Posted October 28th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Word of Encouragement

Sitting face to face, celebrating one whom I love dearly… with strangers.  Not complete strangers, but basically strangers. I know little to nothing of their personal lives, although day in and day out they enter our home to work. We are new to DeLand, Florida, so celebrating Jim’s birthday with dear friends isn’t an option. I spread a low country boil of shrimp, potatoes and corn out of the long cypress table in the yard and tell everyone to wash up for lunch is served.

Sitting face to face with men, some of whom have no idea hot tears have rolled down my cheeks because of them. All is put aside, forgiven, to choose the better portion…grace.  I want my husband to feel loved and celebrated. All is put aside and I consider others more important than myself.  Not easy for me, so I remind myself considering others is considering Jesus.

Considering words of old…by entertaining strangers you may be entertaining angels unaware. Love you neighbor as yourself…all are neighbors. It’s all grace…nothing I can manufacture on my own…His grace.

The testosterone flows freely at the table as, quite expected, Monday night football is discussed. I smile, look around, yet hear nothing. My mind thinks about how Jesus, on the night before he was betrayed, dined with the betrayer. Judas was a part of Jesus’ team, even his inner circle. But God…but God is sovereign. Nothing surprises him or is allowed to filter into our lives without his express permission. In trusting the most basic of truths, God is good, I rise from the table to serve birthday cake…washing the feet of strangers.

The subject changes, I know not to what as my mind drifts back to the last supper. The 13th chapter of John tells us Jesus, knowing, rose from the table, removed his outer garments, and then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet wiping them clean.

What outer garment needs to be removed for you, for me, to freely pour out to strangers? Consider Jesus. Pride must go. Hurt feelings, disappointment and anger must go. Must be laid aside and grace put on. Consider Jesus. This seems so little, so petty, when I consider Jesus… for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross.

Consider Jesus…

Count it all joy, my brothers {and sisters},

when you meet trials of various kinds,

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

And let steadfastness have its full effect,

that you may be perfect and complete,

lacking in nothing.  

James 1:2-4

Consider Jesus…count IT ALL joy!

Whose feet can you wash this weekend? Water is flowing freely from his throne of grace for you. This font will wash you clean, for you, in turn, to wash the feet of…a stranger.

Whatever IT IS you are presently facing, grace abounds freely when you consider Jesus and count IT ALL joy.

I love you and I sincerely appreciate your emails for Jim. Unknowing, you washed the feet of another.




HaPpY BiRtHdAy

Posted October 25th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson

to the two most important men in my life!  Farmer husband whose patience amazes me.  You have put much seed in the ground, and I pray the harvest you will surely reap is abundant, for I know the desire of your heart is to be a vessel of blessing.

Your capable yet tender hands hold our family together with sweet strength…I love you.

And to my little man…I adore you my RuRu!


leah {wife, friend and mom}

INTERIOR INSPIRATION by Bates Corkern Studio

Posted October 24th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Interior Design, Word of Encouragement

This Birmingham design firm’s work catches my eye and draws me in to explore the details.  Such simplicity, yet I recognize, as a designer, much thought and careful selection along with careful editing has taken place to create and design these rooms.

Drawn to the light…


Love this idea!  A handsome and functional leather upholstered buffet with nailhead trim floating above the floor.

I wonder if this is a light source or a GIGANTIC television lurks behind!

Great use of space and I am certain a television is behind the doors above the fireplace.  Built-in seating- fantastic!

Beautiful use of drapery to soften the space and continue the lines…even if there are no windows behind them. The lamp shades look like a mesh- love them!

Interior walls of painted brick add such texture and character to a home, new or old.  My eye moves right past the modern open staircase to the exterior. What a wonderful mix!

The arched openings throughout this home lend an elegance to all white spaces.  Another drapery wall creating warmth and texture. The round mirror mimics the round windows in the home. The design principle of repetition harkens harmony.

A beautiful still water feature.  Oh how I could sit for hours, dangle my feet…lean back in the grass…and enjoy the carefully designed details.  {while coveting, I mean admiring, the copper gutters…smile}

What one simple, good idea could you incorporate into your home?  Maybe it’s just the idea of keeping things simple. Or paying attention to details. This time of year as we begin seasonal decorating, remember to make it more about the reasons we celebrate than the celebrations and decorations themselves.

Here’s an idea– If you have accumulated lots and lots of Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations over the years, take time to go through them and set aside ones you can part with.  Wrap them in tissue paper with a little ribbon and take them to your local Habitat for Humanity, Shelter or Recovery House. Maybe you know someone whose life will be a bit sparse this season…Let your adoration for this season of love decorate another’s life and home.  

Let generosity be the common thread that weaves your heart and home together. We have been mightily blessed to be a blessing.


Have a wonderful week!

xo   leah

P.S.   The kitchen floor took 4 DAYS to get the glued-down tar paper sanded off!  But with that hurdle behind us, staining started today- Yeah! If the finish coats dry as expected, cabinet installation and electrical trim out will start on Friday. So much for my “fast-tracking” this restoration! {humility abounds} I just hope we will be in by Thanksgiving. If not, I understand turkey on the grill is good too!

If you are in the area, please

Posted October 20th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Ministries

join me in Bainbridge, Georgia for an evening of beauty and holiness as I share a message to PREPARE OUR HEARTS AND HOMES FOR CHIRSTMAS.

Last year, a precious group of women from Fellowship Baptist Church purchased INTERIOR WISDOM and used it as a Bible Study. Now I am honored to join them in bringing the love of Christ Jesus to their community.

As always, I appreciate your prayers…may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart bring glory and honor to our Savior.

Have a wonderful weekend




Posted October 18th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via pinterst.com

Pulling away to move forward

Posted October 14th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement





Blowing rain, which, at times, felt like tropical force winds.  This happened last week on THE FARM in the natural and the spiritual realm. Yes, last week was a really tough week! But determined, this week I press on toward the goal…

But one thing I do:

forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phil 3:13

Strain:  stretch, takes unusually great effort, force

Straining to finish strong…straining to get workers “to do”, simply “to do” their work with timeliness, excellence and integrity.Straining not to beat myself up for “knowing this thing yet surprised still!” Straining to love…forgive…to MOVE FORWARD and let go of the past.

As I stare out the window, the newly built 12′ long farm table near The Coop beacons me to come sit. Just pull away and come sit. I grab my Bible and speak into the wind…Lord, what would Jesus do?

Throughout Scripture we see Jesus pulling away from the crowds to quiet places…mountain tops or the desolate wilderness. He just wanted, needed, to be alone with his Heavenly Father and pray. Jesus is fully God yet fully man so maybe at times, like me, he was just plain tired…physically, mentally, emotionally. I am so thankful he left us the example of what to do when the world has drained us dry. Get alone with God and pray.

Walking out, the Holy Spirit reminds me, refreshes me with the words from Psalm 46:4…There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…

I pull away physically as the Holy Spirit pulls me in spiritually…into the river of God.

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits and led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through.   Ezekiel 47:1, 3-5

The Holy Spirit woos us to the inner sanctuary where He can miraculously make a mere trickle of water become a powerfully renewing river of life. Our part…pull away, step in and be led deeper still.

Lord, please take my hand and lead me into the river…covering ankles, knees, waist. So deep in living water that I must learn to swim…teach me to swim, to keep moving forward with your plans, your design for my life. Letting go of past failures, mistakes, and straining forward to take hold of the Spirit. For where the river flows, there is life, new life, beautiful life each and every day.

…so everything will live where the river goes. And on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”   verses 9,12


Is there something today you need to let go of so you can move forward with God’s design? Pull away. Step into the river…let the Holy Spirit teach you how to swim.

Have a wonderful weekend!  My mom is visiting!   {YEAH, YEAH}



P.S.  Thank you soooooo much for all your wonderful email responses to your vote for the name of a devo book.  It was split about 50/50.  One sweet friend really nailed it for me.  Hattie wrote…I would love a book that can show me how every day can be beautiful and Holy.  Yes Lord…that is my desire…to share how, through your Word, we can bring beauty and holiness into our everyday lives.



The Farm update

Posted October 11th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson

I know it’s Wednesday, but let’s catch up!

Melissa Key and I swapped books for a painting for our new home…I am beyond thrilled!  Isn’t it beautiful! I plan to hang it in the foyer and set the tone for our home.

Jim and Rudy surveying after torrential rains last weekend.

The floor refinishers have the house to themselves.

So I am taking pictures through windows and exterior doors.  These floors have been sanded and we are working on a pale driftwood-colored stain.

During the heavy rains, we found out that part of the front porch ceiling leaked…so at 11:00 at night, in my nightgown with flashlight in hand, I climbed over all our stuff and covered as much as I could with big garbage bags and placed pots and pans under the dripping water.  I am so thankful that nothing was ruined.  We put most everything in the studio the next day.  My plan is to paint that floor the interior door color to change things up a bit.  Every room in our home is heart pine, with the exception of my bathroom. When painting interior wood floors, I like to use a high gloss exterior porch paint.  It wears better and has a great look.

The new metal work has been installed with the larger circle design. I love the scale now.

Over the LR fireplace, I opted for one large mirror with a 1″ bevel all the way around since my 2 previous designs were just too challenging.

I also had a metal handrail fabricated for the back staircase.  Both are finished with a French Steel look, which means they simply clear coat the raw metal.  These steps will be painted with the exterior porch paint too.

The pump house is almost completed.  The 12 foot long farm table on the right is made out of cypress.  I traded the LR fireplace over mantle and all the old door hardware for it.

We’ve created great little vistas and seating areas around so we can watch “The Girls”.

Jim’s garden is growing growing.  We have experienced some green caterpillars enjoying our veggies…but Jim found an organic remedy for those little creepy crawly things!


Squash and beautiful squash blossoms


My flowers

well…flowers soon.


peppers {to be}




It’s just gorgeous today!

Do you remember all the pipes that were on the side of the house?  When the plumbers removed all the old galvanized pipes it really cleaned up this side of the house, but then stucco repair was needed.  After the exterior is painted, all the repairs should blend in nicely.  I have removed many of the shutters and can hopefully use them to create a fence around the AC units in this “service area” of the house.

My generous new friend Kim gave me this pretty little iron chandelier to hang in The Girl’s pecking yard.  No Jim…I promise I won’t electrify it!  (:

This is the exterior lantern that will hang on the right side of the stained doors of the pump house. I like using something other than clear glass for exterior lighting…it shows less dirt.

Jim removed the tops of the old goat milking tables, which made for great roosting for his Girls.  We can’t take credit for this smart design. The previous owners installed hooks to pull up the tables…I am assuming to give more room and clean out this area.

Soooo Jim came home with 12 more “Girls” last week.  I thought he said he was adding 2 Rhode Island Reds…he just couldn’t resist. 4 Reds, 4 Americanas and 4 Plymouth Rocks!  They are cute.

Rudy is still wondering what in the heck {peck} is going on!!

We have used most of the wood we removed from the house…but there is still enough left for one more project. Mom arrives tomorrow to spend a few days and she is bringing Jim 12 quail from South Georgia…10 hens and 2 roosters!  Do quail roosters cock-a-doodle-do?

I sure hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!  Do something whimish, for this is the day the Lord has made and He wants us to rejoice, be in joy about today!

And be glad…






Posted October 4th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via Pinterest.com


Posted October 3rd, 2011 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

Last week, I had two conversations about being dehydrated…one physically, one spiritually. Water is vital to our very existence, isn’t it. Without it, all shrivels eventually dying.

Peter, our floor refinisher, is about my age. He has two precious sons who help him when not in class. He related a story about working in a house where the windows were taped shut with no air conditioning. He thought he was drinking enough water, but he became very sick. His doctor’s diagnosis- dehydration.

NOTE TO SELF:  Sometimes we think we are drinking enough water, but more is needed, especially during times of stress.

The Bible study group of a special woman I love dearly has resumed after the summer break. I called her to check in because the last time we spoke she was very down, fearful and hope was waning about the present and future. From hello, this conversation was totally different. She admitted that the absence of filling her life, her heart, her mind with God’s words of truth caused deep and desperate spiritual dehydration. She was running on empty and ignoring all the signs of becoming sick…at heart. She was literally starving her soul.

NOTE TO SELF:  The living water of God’s Word is vital and necessary to sustain my life, promoting hope, joy and peace.

The refrigerator on the porch if full of bottled water for the workers. As I place them in this cool space, I pray that once uncapped, God will supernaturally transform it into living water, springing up to eternal life. For living water is vital.

VITAL: Absolutely necessary or important; essential; indispensable to the continuance of life; critical; key; high-priority; life and death

Over the next several weeks, let’s look together at the importance of water. When you think of water, what comes to mind?


Chapter 24 of Genesis is one of the stories in the Bible that the Holy Spirit showed me regarding the plans for 2446 E. New York Ave…”The Farm”. God prompted me to look up verses that corresponded to our new address, 24:46.

She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder and said,

‘Drink, and I will give your camels drink also.’  

Genesis 24:46

In Abraham’s old age, he sent his servant to find a wife for his only son, Isaac. When the servant came to rest at the well, Rebekah quickly, without hesitation, stopped what she was doing and gave water to the stranger. She further extended herself to water his camels. Rebekah’s beautiful willingness to serve, kindness of heart and openness to God’s design on her everyday life is a portrait that I desire my Lord to paint of me. I daily ask the Holy Spirit to teach me to be “other minded”, go the extra step and water other people’s lives.

To quickly let down my water jar…

God’s providential hand covers this story in every way. That same hand covers each detail of our everyday lives if we will but stop by the well, dip our jar into living water and drink deeply.

Chapter 24 is a beautiful love story. And Jesus is seeking you, his bride. Read it and ask the Holy Spirit to water your life in new and refreshing ways.

The Beauty of Everyday Holiness    or   Everyday Holiness for Living Beautifully   

xo  leah

P.S. Do you like one of these titles for a devotional book? You, your feedback is very important {vital} to me!

Majorly Full Week!!

Posted September 29th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Interior Design

Remember the old pump house above?  Well, let’s just say the pile of extra doors and wood has greatly diminished with the completion of the new pump house. The 18″ deep trench will house electrical for the existing freezer and refrigerator. It will be handy having refrigeration for the eggs so close to the coop.

Landscaping should hide these pipes…maybe wild petunias.  The large vertical boards forming the corners were storage shelving in the kitchen area of the house.

So far I have painted the pump house, but I plan to roll a driftwood-colored wash over the white and paint the doors like the Coop.  Since I love the shutter color, I am now conflicted about the color I used on the “Coop” doors.  Will study that tomorrow…

I pulled out my trusty Sharpy and wrote Scriptures and prayers on the walls in the house where cabinets will be installed.  Now Scriptures are sealed in my heart and home!

DeLand Metalcrafters came by for me to see the scale of the staircase design.  The circle is 12″ in diameter, which is 1/3 of the total width.  After seeing it, I decided to increase the size to 16″.  BUT…I just love the way it opens the staircase and pushes the modern edge.  I have plans for the checkerboard piece removed.

The mirror installer just could not get the intersections of the squares to line up due to the unevenness of the wall.  So I had to rethink this design too.  Tomorrow, another large mirror, with less cuts, will be installed.

The rough sanding of the floors was completed today, and Peter and I will work on a custom “Driftwood” color stain. Covering the orange tone of Heart Pine may require bleaching first, but I hope not. Often times design ideas require a bit of trial and error. My clients are happy to know I experiment in my own home first!

I do, however, love the look of the pale taupe doors.  The new brushed nickle door hardware by Emteck looks great too.

New back door in the kitchen, which looks very similar to the old one, provides natural light into the kitchen.

I sanded and refinished the “Vintage” dining chairs in a dark walnut stain by Cabot, then sealed them in a Semi-gloss finish.  Love the shine, which pushes the modern edge.

Next…buy some foam, fabric and a staple gun to reupholster the seats.

Jim and I enjoyed fresh spinach and arugula salads all week.  Our cucumber {leaves for now} are growing like crazy.

On a sad note, we lost the majestic water oak in the Orchard.  Jim walked out to the orchard one morning and found that one of the huge limbs had fallen and split the main trunk in two.  We didn’t have an option, but removing it was definitely NOT in my budget!

We removed the old wire fence that needed a lot of repair and plan to live without one for a while to see how we like it.  Jim and I both like the idea of planting a line of trees for privacy, with a driveway opening a bit further down from the original one.

The girls are growing up

and they love the camera!

And, I was honored to speak to the Interior Design department of Daytona State College.  They are an absolutely precious group!  One of the quotes on their studio wall by the late “gran-dame” of design, Elsie de Wolfe, made me laugh.

“I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint.”     Gosh I wish I had said that!!!

Here are the 4 “B” points I encouraged them to consider…for design, and life.

1.  Bigger picture: There is always a bigger plan and picture, so dream with faith and expand your thinking.

2.  Be generous:  Offer your time, talent, share your resources and watch the boomerang effect become reality.

3.  Be in good company:  Surround yourself with positive, successful, creative people.  No one is successful in a vacuum.

4.  Be excellent:  Go beyond good…be excellent at all you do.  Set yourself apart by going beyond standard expectations.

 Do you incorporate these into your everyday life?  What Scripture comes to mind as you think on these?  {Jeremiah 29:11, Galatians 6:7, Proverbs 11:25, Galatians 5:9, Genesis 1:31}

Yes, it has been a majorly full week!  Good week, encouraging week, productive week…maybe I’ll rest on Saturday…but probably not.  (:

love you and enjoy your weekend sweet friends!

xo  leah