Remnant seed…

Posted April 8th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

In my gardens in the past, I planted young plants, not seed. So last year when my first raised flower bed bloomed out, I assumed that I was suppose to pull up all the dead plants by the roots and start over, instead of just cutting them back. Some time passed, we added more beds and made the decision to designate the 4 beds flanking the cross into flower beds, leaving the rest for fruit and veggies. After the blooming season, we put down a layer of compost and let the beds rest. Last week, I noticed that flowers were starting to bloom in the bed where I had pulled up the plants by the roots! It is quite amazing.

 

 

Here are the 4 beds symetrically flanking the cross where we planted seed for flowers about a month ago.

and here is the original bed starting to bloom…again!

I have to laugh at myself, realizing just how little control I have over the landscape of my life. Even when I pull up what I mistake as old and dead, by the root no less, God may have different plans and choose to resurrect.

The Bible tells us Love covers a multitude of sins…I am so thankful God can take my mistakes, shortcomings, and sin, turn things around and make my garden bloom again. Too often when I think it’s over, He desires me to start again, with a new perspective.

There are things in our lives that the root goes deep. And as much as we try to change, uproot or cover over with something new…seed remains. That’s God’s way. God always leaves a remnant of something good in our lives, a remnant chosen by grace. Isaiah tells us the Holy seed is in the stump.

His ways are higher and better! Look at this bed last year…

Father God, we give you our gardens of Gethsemane and ask you to resurrect that which is beautiful and good, making our lives look like a well-watered garden, a garden of Eden. Cultivate holiness and beauty in the landscape of our lives. Thank you for being the ever-present watchman guarding the seeds of faith planted by your Holy Spirit. As our Master Gardner, uproot anything not of you and plant your ways, your words and your love. Cause those seeds to bloom and grow…

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,

the woman who sticks with God.

They’re like trees replanted in Eden,

putting down roots near the rivers-

Never a worry through the hottest of summers,

never dropping a leaf,

Serene and calm through droughts,

bearing fresh fruit every season.

Jeremiah 17:7-8  (Message Bible)

Seed for thought this week…

xo

leah

Easter Seed

Posted April 6th, 2012 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

As I sit quietly in the garden, peace envelopes me. My ears hear the chirping birds, pecking chickens and scampering squirrels, but my heart and mind are completely still. I close my eyes and see the garden in full bloom! Calling what isn’t yet as if it were…  It’s beautiful.  No weeds, no worries, just a plentiful harvest of fruit, veggies and flowers. I open my eyes back to the reality of, well, new beginnings. My secret joy is that I believe my vision, because God planted it years ago. His words of hope planted seeds of deep joy within my heart. Seeds of faith, trust and grace. Unseen, yet producing a harvest of favor, peace and contentment.

My mind wanders to a recent conversation in which I briefly explained, in the most simple, elementary way, the meaning of Easter. I pray the Lord will let the words that flowed like a bubbling brook of love rush up on the shore of this young women’s heart, take root, bloom and grow. If you had been there listening to me, unknowing of the audience, you might think I was sharing with a 10-year old. But deep within, I knew these simple words were planting faith and life. God’s Words of truth scattered tiny seed on fertile ground. No discussion, no questions, no glancing across to the passenger seat for acceptance, even acknowledgement…just faith that those seeds are now tucked away in her heart, released to the capable hands of the Master Gardner.

I don’t fret or worry if these seeds will bloom and grow. For those are the weeds that choke and crowd out the fruit, the flower of the garden’s harvest.

Turning the small packages of seed in my hand, I read how to plant, when to plant and what I can expect these tiny seeds to produce. Another overwhelming ocean of peace floods over me. Peace…a fruit that grows in the garden of my life year round. A fruit that takes deep root in being still and basking in Heavenly light. A fruit, as hard as I might try, I can’t produce on my own. Well, maybe briefly. But as I bury my fingers deep within the soil, I know the fruit of lasting peace I freely harvest day by day comes from surrender. Surrendering my vision for my garden to scarred, yet perfectly capable hands.

What is hindering the beauty of your garden? Surrender.

 

 

Truly, truly, I say to you,

unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,

it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12:24

The Beauty of Everyday Holiness…on Good Friday.

xo

leah

 

I touch a small bud just beginning to open, and my mind wanders back to a recent conversation I had with Temple, a friend who attended REPLENISH…

WEDNESDAY WHIM!

Posted April 4th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

thinking about the meaning of Easter…

“Quiet” on my blog…

Posted April 1st, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson

Hello sweet friends!  Well…only 6 of the last 39 days have Jim and I been “home alone”! Life breeds life!

Jesus’ life in us breeds abundance in every way in every day life.

Writing only what I hear, I took some needed time for Him to write upon my heart before I picked up my pen again. When we pour out and pour out, we must take time to be still and be filled once again. My “human” nature prospers you none, but, I pray, my “vessel” nature builds you up immensely!

That’s how my Blog URL got the name Creative Overflow! The Word tells us that out of the overflow of the heart our mouth speaks.

My CREATIVE OVERFLOW only blesses when it’s written from a heart full to overflowing with the love of Christ Jesus.

Maybe you can relate. When work, friends, family, ministry are all calling your name requesting something, we can find ourselves depleted unless we take time to be quiet, still and ask the Holy Spirit to REPLENISH us…fill us full to overflowing, top off until rejoicing abounds!

So, I have been puttering {one of my favorite things to do} around the house and The Farm catching up, taking walks, spending time outside, weeding the garden…you know, puttering.

A friend of mine who attended Replenish said, “It’s easy to see how the Farmer is so close to God.” I agree. The more I putter around outside, the more I see God’s hand in the beauty of creation around me.

In April, I plan to write about these beautiful spiritual metaphors that relate to dwelling in the land, which remind us to dwell in His presence.

Lessons we can learn from

The Coop…The Garden…The Grove…The Swing…The Lake…

THANK YOU for your patience and prayers.  I love love love encouraging you and sharing my life with you! Although the suitcase is out again, I am REPLENISHED and bubbling over with desire to point to the ways and Words of the Lord!

Hosanna! Wave your arms in victory today, for Jesus entered the city knowing that He would accomplish everything you need to live an abundant, victorious life in the everyday beauty and holiness of our Lord!

xo

Leah

WEDNESDAY WHIM!

Posted March 21st, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via pinterest.com

SOZO…

Posted March 20th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

As Easter approaches, I am pondering the word SALVATION. My heart abounds with thankfulness for the saving grace of God.

BUT…what does my SALVATION actually mean in the daily grind of life?

As the world slowly but surely, no, really, quickly but surely spins out of control, I witness more and more people putting on their Sunday attire on Tuesday, even Thursday.

And that’s a good thing!

We all know Billy Graham’s alter-call Scripture to which millions have responded…

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 is SALVATION…truth revealed-us believing and living forever with Father God.

BUT…there is so much more!!!

The truth of “it”, SALVATION, is that SALVATION provides EVERYTHING we need to live in the present, not just hope for our future.

SALVATION defined:   Old Testament Scriptures…

The Lord is my light and my SALVATION; whom shall I fear?           Psalm 27:1

For God alone…He only is my rock and my SALVATION, my fortress, I shall not be greatly shaken.   Psalm 62:1,2

“Behold, God is my SALVATION; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my SALVATION.”  With joy you will draw water from the wells of SALVATION.   Isaiah 12:2-3

In Hebrew, the  feminine noun meaning salvation, deliverance, help victory, prosperity. The primary meaning is to rescue from distress or danger. Help or security offered by fortified walls, delivering in the sense of preventing what would have happened if the walls were not there, saving health, welfare.

SALVATION defined:   New Testament Scriptures…

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for SALVATION to everyone who believes…  Romans 1:16

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading for a SALVATION ready to be revealed in the last time.   1 Peter 1:3-5

After this I heard what seemed to be a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, Hallelujah! SALVATION and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just….        Revelation 19:1-2

In Greek, from the verb, Sozo, to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative)–heal, preserve, save, do well, be (make) whole.

Oh Lord, we cry out with thanksgiving for your saving grace and mercy! You are our strong tower…and we run daily for protection from the enemy. You encircle our lives with a wall of fire when our hearts within shout Glory! In every sense of the word, you make us whole. That which is war torn and broken in our lives…our heart, emotions, relationships, body, mind and spirit…your saving grace makes whole, well. You heal us. Regardless of what the daily grind of life chews up, we stand on the Rock of our SALVATION, Jesus, who is power to overcome in every way, every day. Sozo Lord! Save us!

The SALVATION of God… the awesome, readily available power of God in you to make whole. So why not adorn the Gospel of Easter daily!

xo

leah

 

 

REPLENISH stories

Posted March 15th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement

It’s been one week since REPLENISH, and my heart is still full! I wanted to share some inspiring notes and emails with you and let you know there will be more!  We all want the MORE that God offers!  My plan is to release dates for the next REPLENISH in late April.

————————–

It was a fabulous retreat. I loved every second of it! ..an amazing experience.  My favorite part is hard to pin down, but I thought the art was a really creative way to worship God.

I just wanted to share with you some of the overflow REPLENISH brought to my life. For starters, my prayer partner was awesome. She had amazing advice to share with me and has already been in contact with me, love her! I also have begun to pray out loud more often. I have always been a silent prayer (other than with my kids), but after last weekend decided to give out loud a shot. My kids are noticing and I can tell how much they enjoy hearing me talk to God. They have started to put in prayer requests with me. It’s really sweet! Another impact on my life is the addition of morning quiet time with our Lord. This has been the most challenging. I am still reading my Bible at night before bed, and now doing a devotional in the morning too. There have been many obstacles, such as daylight savings! Could I have picked a worse week to get up early? None the less, I feel it is a true test of my commitment and I refuse to let him down. Peace has taken a stronger presence in my life and I am welcoming it with open arms!

—————————-

Thank you so much! I can’t begin to express how “replenished” I was when I left the farm on Saturday, but in addition, I am also now focused on finding the time each morning to spend with God. This has always been my struggle, to be consistent, and you have given me courage to move forward.

—————————

How sad my heart is because I had to leave friends that I feel like I have always known…I feel that I left a little piece of my heart behind. The past few days, my thoughts and heart will drift to the faces of all the women…it has just been wonderful to be able to continue to pray for each of you and THANK MY LORD for guiding my steps to the most amazing weekend I have ever had (besides the weekend I met my husband!!!)

But how REPLENISHED my heart is because of each of you!!!!!!

I can not wait to get the email list; I hope to stay in touch with my prayer partner. I have never met anyone like her and in the 15 minutes or so that we shared I feel sealed to her for eternity!!! She is amazing!

—————————

I was so blessed by the sincere hearts of the ladies who came, the refreshing environment, the delicious food, and the thoughtful details like our gift bags and encouragement bags. I deeply resonate with your heart to know God “in the beauty of holiness” and to reflect that aspect of Him in your life and work. As artists, I think we have an opportunity to experience God’s creative heart in a special way, and I thought it was so powerful how the art of your home, the art of music, the art of painting, the art of food, and the art of speaking God’s Word all came together.

—————————-

I wanted to share again how very blessed I was to attend Replenish on Saturday. What precious sisters gathered in His Name!! It was a treasure to get to know each one. Each session was rich with His life words.

—————————–

Our Pastor yesterday (Sunday) described the early church in Acts 2:42-47 LIFE TOGETHER…and it reminded me of my Friday and Saturday.

What does life together look like?

1. Devoted to teaching…thanks so much to you and the leaders for sharing the truth of the Word!

2.  Devoted to close fellowship…It is so funny how people I would’ve never met or if I did would have never talked past level one of “how do you do”- I was in your barn with my prayer partner who was crying out to God about her sweet desire to serve her family! We have texted each other 3 times so far!!  Sometimes devoted to fellowship doesn’t just happen so thank you so much for all your efforts to break up the fallow ground that we may Repenish!

3. Devoted to breaking of bread…Thank you for the Biblical mandate that we eat a LOT of SCRUMPTIOUS FOOD!!

4. Devoted to Prayer…Aware that the Holy Spirit was present…Awe came to every soul…Spirit filled unity. Precious and rare…beyond ‘keeping appearances’.

He closed with this comment: “Imagine people coming together observing Spirit-filled unity…people dedicated to these four things. Leah, I don’t have to imagine, for I was there at the farm. Life together during REPLENISH was glorious, inspiring and my favorite…LASTING! ( I keep tasting and tasting and tasting it…)

———————–

What a peaceful refuge to come and rest and receive more of Him! The meals and fellowship were delicious and rich! I’m leaving with many new sisters in my heart! Praise God!

———————

If you would like to join me at The Farm for the next REPLENISH, please keep reading each week. Maybe you know someone who would be interested, please have them sign up to receive my blog…

for THE LORD HAS AN AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL TIME to REPLENISH JUST FOR YOU!

have a wonderful weekend!

xo

leah

p.s…say little prayer for me too… it’s my birthday!  (:

WEDNESDAY WHIM!

Posted March 14th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via KellyRaeRoberts

More REPLENISH photos!

Posted March 12th, 2012 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries

 

 

Thank you Sylvia for the photos!

I am still in complete awe of all God did for us!

xo

leah

REPLENISH PHOTOS!

Posted March 11th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Ministries

Hey sweet friends! What an amazingly Beautiful and Holy weekend we experienced at REPLENISH! Please enjoy these photos and I will share more soon.

Replenish leadership team

Leah introducing Erica

Breakfast Saturday morning

Worship, art and teaching on the grounds

Sisters!

So creative!

New forever friendships!

 always remember…

You don’t see Gail in most of the pictures because she was behind the lens!  Thank you Gail!!!

21 women from 9 cities woven together like a beautiful fabric…only our God!

xo

leah