Hop OFF the Fence

Hello Hello Hello!

Have you ever heard of the Nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”? Well, to sum up: he sat on a wall, had a big fall, and could not be put back together again. Pretty sad, right? I can’t help but imagine that this all could have been prevented if he wasn’t sitting on the wall. Why was he up there? Was he climbing to the other side? Why did he stop moving forward? These are the questions that come to mind. I don’t know about you, but when I was climbing a fence as a kid, it was pretty nerve-wrecking.  Sure, getting up there isn’t the hard part. Climbing up isn’t too difficult because you can see everything you need to do to achieve it. “OK, I’ll put my foot here, use my left hand to grab that part.” But climbing down the other side? Not so easy. In Humpty’s case, he just decided it was too scary and was going to just stay up there where he felt safe & comfortable and just not climb back down. He was like:

tumblr_o6r5lqXAuE1syplf0o1_500.gif

See, climbing down a fence can be pretty scary. You can’t really see what is ahead because you’re going backwards. You’re unsure and it can make your stomach drop. You know what else is like that at times? Our Christian walk.  Sometimes people will start their Christianity, get comfortable and just stay put rather than continuing their relationship with God. “Sure, I will go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays but if they ask me to serve in a ministry then I am going to tell them no because that is too much work.” ORRRR “I will gladly have this “Not of this World” bumper sticker on my car but the Holy Spirit better not ask me to pray for someone in line at Target today.”  This comfort zone is called being lukewarm. You can’t be a little-bit Christian. You are either ALL IN or All Out.

giphy (5).gif

A very well known verse is found in Revelation 3:15-16.   It reads, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you [another translation says VOMIT] out of my mouth.” If you have seen the movie War Room, there is an amazing and powerful scene where an older woman is meeting for coffee in an attempt to give advice to a younger woman about her faith, prayer life, and walk with Christ. They are discussing how the younger woman occasionally attends church. The older woman asks, “If I asked what your prayer life was like, would you say that it was hot or cold?” The younger woman replied by saying, “I don’t know that I would say it’s hot… but I would consider myself a spiritual person. I’m not hot, but I’m not cold either. Just somewhere in the middle.” She takes a drink of the coffee from her mug, makes a face, and asks, “Miss Clara, you like your coffee room temperature?” The older woman says with a smile while sipping her coffee, “No, baby. Mine is HOT.” LOL

giphy (4)

I absolutely adore this scene because it gave the younger woman a vivid example of why something lukewarm is not satisfying. As a Christian you are either hot or cold. For God or against him. The problem with being lukewarm is that you started your walk [or in this analogy climb] but then got scared of furthering yourself and stopped. You sat up at the top of the fence where you felt comfortable. But amazing things happen right outside your comfort zone.  You need to be on fire for God. I seen some awesome quotes from the preacher Francis Chan. One said this:

997309.pngIt is sad to think about it, but isn’t it kind of true? He also can be quoted in a saying that goes, “Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they just want to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” So instead of living the Christian walk that we are supposed to, we don’t drink or do drugs and only cuss a little bit and think that we are fine and dandy. Without a second glance at the fact that we have an attitude problem and we like to gossip. Or dare I say that someone has a lust issue? This generation needs to rise up and be the people who decide that they are going to be on fire for Christ. To stand up for what is right. We need to say, “NOPE. Sorry not sorry but I am NOT going to be lukewarm. I am going to be fire burning hot, thank you very much.”  Even if its scary, even if we don’t know quite what God has in store for us yet. We are going to trust in Him like never before. So instead of sitting on the top of the fence/wall like Humpty freakin’ Dumpty they are going to climb down without needing to see every little detail about their next step. They are going to hop off the fence and just trust in God that He will be there to support and provide for you.

Frozen-7.gif

What steps do you need to do to hop off the fence? Even if its scary, I encourage you to go for it! I love accountability so feel free to email me through my contact page or follow me on instagram @xoleahgrace to keep in touch! I am always accepting prayer requests.

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

BFF: Best Friends (Forever?)

Hello Everyone!

When growing up, you can have so many types of friendships in your life. Some last longer than others, some mean more to you, and some unfortunately, are to teach you to be highly selective with who you trust. Personally, I have had so many friends in my lifetime that did not stick (especially in high school.) Now don’t misinterpret what I’m saying; it’s not like there was a huge “dramatic breakup between friends.” There were no “mean girls” situations or turning against one another with the ultimate betrayal. It just so happened that after graduation we learned that the only thing that we all had in common was the fact that we were stuck at the same school for 7 hours a day. My two closest friends at the time and I have spoken MAYBE twice via social media and only once in person since I graduated three years ago.  Do I still care for them? Obviously! Would I call them my best friends? Nope. That is what sucks about growing up sometimes, it isn’t just “OH! We are going to be best friends forever.” As an adult, you learn that whoever wants to be in your life puts in time and effort.

tenor (2).gif

Here is Webster’s definition:

Friend: (N) 1. One attached to another by affection or esteem. 2. One that is not hostile.

Well, dang. If that is all that it takes to be a “friend,” then my hairstylist must be my friend because she sure makes me have better esteem and my dentist makes me feel better with a cleaner smile. NO! That isn’t what a friend is. A friend loves at all times  and is always loyal (Proverbs 17:17).  They should have your back whether you are around or not.  A friend knows when to correct you and give you some tough love (Proverbs 27:6).  Or even when to be your shoulder to cry on.

635693265219054505-2136863901_giphy.gif

Friends make each other wiser (Proverbs 13:20). This verse says “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” This kind of goes in hand with that mantra that says “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” Or a similar version that says,” Show me your friends and I will show you who you truly are.” This simply put, means that the people that you choose to surround yourself with is a representation of who you are. It reflects on you. Surround yourself with wise people who will impart wisdom to you, not with fools who will tarnish your reputation.  There’s a cheesy quote that says, “Friends are the Family that you choose!” or “God made us besties because He knew our parents couldn’t handle us as sisters!” Well, the bible says that a real friend sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 26:24). I mean, you do choose your friends. Choose some awesome ones that you love and trust who can be your second family!

carly-sam-sisters.gif

And one of my favorite verses about friendship says that “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens the countenance of a friend.” Friends help keep each other accountable, sharpen each other, correct each other and help the other grow. A real faith friend will do that with love, support, and a couple awesome memories along the way.  They will encourage your walk with Christ and try to keep you on track. You click & just get each other.

BFF-Telephaty

I would love to hear about your godly friendships! Feel free to send me a funny story, how you met, or a selfie with your bestie on instagram! Tag me @xoleahgrace .  Also, share this with your best friend! Let them know that to you, they are the best! That they exemplify the TRUEST FRIEND EVER. Thanks so much for reading guys. I hope you have a friend you can count on unconditionally, and if you don’t, make sure to keep an eye out for these qualities in your search.

Until next time, I’m signing off with a Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

Summer Lovin’ (w/ Jesus)

HOLA (For you non- bilinguals aka me, that means hello.)

I am so glad to be back  with you all. I now have internet connection which has been an interesting 2 weeks without. So I am here to tell you about where I have been. Have you heard the song from Grease where Sandy and Danny are singing about meeting eachother? It goes, “Summer lovin’, had me a blast. Summer lovin’, happened so fast.” Well that describes very accurately my past few weeks. In my last post, I had mentioned that I was heading up to Yosemite for our church’s youth camp. It was absolutely amazing. We took 74 people up to camp this year, what a blessing. It takes a lot, let me repeat for emphasis, A LOT of work but it paid off in the end. Weeks of leaders putting in hours of prayer, planning, and preparation. The theme was Taste the Difference. 

screenshot_20170628-170746.png

There were so many fun things for the youth to do including messy games, horribly gross/awesome blindfolded food tasting, water balloon fights, and last but certainly not least, a COLOR FIGHT. Our church purchased two GIANT bumper balls, inflated them and put them in the ring to push the opponent out. It was hilarious to watch in person, where I refereed for a bit, but the drone footage was even funnier! Check out the recap video here: https://youtu.be/TzAtG830RZg . The teams were Team Coke vs. Pepsi.  (Coke was better, but I may just be biased. LOL.) So in order to fit the theme, a majority of the games included lots of sticky soda. The two teams went head-to-head in bobbing for marshmallows in a pool of Cola, sticky relay race (which had people drinking not only soda, but also pickle juice!!!) and a Red vs. Blue//Coke vs. Pepsi Color Powder Fight. Coke was the winner of that one, which you can probably tell by the majority of red in this picture.

IMG_20170617_220940_608

We were up there for a total of 4 days and 3 nights, but the effect that it has had on us as leaders and campers is still lingering on. I can only speak for myself, and from what others have told me, but things are only going to get better. We had such a great time and an amazing/ Holy-Spirit filled speaker Russell B. Johnson.  Personally, I was prophesied over and it brought me to tears, because it was soooo spot on, with Russell never having even met me. He talked to me about how I was “blessed with the gift of creativity from the Lord and that I just started something having to do with that creativity (THE BLOG BUT HE DOESN’T KNOW THAT), but to this day I am still unsure about it. That I need to trust in God and roll with it because He is going to use it to bless people. That he speaks fresh fire over my life and my ministry. Fresh fire on my spirituality as I continue to connect with more people.” It is absolutely crazy how much it relieved me to hear that. To this day, I deal with motivation and uncertainty regarding my blog. You know, am I called to do this? Who would want to hear anything that I have to say? What if nobody ever reads my stuff? Is it all for nothing? But if I know anything, it is that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have already had people reach out to me multiple times about how they were glad to have found my blog and that it is a blessing to them, and I have only been doing this for a little bit of time. Those seeds of doubt were planted by the enemy to stop me from reaching people who might just need a little encouragement. I know that I myself need it also. So I am here to stay. Not to mention I was so blessed to have my little cousins go up to camp for the first time as well. The first night that I seen them worshiping and crying, I LOST IT. Them, along with the other children/ youth in this group make it all worth it. It all comes into perspective. I am blessed to have them. We are not a youth group, we are a family. We pride ourselves on that. So if your church has a summer camp, and you have never been, I encourage you to just take the plunge and go! It is so much fun and you’ll remember it forever.

20170626_183348

If you want to see, check out the recap video here: https://youtu.be/TzAtG830RZg

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul & a Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

Surviving a Road Trip

Hello my friends!

Today I am super excited because as I write this, I am on the way to Youth Summer Camp this year for my church! This will be my second year as a leader and I am so excited. Rather than go to Big Bear, which we did for 7+ years, we are going to Yosemite for the second year in a row now. It is absolutely gorgeous and we get to take in all of God’s creation! But if you didn’t know, from where my church is located in Los Angeles, our Yosemite Campground is 5 to 6 hours away. How does one survive such a long car ride? Well first, sleeping a lot. LOL But also by bringing the following items to ensure you do not get bored.

travel-tips-road-trips.jpg

Here are my Road Trip// Long Car Ride Essentials:

  1. Headphones: A good pair of headphones can make or break your long car ride. because you can block out random chitchat from other passengers, focus on your own set of music, and even pretend you’re in a music video. LOL Don’t Lie. We’ve all done it.  The pair I use are my Beats Solo Wireless that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas. They are super comfortable and I don’t have to put them in my ears. That’s no Bueno when you wear them for an extended period of time. (Just make sure they are charged. That would be a bummer if you had no tunes.)
  2.  A Solid Playlist: You will need some good tunes to rock out to on your trip. My favorite thing is to find playlists of songs I haven’t heard in a long time (AKA top 2000s jams or something.) Lately I have really been into Kacey Musgravis’ Pageant Material Album. **My tip: Download all the songs beforehand so you already have them in your phone.** If you are driving through the mountains, you’ll most likely lose service after a certain elevation and if you’re using Pandora, Youtube, or Spotify it may lose connection. Then no more music for you. Wa-wa-wa-waaaaaaa. (that was the tom & jerry sound effect.) 
  3. Snacks GALORE: Now there are 3 ways you can go about this. The first, just buy a bunch of junk food. Tastes good in the moment but in the long run, you’ll feel pretty sick after a while. The second option is healthy. I’m talking fruit, water, trail mix. The works. But my personal favorite is option 3, a little bit of both. I’ve got my water, some goldfish, some healthy fruit/granola bars (but I also got gummy worms 🍬) . **pro tip: don’t bring food with strong smells when you’re in a car with others for a long period of time. This is just a courtesy to them.** They most likely don’t want to smell your tuna sandwich or hard boiled eggs. 
  4.  Gum: This majorly comes in handy when you’re going through mountain areas like I will be. Have you ever had your ears popping over and over? Or even more annoying, it not popping when it needs to? Trust me on this one. 
  5. Pillow: *this one is optional, then again all of these are, but this one may not apply to you.* If you are not the driver or co-pilot then one of the easiest ways to pass time is to sleep. But nobody likes a messed up neck from car-sleeping at a weird angle. If you’re in a window seat, just lean your pillow and enter into snoozeville. 
  6.  Hand Sanitizer (or Wet Ones): This one comes in handy when you make pit stops. Sometimes when nature calls, the bathrooms you meet on the road are ..well less than ideal. They may not have soap and are usually not clean. This helps you rid bacteria. The wet ones are kind of obvious, but in the car when you’re eating snack, these will keep you and your car clean. 
  7. Charger/Charging Case: If you’re going to be taking pictures, listening to music, texting your boo, whatever it may be, you’ll be draining your battery. Just make sure you have a backup plan so you won’t be disconnected, unless that’s the goal. Then whatever floats your boat. 
  8. Book: Bring a good read. That’s a great way to pass time. Nuff’ said. 
  9. Water: Keep in mind, you need to drink enough to stay hydrated. But you also don’t want to fill your bladder & be dying until the next bathroom break. 
  10. Cash/Quarters: First, it is always a good idea to have spare cash. You may run into unexpected problems. Emergency cash is a MUST. What’s optional is bring a couple bucks in quarters for a vending machine or something. You never know. 

If you have gone through this list of my essentials and have everything you need, you’re good to go. Don’t feel like this is set in stone; make this all personalized to you. Have fun with it. Pick a destination, grab some friends and GO!  

Until next time,  I’m signing off with a Graceful Soul & a Grateful Heart. 

xo, Leah Grace 

Sticks & Stones

Hello Everyone!

Man, what a week it has been. I try to update my blog a couple times a week, but with finals, work, and being sick, I was stretched pretty thin. I currently have a double-ear infection which hurts sooOO BAAD. Keep yo’ girl in prayer, please! Today I am going to write about one of the biggest lies that is taught to young children as they grow up. That saying is: “Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but your Words will never hurt me!” What a load of bologna. Words hurt! I can speak that from personal experience on the giving and receiving end. Our words have power. Sometimes a punch in the face would most likely hurt less than a direct strategic insult (especially if it is about something you’re already insecure about.) My pastor always says this, which is way more accurate: Sticks & stones will break your bones, but words hurt more than anything. Amen? Seriously, it is so true.

58e4940ca8960676670931a154c55243b4f49b9acef9bd585e3165e0bf265836_1.gifOne of the reasons that I wanted to write about this topic is because we have a series that is being taught right now at my church about core values. These are topics that we really hope to instill into the youth at the group where I am a leader. We have various mantras that we teach. One of the more popular ones is: Just Kidding just hurts. Meaning that sometimes the “joke isn’t worth the laugh.” The bible talks about the power of words and how we are called to speak in various different places. Why? Because clearly it is important. Example one: Proverbs 16:24 states, “Kind words are like honey– sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”  It is healthy for the body. It brings good to your soul & it is healthy. It makes you feel good. One of my favorites though is found in Ephesians Chapter 4, verse 29. It says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful to the hearer, building them up according to their needs that it may be beneficial to those who listen.” 0a9f4f57317eb755e6b42b985485acebThis verse is LITERALLY saying “Hey! Every word that comes out of your mouth should be edifying (aka helpful to the people listening.)” If it isn’t building them up, making them feel better, or is beneficial to them in some way, then just zip it, lock it, & put it in your pocket. Remember what thumper said in Bambi? That is an important message. Sometimes the joke isn’t worth the laugh, sometimes those words can hurt, sometimes it will stick with the person that you say it to for a long time. Why not just use your words to make people feel good. Why not have words that are sweet like honey?  

Remember to be kind with your words. Remember to build people up with your words. James 3:5 says, “The tongue is a small thing, yet it makes grand speeches. Likewise a tiny spark can set even a great forest on fire.” A small spark, a simple statement. Both can cause great destruction when used incorrectly. One final verse to tie it all together: Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be full of GRACE, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Y’all know how much I try to remain full of grace and patience with this blog. This verse is saying be graceful (elegant, poised, favored,  & blessed) and to be seasoned (qualified, matured, & w/ food a little spunky LOL). In doing so, you will begin to know how to answer people. 8780c2000e9d35213c5ad04ef8eb5b67Whether they are being kind to you first or they’re being rude. You’re called to be kind, sweet, and uncorrupted. If you don’t have anything like that to say, then just don’t say anything. It’ll be waaaaay better to not talk as much than to say something that you may regret saying. If I have learned anything in my life, it is that you can’t take words back once they’re out of your mouth. So be slow to speak and when you do, make sure it’s sweet and graceful. Keep that in mind, even if you need to repeat the mantras to yourself!

Until next time, I’m signing off with a Graceful Soul and a Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

 

(PS. I read an awesome blog post http://wp.me/p8MN8O-4  by HoneytotheSoulBlog which dealt with this topic also. Check it out.)

The Liebster Blogger Award

liebster-award (2).pngHello Graceful Friends!

Today I feel so blessed and fortunate. Firstly, if you are new to my blog, welcome. I am glad that you found me and I hope you stick around. (For more insight/intro to who I am, check out my first post Hello Graceful Darlings.) Secondly, I want to say that it is crazy how God will work in your life. Nothing with Him is a coincidence. Saying that, let me tell you that when I started this blog at the beginning of this month, I had absolutely no idea what it would become. Within the first few days of starting I was fortunate enough to meet Kristen (from http://www.KristenShane.com , if you don’t already GO FOLLOW HER you won’t regret it.) She is such a positive person and is so welcoming. Meeting her was one of the best things to happen to my blog and she introduced me to a whole bunch of other people out there! That was no coincidence, I assure you. Interaction and communication is key to the blogging community and that is why  friendly  welcoming people like Kristen are so important. Another important key? Blogger Awards!

I was nominated for the Liebster Blogger Award by Kristen! She mentioned in her post the importance of supporting one other amongst this community. So I am here to 1. Share some more stuff about me! and 2. Recognize some other bloggers that I have met and think are worthy of some praise. Not to mention that some of these girls are the sweetest people you will ever meet! Friendship and community are so vital when it comes to blogging!

dde4ce1b209848afb6d87d18564176db.jpg

Rules of the Liebster Award

  1.  Accept/decline the nomination: nomination doesn’t mean you have to create your own post, but accepting keeps the award spreading!
  2. Write 11 facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions at the end of your nominator’s post
  4. Leave 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award!

My 11 Facts:

  1. I am twenty years old (21 this September woop woop!)
  2. Young, but I strangely love target as though I were a suburban mother of 4.
  3. Mugs are my thing, when I get married I want to dedicate a whole cabinet/shelf to placing all of my cutesy/travel/character mugs.
  4. I am OBSESSED with Bath and Body Works everything. Hand soap, lotions, wall plugs, and hand sanitizers. I have a box full of candles in my closet right now. I have a problem.
  5. I have a pet peeve when people throw garbage on the floor. Please don’t do that. Love this planet while we are here.
  6. I have been dating my boyfriend Jesse for 4 years more-or-less and we are counseling with our pastors to get married soon/ish. EEK! *Happy Screams*
  7. I love writing, public speaking, and mentoring yet my major in college is Biology and Mathematical Studies…I know, right?
  8. I love Jesus. This should be number one, but these are not in order. He is my life and even though I may mess up, my ultimate goal is to mirror Him in my life.
  9. I have been going to my home church in Los Angeles for 10 years this December. It’s going to be mine and Jesus’ anniversary for our relationship on December 16.
  10. I am a PK (Pastor’s Kid.) It has its ups and downs. I know that some people are not fortunate enough to have a spiritual upbringing/parental support so I am blessed in that aspect. But in others, people are always watching me (and trust me, people always have their two ‘sense to throw in.)
  11. I’ve never traveled anywhere other than Los Angeles and Las Vegas (lived in both.) So this year I vowed to travel more. I have a trip to New York booked already for later this year and then 2018 I am going to MEXICO! Woohoo!

Kristen’s 11 Questions:

  1. When/why did you start blogging? I started blogging at the beginning of May. First, because I had wanted to for a long dc8e26673475014bca37f3ce4dfc6a20time & finally just jumped in and did it! PS. SO GLAD THAT I DID. Secondly, because I love people and I love Jesus. So I am combining the two to meet people who are like me and love him or need him (or if you are like me, both lol).
  2. Why have you continued blogging? (How have your reasons changed?) I have continued because I am fortunate enough to have people willing to read. I am so blessed with the support that I have received & the people I have met.
  3. Who’s your best friend? How long have you known them? What quality do you like the most about them? I have THREE! First, my little sister who is my bestie who is stuck with me 🙂 She’s my step-sister so I actually met her in 2005. I love her loyalty. We fight, as most siblings do, but in the end she has my back. Second, Andrea. She is my twin in a sense that we are literally the same person in different bodies. Her and I relate so much and I’m blessed to have her in my life. We met in HS but didn’t hang out ever until our freshman year of college when we ran into each other at the gym. Finally, Shayla. My Blondie with whom I have been through a lot. ALOT. But I love her, I always will. She just gets me. We’ve been friends 10 years and I project many more. LOL.
  4. What is one destination that’s on your bucket list? I am going to cheat and say three: Rome, Italy. Turks & Caicos. Barcelona, Spain.
  5. Are you a dog person or cat person? Dogs have a special place in my heart, but I would not mind a cat who needs a loving home.
  6.  What is your favorite store/clothing brand? Old Navy (plug plug plug lol).
  7. What’s one thing you’re going to accomplish this year? (In 2017 or the next 365 days) A goal I have is to grow this blog and reach more people. Along with traveling more.
  8. Would you ever go skydiving or swimming with sharks? Yes! I’d LOVE to, but I would swim with sharks sooner! Maybe on a Hawaii trip? IDK!
  9. What’s your ultimate vacation? Ok, Let me paint a picture for you. Scenario One, I am with all of my girl-friends traveling and taking cute aesthetic pictures together and living life to the fullest while we are young! We parasail, eat lots of fruit, and swim with dolphins. Scenario 2: I’m married on my honeymoon. I travel to a romantic city like Barcelona or Roma and listen to music, drink wine, and eat delicious foods and pastries with my soul mate.
  10. Favorite dessert? Can’t go wrong with Ice Cream 🙂
  11. Who’s someone you look up to? (Could be a blogger, celebrity, family member, friend, etc.) In the least corny way, Jesus. Truly, deeply, completely. I want to to be shaped by Him. Reflect Him. Represent Him. and Share His love with the world and people who desperately need love.

My 11 Questions!!!

  1. When/Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your favorite bible verse/inspirational quote? Why?
  3. If you could go to see anyone in concert (dead or alive), who would it be? Why them?
  4. How do you feel about tattoos? Do you have any? What’s the story behind them?
  5. It’s midnight, your fridge is stocked with your favorites, what is the snack that you grab to munch on?
  6. Favorite Drink (Coffee, Tea, Soda, Infused Water, Anything)?
  7. Who was the first person you told about your blog? Describe how that conversation went.
  8. What is your advice to future bloggers who are on the fence about starting?
  9. Best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
  10. If you could be ANY Disney character? Who would you be and Why?
  11. Someone blesses you with a million dollars. How do you spend it?

I nominate these 11 ladies (in no particular order, chosen randomly from some of my favorites):

  1. Olivia from http://www.missoliviasays.com
  2.  Lily from http://www.brokencagesblog.wordpress.com
  3. Sydney from http://www.smarie.org
  4. Delaney from http://www.laughswithoutfear.com
  5. Ally from http://www.teaspoonofsprinkles.wordpress.com
  6. Erin from http://www.livelifeinspired.wordpress.com
  7.   Alyssa from http://www.livinginfullbloom.com
  8. Laura from http://www.happilymidwest.com
  9. Anna Leigh from http://www.adelightedmind.weebly.com
  10. Rachel from http://www.rachelsrambles.com
  11.   Adrienne from http://www.a-dash-of-class.blogspot.com

 

**Some of these wonderful woman I found through Instagram so I encourage you to find them on there as well! This is a very motivating and friendly group of people! **

I will be notifying all my nominees, and I hope they will decide to participate and help build the blogging community in a positive way!

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul and a Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

“Patience is a Virtue, Kid”

Hello Hello Hello!
So I felt the need to write this post because last night/yesterday was one of those days. Who knows what I am talking about without much further detail? You know, one of THOSE days. A day where you can’t seem to catch a break. Where Murphy’s Law really comes into play. If you are not familiar with this theorum then let me spell it out for you simply: anything that can go wrong, does. Well yesterday it seemed like that for me. Now this is my little disclaimer before I get further into this post: I know it is going to seem like a lot of complaining or like “first-world problems.” I am 100% clear that others have it worse out there, but I am just telling you this so you can see my end result from last night. So bear with me, please.

2n5YPQFSo first things first, I caught a cold during one of the worst times to catch a cold. Who the heck gets  a cold in summer? I prayed that I wouldn’t get sick and spoke over myself that I was not going to get sick. Who knows words have power? Death and Life are in the power of the tongue so I was trying to speak so much life, but it happened. That’s ok though, I’m over it. So anyway, I have the pleasure of working as a youth leader at my church, but I also am on a rotation schedule in the nursery and I get to work with some of the cutest babies ever. But how many people would agree that if you are sick, you probably shouldn’t be around babies? So no cute babies for me this week. *sad face.* but I didn’t let that damper my mood, I sat in service and heard an amazing message from our guest speak Dr. Nolte. It was amazing.

Next,  I was tired, sick, and cold while I waited for my sisters to go home. Service ends at 8:30 pm and it is about to turn 10 o’ clock when my little sister tells me that I could go home because they were going out to eat with their friends. I felt so frustrated. Why didn’t they tell me that sooner? Don’t they know I want to go home and rest? How could they leave me sitting here in the cold while I have really bad cramps? I was upset and it was late so I went to get food and when I got home I see that they gave me the wrong order. I was livid. After everything that happened, this on top of all that. This is how I felt in that moment:

giphy

But I got in my car, turn on the radio (which I always have on a Christian radio station) as soon as I did, the song “Even If” by MercyMe came on. It says “Some times you win some, some times you lose some. and right now, right now I’m losing bad.” It just made me remember that even when I’m “losing” (for example when I am sick and tired and annoyed with my sisters), there also are times that I “win” (when we have great times and laugh, and I hear awesome preaching’s even though I can’t play with babies.) I felt so much better after that. I went, got my order corrected, wasn’t mad at the cashier because why ruin their day too? I was polite and they gave me a free ice cream and I went home and felt a million times better. I felt better because I stopped focusing on the bad and focused on God in my life.  Being patient is what He has called me to be, not a grump.

It may seem lame but really it is not. We choose our attitude. We choose whether we stay upset at our siblings or whether we sing worship songs and look on the bright side.  I remember from one of the Bruce Almighty movies, I’m not sure if it is Bruce or Evan Almighty, but in one of them Morgan Freeman said something that is so true that I think about it ALL THE TIME. When you pray for patience, does God give you patience or does he give you opportunities to be patient? Usually it is the latter.  I pray for patience all the time so I can expect some tests to come my way.  I need to keep my cool and be patient with people (even when my little sisters tell me things at the last possible second.) I also want you to remember, you control your attitude. Life is only 10% what happens to you, the other 90% is how you react to that.” 

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul and a Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

I’ve Never Shouted Never Before

YOU GUYS!

First of all, hello. Welcome back. I missed you. Second of all, OH MY GOODNESS. So last night I went to my first ever concert. Like ever. (Besides Christian Concerts, in that case I have been to 2 Hillsong concerts which were amazing but a totally different vibe as I am sure that you can imagine.) So, let us take a trip down memory lane to a 7th grade version of myself. 11/12 year old me was an oddball, for sure. I dressed kind of weird, listened to weird music, and thought I was scene. yes, cringe x 1000. Now I do not mean anything bad about “scene” style, it is just not my forte. I am glad to say I grew out of it. But when I wasn’t listening to strange music and watching “Charlie the Unicorn” on YouTube on repeat, I would listen to NevershoutNever! IMG_20170522_204736_028

His music has changed over the years and so I had stopped listening to him back in 2010ish. But, a few months ago he announced a throwback tour. A tour where he was going to play his old music from his first three EPs. AKA, all of the songs I obsessed over and listened to on repeat a million times.  The excitement was real. So me and a couple friends bought our tickets and ventured over yonder down to Santa Ana to watch him.  Let me just say that I was not disappointed. Every single song that he played I loved. My friend Shayla and I were tripping out, because after not listening to him for the longest time, we still were able to sing along with EVERY WORD. I was so excited; the internal twelve year old kid inside me was screaming and, now that I think about it, so was my external twenty something year old adult. LOL. The venue was strange. Never having been to a concert besides a  Christian concerts/Faith-Styled Conferences was definitely different. It smelled like cigarettes inside and there were a few tipsy people dancing around like crazy people, but other than that I was with my friends and I was happy. Not to mention I was THIS close to Christofer Drew.

IMG_20170522_232643_941It was a standing-room/ general admission venue so the places that we got were so awesome. We were really close to the stage and he hopped on the ledge and walked by us and was grabbing our hands. He also gave my friend Shayla a flower. Well, he threw it into the crowd and it hit her in the face, but it was still REALLY COOL! Every person in the room was screaming out the words along with him and he was singing all of his classics. If you know who he is then here are a few so you can girlish squeal along with me: Trouble, Happy, Big City Dreams, Can’t Stand It, and Look on the Brightside. And that is just to name a few. He played sooo many. He even bid us farewell, walked off stage at the end, then came back for an encore. He was very chill, funny, and witty. They didn’t have a specific set list. He said, “We don’t have specific songs to play, we are VERY prepared *joyous sarcasm in his voice*. So what do YOU guys want to hear?” Luckily, I am really loud so he heard me and played my request (Coffee & Cigarettes). Ironically, I hate coffee and cigarettes, but boy that is a great tune.  It was very crowd interactive and fun.  I know most concerts won’t be like this, nor do I even think I am a “concert” type of girl, really.  But I do know that I had fun, and that if I were to choose my first concert, then I am glad that this was mine. I did this for my 2007 self. I know if I could go back and tell her, she would be happy with my  decision to go.  So that was my day yesterday! Have you ever been to a concert? Who did you see? If you have an instagram post a throwback of concerts you have been to and tag me @xoleahgrace ! I would love to see them.

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul and a Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

Dreams (or should I say Hope?) into Plans

Hey Guys!

I promised myself I would only post a couple times a week in order to not completely bombard your feed; however, surprisingly enough that has turned into something that is difficult to do. Not in the way you would expect of course. Everything I encounter I have a quick thought in my head like, “I COULD TOTALLY BLOG THIS.” It’s strange but I like it. Anyway, hi! Today I am going to talk about my Hope Chest. If you are a planner like me, then you might already know what this is, if not lemme’ explain. A Hope Chest is basically a chest that young women can use to buy stuff in preparation for marriage, moving out on your own, or even college. The first option is most traditional, but I’ve even seen it as a graduation gift for someone starting off in a college apartment.  When you’re young and want a gorgeously decorated modern home, but you don’t have the funds to do that; What is a twenty-something year old planner to do? If you are a planner like me, trust me when I say, this is every planner’s dream!

18d74a6c876c8c035a120234ebada297

STEP 1: Find A Chest (Better Quality solid wood will last longest!)

 I know it sounds like I am oversimplifying but really it all depends on your taste. I am super blessed because my Nana has a chest that my Tata gave her before their marriage (OVER 40 YEARS AGO)! Talk about sentimental value. The cool part about it is that you can use it as a coffee table, at the foot of your bed, storage, filing. So many options. My personal one is going to be upholstered with foam underneath for the foot of my bed and storage;  I want it comfortable enough to sit on. I’m also getting it a tufted style. Very chic. LOL.

 STEP 2: Fill it!

This can be with anything that you want! Find your own taste and roll with it! I want mine to be preppy and girly, but also keeping in mind that I am going to have a husband so as much as I want, I can’t have pure Lilly Pullitzer and Kate Spade (a girl can dream). Haha. Now, lets talk bargains! The main purpose is so that you can have the home of your dreams without breaking the bank/hurting your wallet badddd. Wouldn’t you rather spend a few bucks here and there than to move out and have nothing? Starting from scratch trying to decorate an apartment could cost thousands. So start little by little.  Also, if this is prepping for the married life, don’t waste money on things that you can easily just register for or on appliances. A blender may be the cute color you want or it may be on sale, but they easily become outdated just sitting in your chest.  So instead buy decorations, wall art, linens, storage, serving dishes. Gadgets and Gizmos that you would otherwise not register for. But be careful, once you get in the decorating zone, you’ll be tempted to buy more and more to complete each room. tumblr_ndiax4B95W1qm2s94o2_r1_500.gif

**Don’t Count out Discount Stores!** I have found the cutest things at Marshalls, Ross and TJ MAXX. Of course I will also go to my home planet Target, but these discount stores surprisingly have some diamonds hidden in the rough. My game plan is to spend $20-$35 dollars every few paychecks until I have the basics to cover everything. So find a chest and the world is your oyster. I never knew I would like interior decorating as much as I do. There is just so much joy that I take in planning so this is a project that I am so excited for. I will keep you updated every couple months to give an update on what I’m scoring on! Make a plan/vision, keep an eye out for deals, buy little by little and enjoy planning your future home! The wonderful and wise Pumba from the Lion King said, “Home is where your rump rests.” So make that home stylish and totally you! If you end up doing something similar to this let me know! I would love to see your hope chest progress! Tag me on Instagram: @xoLeahGrace ! I want to see the whole journey.

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul and a Grateful Heart!

xo, Leah Grace

 

The Story of the Name

Shakespeare once said, “”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

theelmlife_nametagpink.jpg

This quote is brilliant and timeless, though I am not the biggest fan of Romeo and Juliet as an actual storyline (but that is a whole different rant.) It rings true, right on the money. What is in a name? Well, ask a new or expecting mother and they would say A LOT. It has always been interesting to me how many people will go into so much research behind the meaning of names before they have their baby. “The Hebrew origin of this name is” …. “This name is derived from the Latin word”… trust me, I am not pointing fingers. I have mentally named all of my children that I ever plan on having, boy or girl, even backup kids and I am not even married yet.  There isn’t anything wrong with it, especially when you are a planner like me. So if you haven’t figured it out, this is the post where I tell you guys about the meaning behind my blog name!

If you have been following my blog or read my first post on this page then you know that my name is Leanne. Now, Leanne is actually a nickname from Leanna, but I spent my life introducing myself and getting in response, “What was it? Brianna? Seanna? Deanna? OHH LEANNA.” So I started going by Leanne. I figured that would be simple enough. Lee-Anne. Like from the Sandra Bullock Movie. Leanne Tuohy was a force to be reckoned with.

tumblr_mpigptaDD11sytf7ro1_500.gif

But little by little I have come to the realization that it would not suffice. One of my best friends is an amazing Christian Speaker and she invited me to an event that she was guest speaking at.  I went, mingled, drank some tea and introduced myself to various people. FIVE SEPARATE PEOPLE, AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND DIFFERENT PLACES, all thought I said my name is Leah. I ended up being entered into the raffle by that and being referred to as Leah for the day.  Oh well. LOL. Now, during my internal struggle over the past year of whether I wanted to start this blog or not, I was in prayer about it a lot and came up with the name Graceful Soul, Grateful Heart. It was my War Cry, Goal, and Mission Statement. But in considering a domain name, I figured it would be too long and I didn’t want people to mess it up and have trouble finding me, (JEEZ I BET THEY WOULD HAVE TROUBLE TRYING TO FIND BRIANNA/SEANNA/DEANNA too.) So here comes the idea, lets embrace the awkwardness of my day as Leah, combine it with the gracefulness that I strive to have through Christ, and come up with an awesome blog name. So here we are on my blog that is imperfect. It makes fun of itself in an odd sort of way, and is totally amazing because of it. I love it and I love its name. So back to the question: What’s in a name? An amazing story, that’s what. Even though it isn’t my original plan, His plan is higher than mine, and I am slowly learning to accept that and roll with it as He stretches my comfort zone.

Welcome to my blog if you are new; Welcome to the Graceful & Grateful Family.

tumblr_mjg0dlbYaV1s4afkqo4_250.gif

Until next time, I am signing off with a graceful soul and a grateful heart.

xo, Leah Grace