Christmas on The Farm

Posted December 22nd, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, REPLENISH, Word of Encouragement

So many wonderful happenings this Christmas season at The Farm…let me share with you!

The wild turkeys roam about The Farm leisurely (since Thanksgiving is over!) as I drive out to

Select Growers to purchase a large magnolia wreath.

It is a beautiful and peaceful spot outside of Deland.

I look forward to working with them on some landscaping ideas in the Spring.

As I walked in the warehouse filled with every type of greenery imaginable, the scent of Christmas filled the air! Look at the length of that Magnolia garland!

Preparing for 37 women for the Replenish Christmas gathering, I pulled out all my Ina Garten cookbooks finding wonderful recipes for lemon honey pound cake (I substituted orange for the lemon), pecan shortbread cookies, chocolate ganache truffles, etc…

In the middle of preparations, Jim knocked on the kitchen window…“come see”...

A bit of history, really 40 years of history, lovingly set aside for a new story to unfold. After working closely with the very creative Jeff of Deland Metal Crafters, the new sign for The Farm was being installed.

My inspiration was a single handmade iron cattail purchased while visiting mom and dad in N. Georgia.

What do you think? Jim and I really like it!

December 13th turned out to be a cool, misty morning, perfect for a Christmas gathering!

Good friends, Marcy and Kat, manned the kitchen…their gift and expertise. They made Italian wedding soup (an Ina Garten recipe) with chicken sausage meatballs…DELICIOUS!

Gail, in her beautiful green sweater from lauren nicole boutique, is so creative and helped decorate the tables and organize, well, everything! 

Elizabeth Schenkel, our guest speaker, shared her tragic testimony of surviving a nightmarish attack by Al Qauda while living and ministering in Uzbekistan. As only our God can do, the events turned out for her good and God’s glory…really, as Elizabeth stated, “the best day of her life”. She challenged us all to consider what has been the “best day of our lives”, along with, at the end of our lives, gladly being found guilty of sharing our faith at every opportunity.

At the end of the post, I will share with you Kat, Marcy, Gail and my thoughts from Elizabeth’s message.

A beautiful day for beautiful women to step away from the busyness of Christmas to be REPLENISHED!

Our new friend Loi led us in some Christmas Cheer!

Gail introducing Elizabeth

From KatFrom Gail

From Marcy

Over the telephone Marcy shared how she, like Kat, had been pondering the “best day” of her life thus far. And, she said, I want to be found guilty of proselytising!!

Some notes I jotted down the next morning in my journal…

All of us are on a journey- some of the hardest, most desperate times in our lives are the sweetest times with Jesus, for suffering draws us near to the only One who can comfort, help, heal and restore us.

Elizabeth said she forgave her attackers before she ever left the room!!!  {Could I do that Lord?}

She and her family went back! They went back to finish what had been started. Before the attack, the Muslim women discounted 80% of what she said. Now, they were open to hearing about Elizabeth’s God of love.

Eric, her husband, said to her as she lay near death on their bedroom floor…”One day you will look back and laugh about this!”  What- only the Holy Spirit would have allowed this to come out of his mouth. I knew then, Elizabeth said, that I was going to live.

As you prepare for a JOY-filled Christmas celebration, remember that our greatest gifts come with sacrifice, and often times, suffering.

As you spend some alone time drawing near to the reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus, ask yourself this question. What has been the best day of my life?

Merry Christmas sweet friends! I pray that out of our God’s glorious and infinite riches, He will open Heaven’s windows and pour out all you need for this journey we call life. Remember, the beautiful climbing rose you planted on the garden wall may not bloom until it reaches the neighbor’s side. God’s mysterious and beautiful plans unfold day by day, so enjoy the journey…and share your faith!

For Christ alone,


REPLENISH Christmas Gathering invitation

Posted October 29th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, REPLENISH

Mid December is just around the corner, and what a wonderful time to pull away from all the festivities of the season to come to The Farm and be filled to overflowing with the beauty and holiness of our Lord.

Elizabeth Schenkel, our guest speaker, has lived around the world serving God through Campus Crusade for Christ. In April, she and her husband Erick moved from Africa to Orlando for him to take the Executive Director position of the JESUS FILM project. Elizabeth’s amazing stories of love and hope will inspire us all to step out, and embrace our faith with a fresh perspective this Christmas.

Come join us at The Farm on Dec 13th, and bring a friend!

photos from REPLENISH

Posted October 17th, 2012 by Leah and filed in REPLENISH

What a wonderfully REPLENISHING weekend! Jessi, Gail, Marcy, Dorothy and I were so honored to love and serve our sisters in Christ. The weekend was about TRUSTING GOD {completely}, THANKING GOD {for everything} and THINKING LESS {living in Spirit}. The Lord showed up in an amazingly sweet yet powerful way as we learned how to balance our lives in His power and grace. In the end, we surrendered it all… A sister from North Carolina, whom I have never met, sent REPLENISHING spa packages for the women’s Barnabas bags. She stepped out in obedience to that still small voice and we were delighted and blessed!


Friday night after a dinner of Jim’s delicious gumbo and freshly baked french bread, we enjoyed coconut and chocolate ganache cupcakes.

Friday night after a dinner of Jim’s delicious gumbo and freshly baked french bread, we enjoyed coconut and chocolate ganache cupcakes.

Jim’s girls enjoyed lots of attention! The women enjoyed fresh boiled eggs with their breakfast.

Marcy serving chicken and pasta salad for lunch.


One of the women taking a moment to write a note and put in another sister’s WORDS OF LIFE bucket. New sisters encouraging each other in the Lord…He is smiling!

Using a garden glove as an illustration of allowing the Holy Spirit to fill our lives and then use us to create beauty or dig up the junk buried deep, Marcy inspired us all.

The art project was such fun, and the women made some really beautiful and meaningful collages that can be used as a Christmas ornament or accessory in their home. Gail’s encouraging word on how we all are creative and creativity is a way to worship the Lord, turned fear to joy and confidence! I loved watching the women let go and get creative!



We ended with a teaching about gently leaning on the Holy Spirit instead of our own understanding. When we walk in the Spirit, we surrender our rights, our ways…we surrender all.

Surrendering to the God of all hope, beauty and glory!

What a beautiful group of women graced REPLENISH at The Farm!

Yes, when Jesus sets us free…we are free indeed!!



Posted October 3rd, 2012 by Leah and filed in REPLENISH, Wednesday Whim!



The FAll REPLENISH next week is all about God’s POWER & GRACE on our lives. As I prepare for you to come to The Farm to be REPLENISHED, I am praying for you. Taking time out from doing “life” takes time. But God honors those who honor him and He will refresh us, renew us and REPLENISH us like only He can do. 

Our perspective takes a radical shift when we TRUST GOD, THANK GOD and {oftentimes} THINK LESS…come let me share some inspiration. Our REPLENISH team…Marcy, Gail and Jessi can’t wait to love on you, feed you and get creative with you! 

There are still a few spots available! If you are ready for MORE real POWER & GRACE, come join us! Just Email me by Friday. For more info, click HERE.




Posted September 28th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, REPLENISH, Word of Encouragement

As I prepare for REPLENISH, and pray for the women coming, my mind wanders over the pages of Scripture showcasing women. Women who overcame obstacles and struggles. Women whose lives were completely transformed just because they decided to BELIEVE GOD. Forsaking, leaving behind old mindsets of hopelessness and helplessness, worry, wonder, people-pleasing and on and on…throwing all their beautiful and broken eggs into one basket labeled FAITH. Their new path, new life, restored hope began by INTENTIONALLY BELIEVING GOD. They were DELIBERATE in their FAITH.

There was a woman who had bled for 12 years. She spent every dime on doctors who offered no cure. She had heard about Jesus, but going out into the square to see him meant risking everything. What if someone recognized her in public. Jesus was worth the risk and and as she intentionally pushed her way through the crowd, determined, believing He was her cure, she kept saying to herself…if I could just touch him. One touch and I believe he will change my life, change me…heal me.

Martha was worn out! She was in her kitchen preparing dinner for family and friends alone, just mumbling and grumbling, forgetful of Jesus’ presence. He was right there, mere feet from her, yet she was not satisfied. Really, she was never satisfied with her way-to-busy life. Her child-like plea for help caused every head to turn and stare. Please ask my sister to help me she begged. Jesus reached out to Martha and gave her words of life. He spoke directly, intentionally to her heart about what was truly important to him, for Jesus knew that Martha longed to please him, but she was stuck.

Women loved to go down to the river and worship God together. They sang and ate and shared stories week after week. One day Paul, a missionary who had come to their town, went down to the river to share the sweet news about the Savior, Jesus. Something in the local interior designer’s heart split wide open that morning and Lydia believed, she truly believed.For the first time she felt close to Heaven. So close she decided to be baptised, her household too. Her open heart was intent on hosting Paul and his friends. She became deliberate on opening her heart and her home…

Only 3 of so many examples of what God can do in our lives, if we will decide to really BELIEVE him. The planet is unraveling around us, but our world can be different if we will DELIBERATELY, INTENTIONALLY BELIEVE GOD…for he already thinks you are amazing!

Be DELIBERATE...gently deliberate leaning on God for everything, yes everything. How? One way- Don’t let a day go by without being DELIBERATE about BEING STILL. BEING STILL focuses our mind and heart on the ways and things of God. As our day unfolds, and we are presented with numerous choices, the Holy Spirit will remind us what we know to be true. He will remind us to capture each thought and DELIBERATELY choose to be like Jesus. Heaven is a bit closer when we walk each day gently DELIBERATELY leaning on God.

This is a partial teaching for the Oct. REPLENISH about  BEING DELIBERATE in our FAITH

Still a few spots available…come BE REPLENISHED and let the Holy Spirit recapture your heart all over again!  Check out the new REPLENISH blog HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend…a hint of Fall is in the air here in Central Florida!


leah   {read the rest of the story about these 3 women- Luke 8:43-50,Luke 10:38-42, Acts 16: 11-15}



Posted September 26th, 2012 by Leah and filed in REPLENISH

working on my website and adding REPLENISH…check out

and share it with a friend!

Happy Wednesday!