HerStory: Meet Leigh

Leigh

Let me tell you about Leigh. She’s the amazing, brilliant, loving close friend that was a surprise.  I would have never put us together on paper. Originally. But then I got to know her, and it totally works.  And that just shows if you have a main thing in common (ours is loving Jesus…oh, and Downton Abbey), a friendship can blossom into an unexpected garden of good things.

The first time I saw her, she had a funky hat covering her buzz-cut short hair (which she’s now growing out) and was wearing an over-sized, colorful wool sweater.  She was sitting behind the electric drum set at our church with a serious look on her face.  I couldn’t quite figure out, “who was this Leigh girl?” and I never imagined at that moment that she would become a dear friend a few short months later.

We somehow learned we have mutual love for running and working out and we started training for a 1/2 marathon together last winter.  Since we’re lucky enough to live about a mile apart, we can meet at ‘0 dark thirty in the morning and get done before the kids get up.  Our runs turned into epic chats, debates, and encouragement sessions.  I’ve dubbed our times Small Group on the Run.

She’s intense. Like seriously. And I love it. There’s no 1/2 way with Leigh. Just three months ago, her family used to eat the average American diet: frozen pizzas, doughnuts, cheesy lasagnas.  Then they decided to go Paleo.  For one month they did a Whole 30 eating cleanse.  And she did it, man. No cheating there- she was whipping up nut butters in her food processor, concocting home-made mayo and pouring through cookbooks and online recipes to totally change the way she cooked and they ate.  Now they’ve decided to stick with the diet for the most part, for good. Only Leigh could spearhead a 180 degree eating revolution in the matter of a couple months with five kids in the house.

It would be easy to be intimidated by Leigh’s discipline, commitment to her faith , and ability to get stuff done.  But not because she makes anyone feel that way; it’s only because it’s inspiring to see someone really out their convictions with such a force.  I love her and am lucky to call her my friend; the chick drummer with mad rhythm skills and a lot of heart.

In Leigh’s Words:

Three words to describe you:  “Achiever, Discerning, Active”

What’s your story, in ten sentences or less?  “I was raised in a home by parents that sort of spoiled me, but in a good way.  They wanted me to have a great education.  So much so that they bought a home in a town with good schools purely so my brother and I could attend those schools; we lived at our original home only  on weekends and breaks. I had some trauma in my life when I was 15 that I did not know how to process and my life spiraled downward into depression until I was 21.  Then I started a job where my boss talked to me about Jesus and the fact that he believed every word in the Bible was true.  Through those conversations, God softened my heart; I wanted to live for Him and responded to the Gospel with repentance.  I got married to that man who introduced me to Jesus and I still love studying the Bible with him. We have four children ranging from ages 10 to 4, which I home-school, and we recently became foster parents. My soul’s deepest desire is that I live to glorify God with every part of my life.”

Day job:  “Raising my children to treasure the Gospel and live for God, raising our foster child to feel loved and secure, taking care of my husband and home.”

I’m happiest when: “My list is all accomplished, my family is well-fed and healthy, and everyone is sleeping except me!  Basically I’m happiest when life is easy… ha! I’m growing in life, right, because life is never actually easy and I have to struggle to have joy even when I’m not happy. I’m being stretched by trying to school my children with kindness in my voice and actions, and by taking care of a foster child.”

Most influential book: “This sounds so cliche, but I’m reading the Bible in 90 days and I’m six days ahead of schedule because it is THAT good.  God is amazing.  Sovereign.  Gracious to use weak, sinful people.  2 Samuel 14:14 sticks out to me. EVERY year when I read the Bible I feel like this.”

Funny things about Leigh: “When you ask her a question or for advice, she’ll ask what the Bible says about it and what your husband says about it.” She can easily follow a complicated workout video (and amaze her friends with her skills) because she took many years of dance classes. She has been known to quote or reference John Piper…often.  Also funny, she decided to speak in third person on this question for no apparent reason at all.”

Shows: “Downton Abbey, Parenthood, 24”

Favorite accomplishment: “Birthing 4 kids without pain meds.”

The last time you laughed: “When I went to the Doctor and she thought some burst blood vessels in my fingers was caused by dry skin.  She advised lotion on my hands and that somehow that might help the hurt vessels.  There was a significant language barrier between us.  The treatment was so ludicrous to me that it had me laughing- it wasn’t a serious enough problem for me to be mad about the miscommunication- I think I have a tendency to really laugh when some super illogical happens.”

Main encouragement for women:  “Same as my encouragement for men!  Get to know the God who made you.  2 Samuel 14:14 (NLT)- ‘All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.  But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.’ Get to know this God.  This can only happen through being in His word and the working of the Holy Spirit. Recognize every MOMENT of your day is orchestrated by a sovereign, supreme, all-powerful, gracious, merciful Father.  Get to know that Father.  Don’t trust your heart, don’t trust your feelings, don’t trust your own logic or ideas until you have matched them to His Word.  This life is so temporary, but if feels so final sometimes.  That is more encouragement to myself, but I think I would pass that on to the population in general 🙂 ”

Well, that’s Leigh! Aren’t you glad you met her? Me, too.

Comments

  1. Love this! Love her! Thanks for sharing this Heidi!

  2. I loved reading every word she spoke ( or that you, Heidi, wrote about her). Her spirit to know God and His will for her is pure….so encouraging to know that she can influence so many people through her natural, unabashed love for God. God definitely put you two friends together! Thanks for sharing her with all of us readers.

    • She’s an amazing person and friend…God has been so generous in the very amazing friends He’s put in my life!

  3. it is fun to put a name with a face here. i think you brought up this friendship the last time we visited. i’d love to hear her play the drums.:)