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When God Says No

A couple of weeks ago, I felt so overwhelmed with EVERYTHING. Nothing was necessarily wrong…I just needed a getaway. I knew where I wanted to go and actively worked to get to that place. I mean, called friends and family to keep my kid…looked at hotels…got my directions to drive 7 hours away…made sure my bills were taken care of before I left. I was RET TA GO!

I was supposed to leave that Sunday after my show (REAL Praise with Leesha that airs every Sunday morning from 7:00am-11:00am on Praise 107.9 in Jacksonville, FL). As I was getting ready, I clearly heard God say, “What if I say no?” I looked around like “uh, Father…first, I hope that’s You and second, please don’t say no.” I then spent a good part of the morning trying to convince God that this was the best decision for me: to go on this trip to TN and hang with my photography cousins at #thephotocookout.

Man, listen…all of the things I planned (or at least tried to plan) went ALL THE WAY down the toilet! Nothing worked like I thought I needed it to work. I was on my live that morning really working through all of that in #REAL time. Here’s the video:

I had an epiphany that God had something better for me, right? I thought I got it…but I spent the majority of my Sunday upset that I couldn’t go where I wanted to go, the people who were supposed to be in place weren’t where I needed them to be, and pretty much everything else I could be upset about…I was. I said, “God, you KNOW I need to get away. You know I need a reprieve. It’s getting heavy and just SO MUCH right now. I’m about to crack! Why won’t you let me go? Just let me go…you can still work it out!” He didn’t. And I wasn’t happy about it…

In my Sunday morning #FBLive, I had the audacity to say that if God said no to this thing, then He has something greater in store for me. Problem was that I started doubting that almost immediately after I proclaimed it. God did have something greater, though. I was able to get childcare situated and spend 2 days alone at a hotel. I was able to lie in bed, walk on the beach, visit shops, drive to a beach with driftwood on it, and just be. I was also able to participate in the photography conference virtually so I could gain some knowledge as well. THAT is what I NEEDED!

Most times, God doesn’t give us what we want because it’s not what we need. We try to fix, finagle, and finance things that are not at all part of the plan because we thing we need it that way. We forget that God is sovereign and His plans for us are SOOOOOO much better than ours. We just have to get in line with His will. That is when things start working together for our good.

I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed and, quite frankly, didn’t handle it as well as I could have. But in the end, God gave me what I needed to recharge, refuel, and revive so I could come back and do all of the things a Mother, Marketer, and Motivator needs to do. My encouragement to you today is to sit still, submit, and surrender your will for His will. I promise you…it will work out better than you could have ever imagined. He’s just that kind of God!

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Six Years and Seven Months

Today would have been my 7th wedding anniversary. Five months ago on January 9, 2019, at 10:10am….my divorce was finalized. My marriage lasted 6 years and 7 months.

To say that the last few years of my life have been difficult is a gross understatement. Through all of the ups and downs, I lost me. I was a shell of the person I was supposed to be. I became my titles of wife and mother and forgot to be Leesha. I actually didn’t know who Leesha was anymore. I put my purpose aside for the sake of my position.

There are some of you out there who are currently in that predicament. You’ve lost the essence of who you are. There are dreams and visions that can only come to pass through you, yet you cannot see the forest for the trees. Those “things” look so far off…so unattainable because of life. Hopefully, it doesn’t take something as devastating as divorce to help you get back to who God created you to be.

There are a few things that I am learning as I navigate this new space. Maybe my steps – missteps and all – can help you do and be better…

Journey of self discovery and rediscovery. I really had to reevaluate EVERYTHING in my space. While I was going through my divorce, I started discovering some traits that I adopted for the sake of survival…but they were toxic. I started the process of acknowledging what was wrong and pursuing the steps to make the necessary changes…and I’m still in the process.

Just trust God. I realized that I had walked away from what I knew to become someone else. I started treating God like a cosmic genie to help out when I was in a jam instead of constantly communicating with the Creator of the universe who happens to be my Father. When I started to refocus on God, things started falling in line. The peace I was missing showed up in a major way and allowed me to navigate through this difficult time without staying bitter.

Jump in. This step might not be for everybody…LOL! For me, in order to get back in line, I had to jump, headfirst, fully clothed, into the deep end. Fear has always been my fall guy for not doing something – not going back to school, not doing the REAL Conference, not running my business properly. After much prayer and self-talk, my way of getting over the hurt was to get in the mix. I signed up for more education. I am planning for REAL Conference 2019 (www.realconference.org). I have a team around me to help keep me accountable for my business.

My journey is not just for me…it is for someone out there who is struggling with their identity, someone who feels far away from purpose, someone who is looking to be restored, elevated, and affirmed so they can be liberated! You can make it! You can do it! God’s got you…don’t ever forget that!

I hope this helps! Regardless of where you are in life, God has a purpose and a plan for your life. Your life matters for more than just doing for others and fading into the background.

From My Thing To The Thing

As I’m planning and plotting this #REALConference2020, I find myself at the same wall: fear. Like what in the entire world is going on with me? Have I not conquered this place yet? A resoundingly amplified NO is bouncing off the walls of my brain…

Don’t get me wrong: I am so much farther than I have been in the past. But I still have a long ways to go. I don’t know what it is. I find myself taking deep breaths, blinking a lot, and pondering not doing whatever it is that I’m about to do. I should focus, though, on the fact that now I go ahead and do that thing instead of letting fear win.

It’s so annoying, though. I don’t like feeling on the verge of a panic attack. I don’t like my friends questioning why I’m going through these changes. I get frustrated with my OWN self for feeling this way. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe your thing isn’t fear, but you have something that gives you pause for the cause and makes you hesitate a little longer than you anticipated.

We all have a proverbial thorn to work on and through. If it’s not something that we are actively working on and through, it will devastate and devour us. Know how I know? Because I have been devastated and devoured by my fear. For years, I lived in the shadows of greatness because I was afraid. Honestly, I’m still not going to raise my hand first, but now I will at least raise it…and that’s progress.

So, I celebrate that this fear thing moved from being “my” thing to being “the” thing. I no longer take ownership of the fear. I acknowledge that is it a thing, feel whatever and however I need to, and overcome it. Listen…it took me a LOOOOOONG time to get here and I’ve still got a ways to go, but at least I’m moving forward.

My encouragement to you is to move forward. If you know you have a “thing” that you claim, let’s work on getting restored from that brokenness. Once you do that, you can elevate your thinking and actions, affirm yourself along the way, and be liberated from the thoughts and actions that kept you broken. You will have become #REAL! And just so you know, being #REAL is a continual process…there is always some area of life where growth will be necessary. It is the charted progress in your process that will help you continue to move forward at your own pace.

Join me for #REALConference 2020. I have some amazing speakers who will help ALL of us get REAL in various areas of our lives. Log on to www.realconference.org for more information and to register today.

How Do You Define Me, God?

Back in 2006/2007, I had an email signature that had all of my titles. It was about 7 or 8 lines long because I did (and still do) a lot. I sent emails to everyone from family and friends to clients and associates. My theory at the time was “y’all gon’ get ALL of this! You WILL know that I’m all that and a bag of chips.” While some people appreciated it, most found it braggadocios and unbecoming. During that time in my life, I was also around a LOT of title-driven people. Titles were their “thing” and they were going to pursue that at any cost. I did NOT want to be associated with all of that mess! So…I changed my signature line to read, “my titles don’t define me…God does!”

Ever since then, though, I have struggled with the issue of a title. I have always had issues of self-worth even though I know I’m great. It’s like I understand the importance of a title, but I don’t want it because of what people might think of said title. Like what in the entire world??? That being said, I also want people to recognize the greatness that is Leesha Melissa Hall Archie without having to go through the laundry list of things I do amazingly well.

Lately, imposter syndrome has been a MAJOR issue for me. According to Wikipedia, Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenonimpostorismfraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.[2] While early research focused on the prevalence among high-achieving women, impostor syndrome has been recognized to affect both men and women equally.” Why do I feel this way? Probably stems back to self-worth issues, but I’m no psychologist. What I do know is that in my quest to be REAL…this does not work.

This morning, I started thinking about all that I’ve accomplished and all that I am poised to do…and I got scared. The “gas” of dissolution tried to infiltrate my mind, devaluing every great thing and showing me all of my missteps and failures. Usually when this happens, my mind goes down a rabbit trail about what I did wrong and how I haven’t changed…why I’m just the owner of my business and not the president of my company… In that moment, I had a flashback to an email from 2007 where someone called me out for being a fraud because THEY didn’t do what they were supposed to do. As I replayed the reading of that email in my mind, I saw my signature line “my titles don’t define me…God does!” I spoke out loud and asked God, “how do You define me?”

“You are my daughter. I have blessed you with many abilities. You are capable. You are enough because I live within you. Don’t let the enemy use your failures against you. I have allowed you those experiences to develop and grow you into your purpose. You will succeed. You will win. I’ve got you…and if I am for you…”

“Who can be against me?” I said audibly. Not even my own swirling thoughts can overrun the power of the Creator of the universe who lives inside of me. So I take His words – the ones He left in the Bible and the ones He’s spoken to me – and run on. I don’t have to see what the end is going to be. I KNOW that I have a purpose. I KNOW that victory is my portion. And if that is how God defines me, I’m going to work the mess out of His definition.

Candy Crush Lessons

Yes, I still play Candy Crush…and, yes, mostly mindlessly as an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Early this morning, however, it taught me a lesson that I wanted to share.

I was on level 3119. I’m over here trying to crush candy wheels. They were positioned at the top of the board like they needed to go first. I was thinking “if I can get those taken care of, then I can win this level.” It was frustrating because I wasn’t making headway. I used all 5 lives as well as the extra lives I had asked from my friends. Why wasn’t this working? I tried using all of my extra power ups and such to no avail. I always hate when I’m stuck on a level for more than a day…ugh!

What I didn’t realize or recognize, really, was the objective: to get 3 cherries. Truth be told, I didn’t even need to fool with the obstacle at the top of the board because while it might have made the process to completing that level go quickly (breaking through the other barriers quickly), it wasn’t necessary for victory. I spent hours (don’t judge me) trying to handle an obstacle that wasn’t even in my way.

How many times have we focused on obstacles that consumed us…only to find out we didn’t even need to deal with it? For me, I have focused on overcoming fear, thinking I needed to tackle each and every component of my fear wheel. I was set on working out the emotions that I put the actual execution aside. There are things that I am supposed to do…things I am CALLED to do. At the end of the day, I can focus on the emotions (which are important) or I can focus on the execution of putting myself out there…sharing my work, posting my blogs, encouraging people, utilizing the plans that I give to others for success.

My objective is to do what I’ve been chosen to do: be a conduit for success by encouraging the masses to be REAL in every aspect of life. That shows up in different ways for me: taking a picture, sharing marketing advice, edifying via the radio, or sowing into someone’s business. At the end of the day, when I focus on my main objective, the obstacles of fear and inadequacy become obsolete and the path to victory is so much clearer.

Let Us Laugh

Every now and then, I get inspired to write some funny stuff…so here’s a short compilation of some good ones.

ALL MY CHRISTIAN PEOPLE

This is the title to my remake of “Single Ladies”! I’ve gospelized it…but it’s still in the works…

All My Christian People
All My Christian People
All My Christian People
All My Christian People
Now put your hands up

verse 1
Up in the church
Came here to learn
The ins and outs of God’s Word
Relationship
So I don’t slip
Applying everything I’ve heard
He’s the Ruler of all
There when I call
He gets all of my attention
Though high on His throne
Never leaves me alone
God Almighty Lord of Lords King of Kings

chorus
If you love Him then you need to put a praise on it
If you love Him then you need to put a praise on it
The devil’s mad cuz you gotta stomp his head for it
If you love Him then you need to put a praise on it

ha-ah-le-loo-ooo-yah ha-ah-uh-le-loo-ooo-yah

verse 2
Gonna praise His name
From the mountaintop proclaim
He’s the one and only God on high
Sometimes I forget
And I take a misstep
Hmm…thinking I can just get by
Just like my Daddy
Sees me doing badly
Gives me the proper correction
But I know He still loves me
It is on Him that I lean
It’s no wonder why I love Him like I do

 

ANOINTED MISTLETOE

The Bible says that a man that finds a wife finds a good thing. Are you a single female, praying to be found? You know that you’re a good thing, right? I have just the thing for you. ANOINTED MISTLETOE! It’s not just for Christmas anymore. For a gift of only $19.95, you can receive your personal branch of anointed mistletoe. We have intercessors praying over this mistletoe, which has been anointed with the finest extra virgin olive oil direct from Jerusalem. The same olive tree Jesus walked under…

Not only am I the spokesperson for this, I’m also a recipient of the blessing of the anointed mistletoe. A friend told me about it. I was skeptical at first, but I prayed, stepped out on faith, and bought my own anointed mistletoe. Five days later, my husband found me. So I know first hand this works! Go to your phones now and dial 1-800-HOLY-KISS.

If you call within the next 7 minutes (because 7 is the number of completion), we’ll double your order. That’s right you’ll receive not one but 2 branches of this anointed mistletoe. But wait, there’s more! We’ll even throw in a bottle of water from the Jordan River!

For less than $20, your life can change forever. That number again is 1-800-HOLY-KISS. Call now…intercessors are standing by!

 

TESTAMENT TABLETS

Have you ever been in a church service and cleared out a row? Did you think it was your praise? You probably thought you had dispelled the demons on your row, but that wasn’t the case. It was the halitosis in your hallelujah. What to do? You open your mouth to give a word that no one can receive because your breath is no sweet smelling savor. Try Testament Tablets! They come in 2 flavors: Old Testament and New Testament…just like the Bible. These innovative formulas are sure to please and be pleasing.

Old Testament Tablets were developed by monks in the Alps studying the book of Leviticus. They used a combination of plants and herbs mentioned in the book and tasted the mixture, thinking it would bring them closer to God. While it didn’t do that, it did strengthen the brotherhood because they all had good breath.

New Testament Tablets were developed by preachers trying to be like John the Baptist mixing together honey and locust. The result wasn’t pretty, but they all had fresh breath and surprisingly supple skin (an added benefit)!

So try Testament Tablets today! Scriptures are printed on the packaging so you can get a word while freshening your breath. Testament Tablets…taking the halitosis out of your hallelujah!

I Guess I Have To Be REAL First…Huh?

These old Facebook “Notes” are blessing me! Here’s a post from May 6, 2008 that is helpful as I prepare for #REALConference2019.

So, I’m going through the throws of life right now as I plan this REAL Conference. The closer it gets the more I struggle. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Of course, that’s what being REAL is all about: understanding your struggle and overcoming it.

Right now, I’m really struggling…struggling to understand my actions and desires weighted against what purpose God has for me. It’s a daily press, I guess, but some days can be harder than others…and today is a harder day.

I’m at a point in life where I’d like things to come together. I’m almost 30, so the desire to be married and have kids is strong…very strong…almost consumingly so…and folks don’t understand that, I guess. I don’t understand it myself. I don’t want to forfeit that…not now…I’ve got too much in store for me…

My eternal purpose trumps my temporary pleasure. I want to serve God wholly, but I keep failing Him miserably. I’m beginning to see myself as unworthy…as I know I am…of anything He could or would give me. And therein lies my struggle…I’m ashamed for feeling this way…

I’m working on it, though…trying to see what God sees in me…trying to find my worth. I know that I’m His child…I know that He’s called me for a purpose…I know that He has big plans for me. However, there are times…like now…when I don’t feel like it…when my love for a person seeming equates to heartache and grief…when all my deeds seem null and void…that I just want to throw in the proverbial towel. Bring on the chocolate…bring on the man…bring on the self-indulgence that pushes me away from my purpose…

I can’t do that though… It’s crunch time! It’s time to tighten up. It’s time to get my mind right. It’s time to get things in order…it’s time to get REAL! I’m in process. I know I have an expected end! I trust you all will pray with me in this process…

He Did It Again

I was stressing out over a payment that was made from my account. I thought a free trial ended on the 13th, but it ended on the 12th. Almost $700 was about to be gone out of my account…$652.24 to be exact. I freaked all the way out. That $652.24 was surely going to be $700+ because of overdraft fees and fees for the other fees. You know what I mean, right?

On top of that, another draft was made on my account for something else that wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Another $30 was taken. Complete freak out mode!!! I’m thinking about making sure I can pay my rent and the rest of my bills, get clothes for my growing 7 year old, put gas in the car and food on the table, and so much more. I called my mom to talk it out.

First thing I noticed about the call is that I wasn’t asking her to bail me out. (Is this what life at 40 looks like?) In the past, my parents have bailed me out of situations that were mostly my own doing. They have been there for me through all kinds of stuff. My dad even offered to loan me the money that was going to be taken out of my account. I declined that offer.

As I was talking with my mother, she gave me the sage advice of praying about it without freaking out. She also told me to call and see if the charges could be reversed. Wise woman, that lady…wise woman. My mother also said if everything happened and the monies were gone, chalk it up to a lesson learned. She calmed me down with her Jesus pep talk.

I’m still crying now…but because God showed up for me less than an hour later. All the charges had been reversed and refunded. How amazing is that? I got my panties in a bunch for nothing. God handled it…

How many times do we freak out about stuff out of our control? Sometimes I have the wherewithal to pray immediately, but most times, I don’t. I needed the Jesus pep talk to calm my nerves so I could go through the process of restoration for my bank account.

This isn’t the first time God’s shown up for me…and it definitely won’t be the last. I’m just so grateful that He did!

I See The Storm

I wrote this blog while I was in Panama with my parents back on March 6, 2011. I thank God for relevance so many years later.

As we were traveling back from Colon today, I saw that we were heading directly into a rain storm. We were about 3 miles out when I spotted it. I was hoping that we were behind it so we wouldn’t have to go through it. As we got closer to it, the storm seemed larger and more ominous than when I first saw it. We could even see the line of demarkation, if you will: sunshine here and 5 feet later dark rolling clouds. The rainfall was nothing short of torrential. We had to slow down significantly, slowing down the process to our destination. It was kinda scary for a bit, because our visibility was greatly diminished.

I wasn’t sure how big the storm was, but in the middle of the storm, I looked off into the distance and saw the sun peaking through the clouds. It was just a quick little pocket of sunshine, but somehow it made me feel better…

You know where this is going, right?

Sometimes as we face the “storms” of life, we see it off in the distance. We want to avoid it, looking for exits or ways around it…but there are none. The only way is to go through it.

When you get to your storm, as much as you expect it, it may be bigger than you think your “vehicle” can handle. Just know that in the middle of your storm, God will show you a ray of sunlight letting you know the Son is still shining.

God is daily amazing me…letting me know how great He is and how much He loves me!

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