Being Vulnerable

Well I am reluctantly writing my blog again.  God has hinteBeing-Vulnerable-690x1035d, pushed, and basically slapped me upside my head that he wants me to start writing again. So, here I go…

I have a song, “I will TRUST in you” by Lauren Daigle and every time I hear it – I know that God is saying something to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_aVFVveJNs

I have heard that song so much recently and it is usually when I am thinking about something that I should be sharing.  I don’t hear God’s voice – I feel his presence though!  There was another hint – someone mentioned to me that they loved to read my blog in the past because I was vulnerable, and they admired that so much.  I didn’t think about it but now I keep hearing the word “vulnerable” and know this is another sign that God is telling me – I need to blog.  It is not easy to just put your thoughts and feeling down for others to see how you are feeling and what you are thinking. Loved the definition from the Urban Dictionary of Vulnerable… “Someone who is completely and rawly open, unguarded with their heart, mind, and soul. Being vulnerable happens when you trust completely. Rather its vulnerability by pain or joy, it’s being exposed with all of the emotions that make it easy for someone (someone you trust) to really do some emotional damage or healing.. Vulnerability is the surrender of all control and personal power in regards to letting someone close enough to destroy you!”

So, let me tell you about myself…I am Southern born and Southern bred.  I was raised in a Christian church and love my GOD more than anything – he is my number one!  I may not always be a perfect Christian – in fact, I mess up time and time again.  I say the wrong things, I get jealous, I make wrong choices, but unfortunately – I am human.  I am mesmerized that I worship a GOD that forgives me over and over again.  I don’t intentionally sin; but I sin.  I make so many mistakes, but I try to learn from them.  I am conservative but don’t put me in a Box that I don’t belong.  I love all people and believe that Jesus showed us to reach out to ALL.

Here are a few examples of what I am talking about.  I don’t agree with abortion and don’t think it is a woman’s choice – but that doesn’t make me hate someone that has one.   What love that girl must need when she has made that choice.  I love them.  I believe everyone’s opinions should be fairly listened to and accepted.  That doesn’t mean one person is right over another.  I do think we should respect that everyone has an opinion.  Some may say that we shouldn’t pray in public, however I believe that I have the right to pray – so respect both ways.  I pray-you don’t.  I think acceptance is key and that is what we should do.  Accept and not judge.

I had a friend that was at a Democratic meeting and I liked his Instagram post and he private messaged me – “How dare I like his post – he knew I was a Republican and why would I even do that.”  I am still surprised by that.  I respect his decision to support that candidate and I am glad he is exercising his choice – I am proud of that.  I may not support the same candidate; but I support us all having an opinion.  I lean Republican for sure; but don’t put me in that Box that I hate all other choices – that is not the case.  I want the best representation of our country – people that can be respected and make a difference.  I would love to have good examples to follow and know they speak truth.  Same for my media- I want to know news is based on facts and not opinion.  Let me make my own assumptions and decisions – don’t tell me how to think.  We need respectable news- news we can trust.

I grew up saying yes m ’am, no sir, thank you and please.  We are in the age of using text messages and each command sounds more like a demand now, than a favor.  The phrase, “I’m sorry” is said so often but there is little to no action behind it.  Everyone makes mistakes…but show that you acknowledge it and that you will not make the same mistake again.  Mean it when you say, “I’m sorry” and back it up with actions.

This is just the start of my thoughts – I hope you will follow my blog “The Change” and see my posts when I write them.  I don’t have all the right answers; but I do have lots of thoughts.  I hope you will respect my thoughts; because I will respect yours.

Blessings,

Leigh Christian

 

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On the road again…to a new and healthier you!

road       So, here I go on another journey…you would think I would be tired as I trudge down the same old road of getting healthier…I have been here before and I am sure I will be here again but I want a different path this time.  I am so tired of going down the wrong road – I mean – I just don’t fail,  but something about losing weight, taking care of myself – I am a complete failure – where did I make the wrong turn?  I want to plan a path of change, something that I can handle that is not to stressful and something that will produce results.  This time I am going to plan my journey so that I don’t veer off course.

This time I have decided to do something different.  I have prayed about how I could be healthier, how I could be better, and how I could lose weight.  I heard someone mention the Daniel Plan and it peaked my interest.  Then I heard it again that same week and someone said they had just started it and loved it!  Then God practically smacks me upside the head…I was standing in line at a Christian bookstore and while I was there I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye—something lime (My favorite color).  I am naturally drawn to that color, so I looked at the title of the book, naturally…It was “The Daniel Plan” a book by Rick Warren (Who also wrote The Purpose Driven Life).  OK God – I get it!  I should explore this is an option.  The five essential parts to the Daniel Plan are Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus & Friends…sounds reasonable.  So I started researching and realized that the Daniel Plan was very similar to the Paleo Diet that I had been successful with last year so I know I can do this.  What I missed last year was the other parts…I need to focus, to utilize my faith in God and to share with my friends.

thedanielplan

There were great things on the website www.danielplan.com   Rick Warren and his fabulous team have so many sermons, lessons, verses, inspirations that I know it is the direction that I need to go in!!

 

Therefore, I decided to start at the beginning of Lent season.  I started a Facebook page called the Daniel Plan Connection, so that I could share information, have a place to discuss when I need a little encouragement and just a place to share recipes, inspirations, funnies, etc.  We are three weeks into this now and I have about 50 friends that have joined my journey.  I still struggle some but not nearly like I did and now I have someone to keep me accountable, to inspire, to share best practices, etc.  If I stray off course – I am encouraged to get back on and I keep chugging along.

I love the food that I am supposed to eat and I am enjoying it!  I do not feel deprived.  I have eased into it by cutting out all white products (Rice, Flour, Bread, Potatoes, etc.)  I am only drinking water and try to drink at least 72 oz. per day.  I have upped my veggies and fruits and am just paying attention to what I eat.  I am getting a little stricter each week.  I plan to start the Daniel Fast next week and it is even a little stricter.  I can do it though if I plan, buy the right groceries, etc.

The Daniel Plan is about so much more than eating though.  I have really started to think about my faith – I have read Daniel and have watched YouTube, Googled, read many translations, started the Beth Moore study on Daniel, and have just grown to LOVE the book of Daniel in the Bible.  It is so intriguing and there are so many things that I never really got from it before.  I have tried to establish a better prayer routine as well.  I pray breath prayers all the time – you know—the ones where you say just a word and God knows what you are saying. My daily prayers used to be when I was driving somewhere.  That was my alone time with God.  You know, I realized that really was not good enough and I needed to treat God better.  I am still struggling to find time to make it special every time, after all he is so special and wonderful and forgiving and I need to treat him more holy!  I love that I am casual with God but I feel a strong sense of needing to be more respectful.  He is God after all!

Well, I hope to be writing more often so that I can encourage, support and inspire you to take care of yourself and take care of the body God gave you – it is the only one you have!  So I think they were missing one Essential Element of the Daniel Plan and that is ….FUN!  When you are taking this journey – make it fun, have get togethers, yoga parties, recipe swaps, Bible Study.  This is the secret passage to a better and healthier you!  Safe travels….

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31

God

Blessings…

 

Leigh Christian

A God Thing

Jer2911

 

Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite Bible Verse ever!  Just to think that God has plans for little ole me!  That is pretty exciting!  Sometimes I wish I knew what his plans were – I often think he wants me to go into some type of ministry, then other times I think he just wants me to make a difference and be an example, and other times – I really just think that he may have forgotten me.  Well, even when times seem like they are at the lowest point – that is when God starts working those miracles and opening doors that you are not expecting!  I think he laughs at me because it seems I just fall through the doors he opens for me and stumble so often.  God just picks me back up and gives me courage to face another day.  I wish God talked in a voice to me but that is not how it is for me.  I hear a song, get a feeling, think about a certain word or phrase and it just seems like it is a sign from God.  I have prayed so much about what I should do with my life and thought God wanted me to begin a Christian ministry but then lots of doors from another direction just opened…that seemed to be where God was sending me for now.  I think he may have bigger plans for my future but now he wants me to experience my life and the direction it has taken.  I am sure that I will grow and learn so many new things and I am excited about the direction that I am going.  I always say that when something happens and I get confirmation over and over again that it is “A God Thing”.  It always is – he has every minute of my life planned and I know that he will always be there to help me succeed.  I hope that I always have the courage to follow his directions.  I pray for you to find your path that God is leading you….I am sure it is something beautiful and truly “A God Thing”.

godthing8

Connecting with you,

Leigh

Putting the Pieces Back Together…

Life breaks us all into little pieces. It damages us, but it’s how we glue those shards and pieces back together that make us stronger.

life-is-made-up-of-many-broken-moments-enjoy-putting-the-pieces-back-together

Sometimes things break.  Sometimes you get broken.  Life isn’t just wrapped up and tied with a perfect bow around it!  Despite all your hard work and great intentions, you can end up feeling like your life has shattered into millions of little pieces  – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially.  Lying on the floor, completely exhausted, feeling like such a failure…As you look around all you see are pieces.  Pieces of dreams, pieces of hopes, desires and successes; however there are pieces of hurt, frustration, desperation, anxiety and loss.  How can you pull all these pieces back together?

Ideas and plans often seem so perfect at the time you come up with them…they seem like that is what you should do, how you should go and what God has planned.  Somehow – things don’t always work out with those plans and as you pick yourself up, shaking your head, and wondering what you could have done differently, remember that it’s not over yet.  You can put the pieces back together.  It’s not easy stuff.  But it’s possible.  And when all you want is be whole again, the pieces matter.  Piece by piece – it goes together – better than ever!  So how can you piece the pieces together in the way that it will not fall apart again?  Think about putting a jigsaw puzzle together as you read my thoughts on putting your life back on track…talk to GOD FIRST!

Psalm

1.  STOP!  Assess the pieces and what are the good pieces and what are the ones that don’t need to go back in.  This is a great time to lose those useless pieces, those things that cause frustrations, anxiety and don’t add to the overall picture of who you want to be. 

2. Determine what the easiest pieces are to put together and put them together first…like corner pieces/edge pieces of a puzzle.  These are you core values – what you stand for, what you would live and die for, and those things that make you who you are!  Don’t just think about your self when putting these pieces together – think about those around you that can help or that may need help.  

3.  Look at the completed picture and start piecing the pieces together.  It is so much easier if you have something to look at to fit the pieces together – like the outside of a puzzle box picture… Make goals, determine your plan, write it down, find pictures of what you see the outcome of your puzzle will be. 

4.  Get friends, family & coworkers to help you.  Sometimes you can stare at the pieces for so long that you don’t see where or how they fit.  I had to talk to my friend/trainer today and she helped me clear my vision and focus better.  We all need someone to guide us, support us and especially encourage us through those brain fog moments.  Surround yourself with people you trust.  Family, close friends — the people you lean on — those are the ones you need supporting you.  Find them.  Ask them for help.  Don’t be a cheater.  Do the hard work yourself.

5.  Keep working until all the pieces go together and there is a clear picture of who YOU really are!  Hard work and continuous progress every day! Do a little bit more to fix the mess that you are drowning in; build  momentum piece by piece by piece.  Don’t stop until you get the job done.  Frankly, most people stop too soon.  They stop putting the pieces back together because it’s a deeply emotional and draining process.  It takes guts and there’s no glory.  It’s just painful.  But it’s what delivers you the success that you want for yourself.  This is your chance to rebuild your life the way you want it.  You bring it closer each piece you put back together.  You heal yourself and fix your situation each day you keep working. Today matters and the pieces can still be lying where they are.  You can still be lying there beside them. Take that first step and move in the right direction.  There is hope…piece by piece… 

Connecting with you always.

Leigh

 

Enjoy the Reese’s PIECES in your life – have some fun!

I love the way a Reese’s Pieces just melts in my mouth. 

reesespieces

I love the fall colors that brightens my day and I love how fun they are too eat!  I had several coincidences with them recently and it made me stop and think about having fun, enjoying life and appreciating what I have.  God wants us to enjoy life…there are several verses in the Bible that demonstrates this:

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (The Message)

7-10 Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.

Ecclesiastes 7:14  On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.

God wants us to enjoy our life.  Find things that make you happy.  Don’t sweat the small things and stay positive.  Find true joy…don’t worry be happy!

I will share some things that make me truly happy – maybe it will give you some ideas…

Help other people – I always get blessed double for doing something that I love!

Make time for people –  Ask someone how they are doing, compliment them, make someone feel special.  Believe it or not – it makes you feel good too!

Encourage someone – when you are inspiring or encouraging others – you get inspired and encouraged.

Basically – to have fun, help others have fun….to enjoy your life….help others to enjoy theirs.  Blessings come to those who bless.

inspire

Connecting with you,

Leigh

Chess Pieces in the Game of Our Life…

CHECKMATE!   That word means so much when you are playing Chess.  If you say it – it means you have won, you have trapped the king and it can’t move.  It is a great feeling and it was the goal for the game. If you are hearing it – it means you made the wrong move – you lost.  Even though you had strategically planned your moves – something went wrong and your King couldn’t move.

CheckmateChess is alot like life…there are lots of pieces and each one can move in a different way. It requires much thought and a deep understanding of all the pieces.

A PAWN can only move forward…in the beginning – they can move two spaces but only one after that.  The pawn can move diagonally only when an enemy is one space left or right diagonally.  Reminds me of life sometimes…we take the easy road and just take one step at a time…we might make a slight move if there is an issue but we move forward with no real purpose…just one step at a time.  (BORING)

BISHOPS move diagonal – and can go back and forth diagonally…never veering off course…just back in forth in a line on the same color.  Many of us are like that in our lives.  We decide to do something and then we change our mind…we really make no progress…just back in forth with our decisions.  We start a diet, we get off a diet….we start reading the Bible – we stop reading it….(FRUSTRATING)

KNIGHTS move in an L-shape, one square up and two over….sounds like one step up and two steps back.  In our lives we sometimes start making great progress and then we have to back up two steps.  We lose momentum and we stay in the same pattern over and over – an endless cycle.  (CONFUSING)

ROOKS can move any numbers of squares up or down or side to side.  They have a little more freedom.  We can be like a rook in our life when we do have more freedom and we do make choices to move ahead but we play it safe.  We are cautious.  We are able to advance and strive towards our goals but we don’t cross the lines or get out of bounds.  (PROGRESSING)

QUEENS are the ultimate piece.  They can move in any direction and are the most powerful piece on the board.  We can achieve our goals so much better if we are able to play like a queen and look at the different options and determine the best path to winning in our life.  (ACHIEVING)

KINGS can move only one square at a time in any direction. Kings in our life is us taking baby steps and always waiting for something to happen – something to trap us and something to yell CHECKMATE or stop.  Kings generally wait for the bad

The number one chess player in the world (Carlsen)  once said…”Self-confidence is very important. If you don’t think you can win, you will take cowardly decisions in the crucial moments, out of sheer respect for your opponent. You see the opportunity but also greater limitations than you should. I have always believed in what I do on the chessboard, even when I had no objective reason to. It is better to overestimate your prospects than underestimate them.”

chess

Chess is a game as is life.  Chess requires alot of study and understanding of all the pieces…as does life. We need to determine what Chess piece we want to be and we need to study long and hard so we can be the one yelling Checkmate. So often we just randonly play a game of chess without thinking about the consequences of the moves. So in life we make choices and decisions that were not thoughtfully determined and we can find ourself in a place of Checkmate.  I encourage you to think about your next move and the consequences…you never know if it is the winning move or the move to Checkmate.

Philippians 1:9-10

The Voice (VOICE)

Here’s what I pray for you:

Father, may their love grow more and more in wisdom and insight— 10 so they will be able to examine and determine the best from everything else. And on the day of the Anointed One, the day of His judgment, let them stand pure and blameles.

Connecting with you,

Leigh

Broken Pieces

brokenpieces

Deuteronomy 30:1-5  The Message Bible

Here’s what will happen. While you’re out among the nations where God has dispersed you and the blessings and curses come in just the way I have set them before you, and you and your children take them seriously and come back to God, your God, and obey him with your whole heart and soul according to everything that I command you today, God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than your ancestors.

Wow – have you ever been told how special something is and to be very careful around it…well I have….nevertheless, I had to look at that special vase in my grandmother’s house.  It was her great grandma’s so it was older than two centuries…oops…it just slipped out of my hands – it didn’t fall far but it just broke into millions of pieces.  I tried to gather up all those broken pieces but it just was not going back together the same.  Grandma wasn’t even mad – she understood the temptation and she forgave me.  How cool is that?

So many times – we make mistakes and we do things that we shouldn’t or we allow criticism, conflict, comparisons into our lives and our heart breaks into millions of pieces.  It is hard to put the pieces back together but God does help us if we let him.  He makes us stronger, bolder and much wiser.  We need to make sure we turn to him in those times that we are down and out.  He can put the broken pieces together and be the glue that holds us together.  How awesome is that?  God glue….

God gave me the word while listening to the radio and I didn’t put the “pieces” together until I started looking it up in the Bible.  The next day God gave me the beautiful song by one of my favorites Mandisa – “Broken Hallelujah”.

A beautiful song by Mandisa
Worshiping God through the hard times
And then in doing so we find healing and we draw closer to God in these painful times. I pray this encourages you as it encouraged me.

Gods Broken Pieces

Connecting with you always…

Leigh

2 Samuel 22:21-25 The Message

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I’ve kept alert to God’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.