My Traveling Shoes

Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality.
I've traveled so many miles in shoes that someone else bought for me, plain, poorly fitted, worn, second hand, hand me downs. Ohh, they hurt my feet and took me places that I didn't need to go, places that I didn't want to go. For many years I put them on. I was told it was my duty, but my heart was heavy and my cares so many.
Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality. I bought these shoes. I own these shoes. They are mine.
by Jeanne leigh...copyrighted...2007


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Music Therapy

Last Sunday on the CBS Sunday Morning Show: (CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW);contentBody hosted by Charles Osgood, there was a segment about a popular new jazz singer named Melody Gardot. Incredible story, great talent that all came about through a terrible accident where at the age of 19 she was bicycling in Philedelphia where she was attending a community college, studying Fashion. A jeep ran a red light and hit her. She suffered a broken pelvis, injured spine and a brain injury. Give this a listen. Music therapy was the key to her recovery. I've always loved the idea of music and art and the healing power they possess.

I love in the interview when she is asked, "You went from not being able to speak to writing and singing beautiful music. How did you do that?" Melody replied, "That is a question for God." This is a very inspiring story. I also want to share one of her videos with you. ENJOY!!! ~Jeanne

Monday, January 18, 2010

Me, Myself and I (God's precious Gift)

This is a painting that my son Justin did. He is a wonderful artist. I love to look at art and ponder what is being expressed. He calls this " The Idea of Me." Subjectively, I feel this painting might express coming upon our true selves, small..often forgotten and unheard. As we seek to listen to our own hearts, spirits and minds...we often find that we are very different than the life we live.

About 20 years ago, I found myself in this very place. I was raised in a very unstable home with an alcoholic father. I learned certain skills to survive that life. I carried those skills with me for many years. As a child, in my home, I learned to become invisible and to very cautiously express my true feelings, often denying them for safety, peace, and less conflict. I was filled with fear.

When my mother finally left my alcoholic father, we moved in with her mother, who was very domineering and wasn't happy with a 13 year old girl in her home. In my older teen years, I rebelled and resisted this life and family and ran from them and myself.

At the age of 19, wearied from it all I ran into the arms of Jesus. For the first time in my life, I knew that I was loved and that there was a life and purpose for me somewhere and somehow. Within a few years I became a part of a Christian Ministry/Intentional Community that was in the beginning a place to call "Family." It gave me a sense of belonging. In some ways, I healed in that setting. I found a few parts of myself there. I grew in my love for God and learned that I could serve others in spite of my own pain. The leaders in this community were very simplistic in their understanding of God. They filled in the blanks for me, as to who God was and what my place was in serving Him. There was little space for questions, only black and white answers and far too much control of my life. I lived and worked there for 20 years.

My last two years there I experienced something called "Spiritual Direction" outside of the community, which was frowned upon at that time because they believed the answers to anything I needed to know were found within that community. In those two years, I allowed myself to ask questions and explore the truth within myself of what I believed and what I didn't believe. I allowed myself space to explore unanswerable questions, and to sit with doubt and honestly let it be there. My walk with God became deeper, but less defined. I began to know this true person within myself that God created, that God wanted to grow and become, thus I then put on My New Traveling Shoes.

For many years, as a wounded Christian, I lost my true self in the service of others. My life became all about helping other people, only with the motive of finding my identity in this very service. It has been a very difficult thing to see this, own this and pull away from this. When I left that Community, I became a pastor's wife, fulfilling this role for about 13 years and then became a pastor myself for 4.5 years. All the while I was beginning to see the problem that I had, and began seeking to approach ministry from a different place. My last year as pastor, I enrolled in a school for training to become a "Spiritual Director." It was a 2 year long program that I totally loved. I continued with that group for one more year for supervision. Through all of this I was brought to a place of "letting go" of all specific ministry. I feel I am called to solitude in my faith. At this point I cannot be healthy in "ministry." It has been a very painful decision in many ways but, I know a very important one for my heart, soul and mind. I find my connection with God through my relationships with family, friends and work. I feel a strong connection to the arts, singing, writing, painting, etc. I have spiritual friends that I connect with to share my faith and a quiet time where I seek to express myself and listen to God's voice each day.

I am grateful for God's leading in my life and for the grace and strength to be true to myself at this point in my life. I am open to God's calling and leading but I seek to be content right where I am at this moment. I have taken my "travelin' shoes" off for a bit to rest and reflect and I look forward to seeing where I will be going next.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I love this prayer. There was a time that I thought things were very black and white and simple in my walk with God. The Years have shown me different. I do know that God holds us, loves us, and no matter what - will be with us and teach us through all of our lives. Seeking God with all our hearts, we walk in faith, trusting God to show us the way to grow and deepen. This prayer says it all!!

A Prayer by Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I don’t see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.

And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It is a beautiful thing, the connections we experience in life. Whether it be with people, animals, music , art, literature...somehow that connection can be such a life changing experience. The encounter we have can give us such depth and insight. It is all important. Sweet Pea is a kitten born outside my home. I feed the ferrel cats in my neighborhood. Unlike most of the cats, she was always approaching me and trying to come in my house. Most of the other cats eat the food and at the most will rub my ankles as I put the food out but they do not want to be handled and have no desire to enter my house. When Sweet Pea was just a five months old she got very sick, so I took her to the vet and she became one of my three house cats. Yes, she is part of our family now and what a delight she is! Today I give thanks for all my connections!!!

What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.

Helen Keller