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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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

 

My word for this year – inspire others – DISCIPLE

So I had such success with my word of the year last year that I had to choose one for this year.  I started in December waiting for a song to clue me in –nothing….crickets…  Nothing inspired me, nothing came to me.  I tried to find my word by reading the Bible, looking on Pinterest, Etsy, Googling….searching and searching.  NOTHING    – no – that is not my word.  I began to think that Patience may be my word but I still wasn’t sure.  I would write down words that seemed to spark something inside me but I couldn’t find the perfect word.  Oh no – it was mid-January –and I still did not have my word.  Our athletes of our nonprofit ministry was going to each choose our word of the year and discuss at a meeting and I didn’t have mine.  Wait – I was in charge of the meeting and I had nothing to share, nothing to inspire.  I kept feeling that my word had something to do with the person in front of me.  No – not a specific person but to focus on the person I was with; when I was with them.  Well – so what word describes that?  I prayed even more and decided that God would give to me if I TRUST (my word last year) him.  I sat in the quiet and listened.

My word came – it was DISCIPLE.  Again – not a word that I would necessarily have chosen on my own but this was my word for the year.  I liked this word – it is a noun – DISCIPLE.  It can mean – a follower of Jesus; the chosen ones, Jesus’ inner circle – how cool is that?  Yes -that is my word!

Oh – it is a verb too – it is an action word – it can mean to teach or train others to be disciples. Oh that means I am committing to disciple to others and help them become disciples.  I am not sure about this now.

I quickly turned in my Bible to the Great Commission from Jesus. I knew it was about disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

 baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus wants us to reach people all over the world.  He wants us to share his love and that he died on the cross, and they should be baptized in his name.  We should teach them to use their story, share their talents and follow the Bible which says they need to go.  This is where I see my calling this year – I want to help others determine how to serve, what their talents are and how to share the gospel.  I am praying for the right way to share and encourage others to serve God – not just go to church but to have a real relationship and a real servant heart.  Some people want to do those things but they just need a little coaching.  That is where I feel God is leading me.

So funny thing – I got my confirmation of my word DISCIPLE the very same week at church.  Our pastors announced that the word for the year at church is “Discipleshift”.  We are going to focus on this very thing!  I love when God winks at me and I can feel him saying – I have a plan for you…  I also heard the word DISCIPLE and read it several times and every time I got that feeling of confirmation!  (Still haven’t heard a song with it in it like last year…)

I sometimes feel that I think too much of myself – why would God choose me to minister and disciple others?  This is where I get confused – why me?  But then I think – why not me?  I can share through my blog, I can work in our nonprofit ministry with the teens, I can serve in our kid’s ministry, I can lead small groups and I can be an example.  I can find lots of excuses not to disciple, but I am not going to this time – I am committed to follow Jesus.  I am excited!  You know I looked at the background of the first twelve disciples and they were nothing extra special – just plain ordinary folks.  Fishermen, tax collectors, tradesmen; they were doubters, liars, followers – and they did amazing things for Jesus!  I want to do that too!  I searched more in the Bible about how to become a Disciple and found these tips in Matthew and even in Psalms.

Matthew 16:24-26 The Message (MSG)

24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Psalms 34:19 The Message (MSG)

Disciples so often get into trouble;

still, God is there every time.

So I am focused on my word for the year – DISCIPLE and I intend to live it through my personal, spiritual, physical, mental and family life.  My goal is to help others become disciples too – I would love to help anyone that needs support and help in finding their gift to serve God.

Let’s go make disciples!

Leigh

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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

Change

dont-be-afraid-of-change-positive-quotes

Change means so many different things to different people. Often, change is thought of in a negative way. I like to think of the word “change” in a positive renewing way. Change can be a noun or a verb; and even an adjective at times. It is one of the most powerful words and one of the most powerful things to do. Most people are scared of change; but some of us embrace it and know that change is good. I looked up the definition and there were numerous definitions but I am thinking of the first one that I read…to make the form, nature, content, future course of something different from what it is now. I want to make a “change” in me!
My blog has been focused for a few years on being a “changed” person – I wanted to change my future – be a better person, but most of all – be a better Christian. It is hard. Sometimes you make so much progress, only to be knocked back down lower than you started. I have learned though; the battles along the way, those unexpected turns were what made me more aware, stronger and to love deeper. The journey would be boring and not mean as much if it was just a straight path. I have learned to fight harder; to ask for help and to give forgiveness along the way. Sometimes the very people that you think are going to support you, to hold you up in times of trouble are the ones that let you down the most. It is so easy to want to blame them; but that is how God intended for the situation to go. It hurts when someone lets you down, when someone gives up on you; and when they even seem to be out to get you. How can that be part of God’s plan? How can he let us get hurt? I know – it is during these times we look up to God more and beg for help. These are times when we commit to him more; these are the times that we rely on him and not ourselves. You see – when times are going great and we get confidence – we think we can handle everything – we forget to rely on God. That is when he allows things to happen to bring us closer to him again. In other words – he allows us to fall in the deep pit, the insecurity, the sin, the lack of confidence, the petty jealousy and the defeat of comparison.
There is only one thing that does not change – and that is God/Jesus. In Hebrews 13:8 it states, “Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.”
I know that God loves me yesterday, today and tomorrow; whether I am naughty or nice, or even if I completely ignore him. He is consistent. I know he is always there for me, even when I am not for him. God never fails….so why do we resist change? We resist because we know that we fail. It is hard for us to turn everything over to God. It is scary to think you may make mistakes, life choices that are really big, and commit to something you don’t know how to do. Changes may result in losing your job, gaining family members, increasing or decreasing your finances….change can totally disrupt your plans. Change can also help you find happiness. It is not always bad – it is different. Don’t be afraid to take the first step towards change…read a book to improve; attend a class; set a goal; look for a new job; find a new friend…just take the chance to make a change. If you do not change directions – you may end up going nowhere. Change brings opportunities; helps find dreams; and helps us grow… Don’t expect to see change if you don’t make any changes. Besides God, change is one thing that is consistent…things are always changing – it is up to us to embrace them.
I wish it was easy; but, change is hard! I challenge you to think about how you can change for the better and start doing something about it! I plan to make several changes this year – I want to feel better, not be stressed, enjoy life and it is only me that can do it! Let’s change together…

Leigh

Pity Party – No More!!

images-2 Do you ever wake up and just feel like the world is out to get you? It seems you can make no one happy? Everyone is pulling you in hundreds of directions? The harder you work, the deeper you get behind? You feel left out, not included, and just lonely – even in a group of people? Do you think if you are the nicest person and offer your help and really go out of your way for others – they will do the same? Then you get stomped on again and again. Do you let your mind start racing, start thinking all of these negative thoughts and you just start feeling worse. Well, I started my day off like that this morning. I was frustrated, sad, lonely, mad, feeling sorry for myself….you know that Self PITy that you go in. (Notice I capitalized the letters – PIT…we fall deep in that PIT of self-pity). I don’t even have anything wrong going on in my life…
I realized immediately what I was doing and so I tried to just breathe! I was going to post on Facebook a quote or scripture and I started looking at lots of positive uplifting thoughts. I was reading them faster and faster and really did start feeling better. I read them out loud, I thought and meditated over them. I found some scripture that was uplifting and even heard some praise songs. My mood was getting better. I was slowing climbing up the walls…I fell a few times when an email frustrated me or I heard others talking and laughing and I felt left out; but I was going to stop letting my mind go to the bottom of the pit again. I have always heard of the power of positive thinking but I guess I never really realize what power it can have.
As I grow older, I reflect a lot more on ways I could improve myself…I always know that I could start by not being so hard on myself. I am caring, compassionate, dependable, want to do my best always, am friendly, am worthy…wait – I am worthy. Surely I didn’t’ say that – but you know – my God gives me worth. He cared enough to pay the ultimate price of dying for me. He did that for me…and for you. So when you start your old stinking thinking – look up to God or get down on your knees. Read scripture, listen to praise music, read positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people. Do NOT let your mind have the power to get you down…into the snake pit…of self-pity. Gosh – I am so blessed with a fabulous family, a great job with people I respect and admire; I am part of so many wonderful community groups and a great church. I am blessed! You have the POWER to change your mind from thinking negative to thinking positive.
In the Bible – David expressed when he felt times of being in the PIT. He shares in Psalm 40 and so many other places in Psalms. Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (He’s talking about God for those of you who don’t catch on.)
I also think about Daniel – who was thrown not only in a pit – but a lion’s pit. He came out smiling – praising God. He relied on God to get him through it. God didn’t let him down – he showed out!
So next time you start sliding into the pit – stop it. You have the power to do it – rely on your God. Change your thinking – the power is yours!quote-self-pity-is-our-worst-enemy-and-if-we-yield-to-it-we-can-never-do-anything-wise-in-the-world-helen-keller-358209

Love you lots…don’t you go have a pity party…..no more!

Leigh