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!

photo (5)

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!

tattoomom

XOXO

Leigh Leigh

Please follow my blog! I am on Twitter and Facebook as well!

 

 

Strong is the NEW SEXY! What do you think?

Have you heard that Strong is the new Sexy!? So now days you can’t even look like you just need to go eat a cheese burger anymore, you have to be buff and stacked, because strong is the new skinny! TALK ABOUT PRESSURE TO THE EGO!

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.  Information taken from http://www.dosomething.org Check out their 11 facts about body image HERE!

Over 60 percent of U.S. adult women are overweight, according to 2007 estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Just over one-third of overweight adult women are obese. Information taken from http://www.womenshealth.gov

As a Christian woman I believe in Spiritual Warfare and how the enemy’s number one goal is to make sure we never know the truth about how God sees us. For one we are created in His image, and two He doesn’t judge our outward appearance, but our hearts! We were not created for some one else’s eye candy enjoyment. We should not have to live our lives revolved around harsh words spoken about our selves from our own selves, or others, or to be at war with everything we put in our mouths!

image found on pinterest
image found on pinterest

These bodies we have now will age and wither away like the flowers, but our souls will live for eternity.

It is hard to keep this perspective in mind when we are force feed nothing but images of I am assuming the 5% of our populations women, or some very good air brushing skills! ( Might I add, ever notice how all these beauty magazines are RIGHT by the Impulse JUNK FOOD! GASP!!- A true nightmare for any emotional eaters!)

And what is it with the NEW SEXY!!? Since when did the beautiful healthy design God created  our bodies to be for his glory be used and cheapened in todays society as market tools to make a buck with labels such as HOTT and SEXY?  I do believe God created our bodies to be Beautiful, Strong and Healthy! Sexy? Well I believe that is where the opinion of your spouse comes in!

Let’s take the focus off of being SEXY and focus on being HEALTHY, FREE from self condemnation, and WHOLE, made right by Christ!

Let’s not just be Healthy as in physical health, but also our spiritual and emotional health as well.

It is not SEXY or HEALTHY to have  what society calls the perfect body if you are trapped inside your own hell you have created in your mind of striving for perfection, self love, and self acceptance, and never obtaining it. Never looking or feeling good enough for your own standards. Not to mention over exhausting your physical abilities, or creating unhealthy eating disorders!

Eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and early sexual activity in adolescents  spawn from poor self body image that is linked to self esteem.

I am not saying it is not okay to find some motivational pictures to help encourage you to lose weight or gain size, however as long as you are totally aware that the picture of them and their body is  a direct result of a long hard road of hard work, and dedication they spent on themselves.  Don’t expect to achieve that with out doing what they did to get that, unless of course they are the 5% of the population. 😉 Your results may not look the same. There is thing called genetics, and so you may just not have the genes to shape your body exactly like theirs, and that is okay!

Why?

Because you are special and unique, fearfully, and wonderfully made! Who wants to have the same exact everything as someone else on this planet? I know I for one do not! It wastes the beauty that was made on me when I was created in His image.  It wastes the beauty that was made on you when you were created as well!

Your body was created in God’s very own image.

Genesis-1-27

Back to the spiritual warfare: So how can we beat Satan at his own game? See I just recently learned that when Satan whispers things to us they are only half true. It is masked with sort of truth, but then there is the ugly lie.

The World wants us to see other women who are strong, athletic,  and lean, as nothing more then hot SEX symbols, and that our self worth, value, and happiness is all rolled into looking and feeling SEXY, but God want’s us to be healthy and strong so that we can have longevity to live out his works he has planned for our lives. He wants us to get our self worth, value, self love, happiness from Him and his love for us!

How can we continue to live out our calling and stay healthy, if we are constantly staying  still and stagnant while consuming fake food, processed junk food, and load of sugary drinks? This makes us feel like junk ourselves! You have to get moving and you have to start making better, cleaner eating choices!

Stop pursuing vanity and start pursuing health and wellness and growing in your faith. What is the bonus? A more alert, energized, revitalized,  strong, healthy, loving, and fit you!

1 Timothy 4:8 For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

You can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but if your inside is full of junk, lies, jealousy, envy, hate, bitterness you are not beautiful at all!

God sees our hearts! He is constantly looking at the hearts of people searching back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them (2 Chronicles 16:9 TLB). Notice I didn’t say he is searching the earth looking for the most attractive, slim, skinny, buff, hunky, beefy, stacked humans to carry out his work.

image found on pinterest
image found on pinterest

Change your perspective and your motives that are the driving force of your desire to change your weight or you body image, and you will see something beautiful happen! Self love, and Self acceptance.

image found at word-picture.org
image found at word-picture.org

You ARE BEAUTIFUL AND

image found on pinterest
image found on pinterest

 

Drown out the lies of the world and Satan with some LOUD music…..while you are out running or getting your work out on!

They may say Strong is the NEW SEXY….

but……

JESUS IS THE NEW HAPPY!

xoxo

Leigh Leigh

Sharing is caring so please share if you enjoyed this and know someone else who might!

You may also like She doesn’t love herself, and my Fitness Transformation.

Follow me on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE!

 

 

 

 

24 Hours of NO COMPLAINING Challange completed

 

 

3set

Let me first say, there were ample amounts of moments where I literally had to force my hands over my mouth to keep quiet!

I witnessed a little anxiety along with slight anger rising up in me yesterday as I completed tasks on my to do list with four children. So what did my day look like exactly? Let me explain!

7:10am I woke up to a text message from my dear Step Son. He didn’t make it to practice this morning and had requested a ride to the gym at 6:50am. I did not receive this message because I was off in dream land. When I hurried to get ready to take him, he decided it was too late and didn’t want to go.

I also woke up with this huge painful bump on my left arm pit (What? Really who gets a bump on their arm pit?) I shrugged it off, oh well, it will eventually go away I decided. No complaining over a painful bump.

8:41am After closing my notebook after writing my blog vowing to not complain for the next 24 hours, I grabbed my phone to check the email.  My phone had completely froze as in it was not powering on at all. In a panic I began to push buttons to reset it, nothing, it was lifeless. I know it wasn’t dead because I had like a 86% charge when I woke that morning. I kind of chuckled to myself and proceeded to plug it up, of course it came on and I was able to check my email.

I spent the next 3 hours cleaning my home. We just returned from a week and a half vacation and I do not clean on VACATION! 😉 The house was very much out of order and needed lots of TLC on my part to nurse it back to a soft place to land for dear Husband when he would arrive home from work in the afternoon. During the course of these three hours I got to listen to my children complain about several things. I just kept going, kept positive, and focused on completing the house cleaning. While I was cleaning up the living room, my cat, Thaddeus, decided he wanted to act like a crazy monkey while I was vacuuming. He jumped on the table beside my couch and knocked over my new lamp. As it went crusading to the floor, I thought, NOOOOO, please, please don’t tell me it broke. He has never done this before. I knew right away it was a trap to get me to stumble. I quickly set the lamp up and proceded to straighten the metal part the lamp shade sits on. It was very crooked after the fall. The lamp shade was going to survive the fall. (yea!)

*I should have recorded this with a picture, but my camera was in the other room and of course taking a picture was the last thing on my mind!

I surived the complaints my children made over the lunch I prepared for them. “I didn’t want ham, I wanted turkey.” “Mom, she got more chips then me!” The list of complaints continued. I gritted my teeth, and smiled. After all it was just 12 o’clock, I got this I thought to myself! Piece of cake!

Then it happened, you know the realization of knowing you have to take your taking children into PUBLIC and removing your children from the confined walls of their fortress! If your a Mom then you know what I am talking about. Once you escape your safe fortress your children turn into the creatures you can’t quiet recognize in public settings, the Nice Mommy face comes on and they know they are about to get away with murder!!!

 Yes I was about to attempt the unthinkable………….Doctor appointment with four KIDS!

waiting

 

Dear Step Son had to get his Physical for the upcoming football season so we got to wait on him for about 45 minuets. Incase you are wondering when we left this building it was around 2:15pm. I got to literally listen to my 7 year old Son complain for the whole duration of the wait. “Mom, I am so bored. There is nothing to do here!” I am not exatruting when I say, this rant was repeated over, and over, and over again. The anxiety was about to start setting in. Could I sit here and watch them make the waiting room into their own personal circus ring? I mean a few fish in a tank can only occupy these crazies for so long! LOL Crazies because that is what they turn into when you take them to a waiting room! Although I am very proud of myself. I feel like I kept my composure and with the exception of my 7 year old, no one was embarrassed. We survived and no Mommy complaints. ZIIIING!

Our public outings where not complete after the doctor visit. Now it was time to tackle the Grocery Shopping for this week! Again, as a Mom, you know how well behaved your children will act while Mommy shops diligently and gracefully for groceries. (HA)

store

 

I believe this shopping experience lasted about 45 minuets. I did however have the lovely opportunity to have my dear Step Son step on my flip flop, causing me to almost face plant right smack on the floor, however I am thankful to add that there was no planting of my face that day. One flip flop went flying out infront of me, and my other foot got a boo boo where the flip flop thong rubs against your big two and that toe beside it, right in front of two Ladies having a conversation in the middle isle of Wal-Mart. Mean while I can hear something of the sounds of Dear Step Son yelling “OH flat tire, and Sorry!”  Needless to say I was embarrassed as I hurried to grab my shoe and place it back on my foot, so I could go hide in a hole somewhere. I Didn’t react to it, I was just ready to be checked out and headed home.

Parking lot, shoes, Bubble Gum. Yup you guessed it. Can you believe that on the way to the car I actually stepped in ABC Gum? LOL (Already been chewed) I remember ABC gum was a topic back in my childhood days. Sorry, getting off track focus Ash’Leigh! FOCUS! It just all seems so humors to me now! 🙂

gum

 

When I took my first step and it stuck for a slight three seconds longer to the pavement, I knew I had felt that heavy sensation before. I had stepped in bubble gum. As you can notice from the image above, I didn’t just step in gum! No, this gum was apparently alive and decided to JUMP on my flip flop. It was a sticky mess. Immediately I just laughed. Not a little chuckle or a giggle, no this was like a Panic Laugh. I think I really wanted to cry but all I knew to do was laugh! Laugh hard, loud, rambunctiously. It had quickly become a very stressful day, but I REFUSED to give up on my challenge! I scrapped my shoe across the parking lot, hopped in my car, and drove home.

photo 4 (6)

 

Here are my kids leaving the store, as you can see after the doctors appointment and grocery shopping trip they were as worn out as Momma was!

3 O’clock was our present living time. I gave a 60 minuet warning to my girls to finish cleaning the upstairs. Mind you this was a task that they had been working on all morning and still was not even half way complete!

4O’Clock Yea my Husband is home from a hard days work. This is where I needed to pull out the tape to tape my mouth shut because there is just something wired in a woman to want to spew every hardship she encountered that day with the children while Daddy was away. I smiled, grinned, kissed, and hugged him, keeping my lips super glued.

This took a lot out of me, but it was do able!

photo (22)

5pm Gym time. I encountered my friends that I haven’t seen in over a week and a half.  It was so nice to talk to each one of them. However, I picked up very quickly how hard it was not to complain about something that had happened over the trip, or anything else for that matter. We are quick and sneaky with our complaints. Heck, half the time I don’t even realize we are saying them. But again, I quickly focused on other things to talk about and kept it positive! No complaining from me! 🙂

7pm dinner and baths.

10pm BED!

I woke up this morning at 5:20am to make my husband a lunch for his day. I had to wake my smaller children up around 6:30 to take big brother to summer strength and conditioning practice. I prayed, prayed, and prayed God would give me the strength this morning to make it until 8:40am. It was quiet hectic early morning and so to my surprise, when my daughter used my kitchen towel to clean up some cat poop that some how made its way on her leg,

I lost it! Out it came.. “Why do you always get Momma’s good things dirty!! I use this to dry my hands off in the kitchen while I am preparing meals. NASTY!!”

How she even got cat poop on her leg is way beyond my reasoning at this point. I knew I had just complained out loud!

But guess what!?

It was 9:00am WHEW

I MADE IT!!!!

 

I will blog tomorrow about my reflection of this challenge. I have learned so much and I most certainly recommend everyone to take this challenge. If you took this challenge with me and were successful I want to know! If you weren’t successful I want to know too! Did you learn anything more about yourself or others?

Don’t forget to stay in touch! Like me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks Tweet me http://www.twitter.com/ash_leighharris or sign up for email updates on new posts here!

xOxO

-Leigh Leigh

 

Can you handle this 24 hr challenge?

 

fbpic*image found on facebook

 

Happy Monday!

Usually on Mondays I like to write something encouraging for the week ahead. I found this picture on my Facebook news feed and the ideas started flying for my blog.

Instead of just going the next 24 hours consciously aware that I’m about to make a 24 hour commitment not to complain, I will document how this challenge will play out! (This will be posted tomorrow, so make sure you come back to see how I do!)

Do you think it’s possible to go 24 hours without complaining on a Monday? 🙂 It’s a Scary challenge!!!

I promise you that I will be honest and if I do slip up, I will let you know.

To prepare my heart for this challenge I will mediate on these words from Philippians 2:14, 15 NIV
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky..”

When we complain we are immediately expressing that we are ungrateful. I know how frustrated I get when I hear my children complain about silly stuff like being bored when they have everything a child could want and more, or complaining because they wanted their bowl of cereal in the blue bowl, not the white bowl. I can only imagine how God must feel when I, myself, complain about the silly things in my life.

When we remember that the world doesn’t just revolve around us, we quickly realize how blessed we are. If you have a warm meal and a hot shower you are blessed beyond your means.

Don’t complain about the mess your kids made in the kitchen, or the 4 hours you are about to spend washing dirty laundry, be thankful you have children.
Don’t complain about your coworkers or your boss, be thankful you are employed and have stability at your work place.
Don’t complain about your circumstances that you can’t change, instead allow this to be a growing season for your character.
Don’t complain about your weight, be thankful for your health and if you are unhappy, change your eating habits.

I once heard when you complain you remain. Why? Because you are allowing your thoughts to stay focused on the negatives and not the positives!

When negative complaints come sneaking up in my heart and traveling up to my mouth I will say these words out loud
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 ESV

So do think you can handle this challenge I present to you on this fabulous Monday?

Do you think I will make it the whole 24 hours or are you betting I slip?
Where is your faith my friend?? 😉
Only time will tell!

If you are taking this challenge please comment below. Or check in with me on Facebook! I could use some encouragement myself! http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks
Or tweet me @ash_leighharris

WE CAN DO THIS!

8:40AM let the games begin!

Big HUGS
-Leigh Leigh

 

Why keep a Journal?

journal_

 

I journal A LOT!

I don’t really use my journal for a record of my daily life or the physical events that took place that day. I usually journal more about the journey of my spiritual life. I record my feelings, emotions, events that would change my circumstances, and the reactions to these life changing moments that happen every single day. I record what the Holy Spirit is guiding me through, or teaching me. I have learned that I can really see how God is moving in and through my life as I glance back and read forward.

It is a great way to learn more about myself. After all, I didn’t create me and I love the fact that the bible tells us that God knows us better then we even know our own selves. We shouldn’t be so quick to trust our own hearts and our own feelings. Feelings are fickle and change instantly. When I journal my reactions and feelings it helps me in the future how to better handle a situation more gracefully. You would also be surprised at how much God speaks to us every day through the word, devotionals, social media, friends, songs, etc.. I am sure to record all these little messages as well!

I am warning you this can also bring light to your nasty little monsters that live inside!!! You know, jealousy, bitterness, strife, envy, anger, unforgviness, but that is a good thing because in order to KILL a monster you gotta STARVE it to DEATH! :0) When I journal I can quickly see what is in my heart as I am spewing it out onto the paper. This is a good time to reflect and pray for what ever area I am struggling in. My hope is that by sharing with you some very intimate truths about me and my life that you may be able to see the truths in yours and let the Holy Spirit guide you through the same issues you might be facing.

There is beauty in all of our messes!

xOxO

-Leigh Leigh