SAVE THE DATE!

Posted May 5th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Ministries

It’s Spring…a new fresh season of life!  A time to do some house cleaning, editing and paring down so God can bring something new and fresh into our lives. Are you ready? Is there any room? Need some “Interior Wisdom”?

Please join me at The Lighthouse Church in DeLand, Florida, on Saturday, May 19th as I share a message on The Wisdom and Beauty of Simplicity..for our home and heart! 

Fellowship begins at 9 am at the Cafe’, and Praise and Worship at 10.  Come be inspired!

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

xo

leah

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

Posted May 4th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

Jim and I very rarely argue, but recently, we had a terrible argument shouting words that wound. Fortunately we didn’t let the sun go down without asking each other, and God, for forgiveness.

WHAT HAPPENED? The question I pondered before the Lord.

My fleshly nature. A fear. A really scary, ugly, selfish fear.

WHAT HAPPENED? I repeated.

I reacted to the fear instead of waiting and responding to my faith.

WHAT HAPPENED?

I was trying to, once again, over plan! Which, really, means control. The variable, that scary, ugly, selfish fear…those 2 measly words that flame a little spark of a question into wild fire, “what if?”

There is a delicate balance of working in a business where every single tedious detail counts and living a life of trusting life’s details to God.

When my response is:

God knows the plans he has for my life and they are good plans…God causes all things work together for my good and His glory…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me by the power of the Holy Spirit…I will choose to walk in the Spirit and deny my flesh…God will keep me in perfect peace when I keep my mind on Him…If I lack wisdom, I will just ask God who gives it liberally without finding fault…and I will do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider the other person more important than myself…

When my response is to remember Words deeply planted in my soul, I lay down the tendency to over-plan and live, truly live, in the present…in His Presence, where I can breathe again.

WHAT HAPPENED? I was trying to get my way the wrong way, by compulsive planning, which leads to that terriorist “what if”!

The Garden at The Farm is a good place to ask WHAT HAPPENED? I can plan all day long, but that idol is futile, vain and of no use at all in the Garden. For in God’s appointed time all will bloom and grow and die. Yes, the Garden is the perfect spot to respond by fully surrendering and filling the air with praise. I ever so carefully uproot those blooming weeds…for they are still weeds. For that which is not faith is fear, and there is no room for fear in our Garden.

WHERE IS YOUR GARDEN?

That place where awe comes upon your soul. That place where fresh air clears your perspective until rest returns. The bounty of your heart’s Garden is in the palm of God’s hand. If you are struggling with a “what happened” in your life, return to the Garden with God, He restores completely.

Lord Jesus, we release our tightly bound fists into open palms of praise…FOR EVERYTHING you have allowed into our lives. Yes, we unfurl fingers in faith, revealing surrendered palms ready to embrace your perfect plan for our lives. Forgive us when we over-plan our lives and argue in defense of our best efforts. Uproot those deep fears and replace all those scary detailed places with your good plans, your ways, your love. We lay down our human resources, and in response, we simply believe. Thank you Father!

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after;

that I may dwell {live, abide, grow old} in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

and to inquire in his temple.  

Psalm 27:4

Have a weekend filled with beauty and holiness!

xo

leah

P.S.  Tomorrow watch for a Save the Date!  I am speaking in DeLand on May 19th.

WEDNESDAY WHIM!!

Posted May 2nd, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

MORE Spring Organization ideas…convert a closet into a walk-in butler’s pantry.

via Pinterest

Please join me next week in Florence, Alabama

Posted April 30th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Leah Richardson

 

If you are near Florence, Alabama on Tuesday, May 8th, please join me at this beautiful shop, The French Basket.  Jenny Hill has planned a wonderful day, which will include a book signing and luncheon, where I will share some Interior Wisdom.  Please stop by, and if you would like to attend the luncheon, please contact The French Basket.

Live a life of beauty and holiness!

xo

Leah

Do what you LOVE…

Posted April 27th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement

When I was fired from “Corporate America” years ago, I was devastated. Emotions of anger, frustration, revenge…all that junk that does nothing but eat holes in our soul rumbled through my head UNTIL Jim {whom I had been married to just 4 short weeks} came home that Friday evening. He offered to send me back to college to get a degree in Interior Design.  Somewhere deep within I knew he was right. Corporate America was not a good fit for the natural gifts and talents the Lord had so generously given me. I really didn’t enjoy my work and this opened a door for change.

During that time, I read the book Do What You Love and the Money will Come by author Marsha Sintar. It is all about finding the right livelihood. I highly recommend this book. As graduation draws near, you might want to consider gifting it. Like me, Marsha longed for her life and work to count…she longed for change. This book is the result of her “leap of faith”, as she says.

Earlier this week, I moved my Studio to the attic so I can spread out and have more room to work. The view is fabulous too!

The internet was spotty up here, so I called my provider for help. While the technician was working, he mentioned that his real love was photography…BUT {I hear this a lot!} He couldn’t make a living doing it. I shared with him how God gave him his gift and talent to use and to share… and in doing so he brings glory to God. 

What natural gift, talent, love has the Lord planted in you?

When you recognize these and resist listening to what the world tells you that “you should” be doing, you will find great fulfillment in using your gift as your work. Ask God, for he gave you these gifts and he will show you how to integrate them into your work, until they are your work.

Do you love what you do? Take a leap of faith…

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was hosted by my friend Hattie while recently working in New Orleans. She was reading a book about our work being our ministry…no division!  Have you thought about that? Whatever we do, our work can count for God.

One more book I would like to mention as a great graduation gift, Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. It is also one of those books that encouraged me to take a leap of faith…step out of what everyone expected of me and do what the Lord Jesus called me to do.

Back to Hattie.  She mentioned to me that if I ever saw anything for the center of her dining room table please let her know. Walking down Magazine St. with another client, I glanced over and there was this piece of pottery I knew would be perfect. I took a picture with my iphone and sent it to Hattie…

She went in to see it…

and it looks wonderful on her dining room table!

Use your gift. Do what you love. God will provide.

Have a wonderful weekend and THANK YOU to my sweet designer friend, Stacy Naquin, in Baton Rouge for the shout out on her blog.

xo

leah

p.s. Please consider  INTERIOR WSDOM as that special Mother’s Day, Wedding or Graduation gift. Thanks!

WEDNESDAY WHIM!

Posted April 25th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

Yum!  Daughter fun!

exceedingly abundant

Posted April 23rd, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement

Exceedingly abundantly…beyond expectation…over and above.  Is that the way you think or do you find yourself settling for mediocre and small?

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,

to him be glory in the church

and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,

forever and ever. Amen.  

Eph 3:20-21

I pray for the Harvest and then go about my day, leaving all securing in God’s hands knowing deep within the Lord of the Harvest is good, and huge.  He’s a God of abundance in every way and He is in our midst.

Ephesians 3:20 Zucchini

and fresh eggs

make sweet zucchini bread

and abundant praise.

What harvest in your life needs an Ephesians 3:20 prayer? Shout it out and trust the Lord of the Harvest this week more than ever. Let not pest nor caterpillar deter you from believing God for your beautiful, abundant harvest.

move over mediocre…this week we embrace the “how much more” of God!

xo

leah

RECIPE 

WEDNESDAY WHIM!

Posted April 18th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, Wednesday Whim!

spring cleaning idea!

A Broad Place…

Posted April 16th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Word of Encouragement

On Saturday, an early morning in the garden quiets my heart, my mind. I find the continuous activity of bird’s singing, squirrels scampering, chickens scratching and wood peckers pecking rather soothing, like a soft and beautiful symphony.

The distant sound of motors on the lake, and road, remind me that life goes on around us. Sometimes that can cause me to feel alone, and sometimes that is rather soothing too. Regardless of how I feel, I find strength in knowing God the Creator designed this continuum. So I exercise my faith and dig my fingers deep within the soil.

Tom called…Janace died early this morning.

When life wears me out with trouble, like King David, I lament

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;

Be a rock of refuge for me,

I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,

you have known the distress of my soul,

YOU HAVE SET MY FEET IN A BROAD PLACE…

The Farm is that BROAD PLACE. A place where I can take deep breaths and say out loud

But I trust in you, O Lord;

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand;

Make your face shine on your servant.

I look up as the sun faintly shines through on this cloudy day, a cloudy day in every way.

This continuum… from birth until death, but light bursts forth as the clouds part and thanksgiving fills my heart. Thanksgiving that, although brief, my path and Janace’s path intersected. I lay all down, especially my own understanding, and trust God. I offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving for that which I don’t understand.

I dig my fingers deeper in the soil, pulling up weeds by their root, noticing that it’s hard to tell the weed from the wholesome plant at times. Maybe I don’t need to remove the weeds? But as I finish one bed, there is more of a BROAD PLACE left for the plants to breath…grow…bloom.  When confusion is left alone, it becomes a tangled mess strangling the beauty God the Creator has designed. Confusion is not part of his continuum.

We walk on the BROAD PLACE by faith pulling up the weeds of confusion. As we do, it becomes clear that we can’t untangle by common sense what faith alone understands. When we do the hard work of weeding, deeply uprooting the weeds in our garden, our continuum we walk is no longer a tight rope, but that beautiful BROAD PLACE. A place where two walk hand-in-hand in the garden, in this life.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,

which you have stored up for those who fear you…

Be strong, and let your {my} heart take courage,

all you who wait for the Lord!

Thank you for your prayers.

Are there any weeds that need uprooting in your garden so you too can say…

You have set my feet in a BROAD PLACE {room to breathe, hope and find beauty again}.

Blessed be the Lord,

xo

leah

verses from Psalm 31

BITTERSWEET

Posted April 13th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Bittersweet:  causing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain…

Driving back to The Farm from the airport last night…home to my wonderful husband of exactly 23 years, I thought about the one word to describe my week in New Orleans.  Bittersweet.

My sweet friends Hattie and Bruce hosted me in their beautiful contemporary home in River Ridge. Hattie called me several years ago to help her make some design decisions after they had looked at our home to buy. She has a very edited, really minimalistic, style so we hit it off immediately.

My days were filled with very long hours consulting with new and old clients…primarily editing.  As Spring approaches, we are all ready to “lighten up” in every way. So I peeled away years of accumulation revealing this lightness and the beauty of simplicity. The beauty of a well-edited interior began to define each room in these homes.

With my new clients, as always, this question was asked more than several times.

“BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO PUT THERE?” And my response, as always…”NOTHING.”

Learning to live with less, with some empty space, takes time, but everyone comes to enjoy it. As I created piles of “expendables”, I could see my clients wondering why they had cluttered their home needlessly…

Often, clutter just happens. Years of accumulation and we find ourselves completely overwhelmed.  The bittersweet is that it takes someone who will honestly tell you the truth. Someone who will ask you the hard questions which force you to make the decision to

give away

throw away

and put away.

Although I left laundry rooms and garages full of those piles, my clients were thrilled! With furniture moved around, art rehung and accessories carefully placed, a beautifully well-edited design took shape. Hard work-fun work. A bit bittersweet.

If you have been a part of our on-line community for a while, you might remember my pictorial blog, TONE ON TONE, about the home in New Orleans I completed last fall.  click HERE

16 months of working with this generous, caring couple who lived in a modest home for 30 years. They met at age 12, later married and raised 4 children. Their new home was their dream home…a new and wonderful season of life they were looking forward to sharing.

MY HEART IS BROKEN. Janace has been diagnosed with a fatal and rare {1 in 1 million} degenerative brain disease. Mayo Clinic can’t even figure out how she would have contracted it. She is dying. Her husband called me only a month ago for prayer, and as I sat and held his hand on Monday, Hospice was setting up a hospital bed in their beautiful bedroom. My heart is broken. His words still stinging my ears…”Leah, I can’t remember life without her.”

Any day now she will behold Jesus’ face and I will always remember the long days we spent together carefully editing and making selections for this new season she was so excited about.

Although I know and believe God’s Word, I am grieving for my friend. My comfort comes in knowing when we are absent from our earthly bodies, we are present with our Lord. My comfort comes from knowing that sorrow lasts for a night, but joy eventually comes in the morning. My comfort comes from the ever-present comforter, the Holy Spirit, who grips my heart in love as I pray for this family I came to know and love.

BITTERSWEET…I take a giant step back, to widen my view and take in the overall picture, whether in a room or in a life. Editing out the clutter and expendables, making room for what is truly important. That is the interior wisdom that God alone gives to create beauty, simplicity and order in our homes and hearts.

Please pray for my friends.

Life is full of BITTERSWEET moments and God alone gets us through them, tenderly teaching us and He edits our lives.

xo

leah