Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A dream becoming reality

For so many years I have been asked, "when are you ever going to make a CD?" Similar comments for years and years: "I'll buy the first one" "Are you writing any new songs?" "Are you recording anything?" "You should really do something with that music." These were all things that I often told or asked of myself, but isn't God's timing always perfect? I remember about six years ago. I was done with college, not yet married, I had no idea what my life was going to look like, but there was music. Music had been there for so long. Honestly, at that point I thought I would be further along in my musical journey, but I didn't know where that would be. I just remember thinking, "as long as I make at least one CD before I'm 30." So, here I am, 29 years and three weeks old, preparing to record a worship CD tonight. It truly is a dream come true. But what I love the most about it, is that it's not just me. This is not my CD. It's a project I'm honored to be a part of and honored to lead with my husband. It is so special to me because it is simply our attempt to capture the sounds of worship that we get to be a part of every single week. It is us, our friends, our team, our church, our family. We have labored, sacrificed, given, and cried to see this thing come into existence. And now it's here. In just 4 short hours, we will hit the record button and my prayer is that we capture the heart of worship that our church family has. I hope to somehow convey through this CD our love for God. These songs are our prayers, our hopes, our desires, our love for Him. So today, my dream is coming true. I feel so expectant. The only thing I can compare it to is the day before I went in to have my babies. That feeling of knowing that your life is about to change in some huge way, and you have no idea what that actually looks like. I like this feeling. I'm a little anxious, but mostly just excited. Excited to continue this journey with my amazing husband, and with my friends who I get to lead worship with.

Let me just encourage you today, to search deep inside and remember those dreams that may be collecting dust somewhere in there. Life is always going to be busy. You are never going to get any younger. You will never have all your ducks in a perfect row. Sometimes, you just have to step out and go for it, right where you are. No matter what season of life. I'm so glad I stepped out in faith and said "yes!" to what God was asking me to do. It's such a rewarding thing. Far greater than anything that I could have imagined, because it's not just my dream, it was His first. It's what He put inside of me to do, and so He's equipped me to do it. I know He can do the same for you.

Thanks for letting me share. I don't ever want to forget how great it feels to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So maybe this blog can serve as a reminder for in the future when I've been sitting for far too long on something that God has asked me to do!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A few of my favorite things...

When I was little The Sound of Music was probably my favorite movie. No, I take that back. It was Grease, but SOM was a close 2nd. I had a thing for musicals. I wanted to grow up and be Leisel someday in a play. Came close to that once, but it fell through. Ahhh, the dream that got away....

Anyways, in Sound of Music there is a song called Favorite Things. When I was around 14 I learned to play it for a piano recital. I HATE reading music (bad thing for a musician) so it was a humongous challenge for me, but I did it. I've had that song running through my head for some reason today, so this blog post will be guessed it! My favorite things! (well, favorite things of this week)

#1- Seeing a friend fulfill a long time dream! My friend, Ruth Menefee and her precious family are in Colombia to meet and pick up their new beautiful daughter, Abi! I don't honestly know Ruth all that well, but she is one of those warm people who make you feel so great. You talk to her and you feel like you've known her forever. She is so open and friendly and in the most amazing, genuine way. The story of Abi coming to their family is incredible. You should follow Ruth's blog and read their story for yourself! You will be inspired by this mama's relentless courage and commitment to the dream God put in her heart!

#2- A much needed girls night! On Thursday, I went to dinner with two dear friends. These girls have been in my life for about 15 years, and I thank God for them! We laughed, we cried (only because we were laughing so hard), we ate some super yummy food, and we just had the best time. Thanks to my wonderful husband for keeping the girls and giving me a night off!

#3- Watching my girls play with their cousins. We are blessed so much wonderful family so close by. On Wednesday, we went over to my sister's house to let the girls play in the kiddie pools. It's so fun to watch them play together. I loved hearing their little giggles and shrieks as they splashed each other and waded in the pool. What a blessing to know that my girls not only have awesome cousins, but life-long friends!

#4- Reading my cousin Stacie's blog. This girl is seriously one of the most creative people I know! Her talent has always amazed me, even when she was really young. Now to see her as a wife, mother and artist...I love it! She is beyond talented, and you should check out her stuff here!

#5- Spending a fun afternoon with my grandmother- Mema had knee replacement surgery last week and she is spending some time in a rehab hospital. I took the girls up for a visit. Surprisingly we did not get kicked out, despite the loud screaming from time to time. It makes me so happy to see my grandmother's face light up as soon as the girls walk in the room. Ava did some ballet dancing for her, and Mema showed the girls her scar from the surgery. We all laughed and talked about what we wanted to be when we grow up over chocolate milk shakes (Mema wants to be a Mema, Ava wants to be a princess, a mom, and a musketeer. Taylor is undecided, but probably a nurse, and I want to be a chef when I grow up!) I love these special visits and it's always hard to leave because I know how much joy and therapy it brings my Mema when we come.

#6- Leading worship with my husband and an amazing team! We are working on a CD project and it is going pretty good. It is so much work and from time to time I get a little overwhelmed at the thought of all that still needs to be done, but then we have services like this weekend and I am just so excited and honored to be a part of such a great thing! I love that my husband is stepping out (although it is VERY hard for him) and singing and sharing the songs that God has given him. He inspires me everyday! I am one blessed woman!

I am looking forward to a great week and more favorite things! What are some of your favorite things this week?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rainy Day

I love the rain! It's quiet in the house, the kids are napping, I'm totally loving this afternoon.

I am planning a fabulous menu for Taco Night with Alan's family tomorrow. Got a call this morning from my mother-in-law letting me know she was on her way into town, like literally on her way. 30 minutes away. She lives in Dallas. So, in order to avoid the circus that is Alan's entire family trying to go out to eat, I have decided to invite everyone over here! It's more relaxed, the kids can play, and I don't have to tell the kids 12,000 times to sit down, keep your hands to yourself, eat your own food, quit coloring on your cousin's napkin, quit coloring on your cousin's clothes, quit coloring on your cousin's arm, quit shooting spit wads through your straws, eat your food, sit down, quit running around the table, don't blow bubbles in your drink...I think you get the idea. There's something about being at a table of 12 that the "energy" level just goes through the roof. I don't know if it's that they think they have a captive audience, so it's time to start getting major attention, or what. So, like I said, to avoid this, I am planning Taco Night! We will have fish tacos, steak tacos, and chicken tacos along with lots of yummy sides and toppings. I am feeling my love for cooking start to rekindle and I like it! Last night I made spaghetti with meatballs. I had never made meatballs before! It was fun and they were super yummy. I also ran across a cookbook that I got for Christmas that I had totally forgotten about. There are tons of recipes that I am dying to try from there! I like them because they all sound simple, not too time consuming, but really delicious. My kind of cooking!

I'm looking forward to the 4th of July. I would usually try to plan out every moment of the weekend, but this year I'm feeling more relaxed about it all. I think we'll just go with the flow. That's probably a good thing with this rain, because all the things I would have normally planned would probably not have worked out and then I would just be frustrated. What a waste of time to worry about things like that! I'm excited about hanging out with my family and just enjoying the holiday. My two oldest girls are singing with a little kids choir for the July 4th service at church on Sunday. I'm so anxious to see them perform! I know they will do a great job!

Well, I know this is nothing very exciting, but I thought I would post a little update since it's way too long since my last one. There's something about a rainy day that just makes me want to sit down and write. I think I'll go work on writing a song now. Enjoy your holiday!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

28 and counting...

I have been on a mission since the first of the year. I stepped on the scale January 1st was slightly horrified at the number that came up. Honestly, I didn't believe it at first, but after weighing several more times and seeing the same number, I accepted it and decided it was time to take action! Thankfully, an amazing opportunity fell in my lap! A group called Weigh-N-Pray was starting up. It was a group of ladies committed to a weekly weigh-in, some prayer and accountability. It was just the thing I needed! Weigh-N-Pray ended yesterday and I lost 24.4 pounds!! Since the first of the year, I am down 28!! I have a few more to go, but I feel great, and I'm really excited about keeping it off! Now I have some shopping to do! All of my clothes are too big and my pants are falling off!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh My!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged. Just so much going on these days. Honestly, I wish I wasn't so busy. I'm back to trying to figure out how to balance everything in life again. I think this is something that will continually be a part of my life. Maybe not constantly, but I foresee different seasons of it for sure. So, I'm on a journey of simplification. Trying to get things done without being too over zealous and piling too many things on my plate. I have not been doing a great job lately of the balancing and it caused a lot of stress which is I think why I've been sick for a week now! Don't really want to focus on the stressful things, so here are the things I've been working on lately that have brought a lot of joy!

Since the beginning of the year, I've been in a group called Weigh-N-Pray. It's 20 ladies on a journey of weight loss and accountability and encouragement. It has not been easy, but I have really enjoyed it. I've tried to lose weight many other times in my life, but for some reason, something really stuck this time. I truly sense a change not only in my weight, but in my thoughts about weight. My mindset is totally different. My eating habits have totally changed and my thought processes about food and my relationship with food have changed. It's a good feeling and the result is a loss of 23 pounds so far!

I am also super excited about my 5 year wedding anniversary! It's coming up on April 9th and Alan and I are going on a trip to celebrate! We will go the first week of May to Mexico for a week of relaxing and reconnecting. I'm ready for some time with my man and some time away to (hopefully) turn my brain off and relax!

Well, that's about it for me! Maybe I'll find to update again without a whole month going by!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here I Am: 2-12-10

Where I am: February 12, 2010

What I'm listening to: The sound of buttons on the jeans clanging around in the dryer in an otherwise very quiet house. And my dog chewing on some plastic toy she found in the girls toy basket.

What I'm thinking about: What a blessing it is that my little girls are still sleeping! Ava got up about 4 times last night (that's pretty average for her) and now she's sleeping in. I'm glad Molly Kate is still sleeping because last night she started running fever (again) and obviously did not feel good until it started coming down at about 10:00 pm. I'm glad she is getting some rest and her body is working on healing itself.

What I'm grateful for: Time to relax on this Friday! Now that I've gone back to work, my weeks are very hectic. Mondays and Fridays are my down time. I put in a lot of hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and my only breaks are the brief 30 minutes when I'm running to pick up kids and take them to the house before I have to be back at work, or when I'm running home, grabbing the kids and the babysitter, picking up dinner, dropping the babysitter off at home, and heading back to work. Did I mention this all happens in less than 30 minutes?? Those 3 days are pretty hectic, so I really enjoy a day like today when I can rest a bit. Weekends are equally busy since we have a Saturday night service and 2 Sunday morning services. Even though today is already filling up with several loads of laundry, a much needed trip to Sam's, and an unexpected but now necessary trip to the Doctor's office, it's still going to be a good day.

What I'm looking forward to: This weekend! My mother in law is coming to town (yes, I am excited about this). As far as Mother's in law go, she is pretty great. When she comes to visit, she just wants to spend lots of time with the grandkids so Alan and I always get to have some time to ourselves. We desperately need some time. We've gotten so busy since going back to work. I thought we were having a date night next weekend (we are in a babysitting co-op and trade off once a month going out/keeping kids) and have looked forward to it for a long time. It's one of those things that in the midst of the craziness and when I feel like I haven't had a real conversation with my husband in a long time, I can look at the calendar and say, "Ok, in 2 weeks we are having a date night!" and that kinda keeps me sane for a bit longer. So yesterday I found out the date night was cancelled and was bummed. Then my mother in law called and said she wanted to keep the kids on Sunday so we could go out for Valentines! Such a great treat!

I am also looking forward to this weekend at church. God put an idea in our hearts before we went back to work. I love creativity and incorporating it in our worship services. I love when we put on big conferences, not just for the bigger "show" but because I think that people are reached in lots of different ways. For some, the music speaks to them, but for others they may be more ministered to through a video or a dance. So, I wanted to start stepping it up a little in our worship times. Once a month we will have a BIG weekend (I don't know what else to call it). This weekend is all about love. So everything will be a little more "creative" and I'm really excited about it. We are also doing a new song that my husband wrote!!! He won't sing it, even though he did on the recording, but I understand his reasons why. It is such an amazing and worshipful song. I am excited to share it this weekend!!!

My current challenge: I have written a play/skit (not really sure what to call it). Basically it is a bunch of monologues inspired by real stories and people that I know. I shared it with my dad and he liked them. He said he wants us to do it for Easter. Every year at Easter we have one big service at the Civic Center. It is always a lot of work, but so rewarding because I know a lot of people are touched by the message that Easter is all about. So I am feeling very honored, nervous and challenged to put together a really great service for Easter. I feel peace about it though, because all of it has been very "God inspired." When I wrote the monologues I was very much in His presence and felt a creativity beyond myself.

I know this is getting long, so I'll wrap it up. Ava is now awake and wants breakfast, so to all my blog friends, have a blessed day!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day!!

We are enjoying a fabulous snow day at the Rich house. We've worked in the studio a little bit, watched some cartoons, ate breakfast together (that RARELY happens!), and now I'm enjoying a little quiet time while the kids nap! I thought I would give a little update on what I've been up to lately:

Upcoming events I'm excited about: This weekend I was supposed to be leading worship and speaking at a Ladies Advance at Generations Church in Lubbock. Due to the weather, it has been postponed to the end of February. I am so excited to get to do things like this! It's fun to meet other ladies that love the Lord and love His presence. Next weekend, I get to go on a ladies retreat with City View to Ruidoso!! Again, fun time with other ladies and I get to lead worship for them. Something about these opportunities made me realize that I am an actual adult. I know that may sound funny, but for some reason, I still think of myself at times as a teenager or college aged kid. I start to prepare for things like this retreat and I think about what I'm going to share. Hi, I'm Leslie Rich. I'm married to a wonderful guy named Alan and we have 3 beautiful daughters. I am a grown up!! I am an old married lady with kids! Oh well, I love this stage of my life!

What I've been enjoying most lately: Speaking of college aged kids, I've been teaching a life lessons class each week for the LIFT students at church. LIFT is a 9 month discipleship program, similar to a Master's Commission. Honestly, my first thought was "yay! I get to teach!" I really enjoy teaching, I think because it makes me sit down and actually study and prepare something. I'm kind of a deadline girl. I need to know what I'm working toward and when it's due, or else sometimes things just don't get done. So, every Thursday from 9:30-11:00 I get to hang out with some awesome young people and just share some of my life experience. Again, this makes me feel old, but I'm glad that I have things to share. I tell them that they can learn one of two ways: from their own mistakes, or from someone elses. I am offering stories of my own mistakes to hopefully help them out in some way. I love that hour and a half of my week. Not just because I get to teach though, I have gotten so much more out of it than that. I always walk away from it inspired and encouraged, not from my own teaching, but just from seeing where these young people are at, and what God is doing in them during this intense time of commitment they are in.

Job update: So, here's a little update on the job! It has been more of an adjustment for me than I thought it would be going back to work. I am working more now than I did before, so maybe that's what it is. I truly love my job and what I get to do. I even love more that I get to do it alongside my husband. He is so strong in the areas that I am so weak in! And he pushes me to be a better leader all the time. He has been the one to really stretch me and make me get out of my comfort zone on some things, but the result of that is so rewarding! Now that we've been at it for about a month, I finally feel like I'm starting to catch up a little bit, and I feel like we're able to start making some changes and trying some new things that we've been waiting on for a while. I'm glad some of the stuff that had to be done in the beginning is over because it's taken a lot of time away from being creative. The greatest thing about not working (except for being with my kids) was the extra time that I had to be creative! I had so much time to work on projects and music and it was such a wonderful feeling. I really think though that now that we're finding more of a groove at work, we are going to find more time for those things again. It certainly helps that we have the most amazing assistant ever! Hannah Haning is so awesome! I can just give her all of my unorganized, crazy lists and ideas and she makes them all come out so nice and neat and organized! She is the biggest blessing to Alan and I up at work.

Weigh-n-Pray update: I think blogged about this before, but I've joined a group of ladies called Weigh-n-pray. It's kind of this weight loss challenge, prayer/support group, with a $2000 prize waiting for the biggest loser! The money was huge incentive for me (even though I don't think I'm going to win!) and it helps to have other ladies on the same journey with me. I've lost a total of 4.5 pounds so far! And it's only been two weeks! We weigh in every Sunday, so I'm hoping I'll have more loss to report in a few days! I need to be a bit more motivated in the work out department. I really want a treadmill. I finally told Alan the other day that I had this unrealistic fantasy in my head that I would come home one day and there would be a treadmill all set up for me. I had dropped the hint at wanting one for so long and I realized he was going to do nothing about it, so I finally just came right out and told him! This is what I want you to do: go buy a treadmill, set it up, and surprise me! Still hasn't happened....not sure it will! Oh well, maybe some day!

Well, I think I'm gonna go make some grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for lunch. Enjoy your snow day!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I love starting a new year. It's like you get a fresh start, or a do-over if you need one. 2010 is definitely full of newness for the Rich family. So here are some of the new things we have going on.

First off, Alan and I started a new job! We are the worship pastors at Church on the Rock. I know many of you are reading this thinking, "isn't that your old job?" Not at all!! At least that's how we are approaching this job. Before I worked part time as the worship leader at COTR. Now, I'm not into titles, but I really feel like God wants me to take the new part about being a pastor very seriously. Being a worship pastor is so much more than just leading a song service. I really have a desire to pastor the people I am priveleged to get to have on our team. Over the last seven months, God has been teaching us so many principles on leadership and working with people. Now we know why! We are honored to get to pastor alongside some other incredible pastors at our church and even more honored to get to pastor some incredible people! This whole experience is keeping me very humble and in constant, desparate need for Jesus. It's a great place to be! We have so many exciting plans and ideas for the ministry and I can't wait to see the year unfold and to see all that God has in store.

Along with this new job, comes new pressure to figure out balance. Balance is a HUGE thing for me! When I was working before, I definitely allowed my family to suffer in the time department. We are so determined to not let that happen this time around. My kiddos will only be yound once, so I am going to enjoy it! And we are enjoying it!! We have three amazing girls and I am honored to be their mommy. Can't wait to see what God has for each of them this year!

2010 will usher in the arrival of a new me!!! I have struggled with my weight for the last 10+ years. For me, the battle is mostly mental, but I am ready to turn that all around. I can no longer use the "I just had a baby" excuse, since my baby is 14 months old! My good friend, Missy, challenged ladies who wanted to lose some weight and do it together through accountability, encouragement, and prayer. Initially my response was yes!!! I need all the help I can get!! And to top it off, the grand prize for the "biggest loser" is $2000!!! Um, that's pretty good motivation. I waivered a little bit in making the decision, because I was worried about the time it might take away from our already precious family time. But I wanted to lose weight, and did not want to attempt to do that (again) all by myself. So, I told Missy on Thursday that I wanted to do it. I barely made it in under the deadline. I weighed in that day and the journey began! I only had 3 days until the next weigh in since I joined late, but I was determined to do something. The "me" from the past would have said, "oh, I'll just wait and get started next week," all the while stuffing my face all weekend long, but I decided that "me" needed to go!! I started working out here at home, and counting my calories every day. Yesterday, was my first official group weigh in and......(drum roll, please)....I lost 3.2 pounds!! In 3 days!!! Can you tell I'm pumped? I really feel confident this time. And if I don't win the money, that's ok. It's a fantastic motivator, but just knowing that I have 19 other women going on this journey with me makes it so much easier and so much more fun! I also have an anniversary trip in April to motivate me. The thought of being on a beach in a bathing suit got my rear in gear, real quick!!! So, I may post updates from time to time. I WON'T be posting actual weight :) just weight loss!

Finally, we are thinking about moving to a new house! With interest rates like they are we were going to refinance our house. The more we talked we realized if we do refinance, we will be in this house for at least five more years. AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! I already feel like we are busting at the seams here, and as my kids get older it's only going to get worse. I like my house and I am very grateful for what we have, but we figured for the same payment we are making now we can easily get into a 4 bedroom house and a much nicer, newer home that is not always a project in the works (like our current house). With the kids at the ages they are at, I don't have time for anymore projects!! So, we are in decision mode and excited about the possibility of another new change!

In the midst of all the change and newness, I am glad that one thing remains constant. I serve a God who can not be moved, He can not be shaken. His mercies are NEW every morning and I choose to put all of my hope and trust in Him alone. Now, that's a good feeling!