Your Compliments Are Desperately Needed

Sunday December 2, 2018

Listen up!

Your words, they have power!

Your words can break through lies and deception.

Life these days are busy, hectic, anxiety filled, and short.

We are stuck in the rat race trying to mark our check lists off and get things accomplished so we feel like we living up to the worlds standards of success. In the mean time we are forgetting to slow down and love one another with our words.

I experienced the beauty of honesty and the power of lies being broken in a record time of 4 seconds.

My nine year old daughter has a knack for being impulsive and speaking her mind at any given moment. When she was a toddler this could leave me mortified as to what was about to escape those precious tiny lips. However today she teaches me the beauty of simplicity in a word that has become infested with man made complications.

Last week we had to take her in to see a doctor because her body was fighting a virus hence her elevated body temperature. Our regular family physician was booked up and I was desperate to get her seen that day so we went with a doctor she has never seen before.

During the exam the lady doctor was very graciously answering all of her worried nine year old questions about what all was going on on inside of her little body, when aburtly out of no where her impulsive colorful words filled the room as she said as honestly as can be, “You are so beautiful!”

The doctor gasped in these vibrant color words in shock as she covered her mouth as to keep them safe inside, then she paused for a moment almost as if she were about to cry as she said, “It has been close to 30 years since I have been told that.” She collected herself, smiled and resumed the exam.

I was frozen in my chair in amazement of the fact that this beautiful woman who had dedicated her life to helping others has not heard the words every woman loves to hear, needs to hear, should be entitled to hear in 30 years!

Her reaction made me feel the emptiness she must have been feeling up until the words were spoken to her from my big hearted daughter.

In this moment she paused long enough to let some love come in. She felt a little lighter I am sure and I pray she will remember those words when the days beat her up and she is glaring at her reflection in the mirror believing anything less.

I was then convicted in the harsh truth that I could have been one of those daring voices that could have spread beauty and color into others who have needed to hear it, too many God given opportunities in the span of my life, but never did out of fear of sounding silly or fake.

We need to slow down and we need to appreciate the privilege we have to share love with our words and not waste moments being to busy and so self consumed to compliment each other.

I am going to do it, the next time the opportunity presents itself to me. I am going to just blurt it out for all to hear the color words of compliments out of love to others.

My new slogan I’m adopting for 2019 is this: Don’t Hurry, be Happy!

Slow down and appreciate and acknowledge the beautiful people in your life along the way. 💖

Ash’Leigh Harris

You are Hand Picked by God

FLOWERS CAN’T PICK THEMSELves!!!!!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”Colossians 3:12 NIV.

You are special, unique, set apart, chosen-handpicked by God to live a life that serves him and brings him glory and honor!

He thinks I’m Beautiful

Beauty through the eyes of a 29 year old Woman.

I look back  now on the ages of 15,16, 17. I remember longing for the days I would be 20 something, then I told myself, I would feel beautiful. I would look mature and have a womanly figure, large breast, nice curves. You know something like Jessica Simpson. I would be able to dress so glamourous, with my matching accessories and heels because hello I would be an adult with my own money to spend accordingly. My make up would be spot on because I would be old enough to wear what ever I wanted, not what Mom preferred.

It was a real shock to look at my body 25 years old with 2 kids. I didn’t see long beautiful flowing hair, nice firm round bottom with large perky breast, quite the opposite! What Mother has time for glamour and fancy make up when she is chasing after 5 plus kids!! My breast some how became smaller then my former teenage years thanks to nursing my two beautiful babies! My waist was fine, but beautiful would never come to mind when I looked at my reflection in the mirror, more like exhausted, let go, worn out, with comfortable clothes on for fashion!

I decided to embrace my body for what it was worth. I guess that is why I started working out. I would be lying to you if I said it was just to feel strong and be healthy. There was some vanity pushing my driving force to get fit! I had the power to change my new mommy body or I could continue to let Motherhood have it’s toll on me and my appearance.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally feel so much better when I am eating clean foods and running. I actually got a taste of what I feel like when I food binge over Thanksgiving and I felt physically sick! My stomach gave me problems for days, and I felt sluggish and just GROSS! So I can now say yes I continue to work out and eat clean because it makes me feel pretty and it makes my body and mind feel GOOD!

4 and 1/2 years later, I am still in a battle with myself when I look into that mirror. I am much more satisfied with my toner body. I do wish this adult acne would go away and never return. My make up well it is still not perfect. Some days I don’t wear any. My hair is far from long and wavy and beautiful. I tend to enhance my flaws with out appreciating what I do have gazing at my reflection!

Beauty! It’s long thick beautiful wavy hair, large breasts, tiny waists, clear skin, white perfect teeth, toned stomach, arms, legs, bum.Well that is what all these magazines and TV shows throw in my face anyways.

Now my almost 30 year old self has and is experiencing, battle scars from over stretched skin due to carrying two 8 pound babies, fine wrinkles, hair growth in unexpected places, gray hair!! I don’t remember Cindy Crawford and all the other beautiful women having these issues going on with their Magazine covers!

But then you spoke just 5 words. These 5 words would shake my skewed perception of beauty. Confuse me actually!

“You are a Beautiful Woman!”

Something I had longed to be since the ripe age of 15, a ” Beautiful Woman.”

Yes you tell me I am beautiful all the time when I am all dressed up and ready to go have fun on a date night. That’s because I put in all the hard work, time, and effort to deserve such a compliment! But this time when you told me I am beautiful woman, it was spontaneous, and unwarranted. I didn’t have one smudge of make up on, no cute outfit, just my lounge clothes, and I am pretty positive I didn’t even  run a brush through my hair all day.

Maybe I couldn’t believe it for myself because I have been so brainwashed (LIED TO) since an early age as to what standards of beauty are. Maybe before you I was never told that sincerely. Maybe I thought it was a lie told to gain something from me by others?

I know your words are real because I know it is true to you and you believe it. You are the only person I trust completely. You are speaking truth into my soul that only you could say for me to believe.

You made me see beauty through your eyes, not my own. You make me feel beautiful not only with your words, but your looks, your warm embrace, your kisses, your devotion to me and our family, and continuing to love me more and more each day.

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I am not sure I will ever fully see what you see when you look at me, but that’s okay because each time you tell me those five words, I start to believe it more and more for myself.

Women need this truth! WE need to hear that we are beautiful bare and in our natural state. We need to believe that beauty isn’t based on the outward appearances alone but what is on the inside. We need you to remind us of these truths as the world throws the next best air brushed hottie in our face!

We trust you, our loving Husband. We believe you. Your words are enough for us, you know!

Thank you my love for seeing what I don’t see and helping change my perspective on beauty!

I wish I could go back and tell the 15, 16, 17 year old me that the beauty I was chasing after would never fulfill me the way the love of my Husband will.

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Leigh Leigh

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Beautiful Women keep their mouths SHUT!

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*image found on Facebook feed

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT

It’s Monday! You know what that means! We need a little piece of encouragement to move us forward on a positive note for this new week we will journey on.

I actually found this picture on my Facebook feed not too long ago. The instant it caught my eye, I thought to myself, this has to be blogged about and shared! I mean isn’t this so true!?

Wow, this scripture found in Proverbs 18 could not paint a more vivid picture of the one I found on Facebook. We see a fish who has the opportunity to swim past the hook dodging danger by keeping his mouth closed, or the fish could come running towards the bait with mouth wide open ready to seize what he thinks is going to make him feel satisfied and full, happy, and joyful, only to have his whole world turned upside down with destruction or death concluded. How many times have you been in a conversation with another friend and someone who you may have bitter feelings about pops up? Just the sound of that name could become the bait dangling from Satan in front of our little fishes faces. In that moment we want to so desperately begin to open our mouth and let all the ugliness about this person come spewing out in hopes that we convince our friend to take our side, like us more, gain alliance to us, dislike them too, as we spew our insecurities out like a volcano erupting. I use volcano as an analogy because the lava is extremely hot, and damaging, life terminating, to everything it touches. We have now pushed our opinions, hate, bitterness, onto this other person we care about, causing strong influence on their opinion of this other person as well. We cause GREAT DANGER and DEATH when we take the bait of gossiping and devaluing others!

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*image found http://amazinggeologist.blogspot.com/

 

 

“The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversation of good people keeps them out of it. Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well done work has its own reward.” Proverbs 12:13 MSG

The best thing to do, would be to just avoid these “bad/negative” people in our lives during conversation with others. It’s simple, just don’t go there. If they are brought up, simply dodge the topic or skip to another topic of choice. If you can’t change the subject, then just simply don’t respond. The other person will eventually get the hint and move on to another subject.  Love covers a multitude of sin, so in saying this, cover their wrong doing to you. You don’t have to tell everyone how nasty they were by going behind your back last week or lying about you. Our friends nor any ones else for that matter really needs to know all this. Why? Because God is all seeing and all knowing. Our enemies can not escape him!! He will take care of them some way or another. So smile, relax, don’t worry, and by all means talk about something good!

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*image found on pintrest

“The words of a fool start fights; do him a favor and gag him. Fools are undone by their big mouths; their souls are crushed by their words. Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?” Proverbs 18:6-8 MSG

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I love, love this mental picture! Have you ever ate cheap candy? Cheap chocolate comes to mind. You know the kind that has lost it’s shelf life and is all dried out. Sugarless!  Oh my gosh, it’s disgusting isn’t it!? Not only does it taste bad, it lingers with bad after taste in your mouth! Are you seeing the similarities here? Although this scripture is talking about listening to gossip, I think it goes for sharing gossip as well.  Just like bad lingering candy, so do our words and gossip we hear. After they flow out of our mouth and heart they make it into someone else’s heart and then later their mouths.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the moth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 NIV

So next time Satan lures you in with a big piece of Gossiping bait, don’t be a fool like a fish is! Keep your mouth tight, resist the bait, and swim to SAFTEY! )

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*image found at http://opendoor.tv/tongue-power/

We are human and we all are guilty of speaking ill of another person and listening to a friend bash on another. I don’t want this post to bring condemnation to you, but conviction. We all need to be reminded of how damaging words really our to others and ourselves.

This picture on my news feed was a great reminder to me, so I hope it can be a good reminder for you that will bring blessings to your life!

Being a Woman who can keep her mouth shut when it is absolutely the hardest thing you can stand is a BEAUTIFUL thing!

Don’t forget how beautiful you are!

XOXO

-Leigh Leigh

*Follow my blog, Follow Leigh Leigh Speaks on Twitter @ash_leighharris, or Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks

8 Awesome ways to CONQUER your Gym-Phobia

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So, you have made up your mind, you are going to get your priorities straight and start living a more healthier life style for yourself! Awesome, and good job for you!

The only problem is you are FREAKED OUT OF YOUR MIND about joining a new gym and the thought of working out alone makes you want to hyperventilate!!!! This scary fear is really pulling you down and keeping you from pushing through and taking the plunge into progress of a firmer, leaner, slimmer, healthier body!

I promise you are not alone in this fear! It is a very common fear to have because there are millions of women and men out there that are afraid to work out alone in a new Gym. Let’s face it all those machines, dumb bells, bars, plates, bands, balls, benches, ellipticals, treadmills, row machines, and don’t forget all the buff people, are just flat out intimidating! They are afraid they are going to look stupid trying something they are not completely confident is the correct technical way or form. They are super self conscious of their bodies and feel like they will be judged and made fun of by all the “professional gym rats” that pretty much should just take up residence there.

If this is you and you are really struggling with this let me give you some tips to help bust down that wall of Fear! First thing is first take a DEEP Breath and read on to discover my tips on how to Conquer your Gym Fear!

8 Ways to Conqueror Gym-Phobia

  1. Recruit a friend! Everyone really needs an accountability partner and a little healthy competition. She or He will push you to go on the days you feel lazy and would rather stay at home on the couch. She or He will encourage you and support you. Together you can work towards your goals. Make a competition to see who can run the fastest, lift the heaviest, lose the most inches. Just have fun together!
  2. Hire a Personal Trainer! If you don’t have that close buddy that you can invite to the gym with you, then I would suggest that you hire a Personal Trainer. I know they can get pricey and you may be on a tight budget so don’t think you have to always have a PT. You could just hire one to help you create a work out regimen and teach you the fundamentals, and how to use the equipment correctly, etc. Then, when you feel comfortable enough to fly on your own, you can just discontinue their services.
  3. Take a class! I go to the YMCA and they offer a variety of cardio and resistance training classes. My favorite classes at the moment are Zumba and Body Vive.
  4. Let the internet be your guide! Go to http://www.bodybuilding.com to search for awesome work outs you can emulate on your own. You can also watch people demonstrate how to use the circuit machines/equipment correctly online.
  5. Skip the free weights! Until you become comfortable with using free weights, take advantage of the machines that work out indivudual body parts. These machines will actually help protect you more from lifting injuries.
  6. MUSIC! Download your favorite “pumped up” tunes to create the perfect playlist, and bring some good quality headphones to help you zone in and drowned out the crowd.
  7. Make new friends! Be friendly and engage in conversation with other ladies at the gym. Make friends and schedule your work outs around the same time of day so that you can grow  friendships and eventually end up with a new best friend and an awesome gym partner!
  8. DO IT AFRAID!! That is right, I said it, “Do it afraid!” The more you go, the more comfortable you will feel and that fear of going will soon turn into excitement and joy! Working out Makes your feel happy, it boost your energy levels, and it spikes your self confidence. Friend there is nothing scary about those things! 😉

 

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About 80% of my work outs are with my husband, 10% with my girlfriends, and 10% by myself. Working out with my husband has given me the confidence to work out alone. I know our routines and I know how to use all the equipment if he isn’t able to work out with me.

I love working out with my husband don’t get me wrong, but I also really love to just put my loud music on and go, go, go. No talking, just the sound of the music and my heart beating fast. It is a hour away from the reality of whatever is going on that day, it’s just me and the metal! It is GREAT!

I also want to give you hope with this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

God wants to be included in all areas of our lives, even working out. He doesn’t want us to ever feel fear or be held back because of it. James 4 tells us that you have not because you ask not. I truly believe that when we let God into ALL areas of our lives this is a free invitation to ask him for help with ANYTHING! Say a little prayer before you go asking him to remove all fear and anxiety from your mind. Mediate on the words of 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over again.

You are brave, not afraid. In your weakness you are made strong in Christ.

I can’t wait to hear all about your first day at your new gym!!

Being BRAVE is BEAUTIFUL!

Be Beautiful!

-Leigh Leigh

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