Come Away {retreat}~~for Rest, Renewal and Jesus Time ~ Registration Info

To say that I grew up in a day when life was more simple would be an astounding understatement. When I picture the contrast of life in 1979 (I was 15) and 2018 it is almost as if I am picturing two different planets.

A typical day in my 15-year-old life would have included waking up, eating breakfast with my family, going to school where the highlight of the day was walking around the hall during breaks and eyeing the cute boys (yep, I married one of them.) After school there was band practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights and a football game on Friday nights. Sometimes I had a date for Saturday night. I worked at the local pharmacy on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. Sunday morning and Sunday evening found me in church where the majority of my friends could also be found.

Talking on the telephone meant having a conversation via a phone that was * gasp * attached to the wall by a very long cord that we stretched farther than it should have been so that we could talk in private in our bedroom. We also communicated with our friends via handwritten notes that got passed during class. Awkward!

I read a lot of books, kept a handwritten diary, and did not lay eyes on a computer until my first year of pharmacy school (1984). A mobile phone was not even on the landscape of my mind until 1991, and I had certainly never heard of texting, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat.

Life was incredibly simple for me. Today, life is significantly less simple for the majority of people I know, and I believe that is one reason why most of us have a hard time developing an intimate relationship with Jesus. We simply have too much pulling at us.

Mobile devices

Computers

Social media

Kids in every sport under the sun

Activities, activities, activities.

No time to slow down and simply be with Jesus.

It does not take a degreed theologian to see that Satan has found an effective way to keep us from having an intimate relationship with Christ by keeping us busy…focused on things that have little or no eternal value. Which means that if you and I really want an intimate relationship with Jesus we must be the ones to throw up a STOP sign and say, “Enough”.

 

Come Away Retreat

 

Is your relationship with Jesus important enough to prompt you to set aside three days to COME AWAY with Him? You see, you will have to be intentional in the pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus. It will not happen by accident. You must decide that there is nothing more important to you than that relationship, and you will have to carve out time to meet with Him and allow Him to speak into your heart.

Recently in THIS POST I shared a teeny bit of information about the upcoming Come Away retreat on which the Lord and I are working. You were prompted to consider whether you desire a more intimate relationship with Christ. I told you this retreat would be a time of worship, Bible study, prayer, and time alone with Jesus and I asked you to pray about attending Come AwayCome Away 2018 will offer 9 ladies the opportunity to do just that. May I share with you a few more details about the retreat?

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

September 20-23 will find 9 ladies joining me to spend the weekend together in a beautiful home on Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, Georgia. There will be four sessions of worship and Scripture teaching during the weekend, as well as ample time and space, both inside the home and outside around the lake, for private reflection and prayer. As we cook and share meals together, we will pray for and encourage one another to pursue Jesus like never before.

At Come Away we will seek to lay aside mobile devices, social media and other distractions in order to fix our gaze on Jesus, Our Beloved. My prayer is that each woman will leave the retreat knowing that she is perfectly safe, deeply loved, and completely accepted by Jesus.

The retreat price will include your accommodations for 3 nights, food, materials, and all sessions. You will only need to bring your Bible, writing instruments, personal items, and a heart that longs to meet Jesus.

This year I have added an extra day to the agenda, so instead of arriving on Friday afternoon, everyone will arrive on Thursday afternoon. We will leave on Sunday morning to return home. Because of the extra day (extra night accommodation, additional meals and additional session material) the price has gone up, but only by $50.

Prices:

Guest house with 4 twin beds in one room and 1 queen ~ $350 per person (5 spaces available at this price)

Private rooms in main house  ~ $400 (4 spaces available at this price)

You may pay the entire fee at one time, or in two installments of 50% each, but all fees must be paid by September 1st. In case you need to cancel your attendance at the retreat (I hope you won’t need to), fees are refundable until August 20th, with the exception of $75.

Because I am seeking women who are serious about an intimate relationship with Jesus, registration requirements will be a bit unique. REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON JUNE 25TH FOR PAYMENTS.

  1. Beginning now, be willing to commit to pray over your time at Come Away, asking the Lord to give you a prepared heart for what He desires to do that weekend.
  2. In a letter or email, tell me YOUR STORY (where you have been and where you are now spiritually) and why you desire to attend Come Away. If you have attended Come Away previously, tell me what the Lord has done in your life since you were at the retreat and why you would like to return. I will need to have this piece of the registration in my hands before you pay your fee. Do not send money with your letter. I will prompt you to register and pay your fee once I receive your letter. My email address is info@leahadams.org and my mailing address is PO Box 113, Blairsville, GA 30514. YOU MAY BEGIN WRITING AND SENDING YOUR LETTER/EMAIL NOW.
  3. Registration will be first come, first served and I will begin taking registration payments on June 25th.

 

QUESTIONS: Email me at info@leahadams.org. I hope to see you at Come Away {retreat} in September.

SDG/FCA!!

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A Fresh Perspective on Joy

Has God ever given you a fresh perspective on an issue that you have struggled with for, oh, decades? That is exactly what He has done for me in the past few weeks with the issue of joy, and I thought someone else might need to hear about it.

I’ve written before about my struggle with JOY. I simply do not always feel joy in my heart. I’m not talking about happiness, which is very fickle emotion. No, I’m talking about joy, which is not dependent on circumstances. You know, the-JOY-of-the-Lord-is-my-strength kind of joy. I just have not always felt it very often.

 

Fresh Perspective on Joy

 

 

This past month I have been reading the newest book by Max Lucado (see link below) entitled, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World. The book uses Philippians 4:4-8 as its anchor verses. We all know these verses. I’ve read them a million times in my almost 54 years, yet I have seen them with fresh eyes and a new perspective. May I give them to you and ask you to read them as if you had never read them before?

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

I would like to share two lessons with you that I have tucked deeply into my heart from my time in this Lucado book. The first is the crucial importance of thanksgiving. Paul admonishes us to present our requests to God by prayer and supplication, AND with THANKSGIVING. Y’all, I am so guilty of rushing to the asking part of prayer without first attending to the thanksgiving portion. If being thankful to God was not crucial to this issue of anxiety and peace, Paul would not have put it in.

So, how has being reminded of this changed me? Thanks for asking. Now when I pray I begin with thankfulness. And, before I voice any request, I begin with something pertaining to that request for which I am thankful. It might sound like this: Lord, I thank you that you have sustained my friend who is going through chemo thus far, and I ask you to continue to give him strength and encouragement. It’s really that easy and it has given me a shot of joy that I did not have previously.

The second lesson the Lord has taught me is perspective. In the book, Lucado talks about Paul and all that he endured in his life. Y’all, Paul did not have an easy life, yet Paul wrote the classic treatise on joy (the book of Philippians) from a dark, dank, critter infested hole in Roman ground. God pretty much smacked me upside the head and said, “Leah, if Paul could have joy in the midst of and after all he endured, surely you can find joy in the midst of your easy life.”

Well, what do you say to that? It is hard to continue to whine about a lack of joy when God puts it like that, isn’t it?

Anytime I share what the Lord is doing in my heart, it is in hope that you will find encouragement for your journey, as well. God will never leave His child like they are. His goal is to change us to look more and more CHRIST-LIKE. This is one way He is doing just that AND working out my OneWord2018 in my heart.

I hope you have a great day, friend. Oh, and I hope you are praying about attending the Come Away {retreat} 2018. Excitement is building and I am praying that God prompts the hearts of 9 beautiful, amazing women to attend Come Away. Are you one of those women? Click HERE to read how Come Away changed the life of one woman.

SDG/FCA!!!

 

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How the Come Away {retreat} Changed One Woman’s Life…and How It Can Change Your Life, Too

As you know from this post, I am busy as a little bee planning the Come Away {retreat for women} that will take place September 20-23, 2018. My heart is so excited about the details the Lord is sharing with me and the plans that He and I are making that will hopefully bless the hearts and lives of 9 ladies.

Recently on a warm spring day, I had the pleasure of sitting in our local park and sharing lunch with one of the ladies from last year’s retreat. I had invited her to lunch so that she could share with me how carving out time for Jesus and attending Come Away {retreat} 2017 impacted her. She had told me before how blessed she was by her time tucked away with 6 other women, but I wanted to take some notes so that I could share her story with you. She is graciously allowing me to do so.

 

How the Come Away Retreat Changed One Women's Life

 

 

Kennetha is a beautiful 30-something mom of two children under 10, wife, businesswoman, and friend to many, including me. As people passed by our picnic table at the park, Kennetha looked at me said, “Leah, attending Come Away changed my life.”

I asked her to tell me how.

She said that she came to Come Away {retreat} 2017 feeling ‘bogged down’ spiritually and personally, yet she left two days later revived and refueled in her faith. She admitted to being overwhelmed by a difficult relationship when she arrived, but over the weekend learned how to shift her focus onto Jesus and lay the relationship at His feet. She told me she discovered that it is impossible to be consumed by thoughts of less than perfect human relationships if she is intentionally placing her focus on Jesus.

Speaking of relationship….she shared that the Come Away {retreat} was the first time in her life (and she has been in church all her life) that she realized the Christ-life is about a relationship. Just like we have to be present in our earthly relationships, Kennetha learned that being present with Jesus is what builds that relationship.

“Jesus desires to have a true relationship with us DAILY.”

At Come Away {retreat} 2017, I challenged the ladies to choose one Scripture each day at the beginning of the day, write it down and carry it with them or place it in a spot where they would see it frequently throughout the day. This offers the opportunity to meditate on the Scripture throughout the day and hide God’s Word in their hearts. Kennetha took my challenge and has done just that….every day. She and her husband make it a point to get up before their children arise and spend time studying Scripture. God has honored her intentionality and devotion to Him by increasing her intimacy with Him.

She also told me that before the retreat “I prayed at night before I would go to bed, or when the devil was giving me a hard time.” Now, at the very least, she prays in the morning and at night. She told me that it comes so natural to her because prayer is really just talking to your best friend. She shared that she has learned that a relationship with Jesus is SIMPLE. He knows our hearts and that should give us freedom to share them with Him.

Kennetha told me that the benefits she experienced by attending the retreat are lasting benefits. Simply reflecting on spending that weekend focused on Jesus gives her strength and peace in the good days and in the days when frustration reigns….’cause you know we all have those!!

As we finished our lunch, my sweet friend looked at me and said, ‘Leah, because of Come Away {retreat} I now know how blessed I am AND that I AM ENOUGH. I am just enough.”

Oh yes, baby, you are ENOUGH. Because of Jesus, you are more than ENOUGH! 

For information on REGISTRATION, go HERE

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What about you, friend?

Is your heart in need of some renewing and recharging? Come Away!

Do you need a faith booster? Come Away! 

Are you so busy and frazzled that you rarely take time to spend time with Jesus? Come Away!

Come experience Come Away {retreat for women} 2018. At the retreat you will tuck away with 8 other ladies and me in a beautiful home on Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA. We will worship, pray, study Scripture, and have lots of time for reflection and R-E-S-T. We will eat, laugh, cry, sing, and share our hearts with Jesus and one another. There will also be an opportunity for you spend an hour or two at a local spa. SPA! Now, there’s a reason to join us!

I hope you will join me September 20-23 for Come Away {retreat} 2018. Registration will open in mid-June. Come Away!

 

SDG/FCA!!!!!!!

 

 

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Are You Living in Not Enough -land?

 

 

Y’all! I found out during my quiet time with Jesus this morning that I have a brother, or should I say, another brother.

I’ve long said that I am the prodigal son’s sister. Truly, I earned that sisterhood years ago. I made some stupid character and lifestyle choices in my 20s that earned me more than one trip to God’s woodshed. Because of the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus and the forgiveness He offers, my sinful choices have been forgiven, and yours can be too, if you know Jesus. I feel no shame or guilt over those choices because Jesus has taken my messes and made them my message!

 

Are You living in Not-Enoughland

 

This morning I was reading in Exodus 3. This is the chapter where Moses happens upon a burning bush that doesn’t burn. Take a gander at verses 5-14 (NKJV).

 

5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”

6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

 

Moses, who works for his father-in-law, Jethro, is out wrangling sheep on the backside of the desert. Notice he was not just on the edge of the desert, but he was on the backside of the desert. Lord have mercy, how many times does life seem to kick us to the backside of the desert? Moses was hot, dusty, dodging sheep poop every step, maybe hungry, missing his wife, and just alone with a bunch of smelly sheep. Shew—eeee!!!

May I tell you that the backside of the desert is probably the very place where God will show up in your life and mine? He seems to have a strange affinity for the desert.

Moses happens upon a bush that appears to be burning, but, wait! It is not burning UP. That’s southern for ‘the bush was not disappearing in a heap of ashes’. Suddenly, the bush talks to Moses. Actually, the angel of the Lord was doing the talking from the bus. The Lord proceeds to tell Moses that He (God) has seen the distress and captivity of the Israelites, and it is time to do something about it, and ‘You’re my guy, Moses!’.

This is the point at which I realized that Moses and I are related. Take look at verse 11 again. God is calling Moses to join Him in leading the Israelites out of captivity, and what does Moses say?

“Me? Not me. Although you are G-O-D and have never made a mistake before, there is always a first and this is it. I don’t talk very well. I would not know what to say. I’m not ENOUGH.”  

I don’t know about you, friend, but all too often my words, actions, and thoughts are those of ‘NOT ENOUGH’. I lived in Not Enough-land for so much of my life, yet recently I made a conscious decision to leave that place. I am ENOUGH in Jesus. He would not have died for me had I not been enough. His Spirit living within me makes me worthy and valuable and ENOUGH.

Maybe you have never lived in ‘Not Enough-land’, but I bet some of you have, and you are so weary of always feeling like you are not enough. Would you allow me to whisper something into your heart today?

I AM says that YOU are ENOUGH.

You were important ENOUGH for Him to send His only Son to die for your sin.

If you are a Jesus-follower, you are beautiful ENOUGH because you have His Spirit living inside you.

You are MORE. THAN. ENOUGH.

Now, walk that out in faith and when Satan tries to tell you you are NOT ENOUGH, tell Him that Jesus says you are MORE THAN ENOUGH. Tell Him that you are the bride of Christ, a daughter {or son} of the King, a chosen one, a royal priesthood. Tell Satan that you are called, loved, chosen, adopted, and redeemed by the God of Heaven.

Because of Jesus, YOU ARE ENOUGH! If God wants to use you or me or Moses to do something spectacular, then let’s stop this ridiculousness about not being good/smart/thin/talented/rich/popular or whatever kind of ‘enough’ you routinely use to fill in the blank. You are enough!

Friend, do you live in Not Enough-land? I would love to pray for you. Leave me a comment or send me an email to info@leahadams.org. It would be my privilege to pray for you as you learn to walk in your identity in Christ as one who is more than enough.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

HeBrews Bible Study – When God’s Plans are Different {and Better} Than Your Plans

 

 

How many times have you read or quoted Isaiah 55:8-9? You may not recognize the address, but you almost certainly will recognize the words.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so byways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (CSB)

These are the verses that pop into my mind every time I think about the HeBrews: A Better Blend Bible Study. 

 

When God's Plans are Different and Better Than My Plans

 

I know it makes no sense that verses from Isaiah would appear in my head concerning a Bible study about the book of Hebrews, but such is life. I never, not in a million years, planned to write a Bible study on the book of Hebrews. It is, arguably, one of the most theologically deep books in Holy Writ. Who am I to pour forth on the book of Hebrews? I have no theological training. I’m not a pastor, nor do I work at a church. I did stay at a Holiday Inn a few time! {smile}

God, however, had other plans than the ones that rumbled around in my head. And so I wrote a Bible study on the book of Hebrews.

Recently my wonderful publisher of HeBrews reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to write a blog post about the ways the Bible study is reaching people and pointing their gaze upward to Jesus.

Well, heck, yeah, I’ll write one!

So, today, I am linking to that post. In it I share a few quotes from folks who have done HeBrews: A Better Blend.

Go HERE to read the post.

SDG/FCA!!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Perhaps you are looking for an in-depth Bible study to do alone or with a group. I would love for you to consider HeBrews: A Better Blend. I’ve also written a couple of other studies that I’ll link for your consideration as well. Each study has been joy to write and they are all my favorites. (If you are reading this via email, you will need to go HERE to see the links below to my Bible studies.)

Come Away {retreat for women} 2018

My sister and I spent a lot of time with our paternal grandparents when we were children. Many Saturday nights found us at their home while our parents went out to dinner with friends. It was a Saturday night ritual that gave me wonderful memories of love and laughter.

Because of the time I spent with my grandparents, I had a window into their lives and faith. My Grandma, especially, had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus. It was not a faith that was easy-come, easy-go. No, she had seen some heartache and trouble in her life and had found Jesus to be faithfully present through it. As I circled around her life, I got the sense that Jesus was her best friend and that she really, really trusted Him. She spoke of Him in an easy, familiar way that caused me to wonder how exactly one would go about having Jesus as a best friend and confidante’.  It would be a few decades before I would understand how to have with a full-on, intimate relationship with Jesus like that of my Grandma.

 

What about you?

Is Jesus your best friend?

Do you trust Him completely with your life…with the life of your family…with your money…with your health?

Do you tell Him everything?

Are you willing to fling open your arms and say “here I am….I am yours…do with me as you will, even if it hurts”?

 

Once you have asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins, then you will be able to journey with me into this post. But, if you have not yet done that, you will never have an intimate relationship with Him. If you want to know more about why I believe in Jesus and made Him my best friend, please see THIS POST.

Today in our time together I am seeking to take you to a deeper place of intimacy that comes after you have established that saving relationship with Christ. A place of complete trust in Him….more trust than you have ever placed in any human. A place of obedient surrender to His desires for your life.

 

Come Away Post 1

 

You see, I’m convinced that an astounding number of Christians do not have that intimate, best-friend-in-the-entire-world relationship with Jesus. They have a saving relationship with Him, but that is where it stops, and that is precisely where I was about 20 years ago. I had asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and one day when I died, take me to live with Him in heaven. But, I did not have an intimate friendship with Him and I wanted one. I wanted that deep, abiding trust in Christ that my Grandma had.

And I finally figured out how to get it.

Please do not misunderstand me. I do not have it all figured out when it comes to the Christian life. God teaches me something new almost every day. He points out things in my life that need to go and be replaced with His things. There are still many days that I am painfully aware of my lack of success at this Jesus-walk.

The results of my 2017 survey told me that women are struggling, y’all. Probably men, too, but my heart is women. We are struggling in our marriages, our jobs, our parenting, our choices, and in our view of who we are in Jesus. I believe that I have learned some things that Jesus would like for me to share with a few somebodies who are desperate to know Him better. A few women who want like crazy to experience Jesus as their very-best friend.

 

In 2016 the Lord began tugging on my heart-strings with the idea of an intimate retreat for women where the focus is spending time with Jesus in worship, prayer, Bible study, and quiet time. In September 2017 I had the privilege of hosting 6 ladies at the COME AWAY {retreat for women}. We had an amazing time and each of us had an intimate encounter with Christ. Want to read about it? Go HERE.

 

Come Away Post 1 IG

 

This year the Lord is giving me the privilege to host Come Away once again.  The name of the retreat is taken from Mark 6:31 where Jesus invites His disciples to come away with him and find rest. My prayer and my hope is that 9 women will so desire a deeper relationship with Jesus that they will say ‘yes’ to His invitation to “Come Away” September 20-23, 2018. In the coming weeks I will share more about the retreat, but in the meantime, if you desire a more tender and intimate relationship with Christ, would you begin to pray about attending ‘Come Away….2018’?

Jesus longs to meet you there.

SDG/FCA!!

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Authentic Christianity: Each Day, 1 Blessing

I have had a long struggle with JOY.

There…I admit it. Joy and I have had a tenuous relationship over the years. I know it is not the sort of thing a Christian is supposed to admit, but I am done with Sunday school Christianity. I want to be real and transparent before you and those who circle my life. Although it has been a long while since I wrote a post for the Authentic Christianity series, today’s post is definitely a great fit for that series.

 

Authentic Christianity Each Day 1 Blessing

 

I know all the Bible verses about joy….all 150 or so of them, according to my Bible study tools app:

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~~ Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

 

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. ~~ John 15:11 (NKJV)

This one makes me wonder if my joy-bucket has holes in the bottom of it!!

 

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. ~~ John 16:24 (NKJV)

 

And then there is this gem…..

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, etc.. ~~ Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)

My ‘joy’ tree is sparse on fruit sometimes, let me tell you.

I look at people who are always ‘up’ and bubbly-happy and all ‘it’s a great day to be alive’ and think “I’m not sure what drugs you are taking, but I need a dose”. It’s not that I am chronically depressed, it’s just that I sometimes (okay, well maybe, often) see the world and the glass as half empty. I lean toward the pessimistic side of things, although I will usually tell you that I am more of a realist.

So, with that spilled out all over you, I want to tell you about something I have been doing all year in 2018 to encourage joy in my heart. I will confess that I have waited almost 4 months to share this to make sure it was going to be something that I made into a habit.

I use a Passion Planner for my calendaring needs. Late in 2017 (like, December 31st) the Lord gave me the idea of writing down at least one blessing that came my way every day…..kinda like a blessing journal. I called it “Each Day, 1 Blessing” and decided to write the blessing on my planner. So, at the end of each day I choose one thing from that day that was a blessing or joy to me and write it on the bottom of that day’s calendar page. Some days are easier than others. Some days a blessing or joy jumps right out of my heart and onto the page, while other days, honestly, I have to mine pretty deeply into the events of the day to find something that blessed me.

 

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Here are pictures of some of my entries.

 

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This exercise forces me to intentional about looking for blessing and joy in my life. The things I enter are sometimes BIG things like helping to find sponsors for children in poverty, but other times they are ordinary occurrences in my day like a beautiful sunset. Each entry is a reminder of God’s goodness in my life. This is one of the ways that I am being intentional about CHOOSING to grasp joy for my heart.

How do you encourage joy in your heart?

Do you struggle with joy or some other fruit? I would love to hear from you about your struggle and how you navigate it. Leave me a comment or email me at info@leahadams.org.

 

SDG/FCA!

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I Got {Almost} Nothing for You, But Just Wanted to Say ‘HI!’

Hello there!

Y’all, I’ll be honest with you…I’ve got {almost} nothing to give you.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing going on in my corner of the world. There is a lot going on, but so much of it is just heavy, hard stuff.

A dear friend hearing the ‘C’ word…cancer

Marriages shattering in a million pieces

Relationship angst

Friends with aging parents who are battling some serious limitations

You know….the really tough stuff.

My head spins with the nearness and seriousness of it all, and my heart just feels heavy. I stand at my desk to write and nothing comes. I sit to study Scripture and my heart feels dry. (I’m just being honest here.) I know there is life-giving, life-altering power in the Word but for some reason I feel numb, and I cannot even begin to serve up something to you that I am not feeling.

We writers go through these seasons when words won’t come. In fact, it was out of one of these dry, heavy seasons that my devotional When Words Won’t Come appeared.

 

So, today I am going to offer you a few pictures and words that I will use to share some of the highlights of the past month or so. It’s all I have to offer right now. (If you cannot see some of the pictures or links, go HERE.)

 

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On March 10th I represented my church in a local fundraiser called Super Chef Showdown that benefits Hope House. Twenty-five local ‘non-chef’ cooks prepared one dish of their choosing to offer as their entry into the Showdown. I chose to make Five Flavor Pound Cake. I had to make enough to feed a 4 oz serving to 200-225 people, so needless to say, I spent some time in the kitchen the day prior to the event.

 

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I made six pound cakes. Yep, six. I was a busy little cook for a full day.

On the day of the event folks from church came to help me slice the cakes and place the servings in the cups. In the picture below are L to R: Becca Medori (my pastor’s wife), me, Cheryl Dyer, Pam Corn, and Mike Medori (my pastor). We had a blast!

 

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Then, the doors were opened to the community and folks could move around the room, tasting all the chefs’ creations. There was a jug on each chef’s table. As the visitors tasted the food they voted for the dish they liked best by placing money in the jug. The chef with the most donations won the “People’s Choice Award”.  I was truly stunned when the winners were announced and I won 3rd place in that category. It was so much fun and I will definitely think about doing it again next year.

 

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What I am about to tell you may be TMI, but here goes. I got a couple of new tattoos recently.

Now, before you go looking at me all cross-eyed, I will tell you that they are cosmetic tattoos. For years and years I have had permanent eyeliner and I LOVE IT. It saves so much time in the morning during makeup application. So, recently I got my eyebrows done. I’m at that age where my eyebrows seem to have moved to a new zip code! So, I went back to my eyeliner girl and got my eyebrows tattooed. At this point, they are still a work in process.

For the first week I looked like Groucho Marx. Then for a few days I looked like I had a jungle disease of some type on my eyebrows as the scabs formed. It was UGLY! Now, I’m at the stage where they look okay, but I will be going back for a touch-up in a week to finish the work. Perhaps I will post a picture of the finished product in a few weeks.

Here is a picture immediately after the application. Yep, Groucho Marx. What you are seeing there is very dark ink (lots of it). That has lightened considerably.

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Here I am today, four weeks after the first application.

 

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If you have ever wanted permanent makeup, DO IT!! It is the bomb dot com!

 

For a writer in a dry, dry season, receiving word of not one, but TWO groups of ladies doing my HeBrews Bible study has been such a balm to my soul. One group is in New York and the other in Virginia and both groups are the cutest things you have ever seen. Take a look.

 

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Thank you so much, ladies, for choosing HeBrews. There are so many wonderful in-depth studies out there and for you to choose the one the Lord and I wrote is humbling. I pray that Jesus would be high and lifted up in your hearts because of this study.

 

One more picture….a beautiful reminder that the sun comes up every morning by God’s grace and with His favor. There is new hope and fresh manna for each day. Have a blessed Day~~~

 

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SDG/FCA!!

 

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Come Away {retreat} 2018 – Save the Date

It’s happening!

After several months of praying and dreaming, the Lord and I are making plans for the 2018 Come Away {retreat} for women….and I am so excited about what He is giving me. His faithfulness to share every detail with me, in His timing, is mind-blowing. Dates. Location. Theme. Messages. Every little thing!

In case you are not familiar with Come Away {retreat}, let me share a bit about it. In late 2016 the Lord began to nudge my heart to host what I like to call a ’boutique retreat’. He was very clear that the retreat would be very small, intimate, and would include lots of time for rest and Jesus. Months ahead of time, He even took me to the location where the retreat would be held in 2017. I prayed and planned and prayed a LOT over it. In every single detail, HE was faithful to provide.

Come Away {retreat} 2017 happened in September last year. Six precious ladies and I tucked away in an amazing cabin in the North Georgia mountains for a weekend. We worshipped, studied Scripture, laughed, talked, ate, cried, rested, and ministered to each other. Y’all, it was beautiful and we truly did COME AWAY with JESUS. The ladies all voiced a desire for ‘just one more day’.

Here are a couple of links to sneak peeks into last year’s retreat. Click HERE and HERE

Recently, we had a mini reunion. The seven of us met for lunch and it was such a sweet time. We reminisced about our time together and talked about the 2018 retreat. To say that there was a bit of excitement about 2018 would be an understatement. These ladies are READY to Come Away with Jesus again.

While I am not quite ready to open registration (probably in June) or give too many details (coming soon), I do want to give you a SAVE THE DATE prompt because I would love to have you attend Come Away{retreat} this year. I am already believing that God is preparing the hearts of 9 ladies to attend Come Away {retreat} 2018. Are you one of them?

 

Save the Date Come Away retreat

I want to encourage you to pray about joining us at Come Away {retreat} 2018. It would be my pleasure to serve you there. Please check back here in May for more details.

 

A Spring Scripture Challenge…..Because You Know You Want More Jesus

Hello, I’m Leah!

I thought I’d introduce myself, because it has been a few weeks since I posted anything here. The last few weeks have been F-U-L-L of all sorts of goodness, and honestly, I just have not settled down to get my thoughts in order. I will write more about that soon, but today I am so excited to share with you something the Lord has placed on my heart for us.

As you know, Resurrection Day (Easter) is on April 1st and it is all about new life springing forth from the grave when Jesus rose! Jesus had been crucified three days before and His followers thought that all was lost. But God!!…….He did a new thing on Resurrection Day and death was defeated once and for all. Hallelujah!! (Want to know more about why I think Jesus is such a big deal? Go HERE.

What better time to start a new habit that draws us up close to Jesus than Resurrection Day and the beginning of a new month!

 

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If you have hung around here for even a pair of minutes, you will know that I am like a dog on a bone about being in the Word. Scripture is LIFE to me, and I want it to be LIFE to you. I never knew how much I needed to be in the Word every day until I got in the Word every day way back in 2001. It feeds my heart and soul and gives me what I need to walk through this messy world. I’m hooked on Bible study for life!

Sometimes, though, for some of us it is hard to decide exactly HOW to be in the Word every day. So often I have women say to me, “I just don’t have time to do an in-depth study that requires 30 minutes or more of at-home work each day,” or “I want to read my Bible, but I just don’t know where to start.” I get all of that. I really do. So, for the month of April, I want to offer you a way to be in Scripture, AND to draw little nuggets out for your own heart.

Ta-da! My Resurrection Day/Spring/April Scripture Challenge!

I can make you a guarantee….100% money back guarantee. If you will commit 30 days to spending time reading one chapter of Scripture each day and journaling about it, your faith will grow and you will fall more in love with Jesus and His Word. I promise. Pinky-swear! God promised that His Word will never return void, which means it will always make a difference in the heart and life of the one who interacts with it. I am living proof that this is true.

So, here is how we will roll with this. Beginning April 1st, I am challenging you to:

1) Choose ONE CHAPTER of Scripture (any chapter, anywhere in the Bible) each day.

2) Read that chapter.

3) Write a little (or a lot) about what the Lord spoke into your heart from that chapter. (Keep reading, I have a FREE GIFT to help with this.)

Easy, huh? You may want to read 30 chapters out of one particular book in the Bible, or you might want to go totally rogue and random with your chapter choices. You might even want to read the same chapter every day for 30 days. You decide what works for you!

I have created a FREE journal page to help you keep track of your chapters and your heart ponderings. You may already have a journal that you like to use for such things, but I thought it would be fun to have a dedicated sheet for the effort, for those who would like to use it. I’ve named it ‘Chapter Read….What It Said (to me)’ and I would love for you to have it. There are two ways you can get it. Either download from the green button below, OR send me an email to info@leahadams.org and I will send it to you via email.

 

What do you say? Would you like to grow in your faith this spring? Do you desire to learn more about Jesus and His Word? Will you take my challenge?

If so, please leave me a comment below or send me an email letting me know you will taking the challenge. I am so excited to hear what God speaks into your heart and life in April.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.