Tag Archive | values

I jumped! UGH

finger pointingDay 13 Project 365

I have been chewing on yesterdays message from TD Jakes.

Listen. I used to think something was wrong with me. I bought into the no grace concept that if I didn’t get freedom the first time something was wrong with me. I wasn’t really saved. I didn’t really know Jesus. I didn’t really want it bad enough. I was a “sinner” unrepentive. It took a while but I broke free from the lies of that mess and I know not everyone is free on the first touch. I will even tell you that there are some things I struggle with that I believe I might always struggle with, not because God can’t take this thorn from my flesh but, because I would tend to think “I got this now!” and need Him a little less mindset might creep in if it was gone.

Make any sense? I might be wrong but I also know there are things HE did take from me but I walked back into the city. I stepped back into the same crap different day and out of His covering. I walked right out from under His hand, His plan and His will. I know it! I even jumped the whole time looking back saying out loud, I know I shouldn’t do this but….

Ever since yesterday afternoon I have been battling myself. The knowing that I have to walk out of “Bethesda” yet again. I stood in the middle of my back yard (by now my neighbors already have it figured out I am sure- I am nuts!) having quite a conversation with myself. I find speaking words out helps them lose their power so I needed to get this crap out. There are things, things I have said and things I hold on to and wrong types of wishful thinking that are keeping me from seeing clearly. Keeping me from being fully free to move forward in the purpose He designed me for.

GOOD GRIEF LESLIE- what were you thinking? Maybe that enough was enough. That it was my turn. That I deserve this. That the moment mattered more than the mission. I know but I don’t know. What I do know is I jumped. Both feet forward, well down really, into a mess and in turn took a detour knowing full well it was the wrong way and that it would cost me more than I could afford to spend to find my way back to the right way!

So today, the fingers point at me. ME ME ME and only ME.

And even in knowing all this, I am still arguing doing the next right thing???? HOLY CRAP girl. What will it take?

I know the answer. Total rhetorical question.

(Disclaimer: I have asked Him over and over to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be and now as I know that prayer is coming again this time I think I need to add the AND KEEP ME THERE part. Buckle up yet again, this could be a bumpy ride! I know I need Him to unclutter my life. I know I have to change my inner perspective on so many things.)

Through the Veil by Gwen Smith
Photo Credit



prescottDay 12 Project 365

For days I have been getting message and after message about perspective and changing and why it is we repeat and repeat. So today I sat to listen to some TD JAKES and the message was on changing my outlook. So what follows in todays blog is my notes as I listened along with a link to the videos of the two messages this notes are from. The messages can be found under the POTTERS TOUCH tab at the top of the webpage.

TDJAKES Importance of Right Outlook

Mark 8:22-26
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.”

Could you be busy doing stuff that does not even matter, neglecting stuff you were created to do?
I pray that you get your head on straight because it isn’t what’s on the outside that is the problem. It is what is on the inside.

What did GOD hope for when He created me? What did he have in mind for me to do while I am here?

I pray that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what you were created for, what He hoped for when He made you. That you might know the riches of inheritance. Your own hidden treasure hidden inside of you. What God placed what gifts lay inside of you.

There is treasure in your trash!

I want you to know what is the exceeding greatness of His power, if you only believe. How much power God when invest if you believe. He healed blind people over and over and over- he is not after disease on the outside he is about disease on the inside. How important it is to get your head on straight.

Your in-look determines your outlook!

Healing of blindness-not just physical but on the inside!

He doesn’t want us to develop a recipe for healing blindness- we all have different ways of coming to a moment of greatness where we see things and get it together. It can be that we have childish things in our lives while we pray adult prayers. Some of us are in the process of being healed while we are trying to heal everyone else. Could it be we have become a judge jury and hangman all while afflicted ourselves. It is much easier to fix someone else then fix ourselves.

One touch doesn’t always do it. One time might not always do it. Two might not be enough. We could be functioning up under a first touch experience.
Until the blind man sees in environment correctly his outlook will never change. First thing Jesus did was lead the blind man out of the city he had just be brought into. Why does Jesus turn around and walk the man out of where he just walked into? What do you want the blind man to see about his environment? Jesus brings the blind man out of the city and then says your healing will take nothing once I get you out of your environment. He used spit. His foolishness is better than the wisdom of this world. You are trying to have a GOD experience in a worldly environment- dab my world with religion and wonder why things don’t change. Jesus spat on him- there comes a time you don’t care what it takes to get out of your situation you simply want out.
When you are in trouble you can’t afford to be insulted. You just want out. You need the help too bad to be insulted. When you get in real trouble you no longer care- no more excuses- you get help at any cost. When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired you get help at any cost. Desperation comes when you have been in the condition too long. You stop making excuses and blaming people. You say whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

Help me!

Jesus spits in his eyes, lays hands on him and says what do you see?

Are you willing to challenge your perception?

He says Lord I see men walking as trees! He determines the depth of his inner healing by his outlook. How do you see people? Distrust, fear, anxiety, disdain, crave them, long for their approval? How you see them says something about your recovery. Why didn’t the man test his eyes on something else? Your outlook is a reflection of what is going on inside you. It is far more important to you then what you are looking it. Is the problem with the eyes or with from in. You can have a touch from GOD and still not have the right outlook. You can be saved and still not have recovery. This man has a legitimate experience with Christ that has made him better but not whole. This first stage of recovery represents most believers= better but not whole. The difference btwn better and whole is determined by outlook.

Jesus didn’t need to ask him a question to know the state of his recovery. He already knew. He has asked how are you doing and what do you see. He asked so the man could confess that one touch is not enough. I’m not what I ought to be but thank God I am not what I used to be. I have had a touch but my outlook is still not good. Why I am like this? Because I still don’t see people clearly.

Change your life change your mindset.

In spite of my past, my circumstances, my need, my lack, my afflictions, I still made it- FOCUS on that!
There is a they in your life- for the blind man they brought him to Jesus. Maybe for us it is a grandmother, a friend. Someone that brought us the first time.

A closed mind never receives anything from GOD. Perspective is everything! If you are disciplined in your perspective you will be victorious in your outcome.
It’s not what happens to you it’s about what you feel about what happens to you. Proper perspective is critical and takes discipline.
I’m saved but I’m still negative, I’m saved but I’m still controlling I am saved but I’m still…..Why ? Because I still don’t see people clearly.
If I get my outlook right you can’t stop me from being blessed. Discipline to hold on to your perspective. Be sober and vigilant. Your perspective is under attack. The enemy wants you to think you can’t.


You must be new. Your perspective must be new. Newness begins inside then spreads to environment around you!

I know I need another touch because of how I see people, because of my outlook. I am still negative, unforgiving, controlling.

Do you want a miracle or are you satisfied to be half way there or do you want to be whole? Do you want it bad enough? I am glad for what you did but before you leave do it again! I need a touch! I need to be made WHOLE. My outlook is not right. If you walk away seeing men as trees you will contaminate everything you touch because you don’t not have the outlook that is necessary to move you into your destiny. If you think that where you have been hasn’t affected your outlook one touch won’t do you and you might just need to keep going back. Jesus looks at the man and says come here let me finish what I started. This time you don’t need a they. You come. You bring yourself. You know where you are. I am alpha and omega I am the beginning and the end I am the first and the last I didn’t bring you out of that mess to leave that mess in you.

Declaration of faith today- I am coming all the way out. I am getting my vision back, my outlook back, my integrity back. I am going to start doing the right things for the right reasons.

He didn’t spit the second time. He said you are close enough now I won’t have to do what I did the first time to finish doing what I started doing in your life. This time I am just going to lay my hands. I know you are close because you know where you are. He said Lord I want to be your disciple. To be a real disciple means I want to see like you see. I want to get your insight. I want to know what you think, measure my sight against your sight. Do those look like trees to you? Jesus said I need to lay hands on you again so you can see like I see. If you see what I see you can have what I have!
The devil tries to contaminate our outlook because our power is in our outlook!

The man is whole. Completely healed. He has the same vision as the Lord has.
DON’T GO BACK! Once your head is on straight don’t go back. You can go anywhere but backwards.

Photo Credit

Pass the bar of soap and hand that kid a bill!

soapDay 10 Project 365

“Okay so let me make sure I understand what it is you are saying. I have no idea what I am talking about because I am old and I couldn’t possibly understand!”

I about spit my water a crossed the waiting room yesterday listening to a mom and her daughter have a conversation. It took everything I had not to laugh out loud but when the mom repeated back to her daughter the above sentence I about fell out of my chair choking.

We all remember what is was like to know our parents had “NO CLUE!” We thought we knew it all and now, today our kids are living up to the threat of our mothers. “I hope when you grow up you have a kid just like you so you can see what it feels like!”

This mom and her daughter had quite the conversation and it wasn’t pretty. I felt very bad for the mother as what started out kinda funny turned into something very disrespectful. When did things change and becoming about entitlement? Have we always been so entitled? Did I miss it somewhere along the way and throw the paperwork out with the junk mail. You know, the paper that makes todays mom and dads have to hand over every modern convenience so their kids lives can be comfortable? The paperwork that says whatever it is that makes you happy at whatever cost I will do? Did the fine print say you can call me names and belittle me and I am supposed to talk it.

This mom sat there for about 10 minutes as this child who was probably 16 or 17 rattled off.

Yeah know, I know what it is to parent out of guilt. I know what it is to beat myself up. Sure, I wish I could provide for my kids a more comfortable life and be able to give them some of the things they want. Yet, it is in moments like this when I hear a kid who has a newer car than mine her parents pay for, no responsibilities, because as she stated her car insurance, phone, clothes, entertainment and wants are her parents responsibilities I thought WOW. I have 3 kids on their own right now. I couldn’t be more proud of them and I am thankful that along the way I tried to be real. It isn’t easy but all along the way they had to pay for their cars, insurance, cell phones and lots of things they wanted. I wasn’t in a place I could and in the times when I was I did what I could. The point is this. As I listen to this kid I thought what happens when she faces the real world? What prepares her then? Then I think to the grown lady in the store line behind me the day before Christmas that about took out my tonsils because I looked at her. According to her my white self shouldn’t be glancing in her direction. Then there is the two men I heard fighting over a parking spot at the gas station. One even said “Do you know who I am?” How about the little girl I met the other day. Her dad looked at me like I was crazy when my mouth fell open that his little girl just used a full sentence that included the f word. I was speechless but his sentence of explanation included the f word too so why was I surprised. Does who we are, who are parents are, what color or skin is or isn’t, where we went to school, what position we hold at work on in society, or any thing else for that matter grant us permission to wear entitlement like a right?

Call it reaping what we sow. Giving someone everything they want with no responsibility does what? Where and how do you learn value? Value of things, people or ones self? How is hard work and ethic taught? Where do we learn boundaries and motivation. How about how to achieve a goal or the sense of accomplishment when we earn something? Really, are we afraid to hold them to a higher standard? Might that then mean we have to tow the same line? We seemed so shocked at certain things but would those things be happening if people, places and things actually held VALUE!

As this mom walked away after attempting to tell her daughter that she had just humiliated her and disrespected her in public that daughters reply, “I don’t really care you are childish and ridiculous. You think you scare me with your idol threats? You will still pay for my stuff and I will still go to that party!”

See, I think the paper with the new rules never existed. I think our sad departure from morals and values that are real and teach of value changed and weakened and this thing called entitlement is an infectious disease. An excuse in some ways and in others a sad cop-out.

You say to me yesterday, I buy her everything she wants I know its tough being 15 I know its hard being her I know that kids are mean.
My reply today, the answer isn’t in the gifts, in the lack of rules or the extra privileges. The answer is in us getting real and involved and in teaching our kids to take pride in who they really are and stuff doesn’t make you cool, or liked or valued. If stuff taught that this kid sitting beside her mom yesterday would be up for daughter of the year award instead of in need of some soap in her mouth and an attitude adjustment.

Not saying I have done it all right parenting, that my kids are perfect. Just a wake up call to think about every action having a ripple effect on everyone watching, everyone including our kids. After all we live what we learn.


sign Day 9 Project 365

Some conversations really should not happen before I have had at least one cup of coffee.

Today is my anniversary! My husband and I have been together almost 13 years and married for 8 today! It has not always been easy but then again no relationships ever are. We are a blended family and that will forever be an adventure. Our relationship has taught me more about addictions than I ever thought I would know. Not only others addictions but my very own! That is for another blog but I think if you read back over my story you find bits and pieces of our testimony mixed in.

So this morning my blog really isn’t about my anniversary. It is about a conversation I had today and my thoughts. Warn ya know, it might be a rambling of things you already know but this is called a brain dump. An attempt to get it out of my head and proceed with my day without drawing a “HERE’S YOUR SIGN” sign and passing it around. (side note: I would have to take my turn wearing it too!)

Here goes. No names or real phrases will be used to protect the stupid and the views and comments to follow are completely mine and if they strike something in you good bad or ugly well….

We as addicts (and I believe we all have addiction issues) are addicted to a whole host of things not all of which have any thing to do with drugs or alcohol in the traditional sense of the words. I like wine but I could careless if I have wine. I have been drunk and done some pretty stupid “here’s your sign” things. I know where that kind of drinking takes me and so it is no longer a part of my life. Others may have a drug issue, illegal, prescribed or other wise. They chase a high or an escape or call it something else to make it okay! Some have a gambling problem. They will take their last fist full of money to get scratch offs or bingo or play slot machines. They will gamble in a different way even by spending like they have it knowing they don’t avoiding the moment and making a problem worse. Then there are those that are addicted to shopping and that could mean a trip to the mall with lots of packages or the UPS or FEDX driver slipping your stuff between your doors while you hide it so no one knows you got another “hit”. Some are addicted to sex and sex at all costs. Regardless of who it hurts and if it breaks a vow or the law. Still for others it is pain. They cut and mutilate their bodies to escape feeling or to feel. Some are addicted to food. It is that temporary yummy feeling followed by this deep sense of what have I done as the number on the scale goes up and your self-esteem plunges. Or the food takes anther twist and is the enemy and no matter how thin you really are you are fat and no good and the game turns the tables on you and you are stick and dying. Some are addicted to people (boy do I know this one) because after all in fixing or worrying about everyone else we get a false sense of who we are and feel better for the moment. We people please and in turn find the exact opposite of what we are looking for because we find we are never enough. And what about chaos? Addiction to the addiction, to the chaos, the never-ending problem! To the fight, the argument, the hate, the past, the memory, the un-forgiveness. When things are going good we are good then out of no where we set ourselves up for failure. Things start looking right and we step a little to close to the edge. We walk away from one slippery slope and when another appears dressed in a different “dysfunction” we know we shouldn’t do it but tend not to care because it fills some momentary need we have and thus signals the addiction we have to chaos.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over. We expect a different result and get none!

We end one bad relationship. We stop the pills. The drinking. The lying. The sneaking. We address the issue. We get help. Go to meetings. Find God. Start a new.

Then something happens and in that moment we start to slip into that “only one won’t hurt me” and whatever it is starts to have a hold. No maybe it isn’t the same “DRUG OF CHOICE!” but still, what was feeling good and new and right for the first time starts feeling “off” and we have to make justifications for it, we have to sneak or hide or look over our shoulder or even argue with our selves so we believe in our own minds that what we are doing is okay or not hurting anyone or justified. We had a chance to break a generational curse but now we packaged it in something different. We are crazy if we don’t think others our watching, especially the children. If allowed to continue we start to withdraw and things change. The “well at least I am not “fill in your old addiction” comments have now gone away because you have a new one. You have replaced one for another and expect a different result or someone to approve of it or allow you to justify it so it will be okay.

So, and I will speak for myself, when I ask you if what I am doing is wrong and you know it is wrong it is okay to tell me. When I ask you if I should do what you know sounds like the right thing to do it is okay for you to tell me. If I think and proceed to come up with excuses to keep myself in a place that is not right it is okay to say “well then, Here is your sign!.

And if I do ask someone if something is wrong and they say yes they feel it is I can’t get mad. Chances are they are right and if I am honest I already knew they were right even before I asked. If what I am really looking for is someone to justify and agree with my choices well then I should go find an addict that is in that same place because misery loves company. If what I am really looking for is accountability and I have found it then I can’t get mad. I may not like the way the truth rests in my ears and then penetrates my head and heart but then again, I knew that too didn’t I.

We taste freedom and what the hell is it that keeps up going back like a dog to our vomit. Finally start to get our lives back together, break the hold, get the free pass AGAIN and no jail, get a chance to do over with our families, our children. Get the new job and a driver’s license back. Get out of debate and don’t have to file bankruptcy. Get out from under the bookie and pay off the loan. We finally start losing weight and feeling better. We get a glimpse of healthy and freedom and then………………..BAM.

NEWS FLASH: The grass may be greener now but it could be painted to look that way. They have weeds over there too! They seasons will change and the grass will die. There is no fairy that waters, mows, edges and trims. If that grass is real then someone has to be doing something. GET REAL!

So today is about avoiding the BAM! It is about hearing the truth and finally figuring out how to let it set you free. It is about seeing with your eyes wide open that every action has a reaction. And once you step, well, what happens next could save your life or take it.

PERSONALLY- I have had 2 cups of coffee now and a great conversation were I had to do some eating of crow which tastes horrible by the way. I was ushered away for speaking a truth I myself needed to hear.

Time to step and towards LIFE!

Maybe you are in a place today you don’t even know where to start. I want to share some links with you:

Great song about Letting GO!

In Hampton Roads Virginia contact RECOVERY FOR LIFE

Counseling across the country

This blog today has run circles around my heart and my mind and I know the enemy of our souls wants to make us feel alone, defeated, worthless and like no one can possibly understand. It is in getting us to isolate and justify and give up that he thinks “he has us right where he wants us”. So if you are reading this today and you need help or prayer or someone to listen or some one to help you find a resource to finally step toward LIFE please message me and let me know. I pray that like has happened to me today God speaks to your heart and even if you don’t know what His voice sounds like you will be moved to make a step toward life.


imagesDay 8 Project 365

I watched this show on television about people who recycle everything. No matter what it is they recycle, reuse and re-purpose everything they touch. I was intrigued yet not quite motivated to attempt such an undertaking. Lazy or selfish I am not quite sure. What the show did do for me was remind me of gleaning!

I think that everything and everyone in my life has a purpose. Every thing and every one a “thread” woven into my story. Good! Bad! Indifferent! If it has touched my life it has a purpose. I think each and every moment makes up the “where we are” today’s. Not just for our own story but, a lot of what touches us isn’t even about us. People are in our lives and we are in theirs with a purpose. When I change my perspective and (as I am learning) my expectations I can start to see things in a different way. Things I thought surely would last forever fade away but that fading away is not without a purpose. People I thought would be in my life only linger as a memory yet not without purpose. It is about gleaning! Not as a hoarders, stock piling and being afraid to let things go. Not holding on to some wishful thinking or memory. Not taking the painful past and allowing it to be my identity because it is the only thing I know. Not suffocating relationships for fear of losing. If I glean with the thought that from every interaction, every moment, every memory there is something that will nourish and challenge and move me forward on my journey, well then I am gleaning as one that is gleaning to live. Taking what is needed in all its glory or pain and allowing it to be used, reused, purposed and re-purposed! If I change my thinking and start living a life to allow each contact, each moment, each person and each experience to impact me as it was intended I can let go and trust. I can learn that everything that has run through the Masters hands before it touches me. How exciting is it to think maybe that thing you spend 20 years living and living through wasn’t really about you after all? Maybe that job seemed pointless but it was stepping stone to something you can’t see. Maybe that love one that passed, maybe in their death someone else found new life. Maybe just maybe the past and the now impact way more than just my small circle.

Time for another cup of coffee and to venture on with this day! Few things are more amazing than the corner being peeled back a little more, the bigger picture being revealed a little more, your eyes being opened a little more, your heart being freed a little more.

It’s just a marshmallow

cocoaDay 5 Project 365

Marshmallows! I am not a huge marshmallow fan unless of course they are plopped into a huge mug of cocoa and I can watch them melt. However, I love buying marshmallows. I mean seriously I ALWAYS have marshmallows. Wierd huh? I mean how cool is it that you can get french vanilla snow man shaped marshmallows or pink and white swirled peppermint marshmallows. They have cute little brown gingerbread people shaped marshmallows and in the summer than have red white and blue star marshmallows. Come Easter I can have bunnies and ducks in pretty pastels and …. I know, I know you don’t have to say it! I love to fill my snow man tray with different kinds of cocoa mix and fill snow man bowls full of cute marshmallows. I love being able to say “Oh what kind of marshmallows would you like” yet….

My point is this. It isn’t that I loveeeeeeeeee the marshmallow or place any real value on the marshmallow. I really do not like marshmallows. What I do love and place value on is the memory that is made with that marshmallow. Does that make sense? I love sitting by the fire with a good book and a cup of cocoa covered in marshmallows. I love making my kids hot cocoa and watching them load their cups with marshmallows. I love the smores at the camp fire! I love walking down the baking aisle and adding them to my cart not because I love them but I love what they represent. So today as I was sipping my cocoa I was recalling a conversation earlier in the day with a friend about the value of people, time, things, plans. I was thinking about how important value is even if my idea of what I value is different from yours.

I think sometimes we forget. We get busy or consumed. We get lost in things and forget what really has value. The marshmallow really doesn’t make a memory but somewhere in my mind (probably because of fairy tale ideas) I think that there are things we do just because of some idea we have that a thing can make a memory. What adds value is not what is used to make the memory it is in the action. It is in the value you place on those involved, in cherishing and carving out time to be with each other and do and talk and laugh and listen. It is in not neglecting time but making sure the moments you plan are honored. It is about more than just showing up. It is about living in the moment. Living in the NOW! It is about pouring the cup of cocoa and sharing it even if there are no marshmallows. It is about more than the idea of something that someone else has painted in our minds. It is about more than the cookie cutter perfect world of proper this or etiquette that! Everything doesn’t have to be just so. Every detail doesn’t have to be planned nor perfect. My kids aren’t excited that I bought marshmallows, they value that I take the time to sit and just be with them, cocoa or no cocoa, marshmallows or no marshmallows. It is about you and me. It is about connection, real connection.

Ok so a little deeper- I lived a long time thinking if I made the perfect Martha Stewart house and perfect cup of coffee or tea or cookie or planned the perfect party or made the perfect this or perfect that that some how I could earn your love, your friendship. That somehow I would make a perfect memory and you wouldn’t see my flaws or my past or my mistakes. That you would forget the things you might see that you didn’t like and somehow I could earn some value in your eyes. Then something changed and I fell apart. Literally! As the pieces have been sorted and the picture started to take a new form I have had some learning to do. I still love the things that make the memories it is just that now I must as my self the questions to make sure I am placing the value on the things that really matter for all the right reasons and not just throwing in the marshmallows.

Somethings change and some stay the same!

coffeeDay 361 Project 365

Sipping my coffee and continuing in a very reflective vein this morning, this after chasing my grandpuppy around to retrieve my sock, threatening to end one dogs life that decided to attack my pant leg and try to convince another to head outside in the rain.  Oh the things in life that make you laugh and realize some things never change.

Then there are the things that have changed significantly.  I look back on my blog history and last year there is 6 months missing.  I remember where I was a year ago at this time. It wasn’t a quick trip or one single event that lead to what felt like the unraveling of my world.  I can almost taste that place, feel it and hear the chaos.  Yet in the next moment I remember how this new journey began.  I remember the truth spoken to the lies that began to tear down walls.  I remember the glimmer of hope that what did not manage to kill me could possibly make me stronger!  It has not been easy nor without set back. Yet for the set backs there have been amazing strides forward.  There has been freedom and victory.  So much has changed and even though a few things remain the same, I am not the person I was last year at this time.  You didn’t know me then. I didn’t pen my words to print.  I was beginning a slow ascent back into the world but with extreme caution.  This year it is different.  It has been a little rough because of things I can not control but none the less I am not the same girl I was.  So for today I will continue my year in review, I will chase this silly dog yet again as he runs pass me with yet another sock.  I will brave the rain and fight the dog.  I will journey on and only look back to glean that which will make me stronger.  2013 here I come.