Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We gave God the remote.

We discussed Ephesians 4:17-32 last night at my connect group (God's Girls!) but I want to talk about the following verse today. 

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Verse 21-24 talks about “throwing off your old sinful nature and your former way of life…” I know, for me, that I have some old that I still carry, but I believe that there is more about my life now and my thinking that is new and I know that the Holy Spirit is working to "renew my thoughts and my attitudes" every day.  There are things today that never used to bother me, things I have always said and done, they were very common for me and acceptable to my family and my friends because they weren't bad things, until God started renewing my thoughts and my attitudes. 

One of the things that we stopped or “threw off” about two years ago was television. We have a television and there were some shows that I really enjoyed watching, however, my WH (wonderful husband) and I were becoming concerned, not only with some of the programs that were being shown in primetime, but also with the impact that television was having on our DD (darling daughter). It was stuff that, on the surface looked fine, but once you started listening to the content and "seeing it with a new attitude"  it really made us reexamine what was acceptable in our home, not just for DD but for me and WH as well. So we took a drastic step and cancelled our cable. We have a television but we use it to play games and watch movies that we pick out. We became very intentional about what we watched. We disabled the external remote control and gave God the remote to what we wanted in our lives. 

I am not saying that television is horrible or if you watch you are a bad person. I will not run from the room screaming if you have a t.v. and are watching it when I'm around, I might grab some popcorn and a Coke and sit down with you, (we aren't talking about my snacking habits today).  The television is a tool, just like the computer, just like pen and paper, just like a cell phone, and on and on,  but I found that it was so easy to lose valuable time, with my family, with my friends, with the things that I want for my life, by escaping into someone else’s life (reality t.v.), someone else’s drama (cop shows) someone else’s laughter (comedies), or someone elses exercise (sports) when instead I needed to be living my own life, solving my own mysteries, and seeing the blessings and the humor that God places in my life every day, we won't talk about exercise, I'm still working on that one.

Put off the old, well, I got rid of some of the old by unplugging the t.v. but it is easy to fall into the same old trap with email, Facebook, and Twitter, and the other social networks out there. All great things if used in the right way, not so good if they start taking us away from in-person relationships, face-to-face communication, and heart-to- heart talks where I can give you an actual hug instead of a virtual one, I can laugh with you instead of LOL you, and I can give you a real shoulder to cry on instead of a :-(. 
Our television watching was something my family and I felt God was instructing us to put off as part of our old way of life. It might be something completely different for you but ask yourself,

“What do I need to put off? In what way does the
Holy Spirit need to be renewing my heart and my mind.”

If I can pray for you, if I can help you in any way, leave a comment or send me an email to leigh at leighfrance dot com.  

God bless,


Monday, October 26, 2009

Are you able to read this?

Can you read this?  It's really important.  Hurry, please read below:  

Poslanica Efežanima 4:17-19

živimo kao djeca svjetla's
17Ovo kažem u Gospodinovo ime: zaklinjem vas da ne živite kao što žive pogani, razmišljajući isprazno. 18Oni su, naime, zaslijepljeni i zamračena uma, daleko su od Božjega života jer su zatvorili svoj razum prema njemu i ne mogu shvatiti Božje putove. 19Ne mare više je li što dobro ili zlo. Odali su se bludu i u pohlepi počinjaju kojekakve nečistoće.

No? Why not? But it’s a Bible verse. Don’t you read your Bible? Why can’t you understand this? I’ll give you a hint, it’s from Ephesians 4: 17-19.

No, don’t Goggle it!!!! Come back here.

The majority of us cannot read it, (In case someone from Croatia happens on my blog I have to say majority). This is Ephesians 4: 17-19 from a Croatian translation of the Bible but for many years this was kind of how my Bible looked to me until someone wiser came alongside and gave me some direction.

The Bible is our instruction book for life, a tool from God. How to handle everything in life, no matter what, it’s in there but you have to find a translation that you understand. I always had a hard time with the King James version. As you already know by reading my blog, one of satan’s hot buttons in my life was my intelligence, or my perceived lack of intelligence. Because I didn’t think I was very smart, when I would open up a Bible and see all the thee, thy, thou, and the therefores, that little voice would say,” See, you are too stupid to even understand this or it’s boring, or it doesn’t apply to your life today, real people don’t talk like that.”

But one day I met a lady who was outgoing, funny, loved to sing, (she reminded me of my Grandmother Williams), and she loved her some Jesus. She and I talked and I explained to her my frustration with understanding God’s word. She told me there were OTHER Bible translations out there. I had no idea and that felt wrong to me. Other translations? But doesn’t that change the meaning, change what is important, etc? She said that you have to educate yourself on Bibles that are sound in doctrine AND that you can understand. Like the verse above, if you only speak English and you try to read the Bible in Croatian, how is that gonna work for you? So I found a great Bible, I use the New International Version Life Application Study Bible. It’s great for me because it speaks in a way I can understand, gives more information about the verses, and it gives me background information and cross-references, etc. but there are many others out there.

The verse at the top of the page is translated below in four versions. Go to or and you can see other versions. Find one that you understand, that speaks to your heart. I’ll be talking more about the actual verse tomorrow.

Ephesians 4:17-19 

(New Living Translation) 17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

(The Message) 17-19And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion

(King James Version) 17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

(New International Version)
Living as Children of Light
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Check them out, pick one, and start using it. Every day. God wants to equip His children for the day with His word, His wisdom, and His guidance. The Bible is your instruction manual for life, it’s imperative that you obtain a translation that you are able to decipher, comprehend and incorporate into your day to day existence (translation: Get one you can read and understand).

God Bless!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Its a Decision

I made a decision last week to put a video of my testimony on my blog.  I decided to trust that God could use it as He saw fit and I would just be obedient to His leading.  The testimony that is posted is actually a shortened version of my complete testimony.  I spoke at my church on where I had been, what God had done in my life, and where I was going now.  My testimony, when I wrote it, was to stress that God is in pursuit of His children but when I stepped on to the stage, I felt that I had to also speak about how satan is a liar and that we cannot believe those lies.  It is vital to know the difference between the love of God and the lies of satan and make the decision of whom you are going to listen to. 

For a long, long time only the lies of Satan rang in my head.  I am not talking about “the devil made me do it” mentality but the “I am not worthy of love” thought process. That was a lie from satan and it had an impact on all the decisions I made, how I treated people, and how I treated myself. 

Writing my testimony was hard.  It felt like opening up a closet that I had shoved all my stuff into, and I had to take it out and decide what I was going to do with it.  Much of it was like those cards that you get now that when you open them they play music but my stuff played “You are ugly”, “You are dirty”, “No one will love you.”  “You don’t deserve God”, and the loudest one, “God doesn’t want you.”  Playing over and over and over and I had to decide, “Who am I going to listen?”

Many days I wake up and I can almost feel the darkness building up in my head, the doubts, the fear, that record that I have broken over and over again that plays, “you are not _____, you can’t do ______,” Name it, I promise I’ve heard it more then once.  Now I know what to do, I turn on the Light.   I fight those lies with His truth and I go to God’s word because there He gives me the weapons to fight.  But I have to decide to use those weapons and to believe that those weapons were written for me. 

Just because His word says that God loves me and that I am forgiven does not mean that is all there is to it.  I have to decide to accept it as truth and sometimes I have to read and re-read and pray and pray again, to be reminded.  If I told my daughter one time that I loved her, does that mean I never have to tell her again for the rest of her life?  No, I pour my love for her over and around and make sure she knows that she knows that she knows how much I love her.  But God loves us more.  The Bible says it over and over again how much more God loves us but we have to decide to accept that love.  It’s a decision. 

Do I wish that I could change the things that happened to me, yes. I wish I hadn’t been sexually abused, I wish I hadn’t had an abortion, and I wish I hadn’t been divorced, twice, and all the other things that satan wants me to sees as failures.  But can I change anything about what came before now?  No.  But, I can decide how what came before will impact today and so I decide to be thankful for it. 

Thankful?  Yes, thankful, because God will use it.  (Genesis 50:20) I know that.  God used someone else’s pain and hurt and suffering and their willingness to talk about it, to let me know that He loved me, so I can be thankful because maybe one day someone else will say, “You let me know that I wasn’t alone”, or “Your story helped me to see that God could love me”.  That alone, that one person makes everything worthwhile.  If you knew that your pain and hurt would be used by God to save one of His children from an eternity in hell, would you go through it?  What if the one saved is your child, your sister, or what if it’s you?  Are they worth it?  Are you worth it?  God’s Word says that you are.  So I have decided to be thankful and open, and honest, willing to share all of it, even though it hurts sometimes, because each of us are worth it.  Decide.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Not About Me.

This morning I got up anxious to spend some time with God.   I was excited about what my time was going to reveal to me this morning but not for the reasons that I am proud of.  I realized that I was getting more excited about writing my blog and having people be impressed by me then giving my time to God, being honest with Him (which is silly, He already knows my heart, might as well be real, you get to spend more quality time with Him if you aren’t dancing around your intentions.)

After attempting to do a Proverb a day, which was amazing and I learned so much, but was frustrating because I couldn’t “keep up” with what I was supposed to do. (Good grief, how silly are we??)  Does it make sense to rush through and miss a gift from God because I need to stay on schedule then spend two days, two weeks, or two months on a verse that keeps feeding my soul, just cause I think I have to “keep up”…Keep up with WHO???  This is MY journey with God, my walk with the Father.  Yes I have friends around me, I have fellow Christians on their own journey but their walk will not look like mine, their experiences won’t be like mine, and God might speak something completely different into their lives then He does into mine.  So why on earth am I looking around me when I just need to be looking at Him? 

So...after all of this stewing in my head yesterday and today, I got up this morning, got my coffee and started with prayer. I could not get beyond the prayer.  How do I do it, what do I say, is there a right way, a wrong way?  I started three different times and all three times felt wrong.  So I just asked, “God help me.”  And then I went to the Word and to Matthew 6: 9-13.  The Lord’s Prayer and I took each line and really read it.

Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

 then I changed the “ours” to “my” and the “us” to “me” and I made The Lord’s Prayer mine this morning. 

My Father in heaven
Hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give me today my daily bread
Forgive me my debts,
As I also have forgiven my debtors. 
And lead me not into temptation,
but deliver me from the evil one.

To claim something, to make it yours.  I cannot get into heaven or have a relationship on my parent’s faith, just like my daughter cannot get into heaven or know her heavenly Father because of my faith, she has to develop that relationship.  A relationship comes from knowing how to communicate.  Jesus equipped each of us with how we should pray and even how to check our hearts and check our intentions in the relationship we have with God.

I came to terms this morning with the fact that I need to constantly check my heart.  My desire is to be real and honest with my readers about my life, but more then that I want to be real and honest with God about it.  So I asked myself some hard questions this morning.

“Am I writing for God or am I writing for the attention, it just happens to be about God.” 

 I am human (surprise, surprise).  Attention is great.  We all desire attention but I know that my purpose is more than for attention.  I ache for those who are like me and lost and hurting.  I just want to stand here with a big sign with an arrow on it pointing to heaven but I know it works better if truth and honesty come out, so yes, I am writing FOR God and not just about Him.  I know this because I am very intentional that no matter what the story is, no matter the experience, I don’t want the focus to be on what I did, right or wrong, or what happened to me, good or bad, but by pointing out where God was, what God did, and how only with God was I ever able to do the next thing.  But it is good to check my motives and to have people in my life that will help me stay accountable.

“Does God come first or do I?

 Sometimes it’s harder to put God first, hard to let Him lead, but I know if I just hold on and don’t let go, God’s kingdom will come and His Will will be done.  I see over and over again that putting God first clears the path. 

Think about being a child in a crowded store.  You are about six years old; too old to be carried but you still have to hold hands.  There isn’t enough room to walk side by side. There are too many people and you cannot see over their heads.  What do you do?  You take your father’s hand and you walk behind him.  He clears the path, he knows where he is going, and you just hold on. It works the same way with God, but we must stop letting go and trying to do it ourselves, because then we just get lost in the crowd.

“Are speaking and writing my calling God?” 

Yes, yes, yes.  A calling is something that you are passionate about and would do all day, every day without getting paid.  Would I write if no one read it, Yes!   Would I speak if no one listened? Yes!  Would I blog if no one stopped by?  Yes!  Because I’m not doing it for me, I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for Him and obeying what He has placed in my heart.  What He chooses to do with it is 100% up to Him.  

Check your motives, that means, “Would you still do _______ (whatever God has placed on your heart) if no one would ever know you did it?

Hard questions that take some time to process but answer them honestly, don’t dance around them with God, He already knows. 

I closed out my time this morning with God thanking Him for showing up.  I felt in my heart He said, “I am always here.” 

I said “God I just want to make you famous.” And I don’t mean to sound silly, but I felt I heard Him laugh, and say, “Sweetheart, I’m already famous, but you can help make me real.”  I battled with that, how do you make God real?  You do it the same way it was done for me, by honesty, by truth, and by pointing others to Him for every single thing and helping each person find their way to His hand.  I can do it by speaking about how my life has changed because of God and it all starts with a simple prayer, “My Father, who is in Heaven…”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Come To Jesus Meetin part 2

This morning I got up and debated, do I move on to Proverbs 20?  It is the 20th and I want to stay on track, so I tried.  I prayed and opened my Bible and started reading Proverbs 20.  There were some great verses, but my attention kept going back to Proverbs 19, verse 2.  It was calling me, you know, like those peanut butter cups that you have on the top shelf in the pantry for the trick or treaters, I know I buy candy early to prepare early (yeah right) and then I wind up buying more candy the day before or the day of Halloween, cause “I’m just gonna eat one or two pieces”.  That candy is gone and you’ve added a pound or two if you do that every day.  (I need to do that with my bible reading, I wonder if it would help if I hid it in the pantry, what if it tasted like chocolate…hmm, probably not.)

But anyway, thanks for taking that bunny trail with me.  LOL.

So I finally turned the page back to Proverbs 19:2

                        “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge,
                               nor to be hasty and miss the way.”

“To be hasty”.  That’s where I had to stop yesterday because my 30 minutes with God had turned into 2.5 hours and I had to get to work.  It was an awesome morning though and I seriously thought on that portion of the verse and just turned it over and over in my head all day (like a jawbreaker for my brain).  So this morning, “to be hasty” was speaking just as loud.  I am always in a hurry, rushed, moving, going, driving myself and my family a little crazy.  I look at my calendar and there are very few days that are blank.  But even more then that, I look back over my life and see decisions that were made in haste.  Decisions that impacted the rest of my life, some positive and some negatively. 

Buyer Beware!  I have been a salesman and so I speak with a bit of expertise on this.  It is imperative that once you have someone interested that you “close the sale” as soon as possible.  Some salesmen are high pressured (that door-to-door salesman trying to get me to buy a cleaner).  They rush, pressure, and attempt to “close the deal” as soon as possible, haste.  They are excited, pumped up, zealous about what it is they are selling.  They are willing to provide knowledge but only to a certain degree, not enough time to allow you to think about it, “if you buy now you can get 2 for price of 1 or I’ll cut the price, this price is only good right now, in an hour it goes up...(does that even make sense?) etc.”  Happens so many times we even have a term for it, “buyers remorse”.  After you slow down, take a breath and can think, you realize perhaps that was not a wise investment.  It does not matter if it was 10 dollars or 100,000 dollars.  If you regret having spent it, it is a loss, a mistake, an unwise decision. 

Imagine a similar scenario the guy that you see at school that you are excited to see, can’t stop thinking about him, seriously liking the way he looks, how he laughs, he’s popular and funny….but what do you KNOW about him?  Really know.  Don’t be hasty and alter the path that God has for you.  But we get in such a hurry, as teenagers to grow up, as young adults to “never be alone” and in our haste and due to zeal (lust and excitement) we make decisions that forever alter our path.  You must know BEFORE what your boundaries are, your own self worth, and to know you before you even attempt to know someone else, no matter how excited, how much ZEAL that person professes to have for you.  Knowledge is priceless. 

This one verse holds so much wisdom for everything in our life.  Zeal is great when it is built upon knowledge and you can be quick in your decisions when you KNOW that you are open to God’s leading but this does not happen overnight.  You have to learn, grow, and understand. 

I have often heard the saying, “haste makes waste” and often attributed it to cooking or making something, but it applies to all aspects of our lives.  If we are hasty with our decisions we waste time and could chose poorly and wind up having to either repair or apologize for our mistake, which waste our resources, (time, money, etc.)   How many times have I, in my haste, made a decision that later I wish I hadn’t?  How many times have you?  But instead of slowing down and heeding what Proverbs 19:2 warns us about we continue to get busier and busier, to rush and “make haste” and in the noise that we create in our lives we cannot hear God, cannot understand His desire for us and in our haste to decide what We should do, who WE should be with, and where WE should go, WE drown out the Father’s voice.  The voice that already knows who, where, and what about our lives and can provide the direction, the wisdom that will protect our hearts, our minds and our lives.  

God doesn’t want us to “miss the way”.  He provided “the way, the truth, and the light” in His son, Jesus.  Think my friends, I know I will try even harder now, to understand and obtain knowledge so that my passion for Christ and His teachings can be used for His glory and not be misguided.  I will slow down, become intentional in the decisions that I make and not be hasty, shutting out the noise and distractions of the world so that God can give me the direction He would have me go, so that I do not “miss the way.” 

What a wonderful comfort to know He is in control. 

God I pray for each heart that cries out to You.  God I ask that you help them to find the knowledge and reassurance that Your Word assures we are all given.  God I thank you for being so patient and loving and forgiving of all your children, when we, in haste, make decisions that are not best for us.  I know, because You have done it in my life, that when we are ready to embrace Your will for our lives and Your guidance, that the broad, winding path becomes straight and narrow but filled with the joy of seeing the world with Your eyes and Your heart, not mans.   Thank you Father for all that You are and all that You have given each one of us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Come to Jesus meetin"

Over the last few weeks my pastor (PM) has been starting an “Up Rising” at our church.  He has challenged us to “put on our big boy pants”, “to become a team player” and to check our A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E (check out and watch the message to know what that means).   All of our study has been from the book of Ephesians, which has so much to offer to every believer, no matter where you are in your faith.

So…I decided last night to put away all the books other then One.  They are all great books, and I will go back to them, one at a time, after a while, but right now, I only want my heavenly Father to pour into me. 

My PM suggested a good place to daily read the bible is in Proverbs, there are 31 and you can read one chapter a day, so this morning, since it was the 19th I started with Proverb 19.  It was me, my bible, my laptop, so that I could look up things I didn’t understand, and my pen and journal.   I just have a question, “How on earth can you read one of these per day?” 

I didn’t get past the second verse before I knew that God and me were fixin to have a “come to Jesus meeting”.  (Have you ever had a come to Jesus meetin? It’s when you sit down to have a heart to heart (in love) with someone and really speak to them plain and honestly and most of the time it’s pretty intense).  Think about having a “come to Jesus meeting” with God.   Well, that was me at my dining room table this morning when I read the following verse: 

Well, first of all I gotta make an appointment with my pastor because evidently I’m not doing this read a Proverb in a day right.  I started at 5:45 a.m. this morning and me and God, we spent a good hour just on that one verse.  I’ve heard people talk about verses “jumping off of the page” and man not only did it jump but I think it might have even hit me upside the head a time or two. 

So with this verse I stopped, and I read it again, and I wrote it down and I broke it down.  (Knowledge I have gleaned from “Becoming More then just a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst).  The entire time I’m doing this I’m asking God to help me understand and how can I apply this to my life  and what He wants from me?  (Lots of hard questions.)

I defined zeal, and knowledge, and hasty and I asked how do I "miss the way"?

Zeal:  I get fired up, excited, ready to “take on the world” and that’s a good thing, BUT, if I don’t know, (lack knowledge) that’s not good.  I am  NOT saying that in order to be a disciple we have to have a bunch of letters at the end of our name, but we DO need to understand and spend time with God and allow the desires of our heart, what we are passionate about, what we are eager for, ardent or have active interest in, we must gain the knowledge to sustain it.  I could want, be excited about, love, and desire to be a surgeon all day long, with all my heart, soul and body, but are you going to let me operate on you if I’ve never even opened a medical book?  Um, no….

No, I’m not saying that I think you have to have a degree to tell people about God and His love for them, Jesus didn’t chose a bunch of learned men, he chose men that had a heart, were willing to follow Him and accepted His invitation, men that could get fired up, excited, and ready to “take on the world” after He had equipped them, by giving them examples, teaching, and then sending the Holy Spirit to live in them.  Guess what, we have that today.  We have His examples, we have His teachings, and we all have the Holy Spirit.  Guess what that makes us?  Disciples.  But I gotta go to His Word and allow Him to teach me daily so that the zeal I have may be enlightened, not ignorant or misdirected. 

Wow, that’s just one part of that verse.  Pastor Matt, you and me gotta talk cause I need to spend even more time on “nor to be hasty and miss the way” (the rest of the verse). 

My reason for all of this is one thing; God has so much He wants each of his children to understand.  Stop today, just stop, and give Him some time to find out what He knows you will need today.  Is your day important enough to start it out going to God for His direction for you?  Come on, have a “come to Jesus meetin with me!”  It really is an amazing experience. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Congratulations on the Celebration of the Creation of your Belly Button!

Today 13 years ago you, my sweet daughter entered the world.  Your birthday was wonderful and amazing but it was also difficult for me because for 9 months I had protected, and sheltered and provided for you.  You were a part of me.  I was only 3 weeks into my pregnancy when I found out that I would be a mommy.  From the moment there was laughter and joy and the 9 months that I carried you, even with morning sickness, and swollen ankles, it was one of the happiest times of my life

I saw you for the first time at 5 weeks gestation.  You looked like a smudge, we had no idea if you were male or female, but your father and I already loved you.  The first time I ever felt you move I was in the bathtub on the phone with one of my best friends, Judy.  She and I were talking and you moved.  It was amazing and Judy and I both cried.  You grew and did well, no complications, no problems.  You would get the hiccups and my entire stomach would jump.  Those 9 months were the most anticipated, anxious, exciting and wonder-filled times in my life and they were only a foreshadowing of the next 13 years to come.   

A few weeks later the doctors did another ultrasound and found out that you were a girl.  I had known your name since I was 12 years old and had seen the movie Somewhere in Time.  The female lead’s name was Elise McKenna and even though I said I would never have kids, if I did have a little girl her name would be McKenna.  From the moment the doctors said you were a girl, everyone then called you McKenna before you even breathed your first. 

On October 15th, 1996 when I went into the hospital to have you was an exciting time, but it was hard.  Not just the labor and delivery, but giving you to the world, where I wouldn’t always be able to keep you safe, and protected.  Giving birth was the first step in letting you go.  Early in the morning of October 16th I watched as your father helped the doctor cut the cord  Your umbilical cord, what had connected you and I and had provided everything that you needed for the last 9 months and everything I took in, food, water, corn dogs (your father was wonderful about going to get me corn dogs).  I was very aware of what I put into my body for those 9 months, because I knew that cord connected me to you and that I was responsible for keeping you okay.  And as the cord was cut, the connection severed, it was the beginning of your becoming.  

They placed you in my arms, and I looked into your eyes and while all the love in the world welled up inside my heart, I did the only thing I could think of to do, and I stuck my tongue out at you.  And our relationship has been that way ever since.  I love to hear you laugh, I love to surprise you (which I know you hate but I can’t help it) and I have loved watching you grow and become.   I looked through photographs last night and in so many you are standing with your arms wide open, wanting to hug the whole world. 

 God gave me such gift when He blessed me with you and He knew you even before I did.  He loved you before I did and He loves you now even more then I will ever be able to. 

5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."  (Jeremiah 1:5)

Those who have heard my testimony know that it wasn’t until I had you that I could even grasp how it was possible for my heavenly Father to love me.  The cord between you and I might have been cut, but McKenna, you helped reconnect me to the supplier of all my needs and you continue, as you grow and become, to amaze me at the young woman I see before me. 

You don’t need me to feed you food anymore, you can feed yourself.  You don’t need me to hold your hand as you walk, you have that all figured out, and you have a passion for solving problems and helping others, and a heart that grows bigger the more people you meet. 

All of this in order to become the woman of God He created you to be.  So while you grow up and further away from needing me, please my blessing, grow in your love of God, deepen that connection with Him and allow His hand to hold you. Anytime you feel lost, or alone, or the world gets you down pray to Him but remember your belly button and know that before you breathed your first, you were loved, you were wanted, and you were celebrated, and not just by me, your daddy, and your family, but my darling, by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, your heavenly Father and keep those beautiful eyes on Him.

I pray that you and He will ALWAYS have that connection no matter where you go or what you do.  Don’t ever cut the cord that exists between you and God and never grow up away from Him but keep growing, keep embracing the world, keep that giving heart but no matter what, keep your hand in His, no matter what your age. 
I love you and thank God for the gift of you. 

Happy Birthday Boo.   



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Great Expectations

My WH and I had a great conversation a few nights ago.  We were talking about DD’s birthday, God, my upcoming surgery, God, our home, God, my speaking and ministry, God, do you see a theme here?

I posed the question to WH, “Do you think God is ever disappointed in us, like a father when his child doesn’t do as he wishes?”  And my WH, he truly is wonderful but I think the “W” could also stand for wise, stated,

“No, God doesn’t get disappointed because He already knows all that is going to happen, God has no expectations, therefore He cannot be disappointed.” 

To say that I was gobsmacked is an understatement.  (Don’t you love that word?).  How much of my life revolves around my expectations and meeting other’s expectations?

I have expectations of my husband, my daughter, my family, my God’s Girls (bible study group), my friends, my church leaders, my work, and even strangers that I meet.   When those expectations are not met, it sets up a series of events where disappointment, frustration, and anger can move in.   And how many times do these problems occur because the other parties were unaware of your expectations?  I cannot count the times I have gotten upset with WH because he didn’t do something that I expected but never thought to relay to him.  He loves me enough to be able to read my mind, right?  He should just know what I need…(yeah, doesn’t work friends, stop it and just ask for what you need/want, our husbands really appreciate that.)

But God…

God only requires one thing from each of us. 


For us to live our life every single day for His glory. 

Mark 12:28-30 (New International Version)

The Greatest Commandment

That’s it?   Yep, that’s it…Wow, think about all that encompasses though. 

And what about our expectations of God? 
  1. Do you expect God to give you everything you want? 
  2. Do you expect Him to make your life easy? 
  3. Do you expect Him to pour His blessings down on you just because you say you believe in Him? 

And what happens when we do get sick, or we lose our job, or someone dies, or someone hurts our feelings, is that’s God’s fault because He didn’t met our expectations?  

I’m learning that my heavenly Father only wants me to have one expectation and it is truly a great one.  

That He will always love me.  No matter what came before or what is in the future because that is what He promises to each and every one of us.  NO MATTER WHAT.

I am to live every day for His glory and to accept every day that God loves me. 

Two very brief statements that require an entire lifestyle change, a thought process shift, and 100% trust. 

How does a life look that is living for His glory?  Look at how Jesus lived for understanding and the perfect example.

How do you accept that God loves you?  By finally opening the door in your heart that he has been knocking on.  You know that nudge that you have been feeling is not imagined or make-believe.  It is real, it is Him, and it’s time to stop looking at everything else and having great expectations of man to fill up that empty spot in your heart because only God can fill it. 

You accept it by saying,

Dear Jesus,
I realized that I’ve sinned and I need you. Please forgive me. Thank you for
dying on the cross and for rising from the dead. Come into my heart and save
me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for
you the rest of my life.

In Jesus name,

If you have just prayed this prayer for the first time, let me know.  You can send me an email at Leigh at leighfrance dot com.   Also, tell someone you know personally: a Christian friend, co-worker, or neighbor. This will be as exciting for them as it is for you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friends and Contest Winners!!!!

It was so much fun having the contest but what was even more fun for me was seeing what happens when friends come together. Stop for a minute and just think about the friends that God has brought into your life. Over the last few weeks my friends have been surrounding me from my group of God’s Girls Growing (G3) to friends that I serve with, to friends that hold me accountable, to friends that speak the truth in love and help me to see Him when sometimes all I see is me. True friends. We weren’t meant to go through this life alone. Jesus knew this and picked 12 men to follow him and they became his friends. Did they all agree, no, did they let Jesus down along the way, yes, did they love each other, most of the time, and did they, through the power of One man, change the entire world…yes. All by word of mouth too I might add. Before the age of twitter, facebook, blogs and the internet. Society has existed on word of mouth. I got to see that over the past few days first hand. People spreading the word about the blog, telling their friends, and people stopping by from all over, California, Canada and even overseas. How cool. Because a friend suggested they come by. Friendships are powerful. They can lift us up by speaking honestly but with love, they can hold us accountable by showing us where we stumble before we have a chance to fall, and they can hold us when we are too scared to hold on. My friends have all done that and more.

This will be brief this morning, well as brief as I can make it, I’d like to challenge you to think and pray for your friends today. Send someone a note on FB to let them know you are thinking of them, send them a card online if you want, just stop a few minutes and give a little bit of the love away. It’s free, it multiplies, never divides, and when you give a little bit you get so much more in return.

And the winners of the Blog Brain Contest are:

Amy New won the “What Happens..” book. She was picked via the Random Number Generator website.


Tammy Marquess won the “Becoming More…” book. Tammy sent more then 25 different people by the blog. Now that’s the wonder of word of mouth and sharing with our friends.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by. Ladies if you will email me your mailing address to leigh at leighfrance dot com. I will send out your books!

Thanks for playing everyone!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blog Brain and a GIVE AWAY!!!!!!

I got blog brain. Blog brain is when you are being inundated by things that you want to say and not enough time to put it all down and then you lose those moments of inspiration. Blog brain. So whenever I get in a funk I read, heck, I read whenever I can, not just when I’m in a funk, but whenever I have a free minute. I am a voracious reader. I consume books like a 12-year-old soccer team consumes pizza. It can be a little scary sometimes. LOL My love of reading is probably the greatest gift my parents ever instilled in me and I am thankful that my daughter has a love for reading and the written word as well. My WH doesn’t worry about me spending tons of money on clothes or shoes or even a cute purse, but boy does he ever start to get nervous when he knows we are going to………THE BOOK STORE….. I love them, love them. Could stay in one for days. Just looking and browsing and discovering the gift that lies between the covers in wait for me to unwrap it.

So, because I can’t get rid of my blog brain and because I want to “share the love” when it comes to books, I am having a contest, actually I am having TWO contest.

But first…(anyone who reads my blog that knows me personally, knows that you have to hang on tight when we have conversations because I am all over the page…)

But first, or would that be second, I gotta tell you about something. If you look over there <--- you will see links to Proverbs 31 ministry and She Speaks. (Come back after you go see, I got more to say) Both amazing ministries. Lysa TerKeurst heads up an amazing group of ladies that I admire, hold in high esteem and pray that I can grow up to be like one day. The Proverbs 31 team has written a wonderful collection of books, they speak all over the country and are so on fire for God that you can get blistered by just being in the same room. If you get a chance to hear any of the ladies from P31 speak go because you will be blessed at the wisdom God imparts in these girls.

So here are the details. If you leave a comment from now until midnight Thursday on my blog you will be entered in a drawing for one of my all time favorite Lysa books, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.” This is literally the book that changed my life and helped take the blinders off my heart and allow God’s light to shine through. All you gotta do is leave a comment and I will use my random number picker to pick a winner! I will post on the blog Friday morning (early) who won so be sure to stop back by. Leave an email addy with your comment so that I can let you know if you won.

But wait…you said there were TWO contests… wow, you guys don’t miss a thing.

The second contest is a little bit more involved and rewarded accordingly. Get the word out, not only about my blog but about P31 as well. Let your friends know and have them stop by my blog say hi and leave a comment. All they gotta say is “Hi, Your name here told me to stop by.” Whoever sends the most people by will get Lysa’s brand new book “Becoming More then Just a Good Bible Study Girl.” I keep saying MY BLOG because Lysa won't know what to think if you post on her blog about My contest. LOL. But be sure to say hi to her too.

Wow I got some linky love going on in this blog today. So spread the word, pass it on and go see P31 website and all that they have to offer. It’s all about furthering God’s kingdom and if my blog brain today and a give-away can help make that happen, I’m all about it. Gotta go get ready for work. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 5, 2009


The word that is usually translated "grace" is in Greek charis (χαρις), which literally means "that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness".

Joy, pleasure delight, sweetness, charm and loveliness.

I don’t feel much joy right now. I am not getting a lot of pleasure as to where my life is in the moment. And I am finding it hard to take delight in the day to day. The grace that I have is depleted. I don’t want to be sweet, charming and lovely. I want to pout, get angry, and cry. Want to know why? OK, I’ll tell you.

Because life is hard.

I know, not a news flash, but when you are working so hard every day to make sure everything is okay, and then the world throws you a curve ball that makes it all go out of whack, it’s hard.

I know, I’m speaking in broad strokes when I need to narrow it down a bit.

The following has to do with three people in my life. My WH (wonderful husband), my DD (darling daughter), and me (me).

My DD’s 13th birthday is coming up very quickly. She had a wonderful idea to have a birthday party that would act as an outreach for a ministry that she feels very strongly about. Things were coming together and I was just in awe of all that God was doing in making this happen. And then… I found out I was to have surgery the Friday before her birthday. This is going to be quite an extensive surgery so we are unsure as to the recovery time. Everything for her had to be put on hold because of me. I feel awful. The doctors will not let me put it off, even for a month, so that I could celebrate the day of my daughter’s arrival on earth. I don’t remember a lot of my birthdays, but my 13th I do remember. It’s almost like a rite of passage, and I’m letting her down. I’m being honest, it’s very hard to find the joy, the pleasure or the delight in not being able to come through for your child. I realize that I should look at the blessings, that she is healthy, that I have a surgeon who is attentive enough to want me to be healthy, that God worked out the details so that I could get in…But… why now? I know His ways are not my ways, His plans are not my plans, but I hate letting her down but I just don’t know what to do. I have to find the grace, but right now it’s not in me.

My WH made a decision about something that I am having a hard time submitting to. I like to control things. I will admit that. My brother always said I was bossy, and yes I will claim that as well. But in my heart, I want, desire my WH to be the head of our home, to fall under his leadership and to submit to his authority because that’s how God says marriage is supposed to be and the marriages I see that are structured that way, they work. Now, I’m not going to say that that those marriages are perfect, because they are not, but whenever we do things God’s way, even in our imperfection God will work it out. God knows we can never be perfect, but He never wants us to stop trying.

So anyway WH made a decision about something that I don’t agree with and it’s taking EVERYTHING in me to not “just fix it”. This is not about his mistake, it’s about the internal struggle that I am having with submitting to my husband. To running headlong ahead of him and God and taking care of it myself…(how has that been working for me?)

So grace is needed. I need to give him grace. To be sweet, charming and lovely, but I don’t FEEL it. I feel hurt, angry, mad, and frustrated. But feelings can be changed can’t they? So my grace tank is empty. I look into the bank of my heart and find out I am overdrawn. I have no more grace so I cannot feel joyful, I cannot take pleasure and delight, and I cannot be sweet, charming and lovely.

I cannot do it by myself.

But God…….

Grace I cannot give to everyone else if I am not willing to accept it from my heavenly Father.

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8

This not from myself, or from my WH, or from my DD, or from my family or friends. But the gift of God. I have to focus on His Grace, accept His Grace, and replenish my bank from His supply. I have to look to Him to give me the joy, the pleasure and the delight in ALL things even when it’s hard.

I don’t know what DD birthday is going to be but God does.

I don’t know what my WH is going to do, but God does.

Nothing surprises Him so I go to His well this morning and drink deeply from the living waters His grace and today, tomorrow, and every day when it gets hard, I will go back and drink again, through reading His Word, through Prayer, and through Trust.

God I know that your grace is sufficient. We often say that without understanding what grace means. God I pray that when each of us is lost in our day to day life and feeling overwhelmed and undone, that we will come to you to renew our joy. We will come to you to find the pleasure and delight in our lives and in our circumstances. Lord I pray that we will each come to you to replenish the sweetness, charm and loveliness that gets depleted in our day to day lives. Help us each not to rely on those around us to fill up our wells because man will let us down, but to fall on our knees and reach to you for the gift of Grace that you have given each of us. In God’s name we pray. Amen.