Saturday, November 12, 2016

Overhaul Your Life


How many times have you said to God, "Ok, I'm ready for your plan for my life" ?  It was most likely said in a time of despair when your plans, that you made on your own, didn't work out.
(Am I right or am I right?!)

Believe me, I've done it too.  I've prayed that prayer that so many times in my darkest hours because I was just SO done with this life.  However, I've also said those words when I felt lost and confused.  Word of advice,  DO NOT ask God to take away or give you anything so that you can do His will, unless you are prepared for the consequences.  I know from experience.  Let me tell you it was a freakin' doozy.  It was my senior year of College, my fiancee left me, I had to move back in with my parents and I totaled my car.  All that happened in 4 months! Talk about moving mountains!

I say this as a word of caution.  If you think you're at a low point and need God to save you, you're right.  But the thing is you needed Him waayyyy before that.  I have this theory (which I could be totally wrong)  that if you are actively seeking a relationship with Him and do love God before you cry out for his overhaul, that He will make small moves first. If you are open an seeking Him then you will see these small signs or changes in everyday life.  At the time of my overhaul I was not nearly as deep with my walk in Christ as I am now.  I see small changes and hear his voice more frequently.  He knows I am sensitive so small signs are the best for me.

I wonder how God is speaking to you?  Do you need a small change or large?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments below or reach out to me on social media.



" So often our dreams are actually too small for God to fit into them, and what God wants is for us to invite Him in and hand them over to Him."  -  Mariah McManus Goss  



Love you always,
Leah

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Adversity


Fear is not something to be conquer.  Just like how adversity is not something that proves if you are strong and brave.

Definition of Adversity;

   Adversity



  nounplural adversities for 2.

   1.
adverse or unfavorable fortune or fate; a condition marked bymisfortune, calamity, or distress:
Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity.
   2.
an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance:
You will meet many adversities in life.   


Ok, so here it picks it apart and gives examples. Awesome!  I love examples. I specifically love theses examples because it brings the realness to it.  Not the, "I'm going to be strong and show adversity who's boss" crap.  Because honestly,  one of the best things you can do is to handle it the way you want to handle it.  It's true!  

People handle things differently.  If someone is in an adverse place in their life theirs a couple things you can do; one, Give them encouragement or 2,  let them feel distressed, woeful, pain.  Our instinct is to fix it, right?  We want to be there and take away their distress and pain.  We want to tell them, "no it's not fair but how you handle this will show how strong you are."  

News flash, you are already strong! You don't need to be prove it while you are in a tough spot. I want you to know that one of the best things you can do is to be still and feel the pain.  My girl Glennon Doyle Melton says, (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Pain is not a hot potato to be quickly thrown to someone else, but it is more like traveling professor.  The wise ones let themselves be still with it makes them stay until it teaches them what they need to know."  BTW, this girl is amazing and you immediately need to google her.  

So my dear friends,  let adversity teach you what you need to know.  But remember you do not need to prove to anyone how strong, brave or courageous  you are when faced with adversity.  
YOU ALREADY ARE!  

Love you always, 
Leah 



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What breaks your heart?

I'm serious.  I want to know what breaks your heart!

The reason I ask is because if you are someone who is struggling to find your "career" or "passion", well...that is it my friend! You may be thinking, "Um isn't that the exact opposite thing I should be doing?'  Not really.

Hear me out.  If you're watching the SPCA commercial with the saddest song in the world and you start balling like you're 5 then that's a good indication you should do something in that field.  Their are a TON of things you could do.  Anywhere from volunteering to becoming an actual officer who goes out and saves the day.

Think about it!  It's obviously something you would care deeply about.  You would put your all into it everyday. And, the word engaged would most likely be one of your top 3 words to describe how your job makes you feel.  Scratch that, it's a freakin' career! See where I'm going with this.

If you follow what breaks your heart their you will your people (or animals).  God specifically places in us a deep feeling for someone or something.  He does it because we are here on this earth to glorify Him and that is through YOU!

Next time you hear or see something that breaks your heart, run to it!

Love you always,
Leah




Sunday, September 25, 2016

Greatness

This post is more faith based than the rest.  It's going to be short and sweet.  So just a heads up.

At church today we studied the first chapter in the book of Jonah.  Ya know, the guy who got swallowed by a great big fish.  (FYI, it never says he was swallowed by a whale so the whole 'Jonah and the Whale" story is false.) Which makes me understand why some people are against Christianity, but that is a totally different post within it's self.  Should I do a post on it?  Would you find it helpful in understanding nonbelievers?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Did you know the term great is used in the short book of Jonah, more than any other book of the bible?  This is not a coincidence.  The entire story of Jonah is about how great and big God is.  He is bigger than any thought or idea we might have.  He is bigger than any of our own judgements of others.  He is big enough to show grace to EVERYONE!  Even those we think don't deserve it or didn't "earn" it.  How dare we limit God.  He is a great big God capable of anything.  I mean He did create the universe.

My friends, I ask you the next time your ego creeps in and you think to yourself, "See how awesome I am God.  Look at how good I am."  know that God loves you as much as the most horrible person you can think of.  Then I invite you to pray for those who need Him.  Also, pray for yourself that you can be humbled by Him.  I know you have your short comings as well but God still loves you the same.  He is a great big God.


Love You Always,

Leah

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

There is Room for Everyone

It seems like nowadays everyone and their mom has a blog.

I recently went to go see Bad Moms with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and a few other awesome ladies.  (I also loved that JJ Watt played a soccer coach who owned cats and Prius...but I digress).  One of the lines mentioned the different types of mom groups and I quote, "the blogging moms."  I told you everyone and their mom has a blog.  So why the heck am I doing it?  What could I have to say that hasn't already been said or done?  Well my friends,  sorry to break it to ya, but most of my advice or encouragement is not new.  Maybe the way I say something or my perspective might be different but for the most part it is not new stuff.

Similar to my last post, sometimes you won't understand something fully until you are at the right place at the right time and have gone through the right experience to be able to "get it".  And by right experience I mean that very specific place and person who was there, or not there.  I do NOT mean societies term of "right experience".

The things that I say and write are from my perspective.  From my own experiences.  For some people it will be like a lightbulb moment of awareness.  Others might think nothing of it and place no value on what I have to say.  Some might go as far as to say that it's a load of rubbish.  Ya know what?  That's total okay!

It has been stated in the Bible by God that, "You will be hated by everyone because of me..."  Now those are some pretty heavy words.  Society will try to bring you down.  They will say, "give up on your dream, it's all been said and done before."  But my dear friends they are wrong!  They don't know the magnitude of the dream God has put in your heart.  He gave it to you for a reason. Only you can carry out the plans he has set for you, no one else.

So, do not listen to the nay sayers of this world.  If someone gawks at your unreasonable dream it's most likely because they have given up on their own.  I warn you my love, do not believe those doubters.  Trust and believe in your God.  There is room for everyone.

Love You Always,
Leah

Friday, September 9, 2016

Trust is hard

As you can tell by the title of this post I have a hard time with trust.  

Not just trusting people but with trusting in God.  Their I said it!  Can ya blame me though?  I'm Type A all the way.  I like to plan and I'm an extrovert so I have no problem spilling my guts to anyone who will listen.  The issue with that is I tend to get hurt...a lot.  Hence, the trust issues.  

About two years ago is when I realized I had a hard time trusting God.  

I was engaged to my best friend of 4 years and I had just picked out my wedding dress (it took me 8 months to find the "right one" so at this point I was pumped).  I remember it was a Sunday afternoon and B walked in from a weekend away with his dad and brothers.  He was shaking and sobbing.  My immediate thought was that something terrible happened. Maybe his dad got hurt or worse,  his Nana died.  Little did I know the terrible thing that was going to happen would be to me.  He claimed he wasn't in love with me anymore and we couldn't get married.  I was blindsided.  

Here was the love of my life, my best friend, the person who I thought God wanted me to be with saying he didn't want to marry me anymore.  I want to emphasize the word  "anymore".  At one point he loved me so much that we moved in together and were engaged.  He even told me  that in his mind he was already married to me and their was no going back.  He said and did all the right things, so I thought.  

You can imagine how mad I was at B and at God.  How could God take away the one person who I thought I could fully rely on?! How can I trust in God if He took away the desire of my heart?! I thought that this man God brought into my life would always be there for me like B claimed to promise.  Promise; what a word.  When someone promises things to me I expect them to keep their word.  Now,  I have a really hard time believing anyone.  I've ruined the start of potential relationships because of my now prominent trust issues.  

But,  I'm learning to trust in people again by trusting in Jesus first.  It is SUPER hard.  Especially after that traumatic life incident. A verse that helped me out of my darkest hour is, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6.  

Guys, do you see what God did their?!  I've always had a hard time trusting in the promises He says He has for us, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" - Psalm 25:4-5, and I put my trust in people instead.  God is now rewiring me to learn to trust in Him first (mind blown).   

If you are going through a challenging time in your life, wondering "why", then I invite you to write down the verses in this post on a note card and keep them in your car, in your desk at work or even write them on your bathroom mirror.  Put it somewhere you can easily access it in times of struggle.  Let it ease your aching heart.  
  

Love you Always, 
Leah 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Practice Gratitude

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Every night before I go to sleep I give a prayer of thanks.  With a smile on my face I give a small whisper, "thank you".  I thank God for the people in my life and for the experiences I had that day.  Some days it's really hard to say thank you.  Some experiences I wish weren't so, let's say faith building ;)

I've been put through the ringer in quite a few aspects of my life.  But let me tell you I wouldn't have it any other way.  One of my favorite quotes is by Glennon Doyle Melton as she simply and beautifully states, "Follow the heartbreak."  What? Are you serious?!  I'm for real for real.

Let me tell you dear friends you have so much to learn about yourself in that heartbreak.  I have had the most amazing epiphanies and relationships blossom from heartbreak.  I am so thankful that God allows us to feel heartbreak.  It might sound crazy because it's not a pleasurable feeling, I get it, but god does not gift just anyone with serious heartbreak.  Only the might who He knows will triumph.

When I experienced a particular heartbreak about two years ago I hit rock bottom.  I gave up on my dreams, I gave on trying and worse, I gave up on people.  I was physically and mentally deteriorating.  I lost 23 pounds in 2 months and only left my home to go to class, sometimes I didn't go at all.  It was the worst I had ever felt in my life!  I am so thankful for that time.

I am thankful because it aloud me to develop deeper relationships with my family.  I am thankful because it brought me closer to God and my relationship with Jesus.  I am thankful because it showed me that with His strength I can do anything!  It it the reason I am doing what I do today.  It is wonderful and perfect.

Now it's your turn.  I invite you to say or list at least three things you are thankful for right now!  Then do it again tomorrow and the next day.  It will start to open your eyes to the beauty all around you.

Love you Always,
Leah

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Being Open to Receive


Guys! I completely had a lightbulb moment the other day!  (I know I've been getting them a lot lately).  But seriously, I overheard someone talking and they said a phrase I've heard so many times and for the first time it finally clicked.  It only took me 26 years and a few experiences later.  Hahaha.

How many times have you heard someone say, "It's not the end of the world."  I know I've heard it a bunch of times.  Now, keep in mind I am hard wired with anxiety. I use to think a lot of things that went wrong would almost be the end of the world.  (If you're like me you know what I mean).  However, during one of my internships their was this huge issue that happened during my first few weeks and I thought I was done for.  But I had a very senior director say to me those exact words, "It's not the end of the world."   It was like a light bulb wet off in my head. It immediately put me at ease!  If it was any other time, person, or place I still would have freaked out.  It wasn't until that point in time when that woman said it that I was ready to receive the message.

The point is this;  sometimes you hear the same motivational speech or phrase many times but it isn't until you are ready to receive the message that you fully understand.  Maybe that person has a totally different way of bringing you the information that makes you go, "Oh my lanta!  This totally makes sense now!"  Gods timing is perfect.  When you are ready to go to that conference you will.  When you are ready to fully comprehend what is being said or done you will!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”   

If at any point in your life you've had one of theses "lightbulb receiving" moments let me know in the comments below!  I want to hear from you!

Love you Always,
leah

Monday, August 15, 2016

Giving Up on Your Dream

I'm sure their have been plenty of times in your life when you were ready to throw in the towel and call it quits.  Believe me, I get it! I've felt like that, A LOT! I can't even tell you how many times I've given up on things in my life (and I'm only 26).

I am a serial quitter.  I'm not even sure if that's a thing but I'm gonna make it a thing!

I have struggled with having lots of drive and ambition my whole life.  But than as soon as I come to a challenge or set back I give up.  I might even tough it out and handle a couple of set backs but ultimately I gave up... again.  It was so embarrassing to tell friends and family how excited I was to start something new too then tell them one a few months later "it did't work out."  They probably think I'm a flake and can't handle life (which I can't but that's for another post).

Just like in my last post, about Taking Action you were given a special purpose for your life.  God needs YOU to deliver on what it is He put in your heart.  We are his soldiers.  I'm sorry to tell you this but Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, "For a dream comes with much business and painful effort."

We have to learn to put in effort and keep trucking through. Which is what I like to say, Do work!

What I do - I know many other successful people do - is to remind ourselves why we started.  Did you start so you can give your children a better life?  Did you start so you can help others?  Whatever your reason is remember God has equipped with you armor for the battle.  Satan will do anything to try and steal, kill and destroy your life (that's all he wants to do).  This means he will try and put any obstacle in your way so you give up.  I've heard it said that the moment right before you're about to give up is when the miracle happens. Theirs God, showing up for you and helping you through.  A verse that I have in my car is Psalm 32:7 

" For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.  You surround me with songs of victory." 

My favorite part of this verse is that last word; victory!  It jumps off the page and into my heart.  It feels like a warm blanket of courage being wrapped around me.  It makes me feel like I can conquer all of my dreams!

But...

I'm not saying that if you have a really crappy job that is sucking the life out of you, that you have to stick it out.  Please, don't do that!  What I am saying is that if you pray for Gods guidance he will show you the way.  "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

For me I ended up staying at a job that wrecked havoc on my spirit for months before I left.  I stayed because I didn't want to give up.  I didn't want my family to think I was quitting something...again.  But honestly it was the best thing I could have done.  I prayed about it for a a long time and then one day I heard God loud and clear.  It was time to go.  The difference here was that being at that company and doing that job was not a dream God put on my heart.  

If I never left I would have never started this blog.  I would have never written my book (coming to you in 2017).  Those were the real dreams God placed in my heart.  I know this because I have always felt it in my soul since I was a little girl.  But most importantly because I knew it would glorify Him!  

Lastly, I leave you with this.  If you are feeling like you're about to give up, keep going.  Show those doubters what you're made of!  Show them you are strong!  And always remember why you started. 


Love you always, 
Leah 






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Take Action

Is their anything more inspiring than the Olympics?! I can't think of anything.  I know for me stories of grit and perseverance inspire me to keep going.  It also had me thinking how alike all those athletes are.  Yes they might compete in completely different events but they all have one thing in common; they took action on their dream.  

Todays post is going to be about taking action on the dream that God has put on your heart.  Some of you might be saying, "But Leah, I don't even know what to do first!"  Well to be honest, starting is the hardest part.  The simplest, yet the hardest.  However, you're full of all these great ideas and ambition is just pouring out of you.  You are exuberant when telling your mom and friends of the dream that is aching in your soul.  If they really care they ask you what you're going to do, to which you freeze and say, "I'm not sure."  (Sound of air coming out of a ballon.)  

Now you might feel a bit deflated at this point but that's ok! Everyone's been there.  I have too.  But I want to encourage you to keep seeking after what it is that was put on your heart.  It's not some weird deep desire to go start a farm in Africa somewhere even though you grew up in the upper east side of NYC.  Other people might find it strange but guess what, it's not their dream! He has given everyone a unique path to take.   We can try and do what society expects from us but in the end we don't have much control AND we will feel unfulfilled.   Proverbs 16:9.  

Starting can be as simple as doing research of others who have gone before you.  It can be following a role model on Twitter or Instagram.  Another highly underutilized tool is to pray.  Ask God what you should do.  Ask Him to invite people into your life that believe in you.  Then watch Him work.  You have done your part, now let Him do His.

If you just start you will amaze yourself.  I promise.  

“In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.” (John 17:18 MSG)


Just do it.  (No this is not sponsored by Nike).  



Love you Always, 
Leah 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Moments of Pause

If you're anything like me, you hate having down time.  The word relax is not in your vocabulary.  In fact, your own mother makes fun of you for always being "on the go".  Also, insomnia is something you are very familiar with.  I mean seriously though,  how can you sleep when you could be doing something else wwaayyy more productive?!

About one month ago I left my miserable job and was forced to relax.  This was the hardest thing I've had to do, and let me tell you, I've done a lot of hard tasks.  The first week was like a vacation.  I went to the beach, slept in, read two books, added a couple chapters to my own novel and I got to spend lots of time with friends.  Week two was similar to the first with only a few bits of restlessness (huge, I know).

Week three however was a different story.  Panic started to set in.  How come the other job didn't call me back yet?  Will I be unemployed for the rest of my life?  Does everyone think I'm a failure?  You get the idea.  My restless brain and my need to be productive was at an all time high.  This was the longest I have been without a job since I was 16!

One day after church I was speaking with my friend who asked me how the job hunt was going.  He saw my face sink down to the ground and said he was praying for me.  I immediately started to vent about how I'm bored and I'm feeling useless.  With his sweet smile he said he understood and that he too struggled with feeling that at times.  But what he said next is what really made an impact. He gently said, God sometimes forces us into moments of pause so we can listen to what He has to say (BOOM, brain exploded).  It is to remind us that we are not the sum of all our accomplishments and achievements.  We are worth more than all of them combined.  He loves us not matter the state of life we are in!

It was in that moment of pause I realized my sense of worth was rooted in my accomplishments, NOT in God's love for me.  I'm sure you have felt this way too at times.  It's easy to get caught up in what the world says we should be doing.  I mean, we see and hear it all day long.  It's much harder to remember and have faith in something that is unseen, but trust me,  He is guiding you to where you are meant to be.  If only you take a moment to pause and listen.

Psalm 32:8 - The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for you life.  I will advise and watch over you."  


Love you always,
Leah

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fear is just a feeling

Today I felt the need to address the topic of fear.  I know, I know.  It's a nasty little word that carries a lot of weight.  But do you know what makes it so great?  It is not the truth.  (Let that last sentence linger in your mind for a moment.)

I'm serious guys!  I put the Google definition below.

Fear noun
  1. 1
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.


Fear is simply an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief.  If you pick this definition apart the words that stand out to me are unpleasant, emotion, and belief.  Yeah, it's unpleasant and it's also an emotion. It is an unpleasant emotion that our mind and the enemy uses to try to steal our joy.   Emotions are something which I personally struggle controlling.  Most importantly it is a belief. Beliefs are not facts. Beliefs are not the truth! Take comfort in that.  You should also take comfort in knowing the feeling of fear is not of God." So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?"  Hebrews 13:6.  Sometimes when I'm having an extra hard time with my emotions and negative self talk I will say this verse.  Most of the time I just say the last section, "What can mere people do to me?"

Many times in life we are struck with fear.  We can't help it.  If you're anything like me you probably fear the most ridiculous things and think to yourself - late at night in bed - feeling lonely, "Is anyone really my friend or are they all just pretending to be nice so they don't hurt my feelings?"  (I told you it was ridiculous.)  This is not truth.  Again, it's just that stupid feeling of fear.  He's coming for you when you are by yourself and have nothing better to think about.  With that being said, I suggest giving someone a call or text, pick up a book, or turn on a good 'ole episode of Parks and Recreation.  Leslie Knope will honestly make you want to save the world.  Boom, instant shut down/distraction of the beast we call fear.  How?  Because you are taking more than 5 seconds to focus your attention on something else.  If you don't believe me than I challenge you that the next time you feel fear within 5 seconds try and distract yourself.  I know this has helped me tremendously and I hope it does the same for you.

Love you always,
Leah



Friday, July 22, 2016

Finding Your North Star

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who seems SO passionate about what they do?  Did they also seem to have a glow about them that made you wish you could find that perfect shade in a highlight from Becca cosmetics?!  Yeah, me too.  My makeup loving self literally went out to find a highlight that resembled my friends face. But the thing is none of them were quite right.  Maybe that's because after a few sweaty hours in the sun they all seemed to fade away.  I needed staying power people!

Then it hit me...Ask her what she was wearing!  When she told me she doesn't even own foundation I claimed she was lying.  I mean seriously?!  I have never seen skin that flawless and radiant unless it came from a bottle. But alas, I was wrong.  What was her secret you ask?   Staying true to her own North Star.  Yup,  she figured it out and is living her life doing what she was put on this earth to do.

I'm hoping this blog will help you discover your own north star, or help you get a little closer.

I love you always,
Leah