journey with me - lisa leonard

We are Surrounded by Beauty

an everyday moment, celebrate the every day, hello monday, older posts By January 17, 2022 No Comments

Beauty helps balance the chaos.

Beauty is a balm that soothes the pain.

Beauty is a reflection of God’s creativity.

I used to think beauty was unimportant, a waste of time. Now I see it as one of God’s most precious gifts.

Lately I’ve been craving beauty— color, texture, light, scent, sound. I snapped this photo in the Target parking lot— basically proof that beauty surrounds us.

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My Word of the Year: PLENTY

inspiration, jewelry, poems By January 3, 2022 No Comments

My word this year is P L E N T Y.

Plenty of time. No need to rush.

Plenty of space for me, for you, for us.

Plenty of stuff. I can shop my house and my closet before I shop for more.

Plenty of opportunities. I don’t have to compete.

Plenty of love. I am safe. I can rest.

Plenty is a reminder of abundance.

Are you choosing a word for 2022? Wear it as a daily reminder on one of my sweet personalized designs!! {psst… they’re all on SALE right now!}

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Being present: This moment matters!

an everyday moment, christmas, family, inspiration, jewelry, the meaning behind the jewelry By December 20, 2021 1 Comment

Do you struggle with anxiety? I haven’t thought of myself as an anxious person but more and more I see how much worry, stress, and fear I carry.

Today I’m reminding myself that I can’t control all the things. I’m trying to breathe, pray, be present in THIS moment.

Control is an illusion and I feel like that illusion has been ripped away {I want it back!} And yet there is so much good. So much good. This moment holds beauty. In this moment I have everything I need.

This moment matters. {And I don’t want to miss it}. 

I created this necklace to help keep me grounded. I wear it as a reminder to stay in this moment—to be present in whatever is happening. The beauty, the mess, the silly, the scary—I’m here for it. {It’s also buy one, get one free! So wear yours with someone you love!!}

As we are approaching Christmas, I hope you can take time to step out of the business and stress and just enjoy the moment you are in. Time with the ones we love {even when it’s messy, imperfect, and not what you imagined} is what matters most of all! Merry Christmas, friends!!

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How to Display Your Winter Wonderland Village

christmas, decorating, get creative By November 26, 2021 1 Comment

Have you decorated for Christmas yet? I’ve been pulling out the stockings and twinkle lights earlier and earlier every year {who can blame me?!} Having your home all festive and cozy is my favorite way to bring in the holiday spirit! I just adore my new Winter Wonderland Village!

With a sweet chapel, adorable toy shop, festive tree, and house all decorated for Christmas, you can move and arrange your village however you want to create a magical little wonderland!

Just like with my Christmas nativity scene, I like to add even more decorations to the display to give it a unique touch each Christmas. Here are some of my favorite ways to display your winter village scene.

  1. With cotton snow and bottle brush trees

How adorable!! Your Christmas village set will look extra festive with these decorations. I laid a blanket of cotton snow to look like it’s freshly fallen. Then I arranged my village on top with some sweet little bottle brush trees {you can find some at Target or most craft stores}. I also added some pinecones to give it a natural feel!

I just love the way the snow looks with the pewter buildings. This display gives a frosty feel to your winter village scene!

2. On a tiered stand with trees and berries

I have this beautiful two-tiered stand I usually use to serve snacks or desserts. But when I imagined how my Winter Wonderland Village Set would look on it, I decided to get a little creative!

I arranged my display alongside these sweet ceramic trees I got from Target and some red berries for color. Together with my village set, it looks so magical! You can do it on any cake stand, display stand, or serving stand.

Or, you could even arrange them on top of a present! How fun!

3. On the mantle with greenery

The mantle is one of my favorite spots to display my Christmas decorations! Sitting above a roaring fire and hanging stockings, my winter wonderland embodies the season of Christmas.

Add some fir branches, pinecones, and red berries to give a natural look to this display. The colors make it look extra festive, don’t you think?

4. Get the whole family involved with my free coloring page!

Oh, what fun! Because my Winter Wonderland Village Set is oh so loved, I created a free coloring page you can download and print yourself! Your little ones will have a blast coloring their own village!

Even more special, you can cut out your colored village and display it side by side with your pewter scene. Make a sweet family tradition like no other!

There are sooo many ways you can decorate your winter village scene. Get creative, and make a display that captures the magic of the season!

And for a short time now, you can get your very own Winter Wonderland Village Set {and the rest of my shop} on SALE! Run, don’t walk… this is a Christmas MUST-have 😉

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Messy, imperfect, true love

family, finding love, jewelry, marriage, the meaning behind the jewelry By November 22, 2021 No Comments

I used to think I could create the perfect life. I had an image in my mind—our home, our children, our perfect marriage. But then real life happened and I quickly realized perfection doesn’t exist.

Leaning into what is real, embracing our flaws and strengths, and loving each other in that place is where the magic happens!

True love is not neat and tidy. True love is wild, amazing, and complex. Living together in the beautiful mess of every day makes life meaningful. I choose us!

I cherish our love. It’s messy and imperfect, but oh so true! I wear my Cherished Hearts Initial Necklace as a reminder of us. Pick a charm and an initial for each of your loves and create a necklace representing the wild and beautiful love that fills your life.

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3 Things Special Needs Parents Want You to Know

older posts By November 9, 2021 1 Comment

Phew! David is 19 years older now and we are living in the time frame that used to terrify me—we have an adult child with special needs. It’s hard and I’m a lot of ways caring for David is harder than it used to be. When all our friends had small children we were all meeting their needs. We were all exhausted. But now our friends have grown children who are independent and David still needs help with almost all activities including feeding, dressing and bathing.
Last week I had dinner with a group of friends and I was trying to convey what life looks like with an adult child with special needs. These ladies are insightful, caring and nurturing. They asked questions and wanted to understand more of what our life looks like. I felt seen and less alone. Here are some of the things I shared.
1. Caring for David moment to moment isn’t hard. Bathing him is fun! Helping him with meals is enjoyable. He’s a delight and we adore him. It’s the amount of care he needs that’s hard. He needs help all day every day and will for the rest of his life. We live with that heaviness. Our lives revolve around David’s care.

2. Life with an adult with special needs is unpredictable. We make plans and have to cancel last minute because we don’t have a caregiver. We go get to church in time but David never makes it into the sanctuary because he’s having cramping and tummy pain. We never know what an activity will look like. Please don’t stop inviting us to things and please don’t take it personally when we have to cancel last minute!

3. We don’t need pity. David is awesome. We love him and we are grateful for him. While caring for him is hard it’s also an honor and we are glad he’s part of our family. If I’m discouraged and complain—just listen. We each have our own struggles with no easy answers. The best gift you can give is to walk alongside and listen without judgement.

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our love grows

family, jewelry, the meaning behind the jewelry By October 25, 2021 No Comments

We don’t have it figured out but I know this for sure—our love grows. We work hard to break down walls, connect, have fun, BE A FAMILY. It’s messy imperfect and amazing.

Our love is stronger and bigger and more beautiful when it’s nurtured with honesty and grace. The ‘love grows necklace‘ is on SALE right now {along with most of my site!} Don’t miss it! It’s my favorite right now—little handcrafted hearts with BIG meaning.

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All About Love: we are Better Together

finding love, jewelry, marriage, steve, the meaning behind the jewelry By October 11, 2021 2 Comments

We’ve worked really REALLY hard for this love. And just in case it looks easy or you feel like everyone around you has it figured out—it’s not easy and none of us have it figured out.

We’re learning a healthy relationship needs two whole people who show up and engage honestly.

I can’t make him happy.

I can’t make him whole.

I can’t make him feel loved.

He is responsible for himself.

And he can’t make me happy, whole or feel loved. I’m responsible for me.

God is the giver of these big, beautiful gifts we look for in a partner.

Happiness, wholeness, love—those are gifts God gives. They come wrapped in packages of brokenness, heartbreak, pain and uncertainty.

I know it makes no sense. It’s upsidedown and messy and I don’t have it figured out.

But I can tell you this—somehow as we lean into our brokenness we find wholeness. As we lean into our pain we find healing. As we lean into the mess we find a new, deeper beauty.

This is love. And we’re working really, really hard to love each other well.

Through it all, I know there is no other place I’d rather be than together. That’s the inspiration behind my “Better Together” necklace. Isn’t it adorable?? I’m giving it away as a gift with every order right now at my shop, but only for TWO. more. days!!

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10 things making me happy

an everyday moment, celebrate the every day, jewelry By September 28, 2021 1 Comment

Ten things making me happy lately—

1. Warm days with time spent outdoors. Yesterday we ate In-n-Out outside and it was simple and so fun.

2. Watching Arrested Development as a family. It’s a show filled with the quirkiest characters and we laugh so hard.

3. Slow mornings! I can sip my coffee and slow down.

4. Organizing and purging. I’m going drawer by drawer and room by room through our house and cleaning things up. Oh my gosh, it feels so good!

5. Neck scarves (or bandanas). I love them. I used to wear them in college all the time.

6. Letting go of guilt. One of the things I’m working on in therapy is worrying less about my boys. I’m trying to let go a little and let them grow up. I’m reminding myself they are not only fine—they’re powerful people. They need my love and support but they don’t need me to worry.

7. Garlic and olive oil. I’m cooking more and basically EVERYTHING tastes better with more garlic and more olive oil. Ha!

8. The Joy Diet book by Martha Beck. It’s about 10 things to make your life more joyful. She’s one of my favorite authors. ♥️

9. Sunless tanner. Have you tried it? I’m using some and it’s making my legs look less glowing white and more slightly tan.

10. My sterling cuff (from my shop) on my wrist with my boys’ names. I gotta keep my boys close all the time. Love.

What’s making you HAPPY today?

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Thoughts on Gratitude

celebrate the every day, inspiration, jewelry, the meaning behind the jewelry By August 27, 2021 3 Comments

Life is so so hard.

And life is so so good.

There is darkness and light.

For so long I wanted to create warm, sunny days and avoid the dark heavy clouds. But I can’t. We can’t. We need to feel it all. 

I’ve been trying to focus on gratitude lately—not as a means to avoid feeling pain, but as a means to avoid bitterness. There’s so much to be grateful for. So much beauty in the midst of the everyday crazy stuff of life. Dark clouds and warm sunshine work together to create vibrant, blooming, breathtaking flowers.

This bracelet holds my heart. I wear my Thin Sterling Cuff every day as a reminder to be grateful for all the love I have in my life!

Like how grateful I am for my family and the love we have for each other. That’s what makes personalized jewelry so sweet, it lets me carry the names of the ones in my heart. I’m grateful for these little everyday reminders of what really matters.

What’re you grateful for?

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