| NINE YEARS | Our story began with the most incredible sunset we’ve ever seen, and a call to embody the gospel in and through our marriage by mutually laying down our selves for each other.
Can you imagine being God and seeing time like a finished book on your shelf? Continue reading “A Beautiful Beginning to 9 years, and counting…”
This image from Propel Women today caught my eye. When the desire to prove, perform or perfect creeps up, I have to remember who I am in Christ. The identity change is a gift. I didn’t earn it, can’t maintain it, can’t lose it. Dwelling on what Christ did for me, what I never could have done myself, what I still can’t do for myself in my pursuit of spiritual growth- mediating on this huge gift of grace stirs up my affections for God much more than the pressure to perform does. You see, it’s all about identity modification, not behavior modification.
I think too often grace is glossed over so we can get down to business, you know, trying really hard for God and important, mature stuff like that. No, grace is not elementary, its not just the starting point, it’s what carries us every moment of the day. Grace transcends humanity- it’s supernatural, unmerited, and other worldly. Continue reading “Identity vs. Behavior Modification”
The DiLeonardi family has some big, bitter-sweet news to share- Matt got a promotion that is relocating us to Seattle in mid-April.
I know. Its really fast, and I’m still in shock. I can’t even begin to process what losing my family, friends, church family, Agape ministries and all I have invested in here means. You guys 😭😭😭 I wanted to take the time and tell more people in person, but I wasn’t able to because of the turn around time, and I also wanted this post to give you each a minute to process this news because it is a fast one.
We will be talking and praying about how Agape Moms, Agape Women, And Agape Family will continue and thrive in my absence. God is going to raise up more people to fill the gaps in leadership and he is going to grow people, and multiply more disciples because of me leaving.
More disciples. That’s the word that God immediately spoke to my heart. More disciples in Tampa through you all, and more disciples in Seattle through my family. That’s what this move and life in Jesus is all about, pouring out our lives wherever He leads us, to make more disciples. It’s submitting our lives. It’s living to serve and not be served. It’s leaving our comfort zones and trusting Him, being desperate for Him to show up. It’s loving recklessly in the face of the death of a season and in the rebirth of a new season. It’s practicing the resurrection. It’s grieving and resting in God and allowing new creation to sprout up through Christ in a new city. It’s taking the Gospel from my Jerusalem, beyond Judea, and to what feels like the ends of the earth, 3,000 miles away. It’s about how God is calling my Agape Tribe to step up and serve more in and through our ministry. It’s making space for more disciples to be made. Continue reading “#moredisciples”
We had such an amazing afternoon GATHER: Agape Love Dessert Party with the Agape Women and our surrounding community! We had an amazing chocolate fountain dessert spread, we did fun love-themed karaoke with all ages, we heard four women share incredible stories of how God’s Agape Love collided with their lives, and we heard God’s Agape Love stories from Luke 15. We prayed and we witnessed women take steps and leaps towards embracing God’s Agape Love in a fresh way, Continue reading “GATHER: Agape Love Stories”
After hearing four women share their Agape Love Stories at our GATHER event, I had the privilege of sharing God’s Agape Love stories from Luke 15: the Lost son and the Entitled son both failed to embrace God’s Agape Love. Much like us, they both went after the blessings of God instead of relationship with God, and this set them on a fast track to being face down in a pig pen, and completely unsatisfied and void of joy trying to earn God’s Love. Continue reading “What The Prodigal and Entitled Sons Have in Common in Luke 15”
#bringyourmess- what began as a simple hashtag I used to try and convey the sort of community God had burdened me to begin back in fall of 2016, has turned into our Agape Moms mantra, a simple saying that has given many mamas the courage to come for the first time. To come out from behind theirs screens, from the pseudo-connection of their social media worlds, from the sudden loneliness that cripples many moms transitioning from working to mom-ing, and having to have some serious identity checks. “Does my worth come from what I do? What about when no one sees what I do, and the amount of butts I wipe and messes I clean, Every. Single. Day?” Things get messy real fast in the mom world, and it’s easy to hide behind our Instagram reels of happy moments, that are likely sandwiched between messy moments before and after the perfect snap.
When I tried to capture this cute pic of me and my kids in our new shirts for Agape Moms, that say “bring your mess” and “I’m the mess” for the kids, I wanted there to be some “mess” visible, so I opened my minivan for you to see the Cheerios, Continue reading “Bring Your Mess”
Hindsight is 20/20, but in the midst of our current struggles, it’s helpful to remember that God is in control of it all, there are no accidents, and somehow He works it all out for His glory and our greater good (Romans 8:28).
After all, we are just supporting characters in the grand narrative of God’s story, where Jesus is the hero, and we are not the main subject. But when things go wrong, this is usually when we become aware of our “hero complex.” Our knee jerk response as things take a turn for the worse is usually, “wait, isn’t God supposed to work everything out for my good?” We tend to have a fixation on self and a narrow perspective. We often fail to see the grand plan that God has, and we forget that we aren’t the main character in the story, He is. Continue reading “We’re Part of God’s Grand Story”