Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Balance Beam

I don't really remember a whole lot about PE class in middle school...except the gymnastics unit. I hated the gymnastics unit, with a passion. If there could have been a way to be sick and miss that LONG 3 week ordeal, I would have found a way to do it. But, the thought of being that dishonest turned my stomach inside out...more so than actually suffering through the class. My cartwheels (if you can call them that) were lousy. My somersaults were never straight. Flips, back bends, and splits - forget about it! But, the balance beam...that was my one saving grace.

I may not have had the flexibility or the technique to perform the other things we were taught in class, but I could balance. I loved to hop on one foot, skip, walk front-to-back, or even sideways while on the beam. Interestingly, I was probably the best "balancer" in class. I would even run on the thing...fearlessly. I really had just that much confidence in my balancing ability that I would virtually try all kinds of stunts. However, sometimes my stunt attempts would fail. Then I knew I had bitten off a wee bit more than I could chew.

In life, I've been a pro at the "balance beam" too. Amazingly, I've been able to balance work, home, church, my personal time with Christ, my time with friends, my hobbies, etc. So, I took on more...I tried new "stunts". But, my balance began to falter quite a bit. I wobbled a lot. I fell more often than not. I was no longer balancing...I was juggling...and doing a terrible job at it. Each time this happened, I noticed a trend. God was no longer first place. He got my leftovers. I would give Him my plans and then ask Him to bless them. In doing so, I became miserable. My time with God seemed hurried and rushed. I hated that feeling. I missed our special times together. I missed the peace that I had when making decisions. I missed the times of rest. My balance was way off.

Hosea 5:15 "Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."

So, off I run...back into his arms...asking, pleading, begging Him to show me how to balance this thing, called life...all over again. And, He does. But, no stunts allowed this time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Still Here!

Bloggy friends...

I'm still here! I promise. I hope you haven't left me forever due to my rare and sporadic postings since ending my last 40-day consecutive blog writing journey. I was just thinking yesterday that maybe I ought to do another one since I can't seem to be consistent without that type of accountability. Ugh.

So what's my problem? Honestly? I've got soooo much floating about in my cluttered mind that I want to share with you but can't seem to form complete sentences or sensible thoughts out of it. Seriously. God has been showing me some amazing things lately and revealing more and more of Himself, as I continually seek Him and sit at His throne. But, when it comes to actually sitting down and writing about it...I got nothin'. For the wordsmith in me, that's a serious issue, my friends.

So....until I have more to share, I thought I'd just give you a brief update on "what's happening" in Leah's little world:

--I'm still trucking along with my weight loss journey. I've surpassed the 30 pound mark and working my way towards 40 pounds lost. I want to hit that before the 5K.
--Speaking of the 5K (my first), it's coming up...May 7! I'm still moving along in my training. I had a few setbacks, but God brought me through them, and He's carrying me all the way to completion that day. I truly believe that!
--I spoke at a ladies' retreat in Kentucky at the beginning of March and had a blast! God blessed me abundantly through the work He accomplished that day. I continue to walk through the doors that He opens to share the glory stories that He's given me!
--We're hosting a group of about ten 8th grade girls in our home this weekend for our church's annual Disciple Now event for students (6th-12th grade). It's sure to be an exciting weekend, and the event ends Sunday evening with a concert by none other than...THE TobyMac!

Those are just a few of the highlights. I'll try to meet up with you more regularly here, because it really is a place I like to come to often. I love the blog connections I've discovered...the new friends I've made here...the people I've "met" that I get to do life with. I just want to have something to offer. Thanks for being patient...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse 6

I've been running a lot lately. Quite uncomfortably actually. I'm talking about the physical kind - lace up your tennis shoes, hit the pavement (or treadmill in my case) type of running. I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. I'm not really that athletic. So, why am I doing this? Several reasons actually...

I am highly competitive and love a challenge. (Not always great traits of mine.) And, I was invited by a friend to run with a group of ladies from my church in a 5K in a few months ago. Considering this is something I've wanted to do for a LONG time, I knew I had to accept her invitation!

I want to experience the sense of completion in an area that seems very difficult to reach at the moment and something that I've tried to do in the past several times before.

But...ultimately...I simply want another redemption story to share that glorifies God.

Friends...He has been doing so much redemptive and deliverance work in me lately that I can hardly contain my excitement! It's been a tough process to go through at times. Layer by layer, He's been revealing various dimensions of myself that I didn't even know existed or have simply been hidden by years of regret.

Regret over...poor decisions, wasted effort, unmet expectations, dashed dreams, aspirations never attempted, and definitely regret over allowing fear to rule in my heart far too often. Most of the things in life that I've always wanted to do but never actually attempted have been rooted in fear. More specifically, fear of rejection or of failure. Often, I'll never attempt something, because I'm afraid I'll never achieve the end result or mess it up somehow in the process. And you know what? I've even been afraid to share with you - my blog community of friends - that I'm training to run a 5K on May 7! My first 5K. There, I've said it. I've hinted at it. I've tweeted about it. I've updated my Facebook status at times about it. But, I've never boldly stated on here that I'm planning to do this. Why? Because, I've afraid of failing and having to come back here and tell each of you that I've done so. That is so like the enemy to keep us bound up in fear in an effort to rend us completely powerless.

And, that often seems to be the case in so many areas of my life. Fear of putting myself out there in "whatever" for fear of being rejected or of failing! And, sadly fear keeps me from running this "life race" with all out abandonment for many of the same reasons. But, you know what? I'm so tired of being scared of the "what ifs" all the time. I'm tired of living "safely" and never experiencing and attempting those things God desires for me. I'm tired of being a wimpy Christian and not being bolder about my faith. I'm tired of the stinkin' grip fear has on me far too often. it goes...I'm registered to run my first 5K on May 7! I'm working through the 9 week Couch to 5K training program, and I'm hanging in there...even though it's been very hard at times. I've already been to the doctor once during this training period about some back pain I've experienced, but he told me to carry on. It's nothing serious that should stop my training at this point. And...with God's help, I will complete this thing!

So, I invite you to help hold me accountable! I welcome your comments, emails, messages of encouragement. And...I covet your prayers! I literally need to be bathed in them!

All that said, I'm two days late in posting my 6th scripture memory verse for the year! Please forgive me! So, here it is...the one I'm working on for the second half of March:

1 Corinthians 9:24 NIVDo you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

She's Speaking Still...

She Speaks Conference
As I recently re-read a post I wrote following my She Speaks experience last year, I discovered anew just how far, how deep, and how wide God's love is for me. I discovered how when He nails us in the very core of our brokenness, He's also standing by ready to scoop us up, dust us off, and begin a new work in us! I discovered that the She Speaks conference was THE event that ushered in a series of God-honoring changes in my life! And...I also discovered...I want to go back! I need to go back! faith, I plan to go back!

You may be asking...what exactly is She Speaks? It's an annual women's conference for speakers, writers, and women's ministry leaders (or those aspiring to serve in those capacities). It's a place to gather with other women feeling called to do the same thing - a place to receive peer evaluations, to hone our speaking and writing skills - a place to learn more about what it means to serve God in this way. For me, it's actually a sanctuary, of sorts. A shelter...a haven...a refuge away from the rest of the world to offer time to hear more clearly from God. we like to say in the south, it's the best thing since sliced bread!

If you've been following my blog in the past few months, you've probably seen my many references to the amazing new book I read in January, Made to Crave. This book has seriously revolutionized my approach to eating and my cravings, in general. It has also been instrumental in helping me reach a 30 pound weight loss so far, and it has prompted me to start training and actually register for my first 5K (coming up this May). The author of Made to Crave happens to be none other than Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa serves as President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, which happens to be the VERY organization that produces the She Speaks Conference that I'm planning to attend again this summer. Today, I registered for the faith. Now, I'm trusting God to direct my steps in how to get there, financially speaking. Earlier this week, Lysa shared a scholarship contest opportunity on her blog, of which this post is considered my entry. Why do I want to win this scholarship?

1. To enable me to return to She Speaks to continue the work God began in me last summer.
2. To hone my skills in an effort to make me a more effective speaker and writer for the audience God gives me.
3. To meet like-minded spiritual sisters that are journeying a similar road.
4. And...all of this...absolutely everything that happens before the event, during the event, and after this event is for absolutely no other reason than give God glory for what He's done in my life. And...oh precious friends...He's done far more than I'll ever deserve.

God has written His redemptive story on my heart. He's asked me to share this story with others. Prayerfully, attending a second She Speaks conference will help me to further that calling, because He's not finished with me yet.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse 5 and I've Missed You!

Hi there bloggy friends!

WOW! I've missed you like crazy. Really I have. I love connecting with each of you via this dynamic blogland in cyber world. But, I've had to stay blog quiet for several days. I'm heading to Kentucky this weekend to speak at a women's conference, and the Holy Spirit has really been crafting and re-crafting this message. As a result, I've been studying A LOT in God's Word. There simply hasn't been much time to do any blog writing. But, I'll return to more regular blog posting after this weekend, so just bear with me.

However, with yesterday being March 1, I'm already a day late in posting the next Scripture Memory Verse I'm working on. I didn't want to wait any longer, because I need the accountability as I continually challenge myself to ingest more of God's Word and commit it to memory.

I chose this verse for the first part of the month, because it's something God has really been teaching me lately.

Jeremiah 32:17 NIV
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Friends, this is something that I know definitively to be true, but I tend to forget that when I'm in the heat of the battle - any battle, for that matter. So, this is what I'm clinging to...that the same God Who spoke the universe into being is the same God that can do ANYTHING! And...I mean ANYTHING! Do you need to be reminded of that today like I do?