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,

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,

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!


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, 

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, 

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 no 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 your life.  I will advise and watch over you."  

Love you always,