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Author: jofleonard63

Separated from her parents at the tender age of seven, Joanna F. Leonard endured emotional and physical abuse throughout her childhood at a New Hampshire boarding school. She shares her journey and prays that God will use her story to strengthen others on their own journey to freedom.
Validation: Making the Person Bigger than the Problem

Validation: Making the Person Bigger than the Problem

“I want you both to practice making the person bigger than the problem.” This was my husband’s and my homework assignment given by our personal coach last week. As I jotted down the assignment I was grateful it was short and concise.  Within hours this assignment grew in complexity as I attempted to implement it. I began to question how does “keep the person bigger than the problem look?”  Most of us grow up noticing problems and either learn to…

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Parenting: Seeing Joy Through the Tears

Parenting: Seeing Joy Through the Tears

Have you ever found yourself in an empty room longing to turn back time? Have you stared at your life calendar and wondered where the years have gone? Today I experience this epiphany. Returning from the airport I head for our spare room. It’s vacant. The only reminder that our twenty-two year old son was here are the crates of clothes and his belongings stacked in the corner of the room. The bed is not made and the covers turned…

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Joy-Filled​ Moments

Joy-Filled​ Moments

                                I grew up with little joy in my home and the environment I lived in. I often wondered if my sister Debbie’s death just one year before my birth had an impact on why I felt so little joy. Perhaps enduring six years of separation from my parents at a young age contributed to my depression. Was it the abuse I sustained that made joy seem so elusive? Why do childhood memories often haunt us and joy-filled memories fade…

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The Power of Appreciation

The Power of Appreciation

Appreciation to the human soul does what water will do for a wilted plant. While visiting my garden I was shocked to see the condition of my plants I had bought days earlier. They lay limp on the ground. What was beautiful and green was now wilted and appeared lifeless. I quickly watered them and to my delight they stood erect and once again resembled the plants I had handpicked and loved. Living without appreciation is likened to my plants…

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The Joy of Suffering

The Joy of Suffering

Jesus surrendered to the death of the cross willingly. For his entire life on this earth He had one purpose in mind and that was to rescue you and me. There is so much to be learned from His life. As we prepare for Easter we celebrate today, Palm Sunday. (Matt 21: 1-9) On this day we commemorate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem and recall the palm branches the multitudes lay in front of Him. We see Jesus sitting…

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The Winning Team

The Winning Team

The day was perfect for walking the beach with my friend Norma. What had settled in my soul began to pour out. It was Thursday and I had been wounded by the words of a close friend on Saturday. I had prayed but was unable to clear my thoughts of the words spoken against me now creating trauma. I told Norma, “I know God tells me to love my enemy. If this individual had enemy written on their forehead, I’d…

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SURRENDER

SURRENDER

                                                                              The year was 2007. I will never forget that phone call. My husband, Lanny, and I were on our way home from a business trip. I heard my son’s voice. “Mom, Dad, what time will you be arriving home? I have someone I want you to meet”. We were just months away from our son beginning college at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Kyle, was enrolled in the film and video program. This seemed to be a perfect fit for…

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The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness

Choosing to forgive reclaims territory from the enemy of my soul. It disarms Satan, rendering him powerless in my life. This is not a truth I have long embraced. My journey through pain, suffering, and abuse led to anger and bitterness. For years I felt justified in my pain. I had been wronged. This justification led to isolation which led me into a life of deception. For years pain and suffering consumed me. Without forgiveness it wasn’t possible for me…

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Valentine Smile

Valentine Smile

In loving memory of Denise Maglione Feb. 14, 1953 – July 15, 2018 Your beautiful smile will forever bring joy to our hearts. Those are the words scribe onto a bench in the Riviera Park on Beach Street in Ormond. Facing the Halifax river it provides a resting spot for all. I met Denise shortly after moving to Ormond Beach in 2014. She was one of the first people to welcome me to my new rental home and neighborhood. In…

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Fear is a Liar

Fear is a Liar

Isaiah 43:1 Don’t fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. God commands us not to fear or worry. Why did God see fit to address fear and anxiety over 300 times in the Bible? Could it be because he knows the strategies our enemy the devil would use to attack our hope and limit our victories? I’d like to share some insight that God gave me months ago in a counseling session….

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