seasons of life

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

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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

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

What Do You Worship?

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The Bible tells us to not have any idols before us. (Exodus 20:4-5) But what do we think about
when we talk about idols? A golden calf? A carved stone image? How about our jobs, careers,
spouses or children? What about our money, our home or even our favorite sports team? We
probably don’t think of it this way, but all of these things can become idols in our lives. So today I
want to ask a question…   What do you worship?

-Everyone one of us worships something.

What do you worship? Seems like a simple question, but it really isn’t. We all worship
something, whether we acknowledge it or not, we all worship something. Do we worship the
Lord? Or is it something else that gets our time, attention and our faith? Is it our job or career?
What about our spouse or finding the love of our life? Seems like a strange think to think about,
but if our spouse or love interest comes before God, then somethings is amiss. Maybe it is the
thought of getting ahead or even material things, like a new car or a bigger house. All of these
things can become an idol in our hearts and lives. Even our giftings, talents, and skills can
become an idol if we rely on them more than we rely of God. Every one of us worships
something. If it is anything but God, it will eventually consume you and leave you empty.

-True worship flows from the heart.

True worship flows from the heart. If we are worshipping something other than God, then it
shows that our hearts are not right. Maybe we have been disappointed, discouraged, confused
or hurt. Maybe we have been through hard seasons and have resorted to depending on
ourselves and other things to get us through. It can be tempting to turn to our own devices to try
and fill what is missing from our hearts. We may have even turned to the Lord, asked for His
help, and for Him to refine us. But when the refining begins we may find that all of the stuff that
starts to surface out of our hearts is very messy. We may want to run because all of that stuff
coming out hurts. However this is not a time to run, it is a time to hold on and allow God to enter
your heart through those hurts. If you keep running, eventually those things in our hearts will
continue to surface again and again until we turn them over to the Lord. Instead of running,
press in and let God heal those wounds and refine you into what He has called you to be. Press
into your relationship with the Lord. Worship Him through the process. Let your worship be a
measure of what is happening in your life. Worship reflects what’s in our hearts. Worship reflects
our relationship with the Lord. Worship is a lifestyle. What is your lifestyle reflecting? An up
close and personal relationship with the Lord? Or an up close and personal relationship with
idols?

-Worship reflects our relationship with God.

If you are unsatisfied, discontent, discouraged, disappointed, or just plain weary, maybe it is because your worship is going to the unsatisfying things of life. Maybe it is time to yield your own will and submit to the Lord’s will for your life. Just do an about face, and let God lead you, instead of leading yourself. Don’t wait. Do it today. Don’t wait. Do it right now, right where you are. Just start by saying, Lord I need you, and I need your help. Start with small steps. Ask Him to lead you daily, then make time everyday to seek the Lord’s even if it is just for five minutes. Ask Him to heal your heart and let Him. Ask Him to reveal the idols in your life and to help you remove them. Tell him that you want Him to be the Lord of your life. Ask others for help and build Godly relationships. And remember that we all are a work in progress and that the Lord is faithful to complete the good work He has started in you.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

Happy Ending

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is Happy Ending by Shel Silverstein. I love this short little poem and relate to what it is saying. Even if the ending is happy, it is still the ending. Though I have learned to embrace change and I understand that life is full of different seasons, I am always a little sad when things come to an end. Enjoy and be blessed my friends.

Happy Ending

There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.

Shel Silverstein

 

The Blizzard

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The forecast was predicting it, some of were hoping for it, and then it was here, the blizzard.

I was raised in the Appalachian mountains and snow was commonplace during winter. Sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, and hot chocolate are memories that are dear to my heart. So when snow comes around, the kid in me comes out. I have been disappointed in the past and thus was holding back my excitement for this past weekends snow predictions, but I can say now that the blizzard did not disappoint. From the first flurries, to the final totals, this girl has been one happy camper. All of this snow really got me thinking about childhood and how much I have always loved the snow and how I still have not grown out of the enjoyment as so many often do. However, I will say that being able to stay home makes all of the difference! In fact, a few years ago, when I was showing property with my snow boots on and in houses with no heat, this girl was singing a different tune. But this weekend, I had the luxury of being home for the entire blizzard. From our first walk in the beautiful snowy winter wonderland being created in front of our eyes, to still sledding today on our homemade hill, the snow has been a real treat. We walked, we sledded, we came in from the cold and wrapped our fingers around mugs of glorious hot chocolate. I marveled at the blessing of sharing this time with my family and creating memories like those of my childhood days. Even as I write, the fun continues as my kids are outside building a snowman. I am cherishing the moments before life’s busyness starts up again tomorrow and all of us, once again, go our own ways. But for now, there are still games to be played and movies to be watched.

I hope each of you got to make some special memories as well. I want to say a big thank you to all of you out there who kept the electricity on and have worked hard to clear our roads. And to all of you who hate the snow, hold onto hope… spring is just around the corner, and we will once more enjoy the warm sunshine on our faces and our toes will enjoy the freedom of fllip-flops.

Be Blessed My Friends.

Leah

PS. Please enjoy our family video below and share in the comments what you loved about this weekend.