Thursday, September 10, 2015

so thankful

New Charlotte is a church for the city.  But, for the Leonard family it is also a church for the family.  Over the past five years it has opened doors for our family to serve, provided a place for our family to worship and allowed us to sit under the teaching of the best pastor in the city. 
Our youngest child came to know Jesus at New Charlotte.  He loves Jesus fiercely.  We are thankful for Chris and Michael who early on loved on and poured into our boy.
Our Ellie was baptized in the frigid waters of New Charlotte.  She has had the opportunity to spend three amazing weeks at camp kidjam.  She loves to serve and we are thankful for the opportunities that New Charlotte has given her to do that.
Clara and Molly both have learned so much from the teaching of Chris.   They love the opportunities and doors that have been opened for them at Greenway Park.
Friendships have been forged, memories have been made.   There are weeks that I come and Chris' words are like a balm to my soul and there are weeks that I feel so convicted that I can hardly sit still.
We have been ministered to in our darkest nights and we have celebrated our biggest victories.  
New Charlotte is our family. 
We are grateful for it.
We are proud of it.
We love it.
We celebrate it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Camp life is the life for me!  The energy, the fun, the worship, the kids...all rolled up into one big fabulous week.
This year, I was filled with so many emotions.  Baby girl was experiencing her last year as a camp kidjammer kid and big girl is getting ready to travel and spend the rest of her summer with camp kidjam as an intern!  I am completely astounded, grateful and blessed that God would allow our family to experience this is such a big way!
This week at camp, I saw kids worship, kids learn about moving towards God, leaders bonding, kids becoming leaders.  I heard kids talking about why they love camp, God, their friends and leaders!  I felt little hands slip into mine, countless hugs and God speaking into my heart.
I believe that many hearts were changed and that our 29 campers and 5 leaders each learned something new and experienced God's love and grace this week.
And now, I have the joy of knowing Molly will be experiencing this five more times this summer!
Last year sitting under a tree waiting on our campers, I mentioned to Molly that I thought interning would be fun way to spend her summer.  She laughed and kinda rolled her eyes.  I prayed.  She applied to go to governors school for this summer.  I prayed.  God began working on her heart, leaning it towards a summer of camp.  I prayed.  She applied to be a camp intern. I prayed.  She got her internship.  I prayed.  Now, we are a week away from her packing her camp staff shirts and beginning her internship.  And you better believe that I am praying.  Praying that God will continue to show his favour on her, praying that she will continue to move towards to Him, praying that she will make friendships that will last, praying for
safety and praying that she will be a blessing.
So....there's my jumbled up thoughts on camp! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Hero

Sixteen years ago, Beau and I began volunteering with the church youth group.  I was so nervous that first night.  My stomach was in knots, I was worried the teenagers would hate me, I was frantic that our baby girl couldn't make it through thr hour in the nursery...I was a hot mess.  But, on that first night a young girl introduced herself to me and from that moment on, my nervousness left and my heart filled with excitement and anticipation for what God had in store for us.
It was a quick friendship with that teenager, Julie.  She and her family became our closest friends.  We spent our weekends with her parents playing Rook, laughing and eating.  We witnessed so many of Julie's firsts.  Boyfriends, proms and graduation just to name a few.  We watched in awe as she started nursing school. We sat dumbfounded when she diagnosed Beau with diabetes and was correct...I think she had been in school about three weeks.  She was in the room when two of our girls were born, she was the only teenager that ever babysat our girls.  We have watched her grow up, spent a weekend in Charleston to be a part of her wedding and have rejoiced with her as she became a mom.
Last night, I got a text with a picture of the sweetest newborn baby boy swaddled in a perfectly blue blanket, the text read our newest addition.  See, Julie and her husband have opened up their home, their family and their hearts to be foster parents.  Knowing that loving this little one could just be temporary, they still do it, with so much love.
I told her last night she was my hero.  I meant it.  She is becoming the hands of Christ.  She is investing in the least of these.  She is loving the way we are called to love.  I seriously have a heart overflowing with love, amazement and pride for her. 
Julie, you are my real life hero.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Somehow Christmas has come and gone.  Between the flu, unexpected travel because of a death, work, school and a came.  Was I ready?  Not really.  Was that okay, absolutely! 
There were movies to watch, traditions to keep up, everyone's favorite baking to be done, lights to see and devotions to be read!  Yet, I was content to be.  Content to reflect on what this season is about and be okay to let things go.
And to our family it is about Jesus.  Not just about his arrival but about His death.  For we know that without his death, we can not have life. 
I am thankful this season and every single day, that in our house we have all accepted His perfect gift.  A gift that we know it is only by Grace we can receive it.   In Luke the scriptures teach us that Mary pondered in her heart all the details, and that's exactly what I want to do every single day.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Be still my heart, how is it even possible that baby girl is turning eleven?  The years are rushing by and I am holding on with all my might.  It feels like yesterday that we were awaiting her arrival. 
Ellie is our tender one, the lover, the little momma.   Big brown eyes, an itty bitty frame and enough hair for ten people.  She is a server at home, at church and at school.  She loves many and is loved back by many.  She is a good friend.
She has a temper, saves it until needed...then you better watch out!
She may be slow to anger but her wit is quick.  Her comebacks are funny and accurate. 
Eleanor is a blessing, we are thankful that the Lord trusted her to us.  We pray that God will be her passion always.