Thursday, April 28, 2011

20 years ago today!

April 28, 1991

I can tell you what I was doing!
20 years ago today, I was experiencing the birth of our 3rd daughter.
Leisha Danae Burrus born to 12:16pm, weighing 8 lbs. 10 oz, measuring 20 1/2 inches long.
We announced her as the Major 3rd of the Burrus girls trio!

She was born on a Sunday- that just happened to be the Dedication Sunday of Calvary church's new auditorium. Her daddy was in charge of the worship team that morning- but had to leave before the service began to be present at her birth. As the people were closing the service by having a dedication of a next generation of children that will grow up in this new facility- Leisha was making her presence known to us.

Ren and I were just out there this month for a speaking engagement. We went by that church, and the hospital where Leisha & Brielle were both born. We spent time with friends that were part of our lives then and my sister and her family. When I booked that opportunity, I didn't even think about the fact that the Lord was taking me back to that place where she was born 20 years to the month earlier. I'm so grateful He knew I would need to be there- to remember- to celebrate and to grieve.

This August, it will be 5 years since she ran into heaven. As Ren said this morning, in some ways, it seems to get harder the longer it is. Our grief is more 'managable', but maybe that's part of the hard part. It seems to be every bit as strong.

But today is about celebrating her life! Because her life made a huge difference in our lives. I would love to hear if her life impacted yours! Make a comment to this blog, or send me an email.

My life was changed because since she was very young, she was clear on what she wanted. And even if it meant losing another privilege, she would do what was most important to her. For instance, she didn't like vegetable soup. We learned later that it was because all of the vegetables were touching. If we allowed her to pick out the vegetables, and seperate them on a plate- then she would eat them. But we didn't know that when she was three. She wouldn't eat it, and had already been at the kitchen counter long after the others had gone. Finally her dad, trying to teach her the importance of eating her vegetables, and partly because we ran out of options, told her he would have to spank her if she didn't finish her soup. She sat there quite a while longer, then finally got up and headed up stairs. Ren said, "Where are you going?" She calmly replied, "Upstairs to get ready for my spanking, cause I'm not going to eat that!" Ren just looked at me and said, "Now what!" I just smiled and reminded him that he made the deal. I don't think he ever used that with her again.

But I've been struck by several pictures recently. Ever since we redid her room, each of us have taken on some 'new' thing. Ren's grown his business, Cait & Brie both left for a semester abroad, and I started some course work to become certified as a life coach. Little did I know, within 4 four months, I would quit my part time job at the church and prepare to launch my own coaching practice. Ren, Caitlin and Brielle have been very support of my next step. They have been part of designing logo's & brochures and reading manuscripts, etc. But I have, from the very beginning of this venture, sensed that Leisha was part of it with me.

I'm sure I've told that story before, but she came running in one morning after worship team practice and said, "I just found out that my favorite color means my favorite word". Unsure of even her favorite color I asked what she meant. "Green means hope!" So often in the last 5 years I have grabbed up everything green I can find. I have green pens & highlighters, and calenders & mugs. I wear green alot now- never used to wear green at all. I even have a green Bible now. Haven't found the right handbag yet- but when I do, you can bet I'll be getting it. So it was quite natural for me to name my new practice, Green Hope Coaching.

This week, a coach I am working with, asked me what was pushing me to reach my dreams in my new business. I knew right away! It was Leisha's last reminder to me. That afternoon she died I was teasing her that she was so impatient to get her driver's license because she wanted 'power'. I could tell the wheels were turning behind those eyes as she pondered that. Then she said, "You know Mom, I don't want power. I want to influence. I want to say to people, 'I'm going! Come with me!" As I have pondered those words, I realize that I want to influence too! And you can't say to people, 'Come with me' if you aren't going. Not only were her words a huge push for me now in my business, but they were a dynamic influence in walking through my grief of losing her presence in my life.

Her life and her passion continue to speaks into mine. So together we move forward!

Leisha, I celebrate the day you were born! Thank you for living so intensely, so out loud!

I love you!



  1. In my mind I can see Leisha smiling at me, but then she was always smiling. She loved from her soul to yours, full of personality and confidence. I have no doubt that she is God's favorite:) I can't wait to see her again someday... I know she will scream my name and run to me like see once did and I have a feeling that she will be the leader of the pack at the Heavens Gate Greeters Association;) Love you and your wonderful family and thinking about you today. Steve and I had to laugh as we remembered her and her many antics.

  2. From Kelly Ridge via facebook:
    I couldn't figure out how to make a comment to your blog so I just decided to send you a message this way. Leisha, as you know, was very important to our family. Jameson and Leisha had a very special friendship and he still talks about her often and misses her so much. Jesslyn was about 11 when Leisha went to be with the Lord, but she remembers and has been influenced so much by Leisha's walk with Christ. I watched she and Jameson grow up together and really got to know her so much more when she was assigned to my group at Confrontation Point. She kept us entertained with her talking, and talking and more talking! She was very open about her feelings and love for her family. I remember that this was a difficult time for your family in ministry and she hurt so much over the struggles that church ministry brings. On the days of the rock climbing and repelling she was so brave and was there to encourage the other kids to face their fears. On the very last night, I had the wonderful privelege of washing her feet and praying for this little baby girl who had grown into a beautiful young lady and servant of God. Our family has been so blessed by knowing Leisha and the rest of your wonderful family! We will be praying for you today. Leisha and Jameson shared the same birthday week so I always think of her on his birthday. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for our "Royal Luncheon!" Love You, Kelly