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Leah R.

Today, Leah speaks to us about not running on our own strength, being present over perfect and how God was waiting for her.

Leah R.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: The Book of Esther is inspiring me now and has always inspired me to walk boldly in my God calling, regardless of what it looks like to me, or anyone else. “…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” We all have our own callings as women of God and whatever is for us, He will do and He will give us a specific time, place and order to fulfill this call. It’s not our duty to back down and decide whether or not we are worthy, but simply to walk in obedience and respond to our calling. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I declined God’s invitation to live in my purpose and the lives that would not be touched because of a selfish decision.

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Reliance on Him. Total and complete reliance on God. I’ve grown up to be a pretty independent person with a need for control, and although God has brought me a long way, I still have human tendencies to run forward at something, only to look back and realize I’ve left God a few strides behind me. It’s exhausting to try to run on your own strength. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” The moment we forget to acknowledge God in our every moment and every decision is just one step we take in trying to get ahead of Him without even realizing it.

“It’s exhausting to try to run on your own strength.”

Profession: Personal trainer and fitness coach.

A one sentence bio of yourself: Leah is a proud daughter of the King, who is passionate about helping others become fit, physically and spiritually.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first encountered God at my now home church, Shiloh in Oakland, California. I had recently given my life to Christ just a few days before, and it was the first time I felt God’s voice speak. I was looking up at the scripture written about the pulpit: “Jesus Christ is Lord” Philippians 2:11, during worship, and I heard God say, “My daughter I’ve been waiting for you.” I still tear up to this day, telling this story.

“I was looking up at the scripture written about the pulpit: “Jesus Christ is Lord” Philippians 2:11 during worship, and I heard God say, ‘My daughter I’ve been waiting for you.'”

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Community. One word and so powerful. Community is so important and it’s who you surround yourself with that will help you grow in this season and get to the next place God has for you. Community is the people who will make every season count, make sure you’re enjoying it and having fun and also staying accountable to your purpose.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Present Over Perfect by Shauna Neiquist. The book is so beautifully and profoundly written. To anyone who struggles to find the rest time, to stop worrying over your “to-do’s”, places to be, your imperfectness, and just being present– this book was written for you.

Top three essentials: YouVersion app, journal and an almond milk cappuccino. There’s no excuse for not reading and using your Bible when you can carry it with you at all times; journaling is essential to capturing God thoughts and powerful God moments, and honestly, who doesn’t feel happier with a good cup of caffeine?

How did God speak to you recently? I’ve recently relaunched my business, a few months ago, after taking a hiatus. Recently, I had a fear that everything that went wrong with my business before would happen all over again and almost quicker than I’ve ever felt God respond, He covered me in reassurance that what He has called me to do, nothing and no one can change that.

“He covered me in reassurance that what He has called me to do, nothing and no one can change that.”

Hobby: Working out, blogging and dancing.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Pray without ceasing; every day and throughout the day, surround yourself with souls on fire for God and get a mentor.

Favorite person in scripture? Joseph, because no matter what he went through, he saw the hand of God constantly and consistently throughout his life, and he never let go of the dream he knew God gave him.

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to see how sufficient His grace is and that nothing is greater than His love for you.

“Nothing is greater than His love for you.”

How do you leave your mark on your community? By speaking with kindness and choosing joy at every moment, regardless of how I feel. I am still a work in progress but this is my daily aim and most of the time, I hit the mark.

Favorite holiday? Valentine’s Day! So random I know, but every year I’ve always been so happy (and most of the time single). I just love that we get a day to celebrate love, and it doesn’t have to be just about romantic love, but simply love for yourself, for others, for God. It’s a good reminder to remember that love is worth fighting for and celebrating everyday.

A dream you have? To see a generation rise of women rise up and set themselves a part for Christ, to put away the thoughts of comparison, and understand their true identity as chosen ones. Also, to travel the world.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Every Christmas, we show up to my aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas dinner in our pajamas. It’s amazing. We get to stuff ourselves with food and treats and relax in our cozies all evening. We usually end pretty late after games and presents, so it’s great to be able to go home and already be ready for bed!

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I actually fear going to heaven and asking God if I left anything undone for Him during my time on earth and the answer being anything but no.

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Mental health. As a “health professional,” I believe that being healthy starts from the inside out and that includes our mind.

“I believe that being healthy starts from the inside out and that includes our mind.”

What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I say “thank you Jesus” upon waking, say my prayer of thanksgiving and usually get to the gym by 6am to train my first client of the day. When I don’t have clients, I usually spend more time soaking in God’s presence and allowing myself to hear His voice, then I’ll journal or read my devotion on the YouVersion app.

What is on your nightstand? My journal, a pen, my study Bible, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, my notebook filled with prayers for my future husband and my current book I’m reading Present Over Perfect. I know, it’s a lot, but they’re all things I like to keep close at hand, as I use them throughout my week.

Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is living your best life, forever.

For more Leah:

IG: @leahrecania

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XOXO

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