Today Was A Great Day!!

Today ranks up there with of my best days of the week because it was my "Lea" day. I try to fit in a day once a week where I just have a day to myself to do whatever it is that I want to do and spend time with myself. :)

I ended up spending most of the day with God...and it was AMAZING!! I somehow ended up in the book of Luke today at "The Parable of the Good Samaritan". I read through it like I always have, and thought as usual that it's a good story and now I'll move on and find something else to read. I mean how many times can I really read this parable and get something new out of it? Boy was I wrong! God would not let me leave that passage. I would try to go read something else and He kept bringing Luke 10:25--37 to the forefront of my mind. So, I decided that I better listen, turn back to it, and meditate on it. (Warning: This is going to be pretty lengthy...I'm sorry! But please read on. I think you'll enjoy it!)

As I did, it was pressed upon my soul that you and I ARE the man who was robbed, beaten, and left on the side of the road for dead. As we go through life, we have our own "robbers" that come and steal from us our joy, and beat us and leave us for dead. Satan is our ultimate robber. He purposely seeks to steal, kill and destroy us; whether it be certain life decisions or situations we go through, or our thoughts, or even our health. Life is constantly a road with thieves on every corner trying to knock us down, and so many times they prevail. We fall into their trap and are often left laying on the side of the road, gasping for air, just waiting and hoping someone will notice and come help and rescue us.

(This is the vision I saw in my head as I read the parable....and then what was revealed to me about each section I put in orange... )

As you lie there, you see a priest coming down the road. A glimpse of hope enters you as you breathe a sigh of relief because hello! It's a priest! He is in the business of helping people is he not? He loves God and loves people right? You call over to him for help and he starts to walk towards you. But when he reaches you, instead of bending down to help he just stands over you and looks you up and down, evaluating you. Once he sees how truly beaten up, bruised, and bloody you are, he walks to the other side of the road and proceeds to walk away. From a distance you appeared to not be as damaged as you were and so beyond help. It was way too out of his comfort zone to see someone with so many problems and so far gone and lost. He wanted to help, but why did you have to be so injured? He's a busy man after all! So, instead of helping he gets overwhelmed and turns his head blindly as if nothing is wrong, as if you decided you wanted to lay on the side of the road for fun.

God revealed to me that the priest represents spiritual abuse and the American church. Christ never intended Christianity to become so freaking religious, and all about the "do's and don'ts." He hated the religious (Pharisees and Sadducees), and rebuked them several times. When did it become more about what you have to do, instead of seeing and loving the person in front of you? Why has the church become more about numbers, programs, and out doing the closest church down the street instead of focusing on the hurting, discouraged, and beaten down people who constantly walk through the doors, and walk right back out unchanged, exactly the way they were when they entered, because the church is too focused on building funds, what the stage looks like, or the next big whatever? Why is it more of a concern and priority to get the name of the church out instead of the name of Jesus? Why are preacher's so afraid of scaring people away and trying to keep it light so no one will feel excluded, instead of speaking truth and the name of Jesus? And the American church wonders why they are losing so many people! People are fed up with the church! All people really want is to go somewhere authentic and get the help, teaching, and healing that they crave and long for. But so often, they're just walked past and ignored because no one has time or because they're having "real problems" and "real struggles" that "Christians" aren't supposed to have. So instead, the church of today would rather pretend that everything is ok and just walk to the other side of the road as to not offend anyone. (read: except the person that they left laying on the side of the road, but they like to forget that.)

As you watch the priest walk away, you notice another figure coming towards you. As he gets closer you notice he's a Levite just like you. Surely he's going to be willing to help you out. He's one of your own! How could he not? Shockingly tho, he doesn't help and does exactly as the priest before him did. He walks over, looks at you, and walks to the other side of the road.

God showed me that the Levite represents our friends, family and relationships in our lives. These are the people that we consider our own kind. Relationships will come and go, and those you thought would be there at your desperate hour of need might not be. Sometimes people are only in your life for a certain amount of time, and sometimes people in your life might not be able to handle what's going on in your life and see you as you are. People are human! They WILL let you down. Too often we put too much faith, reliance, and trust in people and relationships, instead of in the one that will never leave us or get scared when things go wrong and run away--God!

Which leads me to the last person who comes across your path...the Samaritan. As you lay there, barely alive, you see another man walking towards you. The closer he gets, you begin to notice that he is a Samaritan man. You think to yourself, "Oh there's no way on earth he's going to stop and help me! We are of totally different heritage!" He approaches, and does as the two before him did- stops and looks at you. As you look up at him, he slowly turns his back and you assume he's walking away. But instead he reaches for oil and wine off of his donkey, kneels down beside you, and applies the oil and then the wine to your wounds. As he's bandaging your wounds you look into his eyes and there's a kindness and generosity you've neer seen, and mercy you've never witnessed nor felt. There's a sense of enormous love and grace no one has ever showed, and your faith and hope is renewed. He then begins to take you into his arms and carries you. He takes you to an inn in town on his own donkey, and spares no expense in making sure you get the care you need and asks for nothing in return once you've fully healed. What needed to be done was done- no action or payment needed to be done in return.

As you can probably guess, the Samaritan represents God/Jesus. God is the one person who will come to your aid every time you find yourself left for dead on the side of the road no matter what. He wants to come and meet you where you are and take you in His loving arms, and apply his oil (healing) and wine (renewal) to your wounds. He spared no expense in making sure that we'll get to spend eternity with Him by sacrificing His most precious gift, His son. And what's He ask from us in return?? Nothing but to love Him with all of our heart, mind, and soul and to love others as He would love them and as you would wish to be loved in return. How amazing and reassuring is that fact! That no matter who we are, where we come from, what we've done, God desires and seeks a relationship with us!

I'm humbled in knowing that an extravagant and perfect God wants to know me and spend time with me. Think about how cool it would be if you got a call from the President or someone famous you looked up to and they told you they wanted to spend the day with you and get to know you. You would be jumping up and down, calling and telling everyone you can think of that the President, or Kelly Clarkson, or whoever, called and asked to spend time with you. Why don't we have the same response and enthusiasm about God? Why aren't we jumping up and down and running to tell everyone that the most powerful person and creator of the world wants to know us and desires a relationship with us and wants to be apart of our lives daily??

WOW! That reality really hit me hard today....and hopefully it spoke to you as well. I encourage you to go and read Luke 10:25-37 for yourself today and see if God reveals anything new to you as well. It's amazing what you can hear Him tell you if you will just be still in His presence and seek His wisdom and guidance. I hope everyone has a great weekend...We're expecting our 1st snow on Sunday. I'll let ya know if it happens! :)

Love y'all!!

If you don't know....I can draw!

So Tuesday night after Juno went to bed I decided to draw a portrait of her for her Mama and Daddy and I took a picture of it with my camera so I could show you how it turned out! :) Let me know what ya think!

Words can't describe...

Every time she plays peek-a-boo around the corner
Every time she's covered head-to-toe in her dinner
My love for her grows.
Every time I see her smile
Every time I hear her laugh
My love for her grows.
Every time she falls asleep in my arms
Every time she dances to a song
My love for her grows.
But every time she crawls to me
And raises her arms for me to pick her up
My heart overflows.

The one thing that I love most about my life right now is that little girl above! It's amazing to me how much I love her more and more every day. Juno is the highlight of my week. The three or four days a week I get to spend with her are my favorite. She's going to be the absolute hardest thing to leave behind in Colorado. It astounds me how much my heart overflows with love for her (and she's not even my child! I'm just Aunt Lay-a!). And that feeling of absolute love and joy I feel for her is just a glimpse to me of how much God loves us. WOW! I hope and pray that I capture His heart the way that Juno has captured mine...

Beautiful Fall Colors...

I think the beautiful fall is what I'm going to miss the most about Colorado when I move in December. We just don't have all these colors in Texas! That's why I'll have to come up to Colorado every fall annually to drive up Hwy 6 and go to Estes Park and Rocky Mtn. National Park for my drive of colors! Isn't it beautiful??

My Wake Up Call!

I came across a quote the other day that resonated in my soul and struck me to my core.

"Years may wrinkle your skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles your soul."

What is life if we don't live it with enthusiasm? What purpose or impact on the world do we have if we are not living our lives purposely and enthusiastically? As I look around at the lives of the people around me, it's astounding to see how many of us just go through life day to day doing what we have to do, checking items off of our to-do list, just trying to make it through the day instead of embracing life for the blessing it is! Too often I find myself living life with the "I have to..." mentality instead of the "I get to..." perspective. I'm constantly giving myself more things to do or tasks to complete than I can actually handle, but why? Why do we often think that the more we accomplish and experience the more of a fulfilled life we will have? The more I see myself doing that, my passion and enthusiasm for life grows dimmer and fades more and more away.

The realization of this fact has really made me re-evaluate how and why I do certain things. The more I sat and thought about it the more God began to press on my heart this truth:

What and who motivates me? Is it passion for God/to serve God, or is it a desire to be noticed and appreciated by others?

And then I heard Him whisper this, "Lea, is there anything you love enough to dedicate your entire being to it?"...WOW! I didn't know what to say or think....I just sat there stunned. I didn't know how to answer those questions. And then all of a sudden it hit me! One can't truly be happy in life if they are not dedicating themselves to their passion. As I sat there and began to think about what exactly I'm passionate about four things immediately came to my mind: 1) God, 2) Encouraging/Serving and reaching out to others, 3) Music, and 4) Children. I would say those are the things that I really have a passion in my heart for, and I think that anyone who really knows me probably already knew or had an idea that those areas are what make me tick and make me Lea. So for now on I'm going to start looking for ways to start living my passions and praying for God to show me my purpose and how to use them for Him. And I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on my journey through this as well....

How about you? What are you doing? Are you living your passion? What do you love? What really makes you excited and tick? The day each of us starts living life on purpose and full of passion and enthusiasm is the day that the world will be changed and people's lives will be touched...That's my challenge to myself the next few months/year/forever (haha) and I hope you challenge yourself as well...

Be prayerful about what you love and remember to keep your enthusiasm burning bright because your passion can be the match that lights a spark under someone else...


Hello from Denver!!

Hey everyone!!

I decided that it's about time that I attempt to try to keep an updated blog of my life. Can't promise how good I'll do, but I will give it my best shot. So wish me luck!! :)

Be back later with more intimate details!! :)