seasons of life

Seasons and the New Year

Posted on Updated on

There are always seasons in life. Some we understand and some we do not. As I sit here tonight, I am thinking back on the last year. It has brought a lot of changes as did the year before. I am looking forward to this brand new year, though I really have no idea of what it will hold. I am full of excitement, anticipation and some trepidation. My last few years have brought many changes and quiet a few adventures. In two years I went from not traveling at all (literally only out of my time zone once) to traveling to three countries and two continents. I have semi launched my three oldest children into the world. I have laid down my job as a real estate agent and been certified as a life coach and trained as a Restoring the Foundations prayer minister. I have reached a new place in my prayer life and God has transformed my heart, which has been the biggest adventure of all. This blog has been neglected in the last few months, however I hope to change that in the upcoming year. I will write as God leads but I am committed to being more disciplined in my posting as well as writing a book. As we go into a new year, I want to share about my past adventures and the new adventures along the way. I appreciate each of you that are a part of my life , as well as each of you who read my blog. I hope 2015 was a good year for you, though for many, I know it was a long and hard season. I lost two great friends this year. Both of them were incredible people. Both of them were lost to cancer. I am still trying to process all that I feel over losing them. And though they are celebrating in heaven, this world is sadder and dimmer without them. They will be missed by all of us, but by their families most of all. As I said at the start of this post, some seasons we understand and some we do not. Only God himself has all the answers and I am glad that I do not need the answers to know that He is God. So as this year comes to a close I pray you have memories to take with you, hope for a new season and for a new year. I pray you have peace, joy and comfort. I pray that you have these things in the good seasons and in the hard seasons. But most of all I pray that you come to know the Lord better, to walk closer with Him, and reach new levels in life in 2016.

Be blessed my friends,

Leah

Advertisements

Fleeting Moments

Posted on Updated on

YWAM Family


Sometimes we don’t recognize the important moments until there are gone.

The smiles. The laughter. Holding your five year olds hand. The tickle fights. The late night talks. The one more story mommy. The five more minutes mommy. All of those moments along the way in the middle of the chaos, tears, sleepless nights and fears. They keep coming and time keeps ticking. Soon those moments are memories in a blink of an eye.

For the moms out there with babies and young children, I know that today it feels like toddler tantrums and sleepless nights will never end, but trust me, they will. Before you know it, it will be an adult staring back at you, and in my case, with my boys, having their chin rest on the top of your head.

I spent many days with my toddlers wishing away the time. Wishing for dad to get home, wishing for nap time to come, wishing for this week to be over and for the weekend to arrive. Wishing my kids could do more for themselves, like tie their shoes. Now they can…

All grown up.

I am officially a mom of two men and one woman. I am very proud of the people they have become and are still becoming, but I do miss their chubby little fingers wrapped around my finger, and their cute little voices calling out for “mommy”. However, I would not turn back time even if I could, but I do sometimes wish I had slowed down and breathed in those fleeting moments a little more. I wish I knew then, what I know now. That in a moment, in a heartbeat of time, my babies, my toddlers, my grade schoolers would be gone, never to return. But in this moment, as I am writing this, I also have a new gift. Best friends. You know the kind of friends that you know will always be there no matter what. That is now what I have in my children. Even when they are in another state or across the world, they are still only a FaceTime moment away.

I have new best friends.

I got to visit with them this past weekend after months of them being away. It’s amazing how they have changed and yet are still the same. The same smile, the same laugh, but yet more grown up somehow. It is really hard to put into words what it is like seeing your children, your babies, now starting to walk out their adult life. Some words come to mind. Love. Pride. Honor. Gratefulness. I feel a deeper kind of love for them. I am proud of them. I am amazed by them. I am thankful that I am their mom. But most of all I am grateful that God is still with us all, loving us, guiding us, and in these beautiful fleeting moments bringing us back together, even if it’s only for awhile.

The seasons are fleeting.

It is a new season for my children. It is also a new season of my life. A season that I saw coming and even a season that I have prayed for, but now that it’s here, it brings with it things I could never have imagined. A peace and a joy. A sadness and a difficulty. An excitement that I truly never expected. For as my children’s’ lives more forward, so does mine. I realize that more adventure awaits for us all. Both together and apart. That may be the most surprising part of all. Realizing that my children and I will now begin new adventures in the Kingdom together, not just as mother and child, but as brothers and sisters in Christ. I guess that is what we have been all along. Funny how time has a way of showing you things and teaching you lessons. So take it from somebody who knows. Breathe in those moments with your children. Capture them. Drink in the honor of being a parent. Remember that the moments are fleeting and that we, as parents, have a short time to pour into our children. To teach them the way they should go. To recognize that they have a call on their life. A moment in time to try our best to help them learn how to walk in that call. To steward them the best we can and rely on God for the rest. So friends, I leave you with these thoughts. Don’t stress about the things that don’t really matter. Hug more than you yell. Hold their hand. Have the late night talks. Pray over them daily. Speak over your children the things that you want them to be. Lean on God for guidance. For all too soon, you will have an adult staring back at you too. Be Blessed my friends.


Scriptures on the walls at the YWAM base in Charlotte:

YWAM pic 2Ywam pic

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Posted on Updated on

This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and is dedicated to my children. We have always loved this song. I hope you enjoy it too. Be Blessed my friends.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
(with Tammi Terrell)

Listen baby, ain’t no mountain high,
Ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough baby
If you need me call me, no matter where you are,
No matter how far; don’t worry baby
Just call my name; I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry,

Oh baby there ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Remember the day I set you free
I told you you could always count on me darling
From that day on, I made a vow,
I’ll be there when you want me,
Some way, some how

Oh baby there ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Oh no darling
No wind, no rain
Or winters cold can stop me baby, no no baby
‘Cause you are my goal
If you’re ever in trouble;
I’ll be there on the double
Just send for me, oh baby, ha

My love is alive
Way down in my heart
Although we are miles apart
If you ever need a helping hand,
I’ll be there on the double
Just as fast as I can
Don’t you know that there

Ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Don’tcha know that there
Ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
Ain’t mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough

It’s Just One of Those Days

Posted on Updated on


Ever have one of those days? You know. The kind where nothing seems to go right? Where you are just trying to make it from one hour to the next. Or maybe minute to minute. You may even say that to yourself, “Yep, it’s just one of those days”. I want to encourage you, that you are not the only one who has days like this.

When I was a young mom, with three toddlers, I had lots of days like this. Days that the house was cluttered with kid stuff everywhere, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and messy babies. I would wait for hubby to come through the door so I could have a break. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. He may have had a bad day too and now we both needed a break. At the end of these days, I would go to bed feeling like a complete failure. I use to think that as I got older everything would change and that life would get easier. In some ways, life has changed and become easier. In some ways, life hasn’t changed at all and has become harder. I have come to realize that as much as some things change, some things stay the same. Even though my days look different and are filled with new challenges, like being the parent of young adults, the dirty dishes and laundry still seem to find ways to multiply. No matter how much time goes by, I am still me and I still have bad days. I still get overwhelmed. I still get frustrated. I still get a really bad attitude. However, along the way I have learned a valuable lesson. God never changes.  No matter how much time goes by, God is still God. Along the way is when I realized it.

-My bad days don’t surprise God.

God already knew about my bad days. The dirty laundry, piles of bills and endless parenting doesn’t surprise him. Neither does my bad attitude. He knows exactly where I am and he is there with me. He chose to give me this life. That’s right. He knew about my weaknesses and failures and he still gave me my husband. My kids. My friends and family. He knew I would have bad days. He knew I would yell at my kids and my husband, and sometimes kick the dog. Yes. I confess. I have kicked my dog.

-I am not defined by my bad days… I am not defined by my good ones either…

But he also gave me a way out of my bad days. He gave me his shoulder to cry on. He gave me his arms wrapped around me. He gave me his truth spoken to me. His truth. His truth is that I am not defined by my bad days. I’m not defined by my good ones either. I am defined by being a child of God. I am defined by His love for me. He also gave me the promise “I will be with you”. I can pour out my heart and tell God exactly what I am thinking and feeling. My feelings don’t surprise God. I can yell, scream and cry and he will not leave me. In fact, I just need to speak his name and he helps me. He helps me from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. He helps me, he cares for me and he changes me.

Now when I have a bad day, I think about the fact that this day will not define me or my family. It doesn’t mean that I am a big fat failure. It simple means I am human and in need of a savior. It will simply be one of those days that I need to lean even more on God. He has given me tools for these days. He has given me scriptures, affirmation statements, prayers to pray, and friends to call. But even if I don’t use those tools and let the bad day get the best of me, He also gives me forgiveness. He has given me the power to ask for forgiveness, to ask others to forgive me and the power to forgive myself. He gives second chances and brand new days. He gives me love and the assurance that it’s okay when I fall short. After all, God is the only one who is perfect and the only one with no bad days. Be blessed my friends.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Hebrews 13: 5-6, 8 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningS

Posted on

Even though we didn’t get a lot of snow, I was inspired to share Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, for this week’s Poetry Tuesday. Wherever you are, whether you have a little snow, a lot of snow or no snow, I hope you enjoy this week’s poem. Be blessed my friends. Whose woods these are I think I know.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Winter Fence 1

Going around again or moving forward?

Posted on

Here we are, already more than halfway through January in a brand new year. 2014 was quite an adventure for me. Lots of changes. A lot of growing. And a lot of letting go of my own will. It has probably been one of the most rememberable years of my life. I truly feel like The Lord started the year by saying, I want to take you on a journey, will you go with me? When I said yes to him. I heard the Lord say, “Just let go. Stop asking me how and why all the time”, “just know that I have all the answers and have had a path laid out for you since the beginning of time”. He truly has taken me on a journey this year. He has birthed new vision. I have trained in new skills. I have been on adventures. My oldest child has launched into his own path and walk with the Lord, and child two and three are about to be launched in just a matter on months. I have had to let go of some things that I loved, and give room for the Lord to heal old wounds and breathe new life on old dreams. All in all it has been a year with an incredible journey, restoration, and change.

I have always thought change is hard. But not changing and going around the mountain again is hard too. Sometimes when we come to a crossroads, it’s hard to decide, go on the known path, (again) or take a risk and try the new undiscovered trail. Sometimes as much as we hate going around the mountain again, it can also be comforting. Familiar. At least we have been here before. We recognize things. In uncharted territory, there are no familiar road marks. No part that says, oh wait, I know where we are. It’s all new ground. Total reliance on God. I think this is why we often resist change and new things, because it requires more trust in God. But there comes a time when going around the mountain has happened for too long. It is time to move on to new and better things. Time for us to step into the unknown and blaze a new trail. That is my prayer for each of you this year. That if the Lord is taking you on a journey, that you let him. That you face the unknowns, even if you are afraid. That you will even find excitement over the changes that the Lord is making in your life.

As we continue into a new year I am excited about my journey. It isn’t easy, but I trust the Lord. Change can be hard and even scary at times. But, in my life, not changing has become even harder and scarier. I don’t want to stay the same. I want to go where the Lord directs me. I want all that he has for me and my family. I want new adventures, the Lord’s adventures, no matter the cost. If this is where you are as well, let’s pray for one another and take comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our walk. That we have each other and that we always have a trustworthy Lord and Savior. Be blessed my friends.

My Christmas Prayer

Posted on

As the days tick by and we get closer to Christmas, I have many thoughts rolling through my head. For as long as I can remember I have LOVED Christmas. I love Christmas music, I love the tree, the lights, decking the halls, I love Christmas cooking and candy, time spent with family, and I love reminiscing about the past year by. I love the reason for the season. I love thinking about baby Jesus in a manager and what that truly meant, and what that has meant in my life. This morning while having my coffee I was thinking of all of these things, and then it hit me. All of these things are wonderful, but I want to enjoy each day like Christmas. I want to be thankful for what I have and who’s in my life. I want to decorate my house with good food, good cheer, and smiling faces all year long. I want to listen to music and think of good times. I want to remember that baby Jesus grew up, died for our sins and now lives forevermore and lives in my heart. I want to give to others and be grateful everyday.

This year has stretched me more than any other year in my life. It has brought lots of changes and our Christmas will look different too. Right now there are no presents under our tree. For me, that has been hard. I love presents. Not receiving them necessarily (though that is nice) but I love giving them. Especially to my children. But this year we have agreed to not exchange presents. We have a big year coming up. All three of my oldest children are starting to make their way in the world. My hubby and I have goals and some big things coming up too. Instead of presents we have agreed to give ourselves wholly. To support each other. To pray for each other and to cherish the family time that we will get together this year. That is the most precious gift we can give or get. The gift of our support, love and time to each other. My kids are adults or almost adults and who knows what the future holds. In 2015 different members of our family will be in at least five different countries on mission trips. I am pretty sure that is just a start of more to come. So this year, I have done many of the things I love. I have decorated my home and our Christmas tree. I have been to a few parties, ate good food, and listened to my favorite Christmas tunes. However, I have realized that this transformed life that God has given me and the fact that he is using my family for his kingdom is the best gift of all.

I think change is always hard, especially when it is big change. But if nothing ever changed, well then, nothing would ever change. I enjoyed my kids as children, but watching them grow into the men and woman of Christ they are becoming is a very special thing. Without change and if I focused too much on seasons gone by, I could miss that. I don’t want to miss anything on this journey of life. I want all that God has for me and I want to be who He wants me to be. So, yes, our Christmas looks very different this year, and I do miss the bouncy happy children who couldn’t wait for Christmas morning. But I am loving the bouncy happy adults they are becoming who can’t wait to do what God wants them to do. I do look back and reminisce about years gone by, but I am very excited about things to come as well. As we get closer to Christmas and the end of another year, my prayer is to enjoy the moments with my kids, family, and friends, and to go into a new year with peace, faith and a happy heart. That is my prayer for you too. Be blessed my friends.