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!

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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.

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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).”

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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!

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

xo, Leah Grace

Guurl, Where Have You Been?

Hey everyone!

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Guess who’s back and better than ever! I didn’t even realize how long I had been gone until I checked the dates and realized that yes, indeed, I had neglected my blog and all of the friends that I have made through running it for a MONTH?? So quick update on where I have been. I started school on August 19th, (about a week after my last post.) I am a full-time college student, so my schedule has been pretty hectic. I juggle my classes Monday through Thursday, along with my part-time retail job, & of course, church leadership/ services/prayer.  Please don’t take this as complaining because I love and appreciate that I have such a full life. It has just been a bit busy, and sometimes I forget that the whole reason that I created XO, Leah Grace was to DE-stress in my times of distress. School, Work and other time consuming commitments can be stressful. So I am back AND I have a few posts ready to make up for the absence. The next one should be up later today about my 21st birthday yesterday!! WOOHOO. I hope you can forgive my temporary, though seemingly “forever lasting,” M.I.A status and we can reacquaint ourselves together!

Until next time (later today LOL), I am signing off with Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

Representatives Don’t Take Breaks

So you may know this or you may not, but I work in customer service/ retail. Now, if you have never done that then you most likely didn’t hear the intense piano that just played “DUN DUN DUN” really loud in the background when I said that. But just imagine, bolts of lightening and rolls of thunder as I describe the life of a sales employee. Basically, you have a few roles that you can do. 1. The person who works on the sales-floor. This person recovers and folds until their arms fall off. They dream of folding clothes. It is INTENSE. Now these people will deal with customers occasionally to find a size and whatnot, but for the most part customers will claim that they “are just looking” and never admit when they need help. 2. Fitting Room associate. This person will prep go-backs and run them all back. Yup, those clothes that you try and decide that it looked better on the mannequin? All of those end up in the bin. (Unless you leave the clothes on the floor in the fitting room, inside out and not on hangers. In this case, please don’t do that. It isn’t fun to deal with and those guys have it hard already.) And Finally 3. Cashiers. These are the people who deal with it ALL. Fake credit cards, expired coupons, complaints, wrong signage, etc. etc. etc. But do you know what the best part is? Clocking out and not having to deal with it anymore. Once my shift is over I don’t have to fake a smile even though my feet are killing me, laugh at jokes that I heard 20 million times a day, or use my fake retail voice. I get to clock out and then I am no longer a representative of my brand. I don’t have a tattoo on my forehead that says GAP INC. Nobody will know that I work there, but being a Christian isn’t like that. There is no clocking out, taking a break, or lunch time. We are called to represent Christ at all times and in all that we do.    

This isn’t always an easy thing to do, but if me keeping my cool (and not having an attitude when I think it is totally justifiable) can show someone the light of Jesus in me, then I would say that it was worth it.  2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then, we are ambassadors of Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God (NKJV).” An ambassador is someone dignified who is chosen to go into a foreign land and represent that country. This is not an accidental word that was used “willy-nilly.” There is a purpose for it. The bible calls us ambassadors of Christ, therefore we are called to represent Him here on Earth. That is a full time gig. Even when we don’t feel like it, even when we are alone, even when your kids drop grape juice on your pretty clean carpet, and YES, even when someone cuts you off on the freeway. Today at work, something happened that was a total “AHA MOMENT/EYE OPENER.” I was talking with two of my coworkers. One of them, who is not a Christian and does not go to church at all (though I do invite him often and am believing that one day he will crack LOL), said that he came to me with questions about God because he liked that  I “did not shove my Christianity/ Jesus in people’s face. You could just tell I was by how I acted.” MAN, I wanted to cry on the spot. It was the most amazing and rewarding moment ever. But it also made me realize that people are always watching you, even when you don’t think they are. Which is why I felt compelled to write this post about my day today rather than the blog post that I originally planned. If you are going to take anything from this post today guys, here it is (my nugget, just for YOU) : We are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. There are no breaks, time-outs, or clocking out. Represent Him in all that you do, how you act, and the words that come out of your mouth. People are watching and if they don’t go to church, you might be the only glimpse of Jesus that they get, so be a good one.

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

xo, Leah Grace

Hello Graceful Darlings

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Hello Everyone!

First and Foremost, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Leanne and I am twenty years old from Los Angeles, California. I am not sure whether anyone will ever read this, or if I am just here by myself. **cricket noises fill the room** In either case, that is fine. This is my very first blog post and I am excited either way. Let me tell you, for MONTHS I have wrestled and wrestled with the idea of starting a blog and never jumped off the fence. I even did a podcast with my sister instead and well, that lasted two episodes. EPIC FAIL. But, as my Pastor always says: Today is the first day of the rest of your lives. If that is not true then heck, I don’t know what is. Basically, I decided that there is no better time than the present.  So I had better get crackalackin’ because right now I was just lackin’. LOL.

This blog may turn out to be many things, but ultimately it is going to be a personal way to de-stress. Especially in my times of DISTRESS. Who knows what I am talking about? Well, if anyone is out there then I am sure that most can relate to that. Sometimes life can get super overwhelming and that is okay! It takes the bad days to realize the great.  So, depending on the day, this is going to consist of my life, struggles, college, love, food (oh boy, do I love talking about that,) and once in a while my current health journey.  I recently made the decision to get healthier because when I get married (which at this point is an undetermined timeframe,) I would like to 1. Be super hot for my amazing MAN OF GOD husband, but also 2. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. That is the main goal and always has been.  It is just so easy to fall off the wagon and let those “failures” weigh you down until you just give up. Well, honey, I don’t care how many times you’ve given up.  If I can make a change, so can you. So like I said, I don’t know if anyone is out there, but just know that I am here struggling alongside you to stay on track and I’ll be here to remind you not to let your past define your future.

In my next post, I will give you an update on how this “health kick” is going. I’ll also give you more insight on my blog name and more of the inspiration behind it.

Until then, I’m signing off with a graceful soul and a grateful heart.

xo, Leah Grace.