharing here. Yes, adjusting our schedules to make sure God is still our focus is always a challenge. I totally get it. Praying for us now.

  • Thanks for posting this! It has given me some great ideas of how to make time to spend with God. I am always putting others first and I need to start making time for me.

  • I am encouraged by Elsa’s interest in reading the Word in an “un-rushed” way. Thank you for reminding me! I definitely agree in her awe at how the Lord gives us a “fresh understanding of familiar Scripture, simply through the work of the Holy Spirit!” Thank you for sharing Elsa’s favorite resources! Blocking out time in my calendar for God this week!

  • What inspired me the most was Elisa’s recognizing how we all live in a “wired” world and it is easy to become over committed to things in our daily lives and then we start to move away from precious time in the presence of God. She is intentional in carving out time to spend time with God. I need that reminder and would love the opportunity to receive her book and take the 21 day journey toward a deeper relationship with God.

  • What resonated with me was the mere fact that I need to spend quality time reading the scriptures and hearing God’s voice. I live a very busy life finding myself being so busy that I don’t quite make time for myself with the Lord. Rushing here and there has made me ralize I need my time with the Lord. Thank you to Elisa in sharing how she makes time with her Lord and Savior.

  • As I read this interview, I felt encouraged because it reminded me I’m not alone in loving God fiercely… or trying to anyway. ? The level of intimacy she has with good is inspiring. I also valued reading her tactics for resetting boundaries and refocusung on priorities because I often find myself helping others and getting distracted before spending time with God. Thanks for sharing this interview!

  • I love how she referenced the book Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman. Gods word and what He teaches us remains the same. How we hear Him is sometimes creatively done through authors. Past and present.

    • Dear Sally,

      I so agree. I learn so much through how God speaks to other people. And I am so grateful when they write it down so I can turn to those words again and again.

      Also, thank you so much for entering the giveaway on my blog to win a copy of Meet the New You. It was a random drawing, and you won!

      I have sent you an email, asking for your mailing address, so I can get the book sent off to you! Thank you so much for joining in here!

  • Speaking of hearing God’s voice-He spoke to me via this interview. I have been struggling and praying for a long time to become closer to Him, to speak to Him from my heart, and to really open myself to His voice and His word. I am seeing a new light from this interview drawing me to Him. Thank you so much! Praises and glory to God. Amen

  • I love how you shared he had grown your appetite for scripture. I am feeling that draw for the first time. I have had a discipline of quite time with Devotionals to guide my way for years now which has definitely resulted in hearing from God; however he is calling me to a new level of direct dialogue from His words to my ears, heart and soul no other commentary. This is intimidating territory for me but I know God will show up in mind blowing ways He always does! Dipping my toes in the shallow end with anticipation of diving deep soon. Thank you for sharing your heart for God! ?

  • I love how she reminds us not only we must have that personal relationship with Jesus and be Spirit filled to hesrHis voice. I thank her for the answer we must be able to cut out all the noise of this world. I really take on to many cares of this world and have trouble lately shutting down my mind and noise. I would love a copy of her book to further help me in my walk with Jesus.

  • While reading your interview with Elisa, I realized the importance of finding time to have personal time with God is of the utmost importance. I’ve come to know that in order to hear from Him effectively, we need to spend precious time with Him. There are times that I let the cares of husband, children and even my own personal cares overshadow my devotion with God. Elisa’s, comment to “re-access my boundaries” falls into play. This gives me the opportunity to pray for husband, children and me when I cast my cares on God. All of the interview was very inspirational!

  • I enjoyed the fact that she is like the rest of us. Human, with human flaws. She does put God first most of the time, but then life gets in her way just like the rest of us. She blocks out time just for her and God.

  • Definitely the imagination part! Without spending time with God, there is no space for imagination.

  • Thanking God for this site & the liberty that flows Heart to heart bringing hope & guidance! Blessed to read Elisa’s answers as Holy Spirit ministers in the myriad of our circumstances reminding us to live from the Secret Place. God bless all who hunger for His righteousness. We shall be filled & this book will empower us to receive more infilling.

  • I loved her commitment to spending time each morning in the Word and the importance of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.
    I also appreciated the references she listed, as well as Blackaby’s viewpoint of going with God on His journey rather than God joining us in our daily activities.

  • As a growing teenager that is constantly discovering who I am, the purpose God has for my life, and how I can improve myself as a Christian is an adventure. By reading this interview, I found Elisa’s encounter with God fantastic and strongly relatable. First, I love the fact that God is using both these miraculous women, Jennifer and Elisa, to share their testimony. I loved how Elisa explained her role in imagination when having a conversation with God and her state of mind. I can definitely relate. When I read the Word it comes to life throughout my regular day. For instance, I may have read a scripture beforehand about correction and wisdom (Proverbs 15:28), and as I am in class a teacher corrects a child but doesn’t learn or accept the correction.In this case, God revealed his word through imagery and as a wave of being a metaphor. This is how I see spiritual lessons in my daily lifestyle.

  • How true that the world drowns out the voice of God. When I or my kids are too busy, the voices of the world make hearing God’s still, small voice difficult to hear. So thankful that He always wants to meet us when we quiet and still our hearts, schedules, and the noise around us for Him!

  • I am not really sure what resonated with, I think I could do better in all of these areas. I like to take time in the morning with the Lord, but I don’t always wait to listen to what He has to say to me. Thank You Elsa for your sharing these ways to grow in one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus.

  • What resonated the most with me was a response on how she stays undistracted. This makes a lot of sense because, I’ve realised that in our walk with God, we have to be intentional about a whole lot of things so as to walk better and freely. Also I love what she said about drowning out the world’s noise so as to hear from God. It’s a beautiful interview.

  • I connected with Elisa, where she spoke about distractions. I’m fortunate, that my grown daughter and my two grandchildren, are off to work and school. So, when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is, read my Bible, study, pray, and, journal.
    I also like her idea of, blocking off time on my calendar, when I know I’ll have a hectic week ahead.
    Thank you for sharing this q & a with Elsia, Jennifer.

  • What I most like about Elisa’s interview is how she says the best way for her is to just read God’s word without commentaries, etc. so often I am looking things up and not concentrating on the words in front of me and taking time to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking about those words. Intentionality is the word that seemed to speak out to me in her interview. Don’t rush! Thank you!

  • The fact that she said she made a point to spend time with God and in turn that made her want to spend more time with God.

  • I agree with: “hearing from God requires being in the Word consistently, under Godly teaching, and in biblically accountable relationships.” That’s helped me grow in Him and He gave me desires to seek more His presence.

  • It was such a good reminder to get back into the Word. Its also so true that we need to guard ourselves against the noise of the world so we can hear God’s voice.
    Well said.

  • Thank you for such encouragement. Life tends to get so busy that we forget what matters most. I’m grateful for women like you because even when everything in my life is falling apart, I read this and I’m renewed. I am encouraged by how She sees God’s lessons even in the ordinary moments and how she yearns to spend time in Our Father’s presence. I pray that God continues to bless the wonderful work you are doing

  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview with Elisa as I could relate to her in my own busyness in life , but need to depend on God more. Her practical comments in the importance of spending time in the Word & listening for God’s voice throughout the day in the little things was also most encouraging. Her book sounds very practical and inspiring!

  • I love that she has to pull away and assess her boundaries and them intentionally spend time reconnecting. I am in a reconnecting time right. Ow and it helps to know I am not alone and others have a plan on how to do it to. Great advise!

  • Reading this was so timely because my Bible Study ladies and I spent a long time Friday discussing the gift of the Holy Spirit in us. I had to smile because God so whispers reminders to us again and again, i.e. Reading this interview! I so resonated with getting pulled by attempting to meet everyone’s needs. Great interview.

  • Reading this interview just gave me some pointers on how i can just shut out the world and envelope myself in God’s presence.
    With a business , three grown son who constantly call on mommy a husband that likes attention and my community that needs my attention its so hard to get some me and my God time.
    So i am about to shut out the noise around thanks Jennifer and Elisa

  • The interview gives me hope. In the time I have I can block a time for God. My block time does not have to be first thing in the morning. It can be at midday. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • I really appreciate knowing there are women out there who have forged a relationship with God that is organic and unique to who they are. Sometimes you can feel so alone and it’s difficult to find authentic relationships. I appreciate what you have shared and am grateful that I can see God in what you have shared. Thank you!

  • My hearts prayer lately is to be filled up with so much of Him that I can pour into others. I cannot give what I do not have. Being in His presense is the only way to receive more of who He is. I am longing foe more desire for His word. To read with expectation instead of duty. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • I resonated with Elisa’s sharing about being a “visually-bent kind of gal”. I’m excited to have the opportunity to read her new book as I believe the Lord is teaching me afresh to embrace how He’s wired and gifted me.

  • Thanks for this. I remember Henry Blackaby’s quote, ” Find out what God is doing, and be a part of it.” Still a good word !

  • It was so lovely to read your interview with Elisa and to feel the warmth that came from her heart and mind. Every morning I read your blog or your messages as they give me strength to forge ahead for the day in a work environment which is dreadfully unhealthy and it just reminds me that God has a plan for me and all will come to fruition in His timing. Jennifer, you inspire me and keep my heart filled with God’s words and plans and not to be overcome with the heaviness that surrounds our office. May you and yours always be blessed as you bless others!

  • Elisa is such an inspiration. We all have busy lives whether it’s family life, work life or just life in general – we must all endeavour to put time aside to spend with our Lord. God doesn’t hold it against us when we’re not with him, but he loves it when we are. My aim is to spend more time with him and when that time becomes the norm, to then increase it again. God willing I’ll achieve it.
    Jennifer, I’d just like to thank you too, for your inspirational words which I forward to several of my friends – we all enjoy them and are constantly encouraged by them. Bless you.

  • The world seems to try to suck us away from the Lord. Just like our friends and family the world seems to spin faster and faster and it’s hard to keep up with v everyone’s schedules and needs. But I know the more I spend time with my father and best friend the more he gives me peace and and puts things in perspective more than I ever could myself. I am like a child at times letting go of his hand to try and run ahead to try to see what’s there and get there first. But it never ends good when I do that because I get lost in the crowd and then feel overwhelmed and lost. But time and time again he guides me back to him with his gentle voice and takes my hand again. Thanks for sharing your book and the talents and gifts he has given you. Prayers for you as also guides and protects you from the hustle and bustle of every day life and gives you peace as you kneel at his feet.❤

  • The world seems to try to suck us away from the Lord. Just like our friends and family the world seems to spin faster and faster and it’s hard to keep up with everyone’s schedules and needs. But I know the more I spend time with my father and best friend the more he gives me peace and and puts things in perspective more than I ever could myself. I am like a child at times letting go of his hand to try and run ahead to try to see what’s there and get there first. But it never ends good when I do that because I get lost in the crowd and then feel overwhelmed and lost. But time and time again he guides me back to him with his gentle voice and takes my hand again. Thanks for sharing your book and the talents and gifts he has given you. Prayers for you as he also guides and protects you from the hustle and bustle of every day life and gives you peace as you kneel at his feet.❤

  • “He’s grown my appetite for Scripture” — it’s reassuring that God not only desires us to know His Word but He can also give us the desire, a hunger, for it!

    THANK YOU for the reminder to lean in and allow Him to work in my heart!


  • “To read familiar scripture and get a fresh understanding” is probably one of most challenging things running across my mind. It never gets old; I witness, in my lives and others, how the Word is always fresh waiting to give us a new lesson. I could feel the passion of these words. It makes my heart happy to read.

  • Every word is simple. It’s something I’m doing, have done in the past or can do. They’re all choices which I can make or make again. Thank you.

  • I love that you asked her the question about her imagination. This is a recent discovery for me…that God wants to redeem our imaginations…and speak to us in such creative ways through this gift. He has seemed somehow nearer to me through this avenue of devotionals. So I really resonate with her answer about God being so creative and challenging her in this way! 🙂

  • Elisa’s words are God breathed, so inspiring and encouraging and nugging us to an intimate relationship with God, would so love to read her book ❤ and begin this journey!

  • Great interview, what resonated with me the most was when she spoke on making time to be in God’s word, ” If my mission is to live from the overflow of God in my marriage, motherhood, and missional work, then I need to make time for the necessary “in-flow” from God”. This truly spoke to me because it’s so true, how can we be like Christ and give to others from a place filled with God’s love when we are lacking, we lack when we don’t spend time with him and learn his wisdom. He has truths and lessons for us and wants to use us to bless others. So being mindful that he must be first in order to continue for our day, is such a great reminder from Elisa.

  • As a single mother working outside the home and part-time caregiver for aging parents, I find I have to be intentionally also of spending time with God and in His word. I want to be in awe of God!

  • I loved this interview! I loved Elisa’s ways of just digging in and creating time to spend in the Word and with the Lord. If I wait for the right time its never going to happen. I will be taking her words and implementing them in my life. Jesus needs to be primary focus and the rest of my day overflow, not the other way around. I loved this, thank you both!

  • I appreciated being reminded that God can renew our desire for and deepen our understanding of scripture through the Holy Spirit!

  • To hear Gods voice. I choose today to guard myself from the noise of the world so that I may truly listen to God speaking to me. Thank you Elisa Pullman I need to give God my full attention, as I know He gives me His full attention in every aspect of my life.