Grow with God • When I don’t really have time..

Hello Everybody!

I hope you’re all doing great this week and if you are in school that you are staying ahead! Personally, I have a larger course load than I have had in several years so balancing it with work, church, bf, and family has been interesting so far, but I am doing it! There is a cheesy tumblr post that says, “I run. I’m slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, but I run!!” Which is how I feel about school, and life, at times TBH. AND though I never plan my intros, (Which is evident by how much I babble in them if you look at previous posts. Haha.) this funnily enough kind of ties in with my topic today.

blog gif anyway

 ANYWAY, around a year ago and the beginning time of this blog of mine, I was carrying a similar course load as I am this semester in school, yet while being just as busy I was probably the closest that I have EVER been with God.  (Not that I am not close to Him now, but we can always improve and strive harder to be close to Him.) At the time, I had a reader reach out to me who was from Brisbane, Australia. Obviously, I was stoked that she reached out to me, but what got me more excited was her questions about God and our relationships with Him. She expressed in her email that she was a high school student and a Christian but she was “finding it hard to FOCUS on God because [she] did not have many Christian friends or influences around [her] and that [she] was pretty busy with [her] school schedule.” She then asked my tips for growing a relationship with God when you can’t really find that much time in your schedule. I obviously did not want to bombard her with a bunch of stuff all at once; I mean, How do you climb Mount Everest? One step at a time. So I decided to start off SLOW and give a few tips at a time. This is why for the first time ever, I am going to do a series on this blog page.  Because there will always be more that we can do as we learn more and grow more. I’m super excited about it, are you? *I’m imagining a crowd screaming “YESSSSSSS!” right now, not gonna lie.*

Blog Gif

Let’s dive on in!

Step 1: The first step is simple, though many people don’t actually do it and that is: spending time with Him (in the Word and in prayer.) It is just like a relationship with anyone else in your life; it takes time and effort. Can you imagine your BFF and you being as close still if you never talk or see each other? So when you feel a strain (like you aren’t as close as you want), start with that. Now, let’s talk how this can be a PRACTICAL application to our lives. Realistically, it would start with reading the Bible every day (just 1 chapter a day) & 15 min of prayer. At least. So if that means waking up 15 minutes earlier to spend time with Him, then so be it. In my opinion,  it’s better in the morning to do this; nobody else is awake and He has your full attention. Throw on some worship music and just talk to Him as though he were sitting across from you. Do this every day and then, when you get used to it, increase it to 30 min or an hour or however much you feel.  Odds are, when you get in the groove, the time will fly by and you will crave more time with him. 

Step 2: This one helped me A LOT and I never even thought it would. I don’t know if you drive or not, but when you are in the car, try to cut out secular music (aka anything not Christian.)  I’m not saying forever, I still love me some Go-Country 105. But at least as far as “car time” goes for a while, try to dedicate this time to Him. To be completely honest, this is an area that I need to work on again (This goes to show that it takes constant effort to maintain a strong relationship). Previously, I made that change and continued for 4-6  months and noticed it totally improved my overall mood. I wasn’t getting “road rage” or upset. It also helped calm me down when I felt an attitude coming on or when I was feeling anxious or upset. Spending time in His presence helps you, so you might as well get in as much time as you can. *warning: some worship songs are not suitable for driving because they cause tears and sobbing* Lol! All jokes aside though, I truly want you to take this #CarpoolWorshipSesh challenge. (and keep an eye out for one of my upcoming post-series where I am going to do my top 5 Praise Songs and then my Top 5 Worship songs. Until that comes out, you can check out my friend Kristen’s youtube video where she discusses the topic! I’ll link it below!)

music.png

There are so many other things that could help, but seriously, just start with these and see how it improves your walk with Christ. Let me know how these work for you on my Instagram DM’s or by email! And if you want more tips, keep an eye out for the next post in this series.

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

xo, Leah Grace

Downloadables-LHC-florals-desktop

Want to read the bible, but don’t know where to start? My church has a plan that follows the one chapter a day! here is the link for a free download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5HegXgDdEYMMlVhNGx1emlROEE/view
Kristen’s Video!! https://youtu.be/7r2mkxpDGX4
image from laura hooper calligraphy on google images.

5 Tips for Freshman to Ace a Class!

Hey Everyone!

Back to school season is among us and boy, has it been an eventful week already. If you are an incoming freshman to college this year then you may a tad bit nervous about diving into this wondrous pool of the unknown. Well, don’t worry. College can be so much fun, but it’s definitely as good as you make it. Go into it with an open mind and an optimistic mindset that this year is going to be amazing. Today, i am going to list a few essential tips (5 to be exact) that i have used in my personal life that have aided in my success in school thus far. Now, these may not be for everyone but in my experience, i have improved a lot since adopting these ideas. Lol. Try them out and let me know how they work for you!

 

  1. Buy a binder/set of dividers for each class. I know everyone has different schedules, but the way that i set up my personal school schedule is to try to take one class per day. (otherwise, at least to have them somewhat back-to-back so i am not stuck on campus all day.) In saying this, i have time to either go to my car to switch out materials and avoid carrying all of my course materials with me all day. This really helps me keep super organized and I don’t have to worry about shoving papers in my backpack and losing/mixing them with other subjects. As mentioned above, if you don’t have the luxury of going to your car/dorm/locker to switch out your binders, then i would stick to either a 3 to 5 subject notebook that you can use one section per subject. The point is: SEPARATE FOR SUCCESS.
  2. Get yourself a pack of sheet protectors. I know, random. But they help a lot!  They are the three-hole punched clear sheets that allow you to insert documents in them. I will take those and put a couple in each subject’s binder and put my syllabus in there. This allows me to not have a crumpled paper when i need to go over upcoming topics for reading/ due date changes. Slide it in and out of the plastic sheet whenever the professor makes an adjustment and you don’t have to stress too much or scribble last minute announcements on your hands or random papers. *GUILTY FACE* It also comes in handy with any handouts that the teacher may give out. This keeps them from tearing, getting dirty, or crumpling. (since most handouts are not reinforced around the hole punches).
  3. Rewrite your lecture notes. This one may seem unnecessary and like hand cramps waiting to happen, but hear me out. A lot of times during lecture the teachers will talk fast, change the power point slides mid-sentence or jump subjects around a little bit. I know, in my experience, i have had professors who will jump to three various concepts in a strange order and i would circle certain notes and draw arrows to the ideas it was in common with. Let’s just say, it got messy fast. Rewriting them not only allows you to have neater/more concise notes, but you will also basically be reviewing it again. There is a saying that goes “a short pencil is better than a long memory.” This means that you are more likely to absorb information when you write it down. Imagine writing it down twice? Think of those odds. Lol
  4. Keep your quizzes and tests. This is particularly beneficial when you have professors who give cumulative exams (meaning everything you’ve learned so far is included.) if the professor didn’t hand them back, just ask. Trust me they don’t wanna hang on to them and will most likely trash them anyway. Once you get them back, find the ones that were pretty difficult for you during the exam, that took you the most time, or that you got wrong and re-do them. Get the correct answer from someone else if necessary. Odds are if you got it wrong on the quiz and the same concept pop up again you’ll miss it on the final exam unless you’ve practiced it and learned from your mistakes.
  5. Remember to have fun, talk to people and make friends. Especially on the first day, make sure you talk to people, exchange numbers, and get to know your peers! Kind of self explanatory but this will make class way more fun. Being able to know people and not be alone in a class where you don’t know anyone is awesome alone, but it also helps in cases where you miss a day and need the notes and you actually have others to ask rather than falling behind. Also, you can get together and study outside of class! I know our library on campus has study rooms you can book for free with chairs and whiteboards and tables so we can go in the air conditioning and the quiet and study together before exams. Trust me, don’t do college alone if you don’t have to!! It’s cool to have others who understand your struggles. Haha   

 

So like i said, at least for me these have helped me immensely in my recent semesters. Small changes like these to improve your organization, studies and mood during class can seriously alter your overall grade by the end of the course. Keep up the good work everyone! I pray you all have an awesome semester.

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

xo, leah grace

you ain’t seen nothing yet

Hey y’all. It has been a while, amiright? 

I could do the whole spiel with “oh I’ve been busy,” “life got in the way,” yadda yadda yadda. Which all are technically true, but quite honestly, i just could not bring myself to write a blog post about being the “amazing christian” that i am when i did not feel like i was serving in the best way possible or in the way that i know in my heart is how i should be. I let distractions come into my life and steer my focus away from where it should be: centered on Christ. Then, in times such as these, when it feels like everything that could go wrong is doing so, i would have that strong foundation that is not easily shaken.

big bad wolf.gif

Now to try to make some sense of this to you, particularly if you have no idea who i am and just somehow found your way into this “confused 20-something year old” girl’s blog, here is a brief summary : I’m Leanne. The reason that i began this blog was as a way to de-stress in my time of distress. Intended to vent and somehow formulate my “mind-scribbles” into processed thoughts, i found myself creating this blog where you find yourself now. Along the way, i have failed and triumphed and met a bunch of cool people along the way. Here i am, one year later, after feeling like nobody cared about what i had to say and that i was a failure as a christian because i felt like i was plateauing. I am coming back to remind myself that the intent was to do this for myself. If people read it, cool. If not, that is cool too. Anyhow, here we go. I am going through a lot of family stuff right now. life is hard right now, but Christ is good. The devil is attacking my family in the worst way possible, but it will be okay because God is on our side and who can stand against us. I read my bible today for the first time in (embarrassingly, i do not even know how long) a while. I use a bible app on my phone and the “verse of the day” was Ephesians 3:20-21. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” I continued on to read the whole chapter which was so comforting and made me feel a lot better about the current state of my life and my prayer requests. I am praying and expecting the Lord to do great things for my family to make this horrible test into an amazing testimony, and Christ is telling me (in a roughly millennial/paraphrased way), “oh booboo, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

excited

Anyhow, prayers always welcome, and if you could pray for me too, it would mean the world.

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

♥ xo, leah grace

Run without Ankle Weights!

Hi Everyone!!

I know, I KNOW, I KNOWWWW. I am so inconsistent with posts lately, and there isn’t even a valid excuse. I do apologize but I have some great upcoming posts lined up so stick with me please!

♥♥

So here is a fun fact about me! In high school, I was in track and field. It was so much fun. I was a “thrower,” so we did shot-put and discus. We were actually Del Rio League Champions for Varsity Girls when i was there. I have the shirt to prove it. LOL. Annnnnyway, because I was a thrower, I didn’t do many things on the actual field because we had our own designated areas. But during practice and for warm ups we ran the track every. SINGLE. DAY.

***SIDE NOTE: Ooh girl, do i hate running. Huffing and puffing my way through a zumba class or a few levels of a stair-master are hard enough, but running is a whole other level of torture.***

But I am digressing. One of the workouts we did was hurdles. But we didn’t just run the hurdles. As throwers we constantly had to do leg workouts and hip stretches. Legs are how you throw far, not so much arms. So we would hop over the hurdles and side step over and a bunch of other stuff.  Well, a very common, well known verse that is found in Hebrews alludes to running in a race. Who already knows what I am talking about? If not, don’t worry. I’ll tell you.

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

Now, you may be thinking, “But HOW DOES THIS RELATE? I don’t get it!” Well, in the race that this verse is talking about, it is much more complicated than a simple race or even a lap with hurdles. In life, not only are there hurdles, but there are potholes, trap doors, and ankle weights on you.  “HOW IS THAT ENCOURAGING, LEAH!?!? YOURE FIRED. STOP.”

Let me finish. I LOVE this verse, because it makes me feel human. Just because I have messed up in the past, (easily messed up and fallen into that pothole) doesn’t mean that I have to carry those around as a constant reminder. *Takes off ankle weights* I can lay them aside and just push through, running the race with endurance. Translation: As hard and fast as I can.

♥♥

Another cool thing is that it is scientifically proven that you run faster when you are looking ahead because your body is facing the direction you are running in. If you are running and look back to see how close the other people are, or in this case at your past, you WILL SLOW DOWN. Want to know what to look at instead? JESUS. Read the next verse in Hebrews.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).”

♥♥

When  you focus on Christ and the things ahead, you’ll run faster. Don’t forget, the verse does say it is a race. Run with gusto. Run to win the prize.
What ankle weights are you still carrying around? Cast your cares on HIM! Remember, prayer requests are always welcome!

♥♥

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

xo, Leah Grace

21 Years Of “Wisdom”

Hi everyone!

So many of you (most actually)  probably don’t know that yesterday was my birthday! My 21st, to be exact.

vs0plLv.gif

Looking back on my life, I have had more than my fair share of struggles. This is a topic that I may or may not ever touch on. But despite the drama that has been experienced in my life, it doesn’t negate the fact that I am blessed beyond belief. Especially considering where I have come from. I hope that everyone can understand that while some things remain out of your control, you ARE the one who is going to decide on a lot of the factors affecting the quality of your life.

untitled (2)

In high school, one of my Honors English teachers assigned an essay in which we had to take a quote from a list that she provided. With this quote, we needed to explain why it was accurate and applicable to life as we know it. They were all meant to be super inspirational, though I found most a bit too cheddar if you know what I mean. **cheesy LOL** The one I ended up going with was a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. It stated, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Personally, I believe that this can correlate to a whole spectrum of things, including our individual unique lives. A few bad events doesn’t make a bad life. So Why am I talking about this in my birthday post? I don’t know, really. But it feels right. It feels like it needs to be talked about. If that makes any sense. LOL.

tumblr_mtouwxmLQ01qj56zwo3_250.gif

In my 21 years, I have learned that even in a rather small amount of time, so much of your life can change. If I look back to a few years ago, I was such a different girl than I am today. I’ve learned how to let go of toxic people and to hold on tightly  to the ones who have truly have your back. I’ve learned how to pick my battles, and accept what I cannot control. I’ve learned that to be an example to people, you need to exhibit what you expect out of others. Walk the walk & talk the talk; otherwise, don’t be upset when others don’t do it either. I’ve learned that it takes time & effort to build relationships. With family, with friends, and, most importantly, with Christ.

Do I think that I am oh-so-full of wisdom? Heck no. Am I proud of what I have accomplished? HEEEEEECK to the Y.E.S!!! I have learned so much in my twenty-one years, and my hope and prayer is that you are learning in your years too.

 

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

xo, Leah Grace