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

I’ve Never Shouted Never Before

YOU GUYS!

First of all, hello. Welcome back. I missed you. Second of all, OH MY GOODNESS. So last night I went to my first ever concert. Like ever. (Besides Christian Concerts, in that case I have been to 2 Hillsong concerts which were amazing but a totally different vibe as I am sure that you can imagine.) So, let us take a trip down memory lane to a 7th grade version of myself. 11/12 year old me was an oddball, for sure. I dressed kind of weird, listened to weird music, and thought I was scene. yes, cringe x 1000. Now I do not mean anything bad about “scene” style, it is just not my forte. I am glad to say I grew out of it. But when I wasn’t listening to strange music and watching “Charlie the Unicorn” on YouTube on repeat, I would listen to NevershoutNever! IMG_20170522_204736_028

His music has changed over the years and so I had stopped listening to him back in 2010ish. But, a few months ago he announced a throwback tour. A tour where he was going to play his old music from his first three EPs. AKA, all of the songs I obsessed over and listened to on repeat a million times.  The excitement was real. So me and a couple friends bought our tickets and ventured over yonder down to Santa Ana to watch him.  Let me just say that I was not disappointed. Every single song that he played I loved. My friend Shayla and I were tripping out, because after not listening to him for the longest time, we still were able to sing along with EVERY WORD. I was so excited; the internal twelve year old kid inside me was screaming and, now that I think about it, so was my external twenty something year old adult. LOL. The venue was strange. Never having been to a concert besides a  Christian concerts/Faith-Styled Conferences was definitely different. It smelled like cigarettes inside and there were a few tipsy people dancing around like crazy people, but other than that I was with my friends and I was happy. Not to mention I was THIS close to Christofer Drew.

IMG_20170522_232643_941It was a standing-room/ general admission venue so the places that we got were so awesome. We were really close to the stage and he hopped on the ledge and walked by us and was grabbing our hands. He also gave my friend Shayla a flower. Well, he threw it into the crowd and it hit her in the face, but it was still REALLY COOL! Every person in the room was screaming out the words along with him and he was singing all of his classics. If you know who he is then here are a few so you can girlish squeal along with me: Trouble, Happy, Big City Dreams, Can’t Stand It, and Look on the Brightside. And that is just to name a few. He played sooo many. He even bid us farewell, walked off stage at the end, then came back for an encore. He was very chill, funny, and witty. They didn’t have a specific set list. He said, “We don’t have specific songs to play, we are VERY prepared *joyous sarcasm in his voice*. So what do YOU guys want to hear?” Luckily, I am really loud so he heard me and played my request (Coffee & Cigarettes). Ironically, I hate coffee and cigarettes, but boy that is a great tune.  It was very crowd interactive and fun.  I know most concerts won’t be like this, nor do I even think I am a “concert” type of girl, really.  But I do know that I had fun, and that if I were to choose my first concert, then I am glad that this was mine. I did this for my 2007 self. I know if I could go back and tell her, she would be happy with my  decision to go.  So that was my day yesterday! Have you ever been to a concert? Who did you see? If you have an instagram post a throwback of concerts you have been to and tag me @xoleahgrace ! I would love to see them.

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

floral arrangement of pink peonies with leaves

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.