Lisa Leonard
About the Author

Lisa Leonard is mom to two boys, David, 13 and Matthias, 12 and wife to Steve. In between school and work they spend their time playing outdoors on the central coast of California, eating chocolate chip pancakes, tapping tunes on the piano (David) and choreographing elaborate light saber duels (Matthias)....

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. While we all have our own Goliaths, your story made mine seem smaller and less significant than it does most days…Thank you for sharing your precious son’s story, which is ultimately your story, too. What an amazing David you have!

    • Thank you Beth. I honestly think each of us has our own giants–and your giant matters too. It’s hard. Sending you a big hug. xx

  2. As my Goliaths pale in comparison to those around me, including your beautiful, bittersweet story, they make me all the more thankful to the Great I Am. And this story comes at a blessedly Appointed Time, as I do have a sweet neighbor who just this very morning is setting out to take her son, one of two autistic children I might add (!), to the hospital for yet another surgery on legs that face outward causing his ambulation to limit him in his daily activities, plus, she, herself, battles even more “Goliaths” in that she faces all these things as a single parent, scorned and rejected by an unfaithful husband. May our dear Father bless them with peace today that exceeds all understanding. In our dear Lord’s Name, I pray with you all. Amen

    • God meets us with grace every day, in those hard times. Sometimes life seems way to big and scary. Hugs to you Lynn. You obviously care deeply about your neighbor and I’m sure you’re an encouragement to her! xx

  3. This post truly made my morning! David seems like such a smart, lovely and beautiful young man. The Lord is truly shining through him to touch others lives! He touched my heart this morning and I thank you so much for sharing! May God continue to bless you and David and your beautiful family! Sending love and prayers your way! 🙂

  4. Lisa, what a beautiful testimony about your son. I love that God planted your son’s name in your heart before he was born. It sounds like God has taught you how to love him well, and teach him joy in the hard days. I love his smile.

    Sometimes my goliaths are more the internal kind—remembering truths that God has taught me and choosing to believe them. And teaching our boys how to do the same.

    Loved your post today!

    • Those internal giants can be the hardest to fight. Sending you a hug for bravery. xx

  5. I am thankful for my healthy children. Your son is an inspiration!
    I was diagnosed with a chronic, incurable digestive illness 3 1/2 years ago and each day is a battle to get through but I have fought and fought to get to a manageable point avoiding surgery. I have now been diagnosed with a second chronic, incurable illness and it seems too much to bear. I feel so defeated and when the pain hits it literally brings me to my knees and I cannot do anything until the flare passes.

    • Oh Diane, this sounds so hard. I’m praying peace of you in the midst of unbearable circumstances. You are not alone in your suffering. xx

    • Diane,
      Prayers for healing and relief! May God bring about a miracle in your life and cure what man says is incurable! Prayers for peace and contentment for your body, soul and mind!
      Blessings 🙂

  6. Lisa,
    What a blessing David is, there is much to be learned from him. Thank-you and David so much for helping me to realize what or who my Goliath is.

    May the Lord keep blessing you and your family,


  7. Lisa, I love following you on Facebook and seeing your family grow. I love seeing the hiking pictures with David on your husband’s back. Such a great example of how the Lord carries His children. David is an inspiration to us all and so is his Mum. I have children with disabilities too, but love to hear how God grows the hearts of mums like me, to see the bigger picture.

  8. First I want to say, your David is a handsome little boy, you can see his joy in each of these pictures and that is beautiful.

    My Goliath is my struggle with depression.

    • Nette, depression is a scary giant. Thank you for sharing honestly. The more we talk about depression openly the less alone we feel. You are not alone. You matter. You are loved. I’m praying right now that you will begin to discover joy and hope again. Hugs to you, Nette. xx

    • Rose, he is a gift. Not one that I asked for, but a better gift than I could ever imagine. xo

  9. As I think about Goliaths I am reminded that even though David stood and faced his with just a stone on his own…we don’t have to face ours alone. Your David, has you by his side holding his hand. Beautiful. In my life, facing my own health Goliath, some unidentifiable auto immune thing, maybe…because we don’t know and the Dr says we should wait and see. But, I am also not alone. My husband is beside me, holding my hand, walking through this with me. Blessings to you and David.

    • To have someone by your side, standing with you in a huge thing. Thank you Sarah. xx

  10. My husband and I have 4 children. Our oldest, Joshua, was born with Down Syndrome. Like your son…and yet different from your son…he faces challenges every day. And there are times when I think my heart will break at how hard he works to accomplish some of the most simple tasks. Most of the time, I don’t think about it. I choose to push it to the back of my mind, because I love him so much and I am so thankful for him. I don’t want to waste a minute thinking of what I wish for him…when he is everything he is supposed to be right now. He is innocent and wise. When he smiles, his almond-shaped eyes crinkle up, and I think I am going to die at the beauty of his life. God has been so gracious to our family…so gentle as He’s led us. Thank you for this post. I get much encouragement from other moms who walk a similar path.

    • Marty, your words are beautiful and I resonate deeply with your heart. Hugs to you. xx

  11. Momma, I just wanted to encourage you. The reason your David has the courage and bravery to face his Goliath every day is because of you. Clearly, you have taught him to be a victor and not a victim. So today and everyday you look at your brave boy, know it’s because of your leaning into Papa that enables him to do so. Thank you for encouraging me in my role as a momma and influencer 🙂 with love and blessings prayed over you!

  12. Thank you for sharing your David’s story, it is so inspiring to hear of how he faces his days. I am in the middle of my own battle with cancer, but just as your David reaches up and takes your hand in order to lead you, I take the hand of my Savior everyday and ask Him to lead me where I need to go, give me instruction on what I need to do to survive this day and for His strength to face my giant! Blessings on you and your family!

    • Yes, he holds us. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart, Mary. xx

  13. What a beautiful story! I love how brave kids are – as a teacher, that’s a lesson I’m constantly learning from them 🙂 For the past few years, I’ve picked a word to be my “theme” for the year. This year my word is “brave.” I want to be especially brave this year, following God’s leading and trusting Him without doubt (though I’m still working on it!). Your story is a reminder to me about that. Thank you.

  14. We get wrapped up in our own Giants that we too often try to battle ourselves until we realize we can’t do it without Gods divine power and strength or we realize that what we thought are Giants aren’t really when we read about testimonies like your David facing his Giants and doing it with a true Heart of God. May God continue to be with your family and give you the healing the power and the strength that you need.

  15. Bless you! And bless your sweet David! He is adorable…but then you already know that. 🙂
    I’m fighting Goliath for my 86 year old mom facing deteriorating memory and my wonderful brother battling cancer…so sad at times…but trusting my awesome God! As I know you are!
    Blessings to you and your whole family!

    • Sometimes life is so sad. It’s hard to move through those days. I’m praying grace and strength over you, Susan. xx

  16. Thank you for sharing your amazing David’s accomplishment and all that The Lord is doing in his young life through his example of joy, peace and love.

  17. I agree with Stephanie: your David is an inspiration, the way he spreads joy wherever he goes, whatever he’s facing. Thank you for sharing his story. I have a feeling he will remain in our hearts and minds, encouraging us to face our Goliaths with his same grace.

  18. I look at your pictures of your beautiful family and read your posts and I am amazed at your strength. I am an RN in a NICU so I know a little about what you have gone through, but only a little. Your faith and belief in God never stops. I struggle with that. I have had so much pain in my life. I pray, but do not know if He listens or hears me. I wish I could be more like you. Thank you for sharing your life and your family, it means so much. With love- Michele

  19. Lisa, you warm my heart and bring me to tears at the same time. I hope my comments will be an encouragement to you as well. My daughter Stephanie was born with CDLS 37 years ago. She also faces her challenges everyday. I must say that God has really blessed us because Stephi is very high functioning for a CDLS child. She is able to walk and talk (and talk!) unlike a lot of other CDLS children. She was also born with a serious heart defect and had open heart surgery at 2. The doctors told us the night of the surgery they didn’t think she would make it through the next 48 hours. But they did not know the strength and courage of our Stephi. She has also battled learning disabilities, behavior issues, kidney, bladder, intestinal and reflux issues all her life. But that has not slowed her down. She was able to finish school at a private school for children with disabilities with a certificate of completion and has worked at a sheltered workshop for mentally challenged adults for the last 16 years. Because of her behavior issues, she can really wear us down at times but when she is having her good times she is the sweetest most loving, and kind person in the world and will just melt your heart. She has touched so many lives in the last 37 years and has definitely made me the person I am today. I hope the fact that I am able to share with you how Stephanie has survived despite the odds, what she has been able to accomplish and how she has impacted so many people who have the privilege of knowing her, will provide you with some encouragement as well. Also, I had a very dear friend at church who was also the mother of a special child who told me once “God only gives special children to special moms”. I know at times I don’t really feel special but God has given me a special roll and I am so very thankful for His love and guidance and the gift of our “Stephi”. May God bless you and continue to give you strength and guidance!

  20. Both of my boys face their own Goliath everyday. Children are amazing. I feel somewhat powerless as a parent watching my children struggle with cognitive and speech delays I also watch in awe. They are happy! Happy = successful in my book.

  21. You write so beautifully. Thank you for sharing such an personal glimpse and perspective into your life.

    My Goliath is many things, the biggest is that my husband and I can’t seem to have a baby. Everyone always talks about adoption or invitro or other science. But I have yet to feel it in my heart to pursue either. So people say things like- how could you not want to adopt, well you must not truly want children you don’t want to adopt, so it must be meant to be. Or the classic one- just relax- it’ll happen when you stop thinking about it. I believe in God’s will and timing but it still aches. Especially when every other news story is that of a child’s death or injury due to their parents blatant intentions and negligence. All I can do is pray for God’s will, and even though I believe it- there are still days when it aches so horribly.

  22. My little Lady is facing her giants every day with severe SPD but enjoys life to its fullest. In her own way, but she surely does.
    Lisa, I always love reading about David and your lives. It sure helps people to look differently at children like ours. Thank you!

  23. Lisa,
    Your son and ones like him are an inspiration to me. They have problems, but don’t let them dampen their spirits. They are full of life and joy all the time. It puts me to shame when I whimper and whine about “small” un-significant trials that I face. If we have God then we have all we need to face those Goliaths in our life!

    Blessings to you and especially David 🙂