times of transition

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.

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Seasons and the New Year

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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

Our Deepest Fear

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is the poem I talked about in my last post “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. I love this poem, it is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Be Blessed my friends.

Our Deepest Fear 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone
and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

The Power of Transparency

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When I was in my twenties, I was afraid to let people see who I really was. I thought if people found out about the real me that I would be judged, turned away, or even made fun of. I was worried that if I put away my mask and my pretending that I would be left all alone. I was locked and chained into a life of pretending. I was held in bondage by fear. The fear of rejection and the fear of who I truly was. After all, what if she were not enough? What would happen if I showed my true self and was left with nothing? So for years I pretended, put on a mask and let the fear of being found out rule my life.

-It had escaped me that the very thing I feared most would be what set me free.

It had escaped me that the very thing I feared the most, being real and transparent, would be the very thing that would set me free. Free to be me. I have a group of friends and we say that a lot. Free to be me. It is worth repeating and that is what transparency did for me, it set me on the path to freedom. My path began around the time I first heard the poem “Our Deepest Fear”. If you have never read it, then I highly recommend that you do. It’s about being authentic. It’s about being transparent. It’s about being all the God has made us to be and letting our own light, and God’s light, shine through us. I still remember the first time I heard it. I cried. I wanted that. I wanted to be all that God had created me to be. I wanted to be real and to stop pretending. Then I made a decision that changed my life. I would start to do my best at being myself. I started taking steps of faith. I prayed and first asked God who I was. I started being completely real and transparent with myself and with Jesus. He loved me enough to save me, so I figured it was a safe place to be transparent. As I started my journey of transparency with him, I begin to laugh at myself for not doing it sooner considering Jesus knew everything about me already. Time went by and I began to become more comfortable being “real”.

-Instead of being judged and rejected, I found myself being loved.

Then one day I was put to the test. A good friend of mine called me. She was going through some struggles and was about to make a bad decision. She was unhappy in her marriage and was sharing her struggles with another man. “He is just a good friend” she said to me. I told her it was dangerous to be sharing her struggles with a man other than her husband and that she should end the relationship. She restated that he was only a friend and wanted to know why I felt so strongly that she should end the relationship. It was in that moment that I felt the Holy Spirit rise up in me. I had a decision to make. Should I tell her the truth? Should I be transparent? I felt the Holy Spirit say tell her. Tell her your story. You see,  just a couple of years before this, I had an affair. He was our best friend and when my marriage was in trouble, I turned to him for help. We talked. We shared our struggles. And then, we fell into sin. It was hard, but I shared my story with my friend. She was the first person I had talked about it with since it all had happened. I was shaking on the other end of the phone because I was so afraid she would judge me. Instead she cried. She cried and then came over to my home and hugged me. Then we prayed for her and her marriage. She ended that relationship, talked to her husband, and worked on her marriage. After that, we became best friends. I had never really had a best friend like her before. I had friends, but I had always kept them at a distance. I was completely transparent with her and she loved me more than any friend I had ever had. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I had shared my biggest, darkest secret with her and not only had she loved me in spite of it but more because of my sharing it with her. It was a life changing experience for me. Since then, I have shared my story and my struggles many times. It has almost always been the same result. Instead of being  judged and rejected I have  found myself being loved and have had many people come along beside me to help instead.

Those experiences have made me realize just how much power there is in being transparent with one another. Now, we should be spirit led. I am not saying to be an open book all the time, but with those that God has put in our lives, we should be real. Everyone should have a place and relationships where they can be completely open, transparent and authentic with one another.

-There is power in transparency

There is power in transparency. Being transparent takes away anything the enemy has on you. It’s like telling the enemy to shut up. My Father already knows everything there is to know about me and Jesus paid the price for me. Being transparent sets you free. Free of condemnation, free of guilt, free of the fear of what others may think and free of embarrassment and shame. By being real and showing who we really are, the good, the bad, and the ugly, it creates an atmosphere for truth. It creates a place for others to be transparent and to be encouraged. Our own transparency helps us to not be judgmental but instead look at others through eyes of love and acceptance. It helps each of us to come along side and be there for one another.

Some of the effects of transparency:

  • Leaves no room for secrets and sin to hide
  • Removes the enemy’s footholds
  • Removes feelings of being alone
  • Gives you freedom to be yourself
  • Releases joy as you lay down your burdens
  • Develops an atmosphere of truth
  • Develops trust
  • Builds authentic relationships
  • Fosters unity
  • Develops spiritual community
  • Gives a place for accountability
  • Gives a place for helping and nurturing one another
  • Encourages others
  • Builds confidence
  • Strengthens our walk with Christ
  • Strengthens our walk with each other

I want to leave you with this. I almost always find that when I start sharing about my life, past hurts and things I struggle with, that others join in with their own struggles and stories. I have shared ugly things about my past and even my current struggles and instead of people turning me away or hating me, they have loved me more. It has also given them a place to share their own struggles and weaknesses. I think God wants us to start taking that leap of faith to be our true selves. To share what we have been through. To share what we struggle with, our fears, our hopes, our dreams, and ways we fall short with Him and each other. It isn’t always easy but, I believe, it is always worth it. I believe this is one powerful way that we move forward in our walk with Christ and with each other. Be Blessed my friends.


 

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:9-10 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Fleeting Moments

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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

The Beauty in Brokenness

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Many times in life we work so hard to be perfect. We try time after time to be good enough, to be accepted, to achieve success and great things. We often hide our flaws and weaknesses. We try to conceal the fact that we are broken. We live a lie that we can achieve the good life or even a great life in our own power. We live the lie that we are okay and that we can take care of ourselves. Many times all this works for us until it doesn’t. My life was like that for a long time, and then, over time, my flaws, my shortcomings, and my weaknesses became to hard to hide. I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help. In my brokenness I discovered just how much I needed Christ and how very lost I am without him. I also discovered that it’s ok to need him and to need others. I discovered it’s okay to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and to have weaknesses. I discovered that admitting that I am flawed and broken set me free. But for me, the biggest truth of all was that being broken can be beautiful.

-I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help

Brokenness is beautiful in the Kingdom. We will never be perfect but God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. We all are broken in some way. We all have weaknesses and messiness in our lives. That is why we need each other and more importantly, why we need God. When I bring the broken pieces of myself and my life to him, He puts me back together. He sets me next to others and their brokenness. You see, we all are broken. Only Jesus is perfect. It’s Christ who can put us back together if we let him. The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together with his power, his love, and his strength. Then we become his masterpiece. God shines through our brokenness and together we are beautiful like a mosaic or stained glass window. He shines through our lives and we become a living, breathing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.

 –The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together
with his power, his love, and his strength.

 Brokenness is beautiful. Its relatable. It’s love in a unworthy vessel. It’s God’s masterpiece waiting to happen. It’s being his hands and feet. It’s knowing that we are nothing without him, and everything with him. Brokenness is what enables us to be His workmanship. If you’re broken, know that you’re not alone. If you feel like you have no value then I am glad you are reading this. If you feel like you are beyond repair, let me tell you that is a lie. I have messed up things in my life so badly, that God’s grace is the only thing that saved me. He saved me in my darkest times. He saved my marriage. He helped me be a good mom. He kept me going. He healed my heart. We are never beyond repair. God doesn’t give up on us. He restore us and uses us. If you’re falling apart. Let the pieces fall and hold on to God. He will put you back together and his workmanship is beautiful. He will restore what you thought could never be fixed. He will set you free. He will use your life as a living testimony and for the Kingdom. He will take your brokenness and make you beautiful. My friends, I want to  leave you with this simple prayer.

Lord I choose to let you fill in the gaps of my brokenness
and ask that you let your light shine through me. Amen.

Be Blessed my friends.

 

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Ephesians 10:2 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing Our Hearts

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This is a great video by Randy Clark. It is long, but well worth watching.