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

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

 

 

Because you know I’m all about that Work, ‘Bout that Work, no Excuses!

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

 

If there is one thing I have learned from years of “trying” to be consciously fit and healthy is that discipline does not just happen over night!

For example.. If you are a parent you know that disciplining your children is a daily chore that continues until that day they reach adulthood!

training (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

: a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job

: the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

process (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result

When we get down to the core meaning of the words training, and process we quickly learn this is something that happens over time!

I think this is very important and should not be over looked if you are just now starting  your journey to weight loss and changing your body. Be realistic about the choice for changing your lifestyle will cost you, but know that it will be so worth it in the end!

Expect to give up, expect to throw in the towel, expect to not get it righ , right away! Show yourself some grace and forgiveness…but never give up! Pray for strength in your weak moments.

YES Skipping the pizza buffet to eat grilled chicken and a low fat salad is hard…………………………….but over time it’s worth it.

image found on pinterest
image found on pinterest

Yes saying no to candy bars, cakes, cookies, pastas while your friends cook it up and share it…………………………..but over time it’s worth it.

Ordering Water or unsweet tea over your go to sugar loaded Dr. Pepper…………………..but over time it’s so worth it.

Yes getting out of your warm cozy bed to go sweat and run at 5:00AM  seems impossible when its 32 degrees outside………………………but over time it’s worth it!

heading out for a run on a cold day
heading out for a run on a cold day

Read how FASTED CARDIO REALLY DOES WORK HERE!

Spending your time in the gym when you would rather be home relaxing after a hard days work feels warranted……but over time it’s worth it!

Yes after all those hours spent, sore muscles aches, annoying junk food cravings, tears because you know sometimes you are just having a bad day, sweat lost, unnecessary judgments passed from others………..it will happen! You will look in the mirror and see that all your hard work, dedication, commitment, and discipline paid off BIG!

They say that people who say skinny feels better then a cupcake tastes never had a cupcake, has no clue how empowering it feels to take control of your body and not submit to a cupcake.

It’s not about how good skinny feels, its about the confidence you  gain in yourself knowing that because you decided to trust a process, believe in yourself, and work like a dog to get it done… YOU DID IT! SKINNY just happens to be one of those fruits your reaped  from your harvest you were diligently planting! 😉

photo found on pinterest
photo found on pinterest

 

Working out has been a life change that I didn’t get right the first time or the first 10 times. Check out my Transformation story here!

 IT’s ALL ABOUT THAT HARD WORK, NO EXCUSES!!

YOU GOT THIS!

Leigh Leigh

Follow my blog please!! Like me on Facebook here, or follow me on Twitter! @ash_leighharris.

Please share and comment below!

 

9 Things Learned from a cRAZy Busy Month #motherhoodstruggles FUNNY

To make light of the Chaotic Month of October here is an insert straight from my *TOP SECRET* Journal!

9 Things I learned from what seemed like the craziest month of my LIFE!

#1 When your memory fails you, there are emails, text messages, and social media posts to retain every moment of our life! (Maybe it’s not so bad for you after all to be an addict!??)

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#2 When given any opportunity to sit still long enough, or lie horizontal you will fall asleep on accident and maybe even snore or drool because your body is so sleep deprived from going non stop!

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#3 “Mommy Time Outs” are FOR REAL and when used in moderation (10-20 minuets after you come home from work, or just anytime in your day) will SAVE your afternoon and your SANITY!

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#4 Gym stretchy leggings will become apart of your daily casual wear and you can be okay with this! Why? Well all the hours of cardio and weight lifting are sculpting some nice legs!

(sorry no selfie..will work on this though!) 😉

#5  If you ditch your make up, made up hair style, and decide to skip the contacts and wear your glasses all day including public outings, your kids will question if you are okay! (My son was very puzzled when I picked him up from school after work looking like a scrub! “Mom are you okay?”) LOL

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#6 PB&J on a tortilla is a wonderful back up sandwich when you run out of bread on a Thursday morning.

#lunchtimestruggles

#7 There are still NO EXCUSES for MISSING morning runs! These make you feel better!

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#8 If you feed your kids cereal for DINNER (because it’s 30 minuets past their bed time due to a football game) they will announce to the world, shout it off the roof tops that you ARE “THE BEST MOM EVER!!” (I have waited my whole life for that moment-thank you cereal!) 😉

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#9 If you have to skip out on laundry and cleaning up your chaotic dirty house, the mess will not disappear or disown you, it will be waiting patiently for your attention multiplying by the seconds!

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WOW I feel so much more knowledged! I’m SO happy and thrilled I had to endure craziness to learn such fascinating things! 🙂

 

GO Busy Mommas ALL OVER THE WORLD!!

WE ROCK!

Leigh Leigh

Follow my blog! Follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks or Twitter @ash_leighharris.

Busting the Monday Morning Blues

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Monday’s happen to be one of my new favorite days of the week. I use to look forward to Friday’s because it was a sign of things ending and time to be spent resting with the Husband and kids. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy Friday afternoon around 4:10 when he comes walking through the door from work, but there is something inspiring about Mondays!

Monday marks new beginnings. Last week is behind us, a new week hangs in the mystery of the future. Maybe the older I get the more I seek after challenges. I am really not sure!

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Picture found on newtritionblog.com

As you journey into a new week today I would like to give you some words of great wisdom found in Proverbs 21.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.” Proverbs 21:21

To pursue something means to follow, to get, to be involved in.

Righteousness means morally good.

Prosperity is a condition of being well, successful, or thriving.

Honor means you are respected or judged of good character.

So when we put this all together it looks like this….

Whoever (anyone) goes after; chases; gets in involved in morally good things, and loves, will find life, the state of being well and thriving, and respected and esteemed by others.

How does this look played out in ones life? Well I don’t know about you but for me it looks like this.

I can pursue my husband in love. I can put him before myself by thinking of his needs first above mine. This may be taking an extra ten minuets of my afternoon to rub his back after a hard days work. Cooking his favorite meal, when I would rather pop in oven pizza. Running his errands, instead of lounging by the pool.

I can pursue my children by putting their needs above mine. I can do this by spending extra one on one time when I would rather send them up the stairs to play together. Take them to the park to feed the ducks, instead of making sure the house is absolutely immaculate for 5 minuets! Reading them a bible story instead of turning on the television.

I can pursue my friends and family by picking up the phone or sending a text to let them know I love them, that I am thinking of them, and I am praying for them. I can invite them over for play dates, or lunch.

Pursue my blog so that it will be fruitful to those who read it. Pursue my laundry so that it doesn’t collect to be the size of Mount Everest and take me down in defeat while my children holler out they have nothing to wear by Wednesday. Pursue my home so that my family has a clean, organized place to land after all the weeks events unfold outside of them home. You get the point! 😉

Pursue my relationship with Jesus by praying, reading my bible, singing songs of worship.

I can pursue righteousness by making conscious efforts to set my thoughts in heavenly places. Pray to not fall into temptation of road rage, impatience at the grocery check out line, laziness, negative thinking, nasty critical snap judgments of others. Stopping and pausing before I speak. Remembering to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Fixing my eyes on Jesus.

A-great-week-happy-Monday

*photo found on tumbler18.com

Pursue is the exact opposite of Passive. We are creatures made to move not lie doormat.

Be inspired! Be excited that it’s Monday! It’s a new fresh start and as you go along this week remember to pursue, pursue, pursue!

Pursue love, righteousness and be amazed at its return of LIFE, PROSPERITY, and HONOR!

Stop and think about it for a moment. How will this week be different for you if you followed Proverbs 21:21’s advise?

xoxo

Leigh Leigh

Let’s stay connected! Follow my blog, subscribe to email, or like Leigh Leigh Speaks on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks

 

The scale is a LIAR

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Being female, and utilizing the Women’s locker room at my gym a great deal, I am always bound to walk in a see a beautiful lady on the scale. Every time I pass by I want to whisper,” That scale is a liar!” Sometimes I do, and we giggle, but most of the times I just keep quiet.

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For YEARS the scale was not my friend but my enemy! I literally let what those numbers told me each morning dictate how I would feel about myself for the rest of that day. It consumed my thoughts, exposed my fears, and deceived me. It told me I was ugly, fat, not good enough, not skinny enough, that I didn’t try hard enough, it often made me feel like a failure.

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Until I got a hold of the cold hard facts that I am loved, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am Special, I was thought of way before my existence became known, I am included in the ALL of God’s grace, love, mercy, redemption to whom He gives it to. I was created in my creators image, and that He has a good plan for my life. I couldn’t get past my own insecurities to see me through the eyes of my creator, how he see’s what he has created.

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I let my identity stem from how I felt about myself and the harsh criticism and opinions of others. This is dangerous as we may feel all kinds of things about our selves from a day by day basis. Jesus is the Truth and therefore all Truth comes from him. What’s so different now? What was that pentacle moment for me to realize the scale had no control over me anymore? I learned my identity is no longer of myself, but rather who I am in Christ Jesus. What is so awesome about this is what he feels about me or thinks about me, never changes! He doesn’t deceive me, rather he is very upfront about how he feels about me along with all of his creation!

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If you have a love hate relationship with your scale like I use to have, can I just tell you that there is hope in Jesus? THERE IS! You don’t have to be a slave to those numbers you are so desperate to read one day. There is freedom were there is no bondage. Don’t allow yourself get deceived into thinking that scale dictates any happiness in your life. Instead let your happiness develop through your relationship with Christ!

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Give what ever you are struggling with, body issues wise, to Jesus and ask him to change your thinking about yourself. Ask him to give you more desire to take good care of your body. Let him guide you through your eating choices with self control, which is a gift of the spirit. If you are not happy with your weight, then by all means change your habits but don’t ever just be stuck in the same place, doing the same thing, getting the same results!!

When I stopped focusing on my failures and my disappointments the scale brought me each day, I began to focus on me through Jesus’s eyes. I created good habits and started thinking more positive thoughts about my body. This caused a rippling effect of positive results all around, and now when I step on the scale I show HIM WHO IS BOSS! I know now I control those numbers by my own actions. The SCALE DOESN’T CONTROL ME ……AND….IT DOESN’T CONTROL YOU!!! You are more then a conqueror in Christ Jesus, and you can do all things in Christ who gives your strength. But the key ingredient in this equation is JESUS! 😉

HE is > then me

 

xOxO

-Leigh Leigh

Follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks

 

As a married woman, I am not a fan of feminism

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It’s all over the news, let’s face it, it really isn’t anything new. Women wanting to be as superior and respected as much as Men. Equal rights they call them. I am not here to criticize the women who have strong beliefs in Girl POWER, I am however going to speak out in Freedom for women who are married. I don’t like this movement because it gives married women a sense of false security that standing up to their husbands is EMPOWERING and makes them STRONG and COURAGES. Marriage was not designed for the Woman to rule over the man in the relationship.

Naturally, submission is hard for every human on this planet, much less women who have had harsh fathers growing up, or a harsh husband now. Let’s take a look at what the bible teaches us on the topic.

Ephesians 5:22-33 teaches us instructions for the Christian household.

ephesians-5-22-web

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

1 Peter 3:1-6  (NIV)

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

What I learn from these scriptures is that I am to trust God with my husbands authority. This “authority” God has given him as your husband is not to be used for selfish gain or dominance over you as a woman in a negative manner. This “authority” should be expressed through love! He can tell you what to do out of love for you and your best interest.

Every decision he makes for you and your family should be made out of love. So don’t be afraid of this, trust this! Believe in your husband and express this belief in him to him. Share with him how excited and thankful you are for his authority in your lives because it brings peace and security to you and your children.

I do have to add that if his authority that he wants you to submit to is bringing harm or danger to you or your children, then this is not the same “Authority” Ephesian’s 5 is describing. Marriage is a “partnership” and it has it’s roles and duties for each member of this partnership to follow.

**Spousal abuse is nothing to take lightly. If you or someone you know is currently being victimized by spousal abuse please seek help asap!

 

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Men need respect, trust, security, love, support, and peace from their Wife! The world teaches us to not have respect for the male species because they are all liars, and pigs.

I just recently saw how ugly this war is between men and women on another blog post. Now, men are speaking out on the feminist and how they will not waste their time holding doors open for another rude woman. How all women are just nags, untrustworthy, bossy, etc.

Satan is working hard to turn us against each other with all these equal rights fights. It makes sense especially since we learn in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that two are better then one, because they have a good return for their work. Marriages are strong because they have the unity of two people who come together and fight as one flesh against the enemy with help from the power of the Holy Spirit. Women were designed to need loyalty, trust, and security from their husbands to feel loved. Men were designed to be respected, reverenced, and obeyed by their wives to feel loved.

Don’t let feminism make you believe you are not a strong woman because you submit to your husband. TRUST ME, it takes more COURAGE and STRENGTH to die to your prideful self, bite your tongue, and submit to your man, then it is to be rebellious as our sinful natures are! Submission to your husband is a strong act of obedience to Christ who calls us to submit to our husbands authority.

In Proverbs 31 we can see that a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Who is he who can find her? She is far more precious then jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. 

I have to mention also the importance of our obedience to our husband’s submission for our daughters we are raising. She is watching your every move. She adores you, she wants to be just like you some day. Are your actions in your marriage teaching your daughter how to be a feminist or are your actions teaching her how to be a submissive Godly wife to her future husband?

I haven’t reached perfection in completely submitting to my husband’s authority just yet, but I do continue to die to my prideful sinful nature daily and pray that the Lord gives me the love, grace, mercy, discipline, and strength to be a more submissive wife to my Husband’s authority. I know in the end my obedience to my husband will be a blessing to him and pleasing to the Lord, and I most definitely want both!

She is far more precious then jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. (That my friends is a description of a beautiful Woman!)

X0Xo

-Leigh Leigh

Follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leighleighspeaks
 

20 fun facts about Me

  1. I am fixing to turn 29 on May 29th!
  2. I am obsessed with swans, peacocks, and flamingos.
  3. I am the oldest of five daughters.
  4. I am super scared of severe thunderstorms.
  5. I own a sphinx cat named Thaddeus, whom I adore.
  6. I keep a journal to process my thoughts and emotions.
  7. I hope to own a beach house one day.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with running.
  9. I love to cook and bake.
  10. I just recently started to wear less makeup in my older age.
  11. I tend to start multiple projects at one time and get frustrated when I can’t focus on one.
  12. In just a few months, I will be married to my husband for 9 years.
  13. I like to read a good book before I fall asleep at night.
  14. I have a tendency of killing any pet fish, including fish that are not my own!!
  15. I am SUPER competitive.
  16. I still have never had a pedicure! lol
  17. I dream of writing a book one day!
  18. Crickets, Grasshoppers, and snakes, make my skin crawl.
  19. I like to randomly take men’s hats off to see if they are bawled.
  20. I prefer lukewarm water versus scalding hot water in the shower.