Women of Standard had the honor of speaking with the anointed and soulful Lisa McClendon. She shared with us her journey as a neo-soul gospel artist, mom and pastor’s wife.
Lisa has been a writer for most of her life, which served as a springboard for her music career. She said she would write as a child due to the pain that her mother would never allow her to throw anything away. She kept journals from years back in which she penciled her journey of overcoming depression.
WRITING FOR RELIEF
According to Lisa depression is something which was prevalent in the lives of the women in her family. She admits that she suffered from depression and felt very alone well into her adult years. However, writing became her therapy, which led to the discovery of her unique anointing as a lyrist and vocalist in the gospel music industry. She began her journey by writing poems which were later developed into songs.
“My children’s father, who was my husband at the time, took my songbook to one of the owners of the label and they brought me in as a writer for other artists. After receiving much success from their songs, I too became a signed artist. That is what led me to Integrity, which is where you get the song, “You Are Holy”. So I just took my pain and empowered myself.”
Lisa said she “checks in” with herself daily to gauge how she is really doing. “Every day I have to know how I am feeling by paying attention to my body, what I eat, exercises I perform as well as my workload.”
From a teenage girl, Lisa noticed her mom’s sad countenance and as she became older she, too, noticed the same effects within her. As an adult Lisa came up with a strategy to combat the spirit of depression. She created something called a brick wall. It was the wall on her side of the room which included scriptures on index cards. Lisa would just sit on the edge of her bed and stare at those cards, reading the scriptures out loud to remind herself of who she was. The brick wall allowed her to maintain control of the spirit of depression.
“I call it the thorn in the flesh, but I am in control–not the spirit of depression.” Lisa shared with us that prayer is her most powerful weapon and she begins her day with prayer and meditation upon God’s word. “Every morning I am up at 5 a.m. because that is my time to sit before the Lord. If I miss a day, I feel it in my mood as well as my response to others.” Lisa’s tool for success is her relationship with God which keeps her grounded and in control of her fears and life’s trials.
STAYING GROUNDED IN THE INDUSTRY
Lisa has been nominated for a Stellar and Dove Award. When she was nominated for the awards, she described the feeling as a “sugar rush” because once she received that type of notoriety, she wanted more and expressed her levels of excitement as it relates to what God is doing in her life.
She said for a while she thought about walking away from her passion. “I was like man, so what’s the point? Because when you love the Lord you just want to be right; you want everything about you to be right.” Lisa asked the Lord if it was wrong for her to desire the accolades. Then she realized as long as she kept things in perspective, remained spiritually grounded and operated in a spirit of excellence, it was okay to continue on her journey.
Lisa believes we’re all gifted, but we also have to ensure we are putting a level of excellence to what we do and not just having a gift but remain the best steward possible over the gift.