Mission of Intentional By Grace
The mission of Intentional By Grace is to equip women with the tools and inspiration necessary to make it impossible to not think about God. I desire to bring women behind the curtain of my life and come alongside them, encouraging them to step out in faith and discover what God has planned for them. I do this by sharing my struggles, my gifts, my heart, my passions, and I share all of this by the grace of God.
Description of Intentional By Grace
Intentional by Grace has a unique style that consists of posts that balances the teaching of biblical principals partnered with practical every day help for women from all walks of life. Intentional By Grace is made up of six main categories: Womanhood, Marriage, Motherhood, Homemaking, Health, and Money.
Description of Each Category of Intentional By Grace
Womanhood – Devotional style encouragement, specific to all women regardless of marital status, race, children, etc. I strive to teach from the Bible, share what God is teaching me, and speak specifically to women’s issues.
Marriage – A place where I get real about marriage. Marriages are hurting. Women (and men) need a safe place they can come to learn, be encouraged, and learn they are not alone. I want to extend to you the hope that is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Motherhood – This section is filled with stories of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Not all the women who read Intentional By Grace are stay-at-home moms. I want to be sensitive to this demographic while also encouraging a heart for motherhood. I strive to give practical tips on all stages of childhood development, character training for both mom and children, and offering a lot of grace to women who find themselves in the trenches of motherhood.
Homemaking – A place to encourage women to create homes that make it impossible to not think about God regardless of their work and child status. I share DIY projects, cleaning schedules, decorating, and routines. I talk about hospitality and the purpose of keeping our homes. I believe in the importance of Titus 2 model and strive to emulate this call on our lives as women. Please note, this is not the section for recipes and talk of food in general. You will find these topics in the health section.
Health – A section filled with overall health and wellness information. I talk about natural living, real food, recipes, exercise, etc. This section is informative while cautioning against making health our God! I do want to help people think through the choices they make in being good stewards of their bodies. However, it is important to remember that this looks different for each family.
Money – I want to share the importance of being good stewards of our finances. I provide practical tips on budgets, saving money in various ways, tithing, giving, etc. I also cover the topic of working from home particularly in regards to blogging.
The Birth of Intentional By Grace
Intentional By Grace started in my heart long before it entered cyberspace. You see, I don’t know exactly when I was saved.
When I was fourteen years old, I came home from a youth retreat with my spirit in turmoil. I needed to respond, but I didn’t know exactly what I was responding to. I knew I needed a Savior, but I didn’t understand fully what this sin stuff meant. I knew I needed this person, Jesus, I’d been hearing about all my life to do it for me. These things seemed true to me. I remember standing in the shower of my parent’s home, and asking God to wash me clean. Please, God. Save me. Help me. Change me. I want You. I curled up in the bottom of the tub that night, and let the water rush over me as I experienced what I believe was saving grace. I cried for what seemed like hours lying there in the fetal position. I think this was the moment of salvation for me.
However, what happened over the course of the next ten years makes me wonder. It makes me wonder because I continued to feed the flesh. I sought the affections of men. I chugged one beer after the other while laughing in the corn fields with my friends. I was too good for drugs. I tried to read my Bible, but it didn’t make any sense. I was scared to death of Sunday School. What if the teacher asked me to pray out loud? I never went. I had no idea how to be a Christian.
Christianity was a list of rules. A list of do’s and don’ts. A list of things that we sweep under rugs, and confess only if it will make us feel better. Christianity was for Sunday mornings, if I wasn’t too hung over to sit in a pew. Christianity was boring hymnals and organs. Christianity was something I had no idea how to live.
At the ripe age of 24, after I’d partied myself to the point that I was still too good for drugs, but pot wasn’t so bad anymore; I’d chased pleasure where it couldn’t be found with men whose names I would never remember; I was smoking a pack a day, and beginning to consider if there was ever going to be a way out, would it just be better to use this broken glass to erase the pain forever, I realized I was broken. What self-proclaiming Christian lives like that?
It was then that Intentional By Grace began. I made a choice in March 2007 that something had to change, and I wanted it to be different for other women. I had no idea what that looked like, but I knew I had to take the next step. I had to give up this no good boyfriend, and I had to find a church. I picked up the broken pieces of that mirror. I emptied the shards into the kitchen trash. I walked slowly with that bag down to the dump, and I left it there. I told him to get out. I left so he could be angry alone. I called a friend I hadn’t been allowed to speak to in months, and begged her to give me a bed to sleep in that night.
With time, I began to heal. With time, God drew me in. With time, I raised my hands in worship, and told my earthly father, I don’t care what happens to me. From this day on, I’m living for the Lord. From this day on, I’m going to do whatever it takes. I’m not going back.
I took one more trip down to the dump. I loaded a shoe box full of leftover beer, 2 packs of cigarettes, and whatever reminded me of my no good life, walked it down the hill, across the parking lot, and without hesitation, I tossed it away. It was a freedom that I had not experienced in more than ten years.
The difference between 14 year old Leigh Ann and 24 year old Leigh Ann was partly maturity, partly no other choice, but partly, I think that’s when the true moment of salvation happened. I turned and went the other way.
Intentional By Grace is a result of that surrender. I often wonder what would have been different if another woman of God had told me that Christianity wasn’t a list of do’s and don’ts. That Christianity wasn’t to be compartmentalized. I wish someone had just shown me how to be a Christian.
Intentional By Grace Now
In the digital world we live in, more and more women are turning to the Internet for help. They don’t have anyone to talk to. They don’t have anyone to tell them that God loves them regardless of their past, present, and future. They don’t have a woman to do life with, to ask questions, to feel connected.
Intentional By Grace can be that place where a woman shows up on my doorstep and learn what it looks like to have Christ infiltrate every corner of her life! It’s a place where we, as a community, share our struggles, our triumphs, our weaknesses, our gifts, all to point to Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
Intentional By Grace is a place women can come to learn what it looks like to live a Christ-centered life in complete reliance upon the grace of God. It’s not a place of rules, but it is a place where we intentionally seek God in every facet of our lives. It’s not a place where we do what we want and impose on the grace of God. It is a place where we seek to obey God in all that we do, with the understanding that everyone falls short, everyone sins. This understanding does not give us a right to sin, but as we seek to live out our lives for God’s glory, because we love Him so much, we can’t help but obey Him.
Then, we take this love and pour it out on our husbands, our children, our friends, and neighbors, the sick, the dying, the poor, the needy. We become Christ’s hands and feet because we have sought God in everything, and we are intimately entwined within His arms. We are so wrapped up in Him that our lives are a beautiful reflection of redemption. Intentional By Grace is here to see sinners come to know God in grace and mercy and freedom.
I am excited to be taking this journey with you. I desire for Intentional By Grace to be a place where women come to be reminded of the Gospel, to receive a fresh dose of grace, and to be equipped with practical ways to live life intentionally by grace every day. I want this site to be an oasis of practical, how-to information embellished with personal stories and experience.
What Others Are Saying About Intentional By Grace
Intentional By Grace is one of my few “must-read” blogs. I always leave the site feeling encouraged and refreshed. From the devotionals, to the challenges, to the every day practical helps, every aspect of the site is wonderful and always so timely. ~Mindy from Creating Naturally
A blog written by a dear friend’s wife (who is becoming a dear friend to me because of her godly wisdom.) Definitely worth checking out. Her desire to LIVE BIBLICALLY in the roles we have been given as women, mothers and wives has been a great source of encouragement for me. ~Jerilyn W.
Leigh Ann at Intentional By Grace is absolutely wonderful! Share it with your friends! She has such a heart for God and spreading the Gospel! ~ Janet D.
Leigh Ann – I have to say I love, love, love, love your blog site!!! You have such an incredible insight on life and how great is our God! You are such an inspiration!!! ~Tasha S.
Meet Leigh Ann
I am first and foremost a child of God. This is the most important part of my life, the main thing. I am the blessed wife to the man of my prayers, Mark. We have been married since July 2008. Apart from our salvation, marriage is our greatest earthly blessing. Mark is far more than I ever deserved to receive as a husband. I know that it is only by the grace of God that I can count Him as mine. I’ve done nothing to deserve Him. I count it my greatest joy to be called His helpmeet.
Third only to my Savior and loving husband, I have the privilege of being a mommy to our sweet little boys, Samuel and Timothy. Oh what a joy it is to care for these boys day-in and day-out. We pray the Lord will continue to bless us with many more children in the coming years.
Want to read my children’s birth stories?
As a family, we’ve lived in six different houses in two different states all in less than four years. We now reside in the High Rockies of the great state of Colorado. It is our mission field and our passion to reach this community with the truth about Jesus Christ! My husband has always dreamed of living here, and I secretly wanted to trek back to lay under the stars, because here, in this place, it truly feels like all you need to do is raise your hand and touch one. I’m adjusting to snow two thirds of the year, and my motto is still, “If it’s going to be cold, it better be snowing.”
I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mom. I have a college degree in Business Management, and I’m grateful for it. I use it every day. My life is not on hold until I “get my kids raised.” I work at home in many capacities, and it’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had. But it is true what “they” say, it is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I have found a way to make an income doing what I love (writing) while getting to stay home and serve my family. I am humbled and grateful.
I love coffee (the good kind), chocolate (the good kind), and long walks on the beach. Now, tell me which one of those was an outright lie? I have one foot that’s bigger than the other and my ears poke out funny. I have the loudest hiccups of anyone I know, and Mark doesn’t believe they are real. I’m an introverted extravert. You’ve probably never met one. That would be because we only make up 1% of the entire population. I’m weird. I’m an avid reader, and people make fun of me at the library for the enormous amount of children’s books that I check out for Samuel and me. I really do read them to him, and he really does bring them to me to read. You should read to your children, ya’ know. I love photography, especially the kind that gets really close and catches only the details that a lens and a little light can catch. Those wrinkles that no one wants and those rolls that will no longer be acceptable are details that I savor. I believe God gave us everything to enjoy, and I plan on enjoying in this fallen world that which He gives grace for.
If you have any more questions, then please contact me and let me know how I can help.
Thank you so much for visiting Intentional By Grace!