Strength, dignity and wisdom.
Who wouldn’t want all these things?
Constantly searching the Bible for inspiration and practical applications that enable women to grow in strength, dignity and wisdom, I recently decided to begin this blog. As women in diverse roles and various phases of life, we need a deep relationship with God more than ever. Understanding the teachings of Christ doesn’t require a scholarly IQ, but it does entail a commitment of time, effort and energy to reach new levels of comprehension and ability.
As a visual artist, writer and teacher, I thrive on using my talents to help women grow as individuals in all areas of their lives. This personal development we all can experience is a direct result of learning, understanding and putting into practice basic Biblical principles. Through my blog, online classes and in person workshops, I assist women around the world in gaining spiritual insight, comprehension and motivation from God’s word.
Over 33 years ago, as a young adult, I read the Bible for the first time with the intention of actually doing what it said. With the help of friends, further along on their spiritual journeys, I began to comprehend the fullness of Christ and his purpose in my life. The Bible made it clear I needed to live a very different life than I had up until then. I decided to make changes, follow Jesus and take the plunge! It’s been a life of learning, evolving, changing and refining my views, attitudes and actions.
Starting at the age of 24, I had the opportunity to work as a missionary in South America and Africa for over ten years. While in Brazil, I met my husband, Alcides (pronounced: Al-SEE-dez). We started our family when our son Lucas was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Our daughter Stephanie came along while we were living in São Paulo, Brazil. They are now young adults, pursuing their academic and professional passions and living their own lives. Stephanie married last year and our family grew to include her husband Carter.
A few years ago as empty nesters, Alcides and I made the decision to return to Brazil where we believed we could be more useful. It’s been three years since our return and God has done amazing things. He has opened doors to new opportunities, experiences and even careers. Many times, we have both said we feel as if we are living out the best times of our lives. Who could ask for more than that?
Alcides and Leslie at home in Goiania, Brazil, in May 2017.
Two years before relocating, Alcides and I reconnected with several churches in Brazil. We were interested in finding ways to serve even though we were far away. We were given the suggestion of teaching classes for married couples with kids. This really peaked our interest so we prepared a series of classes we could give via Skype. Although the initial attempts were a bit awkward, and technology didn’t always cooperate, we soon found our rhythm and the classes were underway. We received very positive feedback from the couples who participated and their reaction fueled our desire to return to Brazil even more.
Since then, we have had the opportunity to develop and lead marriage retreats, weekend workshops and classes. I have had the opportunity to teach, counsel and disciple women in my city as well as other locations around the country. The needs are numerous. That reality has deepened and solidified my conviction that we all need to develop and utilize our talents to help others and be our best for God.
This blog is dedicated to doing just that: inspire women to develop their talents and then use them to serve God and those around them. The prospect of personal growth and maturity excites and motivates me. Join me in this endeavor. There’s still so much more to learn about strength, dignity and wisdom.