Content to be you…

Posted January 9th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

Good morning friends!  I read this yesterday in my devotional Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, and wanted to share its tender wisdom.  I desire, like the Apostle Paul, to be able to state this verse as fact… but if I honestly examine myself, I have not attained this attitude in all the “whatevers” thrown my way.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  

Philippians 4:11

A story is told of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was. The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches. The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.

And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the king found its face as bright and happy as ever and said, “Well, violet, I’m glad to find one brave little flower in the midst of this discouragement. You don’t seem to be the least disheartened.” The violet responded, “No, I’m not. I know I’m small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or even a lilac, you would have planted one. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I’m determined to be the best little violet I can be.”

Others may do a greater work,

But you have your part to do;

And no one in all God’s family

Can do it as well as you.

What is your part? What has God placed in your life that you are willing to share or do without reservation? Lord we long for the garden of our heart to be fit for our King!


I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:19

live blessed!




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

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;

he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3

image per reader Linda Rose

HAPPY 2012…an Ephesians 3:20 kind of year!

Posted December 31st, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Hello sweet friends!  I pray your Christmas was meaningful and joyful, full of the Prince of Peace.

2011 proved to be an amazing adventure for Jim and me. Yesterday I sat down and read through my journal, and like I said…2011 was an amazingly adventurous year! God’s steadfast love and faithfulness was the overriding theme. My heart truly overflows with thanksgiving! Another thing that popped out and continually amazes me is how Jesus is so steadfast in his love for me and His faithfulness to His Word, even when my love and faithfulness lack love and faithfulness! Grace…pure and simple.

I sent my good friend, Pastor Parris Bailey of Victory Fellowship Church in New Orleans, a note a few days ago with an Ephesians 3:20 blessing for 2012.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…

She wrote back saying that she and Pastor Frank were hearing the word, “over and above”, for 2012 and referred to Psalm 78:15.

He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.

I read and pondered Psalm 78, which recounts God’s faithfulness to his people…even when they disbelieved. It is a Psalm that encourages us to tell the coming generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord and the wonders He has done in our lives. It encourages us TO BELIEVE…to believe in the miraculous.

God performed amazing miracles to free his people from Egypt’s bondage. Although not in the same way, I remember very personal miracles He performed to free me.  But I can also relate, unfortunately, to the Israelite’s continuous whining, complaining and doubting that God COULD REALLY…

part the Red Sea

provide fresh streams of water from rocks

rain down manna daily like grain from Heaven

rain down winged birds like the sand of the seas

lead me safely in the wilderness like a shepherd, and

destroy every adversary.

Despite their disbelief…He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

God faithfully and miraculously meets the physical and spiritual needs of His people. Living water gushed and flowed in abundance! God will spread a table in any wilderness we are encountering, but we must,

we must,

we must believe He is God and there is not other. 2012 brings a new year…will we stop limiting what God can do in our lives? Stop putting limitations on His power to provide exceedingly abundantly above all we can even imagine…

They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer. verse 35

And in His compassion, God remembers that we are but flesh. By the power of the Holy Spirit, 2012 can be a year of denying our flesh and living in the supernatural ways of the Lord. Drinking abundantly from the depths of God.

What may appear small in your life, with faith, grows into abundance. The harvest comes from the seed planted in good soil, nurtured and watered.

SMALLNESS..a place to begin, start…growing into provision for you and others.

That still small voice…to hearing the Trumpet of God sound one Day.

The tiniest mustard seed…grows into the largest tree in your garden.

That little sack lunch…fed multitudes.

The little crumbs and remnants from that little lunch…filled 12 baskets full.

A small seed of hope in Mary’s womb…birthed Jesus, savior for all mankind.

One young shepherd tending his flock…anointed King of Israel in the linage of the true King.

12 uneducated, simple fishermen…leave an international legacy as faithful disciples of Jesus.

To what or where is God calling you to begin in 2012? God has amazing plans! Plans that exceed our expectation! Provision, physically and spiritually, from the most unusual places…gushing, flowing like a river, filling every need. But don’t despise humble beginnings.

That first baby step into the water parts the sea, making a way where you saw no way. God is ready. He is waiting for that first small step of radical obedience to unfold His design for your unique journey in 2012.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Maybe that first step is to open your Bible…starting with Psalm 78, remembering God’s faithfulness in your life. I believe God. I believe He has an amazing year planned. I look forward to taking the Holy Spirit’s hand and praying for each of you that our Lord will act on your behalf in Ephesian 3:20 ways!

Jesus love you!  me too!

xo   leah

MERRY CHRISTMAS! From a distance…up close

Posted December 21st, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement

Merry Merry Christmas Friends!
My family began arriving last night and I look forward to a week of spending time together…so please enjoy my last post until next week sometime.  I pray that you will take an up close and personal look into the cradle of love and hope this week. It’s certainly easier to view our Savior from a distance, and we even receive some benefits.  But oh how much fuller to make Jesus your “reality”.  There is a special gift, just for you, in that cradle…open it and know the Christ this Christmas.

From a distance

up close…

From a distance

up close…

From a distance

Up close…

From a distance

Up close…

At a distance


up close…
The door is always open!  Take a close up, personal look into the cradle which holds your promise…Jesus.
From my house to yours…
Comments Off on MERRY CHRISTMAS! From a distance…up close


Posted December 17th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

During this season of new beginnings, I find myself roaming around in the beginning chapters of the Gospels. Jesus’ birth gave birth to a new and exciting ministry of God’s love and forgiveness. For but a brief time, God dwelt among men on earth, with acceptance of this, we shall dwell with him for eternity…

If you are reading this and you believe John 3:16, like me, your frequent heart’s cry before God’s throne is for those you love to find this hope too. Our Savior, the Savior, named Jesus.

So, he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe. The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go’ your son will live.”  The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus has said to him, “Your son will live.”  And he himself believed, and all his household.    (John 4:46-53)


All Scripture is breathed out of God’s mouth as truth. He literally spoke the world into being. When Jesus speaks…things happen. He has spoken into your life, but do you really believe him?

The Royal Official lived about 20 minutes away. He walked away with belief in his heart, for Jesus had spoken…”Your son will live.” When Jesus speaks…things, big things, little things, good things happen. What keeps stirring in me is part of verse 53.

And, he himself believed, and all his household.

This reminds me of Act 16, which records how God opened Lydia’s heart to pay attention to the words Paul was speaking about Jesus. And, after she was baptized, and her household as well…

I have witnessed true miracles in my household, and I believe God for more of “my household” to come to believe. How about you, are you believing God for your household? Who are you storming Heaven’s doors in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to draw? Believe.

And he himself believed, and all his household.

Lord Jesus, as we surround ourselves with extended “household” this Christmas season, let our example of love and forgiveness be the catalyst that sparks “our households” to turn to you in faith. We believe, and we are believing for our households too! Thank you for new beginnings this Christmas season…a new birth into a living hope.  All because of Jesus.

And he himself believe, and all his household…

Merry Christmas,



Posted December 13th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

Holiday Morning Creativity…




A Holy Christmas

Posted December 9th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Good Morning!

You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,

Beautiful inside and out!

God be with you.

 the Message Bible

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a poor, young Jewish woman whose name was Mary, with the above greeting. She was betrothed to Joseph, and I imagine, excited about becoming his wife. Purity is important to God, and purity was important to Mary, so she had never slept with a man. But, one day, in her little village of Nazareth, she received startling news that she had been chosen by God to give birth to the Son of God, the Messiah. She was to call his name Jesus.

“But how” was all she could utter. Have you been there? Have you uttered to God…But how? None of us have been asked to do what God had chosen Mary to do, but maybe He has asked you to do a really hard thing too. Mary’s “but how” was not out of fear or doubt, but too often mine is.  It’s when the Holy Spirit reminds me what I know…

with His Holy Presence in my life,

 like Mary,

I can respond…Ok God, I’m yours.

But let’s go back to Mary’s question, which oftentimes is our question too…but how God?

The angel answered,

the Holy Spirit will come upon you,

the power of the Highest hover over you;

Therefore, the child you bring to birth

will be called Holy, Son of God.  

The Message Bible

It’s only when we allow the Holy Spirit to hover…overshadow, overwhelm, eclipse, cover, dwell, superimpose the ways and character of Jesus on our lives that we can partner with God to do this thing he has asked.  Many of us are struggling today. God wants you to know if you will surrender completely to the Holy Spirit…together you can do this thing, this journey called life, this marriage, this work, this illness, this everyday thing you are struggling with.

Be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.  I found this exact word, overshadowed, 3 other in the Bible, according to Strong’s concordance.

Genesis 1:2  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters…

Acts 5:12,15  Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on them…and they were all healed.

Luke 9:34-35  (the Transfiguration) As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to him!

When the Holy Spirit overshadows our lives…

Something beautiful, even miracles, can be created out of what appears dark and hopeless.

Healing happens, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

God will speak directly into our lives, that still small voice of encouragement, direction and hope, if we will but be still and listen to him.

Like Mary, our lives will give birth to something of Christ Jesus, for Christ Jesus and through Christ Jesus.

Nothing is impossible with our God! Find alone time with God today and ask the Holy Spirit to overshadow you in every way. We have this all surpassing power of God in these earthly vessels, ask the Lord to fill you up with His presence and power to the point that Jesus has completely eclipsed your life, and release such willingness that we, too, will say…Ok God, I’m yours.

Let this Christmas be Holy in every way…come Holy Spirit and bless each reader with your transforming power. We desire to be a beautiful and holy vessel for the display of your glory.




Posted December 6th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!



If you are in the area

Posted December 4th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries

Please join me!

EXIT interior workman!!!

Posted December 3rd, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Interior Design

Happy Saturday friends!!  Yes! You read the title correctly…the last interior worker bee {except for me!} has exited.  So this little bee has been busily organizing and decorating.  It was such fun to open box after box of “stuff” we have carefully collected over the years.  We bought a couple of new furniture pieces, but all the “decoration” {add a little French accent please} is just our {good} old stuff.  Please take note that I used the word “carefully” collected stuff.  The quickest way to blow a good design is “clutter”!

By the way…if you are new to our on-line community, please go back about and look through July-now to see the before status.

The simple, heavy texture, creamy linen drapery panels will be installed downstairs Monday…but I just could not wait to show you!  I know I have said it so often, but I just love all the windows/views from our home. The living room has 3 sided light!

The fabulous painting Melissa Key gifted to me sets the tone beautifully as you enter the foyer.


You can stand in the sun room and look all the way through the house to the living room.

The organic design totem I built in pottery class found a perfect spot.

Mixing textures is key to interesting design.

Use what you love…it does not need to be expensive.  The twig in the bookcase is from our yard in Destin after Hurricane Ivan blew through.  It has meaning to me…I love the color…and the organic feel…so I use it in my design.

The building pottery season of my life was such fun!  I hope to have the opportunity to continue here in DeLand one day.

Each girl comes from a different place and time in my life.  The nude sitting was a 40th birthday gift from my sweet friend Janet Porterfield, while we were working in Paris. Remember…naked we came into this world and naked we shall leave, so hold loosely to all the beautiful things of this world.


The back staircase has turned out to be one of my favorite venues!

The prints are from original works of an artist in Israel.  I bought them on Etsy for $18 each and put them in beautiful frames my mom gave me.

Looking out of my bathroom window at the Camphor tree.

Remember the blog about these abstract shells I found in New Orleans…I love to juxtapose light against dark for it clearly defines the lines and form of objects.  Again, a mix of textures {note to self: buy candles}.

The Butler’s Pantry…crystal juxtaposed against slick, modern white subway tile.

I took these photos when workers were finishing up…therefore remnants of rags, ladders, etc…

A cabinet designed to look like a furniture piece lends importance to the kitchen.

Since I did not add any recessed can lighting in the home, my light source comes from lamps, sconces and some pendant lighting.

When the budget allows, I want a tiny bistro table between the chairs, which will be an intimate place to have a cup of coffee or sandwich.

A big mirror hides my amateur brick work!

I created a little seating area beside the fireplace.  If I need overflow seating, I can bring in a small table and the Ghost chairs.

Haha…Mike and Calvin are the only ones left and they are busily finishing the exterior painting. We all are feeling a bit sideways these days!

The sunroom is where we hang out in the evenings.  Eventually, I plan to take the shutters that we did not put back on some of the windows on the side of the house to make a fence around the AC units.

The storefront metal windows we added take the farmhouse to a modern edge and give us great views!

the Roo is still hanging in there with me!

The girls are growing up and we hope they will start laying eggs in January.

We plan to have a table at the local farmer’s market once things settle down for Jim’s garden “tastes” wonderful.

The rock finish on the house has painted beautifully in Ben Moore Cloud White.  It looks like a rough stucco finish.


The shutters going back up in some locations will be Cloud White too, in semi-gloss.

I have been collecting old wicker for the porches…mom and I found this awesome sofa at a thrift shop for $75.00!!

A lot of white paint and some Sunbrella fabric….

Outside it still looks like Fred Sanford lives here!  So let’s go see the upstairs.

I love the sound of a screen door slamming!  The lower half will be paneled out to make them all more sturdy.  Paint your doors, interior side and exterior side, one color if possible. It just looks more unified.  {This one not painted yet}

Guest room is ready for my family coming to visit for Christmas.  We had a very tall fabric covered headboard, so I had the upholsterer cut it down since all the beds in this home are floated away from the walls due to all the windows.  It was an easy fix…delivered Monday.

Master Bedroom coming along…I always complete our space last.

The key-hole back plates were taken from the original door hardware and used here.

Sooo happy with the half shutters, which allow for the wonderful sky views.

These past 5 months have been quite a journey. Our renovation took longer than I thought and a bit more funds, but we could not be more pleased.  It feels like home, which means Jim and I are in that kitchen cooking nightly…and loving it!  My heart overflows with thanksgiving.

NOW…I can be about my Heavenly Father’s business.  I would like to have a Bible study for some college girls at Stetson University here this Winter.  Please keep that in your prayers.  Also, I will be available to take on a design job, please keep that in your prayers.  Jim and I are intently listening to the Holy Spirit for the “Spiritual Design” for our lives in 2012.  How about you?  Are you listening too?

I will be in N. Florida speaking next week at the Christmas luncheon for the Niceville United Methodist. Church. If you are in the area and would like to come, please make a reservation by calling Margo at 850-423-0996 or 850-502-6255.  I am very excited to see many women whom I studied God’s Word with in Community Bible Study in Destin, for many many years.

In all our doings this Christmas season…let’s us not forget to be still, listen to the Spirit, then get up and be about our Heavenly Father’s business.  Putting Jesus at the top of our Christmas list!

Love you all and so appreciate your encouragement through this renovation!