About the Author

Leigh is a Texas girl, a following nomad - going to any place her King calls her to. She is best described as greatly flawed, wholly loved, daily refined, and completely forgiven by the blood of Christ. She is a writer, a freelance editor, an aunt, a daughter, a friend,...

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  1. Hi Leigh,

    It’s funny sort of. I’m 54 years old and still single. On my heart is still written someone. I am still waiting. But I love being a part of church, Bible Studies and doing a little creative writing also.

    Just because I’m still single at 54 doesn’t mean you’ll be. The Lord may have someone around the bend for you. I’ll be praying He does if that’s your heart’s desire. I like that you put in your bio that you are greatly flawed. Me too.

    Thank you for your encouragement and honesty. Take care. Love ~<3~

  2. What beautiful words, thank you Donna. It truly means so very much to me that you stopped by, read, and more importantly, shared your heart. Knowing the Body is ever-reaching is truly what overflows my cup in gratitude and awe of His love.

    Thank you for your encouragement too sister. Love back you. 🙂

  3. It’s funny that Donna pointed out she’s still single, because that’s what I was going to say :). I used to announce to people that I’d get married at 27. Sounded like a good solid number … not too old, not too young. But you know what, I’m mid-40’s and can’t imagine a better life (a different one, maybe, but even then I don’t really think about it that much). I’m grateful that though I don’t find into some neat societal box, I fit into the Kingdom and am living a rich and full life regardless of what I thought it would be like. And I’m still in process of learning how to speak the languge of Eden 🙂 http://wp.me/p1Ut5W-b1

    • What gorgeous words! ” I’m grateful that though I don’t find into some neat societal box, I fit into the Kingdom and am living a rich and full life regardless of what I thought it would be like. ” Amy – that is such a splendid way of saying that, thank you for enriching the perspective of singleness even more by those truths. I’m RIGHT there with you! We are often spoken of with an ere of outcast or a mark of pity – but I say Hallelujah! Why pity what my King is so generously giving. Every step in our lives is designed by Him and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve tried “my way” before in many seasons – it was never worth it or as gratifying as being held in the Arms of a King and given a path to “walk ye in it”.
      Your words uplifted me even more today. Amen to them and thank you for coming by! I look forward to reading your blog!

  4. “When I match my dreams with His will, my expectations cannot be disappointed.”~Great Line, and Great post. Thank you!

    • Thank you Christy! I adore the name of your blog “Paper Bag Princess”. Lovely imagery. 🙂 And books can be written on love vs fear. I know the love-letter Holy Word has so much to say – what a great topic for a Sunday Scripture.

  5. Leigh, thanks for this piece (I’d like to spell it “peace” because that is what I got from it!). I guess, unlike the other posters, I didn’t get that the gyst of this is that you’re still single; I took from this that you will go where you are led and that you are open to the gifts along the way, that you could not have imagined the life you have now, and that you know you are blessed. Finding peace in that is magnificent! I loved your article, and you have put into words what so many people feel. Make the most of today!

    • Tomi I am enormously honored you came by and read! Thank you so so much! I am moved and thankful by your words. If you see our boys soon, give them all my love. My heart misses them every moment. 🙂

  6. What An Amazing Devotion =] You have the most beautiful outlook on life.

    I’m trying to trust God with everything in life. It has been the craziest year – one we could of never imagined. It’s included the loss of
    My husbands business, having to get food assistance, chapter 7, my husband taking jobs he’d never imagined taking, the kids and I helping out, difficulty in our marriage & the hardest thing this January was losing James. He is a boy in my sons band who died after being hit by a tractor trailer. He lived with us three days a week.

    I say all this to tell you that FAITH in God is all we had to hold onto. Trusting Him is so hard for us sometimes, but then our heavenly Father puts us in the position that all we have is Him. WOW – that’s just how much He loves us.

    We are now facing a new job opportunity and selling the home we have been in for 20 years. With God by our side all things are possible =]

    • Sweet Stacey, my sister – your words are terribly terrific. That might seem a strange pairing of adjectives, it’s just that the valleys and situations you and your family have endured is nothing short of wartime dependence, AND your faith through the battlefield is astoundingly rich. You awe me.
      I went through a season where my amazing church and its elder board were the only reason I was able to eat and buy groceries (gift card to grocery store) during the months I was out of work last year. Our “seasons of famine”, whatever they may look like, can truly be gut-wrenching and hope-contorting. Yet my two favorite words my ears can hear and my heart can absorb: “But God,”. But our God is greater. Our God is stronger. Many times in Scripture those two words resound, shattering all notions, all despair, all evil’s intent. Because at the end of it all – our God stands. He fights for us, He died to conquer this writhing world that often shatters our ceilings rather than raises them.
      Continue to fight the good fight my sister. Run with ENDURANCE, this race. Because one day, you will hear “Stop running my child. It is finished. Well done my good and faithful servant.” And on the days where the legs are rubber and the patience is wafer thin and the tensions are stretched beyond their limit – the Spirit will renew your heart, mind and soul. If you let His coolness and peace continue to wash over you and your family – you will be able to stand in that furnace as look as it takes to show the world who the true King is, and you will never be singed by the flame. Not one hair will perish as you traverse among the coals.
      I’m sorry I wrote a book in response, but you emboldened me so much with your faith and your words. To say “thank you” seems trivial. I am indebted by your perspective and wisdom.

  7. My 8th grade English teacher had our class do a similar assignment and she held on to them until we graduated. I went through some of my things and found I kept it. Amazing how things are different and boy am I grateful for that! Haha!!

    • I know what you mean Tracy! haha I completely agree! Isn’t writing amazing on so many levels? It accomplishes so much when you let it, and gives you so much when you listen and release yourself into the art. My English teachers where consistent favorites of mine throughout. They opened my word to the beauty of syllable and sentence. 🙂

  8. Leigh,
    Not sure why, but your post left me in tears! So proud of you for following your dreams and your heart, and never giving up faith. He knows His plans for you, as He does for all of us. He created every fiber of your soul and heart, especially for you, knowing what you would go on to do and discover. And what a beautiful soul and heart it is!

    Maybe 29 isn’t what your 17-year-old self thought it would be, but what adventures you have been on. And how grateful am I that I found you along the way. What a joy for me to read the words of a dear friend who leaves nothing behind when she picks up her pen (or keyboard). Who loves others with such great abandon, yet is so humble when receiving love herself. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for you. Until then, I will keep what you said — “When I match my dreams with His will, my expectations cannot be disappointed.” — close to my heart as a much, MUCH-needed reminder. xo

    • I love you with such truth and deepness I cannot describe. You are more than my sister, you are a soul mate of the Body and a survivor. You teach me strength. You teach me patience. You teach me when to fight for the truth and when to listen for the lesson. I could write a requiem on how much your friendship and support means to me, my Jayme.
      You make ME tear up, constantly, with your words of unabandoned support (I even made up that word – but it describes what I mean!). You’ve always been there, in m y corner. What did I ever do to deserve a friend/sister/life-traveler like you? You, Jessica, Stephanie, Kristin – I couldn’t do life without you. You’re my pearls in a world filled with dust.

  9. I want to live purposefully and hopefully. I want to enjoy everything I do great and small every day of my life.
    I want to enjoy my job – I am hoping for one that is more fun even though the one I have has been a blessing for me in more ways than one.
    I am hoping to write more; sing more; be outdoors more; enjoy my relationship with God more;
    Be free to be me – more – in God’s presence. No more fear; just joy.
    I’d like to do work that pays that is more close to my creative self. Also on a practical side: I need help cleaning and ordering my room and taking care of my self on an ongoing basis.

    Thank you for helping me continue in hope . I am going to talk to God more about this. It is hard to say what I want.

  10. “I am hoping to write more; sing more; be outdoors more; enjoy my relationship with God more;
    Be free to be me – more – in God’s presence. No more fear; just joy.”

    Dear Angie, you say what you want beautifully! Delicate words of honesty and hope. No more fear, just joy INDEED!! Lovely, lovely sentence. I’m rejoicing in your words, I truly am. Take your own honesty to heart, offer up your words and every ounce of yourself, even the uncertain and questioning parts. He can handle any emotion we feel, and more than that – He YEARNS to hear it. He languishes for us to give ourselves completely over to His arms. Our Father’s Son died for that opportunity of closeness without restraint. His Spirit regenerates without abandon to give us the strength to do so. We are filled with Him every nanosecond, and we have His strength to walk the roads we’re given – yet too, to dream the dreams we possess. Never forget, He gives us dreams. He is the author of love and hope. And He will discern with us, the way His plan directs us to tread. Keep talking to God sister, never stop. He is sanity in a broken world.
    Thank you so much for stopping by. You make my day. 🙂

  11. To make a long story short, my house is pending a short sale. I’m looking for an affordable place to live prior to my unknown move out day. That scares me. My head knows God IS faithful, but my heart is scared. I cling to MY verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

    • That’s one of my verses too Dara!! Since high school, I’ve clung to those words. And I just think of what Jeremiah was feeling – he was broken to pieces over the state of his nation, lamenting to God to save and restore. His words are vitally important to a dying, disjointed soul (even a nation of souls, most of whom neglected and ignored their King). So we too, are given hope and a future. A FUTURE of His love and provision. We cannot be outside of it, ever. When we declare Christ our Savior, when we confess and believe, we are sealed. We are written in love on His palms. We have our Hope.
      I understand the uncertainty of not knowing where you’ll live or what the next week will look like. I actually do know that road. I’m about to traverse it again (nomadic me – these past few years). So I will pledge to life you up Dara, and know that you are not alone. Cling tightly to the robes. Your faith is carrying you to His throne.

  12. I love to see how your words impact each person in a different way. Everyone is dealing with different types of crisis or pain, but reading words of encouragement like this, are what remind us to always leave it at the feet of Jesus. I am resting on these words today, “So if my yesterday didn’t go like I thought it would and my today still leaves me wondering, I can rest my tomorrow in the capable hands of my Jehovah-Jireh.”
    Many times I get so caught up with what went wrong, that I forget to be thankful for everything else that went right. Thank you for your wonderful words.

    • Oh Leah…your words affect me wonderfully. All I can find to say in this moment is a mere yet wholly heartfelt “THANK YOU”. You say it perfectly. I am blessed.

  13. I believe that you can rest strongly on the fact that even though you haven’t “accomplished” what “17 year old you” wa nted to accomplish … you have flawlessly accomplished all that God had set you out to do.

    Because His plan is 100% flaweless and perfect…and you’re in it! 🙂

    Wonderful piece. I loved it.

    • Wow. Kaitlin…you wowed me. How precisely authentic. “Because His plan is 100% flawless and perfect…and you’re in it!” ….I’m so grateful for your words and wisdom. We can all take this away in truth, what you’ve reminded us of.

  14. You have no idea how much I relate to you on so many levels. I, too, am not where I thought I would be at 28, both career-wise and relationship-wise. Though I like my current job and am blessed to finally use my degree, I still have dreams yet to be reached. I also thought I’d be married at 28, and here I am without a date in sight.

    God has tested me in so many ways in my 20s. I can only imagine what he has in store for my 30s. But I am glad that He is constantly pointing my eyes towards Him and not towards what the world can offer me. Anytime I place my worth or trust in the world and not in Him, I am left shattered and disappointed. But He will never fail me.

    Thank you for posting this and reminding me of His greatness. And I am also grateful for the above commenters who were all inspiring and encouraging in their own way.

    • Haha…Amy I need SLEEP!!! I wasn’t focusing on the fact that you are YOU! AMY, amy, my fellow writer. I cannot believe it seems worlds away from our fiction writing class. Though it truly couldn’t have been that long ago, could it? We had BETTER stay in touch (see comment below which I meant to write as a reply here, silly me). I love that we do find ways to reconnect. You are a sweetheart, I’m very thankful to know you.

  15. “God has tested me in so many ways in my 20s. I can only imagine what he has in store for my 30s.” Amy, we are on the SAME level. I’ve said this sentence in a similar way many many times. I’m actually excited to see what He has in store for my 30s. For a few years now, I’ve been convinced that there are big things in store in the next 6 years or so. Now, “big” is a relative term, and what that means, I’m not going to try to pigeonhole. I don’t want to. But what I do know is that you are so right – He can NEVER disappoint. His plans, His ways are purely perfect. They cannot have a single flaw. He is holy and just. So I can be giddy and excited for whatever His chapters for my life contain. Because I know I will be daily refined, stretched, strengthened, and will by one degree of glory to the next – be molded to look more and more like Christ in His glory and holiness. I can NEVER EVER ask for anything more than that.

    Let’s stay in touch Amy! I’d love to hear where God takes us as we say hello to a third decade. 🙂

    • Haha, I’m glad you recognized me! And we should definitely stay in touch. It’s so great that you are writing this blog and doing what you love. I still want to make a trip up to Boston sometime. We should definitely keep in contact more. It seems we have alot in common!

      • I’m in Texas again actually! I was near Austin for a brief time, now further South. Let’s catch up on FB for details. But you should ABSOLUTELY visit the Boston area. It has so many amazing qualities. 🙂

  16. I was talking with my husband a bit ago – – we were discussing how as a cancer survivor (me and others I know) we learn to appreciate each day as it comes. At the same time we live with the fear of cancers return. Trying to trust God for His plan and not knowing where He will lead us. I am looking back at a choice I made seven years ago (after my diagnosis) and thinking of the impact it has had on my life and where God has led me — not where I expected either.

    • Becky – I am speechless to your survival as well as you knowledge of trust and sovereignty in God. I am honored by your willingness to share a bit about your experiences in this uncertain life. I feel in adequate next to your path, yet I know God has measures and roads for each of his children, and none of them are the same. We can learn from one other’s journey and I am humbled to see your example of trust and faith. Please, honestly let me know if there is a way I can specifically encourage and pray for you. It seems empty, but it’s a sincere request. Thank you for reading and for responding. I am quite thankful.

  17. I love the gift of hope you gave in this devotional. I am an artist and God has given me a series of paintings that reflect the hard times I have survived the last two years through the Love of my Father. God was with me the whole time and gave me gifts to carry me through and remind me He was there and would never leave me, and show me how great His love for me is. I am stepping out with my paintings to see how God may use them. Thanks for your encouragement to trust Gods will.

    • Oh Cathy!! How wonderful that the Spirit worked through your fingers into your art. Honestly, I would LOVE to see that. Because I’ve always wished I could have an artistic talent. I realize now, that words can be art as well, and I am thankful for the passion He gave me for that. But I admire art enormously!! Are you going to post your pieces online somewhere? I wish I were local where you could have a showcase. I sincerely love art, and art inspired by life, pain, redemption, emotion…nothing is more moving. I think you are beautiful in trusting to see how our King will use that for His glory. Bringing you healing through this catharsis, is already a mark of His power. Thank you for sharing Cathy!

  18. Perhaps the question should be asking our children “What do YOU want to be when you grow up?” We should be asking them and asking ourselves, “What does GOD want us to be?” As we listen to Him and align our choices with Him, I believe He will show us the course.

  19. i am waiting and trying to be patient in my relationship. waiting for the time that we can finally think about getting married but we have things to work through and things to do before that can happen.

    • Thank you Aimy (gorgeous spelling!) for sharing your heart and what you are giving up to God to take, mold, shape and produce what He desires to in your life and through your relationship. I will pray for you both, that your hearts align with His will, that you communicate with one another clearly, and throughout all of it, place Him as head over your lives. So happy you shared and stopped by!

  20. I’m hoping and praying for a new & better job in medical coding. Like you I will go where God wants me–even if I don’t really like it!

    Interesting post. Keep following the Lord’s will and who knows where you’ll end up!

    • Oh Beth, what a good attitude to have. Going wherever it might be that He calls you. I’ll tell you, if you aren’t born with a flexible personality, God will train you for one through as many twisting/stretching situations and turns as it takes. And it works! Beautiful disaster is sometimes what it goes through to get to the finish.
      Even if you do not immediately understand a turn or a choice or a way you’ve heard “Come” that doesn’t make sense — STICK WITH IT. Fruit grows in so many different climates. Our God is such a creative, life-giving God. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your words!

  21. Oh my! Life expectations, so different in the end. But it can be so GOOD! At 45, I am continuing to grow in my joy of this life as God has laid out for me–nothing like I had planned. Thank you, Lord! Give thanks, train yourself to see the grace in all, and receive the JOY!

    • Amen, amen and praise Him for continued growth. I hope I never stop learning and growing to become more like Him, more like the woman He created me to be. Julie, I LOVE your viewpoint on that continued joy. How marvelous are the surprises He bestows? I cannot believe the outpouring of hearts, wisdom, encouragement and faith each of you ladies have given here. I am literally beside myself in disbelief that something my Father gave my heart to say is generating such response – not because of the volume, but because of the honesty and unity. I don’t know what to say except thank you – it starts to sound so empty, but never has it lost an ounce of meaning! I am indebted. 🙂

  22. So proud of you, Sis! We’ve always thought that you should write. You have always known what words to say and how to say them…even before anyone can think or feel the emotions they bring. I know that God has plans for you. I just can’t wait to see how they will pan out…oh, and we’re still working on that single thing…I’m auditioning people frequently for you. 🙂 Take good care of my family, I know they will be in good hands.

    • S i s. (Seeester!)
      I don’t know what to say – thank you for reading this, and thank you for saying what you said. I’m enormously grateful for your support. I still think it’s a pretty great work that God did in us, and I actually say many praises of blessing that our Father has allowed us to grow closer as we’ve gotten older (and learned a few things) and I like to think wiser. It honestly means everything to me to have your encouragement, because I know you don’t say anything that you do not fully mean or believe. So THANK YOU. I am very blessed by it and by you.
      And I am counting the hours until I see the loves of my life, my sweet nephews. I will take great care of them and you may not get them back! 😉 We’ll be thinking of you.

  23. Wow, Leigh! What can I say? You’ve just strung the right words to accurately describe my own experience.

    In my teens and early twenties, I have everything sorted out. But God “messed up” with my plans and expectations only to “fix them up” in the end according to His own plans for me. It was confusing at first, but God sent several assurances that He’s with me. At 27, I still haven’t seen the entirety of His plans, because, well, we know God, He reveals one thing at a time. But with faith, I’m living the journey and following the path He has preordained for me. And although many times His path leads me to uncomfortable places, I know His plans are far better than mine. And like you, I wait in expectation as He unfolds them one by one. My life is His, so always and forever, let His will be done.

    • Oh Abby, you have such delicate insight and truth in your sentences! “At 27, I still haven’t seen the entirety of His plans, because, well, we know God, He reveals one thing at a time.” I LOVE how you described His unfolding of our plans. I can see Him actually doing so, as if peeling back the petals of a rose, so the full bloom can experience the sunlight. What a great picture you paint of truth and beauty. I am strengthened by your words, I would LOVE to hear more about your circumnavigation and how our Lord continues to weave your roads. 🙂

      • Thanks, Leigh. And yeah, I’d love to share my circumnavigation (I like super like this word!) with my sisters in Christ. Will find a way, or maybe I can visit your blog from time to time.

        God is superbly working in and through you, Leigh. And may you inspire more people with your beautiful and elegant use of words. 🙂

        • …Abby….all I can say in this puddle of appreciation is how I hope we do. And your words are balm-soothing syllables where our King speaks through you to the heart of a stranger. To remind that truth is truth, and lies are smoking dust – nothing more.
          I would be supremely honored any day you stop by my blog. And I just adore the name of yours “Journal the Sojourn”. LOVE love that. That’s a book title right there…just saying. 🙂

  24. “I may veer too far one way or another, but if I continue to place my every hope and dream first in His hands, that He may sift and direct me in His perfect way, I cannot go wrong.” Thank you for that encouragement! I’m definitely not in a place that I would have expected, even a few months ago. It’s so easy to think that because things haven’t worked out like I planned that they’ve somehow gotten messed up. But the important thing is that He is at work doing a good thing!

    • Emily it is so true what you’ve said! Looking around and not recognizing where you are, doesn’t mean you’ve messed up along the way, because sometimes it just mean God wants to show how beauty can come from scratch – from the unexpected. Your insight is wonderful! Thank you so much Emily. 🙂

  25. “The plans of my Creator are still in play.” Love this reminder! At quite a number of years past 21, life isn’t what I had thought it would be–funny, that word “would”, rather than “might”…amazing how one word reveals the depth of my expectation. Yet God does not giggle at my silliness in thinking I could know so cleary. Instead, He lovingly brings me along in His plan, revealing as I am ready so many of the blessings I would not have had in my vision of things.

    Thank you for your willingness to share those tender spots thwt can be hard to voice. Thwnk you for sharing your heart.

    • Oh Jennifer…I can relate. And I LOVE how poignantly you put it “funny, that word “would”, rather than “might”…” How true! I’d never stopped and thought of that. And “revealing as I am ready”, what rich, faith-filled honesty that is. You are generous in wisdom. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Or Father is abundantly more than I can comprehend and when he brings the Body together in unity, even strangers across the miles, it only reminds me of the power of words, and how the ultimate Author cherishes words even more than I. He placed that fervor in my heart. He gave me His passion. I am quite grateful.

  26. Leigh, you are beautiful and this post is beautiful. I struggle often with my own lack of accomplishment. All of my closest friends have masters degrees and MDs and PhDs and I have a high school education only. Sometimes it’s hard to hold my head up, to feel like my opinions are worth inserting in conversations with such brilliant and amazing people. But God has given me the grace to be a good wife and a good mama. It’s not what I imagined when I was seventeen, but it’s enough. And, as Ma says in the Little House books, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Thank you for the reminder, sweet Leigh.

    • Dear friend, your loyalty of reading my mere sentences and the giving nature of your insight delight me in grand ways. Thank you Kristi. Isn’t it odd how we can think back to our high school days, see the girls we were and think to ourselves “you had no idea what was in store.” This is where I am thankful for His provision, His direction, and His perfect plan. Because yes sister, our lives look EXACTLY how He has willed them to be. He brings beauty in the everyday graces, not the worldly accomplishments. Remember that sweet friend. Because I do know, to my own degree, what you mean. Have a wonderful week and do not be a stranger. 🙂