Caps and Gowns

As you may have noticed, I have been strangely absent from my blog the past weeks. Since I last wrote, there have been blogs partially written, but never finished.Today though, I write to you hours before my little brother’s high school graduation. Growing up, Richard was always my best friend and I could always count on him for late night Sonic runs, to be my tennis partner, and to always stick up for me. Tonight I’ll get to watch him walk across the stage as a high school graduate…the smart, witty, creative, kind man that he has become. I will refrain from being too sentimental because I know he would hate that, however, I wanted to write out a prayer of what I am speaking over his future. So, this is for you Richard.

God I thank you for the man Richard has become.Thank you for giving me the coolest brother I could ever ask for. He is a gift. Thank you that he reflects you. He reflects you in his sportsmanship on the soccer field and tennis court. In the way he values friendships. He reflects you in the way he leads with strength, integrity and confidence and determines his own path in life.

I pray Richard that you always keep your eyes on the Lord, never being swayed to follow a path that is wide and worn, but remaining on the narrow path God has created specifically for you.

I pray that you build solid friendships at Iowa State and be surrounded by friends that will constantly pull you higher and never drag you down. That they will be a support center to celebrate in your triumphs and build you up in your weaknesses. That you be a friend others desire to have…dependable, uplifting, and calling others to greatness.That you give honor where honor is due and operate in true humility.

I pray that you stand firm in your identity in Christ, not being moved to the right or left. That you are a light to those at college searching in vain to discover their own identity who may be trying to find it in the wrong places. I pray that you take refuge in God’s Word and are sensitive to His voice and leading. He will never lead you astray. He will never leave you. He will always be proud of you. You are always His number one.

I pray that you find balance. That you work hard, and are never entitled, but remain humble. I pray that your college years will be your best years so far. That you have eyes to see and ears to hear. I pray provision over your every need. That your school is paid for. That you shine – and that people wonder why things always work for you.

I pray that you have fun! That you always have your contagious laugh that you have when you think something is really funny. That you go to a ton of country concerts, play intramurals, that you study abroad and that you never regret freezing your face off at the ISU football games. That you go and not be afraid to pursue new opportunities and chase your dreams…to get off the dock of life. I pray that you be surrounded with a shield of favor. That no weapon formed against you shall prosper and no sickness shall come near you.

I pray that you grow closer to God than ever before and that because of Him you can pursue your future boldly and confidently. I pray that you are full of joy. Full of peace. Full of patience. Full of love. Full of compassion. I pray that you walk in Godly wisdom that’s beyond your years. That when you leave college you are more equipped and excited than ever before.

I’m so proud of the man you’ve become. I’m proud you’re my brother. You have a solid foundation in practical life knowledge that is absent in the lives of many today. I can count on you to fix, lift, or construct anything. I pray that you never take a day for granted. You are so capable. You make good decisions. You are trustworthy. You are healthy. You are strong. You are courageous. You are are kind. You are funny. You are selfless. You have a good heart. You are funny.  You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

I pray that whatever you do, you do it unto the Lord. I pray that God blesses whatever you set your hand unto. That you use your words to speak life and let God promote you. I pray that God will ignite and strengthen your passion for what He is calling you to, “that you prosper and be in health”. Make time to listen, make time to hear what God is speaking to you. May you never stop pursuing Him.

I pray that you won’t forget about your big sis and know that she is truly one of your biggest fans in life and always will be. I will always be cheering you on wherever life may take you. I love you!

If you have loved ones graduating or entering a new chapter of life like Richard, I encourage you to speak life and blessing over their futures as well!

sydgrad

On the Road with Grace & Favor

Another week on our Florida exploration has gone by! This trip is going so fast! As you may have read, last Sunday was me and Kirby’s six months of marriage celebration. I’ve said it many times, but God couldn’t have placed together the pieces to that corner my life puzzle any better.

To celebrate, we hit up the church that our friends go to in Fort Myers.  We love the praise-giving, uplifting worship and the message really ministered to me personally. The pastor was teaching on the power and importance of teams and how we don’t always work with the people we necessarily want to or mesh best with, but gave advice to view people in light of who they are in Christ and their strengths versus stumbling over faults or weaknesses or the things that rub us the wrong way. While that may seem like obvious advice, that really helped me and my administrative, orderly, get things done right, by-the-book mindset.

After church we did some shopping around and took a day to just relax at the pool (surprisingly the first time we’ve had a chance to since we’ve been in Florida!). Side Note: It’s always funny coming inside in the evening and seeing every single spot you happened to miss with the sunscreen – this time it was my wrists (I know, so strange…haven’t figured that one out yet). We cleaned up and headed to the beach having a beautiful dinner beachside then cruised around looking for live music and watched the sunset (AND a proposal go down) on the boardwalk. Perfect night? I think yes.

image4

This week we had the most important meetings of our trip. God continues to give us favor everywhere we go. I can tell you that whatever God is calling you into, in His timing, when you go…He has been there long before, paving the way for you. It’s reassuring remembering the needs we have back home and knowing that God is already ahead of us making provision for them while we are down here, walking in the place and provision He has already made. How cool is that? I don’t think I can possibly praise and thank Him enough. I encourage you to thank Him for what He is already setting into motion for your future and not grow weary or discouraged!

image5

I also found out last week that my cousin, Alisha and her family were in Florida from Japan! Her husband, Michael is in the air force and they are here briefly visiting family. SO we connected with them and readily accepted their offer to go sailing with them and Michael’s family. We were heading to Orlando anyway, so stopping by on our way worked out s0 perfectly. Can I just say that sailing was one of the most relaxing experiences ever? Alisha and Michael are great mentors for Kirby and I and have amazing on-time words of wisdom. It was SUCH a fun, fun day. I highly recommend going sailing if you ever get the chance.

image2 (2)

The rest of our drive to Orlando consisted of chatting, looking up random facts about the Bermuda Triangle and Strawberry Festivals on Google, and singing to the radio. The next morning we woke up at 4:45am…Kirby graciously got me to the airport (with no coffee) on time for my flight back to Iowa for my uncle’s wedding. (Yay for weddings! Yay for love!) Security was extra long that morning surprisingly, so I made it on the tram and to my gate barely catching the end of my boarding group (whew). On my connection in Charlotte, I had a two hour layover, no data on my phone, no book, so I was just chilling and observing, waiting at my gate. The first thing I noticed was that literally everyone was on their phones. The second was that Charlotte had bathroom attendants welcoming you to the restroom…strange, yes – wonderful, absolutely!

Travel Pic

The third thing I witnessed twice. The first for the flight before mine, and the second was for my flight. I had a chance to chat with the attendants at the gate a bit – it was their first day and they were in training. In both instances were gentlemen that very loudly ridiculed said very rude comments regarding the way the attendants said the name of the destinations over the speaker. They even had the gumption to very loudly and publicly correct them as they boarded.

I wondered to myself why there is this entitled attitude present in our world today to ridicule and push others lower to elevate ourselves. Correction should be done in love (love, correction, love). It should also be done when there is a foundation built, where the person gives permission to speak into their life OR if there is not relationship present (like the instance at the airport), it can be done in a way that will save them face. I eventually built up the courage to explain to the man that this was her first day and I think we can give her a little grace. Not surprisingly, it went ignored. Today it’s so easy to spew and demand our way and opinions among others. Let’s instead be a light showing grace and mercy and positivity – lifting those around us up instead of using them to just propel ourselves higher. Yes?

image3

Anyway! I’m extremely excited to be in Iowa and be around family. I’ve missed them! I hung out with my sister and brother-in-law in Ames. I also got to accompany my sister to Iowa State and finally meet a sweet, sweet friend I’ve never officially gotten to meet before we headed across the state to the wedding (hey girl!). I’m off again Monday, flying back to Orlando to finish the final two weeks of our Florida excursion! I hope you stay tuned and have an absolutely fantastic week ahead! Love you all!

The Pursuit of Peace

“And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” – Philippians 4:7 AMP

It has been another busy week in the sunshine state for the Liesmann’s. Our typical day begins with Kirby’s workout followed by us either jumping in the car and networking or getting on the grind at our computers. (We are putting together some really exciting things for the business.) P.S. I’m 100% loving Florida’s fresh fruit…especially the strawberries!  Continue reading “The Pursuit of Peace”

My Grace is Sufficient

FullSizeRenderToday I am writing to you from Florida! What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been. Kirby and I have been prayerfully pursuing God about exploring Florida as an opportunity to expand our business since last spring. Finally, after a year of careful research and prayer, about a month ago we booked our flights determined to go scout out the land we feel like God is leading us to. Let me tell you, it is intimidating sometimes following God’s calling. Every now and then you get this feeling like “I don’t know if I can handle this God” or “I don’t feel qualified for this God”. Continue reading “My Grace is Sufficient”

Let Freedom Reign

What a week it has been. I have an important announcement to make this week, but first off, I would like to say a heartfelt congratulations to Ben Higgins and his beautiful fiance, Lauren Bushnell. This season of the Bachelor has been one of my favorite shows I’ve ever watched. While the process is definitely weird, I thoroughly enjoyed the heart behind it. It was evident that Ben took it very seriously, it was no joke or game. He treated the women with the utmost respect and was a fantastic communicator. He acted in honesty and integrity and prayerfully made his decisions…I cannot be more happy for Ben and Lauren. Congrats!! I pray a long, happy, healthy life together and a blessed marriage. I also pray that people give them room to let them live their lives!

Now to the announcement. This week has been a week of revelation for me. My eyes were opened to some things that really rocked my world. Kirby and I made a decision to take three days stepping away from all screens (iPad, tablets, games, tv, phones, and computer) and all of our social media (unless work related). What we realized in this time really hits an emotional cord with me, especially after last week’s blog.

I realize how tunnel visioned I truly was. Throughout the three days, we found ourselves not easily agitated or tired all of the time, but rather peaceful and carefree. We were able to get true rest, having TIME to do things together and things we enjoyed. We sat outside, we talked and laughed harder than we have just being goofy, we were truly present with each other…I fell even more in love with Kirby over the past three days (if that’s even possible).

image1

Most importantly, Kirby and I were able to more fully put a priority on God by getting in the word reading together morning and night, we made time for each of us to pray and spend time with God, we prayed together and for one another. I can say that these were the most refreshing, peaceful, carefree days that I’ve had in a long time. We need to be in tune with God and be full of His word so that when situations come up that we can respond in love and Godly wisdom, and be able to emotionally handle things and make good decisions!

I’m emotional writing this, because at the end of the three days I wept. I didn’t want it to end and I cried for realizing what I had been missing and not wanting the days we had to end. I didn’t want to be sucked back in to our devices anymore, into its tireless cycle. God’s brought me to the realization that I don’t need followers on Instagram. I don’t need to work tirelessly to promote my blog and do what other bloggers suggest. We have so many things pulling for our attention and time in the world we live in. It’s so noisy and full. How can God ever get a word in?

I’m choosing to finally say no. I’m finally free! I’m free to do as the Lord leads – I’m free to live my life!!! I’m free to continue my blog weekly, writing what the Lord puts on my heart, but I’m going to let the Lord promote it. If God called me into this, which I believe He did, then He will take care of the rest.

To be a leader you need to be someone worth following. I’ll make Instagram posts when I have a new blog launch or if I just have something neat to share, but it doesn’t own me anymore. You won’t find be being active on social media any more. I know I will lose followers because of this, in fact I already have, but it’s ok. I refuse to sacrifice my time with God or my husband any more putting them on the altar in the name of feeling obligated to social media.I refuse to step away from drinking from the well of life that satisfies to drink from something that always leaves me thirsty and anxious.

God has given me a beautiful life to live that’s better than I deserve. I don’t want to miss a thing. Those three days truly opened my eyes to how much I was missing out on. I was caught up in and a slave to something that in the light of eternity, doesn’t matter a single bit. I’ve never felt more free.

I realize that this week’s blog is a little different and probably not what you were expecting. So, I want to say thank you for listening and hanging in there. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, and thank you for your beautiful hearts full of support and love. I love ya’ll and I’m excited to see the direction God will take this blog every week now that I have made this decision to step away and be intentional about having ears to hear and eyes to see what He’s saying. I’m praying that you all remember how loved you are and that you are the light of the world. I hope you have an amazing week!

 

A NIGHT AT THE FOX

Newly married, Kirby and I have lots of exciting things we are looking forward to. We are saving as much as possible hoping to purchase our first home by the end of the year. So, you can imagine my squealing surprise when I opened my Christmas present this year from my sweet husband…an official invitation to an evening in the city to see Disney’s Broadway Production, the Newsies, at the Fox Theater. Say wwhat?! (Ladies, any man that would sacrifice a night of watching Supercross or any other sports event to watch a Broadway production with you simply because he loves you is DEFINITELY a winner) We checked into our hotel to get ready for the show, but not before thoroughly enjoying the 15th story view of the city, complete with a perfect sight of the St. Louis arch right outside our room’s balcony.

All dressed up, we headed over to the Spaghetti Factory where Kirby had made us dinner reservations. We have made a habit of asking our waiters/waitresses if they have any needs we can pray for since we will be praying before we eat anyway. (This to be a great way for us to practice stepping out in faith). William, our sweet, older waiter blessed us with his kind heart and energetic spirit – while he had no needs, he was extremely touched, gripped our hands, and asked if there was anything we needed prayer for. Moments like these are what it’s all about folks!

The Fox Theater was an ABSOLUTE treat. It’s like stepping back in time with the huge ceilings, low lighting, intricate, beautiful moldings. I love getting to appreciate raw talent (which there was certainly no lack of). The story featured a group of orphan boys from the late 1800’s that sold newspapers. After the newspaper’s owner significantly increased the prices on the boys they decide to go on strike to stand for what’s right. A band of David’s out to fight Goliath, one of the most powerful men in New York City. The bright stage lights, the huge moving props, the choreography and singing were all absolutely lovely! It was the perfect night. My husband loves me so well. I’m one lucky girl. If you ever get the opportunity to go to the Fox, I highly suggest it.

Something about the production had me pondering on the drive home. The orphan boys had nothing, yet they went out armed with courage and boldness to go against the odds to make a difference, and they succeeded! What is the giant in my own life right now? Currently, it would honestly probably be a fear of failure. Sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, God reminded me that my success in life is not dependent upon the doubts of others or my own, but rather the degree to which I’m staying focused on His promises. It’s God reminding me, “Hellooo, remember when I said that you are more than a conqueror Sydney?” Me, “Ohhh yeahhhh….You did say that didn’t you.” Haha, God is so cool! So I leave you with this, let’s be people of victory armed with truth and love and not afraid to face our giants and pursue our true purpose!