Warrior, Not a Worrier

WorryWow!  I wish that I could say that about myself – Warror – not a Worrier!  I try so hard, but I fail every day!  I worry that my shoes aren’t cute, that my hair doesn’t look stylish, that I look even bigger than usual….uggh!  I worry that I didn’t read my Bible long enough or that I didn’t pray the right things….I worry that family or friends are making wrong decisions or doing things the hard way…I worry that our country is becoming so divided, our press is creating fake news or only sharing clips to slant things wrong….I worry about life, death, taxes, money, sickness, driving… OH MY!   I worry about everything!

I know that worrying is not good for me and I have done many things to help alleviate the worry and I am doing a lot better.  You know – I worry primarily because I care.  I care that I make a good impression…I care that people are happy and people feel loved…I care that I make time for God and that I am an example to others….I care about the happiness of friends and family…I care about our country.  I care about everything. (Well not everything…there are a few things like tomatoes that I really don’t care for!)

I try to change my worry and anxiety into something positive.  In fact, one of my strengths is Positivity and I look at things differently sometimes than others.  I do see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  If you take your concerns and think of the better ending.  I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes to see their perspective.  I don’t always succeed but I am trying.

There are so many scriptures that mention, “Do not worry or do not be anxious” – God wants us to trust him and let him handle things – so –  is my problem that I don’t trust God?  I know that’s not true – however, my problem is – I’m sometimes scared of what God may say to me or how he will let a situation occur.  I want to control it – but I am learning to let God guide me.  I stumble, and I fall and I make mistakes but God always picks me up and helps me through EVERYTHING!

I have been thinking about the problems in the world, the suicides that have happened recently, the school shootings, the crazy political climate and I worry again!  I can’t fix it, but I know who can – GOD.  If people don’t have God and the peace he provides – it is so sad.  We as Christians need to speak up, reach out, share your faith, show your love, serve others.  Pray – you know a real conversation is between two people – do we ever just sit in prayer and listen to God?  If you need words of instruction and a plan – well there is no better one that the BIBLE – God’s inspired words.  These are a few scriptures that I read all the time because I love them and because I need to hear them over and over.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Proverbs 12:25 The Message (MSG)  Worry weighs us down;   a cheerful word picks us up.

Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG

[ A Fight to the Finish ] And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. …

I hope that when you want to be a WARRIOR and not a WORRIER – you will read these scriptures, listen when praying, dust off your armor and let God turn your little stone and slingshot into the best weapon against your “giants”.

If you ever just need someone to be there for you – count on me.  I do tell people that I pray for them – but I really mean it!  Prayers help, listening helps, scripture, church – all of those things.  Call, text, Facebook, twitter, Instagram or any other way – just know I will be there!

Blessings,

Leigh

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Why should you choose a “WORD OF THE YEAR (WOTY)?

Last year during a devotional at my small group, Joelle, my good friend, shared that we should choose one word to focus on for the year – to gain inspiration from – to have others encourage you – to find Bible Verses about – just one word.  That sounded easy.  I always had trouble with my Resolutions at New Years but I think one word was something I could handle.  I never dreamed what an impact it would have on me.  What’s funny is that I remember all of my friends in our small group’s “one word” and can remind them, encourage them and pray for them with that one word.

My word came so quickly, while I was driving to work one morning and a song came on the radio – “I will Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. I felt the word and TRUST became my WOTY.  I have shared in other blogs what it meant to me and how it changed my life.  Please refer to my blog entitled https://leighchristian.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/why-my-word-for-the-year-changed-my-life-trust/

From Wikipedia – The word(s) of the year, sometimes capitalized as “Word(s) of the Year” and abbreviated “WOTY” (or “WotY”), refers to any of various assessments as to the most important word(s) or expression(s) during a specific year. The German tradition, Wort des Jahres was started in 1971.

Choosing a Word of the Year helps simplify your life and helps you focus on one idea for the entire year.  It is easy to remember, easy to find inspiration, and easy to talk to God about.  I always had a hard time finding God speak to me in my Bible, but when I searched for my word – the scriptures seemed to come alive and talk to me.  It was so special!  It helped me and it guided me through the year.  Sometimes we make things so complicated with our to-do lists, our devotional books, our mind goes in so many directions and we get distracted.  Having that one word to focus on and to get us back on track is really a great way to grow.

There is a great book/website that can guide you in much more detail and I got many ideas from it!  http://myoneword.org/pick-your-word/     I started looking for my new word this year by Praying – talking to God about it and sharing what I wanted.  God didn’t give me any signs.  I was really starting to get frustrated.  I even thought God chose the word PATIENCE for me.  I googled, I looked up scriptures and I even looked for inspiration from Pinterest and Etsy.  After all this research I had written down words on a notecard by my bed.  I tried to figure out what these words all had in common; and I realized they all had a focus but I couldn’t find the right word yet.  All the words seem to focus on – impacting and inspiring the person I am with at that moment.  I continued to pray for the word and kept reading scriptures searching, then I decided I just needed to meditate and pray but most important – LISTEN.  I even thought that might be my word this year – I could see I needed to listen with God, and with others.  I am always in action mode and want to do something to solve issues; when sometimes I need to sit back and listen.  Listen – was not my word.  I wish I could say that I heard God speak the word DISCIPLE to me, but that didn’t happen.  The word just came to my mind.  It was not a word that I would have chosen because I really wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I went to the first verse that I knew included the word DISCIPLE.   Matthew 28:19-20

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It became clear to me that DISCIPLE was my word.  My focus for the year, my inspiration, my guide and my vision.  In some of Jesus’ last words – this was his instruction to us.  This was important and I needed to get busy.  I received confirmation several times over the weeks after I chose my word.  One was big – our church had chosen a word for the year and it was DISCIPLESHIFT.  I love when God provides confirmation.  I get excited over the word now and know it is my word for the year (woty).

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So I encourage you – choose your Word of the Year!  Pray, read scriptures, but most of all listen to God to give to you.  I would love for you to share with me in your journey for your word.  I would love to pray for you to find your word and most of all – I would LOVE to pray for you when you find your Word.  I hope this will inspire you and I hope that your word will mean something to you.

Always in prayer,

Leigh

 

Why my word for the year changed my life– TRUST

Last year was the first year that I had ever chose a “word of the year”.  In my Small Group – we all chose one word – a word that would inspire, encourage and impact our lives. A word that would help us focus better in our spiritual, mental, physical and family life.   I chose “TRUST”.  It is so funny how that word became so important to me – I thought it was a strange word for me but I got confirmation from God over and over.  I heard a song on the Christian radio by Lauren Daigle called, “I will Trust in You”.  (Funny story I thought it was Adele and I started researching what the song was called because it affected me so much!)  I dealt with trust issues with my daughter during the year – she was almost 18 years old and was going through the “I am an adult today – treat me like one…to I am still a kid and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

I also felt God calling me to do things for him but I wasn’t always clear what they were.  It wasn’t drawn out and it wasn’t the right time for me. However, I would hear “I Will Trust in You” song on the radio and I would feel this deep intense feeling it was God talking to me.  I wish he would just talk to me clearly – I am not always great at picking up on clues.  I would hear God telling me to TRUST him.  He gave me this desire to quit my job and start a nonprofit ministry.  Well funny how things work out but one of my best friends and I decided that we should start a ministry.  (That’s another blog topic soon).  I had a great job and was good at it but I became unsatisfied and wasn’t as productive as I have always been. Something was going on!  I thought it was my health issues but I knew that I was beginning to feel like I should make a change.

I wrestled with God and prayed and talked to my husband.  I still wanted confirmation from God because why would he want me to quit my job?  I still had some credit card bills and needed to save some money for daughter’s college and retirement.  I would get sign after sign from God through that one song and through conferences that I would attend – one session was about Trust.  I received recommendations from friends to read books such as, “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey.

So I made up my mind to quit my job and started preparing.  I received a phone call from a friend and he wanted to talk to me about a position with his company – it was a company that I admired so much.  He wasn’t going to approach me but when he described what he wanted – he even said someone like Leigh Christian.  The two people he was talking to suggested he call me.  We worked out a plan and I was able to maintain a job with complete flexibility and salary that I could work with.  So what I am trying to say – once I followed GOD and trusted him – something great came along.  One year later, I am still working for that company and have expanded and started a consulting business as well.  Am enjoying my life but most of all enjoying my time with God.  Letting him manage my life and trusting him has been great.  I still make mistakes and still am not the Christian that I want to be, but I am trusting more!

I found a verse (Well a passage) in Proverbs 3 that just guided me through last year.  I try to read it as often as I can – even this year.  It is a great reminder.  I need it.  While I still think I know more about what I should be doing instead of relying on God ALL of the time, I am making progress.  Trust is so hard.  Funny thing is that GOD has never let me down.

 

Proverbs 3:5-12     The Message (MSG)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

your very bones will vibrate with life!

Honor God with everything you own;

give him the first and the best.

Your barns will burst,

your wine vats will brim over.

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;

don’t sulk under his loving correction.

It’s the child he loves that God corrects;

a father’s delight is behind all this.

 

Encouraging you to TRUST….GOD.

Leigh

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Journal of a Plump Lady

plumpladyWell I haven’t written much lately because I have been so busy, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had tons to write about – because I do!  I just don’t really know where to start.  (Should I talk about God, starting nonprofit, starting new business, making changes, family, raising a teenage girl, having my mom live with me, volunteering, or should I just start with me…it is time for self-reflection.)  So here I go…

I have made a lot of changes in my life this year and I feel so blessed!  My work is fun and I feel like I am making a difference and really helping others.  You see – I am pursuing my passion and God has been my guide through all of it!  When you choose to TRUST God – he just makes things so clear.  I always tried to control things but when I finally turned to him and let him have control – things are so much better!

I feel good – that is strange for me to say because I have so many health issues.  Last year about this time – I honestly felt like I only had a few months to live.  I was stressed, depressed and literally hurt all over.  I thought I had a terrible illness – cancer or something.  Have you ever felt that way?  Luckily, I have made changes in my life and I have more energy, feel better, sleep better and am not stressed.  What a difference that is… Now, I really want to lose weight but this is a WAR that I struggle with daily.  I have started working out at least two days a week and I enjoy that and I have done pretty good with that.  I am getting stronger and more flexible.  My real problem – the Food.

Food stresses me out.  I love food.  I love all the herbs, nuts, meats, veggies, fruits…not cakes or chips or anything like that – not even bread – so what is the problem?  My problem – I like convenience – does anyone else deal with this issue – I NEED HELP!  I work a lot and volunteer a lot and sometime I do not have time to determine what to eat; so I run through the drive through and grab food for my family.  We eat out a lot – ALOT.  I know that is a big issue.  I have bought those trendy trays so that I can prepare my food ahead of time but seriously I am not excited about that.  I really don’t want to eat the same meal every day – how boring is that.  I get tired of chicken done forty-nine ways.  It is still chicken…. BORING!!!  You see I like Pasta because you can prepare it 49 ways and it taste different every time – oh and it takes 10 minutes.  So I have diagnosed my problem with food – I need food that is convenient – quick to fix – healthy – without being BORING!

I truly appreciate different tastes and my palette is gourmet cuisine!  I love the perfect cheese on an oat cracker drizzle with a little honey and then followed by a fig.  Yes, that is what I’m talking about.  I love the deliciousness of mixing foods and flavors together to find that perfect combination.  Oh the taste- I roll my eyes just thinking of the surprise of sweet, crunchy, tasty amazing treat.  Sorry – got distracted for a minute!  I need help!

What do you eat?  How do you not get bored?  How can I win this WAR?  I would just take a win of a battle right now.  I am so frustrated with myself.  Why is this so hard?  I want it but I don’t want to work for it – that is not who I am except where food is concerned.  How can it have such a hold on me?

Please share with me today – I need to hear from my friends – heck even my enemies.  I ask selfishly for prayers as I continue my journey.  Maybe we can do this together.

The Plump Lady – Leigh Christian

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a fut

Be Authentic!

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Recently I was having a conversation with a friend over lunch, and we began discussing what we liked in people; and she said to me that she liked me, because I was authentic. I pondered that for a while and I realized that it has taken me fifty LONG years to get to that point. Seems like I have always been trying to impress someone – my parents, teachers, coaches, friends, bosses….well basically everyone. I wanted to look a certain way, have a certain title, be recognized for achievements, and was just really always trying to please everyone else. I am a People Pleaser – always have been…always will be. I did realize that I could get my feelings hurt sometimes trying to please everyone though! I am often taken advantage of; but I have a better understanding of myself lately. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on who I really am and what I want to be. Sometimes, I really don’t like how I turned out and sometimes I feel so blessed. I realized when I take the positive side of things – I am happier. I have learned to find the lessons or the best practices in a situation instead of having regrets over how I could have done better. My goal now is to be my best and I realized that I really just need to please one and only one – that is GOD! The Bible tells us in so many verses to do what is pleasing to God.

1 Thessalonians (ESV) 4 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Ephesians 5:10 (GNT) 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord.

Well – that is always my intention but I make mistakes – sometimes, not only am I not pleasing to God but I usually make others frustrated or mad too! We are only human! I am striving to be a better “me” and I am not comparing myself or competing with others. I used to always want to be the best – not just the best me, but the best at whatever I was doing. Now I just want to be the best I can be! I am trying not to compare myself or allow myself to have a pity party. I take pride in who I am and what I stand for. I have become so much bolder in my faith and I love it. Someone asked me to pray a non-religious prayer for a large event – I stressed all day – how do you do that? I didn’t want to offend anyone so I used careful words – it didn’t feel right. That one thing really impacted me so much! I have as much right to pray to my God and Jesus as they didn’t want me too. I don’t want to offend anyone but I want to be authentic and stand up for my beliefs. This year has been a real life lesson for me. I have changed…maybe I am finally mature at 50 – I don’t know but I am a different person. In certain areas of my life – I am not the go to person or the most popular or the friend to everyone like I used to be. I often feel isolated and even like the weird person that people make fun of from time to time. At first, it bothered me so much – then I realized that I need to control me and only me, and the situation would work itself out. I continued to be friendly, and do my work. I am still not included sometimes and I am definitely not the go-to person anymore; however, I take pride in the fact that I help others and do my job. Funny thing – I am not stressed anymore!
Being authentic is just being yourself – not trying to be like someone else. Being authentic is standing up for your beliefs without pushing them on others. Being authentic is being the best “you” that you can be in every situation….be the best friend, mom, wife, etc. Always do your best and show your care and commitment. I hate to make generalizations but I am going to right now. It seems that our society is focused on “What’s in it for me, instead of what can I do to make this a better place…” We need people to step up and step out and be authentic and show what they stand for and live for each moment and be their very best.
Blessings to you and prayers that you will learn to be authentic!

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God Games – Simon Says? God Says!!!

Activity010aSIMON SAYS….GOD SAYS

Simon Says….I use to LOVE to play that game! You would listen really close and then do the action if “Simon” said to do it. You were not supposed to do the action if “Simon” didn’t say to do it! This game is fun and also is a great way to improve listening skills and following directions. It is a fun way for smaller kids to learn these skills. Maybe we grown-ups could learn to follow directions and listen to what God says!
You will find in Deuteronomy 13:18 “Yes. Obediently listen to God, your God. Keep all his commands that I am giving you today. Do the right thing in the eyes of God, your God.” Just like the game of Simon Says reminds us to listen and follow directions then do what was said…that is what God tells us in the Bible. Listen, follow directions then do.
DO not do things if Simon didn’t say..reminds us – don’t do things that GOD doesn’t say. We find perfect words in Romans 6:22-23 “But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” Do not listed to sin…it lies, cheats, steals, stresses you, and just gives you wrong ideas and information. You will find regret if you listen to sin…just like if you don’t follow what “Simon Says”…Remember if you moved and Simon didn’t say to and you felt so bad and you got kicked out of the game? While Simon doesn’t give you another chance…our wonderful forgiving God does. He lets us keep playing the game – if we ask for forgiveness. You see he had his only precious perfect son take all the blame and shame for us so that we could stay in the game.
Ephesians 6:12-13 MSG tells us, “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” These words are such good advice – help each other in this game of life, pray for each other, encourage each other, be prepared, listen to God because he gives us the right advice and the right tools for life.
“Simon says” listen to God…..- now follow the directions….
Many blessings,

Leigh  th

Thankful Thanksgiving

So why is it in mid November we start feeling more thankful? We should all be thankful…we have an amazing God who loves us always! He is a kind, patient, forgiving God and we take him for granted! In Colossians 3:17 Paul suggested…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Throughout his letters, Paul has a simple message…pray and give thanks! I think this advice is perfect for today also! With all of the turmoil in our world, in our country and even our personal lives…we still have so much to be thankful for! Let’s look on the positive side of things instead of dwelling on the negative! I love Thanksgiving because it reminds us to be thankful (well the food too). I encourage you to be thankful and Happy Thanksgiving!
Blessings…
Leigh

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