The Love of the Cross

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I recently had the opportunity to share at our Good Friday service about what the Love of the Cross  means to me and how it has affected my life. Below is what I shared.

When I think of the cross, I think of God’s love for us. The love of the cross involves God giving things only He could give and paying a price none of us could understand. I love my children beyond anything that words can explain. I would give my life for them. It is not likely that I would willingly give them as a ransom for others. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” When I think of the love of the cross I think of the nature of what the Father gave and why He gave it. I can’t even imagine what that must of been like to give His son for our ransom.

When I think of God’s love, I think about His love in my life. God so loved me that He gave His Son so that I could have everlasting life, now, and in the future. That understanding changes my whole perspective and it impacts the way I think and feel about myself and others. For me, it is about a relationship. The love of the Father put Jesus on the cross so that my ability to freely relate to the Father could be restored. Because of my restored relationship with the Father, I stand here today, loved beyond measure and understanding, a completely different person than I once was. I have found where my value and worth come from. I am a daughter of God. Without Him, my significance would be limited, but with Him, I am more than enough. Because of Jesus, no matter what I go through, I know the Father is there and will see me through. And since Father God loves me with an unconditional and unwavering love, who am I to not love and value myself and others? His love has taught me what true love is and what it means to be valued. His loving kindness moves me to want to grow, to be transformed, and to become more like Jesus. The love of the Father as exhibited in the cross, makes me want to love others the way He loves me, and to help other people understand their value and worth before God.

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I’m Back…. I hope.

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Hello Everyone! I am going to get back into the swing of blogging (I hope). It has been a wonderful, crazy, and busy season of life. I hope to at least blog once a month or more with discipline and God’s help. I will be posting soon about lots of things that have been happening. So pray for me…. and if you haven’t followed me yet, now is a great time.

Be Blessed My Friends!

Leah

A Revelation of the Journey

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I started seeing my life as a timeline through the Lords eyes…

I think we all know that God is sovereign and that he knows the beginning to the end. However, I don’t think we always personalize it to our own lives and in each season of our life. I always knew that God knows it all and has a plan for my life. What I failed to see is how he has crafted the seasons and flow and path of my life as well. Like mile markers along the road or pages in a novel, my life has been laid out before me. Sometimes when I read a book, I like to jump around in the chapters. Go back and reread a section, jump forward to see how the story ends, I have often lived my life like this. Dwelling on the past, and worrying or fantasying about the future. I used to spend too much time looking forward or looking back. It caused me to miss many of the now moments that will never come again. Recently, I have come to have a new understanding of living in the now, trusting God with my future, and handing him my past. I am still in this process of letting God lead my life and walking in step with him. In the past, I have mostly either dragged my feet or ran ahead. Walking in step with him for me is like a dance, learning the steps, letting God lead, stepping in time with him and the music. This is a journey of revelation for me. I am not always the best follower in dancing and in life. You can just ask my hubby. But I am getting better day by day, and on some days, focusing on getting better moment by moment.

I used to spend too much time looking forward or looking back…

This particular revelation of the journey and seeing my life like a time line started in December 2013. I had been in a season of rest and the Lord said to prepare myself for the upcoming year. Then in January 2014, I felt the Lord asking me if I was ready. I didn’t answer, but the Lord continued. Soon I am going to ask you to take a leap of faith, and when I say jump, you really need to jump. I had heard similar things from the Lord before, so I began to prepare my heart. Going into that year, I had many things on my heart that I was trying to sort through and figure out. I was reading the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and desperately wanted to see my faith increase. I was desperate for a move of God. I told the Lord that I would jump when he asked me to, but I asked him to make it evident that it was Him. I read about all the miraculous things that happened for Mark in his prayer walks and wanted more of that kind of “appointed times” for myself. Around that same time, I was serving as a youth group leader in senior high at my church. That year, they were planning on going to Haiti. In one of my last posts I shared about that journey. Going to Haiti was one of the points on my timeline for 2014. The point when I said yes I would go and then the point when I actually went. Another point on the timeline is when I went with a group of friends to see Dutch Sheets in Washington DC. It was an amazing night, and by happenstance, Dutch agreed to pray impartation over us (he rarely prays for people one on one these days). Upon leaving the church where he was speaking, I realized that it was one of Mark Batterson’s churches that I had just read about it his book. Wow. What a coincidence. But, no, not a coincidence, but an appointed time on my timeline from the Lord. This was the first moment that my eyes were beginning to open to the fact that I was walking on a path that God had laid before me since the foundations of time. Now I know you must be thinking, you had not realized that before? Well the answer is, I knew it in my head, but had not felt the significance in my heart. I was beginning to feel the significance. Also that year I went to Morning Star to a woman’s conference. I stood there on that property and read about their history. The Morning Star property use to belong to the PTL club from the eighties. I had watched the PTL club when I was twelve and first becoming hungry for more of God and now here I stood at the age of forty on the very property of the people I watched when I was twelve. It was another meeting of the moments on my timeline. Once again, I was feeling the significance in my heart for how God has laid out my path. At this point, I started to watch for the mile markers on my path.

I knew when you when you were in the womb…

I started seeing my life as a timeline through the Lords eyes. When I was in my mother’s womb, when I was four and full of wonder, when I was twelve and watching the PTL club, when I was twenty-five and a mother of three in the middle of depression, when I turned thirty and had a life changing encounter with Jesus. When I was forty at Morning Star. And even right now as I write this very blog post. I began to be changed forever. I had revelation as God began to speak. “See…. I knew. I knew when you when you were in the womb. I knew when you were twelve that you would be standing at Morning Star when you were forty. I knew when you were four and wanting grand adventures, that you would begin to go on mission trips in 2014. I knew what I was doing.” I began to trust the Lord whole heartily. I began to feel how important I am to him and how much my Father God loves me. It took my obedience to him, to a whole new level. I had asked him to make it evident to me that it was him when he asked me to jump, and he had. So when he asked me to “jump” and take a leap of faith I was ready to say yes. When the jump meant changing lanes in my life from real estate to ministry, I said yes, even though it was confusing and a hard decision, but I trusted him, because I knew that he knew best. Since 2014, I have had many encounters with the mile makers in my life. I have had many confirmations of God’s promises over me. I have changed lanes from a career in real estate to becoming a life coach and prayer minister in a remarkable time frame. Only God could have opened those doors. Only God could have laid this before me since the beginnings of time. I am still learning about my path and God’s sameness. The same yesterday, today and forever. I am still learning about his sovereignty.

God is not a respecter of persons…

At my current mile marker, I know I still have a lot to learn. This chapter of my novel has been full of learning. It has been exciting, refining, hard and sad at times, but full of adventure. I have been to Haiti, England, and Cameroon. I have been to the deep places in my heart where it was painful to go. I have had moments of pure unadulterated joy and freedom. Looking at my story so far, I realize just how much God has used all things to make me who I am today, the good choices, as well as the bad ones. It has made me realize I am worthy and free because I am his child. It has made me realize I am never alone because he is always there for me and has always been there with me. It has made me realize that I am loved because my Father God loves me unconditionally. It also makes me extremely excited about where I am now and where I am going in the future. This journey has taught me to rest and have peace. And on the days where I can’t find peace and rest, it reminds me of who I am and where my help comes from. It truly has been a revelation because these things are now in my heart. God is not a respecter of persons, so if you are missing the moments by focusing too much on the future or the past, ask God for revelation of your journey and who you are. If you are feeling unloved, insecure, afraid, alone, misunderstood, unworthy, depressed, anxious or just plain tired and exhausted, ask God for the revelation of how much you mean to him and how loved you are. Your life has significance. Your life is important. YOU are important. YOU are loved. YOU are not alone. God has all of your answers, he will be there for you, simply ask and listen.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

One More Time Mommy

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One more time mommy…. how often do we here that when our kids are small? As I sit here watching my young adults sing and do the dishes together one more time, I am thankful for having them all under my roof for one more night. When they hand you that infant in the hospital, they don’t hand you a manual or tell you all that is in store for you. Out of all the stages that my kids have been through, I think the young adult years have been the most interesting and the most intense. If you are anything like me, being a mom is a major part of who you are. Now as my kids are flying the coup and venturing into their own lives, it feels odd not to see them everyday, not to know what their plans are and to realize this is the beginning of the next stage, the next season. Yep, and here come all the mixed emotions…. happiness, sadness, excitement, trepidation, nostalgia and sometimes even remorse over not holding them a little closer, a little longer, smelling their infant head one more time, telling one more bedtime story, or taking another trip to the playground. But alas, time does keep moving on, and in all honesty, I loved the toddler years, but am happy to not repeat them. So for now, the last night of the Jacobsen six being together, I think it will be one more dance party, a few more hugs and maybe another episode of a favorite show until we are together again.

If you are mom like me transitioning your kids into adulthood, then know you are not alone. If your kids are home with you now, give them another hug, kiss them on the forehead, tell one more story, or bury your nose in their infant hair another time, for sure enough the moments will be memories in the blink of an eye. Be Blessed my friends, and say a pray for me as I make this transition into the next season.

Here Am I…. Send Me!

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In the past two years, I have been on five mission trips. Before that, I had only been out of my own time zone one time. As a teenager, I said Lord here am I, send me. Send me and I will go. Sometimes we don’t realize the magnitude of our prayers and requests to a much later time in life. I could not have imagined at 16 what his sending me would look like. Back then I didn’t even really know what I was asking. I didn’t know very much about missionaries or mission trips. I just wanted more of God and less of me, whatever that looked like. As I got older, I thought less about being “sent”, but found I thought more and more of traveling. I have wanted to travel the world for as long as I can remember, and yet, at that time, I never thought it would be for the Kingdom. Just somewhere in my head I looked at travel as a vacation, exploring, or going off to find yourself. It is interesting how God starts to sow something in us, then we take it and run with it in our own way, often running ahead of God or taking it out of his hands completely. Overtime, hopefully, we realize that our hopes and dreams were placed in us by God and then when we give them back to him, he gets us back on course. When I was sixteen, I didn’t imagine that God would send me to the nations, and I certainly couldn’t have imagined that I would be in my forties, by the time I went. But I did have pieces of a God vision. And though, it was not a vacation, I certainly have come to know and understand myself in ways that I had not before.

As a young girl two places that were on my list to visit were Paris and Africa. I had grand ideas of walking the streets of Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower and sipping cappuccino in quant cafe’s. I imagined visiting Africa and going on safari and seeing lions, and tigers and bears… oh my. Okay , well lions, zebras, and giraffes. Anyway, I had grand ideas of what travel would look like and feel like. But more about that later. My traveling journey started in 2014. I was a youth leader at the time and our youth pastor was planning a summer mission trip to Haiti. Two of my own kids were going and people started asking me if I was going to go. I wasn’t keen on the thought of going to Haiti. In fact, I was downright scared at the thought of being in a place like that and so far out of my comfort zone. I was not putting two and two together, that my desire for travel may be a God given desire for the nations. But I did want to be obedient and finally prayed, asked the Lord should I go, and he said yes. 2014 was my “journey year” and I will blog about that in the near future, but for now, Haiti was the start of something big in my life. Haiti was amazing and life changing for me. (you can read more about that HERE) I was gone for a week and then I was back and changed forever. I was not back for very long when a good friend of mine ask me if I was going to go on the mission trip to England with our church in the fall. I said no, that had I just got back from a mission trip. I remember she smiled at me and I was wondering what she was thinking, then she said to me, maybe you should pray about it. So the next day, during my prayer time, I was like, okay God, should I go on the England mission trip? Sure enough the Lord’s response was, yes, I want you to go. I was shocked. I began to wonder what all of this meant. I really questioned what I heard, but when I asked my hubby about going, he too heard from the Lord that I should go. I was puzzled and perplexed, but walked in obedience and started to and plan and look for sponsors. The trip was to Betel in England. Once more I found the trip to be amazing and came back forever changed. After this trip, I began to understand that the Lord was up to something and that when I said “send me Lord” he took me seriously and was now answering my prayers. I began to realize that when I had asked him to send me, I had my own ideas of what that would look like. My dreams of Africa and Paris were not going to come packaged the way I thought. Oh boy, were they going to look different. 

In the spring of 2015 I went on my third mission trip, back to Betel in England. This trip was my first trip as a Restoring the Foundations minister. I had had training the summer before and now my new skills would be used in a powerful way. My fourth mission trip was to Cameroon to train and teach Restoring the Foundations ministry. This trip would first take me to Paris. My first time in Paris was, yep, you guessed it, in the airport. I was in Paris but only flying through to Africa. Never did I think I would be only 30 minutes away from the Eiffel Tower (a lifelong dream to see it) and be in an airport on the way to somewhere else. Actually now, it is really funny. It makes for a good story. But at the time I was frustrated, disappointed, and even a little angry. I remember talking to God and saying, you didn’t tell me that this is how I would be in Paris. Then the Lord reminded me that I had prayed and asked…. send me! I will go! I want to go wherever you want to send me. Yielding isn’t always easy. In fact, it is almost never easy. Giving up our own ways can be painful. For me, it hurt to be sent. It hurt to give up my own preconceived ideas of what travel would look like in my life. However, I love the Lord with all my heart and what he wants matters more to me than my own ways of doing things. So I yielded, and these trips have meant more to me than any safari in Africa, or a hundred walks down the Champs Elysees could ever mean. I have made lifelong friends. I have seen people’s lives transformed. I have shared life and laughs with my fellow missions team members. The Lord just knows best. He knows what we need and what will make us more effective for our lives and for the kingdom. We just have to learn to yield and to trust. 

I do still want to see Paris and the Eiffel Tower, but now I have laid it at the feet of Jesus. I said, “send me Lord” and I meant it. If he wants me to see Paris, someday I will. I am walking out my own humility and trust in the Lord. It is not always easy, but I do think it is always worth it. I also want to say that I have come to realize now that being sent takes many different forms. God doesn’t send us all to the nations. Sometimes he sends us next door or down the hall to our child. Personally in my life, I have been sent as a wife to a broken marriage, sent as a mother to raise children in God’s way and not my own way, I have been sent to be a friend to the friendless, and yes, I have been sent to the nations. I understand now that being sent can mean to Africa or to Walmart to give an encouraging word to someone who needs it. I would encourage you to go where the Lord sends you. I would encourage you to hold onto the prayers you have prayed and to the promises from the Lord, but to remember they sometimes come in a way we weren’t expecting to receive them. I encourage you to trust the lord with all your heart and yield your will to His. It may very well change your life, give you life long friends, help you see people transformed right before your eyes, and be the real happiness that you are looking for.

Be Blessed my friends,

Leah

If you want to read more about my mission trips click HERE

Getting Away and Back on Track

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It’s me again. Time to give my blogging another try. I had some time away this past weekend with my husband which was so nice, and it gave me a chance to think about my writing. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes I take myself too seriously , especially when it comes to my writing. I am going to work on that, especially here on my blog. Every post does not need to be perfect. So here I am giving it another shot. 

And can I say that taking time away for yourself and your marriage is very important. We just spent one night away, Just over 24 hours all together, but it was refreshing and relaxing. I am a quality time love language (from the five love languages) and it was just what I needed. I think my hubby enjoyed it too. So if you are married and haven’t taken time to spend with just your spouse in awhile, I encourage you to do it. Even if you are on a tight budget, it is worth every penny. If you can’t go away, make plans to stay at home and do nothing and have someone watch the kids. In the long run, it is worth it to make your marriage a priority. And if you are single out there, take some time for yourself. Do something fun that fills you up. Something that reenergizes you and makes you feel like you again.

Be Blessed My Friends, 

Leah

Stop Waiting to Slow Down

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So having the flu or being sick at all pretty much sucks. I have been sick this past week and that has made me realize just how not in control of life we really are. It has also given me a significant amount of downtime to think about life and how much of it that I sometimes take for granted. It made me think of how I look at life. A few weekends ago, Leif Hetland came to our church and talked about the Father’s heart and love for us. He also talked about our viewpoint in life. He did a great visual using two chairs. Chair one being the kingdom view of life, with the focus on being what God is doing, and chair two being the soulish view of life, with the focus being  what God is not doing, how we feel about something or what the enemy is doing. It really impacted me. How often do I sit in chair one versus chair two?  How often do I have a small, selfish soulish view instead of a kingdom view? I have thought a lot about it this week in between, the coughing, the running nose, and well you get the point.

While trying to accomplish things from the couch and with a foggy head, I asked God to help me have a kingdom view. I was looking at our bills and trying very hard to remind myself that the Lord has a different perspective than I do.  One of the bills is rather large for us and is due in two weeks. After praying, I just felt the Lord say call them and ask for help. So I did. The lady who answered was very kind and immediately said “oh we can absolutely help you out. How about a four month plan to pay it off?”  I said yes and was on and off the phone within five minutes. I just sat there for a moment and just chuckled. Maybe things don’t always happen in my timing or how I want them to, but God has a plan. If I sit in chair one with him and ask about his kingdom view, my life has a lot more peace and rest in it. Maybe the biggest problem in my life is not my bills, raising kids, work, or figuring out my priorities list, maybe my biggest problem is spending too much time in chair two, with the small and soulish view of life, and trying to figure it all out on my own.  Maybe if I slowed down and spent more time with the Lord and asked for his kingdom view, I would spend less time worrying and feeling life’s pressures. I hope, from here on out, it doesn’t take the flu to slow me down enough to rest and visit with my Father in the Kingdom seat. From now on, I hope that I don’t wait to slow down. I hope that I take the time to rest and to spend time with the Lord in the Kingdom seat.

If you are stressed, worrying, or feeling life’s pressures, take a deep breath. Don’t wait to slow down, stop right now and ask for the Lord’s kingdom view.

Be Blessed my friends,

Leah