I am who I am

Being a photographer has always been my dream. When I learned what a camera was and what it could do there was no stopping me. I wanted to move to New York and become a fashion photographer. I wanted a loft apartment, I wanted a big fluffy cat and I wanted to show the world how glamorous people really are. The first thing women would say to me before I took their picture was, “Make me look thin!” My reply to them would always stay the same, “Just trust me and I promise you will see what I see.”

There was a beautiful woman that approached me once about taking her pictures. It was her anniversary and she wanted to gift her husband with a photo of herself. You could tell she was a little nervous because she thought she was too heavy and I just told her to trust me. I’ll be a little honest, I was terrified to take her pictures. Not because I didn’t think she was beautiful, but because I wanted her to see what I saw. She radiated beauty just the way God had intended. Her photos not only came out beautiful but she loved them!

I realize now that God wants me to just trust him so I can see what he sees. I spent so much time trying to make other people feel pretty that I was completely missing out. A time came where I stopped taking pictures, I really can’t give a valid reason for it but the photographer that lives deep down inside is rearing to come back out. I’ve been faithful to the path that God laid down in front of me. On April, 29th of 2017, God gave me the calling to write. My first blog was posted on May 29th, exactly one month later.

I wanted to show the beauty of the world through a lens but God wanted me to show the beauty of his love through my words. I never imagined I would ever do something like this. Trying to stay faithful to the Lord has taken me places I’d never imagine. Making friends, keeping friends and having a best friend. (ah-man) The Lord gave me faith not only in other people but most important, faith in myself….

I’ve always been a visual person, and by that I mean I like to observe my surroundings. People watching is a past time not because I wanted to judge them but because I want to know them. I also want to learn the world and it’s beauty. Years ago I came across this barn on a trip when I visited Ohio. People may look at that barn and think it’s old or should be torn down. I look at that barn and I see a story that needs to be told. I’d like to think that once upon a time, that barn held lots of animals and was owned by a family that appreciated it. They loved that old barn so much that tearing it down wasn’t an option. I’d also like to think that God kept that barn together because he knew I would appreciate it.

This is who I am… I see light where there is darkness, I see beauty when you see ugly, I see opportunity when you see struggle and I see confidence when you see weakness. I see strength when you see fear and I laughter when you see tears. Being a serious person is not my strong suit. If someone is sad, then my instincts kick in and I want to make you see joy again. Embrace your struggles because they make you a better person. My struggles have made me a better person. Through my struggles I have learned how to keep my head up as high as I can.

Photography is and will always be something I love. I may not be famous for it but I appreciate the eye that God has given me. Just because I don’t have a camera right now doesn’t mean I still can’t see with my eyes. Taking what I’ve learned and applying it to everyday life is my main focus. If we do not love ourselves then we will never be able to show love. God has taken me down the path to share with you all his love and his grace. He has picked me up straight out of the mud and stood me back up on my feet. Sometimes falling victim to what the enemy tells us will happen from time to time. But what are we going to do about it? Are we going to cry about it and bring everyone else down with us or are we going to keep our heads up and let the love God has give us strength?

Now I understand why God led me to writing…. Even though I can express myself visually through my photos. Expressing myself through my words is proof in the pudding that if you just stay true to God & to yourself then there is nothing that can’t be accomplished. There is no telling what else God has in store for me but what I can tell you is I’m ready for it. Bring it on! I may crash & burn at this whole writing thing or I may not. If I can help one person realize how awesome God made them, then my job here is done. The Lord I try to serve on a daily basis is so faithful, he is so loving and he is so full of grace. There are days where I feel I have used up all the grace that is allotted to me but he just reminds me that it’s unlimited.

I’ve done a lot in this life that would warrant me a one way ticket to hell. Once upon a time my running joke was I would drive the bus that went to hell. There have been times I’ve thought that hell would be a vacation compared to this world and when the feeling of defeat consumes me, God holds me closer to him and he fights away the boogie man. Though my flesh wants to take pictures, my soul wants to write and my heart wants to stay faithful to the one person that has always stayed faithful to me. #God

I am who I am…

#thereaintnogravethatwillholdthisbodydown #Jesusismysavior #Heisyoursaviortoo

Itty bitty kitty!

My little Lion of God

When God really wants to get your attention, he will do it in such a way that just makes you know he is real. What was supposed to be a typical day at Church, turned into me driving home with a very tiny kitten asleep on my lap. This little guy was carried into church in a shoe box and just about every woman, child & maybe even a few men went, “awwwww.” First glance at him and all I could think to myself was, “don’t look at him Leah. He’s tiny, cute and your husband will NEVER let you keep him.” That was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do was walk away from that tiny, sweet, defenseless face. Growing up, my mother and I always had animals. I love animals so much that I have a pet rat that was captured in a trap at a daycare center. I used to have pet rats and they are by far the coolest things ever. My husband knew I would make him rotten, so he brought him home to me. So, the point I’m trying to make is for me to just walk by a cute cuddly kitten begging for me to take him home was torture.

The sound booth is where I spend most of my Sundays and I have a great view of the entire sanctuary. The entire time I kept looking down at this adorable little baby and he needed me to be his new momma. He needed me and I needed him, somehow I was going to convince my husband that he needed a itty bitty lil kitty. Since service was going on and I obviously couldn’t leave the sound booth at that moment, I made a deal with myself. I said, “self… if that kitten doesn’t have a home by the end of the service you’re going to take him home.” Well that lasted all about five minutes, okay more like one minute and I sent a text to my daughter. The message read, “Go get the kitten.”

My daughter picked up her phone and she instantly jumped up with pure excitement. Ali is just like me when it comes to cute, soft, cuddly animals and she made a straight B-line to that box. The cat wasn’t for her of course but I needed her to help me, I needed to see how my husband would react when she walked back up with that oh so cute kitten in her arms. So I waited…. and I watched… I plotted…. Ali sat back down holding my future fur baby and without skipping a beat, Rick looks straight up at the sound booth with this look. Now I needed to buy some time until I could figure out how to make his furever home at my house, so I did what any person would do. I picked up my phone and sent him text stating that I already found him a home. Technically I wasn’t lying because I did find him a home…

 

On the way, I prayed the entire way home, Lord please let me have this cat. I need dis… This little guy was probably five weeks old and his mother was killed by a dog. He was a very healthy little baby but he still needed kitty milk. Instead of going straight to the store, I went home first so my husband could watch the itty bitty kitty for me while I sent to the store. This is where I put my complete trust in God and I’m here to say that my God has never failed me yet. Not only was my plan an absolute success, it was just living proof that if you have trust in the Lord then he will show up and show out.

In the twenty minutes I was gone at the store, this little guy completely showed out with his cuteness and had my husband eating out of his itty bitty lil paw. I may have won the battle at this point but I still had to win the war. My husband wasn’t going down without a fight and he put his gloves on. As the day went on, we were just causally hanging out in our bedroom and the kitten was being all cute running around on our bed. I just watched and observed the smiles that came across my husband’s face as this itty bitty kitty was being all itty bitty. I got him! He was hooked and I had to plan my next move perfectly.

Purfect!

So, I asked, “If he were to stay here, what would we name him?” Rick named him Ari. (R-reee). As you can see in the picture, I won the war too!

Now I know, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with God. Don’t worry, I am getting there! For some time now I have been going through what most would say, a season. Life had been feeling a little unfair and the enemy was coming at me from any direction he thought would get to me. I’ll admit that he came close a few times of winning. Too close…

My husband is a trucker and has been for almost a year. In the beginning, he got to come home a few times during the week. Then it got to a point where I would only see him during the weekends. Now I’m alone…

Being alone is not an issue for me. I grew up a only child, I didn’t really have a lot of friends and when that happens you tend to adapt to your surroundings. Entertaining myself is not an issue, when I was a little girl there was a spot in my grandma’s backyard that was all dirt. Cars was my absolute favorite toy, so I would carve out roads and dig tunnels. Hours would go by and I’m still having a good time.

Along the way something changed, and I started to like having people around. It felt good to be loved by people and to be loved by good Godly husband. He always knows where to find my keys, glasses, wallet, phone, shoes, pink cup, jacket & my mind when I can’t find them. Now I am forced to keep up with these things on my own. My short-term memory is so bad that if affects my short-term memory. My husband plays a huge role in my daily need to remember where I put my keys at. The struggle is real!

I missed him and he missed me. The enemy took advantage of that and I started to get use to being alone again. I started to get the, “I don’t care attitude” back. No one, not even my own husband knew what was going on inside my head. I carried a smile so bright on my face that I was told the love of Jesus shined all over me. When I came home to a empty house it tore me up. My son is gone, my daughter is a seventeen with a very active social circle & an Instagram and my husband is gone five days out of the week. It ate me alive… and I let it happen.

Then came along that itty bitty lil kitty. God knew I needed something to love and he gave me Ari. God also knew that putting a one pound ball of fur in my path would get my attention. Jesus has his arms around me at every second, minute, hour of the day and the enemy doesn’t want me to fill his love. He will taunt you & taunt you to the point that death seems like a better option than living. God is so mighty that he used something as small as Ari to show me that love is real & so is he!

This life wasn’t meant to be lived in any other way than hard. Even when I felt at times that my life was over and nothing will ever be okay, I still woke up the next morning. Even when I feared my power may get cut off, the bill always got paid. Even when I thought at times that my marriage may be over, I’d get reminded that I wouldn’t have anyone to find all my stuff when I lost it sitting in the same spot. Even though I come home to an empty house, he gave me a itty bitty little kitty to keep me occupied until my husband comes home.

God is always with you and even though you don’t know it. If a mustard seed can grow to be a big tree just imagine what he can do with your heart if you let your guard down for one split second. I’m just sayin’!

#ittybittykitty #Godissogoodyall #testimony #livelife #love #Jesus #Jesusismysavior

My little Lion of God

 

I’m back!

Beginning of something beautiful.


Ever wonder why we exist? Have you ever just stopped, looked around and just thought to yourself, “What is my purpose?” About a year ago, I completely walked away from writing because I didn’t think it was really making a difference. Even though I had plenty of people saying how much they enjoyed reading my blogs, I still didn’t think I was really all that good at it. God called me to share my testimony and the excitement that overcame me was overwhelming to the point I was flooded with different ideas. I stayed faithful to it for exactly one year.

When the question, “Why did you stop writing?” came up. I couldn’t even give a solid answer for it. I blamed it on God by shrugging my shoulders and giving the excuse of, “Well, he’s not really giving me anything to write about.” What a lame excuse… God has been talking to me every day of my life and I just couldn’t sit still long enough to hear him. He was giving me all the love & attention I needed but my flesh wanted worldly approval. I needed to know that I was good enough.

Living in a world filled with judgement, attitude problems, jealously, lust, envy… It’s hard, it’s very hard. I stopped writing because I didn’t listen to God, I kept my testimony within closed quarters and I was afraid if I went any further with it then the world would judge me. Or was it that they wouldn’t judge me enough? I walk around with a very tough exterior but on the inside I feel like I can’t breathe.

Every single day, the enemy whispers in my ear, taunting me to speak out how unworthy I am so he can pick it up and run with it. “No one wants to be your friend, your kids think you failed them, your tears don’t matter, no point writing this blog because they all will just think you’re stupid.” Every day he tries to steal my joy and every day Jesus gives it back to me. My God will always prevail over evil.

There is a new struggle everyday and sometimes they can be tolerable, other times they can be so bad that the mere thought of getting out of bed is exhausting. If I didn’t have Jesus in my life then those struggles would completely consume me. Because I have Jesus in my life I tend to end my day with a simple, “Thank you Jesus for helping me get through this day.” Then I wake up fresh ready to fight! I’m ready to tell you that because of Jesus I got to see a sweet baby smile and I got to see my son smitten with his pretty new girlfriend. I got to witness my best friend throw her hands up in the air and praise Jesus. A group of people surrounded our Pastor and prayed for him and I got to witness all of it. I fought through that exhaustion and let Jesus take me by the hand so I could witness.

God wants us to witness, because if we witness the good in people and all the love that really is out there. Then we can take other people by the hand and let them witness too. Recently, a motorcycle group from some local churches went out to laundry mats and blessed people with a free load of laundry & prayer. I got to witness the smiles that came across faces on the blessers & the blessees. It was absolutely amazing and oh the love that filled that day. That is what Jesus is all about, witness it and then tell everyone you see about it.

Unfortunately, we live during a time that the news is only filled with hate. So much hate to be exact that we have to hate on all this hate that is spreading around… you know because we hate it… Not only do we hate it but we have to talk about how much we hate it too. It’s a vicious cycle really. You know what I did about it, I stopped listening to it. You want to talk about what you watched on the news, well I want to talk about how a group of people rolled up in a neighborhood with a huge grill, a foot ball, jump ropes and the love of Jesus in our hearts. I got to witness the joy of the Lord on children’s faces.

God is filled with so much love and grace. He’s not angry with us, he may be a little disappointed with us sometimes but he still loves us. We take his love and we love the next person. Once they stop being mad, then they will take their love and give it to the next person. It’s a loving cycle really…

#Jesusismysavior #thankyouforlovingme #ButGod #aintnohighlikeaholyghosthigh