Monday, April 27, 2009

Becoming Mama Leisha

Today At the Well they are talking about mentoring in the spirit of Titus 2 and it made me think about a phone call recently from a sweet younger of who have fondly become known as my "Mama Leisha Girls". Our lives have been busy and we have not had much opportunity to spend time together in the last few years so in a quick catch up call after seeing each other at a function earlier that evening at church we talked briefly. Her life has recently taken a new direction and she is walking out a dream in faith and I was telling her how I am so proud of her and that I get amazed when I look back and she how she has grown. God is doing beautiful things in her and the fruit is a joy to see. She mentioned something about me and my "Mama Leisha" calling - this has been an ongoing grin/smirk/giggle for several years now, the thing about it it really does seem to be more than a grin/smirk/giggle. She has called me Mama Leisha for most of the time we have known each other, but said she always felt that I was too young to be called "Mama" (I told you she was a sweet friend) however, she said that the last few years have changed me as I have walked the path from a full time working Mom to a full time homeschooling Mom - she says I have gained wisdom and grown into the "Mama Mantle" that God has placed on my life. WOW - can I just tell you how that humbled me?? I love and value this young woman of God and consider it an honor that she would see those things in!!??

God can use anyone ......and He does, because as I look around my life, there are a few handfuls of young ladies in my life who come to me for advice, counsel, friendship and yes....mentoring. Some want to know more about being a Mom, some about being a wife and others about walking with the Father - none of these things do I feel qualified or worthy to advise them on - but God continues to deliver them to my doorstep so I press forward in obedience and honor to Him regardless of my shortcomings - He is sufficient and He dwells in me - so I am enough in Him. We can always be sure that we are doing what is pleasing and honoring to Him if only we will tunr it over to Him - keep our hands off of it and allow Him to be the Potter - He creates more beautiful works than we could ever even imagine.

I have a sweet friend who comes for coffee each Tuesday morning before she goes to school (sadly that is about to end and we are going to have to find another time), I have another dear and yes, younger friend who phones me on her way to work once or twice a week so we can catch up and I can get my steel toed boots out for her when she needs them - she tells me I am the only one who can get away with that. Then there is my sweet sweet original Mama Leisha girl who lost her precious Mother to breast cancer several years after the Mama Leisha jokes began and who now just this past weekend introduced me to someone as her "Mama Friend" (I am 12 years older). There is my beautiful 2nd Mama Leisha Girl, who touched my heart when she asked me to be a bridesmaid last July- telling me that she could not imagine walking down the aisle without her "Mama Leisha" and Iwas stretched beyond belief and as I spent time with the other 11 beautiful, thin under 30 gals in the bridal party for 2 days - did I mention I was stretched there ;-) !! What started as a joke in a hospital ER because of a confused nurse has grown and become what I really believe is God calling.....I am honored and humbled and blessed beyond words by the love and friendship of these young women who trust me to mentor them and guide them as they encounter life. So as they continue to come into my life, my prayer is that the Lord will continue to grow me up and use me to minister to them and mentor them as he sees fit.

I have come from much brokenness and God is so graciously allowing me to use that brokenness to bless others. A pastor friend of mine once told me when I shared some of my testimony with her that people trust people who walk with a limp. I have found this to be so comforting and so very true. Thank You Father, in you all things do come together for the good of those who love you.

Girls - you know who you are - I love you and thank you for the abundant blessings you give me by allowing me to be a part of your lives and watching you grow and mature in who our Awesome Father has called you to be - thank you for sharing a part of your journey with me !! I can't tell you how much I love you and how grateful I am that God chose to deliver you to my doorstep!!

Learning as I go,
(Mama) Leisha

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frugal Romance

The Principal and I recently celebrated our 4th Anniversary - wow - what a whirlwind 4 years it has been. When we married I was a full-time working Mom preparing my 3 year old to start school the following year. Thank goodness God is so gentle and has such a wonderful sense of humor and timing for, if not for those things we certainly would not be where we are today - it is as always by His Grace Alone that we are who we are and doing what we are doing. I am now a full-time homeschooling Mom learning to care for family and home in ways I had no knowledge of a few short years ago - Thank You Abba Father !!!
In light of the changes that we have made in our day to day circumstances, many other changes have followed both out of need and desire. One of the things that I try to do as much as I possibly can is continue to "earn" an income at home by being a good steward of the provision with which we are blessed. There are so many ways that I have learned to make money go further (future post perhaps?) and some of them I wouldn't change now even if there was an endless supply of money. The Principal earns a good living and I feel it is my responsibility to put the deserved value on his hard work by not spending it carelessly....SO....with that in mind I approached our anniversary with the best of intentions and rather than focus on what could I buy him I focused on what could Igive him. Take these ideas and use them as you wish - it is my prayer that they inspire you to romantic genius!!This year I found myself thinking back to so many moments of our trip to Jamaica where we were married barefoot on the beach and so decided to go with the "Jamaica" theme for showing my sweetheart how much he means to me on this anniversary. The Principal wakes the roosters in the morning so I knew he would be up before me - after he was sleeping sweetly the night before I snuck into our bathroom where I had all the "props" stashed and set the scene for the morning. I gathered together a thank you card that had a wedding picture on the beach, a conch shell with a great story (for another time), a bathing suit wrap and hat I wore, sand and shells from the beach where we were married and our wedding rings. I set it all up in our bathroom by draping the wrap over the counter top and making a display of sorts - this was what he would be greeted with at he started the day - it was a huge hit by the way - he loved it and it set the tone for a wonderful day of romance. We made arrangements for Wonder Boy for the day and after getting him situated, we hit the road to do what we love and do best....letterbox and adventure!! We drove to a town a few hours away where there were several letterboxes that we had not yet found and enjoyed the day hiking and exploring - it was a crisp sunny day and we we had the best time. We decided to fore go the pricey restaurant meal instead deciding on a wonderful gourmet pizza at home while we relaxed by the fire. I made the best pizza I have ever made with authentic Italian type dough purchased from the deli counter at Whole Foods Market, topped with prosciutto and fresh basil and thinly sliced Roma tomatoes - it was divine - and only a fraction of what a dinner out would have cost! After dinner we exchanged small gifts and just hung out and talked in the comfort of our living room, in our comfy clothes without interruption from wait staff or child - it was heavenly.
This is the card I made for The Principal (I now make all the cards I give to both The Principal and Wonder Boy because well....they love them and I have issues with Hallmark (yet another post) and it's hard to find cards made by anyone else.
By the way - as an aside - Wonder Boy was so taken by all my plans he worked one up of his own - the morning of our anniversary he presented a gift to The Principal and I that he had put together himself. It was a beautifully wrapped ;-) journal with 2 pens - one red and one blue(so we could each have our own color to use) for us to write love notes to each other in, with a note from Wonder Boy written on the inside cover wishing us Happy Anniversary - how's that for homeschooling ? Not too mention precious!! Just to let you know - we keep it on the dresser in our closet and I usually read a note/leave a note when I am putting socks and t-shirts has turned out to be such a sweet sweet gift.
Let me share one last thing with you....the box. I bought this beautiful wooden box on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off several years ago now and filled it with 365 notes of love, thoughts, memories and thank yous to give The Principal for Christmas. I have since filled it for different occasions when it is empty - The Principal takes a note our randomly each morning before leaving for work and keeps it in his pocket to glance at throughout the day. I re-stocked the box for our anniversary - it had been sitting empty a while - I feel like a better wife when the box is filled ;-) I keep an excel file on my laptop and add things as they come to mind so that when the box needs filling I have something to print off, trim and fold. The Principal tells me this is easily one of the best gifts he has ever received. Different colored paper makes me happy......
I hope a peek into our romance will give you some inspiration to look outside the "norm" and return to the joy of gift giving with creativity inspired by love - really and truly you will save some money, but more importantly you will be beautifully packaging up the real gift that we all want don't think it gets any more priceless than that !

Learning as I go,


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I can't believe I made butter !!!

It's getting scary at my house.....I am spending more and more time in the kitchen and becoming braver in my "I can make that myself" thinking. As a direct result of this ever growing "Kitchen Power" ......I made butter !! Real butter from real milk - how cool is that ? The Principal just smiles and shakes his head at my culinary adventures - but I know he secretly digs it! He told me a while back that he never would have thought he would marry a "root hugger" but now that he now finds himself married to one and loving it. He is a "root hugger" too - he just needs a little more coaxing than I did. Wonder Boy is right there with us asking what can be recycled and continually coming up with incredibly complex and random ways to re-purpose items that have reached the end of their intended life.

As a family we are learning and growing in our desire to become more self sufficient and live a more sustainable lifestyle - what we have fondly come to call our "root hugger" ways ;-) I am defintely the ring leader in many areas but I am not alone. Stay tuned, I have vegetable rennet in the fridge for cheesemaking and I'm not afraid to use it......oh and then there is the rain barrel adventure - it's raining now and we are loving it - but more on that later ;-)

Learning as I go,


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