Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be well Balanced

Be well balanced...for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring... seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 1 Peter 5:8


I just attended the funeral of a 21 year old and I have to say that I didn't know him at all, but I know his mother and my heart goes out to her. I am amazed at how so loved a person can be that at his death, hundreds of friends come out to pay respect to him, yet in life, he struggled with feeling inadequate or unloved. Again, I don't know the exact things he struggled with as I didn't know him personally, but it left me with the need to reflect on how we can feel one way about ourselves, yet in actuality, the opposite is true. Satan is a liar and speaks words of defeat into our minds and sometimes people believe him.

Satan cannot devour just anybody he pleases. He has to find someone who gives him an opening to do so. One of the ways we give him an opening to destroy us is through imbalance in our lives. How can you bring balance to your life?

First ask yourself a few questions?

What is the most important thing to you?

If you don't know what that is, then chances are, you are swayed too easily and are off balanced a lot... What are the signs of being off-balanced? Are you stressed out, overcommitted, burned out, bummed out, or worn out from too many commitments? Do you murmur and complain when ask to do something that YOU agreed to do? Are you just flat out frustrated?

I think a lot of people are in bondage to imbalanced lives. So what do you do?

Stop... Everything for a while....write out what's important to you... Then put in perspective the things you have committed to and the things you need to do and prioritize your mind.

After talking to a friend about this very subject a couple of weeks ago I did that very thing and I was amazed at how easy it was to come up with the most important things in my life. I challenge you to do the same.

Don't let the enemy steal another second of the abundant life that we can have in Christ Jesus on the planet earth. We don't have to wait until we get to heaven to have happiness, peace and balance... We can have it now.

We can stand strong against the enemy and we can overcome those feelings of inadequacy and defeat... With balance...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stop standing on the sidelines, when you can sit in the center of the Will of God.

I just recently read a blog that spoke volumes in just a few words. You can click here http://www.chattingatthesky.com/2009/11/04/to-enter-in/ if you'd like to read it too.

I'd like to expound on her point about insisting that sitting on the sidelines is "Okay" for her when really it's not. She would like to be in the center of all the activity but makes herself feel content to stay back.

Are you content to just sit on the sidelines? Do you wish you had the courage to jump in the middle of things and be a participant instead of just a spectator?

All it takes is a little effort on your part to try. Just take the leap. See if the rewards of that leap are so much better than the "what-if's" that so many people choose to live with everyday.

What is your "What-if" today?

Maybe it's "What-if" I quit this job and opened myself up to a new way of life? (I personally LOVE my job so this isn't my "What-if"...

Maybe it's "What-if" I took a chance on love and asked someone out? You ask them out, don't wait on them to ask you out...

Maybe it's "What-if" I said what I really thought instead of going along with the crowd?

What is your "What-if"?

I'd like to know what some of you are thinking and what some of the real or imagined fears that you live with are. If you feel like sharing, please do. I'd love to hear from you.

I'm waiting on the "next thing" God has for us... but in the meantime, I'm learning and trusting more with the here and now...

Hope you take the leap today!
Love you,
Lea Anne

Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming in to the Good life...

I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." John 16:33

Do you have trials?

Are you distressed?

Are you frustrated?

The Bible says to "Be of Good Cheer" I don't FEEL cheerful. Yet the Lord says that I can be of good cheer when I encounter trials and tribulations. It doesn't mean that I did anything wrong. That's the first thing that I think about when I'm encountering a few difficulties. The first thing I do is fall on my knees and ask God to reveal to me whatever I might have done to deserve the tribulation... Then I wait to see what He reveals to me....

But what if there's nothing to reveal?

What if I have earnestly searched my heart and asked God to reveal whatever it is that might have set up this tribulation that I have assumed has come because of some "Reaping what I've Sown" mindset... and nothing... I am right with the Lord... I have asked forgiveness for anything that might have grieved his spirit... And I still find myself in the season of tribulation...

I received healing from this word today in my Joyce Meyer daily devotional... If trials come against you, don't try to figure out whether you sowed some bad seed that produced them. Trials will come, but if you will obey the Word of God long enough (not just five minutes of trial and error), sooner or later, you will come into the good life that God has prearranged for you to live.

WOW! Do you know that God has a plan for you? He has a purpose for you? He set the wheels in motion for that purpose to be fulfilled long before you ever "DID" anything. We just have to play out that plan... All the bumps and potholes along the way are part of the plan... He is teaching us patience through the trials... He is building up in us character traits that only come through trials, temptations, and sorrows... We wouldn't know the joy of success if we hadn't felt the pain of failure, would we?

We wouldn't know the sweetness of restoration without the sorrow of separation?

We couldn't possibly understand the meaning of hope without having first received something so wonderful as a result of waiting before... If we never had to wait on anything, then what could ever be called "special", "God-given" "blessed"... All these things come from having waited on something.

Everything, God works to the good for those who "Trust in Him"... Give God the Glory for your trials... "Be of Good Cheer" because we KNOW that "Joy comes in the morning." That it's always calm after the storm...

Just trust him a little more today in the middle of the unknown... He is always faithful...

Waiting on Him,
Lea Anne

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Play offense with your Life...

I'm reading through the Chase the Lion book study and I've found some interesting material in just the first few pages that I want to reflect on. When I think of the word Offense, I immediately relate it to football where the offense is the scoring side and the defense is the protecting side. I want to state that this note is not about football, but that's the best way I can relate to offense... So with that being said, how do you live your life?

Is it in offense?

Or is it in defense?

What's the deciding factor between the two?

Here is what I read today... Satan wants us to live in a defensive posture, and he uses two primary tactics to accomplish it... Fear and Discouragement. Are these two areas that you struggle with on a daily basis? Are you afraid of life? Decisions? People? The past? Or do you battle with discouragement? Do you feel depressed, oppressed, or repressed? Are you free to be who you really are or are you afraid to show the real you?

These are real life tactics used by the enemy to KEEP us from taking risks, doing the uncertain thing, or stepping out in faith. We think because we're playing it SAFE that we're doing the right thing. When in all honesty doing nothing wrong doesn't constitute doing something right... Does that make sense? I had to read it a few times. Doing nothing wrong doesn't constitute doing something right...

We could live our whole lives and not do anything wrong... We could be the perfect "Stepford Wife". or the Perfect employee, or the perfect mom, or the perfect daughter/son... but did we do anything on purpose to advance our faith... Did we trust without knowing the outcome? Did we try something where there was a huge possibility that we would fail, but a bigger promise of promotion? What have you done with your life to live offensively...

Did you "Chase a Lion" and kill it?

WOW! Makes me want to go to a zoo and actually look a lion in the eye and see the danger but rejoice in the power that it exudes... There's power in the chase and the kill... take hold of that and do something a little risky today!

A lot of people have asked me why I'm selling my house? They say, You mean the one you just built? And I feel as though I have to defend my decision, but this verse that goes with this study was perfect affirmation about the decision that I've made to sell my house... here it is..

And Jesus replied, "I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And EVERYONE who has GIVEN UP HOUSES, or brothers, or sisters or father or mother or children or PROPERTY, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life" (Matthew 19:28-30)

Isn't that great!?! The mindset here is not a "savings" mentality... It is a risky mindset...I'm giving up to get!! We can't just keep holding on to things we don't want to lose... nothing is really ours anyway and when we trust that God is always leading us to a better life, then we can start living offensively...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Don't just Live with it... Deal with it...

I don't know how to title what I feel compelled to write about. I've searched for the topic in scripture and I haven't found exactly what I feel expressed through any passages yet. I know there is an answer in scripture and as I type, I'm praying that the Lord will lay on my heart what it is exactly that I am feeling.

What I think I'm feeling is hypocritical...

What I think I'm feeling is inconsiderate...

What I think I'm feeling is unable to relate...

It seems like I always have an answer... Like I always have the solution to the problem... Like I know what I'm talking about when I'm sought out by a friend and offer my advice...

My first thought is... "this is over-comeable... all you have to do is blank ..."I seem to have an easy answer for life's problems when they relate to other people.

But the truth is, I feel as though I'm on an island, untouched by reality... Like I live in a bubble that is isolated from all the hurt and pain that the real world feels and lives with everyday. I feel as though I can't possibly be this secure or safe, or unworried, or happy, or fiesty, or content, or excited, or loved, or fulfilled, or whatever I seem to be feeling at the moment, when another person seems to be falling apart. It just seems too good to be true... Life can't be this easy, right?

Don't misunderstand me...I have my fair share of problematic situations... I had to deal with one today... It was an advertiser that had a complaint about a charge for something back in July... He's just now telling me about it and he didn't even start with me, he went to my boss... Well, I just dealt with it... It may not have been the solution he was looking for, I may have to be taken off the account, I may have come across as a little aggressive, but I dealt with it. And I feel better and okay because I dealt with it. I don't have to wonder what I should do, what I could do, or what someone else would do... I did it... Now that problematic situation isn't over, but I don't have to dwell on it and it doesn't consume my thoughts anymore.

This brings me to the point of explaining why I feel a little insensitive to other people and their problems...A lot of times I find most people would rather live with a problem than deal with it. Dealing with things means confronting another person, or admitting guilt about something, or having to apologize to someone... Dealing with a problem means that it might be a little uncomfortable for a moment, but the truth is, NOT dealing with it causes so much more anxiety than when you do deal with it... NOT dealing with something, be it an attitude problem or a relational problem, a behavioral problem or a developmental problem will not make the problem go away... It won't go away if it isn't dealt with... It will grow bigger and bigger and finally overtake your life until that problem is controlling all your thoughts and actions... or rather "inactions" as the case may be.

Regardless of what we do or don't do about something, do you trust God with the outcome? Have you ever said "If this happens, then I'll __________." What if that something happens when you start to deal with your problem? Can you answer the question? What would you do? What do you WANT to do? If you can answer that question, then the problem is not really a problem anymore, you just have to take action and deal with it.

Is something taking over your thought life right now?

Are you NOT dealing with something that needs to be dealt with, hoping it will just go away?

Have you forgiven yourself for something that happened so long ago but you're still living with it?

Have you asked God what you should do?

Don't just live with it, Deal with it... today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do you need a "Time Out"...

I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. (Proverbs 30:1)


I’m tired.

I’m always trying to figure things out. Always trying to improve, to do better. You’d think you’d have something to show for all that always trying.

To put it in simple terms... I wonder if it's all worth it.

Don't get me wrong... I will keep on keeping on... Trusting the Lord and doing good... Going to work... Doing my best... taking care of kids... picking up dropping off... Church... Church... Church... (My "third" place in life)

But I wonder... will it make a difference... does it matter in the long run... Will anyone be affected by the fact that I keep on keeping on?

That's what it's all about isn't it... It's certainly NOT about ME! So if it's not about me, then who is it about? What is it all for?

It has to be about others. Do they see Jesus in me? Do I make them WANT to be a better person? Do I criticize, complain, devalue, or condemn other people? Do I encourage, build up, inspire or acclaim the value of others?

I'm doing one or the other... I get to choose how I treat people. I get to choose what attitude I want to exhibit. I get to choose to make a difference...

And I'm tired...

But I must press on...

I love you!
Lea Anne

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Black and White...

Psalm 119
1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. 4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! 8 I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!

I've been meditating on the words in Psalm 119 that tell us how to be happy. It tells us the things we should do if we want peace and contentment in our lives. It also tells us what we should stay away from...

I have heard several people say "How could God have allowed this ..... to happen?" When I hear that phrase I want to be sensitive and understanding about their situation, because I do care about them. But as I've been reading and meditating on Psalm 119, I have to ask the questions "Did you ask God what he thought of this BEFORE you made the decision that has found you in the situation for which you are so distressed?" or "Have you followed the commands of the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?" or "Have you walked along the path and not compromised with evil?"

Our "Happiness" status should not be situational but we all know that we are somewhat controlled by our emotions. The Bible says that " Joyful are those that obey his laws and search for him with all their heart."

Can we honestly say that we search for God with all our heart? Does the Lord consume your thoughts? Do you ask what he thinks before you make a big decision and then WAIT until he answers? Or do you not even include him in your decision making process? Are you controlled by the way you feel about something instead of knowing what you believe about it and doing the right thing instead of the wrong thing?

The whole HUGE chapter of Psalm 119 tells us how we can be happy and joyful... One way is knowing the commandments of God...

I've tried to tell my kids that you have to know what you think about something before you find yourself in a situation where you have to decide based on how you feel about it at the time... That is not the time to make a decision.

Here's where things can get sticky. I'm a black and white kind of person... Something either is right or it is wrong... Now I believe that something can be okay for one person but wrong for someone else, but if you know what is right and what is wrong for you, then there's no question as to how you should respond to it when you're faced with that circumstance.

I think that we as a society have so many socially acceptable things, that it doesn't matter what God's word says about something, the majority of people will do whatever the crowd does. That, in my opinion, is called compromising... which, as the word clearly states in the passage from Psalm 119 we shouldn't do, in order to be Joyful or "Happy" as some versions say.

I'm saying all this to say that I want each and everyone of you to be happy... I know that God wants us to be happy and he has clearly given us the guidelines of what can make us happy... Are we willing to do what it says?
Are willing to take the stand on either the Black or the White side of things? We have to take a stand for something or we'll fall for anything.
Don't be deceived... Right is always right, and wrong is always wrong... What is right for you can only be determined by your convictions and that conviction comes from the free gift of the Holy Spirit that guides us into all righteousness... That leads us down the path to happiness (if we are following it) What side are you on?
Lea Anne

Friday, September 11, 2009

Winning Favor...

I am two weeks into the study of Esther and I have deduced a couple of things from just the first chapter. The first thing I've discovered is that it isn't a person's spiritual beliefs or particular status in life that determines whether or not you win favor with others... It is mostly our Character of person... Your Character will shine through regardless of your position or status. It doesn't matter whether you are the leader or a follower... Integrity, accountability, and constancy is the thing that makes up the character of a person. You can't buy character... you can't pretend to have character... you can't hide behind character... It is the essence of you... If you have good character, that is what comes out. If you have bad character... that is also as obvious...

Esther Chapter 1 starts off with Anger, Pride, and Arrogance being displayed by the King of Persia...I'd like to suggest that anger, pride and arrogance are not character traits... They are emotional expressions displayed during situational experiences... The character trait would be identified as inconsistency, rash, and self-serving... these "traits" are not emotional outbursts... these underlying traits are what make up the person's character...What is on the inside of us will be evident in the way we live. The Bible clearly states in Galatians 5 what life without Character looks like. I encourage you to read it.

But Esther Chapter 2 introduces a new character trait... Beautiful, lovely, spirit-led, good... And it states that she "impressed Heggai and won favor with him"... How does one "Win Favor"... It doesn't go into detail as to how she won his favor... It doesn't say that she "tried" to win his favor... It doesn't say even what she did that was so impressive to him... So it leaves the door open to speculation as to what a person should do to win favor with those in authority over them... I would speculate that the only thing she did was demonstrate the strength of character that people without it look upon with longing and wish they had... She was a person of integrity... she did what she said she would do and didn't do what she shouldn't... She was accountable... She had maids and those in authority who watched every move and she was constant... What is that you ask? She didn't waffle from one decision to another... she stayed the same... she stood her ground... she was stable... The bible says in James 1:8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways... If you talk out of both sides of your mouth, you lose credibility... You slack a little in the integrity department... You aren't constant...

If you aren't a person of good character.... You can be... It starts with an internal decision to plant the seed of goodness in your heart. Ask the Lord Jesus to take over and recondition your character traits... A changed life on the inside will demonstrate good fruit on the outside... Go back to Galatians 5:22... the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, long suffering, and self control... These are the traits of good character.

I'm being changed by the renewing of my mind... daily...
Lea Anne

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Being thankful...


Today, I'm thankful... I've been thinking over the last week of how to put into words what I'm feeling and the word I want to camp on is "thankful". I could sit and commiserate all the things that don't seem to be going my way, but I'm not going to do that. I'd rather find a reason to be thankful.

Today is the eve of the 9/11 event that brought terror to our nation. I remember exactly where I was and what we were doing that day and as I reflect back on it, I'm thankful that there weren't more deaths, more disaster, more terror. I'm thankful for family and friends that are still here and available to talk to or zip an email off to. I'm thankful that the Lord gives us the wisdom to keep us out of harm's way or redirect our steps when we are asking for that wisdom. He won't lead us into harms path and so many stories were told about how someone just changed their plans that day instead of getting on a plane or going into the office... Or they had a delay in getting there. Sometimes a traffic jam is simply put there to protect us from an unknown harm. God knows everything that will happen to us and if we are listening, he will lead us away from harm.

That doesn't mean that nothing bad will happen to us... Just that if we are listening, we might avoid a whole lot of unneccessary pain and suffering.

I watched John Maxwell this past weekend and he told a story about this little boy that was reading a book and was so devastated by the events that were happening in the book that he had to flip to the back to see how the hero ended up. Then as he went back to the intensity of the story, he was able to encourage that hero with these words..."Don't worry, I read the end of the book and you'll turn out okay. Don't give up." That is how our Lord looks at our current situations... He knows how we end up and he promises to never give us more than we can handle. You just have to trust that whatever it is you are going through can be used to teach you something about yourself. Let God teach you something as you go through the trials. As a Christian, I've read the end of the book... Guess what? We win!!!

So as you evaluate your life and situations, just remember that the problems we face are usually short lived and overcome-able. (is that even a word?)

I choose to remain thankful. And always keeping an ear intune to what the spirit is up to. I ask for a special revelation of His goodness today.
In rememberance...
Lea Anne

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Removing the LOG from my eye...

I was humbled today as I laid my cares upon the Lord in my quiet time. I was quick to think back over the last few hours as I always do and ask God to reveal any wrong thing that I might not have noticed that I did. Sometimes our sins are very evident when we intentionally know we are sinning. But other sins, sins that are of an attitude nature aren't as easily recognized in ourselves. That was the case with my sin from yesterday.

You see, I caught an attitude of excellence... You know what that is, don't you? I'm sure we're all guilty of this type of sin... Although I'm not trying to cast aspersions on any one else and I'm taking full responsibility for my thoughts and comments from yesterday, I'm sure we've all had this type of attitude...

It's the "holier than thou"... It's the "I would never"... It's the "How could they have missed that blantant misspelling?"... It's the "Why weren't they more welcoming?"... You see where I'm going with this?

The attitude of Excellence. We think everything we do is PERFECT and are quick to criticize the "incompetence" of others. The "mistakes" made. The failures and faults. I needed this word from the Lord today and it quickened my spirit within me. Whatever measure I use to judge others will be meted out on me... Father, forgive me for my attitude of excellence.

Luke 6:37-38"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot
easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

39-40He quoted a proverb: "'Can a blind man guide a blind man?' Wouldn't they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice
doesn't lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.

41-42"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.


Go easy on someone today... they may really need to see the best side of you instead of the "excellent" side of you.

I Love you!!
Lea Anne

Monday, August 31, 2009

How to tell if a desire of your heart is of God or of your own nature

I did a little research on Bible Gateway and typed in desires... There were 48 different references for "Desires" in that search. 40 of those 48 searches had to do with sinful desires... only 8 specified a desire from God. This tells me that most of the desires we have are of a sinful nature. So how do we discern whether our desire for something is good or bad? This scripture spells it out loud and clear...


Romans 8:5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. How do we live in accordance with the Spirit?

We can start by learning the right way to live by following the specifications of "Holy Living" found in Leviticus Chapter 19. If you read this chapter, it pretty much spells out what God considers right and wrong. If you are doing the right things in accordance to what the Word of God says, and if you are praying and seeking God's face before you make decisions, and if you are earnestly waiting on God for the answers... you can be assured that the desires in your heart are of God.

Now what happens if you read this chapter, which is just one of many that teaches us what God thinks about things, and you recognize right off the bat that you aren't living out these attributes? What do you do then? If you continue in the act that is clearly spelled out as being wrong then you are living in complete disobedience to the Lord. God does not reward disobedience...

But, God is full of grace and mercy to forgive us as soon as we call out to him in confession and repentence.

Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.

It doesn't matter what you've done, or how far you strayed... All you have to do is TURN from those acts and follow after the commands of the Lord. God's word is not a book of rules that keep us from having any fun in our lives or tells us "we're doing it wrong". It is a loving guidebook that tells us about blessings and curses...Life and Death... We get to choose how we live... Either in the blessing or the curse...Or life, abundant and ever-flowing... or death...

So back to the desires and knowing without a doubt if the desire in your heart is of God or your own fleshly desires... Are you following the commands of God? Is your heart earnestly seeking God? Are you obeying the laws of right and wrong in accordance to the Word of God? If you are... then follow the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 3:1My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Knowing the will of God in our lives starts with knowing what we want. Truly knowing what we want... Then trust that God will direct your paths to that want. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts because when we are seeking him, he places them there for us to instill hope.
Romans 5:1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by
faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

I hope this helps someone who is seeking to know the will of God in their lives.
I love you!
Lea Anne

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worked the Young at Heart EXPO

I might have betrayed blogger by joining facebook. But I did. I already have 127 friends on facebook, but I won't neglect you friends on blogger. I'll keep posting especially since I haven't figured out how to type more than a couple of lines on facebook. You know that I can only speak in a hundred words or more...
Just kidding... but not really...

I find that this is a place where I can just lay it all out there. I'd like to think that I might help someone else by what I have to say, but it's mostly just a part of my random thought processing...

Today was a good day. We served the community with about 2000 people coming to the Young at Heart EXPO and it just reminds me of how thankful I am to be able to work for this great company. I love the people I work with as well. I've posted the 2009 photo booth photo for you to see. I haven't changed much in the last year. In fact, we are in a health challenge at work, and I haven't moved more than a couple of ounces in both directions since this same time about 5 years ago... I really need to change as I'd like to lose a little weight. I have to resolve in my mind that I will before I do... and basically I just haven't made that resolution...

I just wanted to say hi and I have a lot of thoughts I need to organize before I post anything worthy of reading... That will come soon...
I lOve you!
Lea Anne

Friday, August 21, 2009

A walk in the right direction...

I have been meditating on a specific foundational belief of the Christian faith lately. That is the belief that God is in Control and He actually directs our steps as we walk along in life.

How do you feel about that?

Do you believe that God directs us and speaks a clear word to us, or not?

I believe He does.

I was reading the prophet Isaiah this past week and this scripture spoke volumes to me...
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

And further on in Isaiah...

Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

So why do so many people struggle with knowing God's will in their lives? Do you struggle with knowing what path to take, which direction to go, which job to persue? Do you wonder if there really is a God that can speak to you and tell you which way to go? Have you ever thought, "Does he even care about me?" Maybe you are like the Israelites in this passage of scripture... Isaiah 30
1 “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the Lord. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. 2 For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. 3 But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. 4 For though his power extends to Zoan and his officials have arrived in Hanes, 5 all who trust in him will be ashamed. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you.”

Are you putting your trust in other people to help you make your decisions?

Another foundational belief of a Christian, is that God's word is true... Either you believe it in its entirety or you don't. You can't pick apart the Bible and get to choose the things you want to believe is true and discard the things you think can't possibly be true. You take it as a whole... And that is a lot of the reasons why so many people struggle with their decisions, because they don't believe that God can speak to them through His Word...

Have you even consulted the Bible to see if JUST MAYBE God's word is true... For here it says this in Hebrews 4...
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Okay, enough preaching... How do you actively apply the scripture to your current situation and then know that God is directing you down the path he wants you to walk on? I'll share with you what I am currently praying for and seeking an answer about...

I have my house for sale... (the whole story of this is on the home page if you want to read how it came to be.) I also have a houseguest that needs to find a place to stay. I have been praying that I can handle this in the right way with sensitivity. I was reading the Psalms and I read this...
Psalm 91:9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no
plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his
angels to protect you wherever you go.

Now this might not mean anything to you, but it brought me peace to know that God will protect my houseguest wherever she goes. I don't have to be responsible for her wellbeing... She does love God and serves Him, but I don't know how strong her faith and trust is in how He provides for those who trust in Him. However, my faith is strong enough to know that He will provide the right place, at the right time for the right amount of money. I do have to be proactive in that I have to look for that opportunity... I have to do what I am able to do and then trust God for what I can't do... But we have to start somewhere, and I choose to start with trust in God. I have a peace that I wouldn't have if I were stewing about the situation. God gives us a choice as to whether we subject our will to Him or not. We make that decision every day. Will we Seek His Will?

Will we ask Him for Wisdom?

Will we do what He says?

God's will is the way we CHOOSE to live each day of our lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.

Here's the ending of this thought for today... God keeps in perfect peace, those whose thoughts are steadfast in HIM. If you aren't seeking God, you probably aren't walking in His will.... So I ask you again, have you studied the scriptures to see what God says about what you are doing?

I love you!!
Lea Anne

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just waiting...


I find myself in another season of waiting... Waiting is not easy... You would think that waiting around would be easy... I mean all you have to do is wait, right? But waiting on God is not the same thing as waiting in line, or waiting for the doctor, or waiting on your kids to get ready to go somewhere... When you wait on God, it's because He is trying to teach you something. He's trying to show you something... He's trying to bring you to another level of trust... He's working things out in other people's lives that will align themselves up to what He wants to do in your life. This kind of waiting takes a special kind of discipline that only the Holy Spirit can develop in you. This kind of patience... It is a fruit of the spirit...

So as I wait on all those other things to line up in order for God's plan for me to be laid out for me to walk on, I involve myself in knowing God better. I'm starting to read the Gospels in my quiet time...

I read a blog entry the other day that talked about going at the speed of God. You know that feeling when you are in a car and you are speeding down the road at 60 mph and all the things you pass by are just a blur? The trees, the signs, the buildings you pass are not in focus, and you can't see details? But then another car comes up along side you and is going at the same speed as you are, you can look across and see everything about it... The people in it, what they are doing, if there is a television on, you can tell what movie it is? All the details are in focus and clear, yet you are driving along at 60 mph? That is how it is when we are going the same speed as God. If we are behind him or ahead of Him or not even on the same highway as Him, we are always playing catch up and don't notice anything around us... Life is all a blur... but when we are going at the same speed as God, then everything comes into focus... Even the waiting on God... He's not standing still, he may be going 60 mph down the road, but when we are at the same speed as him, we are moving forward even if it feels like we're standing still... Does that make sense to you? It was very clear to me as I have been waiting on God... I'm not sitting still, I'm being moved forward to the next thing that God has for me... I just can't exit the highway before God does, or pass Him up because I think He's going too slow. I have to follow Him closely and at the same speed as He is... It's recognizing when God decides to switch lanes or exit, that I have to focus on... Not knowing where the exits are...

I hope this resonates with someone today. You don't have to know where you're going, you just have to trust and follow the guidance of the Lord...

I love you,
Lea Anne

Friday, August 7, 2009

Had our first showing of the house...

We had a call within the first few hours of putting the sign in the yard. The guy called and wanted to see the house at 1pm yesterday. Of course I said yes. I knew when I put the sign in the yard, that someone would call and I hadn't cleaned the house yet. (Well my idea of clean!)

So I already had an appointment with the kids dentist set for 10:30 and I had to wait til that was through before I went home to clean... I didn't get home until almost noon. While I was at the dentist, Dana called and said the termite guy was coming to do an inspection around the perimeter of the house and would be digging some of the dirt away for inspection purposes... When I drove up, I wish I had a picture of the mess that he made, but I was in too much of a hurry to clean the inside... Oh my goodness, it looked like a gopher had dug out the entire dirt surrounding the house and left mounds of grass piled up at each turn... Oh, well, a prospective buyer should be impressed that we care about termites, right? I didn't let that deter me.

So I did a mad superwoman vacuum queen thing and amazed myself with the amount of cleaning one person can get done in 30 minutes.

Back to the couple that called to look at it. He called me at 12 and said He wanted to bring his girlfriend at 12:30 and his wife at 1pm? Would I have a problem with that? I just said to make sure he brought the one with all the kids. Seriously, he told me that he had a friend that lived in the neighborhood that he wanted to see it also and it just so happened that I knew her. So she came in and walked around and he came in and walked around while he was waiting on his wife and then the wife came in and walked around too. They have 5 kids... 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1 and are currently living in a 2400 sq ft house with all of them. So they are definitely in the "Must Have" category... They didn't seem overly excited, but this isn't about what we seem. It's what we need and God knows what we need. So I'll let him worry about that...

However, the girl that I knew brought her husband by at 6pm last night so he could give his opinion to the friends... This husband, just so happens to have been my anesthesiologist when I had Keelea... Great, nothing like a visitor who has seen ALL OF YOUR PRIVATE PARTS WHILE IN THE MIDDLE OF LABOR... So what's a little dirt in the bathroom going to hurt? Right..

Day one of our adventure turned out to be a little wild and fun... We'll see what day 2 holds.
Talk to you soon,
Lea Anne

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Putting up the "For Sale" sign today



This picture represents a little early morning misting and at the same time, I'm feeling a little misty eyed by putting the "For Sale" sign in the yard this morning. I am completely trusting that the Lord's will for us will reveal itself in the way the next few things transpire...

If you are familiar with the story of the Israelites as they left the wilderness to enter into the promise land, they had to cross the Jordan River... It was at its flood time in the early spring, and it was a raging river. God told Joshua to have the priests put their feet in the water, while they carried the Ark, in to the river. This point is missed by most people, but was very evident in my heart as I read this that God will do the impossible, but we have to do the possible first... And that is trust Him completely... We have to put our feet in the raging river of life, of decisions, of actions, and then God will perform the miracle of rolling back the sea so we can cross on dry land...

He does that for us if we seek Him with our whole heart. He knows the heart above all else, and He will direct you down the path of His best for you, when you give up the control to Him completely...

I don't have to know where I'm going from here... I just have to take the first step of obedience... That is trusting God...

So don't cry for me, Argentina... (I love that show in case you haven't seen it, Evita) I will be okay. God will direct us to the next thing... He will take care of us.

I love you!
Lea Anne

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Emotionally Healthy Church

Last week I blew my witness with one of my co-workers and I've felt really bad about it. It was one of those moments that I know I shouldn't have done it, but all the while it was happening, I didn't want to stop myself. I'm sure we've all done it, but that doesn't mean it was right. I will have to make amends to her somehow, the moment just hasn't presented itself. I was making copies this morning and she came in, but she wouldn't even look at me so I feel as though she needs a little more time.

That leads me to the subject that I've been reading up on called the Emotionally Healthy Church. A church is only as emotionally healthy as it's members and I took the test to see if I were emotionally healthy. Although I passed on most of the items, there are several that I need to work on.

Here is a statement that stuck with me...

Jesus never compromised his Holiness... He felt every human emotion and yet never sinned...

How can we be assertive... yet not aggressive
...deliberate yet not impulsive
prompt...but not rushing in to speak your mind

Jesus knew what he believed in and what he stood for, yet people were drawn to him in the midst of their sinfulness... Like the woman at the well who "had many husbands..." Like Nicodemus, the tax collector... Like the woman caught in adultery and the crowd wanted to stone her...
Jesus knew what was under the shell of every person he encountered and he had compassion on them. Yet he always spoke about doing what was right. For them to "go and sin no more." Always with compassion.... I lack compassion... It was one of the questions on the test that I scored WAY low on...

It was stated like this... I am regularly able to enter into other people's world and feelings, connecting deeply with them and taking time to imagine what it feels like to live in their shoes...

I can honestly answer this question as No... Now in my honesty, I need to search out why I don't have more compassion for others. Last year for my evaluation at work, my boss gave me glowing affirmatives. The only thing he said that I could improve on was to be a little more sensitive to how other people might struggle and to put myself in their shoes... (UMMM... I think I'm starting to see a pattern here.)

One of the reasons that I can admit to not being so compassionate is that I believe that we make our own choices. We do exactly what it is we want to do. Even if doing it causes us harm or pain... The problem is that some people really want to stop doing it, but can't... Here is where I have a little disconnect... Just STOP... Or DON'T... It's not that you can't, it's that you don't want to... Just like when I went around to talk to my co-worker... I didn't want to stop...It wasn't that I couldn't...


That is why I am not as compassionate as I should be... I don't want to put myself in their shoes and understand what it is they are struggling with. If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we have a problem that we need to stop doing... That's the key to emotional health... Being honest with yourself...Most emotionally unhealthy people just don't want to admit they have a problem. In fact, the emotionally unhealthy person will blame someone else for the fact they do what they do... What is it that holds someone in bondage to a destructive pattern of behavior?

I calmed down considerably after I rushed in and spoke my mind last week and even after the moment passed, my co-worker made a comment about having had a really bad day, that one of her kids had his wisdom teeth pulled and she was really stressed with a corporate report that was due. It didn't excuse her hanging up on me or yelling at me over the phone, (prior to her hanging up on me) or the fact that she wouldn't open her door when I went around to talk to her face to face... None of that is excused, however, it is understandable and I am a stronger person emotionally than I believe her to be, so I should not have crushed her with my words. I should have stopped and waited before confronting her.

But I didn't.... Now I have to make amends for it.

Yes, I have to make amends, because that is what I'm taught to do by the example of Jesus Christ...

The Bible does give an example of Jesus getting angry, like when he overturned the tables and ran the people out of the temple, or when he got angry that his disciples couldn't stay awake long enough for him to pray... But he never sinned....

That's what I need to work on... The not sinning part.... I hope that I have another opportunity to do it right...

Just not before I study a little more about it... I don't think I would pass the test if I took it again today.

Always learning, striving to be better, staying honest with myself... Admitting where I fall short, and asking for the chance to do it right... That's what keeps me emotionally healthy...

I'll end with this verse that I've never noticed before. It's John 2:23-25...


23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. 25 No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.

Wow, I want Jesus to be able to trust me... Father, forgive me...
Lea Anne

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are you spending enough time with God?

I stay so busy. There is so much to do...work to do at home and of course my REAL job, activities at church and school, (well only when I want to do them at school) taking time to exercise (I'm actually in a health challenge at work and I HAVE to exercise three times a week or I have to pay $1 when I don't) appointments, family obligations, invitations to special events (Do I actually get to go to special events?)...it never ends. In fact, it all seems to grow larger day by day.

God, when life gets so busy I need to remind myself to take time out. I don't want to try to do everything and leave You out. I want to start fresh right now and come to you every day; spend time talking with you, meditating on your Word, listening to you, praising you and thanking you. Please, God, like a breath of fresh air, cleanse and clear my heart and mind. Fill me with your presence and power for living the life you want for me.

I start my day with a daily dose of "Life Today" with James and Betty Robinson and then immediately follow that with Joyce Meyer. I find that when I commit that hour everyday, then my mornings start off a little better. I open the Word of God and let God say hello to me. This morning I was reading Psalm 51 and I didn't think it was appropriate for how I was feeling today and I almost skipped over to something else, then the words... "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me," jumped off the pages to me. We all need to pray that prayer and start our day asking God what needs to be cleaned out of our lives.
Since that verse spoke so loudly to me, I reread the first part of the Chapter... It was about being broken, and calling out in repentance to the Lord asking for forgiveness for my mistakes and flat out attitude problems. It said that God doesn't want our sacrifices, he wants a broken and repentant heart. That is not to keep us in bondage and feeling unworthy, but to be cleansed from all our unrighteousnesses...

To stay right before the Lord... It takes that daily confession of our sins and our activities to stay in the keeping of the Lord...

So I ask you, have you sought the Lord today? Have you asked the Lord to forgive you for your sins of yesterday, last week, last month, last year... How long has it been since you've been to the Cross...

I love you,
Lea Anne

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What to do when your guest doesn't show for LIVE TV...

So I have to do the Live 50/50 Thursday segment this morning at 9:25 with a local restaurant and I get to work this morning and there is an email from her saying she's sick and can't make it for the Live segment so I could just go on without her. This is the segment from this morning in which I grabbed my manager and said you be me, and I'll be the guest. Sometimes you just have to be flexible where LIVE TV is concerned... Why worry and get all stressed out. Just live in the moment... That's what I did.

Don't feel as though you have to watch, I just thought it was funny with me trying to explain a restaurant that I've never even been to...

Enjoy!

video

I commit my work to You, Lord, knowing You will establish it (Proverbs 16:3).

May it always be that I love the work I do and be able to do the work I love.

Lea Anne

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A place of Patient Waiting...

I talked to Mom today and she asked me what was going on because I haven't updated my blog in a while and it seems like this is the way she keeps up with what's going on in my life. I should call you more, Mom!! But it is true that I am an open book in that what I'm praying for or thinking about I usually lay right out here for everyone to read. Well this morning when Mom asked me what I have been up to, I said that I was just waiting... And that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm praying for a breakthrough in at least three areas of my life and although I am still in the "getting direction" part of my prayers, I don't have anything definite to talk about yet, so I am withholding those random thoughts from you so as not to scare you away from my blog. Believe me, when God starts to move me in a new direction, there is a lot of random events that don't make sense at the time, but in reflection, all seem to be the pieces of a puzzle that gets placed at just the right time and sequence in order for the next piece to fall into place...
All this to say that as I opened my email this morning, this is the devotional prayer that I read...

God, I believe You are using circumstances and events to move me into a place of patient waiting as You put me in the place You desire for me. Help my soul to mature, my faith to grow, my life to be more pure and dedicated to You. James 1:2-4 tells me, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Lord, I praise You in the midst of it all--my special trials and daily challenges--knowing that I must learn to be patient and content as I wait upon You. Thank You for being with me through every trial, every day. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Isn't God amazing? How he directs our thoughts and our actions and gives us the right kind of encouragement when we honestly don't know exactly where he's leading us... I use the word exactly, because we don't have to know what the picture looks like, we just need to trust that he's directing our path... and to follow it with blind faith...

I will tell you that part of this unknown plan that I'm praying about is the sell of our house. I gave the description sheet to my realtor friend who is sharing it with his agents today... Just to see if someone may have a client that is looking for our type of house. I will trust that if it's meant to be to sell our house, then it will, and then the next thing is in God's hand... Although, I will let you in on a little bit of the randomness and that is that he has stirred my soul with a fixer-upper down the road that I feel would be the next great adventure for Dana and me to tackle, so I will let you know how that unfolds as well...

Told you it was random... This could drive someone crazy that didn't understand how I process a new word from God... Which to say Dana isn't crazy yet, he's learning how God and I communicate... He has his own way of communicating with God and somehow, God unites our thoughts and actions in agreement...

Amazing!
Lea Anne

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A highway of Holiness...

A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness... the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:8.10)

Are you looking for a little Joy and gladness?

Do you want your sorrow and sighing to flee away?

Then the scripture says to walk down the highway of holiness... It's neat to see how it says that a highway shall be there, which means that we will walk up to it and then we have to decide whether or not we want to take the highway of holiness... We don't HAVE to take it, we get to choose to take it... It says the Redeemed shall walk there, the ransomed of the Lord shall RETURN... It means to me that we can decide to walk there at any time we choose to turn and walk it. No matter how long you've left the highway and chosen a wider path. We can choose to walk along the highway of Holiness..

The most wonderful thing about my faith is that I can choose to be obedient regardless of whether anyone else in my life chooses to do it or not. It is my obedience that the Lord blesses. If you are waiting for someone else in your life to start being obedient before you start being obedient, then you are missing the opportunity to "come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on your head."

God bless you today.
Lea Anne

Monday, July 6, 2009

Setting the temperature...

A lot of things have happened this week that have brought me to my knees in prayer. Simple things that I gave to the Lord because I didn't want to worry about them. I know my God is big and can and wants to handle every situation that I find myself facing. Some things I prayed about weren't even related to me but someone else asked me to pray for them...I am always eager to pray for others, but I can't tell you the Freedom that it gives me to know that I can offer every care and concern to my Lord and he hears them...

I received a fresh perspective from an older retired Nazarene minister on the 4th of July that I'd like to share with you. It was very simple, but so profound...
He asked me a question...

Do I want to be a thermometer or a thermostat?

Have you ever thought about this? I hadn't before...

A thermometer just takes the temperature

but a thermostat, SETs the temperature...

If I want to see the power of the Holy Spirit work in my life, then I need to be on fire for him. I need to be red hot and NOT luke warm...

If we walk into a room, we can affect those around us by setting the temperature... Don't just take the temperature... Change it... or don't...

I just thought I'd share this thought with you and see if it means anything to you like it did to me.

I'm going out to adjust a few thermostats around me....

Have a great week.
Lea Anne

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Treated myself to a spa retreat this week...

I finally used a gift certificate that Dana gave me for Christmas and scheduled a spa retreat this past Tuesday. It was the whole package of a massage.... AHHHH!
A facial, which I've never had before but really enjoyed. It was like two massages back to back.

And I had a pedicure and manicure. Ashton keeps saying that she's enamored of my nails and her eyes keep watching my hands move... They really are pretty, but I'm not the dainty type and they are already chipped after just two days.


It was so worth the time to invest in a little TLC for myself. I don't do it often enough and I have had a really stressful few weeks at work and home. I need a little renewing of my mind and body.
Last night as I was trying to sleep, I kept rehearsing in my head what I was going to say to my boss about a particular problem with a client. I couldn't get it out of my head and I finally started to sing praise songs about create in a me a clean heart, and I'm gonna lift up the name of Jesus, and of course my favorite praise song is Seek ye first, the Kingdom of God... I must have drifted off to sleep while singing because I just remember waking up about 3am and having to go to the bathroom. Then I fell back to sleep...
So when the word of God says to think on whatsoever is noble, true, right, uplifting... that it really does help to blot out the noise that preoccupies our mind...
I hope you find some renewal in your life soon.
Love you!
Lea Anne


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Intentional effort takes intentionality

When you strive to be more intentional in your efforts, it really commands your attention to details. I've managed to complete 10 full days of the Love Dare Challenge... because we are doing this on a Wednesday night, we actually only have to do 5 days a week instead of 7 so we get to play catch up if we miss one... But even with the reprieve, it's been a good opportunity to learn how I can serve Dana in little ways that make a big impact.

Just as a recap I'll list a few of the challenges I've completed over the last 5 days...

Day 6... love is not irritable... Sometimes we get overwhelmed with responsibility and stress that we get irritated at our spouse easily. This day I was supposed to react to tough circumstances in loving ways instead of with irritation. Make a list of the areas where we need to add margin to our schedule.
The only major stress in our life is the house payment... It's way more burdensome than we imagined so we made a decision to sell our house and trust God for the next step. Just like that, we both agreed and now we'll act it out to give us some margin in our finances...

Day 7...Love believes the best... Get two sheets of paper... On one list the positive things you love about your spouse... On the second one, list the negative things. Save these sheets for another day. Pick a positive attribute and thank your spouse for having that...
I picked the fact that he's always worked for us... He's not idle or lazy... That's a huge deal for me since I have a tendency to be lazy or idle... It asked which list was easier... I have to admit I had a whole page of positive things that I love about Dana... The negative was very small...

Day 8... Love is Not Jealous... Take yesterday's list of negative attributes and BURN it... Okay, I didn't see that coming.. I wanted to at least mull over the things I thought were negative so that I could help fix them... But do you know that Bible even talks about thinking on things that are noble, good, right, just, and honorable...
I was supposed to share with my spouse how glad I am over a recent success... I have to say that his position with Shannon is a good one, with a lot of benefits... Like the ability to take the boat out and spend the day with the family for two weekends in a row... that's a huge success and even though the boat isn't ours... It's as available to us as if it were...

Day 9... Love makes good impressions... Greet your spouse in a way that reflects your love for them.
This day Dana actually met me at the door with a huge kiss and he was cooking potato soup... I wonder if he is actually reading the book too... He's doing everything the book is saying to do without it seeming to be a burden... It's so natural for him to express himself and his love to me... I don't want to take that kind of attention and love for granted, so I had better learn how to return the sentiment... So I kissed him back... Then we went walking together that night.

Day 10...Love is unconditional... Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse... something that proves that your love is based on your choice and nothing else... When Dana cooks, I always clean up after him. I feel it's my way of thanking him for cooking... And I did that the other night... But since this is today's challenge and the day isn't over yet... there is something that I can do for him... See, our washing machine broke on Saturday and we wash like 5 loads of clothes a day usually... So that means we haven't washed in 4 days and we have a pile of dirty clothes waiting... I think the repair man is coming tomorrow.... So, I think he used his last pair of clean underwear today, so I will handwash him a couple of pairs to get him through to tomorrow... If that doesn't speak love, I don't know what will...
I've been having to handwash Ragan's work t-shirts as well, because she only has 2 and we've been 4 days without a washer... She has said thank you...

Okay... that's the recap of the last week and I am honestly looking forward to the next week's challenge...

I've started a health challenge at work and have even walked three times this week, but I gained a pound... So I'm adding in that challenge as well as the love dare challenge that I'm also using on my co-workers and clients... (that's a blog for another day;-)

Anyhoo!!! I'll go ahead and end this blog as it's gotten a little lengthy!!!
Love you!
Lea Anne

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flowers for my Birthday

Mom sent me flowers for my birthday! I love flowers. They are just so happy looking!!

Sunday was my 39th birthday and I had a great day. I started the day by attending church.

Then Dana cooked lunch for us and I took a nap.

Dana and the girls went back out to the lake and I decided to stay home and enjoy some peace and quiet. That's my idea of a good time... Just alone time.
Have a great week!
Lea Anne

A day at the Beach


Click on the slide show to the right under "Day at the Beach" for the pictures from Cameron and Big Lake. I haven't even driven to the coast since the Hurricane and one of our friends from church had a beach house there that was completely destroyed. It's amazing how some houses survived and others were wiped away. It reminds me of the parable of the Foundations that we build our houses on... there is a picture of one house where the entire bottom of the house is missing... I can't understand how the house can be standing with no foundation, but it's there.
If you are interested in buying property on the gulf, you can pick up a deal real cheap right now.
I just wanted to share with you those pictures from the day at the beach.
Love you,
Lea Anne

Friday, June 12, 2009

A call to repent and obey...

We don't use the word repent very often and I'm sure some people couldn't even tell us what it means. But recently I've been praying for many of my friends and about the need for repentance and then I had this devotional prayer in my inbox this morning.

Dear God, I am so concerned about some of my friends and family members who are living in sin. Even Christians can make wrong choices and fall into a life of sin. I pray right now, that the Holy Spirit would move in a mighty way to convict them of their sin and their need to repent. I pray that you would give them strength and direction to step up out of that pit and return to you as their first love. Please, for their soul and sake and your glory, move in these special situations. And for those who do not know you, please bring people and circumstances into their lives that your power may be shown and their eyes may be opened. Save their souls and change their lives. May all glory and honor be unto You, My Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name, amen.

You see in the prayer where is said, please bring people and circumstances into their lives?... Maybe I'm that person, or maybe not, but just yesterday I was able to talk to a friend that is facing divorce and is living with another man and all she wants is "for it to be over"... Well forgive me if I sound harsh, but exactly how is this suppose to be over? When you have children involved, and parents, and the new family of blended children and exes and their extended family, and then you have the hurt that the soon to be ex-spouse is suffering, (even if it is mostly due to his own unrepentance) ... It will never be over...

Life is about choices and consequences... If we choose to obey the teaching of God that we get from His Holy Word, then our lives will be blessed through Obedience...

However, if we choose our own thoughts and ways and knowingly go against what God's Word says about something, then, I'm sorry, but you will have to suffer for those choices...

It's the law of reaping what you sow...

You may think that you are okay... Doing what you want to do, instead of what the Lord has laid out in His word of what is right and wrong... But are you truly blessed? Do you have peace? Are you safe and secure in knowing that the Lord is your guide?

Everyday I go to the Lord and ask Him to reveal to me the things that I am not doing right... I humble myself daily to keep from getting proud and arrogant and thinking "I know best"...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares
the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 58:8,9).


This scripture clearly tells us that our thoughts are not the same as God's thoughts... His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. So how can we know what God wants us to do?

If you have thoughts that are so foreign to anything you've ever thought and you are praying for a breakthrough in a certain area, then search out those thoughts, no matter how crazy they seem, and then turn to the scripture, which is God's love letters to us, and see if it will guide you to your decision...

However, if you are just flat out living in sin, then the first thing you need to do is repent, then turn, and obey the Lord...
First and foremost... God loves sinners....Never think for a minute that you aren't loved by God... Right where you are, doing what you're doing... He loves you!!!

God rewards obedience...
"Return to me and I'll return to you..." Zechariah 1:2...

I love you and hope this ministers to you today.
Lea Anne

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An opportunity...

We always knew the building of 4109 Woodside was directed by God as you can read in the link to the right of my blogpage. Once when I was praying and in my quiet time, I thought that maybe the Lord was telling us that we wouldn't even get to live there. I read something that said "You will never live in the beautiful stone houses you are building."
And although we have lived there for 6 months, I think Dana and I have decided to sell our house.
It wasn't a hard decision... Just now we're back to trusting God for the next step and the next move.

When you feel the prompting of the Spirit to do something new, then you take the step of faith and do it, then you wait for God to do His part.
That is where we are.... Waiting...
Waiting is not easy, but I've never been disappointed when God delivers...
Care to wait with us?
Lea Anne

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coping with Criticism...

I keep telling myself that my feelings aren't hurt... I can handle criticism... I can hear the answers to the questions that I myself asked...

So why is it so hard to hear "not-so-pleasant" things from our spouses?

The challenge on Day 5 was to ask your spouse what were the three most irritating things I do?

The first one I knew was coming because I've commented on it myself... I lift my voice almost two octaves higher in response to him when it isn't even necessary... I'm short and loud... A lot...

The second was that I wasn't as spontaneous as I used to be... Okay I'll give him that one too... Although I'm just tired... Oh wait, I forgot that in the challenge I wasn't suppose to defend myself, I was only suppose to hear his responses... Okay, so no defensive retorts... just accept the facts...

The third thing caught me a little by surprise and totally didn't see it coming... He said that my "No-Worry" attitude caused me to be a little uncautious... That I didn't seem to care about things that needed me to care a little more about... Okay, so I don't plan on changing that aspect, but I can receive it and take a look at it to evaluate what I might need to be more cautious about.

The Love Dare is certainly a challenge and I can imagine if you don't really like your spouse, how difficult it could be to submit like the book asks you to. Doing the challenges alone is an act of submission. I don't have a problem with that at all. I think the self reflection is more of a problem for me than the submission.

I will trust that this will only enhance our wedded bliss, so I will continue.

Oh, I'm also starting a Health Challenge at work, so I might be a little grumpy in the next few posts... Not that I haven't been that way already..

Heard from the kids at camp today and Ashton seems to have fallen in love with some boy name Danny and wants to bring him home with her.... We'll see....

One more thing that I have to write about that I'm dealing with is my work and if it's what I should be doing right now... I have been in prayer about it and have started to have that restless feeling that I get sometimes when change is coming... This is what my devotional had to say...

Lord, I pray You would show me what work I am supposed to be doing. If it is something I am to do in addition to what I am already doing, show me that too...

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 91:17

Love you,

Lea Anne

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 4 and Day 5...

I hope that I have more interesting blog titles than just Day whatever in the future, but for now, this has been my focus. It's hard to do a running series of events around a single topic because so many things bombard us in a day that we can easily get sidetracked.

Day 4 was fairly simple so I did it with ease... It was to call your spouse without any agenda just to let them know you were thinking of them. Dana and I talk to each other about 7 times a day and usually eat lunch together every day so that wasn't so difficult.

But Day 5... That has taken a little time to implement... The challenge for this day was to ask your spouse what three things were the most irritating and frustrating things that you do that might annoy your spouse... Talk about self-reflection... It takes guts to hear what your spouse has to say.

I could tell you right off what one of them are, but I'm going to let him tell me what his most irritating things about me are and then I'll share his comments with you.

One of the things that I was feeling yesterday was weighing heavy on my heart and it is just something that I'm going to have to deal with... Dana helped put it in perspective for me and this is what he said...

The years that I've invested in my co-workers has come to the point where I don't have to persuade them to do as I do, I just have to keep doing what I do. My disappointment comes when I see the evidence of a life that is so far removed from Christ or I don't see any interest at all in Christ like things, and I feel defeated... Dana said that the time of response is their responsibility... I've done what I can, I've lived the example, and although I'm no where NEAR a perfect example, I have been consistent in my walk and talk over the years that I don't have to convince them. Now I just need to demonstrate a little love and patience while they make their decision.

These are the kind of discussions that Dana and I have on a daily basis and I wouldn't trade that relationship for anything in the world. We are always asking each other what kind of God conversation did we have that day with someone we work with, and we pray together for our family and our friends. I'm so thankful for him for that. I'm just so thankful for my life and I will not allow the enemy to make me feel defeated and unworthy. So I share my concern with you as an opportunity to ask for prayer, because that is what I do when I feel defeated. I start praying and praising God for what He's done for me and for who he is and then things don't seem so depressing anymore.

I'll try to keep the post down to a minimum of explanation as I can get a little wordy. Thanks for listening.
Love you!
Lea Anne

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 3...

This Love Dare challenge is more difficult than I thought. It is really hard to be intentional about being kind and noticing when you're not. I think it has brought to the surface a lot of things that I took for granted and made me realize how blessed I am by being married to Dana. He is already doing almost everything the book has been challenging me to do, and he is not even reading the chapters. It is natural to him.

Now that doesn't mean he's perfect... If anything, it demonstrates that a marriage isn't about being perfect, it's about being intentional in how we relate to our spouse. We have to PUT ON the marriage just as we decide what to wear everyday and how we have to PUT ON our clothes... We have to PUT ON intentional effort to make our marriages stronger.

Day 3 was to do something that showed how much you cared for your spouse by buying them something that spoke your love to them...

Now this is my part of "Buying" something for Dana... We decided to take the girls to Johnson Bayou to swim in the ocean, but there was still bacterial warning signs, so we didn't swim, but he did borrow his boss's boat and we went boating all day on Big Lake... the girls got to go crabbing and I actually have pictures of the day, but they are on Ashton's camera which she took with her to camp... So maybe I'll post them when she gets back.

Back to the buying thing... Dana wanted to buy a Rod and Reel to take out with him, and I let him... Does that count? He really wanted it, and I really wanted him to have it, so he bought it. And then, he took me out to eat that night for seafood and that is what I wanted so we can call day three done...

Yesterday the girls left for camp after church and the college department had a picnic at the civic center... It was a beautiful day and you never know who'll you'll meet at the park. Do you notice people who are different than you? We were making our sandwiches and this man walked by that appeared to be homeless and Miriam asked him if he'd like a sandwich... He didn't take her up on the offer, but as I was walking toward the group from the other side, and he stopped me and said to tell the group "thank you" for him that today was payday and he didn't need anything... I asked him again to eat with us, but he declined... But I watched him for a little while as he went farther down the sidewalk. He looked so sad... He moved on and the moment passed, but as we were picking things up, another man came by and said that someone had told him he could get a sandwich from us. We immediately fixed him something to eat and gave him a couple of our waters, and he thanked us with "Shalom". He said he was Jewish, that he owned the hotel across the road, and that we could rent a room from him. Then he went over to one of the trees and sat down to eat his sandwich. I watched him too, and he made the sign of the cross before he ate so I assumed he had been introduced to Jesus Christ, since that is what the cross sign represents... We can't know what a person's spiritual condition is... Even if they say one thing and do something else, that still doesn't give us an inclining of how they stand spiritually... But the Bible does say that we are known by our fruit... We will reap what we sow, and if we are bearing fruit, then our life will be an example to others. We don't have to tell others what we believe, it will be obvious in our actions and our life...

Since Day 4 was actually on Sunday, and I didn't do much except siesta after the picnic, so I will do Day 4's challenge today... I've already started but will share with you the results tomorrow...

I ask for you to pray for me, because as I mentioned on the first day, I was also going to apply this concept to my coworkers, clients and agencies... I need help where this is concerned. Not everyone I encounter, but some of them are starting to weigh on my nerves and I need help in my attitude adjustment... I can get a little judgmental and condescending and I don't want to be that way. HELP!!!

Press on and conquer...
Lea Anne

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 2... Love Dare

I completed Day 2 and I have to say that when you are intentional about being kind to someone, it is a little difficult. Not that Dana and I aren't already in a great marriage, but when you set out to make it better, all the things that aren't so nice are a little amplified. One thing that I noticed is that I would be sharp with Dana about something and immediately I was pricked about having to be "Kind" to him, so it would bring me up short and I'd say "I'm sorry"... It's amazing how this intentional effort of being Kind is good for the intended, but it really brings to the forefront how negative we can be in an unintentional, but still very biting way in the way we interact with our spouse. One thing that we can't control is how our spouse will react to us, but we can control how we respond to them... So if your first inclination is to be sharp or biting in response to something, then you can stop it before it comes out... You be the change you want to see happen in your marriage. Don't wait for your spouse to change... you start being kind to them and then they will respond back. Marriage isn't 50/50... It is you going 100% of the way expecting nothing from your spouse, and then you'll be amazed that they start meeting you half-way...

For instance, my challenge for Day 2 was this...

In addition to NOT saying anything negative, I was suppose to demonstrate Kindness to my spouse by doing something unexpected...

Okay, so we went to lunch together... although this isn't unusual because we TRY to have lunch together everyday... or as often as we can, because this has always been our time to connect with each other. So we did that...

Then I handled my insurance mess so Dana wouldn't have to... I thought that was HUGE, because I don't handle things like that usually... I went to Allstate claims, got the appraisal form and check, then went to the body shop and dropped it off so he could order the part, and now I'm waiting for them to call me to change it out... Here's something unexpected and delightful and all about the goodness of God... I have accident forgiveness for one accident, AND I have a $300 deductible credit due to my outstanding driving record... So this little "Accident" isn't going to cost me any out of pocket expense!!! Hallelujah!!

Then I had a party to go to for my boss for his 50th birthday and I invited Dana along... It was SO fun to sit out on the patio and tell stories and talk with other couples and eat party food!!

Then we went to Sonic and bought icecream for the girls and came home to enjoy some "family" time... This was our family time... I went to take a bath (while eating my butterfinger blast) the girls were watching a movie in their upstairs area, Dana went to his man cave to eat his icecream (while sharing it with the dog) You've never seen an animal that loves icecream as much as Max does)... Then I went to bed...

Of course Dana joined me later and I continued to show him some "Unexpected" kindness...

So Day 1 and 2 is finished...
Today is Day 3...
I'll keep you posted..

Oh a big shout out to my sister, Chantay, she's getting married today... She'll be Mrs. Chris Miles in about 20 minutes... Congratulations Big Sis... I love you and wish you the best with Chris...

Lea Anne

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Dare...

We started the Love Dare challenge at church last night and we had over 17 couples represented there. Great discussions and video clips from the movie "Fireproof".
The challenge for today is
to not say anything negative to my spouse today.
The challenge went on to say...and if that's too difficult, don't say anything at all...
I'm suppose to record how my challenge turned out each day, and I can tell you honestly, that it has been a breeze so far. I haven't said one negative word to Dana all day... Of course, we've both been at work and haven't had a chance to see each other, so the true test will start tonight as we interface.
As I thought about this challenge I began to relate it to how I interact with my coworkers, clients, and agencies that I deal with on a daily basis too. I thought, I should take this same concept to them. This will be WAAAAY tougher than dealing with Dana, but I feel like I'm up to the challenge. So today, I decided not to say one negative thing to or about my clients, coworkers, or agencies... I succeeded, until 8:05 am, when I got my first complaint... I mean, call...

This may be harder than I thought...
I will press on to Day 2 though...
I'll keep you posted on how my progress is going.
I hope you Dare to Love someone today!!
Lea Anne

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Complain is to Remain...

I wish I could take credit for the phrase in the title, but I heard Joyce Meyer say it yesterday on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I will take her advice and not complain about the situation I found myself in yesterday, but I will comment about it. I was backing out of the parking slot like I always do, and I turned too sharply and caught the bumper of the truck beside me. This is the result of that "Bump."

And this is the other bumper that I caught...
Barely even scratched the dirt off the bumper. So I tell the engineering guy that I did it and for him to make sure that his truck was okay and I thought it was taken care of. He came up yesterday afternoon and said it did leave a dent and that the paint was scratched off and we would have to file it, and I said, "What dent?" He said, "On the right side rear bumper." I said, "I hit the left side rear bumper with the right front side of my truck." I even had a witness as one of the girls I work with was out taking a smoking break and she came over to look at it.
Well, short story even shorter, he said, "I believe you... don't worry about it."
Now I have to deal with getting my bumper replaced...
Just wanted to share that with you.
Lea Anne

Monday, June 1, 2009

A little prayer for Ashton today


I'm sending out a little prayer request for Ashton today as she tries out for Barbe Softball... She is really nervous and I just ask you all to remember her this week as she works to fulfill her dream of playing High School sports.

Thanks for your prayers,
Lea Anne
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Back on just to say Ashton didn't make the softball team. She was okay with it but I'm a little bummed out for her. Thanks anyway.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Setting a Good Example

Few things are harder to put up with than the ANNOYANCE of a good example.”
Mark Twain (1835–1910)American writer

I have a sanctuary in my room where I do all of my Bible Study and journaling, but I usually do it behind closed doors or when everyone else is still asleep or gone because I like the quiet time. But I recently read an entry on someone else's blog about things she wished she had done while her kids were growing up, and one of them was for them to see her studying the Word of God and meeting with God more than they did. To do it as an example of what they should do... Or to use it as an opening in discussing their own personal quiet time moments with God. And I thought I would take her advice and start leaving the door open when I do my Bible Study to encourage those who want to talk to me or happen to walk by my door to know they are invited in.

As soon as I made that connection with opening my door, God is so good to test me on it. Last night we had a late night at the ballpark and didn't get home until 9pm. We ate Taco Bell takeout and I immediately went and had my bath and piled into my comfy bed to do a little of my night time reading and studying... And I'm sure you can predict what happened...

I left the door open, and one by one, the kids started coming by... First Keelea, then Leslie (a friend of Ashton's who was staying the night) then Ragan, (who put a load of clothes on right outside my door.) Of course she was in a bad mood and didn't need me for anything, just wanted to complain about having to find a job... and then Angela (she's one of my Sunday School members who's living with us for a little while)... It's amazing how involved we can be with others when we open our doors.

I set my Bible Study aside
and took a moment to just
listen... All people really need is for us to listen and sometimes they want advice but mostly they just want us to hear them.




It is so important to record the things we are experiencing in our lives so that we can remember the times that seemed so frustrating and worrisome and see that God brought us through that time. I always take a moment to jot down the people in my life that I'm praying for, their specific needs and the dreams that I feel God is laying on my heart. I encourage you to journal as well. I have neglected this little book because of what I do on line now, but I make sure to update the specific things I'm praying for. So I can remember.

I was able to share with Angela last night about a time in my life when I was waiting on God for what job he had for me, and it was this great job that I have now, but at the time of waiting, I couldn't see what God was up to until after I reflected through my journal... In one of the entries I recorded the words to a song that I still remember the lyrics to. It's called "Help is on the Way."

Some of the words are these: Don't give up the ship, even when you feel it sinking, and you don't know what to do. Don't give up your dreams, even when you may be thinking, "it'll never come true." Life has it's own ideas of how things come about, and if you keep believing, life always seems to work things out... Help is on the way, from places you don't know about today. From people you haven't met yet, believe me when I say, I know... Help is on the way.
You don't have to know, where the path you're on is leading, you just have to walk along. Praying as you go, asking for the things you're needing. You'll never be alone. If you have faith that things are happening as the should, then don't give up, they're leading you to something good.. Help is on the way, from places you don't know about today, from men you may have never met yet, believe me when I say, I know, help is on the way...
So open your heart, open your eyes, and realize that Help is on the way, from people you don't know about today. From men, you may have never met yet, believe me when I say, I know, Help is on the way.

I don't know why I felt the need to write the words of that song down, but I just remember when I heard it, how much it impressed me with the fact that God heard me and cared about me and wanted me to know it would be okay... And it was....

So just remember, that you are leaving an example to your kids and those that are watching you, and although we can't change people, we can impress them with our actions and by the example we live.

Go be an example today for someone.
I love you,
Lea Anne