10 reasons why i’m not a good friend…

can leslie come out and play?

i grew up with no shortage of friends.
i have always been extremely social.
large amounts of laughter and silliness were key to my friendships growing up…
and the same is still true today.
i am blessed with an abundance of friends, but…
as i grow older [and hopefully wiser] i find myself realizing, i’m not always that great of a friend…

Here are 10 reasons why:

#1. I like my coffee more than you. 
seriously, I do.
our friendship will need to involve coffee.
if this is something you can accept, we can be friends.

#2. I have a short attention span.
i’m a great talker. i’m not a great listener. if i’m not talking, i might fall asleep. because i {heart} sleep. during my senior year of high school i fell asleep talking with a friend on the phone about some very difficult circumstances in her life. she was talking, pouring her heart out to me… and i was drooling. i felt awful. being a good listener is a big part of being a good friend. so if you can accept my lack of good listening skills, and the fact that i might fall asleep while you’re talking, we can be friends.

#3. I will interrupt you.
not only will i possibly, maybe, most likely fall asleep sometime during the duration of our friendship, i will also definitely interrupt you {while you’re talking}. i’m not trying to be rude. but i get distracted <> easily, and can end up being unintentionally rude by interrupting, making my point known, forgetting where we <> left off last in our conversation. causing a cycle of rabbit trails to commence. if you can follow my rabbit trails, squirrley distractions and unintentional rudeness, we can be friends.

#4. I am terrible at thank you notes. 
i can not emphasize this enough — i am ter.ri.ble. at thank you notes. i am good at showering people with love and thank you’s in the moment, but i will very rarely write a ‘thank you’ note after the moment has passed. it’s even worse now with three kids who receive presents… i feel the pressure to write, and feel the guilt, but will rarely send a thank you note. so if you’re someone who needs ‘thank you’ note affirmation to be sure of our friendship, it’s not gonna work out. but if you’re okay with lowering your expectations in the ‘thank you’ note department, we can be friends.

#5. I am terrible at parties. 
birthday parties, 31 parties, pampered chef parties, origami owl parties, tea parties, really any kind of parties. in this world of throwing parties for every life event, there is no lack of parties to attend. and there’s only so much time in a day. occasionally we can party, but usually i don’t go because i can’t go. and a lot of times, my kid can’t attend your kids birthday parties. this is sometimes hard, but true. so if we can be friends and our kids can be friends without always joining the party, we can be friends.

#6. I get on my own nerves. 

i get on my own nerves. so i will get on yours too. and you will get on mine. it’s as simple as that. so if you’re okay with all that, we can be friends. 

#7. I am short tempered.
i have a short temper. and if we are friends, my anger issues will appear. most of the time i am displaying righteous anger, some of the time, i’m upset about what i can’t control. some of the time, i’m just irritable… or it’s my time of the month. whatever the reason, i can have a short temper… and if you’re patient with me, we can be friends.

#8. I am not always available. 
i’m a busy woman. my main jobs are as wife and mom. my secondary jobs are worship leader, women’s ministry, and everything else in between. these are the places i spend most of my time. if your kids are friends with my kids, we will probably spend more time together, than if they are not. because my kids will bug me to hang out with your kids, therefore i will be hanging out with you, mom of my kids friends. outside of being mom/wife/daughter/sister/worship leader/women’s ministry leader/everything else in between… i’m not available that much to hang out with. this makes it hard to maintain a good friendship. but some of my closest friends are those i don’t see that often. i am thankful for these friendships and the short sweet times we spend together. these friendships are more intense because we skip all of the formal pleasantries and dive right into deeper friendship waters. if you are okay with my lack of availability at times, we can be friends. 

#9. I am kind of intense. 
i can grow very intense about subjects i am passionate about, such as human trafficking, sex and money, overseas missions, the local church, and quitting church, my husband, our kids, our family… and my very best friend, my B.F.F. in the whole wide world ~ Jesus. if we’re friends, Jesus will come up in conversation. His name is always on my lips. i can be kind of intense about Him. sometimes i might seem too much, but trust me, Jesus is way more intense about me (and you) than we can ever (hope to… or not hope to?) be. if you can bear with my intense nature, we can be friends.

#10. I will disappoint you.

back when friends were knocking on my door asking, can Leslie come out to play? the expectations between friends were different. if we were sick of each other, we just went home. we took a break. we got over our hurt feelings. it was what it was. and if it wasn’t, it wasn’t. {profound, i know.} as we grow up, the complications in a friendship can grow… and communication with me can be frustrating at times, i’m sure… i’m not great at calling people back in a timely manner. and i’m forgetful about replying to text messages at times. so just know, i will disappoint you. and if you’re understanding about it, we can be friends. 
In conclusion… 
i’ve learned much about friendship in my 36 years of life thus far… i’m grateful for the friends i have and what i learn from them. i’ve had my share of friendship challenges, hurts, disappointments, failures, rejection, hope, healing, success and freedom. since Jesus is my best friend, i look to Him to teach me how to be a friend and who to seek out as friends. His Holy Spirit is my guide for how i spend my time with friends. i am fully aware [as you are now too] i’m not always a good friend. but neither are you. no one can be a good friend all the time. we will all share in growth, challenges and changes in the friendships we have. Jesus can teach us thru those times of disappointment, challenges, hurt and rejection and bring healing, hope, freedom and His Love. 
as we seek friends who stick closer than a brother [or sister] no matter what, know that Jesus is the only friend who will never disappoint, hurt, reject you ~ He is always available, always patient, will never falls asleep on you, will attend all your parties, return all your messages, won’t put the limitations of coffee on your friendship, you won’t get on his nerves, He is always intense about you, and He will always {again, always} stick closer than a brother. 
Proverbs 18:24
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Have you had a unique experience with friendship growing, challenging or changing you? 
Has Jesus influenced your friendships?

Please share and thank you for reading!
In Him, Leslie 


7 chicks. 11 kids. 1 God.

on Tuesday’s i host a silly little Bible study…

it’s no big deal. it’s just a handful of chicks and their kiddos.
we just get together to drink…
a lot of coffee, and talk about God.

when we get together i fully expect
large amounts of coffee to be consumed.
meaningful conversations to carry throughout my entire house.
the kiddos to play, bicker, get over it, eat a snack, make a mess. repeat.
silly little Bible study to *magically* happen among the chaos of crazy kiddos and ourselves ~ distracted chicks who, if given a *moment* of silence, will easily bunny trail, interrupt each other and bounce back and forth around several subjects, while remaining a part of various conversations…
a silly little Bible study where we read a few Bible verses. have some discussion. say a little prayer. repeat.

really?! *magic*?! is that all there is to it? 
no. freaking. way.
it is so much more than a silly little Bible study.

the truth is
when we get together i fully expect
coffee consumed.
kid chaos.
shared faith.
prayers said.
hope found.
deeper love.
lives changed.
i fully expect God’s presence to show up. 

last Tuesday, God’s amazing presence poured over us.
a glimpse of *Heaven* came down to earth. in. my. house.

sure. i was prepared for these 7 chicks and 11 kiddos {6 and under} to come busting through my door.
i changed out of my stretchy pants, and briefly tapped into my inner ‘Martha’, while preparing to sit as a ‘Mary’ {their story is referenced in Luke 10:38-42} i cleaned up the living room, meanwhile shoving everything else into the bedrooms.
{out of sight, out of mind is my motto}.

i was ready for this silly little Bible study.
i was ready to drink coffee, share in conversation and read the Bible with the kiddos playing and laughing {sometimes screaming and crying} making their beautiful {and sometimes painful} sounds in the background.

i was fully expectant, hoping for God’s presence to show up. and it did.
prayers were shared.
truth was spoken.
bondages were broken.
God’s love overwhelmed us.

the truth is
if we are not expecting God’s presence to show up, it is just a silly little Bible study.
without God’s presence it is meaningless to get together, share faith, offer pray and gather hope.
it’s all about Jesus.
we fully expect God to do His thing. to love us. change us. renew us. and lead us to go out into the world. guiding us to love the ones in front of us. and for Heaven to touch earth thru us.

I’m a lover of God’s presence.
i can’t wait to see what God will next with these chicks and these kiddos.
i fully expect His presence to overwhelm us, as we enter it with Thanksgiving {Psalm 95:2}.
how are you expecting God’s presence to move?

Model ~ Size 8

I’m not a model…
But that doesn’t matter…
My hubby thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world.

Most of the time, I wear a size 8. 

Sometimes, I can wear a size 6.
I’m only 5’3″, so I’ll never be a model.
You’ll never see my face on the cover of People, Cover Girl or Vogue magazine.
Oh, and add the fact that I’ll most likely never wear a size 2 again either.

Usually, Models are super skinny… super tall…and for some reason they always look super sulky, serious or sad.
These things I am not.
However, I am perfectly comfortable in my size 8 jeans.
And… my hubby thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world.

When we went on our 15th Anniversary trip to the coast a few weeks ago, we were goofing around with Adam’s camera on his new phone which does rapid shooting.
I absolutely LOVE laughing, making silly faces and having fun.
This is our photo shoot 🙂

Adam and I have known each other for 17 years…
In that time, we haven’t changed that much. 
We have a few more wrinkles and silver lining in our hair.
There are times when we feel strong and times we feel more like jello.
We’ve had times when we both put on weight and lost it.
There are times when we feel comfortable in our own skin and times when we don’t.
Now we make it a priority to work out, eat healthy and take care of ourselves…
For ourselves, for each other and for our family.
I think Adam is the most handsome and amazing man in the world.
Here is a little photo shoot I took with his camera when we went to Smith Rock in Oregon.
He wasn’t a fan of my taking his picture with his rapid shoot camera phone, but I did it anyway 🙂

Take time to take pictures.
Take time to take care of yourself.
Thankfully, we are all unique.
I know that God sees me as His beautiful child.
I know that God loves me more than Adam does!
Take time to Know God’s love for you.
Take time to Know how God sees you.
He sees you as beautiful!

Celebrating 15 years of Marriage!

8.9.97 ~ 8.9.12

*We have been Married for 15 Years*

If you are just getting to know us / our blog ~ you can read here about how we met and fell in love, and read here about how our friendship with each other and our relationships with God are the foundation of our marriage.

We had a wonderful date on our anniversary, eating at one of our favorite restaurants (Northstar Cafe), drinking our favorite beverages (mochas) and walking thru a beautiful metro park (Inniswood Metro Gardens).  We were caught in the rain, but that didn’t stop our fun.  By the evenings’ end, we were completely soaked with rain ~ fully enjoying our life, laughter together and love for each other.

To celebrate our Anniversary early, we took a lil trip to the Pacific Coast and left the wee Babs with the Grand Babs, while we were visiting Adam’s family there a few weeks ago…

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, OR

Of course, there’s nothing like hiking rocks in skinny jeans and converse 🙂

Adam at the edge of the rocks – such a daredevil 🙂

The “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Exploring Tide Pools

The next morning, we went running 4 miles along the coast.  We ended up with blisters and completely soaked, but it was SO FUN!  In case you don’t already know this about the Pacific Northwest… the weather can be unpredictable. The Oregon coast leans more on the side of being a sweatshirt beach, not a swimsuit beach. It was cloudy and rainy most of the time we were there, but we didn’t care.  We simply enjoyed God’s beautiful creation and each others’ company.  

We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years together holds ~ with God and each other…
We praise God for each day, for the opportunity to love each other, love others and fully live the life He has called us to. 
There’s nothing better.

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to…

Today (or yesterday, depending on how long it takes me to write / post this blog) was my birthday…

It is / was also Cinco de Mayo… but since I am not Mexican, my birthday being shared with the day of Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French at the battle of Puebla in 1862, doesn’t have that much significance… except that we had Mexican food for dinner.  But since I love eating mexican food, making mexican food, and smelling mexican food, this is a regular, at least bi-weekly occurrence. P.A. made our amazing mexican food for my birthday dinner and I contributed with a kick-ass handmade mango pico de gallo.  Yum.  And, you can check out some of our favorite recipes here.

btw, did you know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day?  Nope, that would be celebrated on September 16th.  Now you know.

So, on May 5th, 1977 I entered the world and it’s never been the samewell, at least for those who know me… 

If you know me, you know this is how I look 95% of the time…

well… maybe that’s an exaggeration, but if you know, me you know I like to make silly faces and I can be… dramatic.

If you know me, you know that my hubby (P.A.) is my best friend and his birthday was 6 days before mine!  And… it’s no coincidence that we celebrated at a Mexican restaurant.  Some of our awesome friends took us out for lunch, after church last Sunday to celebrate.

P.A. with his face covered in ice cream and the Kelly’s ~ our awesome friends who took us to eat to celebrate P.A.’s b-day, which was on April 29th.

                                                  Our awesome kids sporting the mexican hats!

P.A. and I prepping for our awesome pic together 🙂

If you know me, you know our wee Babs (Soleil, Salem, Selah) are super. duper. important to us.  Here they are in a little “photo shoot” from last fall.  They mean the world to us. I could go on and on about them, but if you know me, you know I will save that for another blog… 

If you know me, you know that I love to be silly and I think I am the funniest person. on. the. planet.  I boisterously laugh at myself and my own jokes, even if no one else “gets them” or thinks that they are funny.  I am thankful that most of the time, my family thinks I am as hilarious as I think I am.

If you know me, you know that friendship is important to me… 
Over the last 35 years, I have had the honor of meeting so many people from across the world.  I have had the privilege to call many of them friends… or at the very least, Facebook friends…  My life has been enriched by my amazing friends.  They are truly a gift from God.  I was blessed the other night when some of my friends took me out to dinner and coffee for my b-day.  Some of my friends live just down the road, some live on the east coast, some live on the west coast, some live in the north, some live in the south, and some live in flippin’ India.  Wherever they are, they know who they are... and I am thankful for them.
Here’s a pic of us camping with our friends the Zeuch’s – the ones that live in flippin’ India
If you know me, you know that even though it’s my birthday, I can cry if I want to.  Today I cried on my birthday.  I also cried on P.A.’s birthday.  Because even though they were great days, something was missing… our families. They are in Oklahoma and Oregon… and we miss them terribly, especially on our birthdays.
(Sorry, no pictures to show of me crying… don’t be disappointed.  I’m a sniffly, red-faced mess.) 

But truly, my hope is that even if you don’t know me… I mean really know me, like hang out with me, talk to me in person, or on the phone… you will still know that my most important relationship is with Jesus.  

My deepest hope and prayer ~ that goes against all of my human nature ~ is that I will be *known* because of Christ…which really means that I will be ~ Unknown.    

That HIS beauty will outshine my flesh.  That HIS mercy will overwhelm my insensitivity.  That HIS grace will subdue my unforgiveness.  That HIS presence will saturate my sinful soul. That HIS love will replace my anger.  That HIS glory will overcome my humanity and invade my entire life. 

And that HE will be evident in all that I do, think, say, or blog…