Gossiping With Our Daughters Does More Harm then Good

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape. Proverbs 11:9

Hey Momma! I wanted to shine some light on an area I believe as Mom’s we tend to over look because we think we are woman and by nature we like to gossip or defend with gossip especially pertaining to our daughters.

It is something we learned a long time ago in our childhood. We got upset. Some girl hurt our feelings so who do we trust? Who do we go and run to in a state of crisis (especially the younger aged girls trying to figure out life in 4th grade on up) Our Momma!! By God’s design as a woman and mother we are the spiritual guiders and the protectors of our children. After all, they are the fruit of our wombs, our treasures, our babies, and NO ONE better inflict pain or grief on what is ours! When we are not spiritually discerning and concentrating on TRUTH, we can over look our position as the soft landing, the hug, the reassurance, the security that they are so desperately needing in that moment of such horrific attack. So what we do is at an early age we create a very bad habit of teaching them to cope with their feelings by slinging mud back. We teach them that it is okay to lower someone else’s character/personality/actions by counter attacking with harsh and mean words to make us feel better in that moment.

It commonly can look like this…

“Mom! I am so upset! Kaitlyn today started to make fun of my jeans at lunch. She was telling everyone that I can’t be friends with her or whoever likes her because I am a mean person. Ugh she makes me so mad, she is the one that is stupid and says mean things to those girls she thinks are her friends behind their back. It really hurt my feelings when she started making fun of my jeans. I know I have different style but in front of every one in the cafeteria. Everyone was staring at me and laughing and I just wanted to hide under the table.”

Angry Momma Bear response;

“Kaitlyn huh? You mean Kaitlyn the girl who always has a dirty sweater on and her hair is never brushed? I can’t believe that girl had the nerve after all the things she wears. I mean I can’t even believe her mom lets her leave this house like that? Do they even own a washing machine? Don’t worry about her honey, you are way prettier, way smarter, why stylish then her. She is just jealous. Next time talk about her dirty hair at the lunch table. That should make her stop.”

And wow it just gets really ugly and out of control fast.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

When we gossip we are two people speaking words of power (blessings and curses) and coming into agreement with them together. The mud we are slinging back onto the girls are not from heaven. They are from the pits of hell. We know Satan is the Accuser of the brethren. Can you see all the curses that are flying when we team up with our daughter and fight back with unkindness?

 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:9-10

Instead what we can do is lure the enemy into our camp, and then STRIKE HIM DOWN.

So what he meant for evil and such attack on dear daughter’s identity now becomes an opportunity for you to tare down his strongholds over her mind, and release freedom over her to stop believing the lies he wanted her to identify as truth in the first place, using the attacker friend as a messenger to manifest untruth in her current reality about herself.

Let me explain. You can not protect baby girl from all the evil and mean girls in the world! You will never be able to no matter what her age is, but if you are a wise momma you can give her tools to rise above the gossip and the mean word curses by giving her a super natural weapons called discernment, truth, and love.

One day the Holy Spirit gave me discernment on just how to have this moment with my daughter. I spoke the words out of my mouth he was giving me, and even though she did not enjoy it, she was finally able to calm down and understand that out of love I was trying to guide her into walking in truth and love and not hate. (It was also a wonderful illustration that she would be able to remember and hold on to.) I am thankful that the father aided me in this situation. The Bible says all we have to do is ask for wisdom and he will give it to us. It is so important as a Mom to reach out to PaPa God and seek his guidance in all areas of raising babies in our motherhood! So just a side note-ask him for help when you don’t know what to say!

I quickly explained to her that we live in a SeedPlantHarvest Ecosystem.

I then further explained that because of this Ecosystem we reap what we sow.

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3

I told her to imagine that she has this Fruit Garden that she toils. For each kind word she speaks over her friends at school, or enemies..she plants a seed that will grow the most beautiful apple trees. I explained that these were not just any kind of apples, but the Best tasting juiciest apples she has ever flopped her lips to. I then told her to imagine what a mean and ugly word would produce? Every thing spoken out of your mouth is ready to be set into motion, wether good or bad, for us or against us. Our words have POWER. God’s words have so much power he Spoke everything into being! Can you imagine what kind of fruit is going to grow from a ugly tree? She sat there and you could tell it was trying to sync in. But this stuff is hard to let become truth because the FLESH feeds off offense, jealousy and anger! It gets a power surge when it feels like after it has been offended it let out the harder blow. Placing it on top, feeling like a winner. How foolish though because in reality the only thing that we feed to make feel good was the flesh, and now that tree we just planted has some stinky nasty fruit about to grow. When you get a nasty stinky garden, people around you can see and smell the rotten fruit, and guess what? You are not appealing to someone they want to be a friend to!

I then told her to remember the girl that flung the mood is planting as well at the same moment. She has a garden too. If her actions and words are ugly and harsh to those around her, she will eventually start losing friends because of the not so attractive garden she is cultivating. She did strike first. She did initiate the war so to speak on words, but you don’t have to fall for the enemies trick to cause you to spoilup your beautiful garden. That ugly is all on them. Let her keep it, not share it and cause your Garden to be contaminated.

I know this is hard. We are not so great a mastering our tongues, but there is Grace for the times we mess up. Grace to realize our feelings got us out of control, repent- forgive and try again to make a better choice in the future. You have to be very disciplined to keep a watch over your mouth.We can also along with our daughters stretch and grow in this mouth area! I know it is hard but I do believe that if we teach them this at a super EARLY age, and we continue to model to them what is the best use of our words and time as we communicate with others, and them about their problems, we are building their endurance up to exercise those spiritual truths and spiritual disciplines.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good….Titus 2:3

Ways to Grow Together not Gossip Together

  • Watch your own actions and words. She is watching you interact with your friends wether you notice her doing this or not. She is listening to how you react to harsh words spoken to you and what your responses are.
  • Be attentive and intentional– Listen to her side of the story. Let her know you care about her feelings being upset.
  • Be truth and Wisdom-Discern how the enemy has used this to attack her using her friend as the messenger. Then reveal truth in that discernment. Teaching our girls to look at the situation from a fresh perspective will help them to realize our emotions have a huge impact on what is actually fact or fiction.
  • Be the light in the Darkness– Pull out the GOLD and strengths inside of your daughter; pin point the insecurity and then build her up! Take the focus off the attacker and onto the deep seated root of her pain. Remind her that we have one enemy and he uses people to attack us.
  • Pray– Break that word curse off of her, ask the Holy Spirit to give her a chance to bless this person, and then pray for freedom to walk away. Teach her how to pray for those who hurt her. Ask that the father would open their eyes and remove the veil of darkness that is keeping them from seeing truth themselves. Also, pray for strength to remove herself from the situation and bite her tongue. Pray for discernment for your daughter so that when these word attacks come, she can see the enemy and his schemes or plan of attack. Pray spiritual armor over your daughter each day together. Teach her how to do this for herself as well.
  • Affirm to her the love you have for her, how special she is, and how much God loves her and desires her to walk each day out no matter what her age may be in freedom in him, and LOVE!

Father help us to steward motherhood rooted in your love and truth. I ask that you would give us spiritual discerning eyes to see the enemy and his attacks towards our children and their God given identity. Let us speak the words of love and truth over them and to them, and God please give them a heart to receive truth. Give our daughter spiritual antennas to realize that they wrestle not with girls at school, but with spiritual powers and principalities and darkness of this world, but greater is HE who lives in her than he who is ruler of this world. Give us strength to learn the lessons again that we have missed from our childhood. Let us be women who speak truth over our friends and enemies when people are looking and listening and not looking or listening. Help us to understand that our words have power to bless and to curse and help us to be disciplined in this area to have soft words like honey to put out the fires of the darts flown into our own camps! Thank you for your wisdom and revelation on this topic. I pray that the woman reading this would be blessed, strengthened, and encouraged in her role as Momma! In Jesus Name! Amen

Ash’Leigh Harris

How To Successfully Transition Into Becoming A Stay At Home Mom

Hey Girl Hey! So you made it here because you are experiencing some mega life changes am I right? And you feel kinda overwhelmed, apprehensive, curious if you made the right choice, or possibly even angry and upset that life circumstances made you change your plan for you.(we can chat about that later) I totally get what you are experiencing and I am here to tell you hang tight friend because I promise you once the beginning of the transition period is over, you will find the peace your desperately searching for. I happen to be a NEWBIE too! I left the work world in June of 2021 and here I am…slaying this Stay at Mom thing.

First of all CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a Stay at Home Mom! You just got a secret invite to one of the greatest experiences/job/opportunities/ministries known to Womanhood! So let’s celebrate that you have been blessed with the privilege and the honor to serve in that capacity.

I am a curious by nature girl so let me save you the time on trying to weed out which blog post was specifically designed for you for transitioning to a stay at home mom. If you are reading this I am about to launch you into FREEDOM of the Chaos of the Unknown and the insecurities and pressures that you might be facing. Are you ready to be free? Great!

So here it is, are you ready? There is only ONE Requirement to qualify you to become the World’s Greatest Stay At Home mom! ONE!

LOVE for Your People!

Love will be the Master Key to unlock success.

Let me explain! There are tons of blog post out there, How To’s to transition, but if I am being honest you were not designed to fit into a cookie cutter “How to Mold”! You have a family that is so beautiful, and so unique that only you can really Captain your Home Ship so to speak effectively. You are the heart beat of the home. You are the care taker, the joy, the giver of hugs and kisses, the peace, the helper, there server, the guide, and the teacher. Your role as Stay at home Mom is vital to the happiness of your home. You are the atmosphere shifter and the prayer intercessor. You got a lot on your plate Momma, so be patient with yourself.

For the sake of the Visual bullet seekers, I will make some bullet point tips, but there is a one rule! You have to keep your plan of action as unique and special as you and your family are. Only You know the real NEEDS of each family member, and your home.

  • Study Your people
  • Set Priorities
  • Become a Creative Home Maker
  • Set a Routine- Planners are our Friends
  • Be patient with yourself and the time of the transitioning
  • Devote time to spend with Jesus
  • Find a Support Community or a circle of Friends You visit with consistently
  • Enjoy this Season! They are only in your care for a short amount of time!

Study your People

I first asked my husband what are some things he expects of the house. Some people are more comfortable in a dust free home. sigh.. we are not immaculate people..we live in our home, but keep It clean! I took a few seconds to ask each one of my children and Husband which room they enjoyed spending the most time in. My children replied their bedrooms, and my husband replied his garage. Perfect, now I know which areas they need a soft landing to unwind and relax when they get home from School and Work. I use this as an opportunity to bless them in these rooms. I have a set day of the week where I go into their rooms, wash their bedding, tidy their room, and my favorite thing to do is Decorate for Holiday’s and Special Occasions! I will explain further more in another blog post!

Set Priorities

Determine which areas need the most attention Daily. Establish a daily run through chore list: make beds, tidy entry way, feed dog, feed cats, scoop the litter box, prep dinner, run the dishwasher, complete a load of Laundry.

Become a Creative Home Maker

Check out Youtube videos on what a creative home maker is. You can get creative and intertwine those creative parts of you into your home life. I love to craft so this is where making banners for my kids to hang in their room with their basketball jersey, etc comes into play.

Set a Routine

This will be special and not a cookie cutter plan because only you know how to best run your house hold cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prepping, errand running, appt setting, etc..etc..I personally have the daily chores I complete just to make the day run smooth, and then I have set days I perform different cleaning duties. Example: Master bedroom/bedroom -Monday, Toilets-Tuesday, Kitchen-Wednesday, HBH-Thursday…etc, and so on! You also need to make sure you are including devotion time with the Lord, and wellness. Momma needs to take good care of herself so she can take care of her treasures! Don’t forget lunch dates/play dates with friends! Oh, and don’t leave out husband…date night!

Be Patient with Yourself

Take a deep breath…… the only one putting pressure on you, is you. Take your time with establishing what works best for you and your family. You may realize two months in, you need to make some adjustments, and of course life will happen that will bring in the chaos to irritate your mission. Stay the course… you are going to do amazing!

Like I said above, I am new to all of this too, and then to add because I had to be a stay at home mom due to a chronic illness diagnosis equals a hazy/hard transition. I am still technically transitioning, so we can transition together.

Comment below if you enjoyed this post and let me know what your experiencing through the stay at home mom transition. 🙂

xoxo -Ash

You Got to Let Go to Receive

In order to receive something from someone else, ones hands must be empty. So many times our patient Lord has steadfastly waited for me to come to the end of myself in any given situation to receive what he had for me in that Season to thrive. So many times we are seeking and asking the Lord for his help but we are too busy asking with our hands full of the tools we think we need to fix the problem, not realizing only his tools were designed to fix our specific repairs. In order for him to “demolish” my anxiety, I have to let my anxiety go to receive his Peace. In order for him to heal my wounded heart, I have to let go of the sorrow and take it to him in the love exchange to mend what is broken. In order for him to give me joy and patience, I have to drop the anger and bitterness. There is always this GREAT LOVE EXCHANGE with our Lord, why? Because he is a gentle man, he will not get involved until he is asked. He allows us free will to make our own choices in life. We are created to fellowship with him, but also to be made more and more into the image of his Son Jesus from glory to glory. The most dangerous thing we can do is have a prideful spirit and believe apart from him we can handle our own lives, our own problems. Not only that, God is the essence of Brilliance. His ways are wiser than ours.

So let me ask you a question! What is it that you have been holding onto. That one thing you haven’t taken to him. Maybe out of anger towards him, or fear that it’s too big for him to fix? Maybe you haven’t been in a position for that exchange out of shame? He is merciful and he is just to forgive you if you confess and repent of maybe something you even caused to yourself out of rebellion or disobedience. Nothing can separate you from his love. He is always, always, always ready and waiting to save the day! After all he is our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER. It’s what he does best! 😉 His love overcomes what you hide in the dark. His Love overshadows mistakes, wounds, fear, brokenness, despair, and regret. Nothing means Nothing! 😉

If this is you and you are just not sure how to initiate the conversation with God let me help get your started! Repeat after me:

Lord, I thank you for your love and your mercy. I rejoice that there is no other God like you because you are enough for me! I just can’t bare the load of _____________________. I have come to the end of myself. I repent for trying to fix this situation all by myself. I know that you are the God of the impossible and I know this situation seems impossible but I lay my ________________________ down at your feet, and I receive by faith your mercy, your love, your forgiveness, your grace, your power, your_____________. I rejoice in what you are working out for my good behind the scenes. Even if I don’t see it, I know you are working it out, and I praise you for that. I don’t want to be left in my own despair! Rescue me, help me, change me, set me free. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen

Jesus’s Luxurious Love

The older I get the more I understand and can appreciate the word Luxurious.

When we are younger we don’t pay much attention to the details. Whatever makes us happy or feels good, out of ignorance and youth we indulge, and we are just fine. As we age we gladly exchange comfort for the extra cash. Honestly 20 year old me would have been ecstatic to book a hotel that had a swimming pool. Mid 30’s me is all about that Jucuzzi bath tub and KING SIZE bed. Oh, and you better believe I am reading the reviews to see if this place is COMFORTABLE and CLEAN!

Luxurious to us is heated and cooled seats, extra fur in those house slippers, a silk robe, a big comfy couch we can melt into, or maybe even upgrading to the next package weather it be a spa day, bedroom suit, car, etc. In a nut shell when I hear luxurious I know it is the top of the line, maxed out, all bells and whistles, and I will benefit the comfort and enjoyment it brings to me.

I was reading Psalms 23 today out of the Passion Translation and what really caught my eye was the word luxurious attached to the Lord’s love. The scripture actually reads:

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quit brook of bliss. 3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.

I stopped and closed my eyes for a moment. I imagined being in a true place of rest. A true surrender to my savior who offers me and welcomes me in to his luxurious love. I imagined the whole room was softly light, the smells were only the finest aromas of luscious flowers, the room had a huge couch that was covered in red silk. Honestly my mind can’t really perceive just how amazing this place was. Classy, fine, sophisticated, and a safe place created just for me. A room with all the upgrades; the bells, the whistle, and Jesus himself giving me his full attention as I just rested beside him.

That is our Jesus. He is so loving, so kind, and so luxurious. I imagine he has BIG swagger, and all the mansions he is building for us up in heaven makes the worlds most expensive luxurious mansion look like a Polly pocket home in comparison. I imagine there are technologies, fabrics, and “comforts” we have never seen, heard, or felt.

His love is so rich the closest word we can get to in our human dictionary is luxurious. His love is so soft, so enjoyable, so comfortable, so peaceful, so valuable, so powerful.

So, the next time your sister or your friend says you need to go rest, remember what opportunity is being presented to yourself. Really rest in his goodness. Rest in his love for you!

He is waiting to restore your soul in his luxurious love!

What are you waiting for?

It’s Your Choice, Life or Death

It amazes me that no matter what our circumstances are in our lives we actually get to choose how we are going to navigate through them. Like seriously, that seems almost imposible to comprehend to me. With so many decisions that have to be made on the daily, we are in control of our actions. Notice I said our actions!

Depression is a black misty fog monster. It swallows you up in the depths of it’s belly and it wants to keep you there hidden from the outside world. Depression doesn’t care if it’s your loved one’s Birthday, or vacation time. He usually comes with out warning, and over stays the uninvited welcome.

I know Depression, and because of my autoimmune disease and childhood trauma, I am extra sensitive to being snatched up by it.

If you are not familiar with it yourself, it can make you feel lifeless like a zombie, uninterested with life, emotionless, sad, afraid, hopeless, empty, angry, the list goes one, and it can manifest itself differently each time.

For me I have noticed a Cycle. It will start with extreme anxiety and panic attacks which make me feel helpless and out of control and them BAM…the Black Mist, and my emotions are high jacked, I can’t process words to describe what is going on in the inside, and then….. hope defered.

Last night I had hit that bottom of the rope. I was getting aggravated with myself. “Ash, you have already been healed of so much trauma in your life, why are you taking us into the deep end? We wont be able to keep our chins above water, and I don’t see any life savors floating out here.” I kept trying to remember how did I get to be mentally sound minded like I was just 12 months ago before this ms diagnosis?

And wouldn’t you know it, it all started with a surrender heart and a yielded spirit to the Lord. Joyce Meyer’s Battle Field of the Mind was the second book I read, Beauty from Ashes was the first.

Then it hit me. If I want to get well, if I want to be healed, if I want to be back to joyful me I WOULD HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE.

Dueteronomy 30:19

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against youthat I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Seeking the Lord for his grace and strength is part of choosing LIFE. Jesus is LIFE. His Word is Life. His Spirit is Life. Apart from him we are spiritually dead. Did you know you have a Spirit, Soul, and a Body? Did you know you are to align your Spirit to lead your Soul (mind, will, emotions)?

When we make the choice to be lead by our emotions, we are actually out of alignment and we are being lead by the flesh; our souls.

Depression is a Lying Spirit. Depression thrives on our emotions, our will. That is why it feels so real, because it was a weapon designed to smite us at our weakest part -the soul.

When you are saved, you get a new heart and your spirit is reborn with Christ. But, unfortunately you don’t get a new soul. However God didn’t leave us without help, and he tells us to renew the spirit of our minds. This is where discipline and self control come into play. Also where receiving salvation in Christ through grace and working it out through fear and trembling becomes priority. The Bible tells us that we are being transformed from Glory to Glory in Christ. So being human, and having this human experience has it’s cost. Sure we can bow down to the flesh and give it what it wants, but its a choice, and apart from God it is clear it leads to death.

What I realized was this was my formula I used in the past. 👇🏻

My surrendered heart, my faith and trust in God + God’s love and mercy over me, God’s sufficient Strength = Freedom to Heal

You make a choice then you let go of the fear and trust God to walk with you every day with this choice you have made. This choice means every day you get to walk with a Savior who is relational- a person- not just a statue on a shelf. Every day you get to walk in the Spirit, be lead by the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit through prayer and worship.

To not choose to Trust God to be your Sufficient Grace for the Hard things in life means you are Choosing yourself, trusting yourself, and your own strengths. I don’t know about you but I am glad I am not a God because I would be letting myself down all the time. Don’t even get me started on trusting my own flesh to make the right choices for all of us! No way Jose!

What negative circumstances have you been dealing with in your current season of life?

Father I pray that the person reading this would have faith the size of a mustard seed because that is all you require to trust you with their life and release their burdens to you. Renew their minds and strengthen them. Release them from the temptations to navigate life on their own! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Habits for 2019 and beyond

10:44am Friday, January 4th

(Note to self -this is for me)

God is so awesome that he made my jaw drop when I read the first line of my devotion for today!

Let me back up. Every new year I obsess over becoming better then I was the year before. Weather it be more healthier, more intuned with the Holy Spirit, better wife, better mom, better daughter, the list goes on. So it was only natural for me to start figuring out what I would work on for 2019 and habits seemed to surface my mind. Apparently we as humans are habitual creatures who do most of life on habits we have unknowingly created weather good or bad. I was asking my husband if he had finished his habits book at work because I remember him sharing some of the things he was learning from it a few months ago.

Last night I was asking him more questions about it and he was quite taking by my new founded curiosity for this book. I could tell by the face he made as in like I was asking things way too late for his mind to process right before he shuts his mind down so he can sleep and get up early to go to work. However, I’m a chatter box and just carried on with extracting all my thoughts I had been thinking yesterday. “Did you know God is like way bigger then I think I can even comprehend!” I blurted as he snuggled tightly under his weighted blanket and 15 pillows. (He is a tall big muscular man, I get the 1500 pillows, I do! )

I hurried along to join him and I drifted off to sleep.

Each morning I wake up and I read my devotionals, so this morning was no different then before.

Now back to the jaw dropping….

A giggle and a smile swept over my face as I pressed in with my ears wide opened for what he was about to speak directly to me through the fine print. “Okay Lord, I’m listening!”

So 2019 what will it look like for me? Well let’s just say I will adopt God’s habit first, I trust you Jesus, then I will sprinkle on top of that some loving others and finding ways to bless them daily, combined with changing my eating habits to more Whole Foods/ less processed junk!

Lord Jesus thank you for your ways of teaching me what is important for my present time here on earth, help me to develop good habits this year Lord that will bless my mind, body, and soul, and bless others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

-❤️ Me

Wrestling with God, the devil, and Myself

It has come to my mind lately that I have trust issues. MAJOR trust issues, and what is worse is that they are with God.

It seems unusual to me that I can trust him completely with out one ounce of hesitation with my eternal salvation, but I can’t seem to trust him with the every day pop up drama’s in my life. Remember those pesky late 90s internet pop ups? 🙂 That is how I imagine drama bubbles must appear sneaking up at odd and unwarranted times in my ordinary day!

I am wrestling with God. I say that I trust God, and I try so very hard to let him be my BFF with life’s issues. I pray when I feel drama sneaking up, and I pray that he will put a watch over my mouth lest I sin against him, but the second one of my friends ask me how is it going…my tongue over takes my self control and all my words come spewing out, one ugly mess and now my secrets that were suppose to be Gods only, are now her ears entertainment. Why!!? WhY!?? It’s a tug of war with my heart. One moment I am giving him totally control, the next I am yanking it back as fast as I handed it over, with out one thought as to what I am doing.

I am wrestling with the devil. He knows my weaknesses and I have told him several times on several occasions he will not get the best of me! I have rebuked and yelled at him, all in Jesus name, only to fall flat on my face in anger and defeat. I know he is the liar in my ear, he is the smoke behind the curtains, disillusioning my eyes, my mind with his master manipulating schemes. It is an every day battle trying to cast down those lies and set my thoughts on things above. It is exhausting.

I wrestle with myself. I know that I am loved and given grace but when I mess up, I take it really personal. I know that my heart is better then the way I react. I know that even though I can be mean and ugly back, that is really not my character. I wrestle with forgiving myself for having to ask for forgiveness for not trusting God, not keeping our secrets just ours. I wrestle with not giving up, and not continuing to run my race set before me. I am not a quitter I tell myself, and God really knows my heart, what my real problem is, just give it to him I remind myself. He is always quick to forgive when I ask for forgiveness, and I am sure there will be another opportunity to try it the right way, next time drama hits my heart. I wrestle with doing what is right and doing what is wrong, knowing the difference and acting out in anger anyways. Sometimes I feel like less of a person for keeping quiet. I feel like people think I am a push over. It feels empowering in that moment when I am finally taking up for myself, but unfortunately that feeling dissipates too quickly, and then I worry they think I am one of those uncaring loud mouth women! Oh how I wrestle with myself!

So as I sit her tonight, my heart heavy with wrestling these scriptures lay heavy on my heart.

I wonder if there is anyone else out there who feels the same way I do, if so I hope you can decide to do what I am willing to do, and that is lay all my burdens, my energy in wrestling and fighting with God, the devil, and myself at the feet of Jesus and mediate on these two scriptures:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (emphasis on TRUST)

and

But you will not even need to fight. Take you positions l then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you! 2 Chronicles 20:17 (emphasis on STAND STILL, THE LORD IS WITH YOU)

May God’s Grace be upon you,

Leigh Leigh

Oh Grow Up!

JUST KIDDING…..PLEASE NEVER GROW UP in that I am too stiff, joints hurt, old, too serious, and boring kind of way!

It’s important to always be reaching for something bigger then yourself!

As a Mother of 4, I sometimes feel like I am accomplishing something big if I have tucked my kids in bed at night with happy hearts and happy full tummies. I can become fixated on just being one identity, their Mom.

This morning as I was getting ready for the day I was reflecting on how good it felt to just get up and run this morning. For some odd reason I really enjoy that time. My mind began to run away into the finish line of a race. What fun that would be to actually train for something and then accomplish it! I have participated in 5Ks before but not for competition, just for fun.

My mind then quickly came back to its auto drive (the mom mind). I thought about my children and how they would react to seeing their Mom actually competing in something, and them for once cheering me on on the side lines.

I became excited!!

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I don’t want my children to think that their childhood is the only moments for all the fun, the practices, the hard work, the games, the wins, etc.

I want to show them that you don’t stop chasing your dreams when you become an adult, a mother, or a father. I don’t want them to believe that becoming an adult only means working late hours, toting your kids to and from, work, cooking, and cleaning.

When you look at it that way that’s not too inspiring.

Life wasn’t made for us to come to completion early in our lives, it’s a race to the finish.

Lately I have been desperately looking for inspiration and this morning I think I found it.

I’m inspired to show my children to never stop pursuing what you love just because you are told that the fun is suppose to stop once you are a grown up.

My hope is that when they are finally an adult they will look back and remember their Mom as an inspiration to never settle, never stop pursuing whatever it is that makes you feel healthy and happy!

Has becoming an adult caused you to give up on a dream you once had as a child? Maybe it’s time for you to become the inspiration instead of searching for it! 😉

photo credit: Pinterest

xoxo

Leigh Leigh

 

 

We are guilty of trying to become someone we are not

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

 I have been so thrilled and eager to sit down to write this blog post.  The joy and the excitement has been jumping around in my heart like a million Mexican Jumping Beans!

Here recently I keep getting this magnificiant push, this hard drive to write about how SPECIAL YOU ARE!

I love to work out, I love to encourage other women on their weight loss journeys, however I don’t frown upon those who are just not interested in the same things I enjoy. Maybe you love the fashion world, you eat, breath, and sleep the latest fashions. Maybe you are into Make up and Hair, body building, dancing, cycling, swimming, reading, writing, hiking, sewing, crafting, budget shopping? The list goes on as to what really captivates us!

Maybe you truly are happy with who you are inside and out, or maybe you are in a season of your life where you are struggling to find out who you are. You question things, you question your own heart, motives, drives, etc..

I know I went through a season in my early 20s after I had my two children. I had completely lost my identity some where in between all the mom titles I was carrying. I lost my confidence in who I was and I was just clueless on who God had called me to be. That place is a dark and scary place to be. If you my friend are in this season I want you to know that there is a brilliant bright light at the end of the tunnel for you! Embrace the unknown to educate yourself on who God has called you to be and then dig down deep inside to rediscover who you are, who you want to be, and then my friend grow your faith and let yourself be you!

Don’t ever get carried away with trying to “fit in” that you forget that you were made to “Stand Out!”

It is so easy these days with all the Woman/Mom/Wife comparisons in the World. We are judged from our choice of clothes to the brand of water we choose to drink. It’s absolutely ridicules and actually brilliantly calculated by the Devil to cause divisions amongst us women to separate us from each other on stupid things that are not eternal or relevant to who we are on the inside.

I am pretty sure God doesn’t care if you want to use a cloth diaper on your baby or a disposable one. However, I know he cares about your heart and your intentions. If this choice brings God glory by recycling and keeping the earth clean, and this is why you chose to do it because in your heart you are convicted too and not because you don’t want others to judge you, or your afraid of their opinions, their acceptance to fit into their particular group, I say cloth on my dear!

Confession alert!! I will just tattle on myself now so you know I am not pointing fingers or picking on cloth diaper moms! The cloth diaper is just an easy example that popped into my mind first. I used to be a preschool teacher and I would look and check out what type of lunches other moms were packing for their child. I had come to the conclusion that I didn’t measure up to other moms because my child’s lunch didn’t look like their child’s. I would go out of my way to make sure that my kids lunch reflected their child’s lunch. Was it because I wanted my child to be “super healthy” like theirs? No, it was because somewhere deep inside I had a mom insecurity and I had made other moms my standard to compare myself to be like.

(Read why I gave up trying to be the PERFECT MOM here.)

We do this all the time with EVERYTHING…don’t we? Okay maybe you have never done this, I am probably just throwing my own self under the bus right now by sharing some of the dumb embarrassing things I have done in my life! 😉

It is just Satan getting into our heads tying to make us insecure on who we are as WOMEN, as Mother’s, as Wifes, as Friends, and especially Daughters of Christ!

Insecure so that we do stupid things, like try to become someone we are not to feel accepted.

The good news is WE ARE ALREADY ACCEPTED! Even in our Sin we have a God who loves us and is waiting for us to acknowledge him and to believe in him. He loved us before we loved him. He created us unique for His Glory and His own Purpose. Ephesian’s 2:10 says that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  GOOD WORKS, ETERNAL Works, that we should walk in them. I am not reading the part where we should compare and then become someone we are not, or that we should walk in someone else’s footsteps that He created for them. Oh, because it is not there!!

These silly standards that we measure ourselves up to turn into nothing eternal but only temporary. Your child is going to grow up into an adult, God willing! When he is an adult, no one will care what kind of diaper you put on his bum. Your body, your face, your hair, it will all age. We are all left with the same destiny and that is getting old and passing on.

I don’t want to waste one more second trying to become someone I am not created to be. What a waste that would be for my life God created just for me to live out!

Look at your finger prints. If God, the creator, went out of his way to give each one of us our very own set of finger prints, doesn’t this mean some thing to you about your value, your worth, your acceptance, your importance to HIM?

We are all special and unique, but as Sisters in Christ we are all connected.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

Notice how there is no pressure to be the same on the outside, or the way we prepare lunches/dinners for our children, or to become a stereo type soccer mom, or an organics only mom, or the 6 pack abs mom, or the Trophy Wife, and become everybody’s BEST friend!

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I  posted this photo on my Facebook page. (Check out my Facebook page HERE!) It convicted me as to where my perspective has been lately. Let us live to be women who leave eternal gifts to our children, our husbands, our friends, and everyone else we meet along the way.

Love last forever! Acts of kindness remain within the recipient’s heart!

If you are currently chasing after something that you know in your heart just isn’t you, but because of fear of rejection you are allowing yourself to be involved or apart of it, I urge you to stop it today! Be brave enough to just be you. Be brave enough to love and accept yourself just the way you are. Also be brave enough to change the parts of you that you know you need to change for the better. You are worth becoming the best that God created you for!

Where is your heart today? Are you guilty of trying to be someone you are not? Do you know who you are?

Struggling with Identity? Check out my Confessions of a Tattoo Sleeved Mom HERE!

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XOXO

Leigh Leigh

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Please Burst my bubble…

……….of moodiness!

I woke up this morning with this verse heavy on my heart.

Mark 12:30-31

Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all you soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no greater commandment than these.”

It was like a big spiritual spanking for me as I have been very grumpy and probably hard to live with lately.

I started this blog to encourage woman and speak truth into their lives. This doesn’t mean that I am above both. I know I am not. So then I thought well maybe someone out there needs to hear this too!

I have been very negative lately about me in general.  The more I try to encourage you how beautiful you are and how awesome it feels to set goals and reach them. I have been walking around with self doubt, and a critical spirit about myself.

I just read Crash the Chatter Box by Steven Fortick and it was a great read. It made a lot of sense but obviously I need to go read it again. The truths that I learned about mindless chatter didn’t seem to take root in my heart.

I will be turning 30 in a few short months and the pressure to be 30 and fabulous is really kicking in. (Why I think you should be 30 and Fabulous sure beats me!)

Why must I live with so many pressures I (me, Ash’Leigh) put only on myself? I hate pressure. It is thick, and heavy, and smuggling. It chokes the happiness out of my spirit. It creates false expectations that I (me, Ash’Leigh) only place on myself. It is like I (Me, Ash’Leigh) am my greatest enemy, my greatest competitor. I sure do get tired of me!

There are a lot of things that I am just not happy with right now with myself but I will not bore you with the details. They are silly anyways but because I have sat and highlighted them in my mind, blowing them up like a Ginormous sized Advertisement Billboard, they have became HUGE and daunting to me. We have a tendency to do this!

Mark 12:31 brought some clarity to my bad attitude lately. I am not really upset with everyone around me. I am lashing out in grumpiness because I am not happy with myself. I am not truly loving myself.

Are you lashing out and taking anger out on random strangers or the ones you love?

Here are some signs to look for.

Unexplained Moodiness.

Unexplained grumpiness towards your children or your husband, friends, family.

Extreme irritability with the WORLD and everyone in it.

Feelings of doubt and insecurities on several areas in your life.

Speaking negative remarks about yourself to others. Example: “I could never do that, I am not smart enough.”

Letting how your body fits in your clothes that day dictate your attitude and your mood.

Majority thoughts on negativity.

Picking out every single flaw on you and every single human around you.

I think there is some insight in this scripture. We are told to love our neighbor as we love our self, but in reality we actually TREAT OTHERS how we TREAT OUR SELF.

Maybe you don’t. Maybe you have learned to fake loving everyone else while inside you are being choked with insecurities and self doubt and hate. I think this can only last for so long. Click here to learn why I am not faking things anymore!

The truth sets you free.

I Love God with all my heart. I have been asking him to change my attitude repeatedly lately. I know when something is off inside my mind. I am thankful for this reminder this morning.

I have to get back into grips with What God thinks of me.

I am his Child. John 1:12-13

I am created in His image. Gen 1:27

I am deeply Loved by Him. Jer 31:3

I am Forgiven. 1 John 1:9

He never gives up on me. Philippians 1:6

I am always on His Mind. Psalm 8

His works are Wonderful so I am Wonderful. Ps 139:13-14

I am not rejected! Isa 41:9

I am the apple of HIS eye. Zec 2:8

We can’t be who God has created us to be with a CRITICAL NEGATIVE SPIRIT.  Satan knows this and I believe that this is his favorite way to drive us insane and kick us of our course.

But THANK GOD Greater is He who is in me, then he who is of this world!

We need to recognize the attack from the Enemy and then rebuke the negative, critical spirit attacking our mind. Then pray by asking God to restore the damage it may have caused in our hearts, help us see ourselves through His eyes, and help us to love ourselves like he loves us. We need faith to believe what his Word says about us allowing it to become our foundation of our own identity; our true identity in Christ.

We need to build ourselves up instead of tear ourselves down. This is important because I believe we will leak what we are filling ourselves up with. If I am feeling nasty and critical inside I will leak this onto my husband, my children, my friends and quickly critize them, but if I am full of the love of God and building myself up in his words, his truth, I will leak this onto others. (Encouragement, love, support. etc..)

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Be True to yourself always!

What helps you come out of a self loathing funk?

Xoxo

Leigh Leigh

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Photo credits:pinterest and Socialnetworkvoice.com