Here.

Hey.

I’m Here.

Again.

It’s been a long while.

But I’m back. I’m here.

You may (or may not) have been wondering where I’ve been. Did I abandon my blog I began so many years ago? (2011!) Did I forget how to write? Do I have nothing more to say? HA! On the contrary… For starters, the last 2 months I have primarily been a bus driver. I take our 3 children to their 3 different schools every. single. day. Monday – Friday. My mornings and afternoons are consumed by the school drop off and pick up routine. As well as the after school activities routine of pick up and drop off to soccer, cross country and dance practices. I’m not complaining. Simply stating the facts of my life.

Here.

As I eventually make my way thru the labyrinth of streets in our community, to my daughters high school, I most often send her a text to let her know when I am waiting in the pick up line, saying ‘Here.’ Which could realistically translate into various texts: ‘I’m waiting for you. I’m in the pick up line. Come outside now. Are you ready to go home? I’m here to pick you up and take you home. This line is long and annoying. Come outside so we can leave. Please get me out of this line…’ But for our oldest, most of the time a simple message of ‘Here’ is well received and she makes her way rather quickly to the car and we make our way home. Stat.

IMG-3363

Here.

This is my life in this season. Here. Kids, I’m here for you. Husband, I’m here for you. Friends, I’m here for you. Church, I’m here for you. I love that I am able to be Here. I am so grateful to be Here. Here is where I want to be. Present. Available. Accessible. Here.

The best part of being Here is modeling my life after my relationship with God. He is here. He is always here. With me. With you. Present. Available. Accessible to all of us. Here.

Things can change in an instant. Losses emerge. Comfort uprooted. Unforseen circumstances. Uncontrollable changes.

But I can still remain here. And God is and always will be Here. Regardless. No take-backs. Always faithful. He will always, always send the text saying Here. Never late. Never leaving us without. Never forgetting us. He is Here. Every. Single. Time.

So. I’m here. And there is waaaaay more I need to share. I hope you will stick with me and jump back into the journey>>> Whether you are new here, or have been here before, jump on. Alongside us, via this vehicle of a blog on the internet. I can guarantee one thing, it will be never be boring.

Give me a shout if you’re Here! Big hug, Big kiss, Little hug, Little kiss ūüôā XO xo

In Him, Leslie

Advertisements

Worship and Worry ~ A Tale of Two Sisters

Worship and Worry ~ A Tale of Two Sisters. Luke chapter 10:38-42 ¬†~ The tale of Mary and Martha. One sister, Martha invited Jesus to her house. Yet, she is worried, distracted by¬†many things. ¬†Frustrated¬†she has no help getting the meal ready,¬†angry her sister Mary is doing ‘nothing’… Yet she is doing something… she is doing the one thing that matters. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His teaching.

If I could walk in the sandals of these two women, I can see myself in both of them. I am not easily caught up in housework and fuss. I can easily let go of the daily tasks, to-do-lists and leave the house-mess. But. I am still easily caught up in the net of worry. I am distracted by many things. I might not be actively avoiding tasks for the sake of time with Jesus, but I am actively accomplishing much worry.

I am¬†sitting at the feet of Jesus, yet immersed in worry while I’m there. I am actively sitting at His feet, but worry is¬†looming while my soul is longing to be engaged. I am distracted by the many things I am not accomplishing while I am longing to hear the heartbeat of Jesus. This is not where Jesus wants me to be.

“It’s impossible to worship and to worry at the same time.”

I sang this phrase in worship over our church a while ago. This Truth saturated the room thru a lyric He stirred in my heart. I can not be fully in the presence of God, in worship, and worry at the same time. I must choose. 

I know the truth of both Mary and Martha. I have experienced both. I have been overcome by His presence, fully engaged in worship while doing the dishes and cleaning toilets. And I been embraced by His arms, settled in His love, simply Being with Him and doing nothing else. 

13043783_10154154564387430_4982852384633802288_n

Today I was given a gift of opportunity. I went running. walking. strutting… whatever you want to call it… huffing and puffing… I slow down. I see. She’s standing there. Beside her car, cigarette in one hand. Leaning back against the passenger door. I hear three words: Abused, hungry, rejected. “Hi” I greet her. She responds with a “hello” as well. This was a moment. God was opening a door to show His love to her. But I walk on… ¬†I’m in a hurry. I am distracted by many things. I need to finish my run, walk, putter… I only have a set amount of time before I must be home. Before I need to pick up the kids from school. Pay the bills. Finish the chores… my mind is spinning.

I keep walking, 1 minute passes, maybe even less. Damn you,¬†Time! And the lie I believe there is a lack of it. I turn around. Screw time restraints. Forget the rest of my putter… I stop. I turn back. I missed it!¬†She’s gone. She’s driving away.

I won’t miss this gift again. I long to be in a routine of worship. I wrongly believed I was. It changed¬†oh so subtly. I have been in a routine of worry. In worry I miss worship. In worry I miss Jesus. In worry I miss the gift to show His love. In worry I miss His presence. In one minute I missed her.¬†

God still loves me. This is not a beat myself over the head, I suck at following Jesus moment to bemoan and drive me into despair. This is a moment to listen. To learn. To sit at the feet of Jesus. In worship there is never a lack of time. In His presence, He fuels all that we need. In distraction and worry, everything can be stolen. This is a moment of repentance, humility and growth. I am learning ~ I never want to miss the One Thing again.

This is a moment to share. If this encourages you, pass it on! I am thankful for your reading.

In Him, Leslie

I See You

IMG_20150222_011207

The world around me swirls and I am caught up in the motion. So many people in need. Abandoned. Alone. At risk. So many people enslaved. They need help. They need rescue. They need freedom. They need me. What can I do but pray? I can pray.

But what else? There must be more. There is more.

I am available. USE ME. I want to break down walls. But now I only see the walls. I see too much. It becomes too much. I can not see it all. It becomes a blur. I am burdened. I am sad. In the recesses of my heart are cries too deep for words.

I am still.

He speaks.

I listen.

I ask.

Do you see them, God? DO YOU? Why not rescue? Why not freedom? Why not deliverance?

In a moment, in worship… He whispers…¬†I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM.

This same evening, I read with my daughter Exodus 3. Moses is drawn to the bush.  Believing he was unseen. NO. He was not unseen. I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM.

I feel like Moses. I can not compare to Moses. But I feel what he might have felt. He saw his people enslaved. He wanted to see justice. He wanted to break down walls. He took the judgement into his own hands. He killed. Afraid, he ran. To a desert hiding place. Yet found again, embraced by a father. He tends his father in laws flock. I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM. He is found again. He can not hide.

I have heard the cries of the people. My brothers and sisters across the earth in need of deliverance. I want to scream at every injustice. I want to obliterate the evil in this world. Yet He calls me to SEE as HE SEES. He calls me to see the wounded and the one who wounds. He calls me to see the abused and the abuser. He calls me to see the broken and the one who breaks. He calls me to see the prisoner and the guard. When the walls come down, they are ALL in need of freedom and deliverance.

He beckons me to know His voice and TRUST. 

I am doing what I see my Father doing. I am shepherding. I am caring for a flock. Yet I am drawn to the bush. The bush which never ceases to burn. My heart¬†groans as the bush burns. The Spirit intercedes. He gently shows me…

I need to TRUST.

I heard the Lord speak in the whisper, in the moment of worship – I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM. My heart responds – I KNOW. I WILL TRUST.

God speaks. I see the affliction of My people… I have heard their cry… I know their sufferings… I have come to deliver them.

Sin abounds. All hell has broken loose on the earth. Hopelessness is center stage. Are we forgotten? Maybe you have felt? Maybe you have asked? But NO. We are not forgotten. HE SEES US. HE SEES THEM.

Rescue is coming for ALL. I know it. I will tend my flock as Moses did. Until the time comes when God says GO.

What is your spirit groaning for? Share and let me know ~ In Him, Leslie

Halloween

Boo. 

It’s that time of year for costumes, candy corn and creepers to come out of the closet. ¬†

Orange lights are blazing and fake spiders are spinning webs all over my neighborhood while kids everywhere are gearing up for the night of their lives, dressing up and skipping from door to door asking their stranger neighbors for candy which will eventually lead to the demise of their teeth.
aaaand…It’s that time of year for some of us to debate about whether or not we will allow our kids to trick-or-treat gather and hoard loads of candy they receive from the stranger neighbors.

In years past our family has celebrated 10-31 as just another day where we hibernate making our home into a cave from the hours of 6-8pm. We close all the doors, turn off all our lights, lay on the floor and tell our kids not to make a peep. So no one will know we are home.

Low and behold, we would still get knocks on our front door. Our neighbors weren’t fooled. The darkness and silence didn’t stop them from knocking on the door.¬†Still, we ignored them.

We have also avoided the neighborhood trick-or-treat dilemma by truly leaving the house and attending a harvest party or trunk-or-treat at our church.

This year our family is doing something different. We are hosting a party in our garage and decorating with a carnival atmosphere. We are dressing up, passing out candy and popcorn. We hope to engage with our neighbors beyond the ring of the doorbell, opening the creaky door, hearing trick-or-treat and flashing them a smile while throwing candy in their bag. We hope to see our neighbors hidden under costumes, masks and makeup. We hope to invite our neighbors into our lives and begin to know them beyond the facade of fun.

Hmmm… but our family doesn’t even like Halloween. Our kids don’t even care about costumes (well, sometimes they dress up), or candy (well, sometimes they eat it), or creepers (well, never).¬†We don’t even consider 10-31 a holiday. It’ll be just another manic Thursday… oooh wee oh.¬†¬†(You’ll get that reference later)

So. You might love Halloween, you might hate Halloween, or you might fall somewhere in between. I don’t care.¬†
What I do care about is considering the craze of Halloween. 
This year, consider…

Consider the candy. 
Can we pass out healthy candy? Well, no. It doesn’t exist. But don’t freak out about what your passing out. And consider what your kids are receiving. Our kids know their candy limits. We usually throw most of it away by Thanksgiving. What a waste. Consider the waste and limit the intake.

Consider the costumes.
Seriously, consider the costumes. Their cost. Their effort. Their energy. Most people have already planned or purchased their costumes by now… but if not, consider recycling something you already have. Consider a costume swap. Consider what you allow your kids to dress up as. Are they appropriate costumes? Okay, I’d better stop there or I’ll be labeled as (gasp) judgmental¬†(if I haven’t already).

Consider your convictions.
10-31 is just another day for some. They give it no more thought past buying the costumes and the candy. For others, it is greatly debated whether or not they will be involved a little, a lot, or at all. At what level are you celebrating Halloween? Consider what it means to celebrate this day. You can google the meaning behind the¬†roots of this particular day and the celebrations of its origins. Consider your convictions. Don’t do something or buy candy and dress your kids up, just because everyone else is doing it. Maybe you need a night to shut off the lights, and lay silent on your living room floor. ¬†Maybe you love spending your money on costumes and candy. ¬†Maybe your family is being called to take a greater part in your community beggars night.

Consider the craze.
There is a craze in anticipation of 10-31, with sales close to the shopping craze of Christmas. Nothing is worth stressing over. Especially this day of the week we call Thursday. So Consider…¬†
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colosisans 3:17¬†

In Him, Leslie

What are your plans on 10-31?

 

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