About the Author

Leslie Verner is a goer learning how to stay. Other cultures, spicy food, deep conversations, running, and sunshine feed her soul. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three kids. Her first book, Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness, releases August 2019.

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  1. Thank you for your ‘sharing’ – I have been blessed a thousand times over by the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit – so many seeds planted and growing in the garden of my life…

  2. Leslie,
    I LOVE this…oh what God can do if we simply make ourselves open and available and dare to hold His righteous right hand and jump. I never would have believed that I’d be starting a Christian school in the Middle East in my middle age. I have to admit my first response was a little Jonahesque, but God kept nudging. After getting with the program, I too thought this is so crazy it just might work. And it has. God has blessed this ministry to orphans. He’s serious about looking after the widows and the orphans. Many of them do not have a place to lay their heads down. How wonderful that you took those children in and gave them family and a place called Home. Isn’t that what we all long for….Home? God bless your ministry and for daring to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I’ve read so many of your comments, but I didn’t realize that’s what you did! I think we so often forget God likes to use ordinary people. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. So glad you finally followed through and listened to the gentle nudges of the Spirit;-)

  3. Leslie,

    I’m glad you listened to God. I have a niece who also listened to God. She got her BA in special education at Boston University. Then decided that she wanted to get her masters in China. She was hoping to teach English to Chinese & try to be a missionary there. Fast forward many years. She met a nice Chinese man in her class. They eventually got married moved back to Boston so he could get his masters. Now live in Beijing China with two children (Seth & Silas). The children speak both Chinese & English. They know by looking at you which language to speak.

    I wish I could be that adventurous. The craziest God thing I ever did was go to a maximum security prison with others on a weekend mission trip. We all got to go inside the prison to the main meeting hall & meet the men on the “Kairos” Walk-think Emmaus walk for prisoners. Even talked my new husband to go for a weekend years ago.

    Blessings 🙂

  4. We’ve lived overseas and moved around a LOT, too. I love seeing how God positions us to serve Him wherever we go, especially if it’s somewhere we never would have dreamed of going on our own! May He bless you as you follow His lead in your life!

  5. This is something else!!! And timely! After a very rough year I decided to make the next about my relationship with God, and listening more to His direction. And doing less of what I say is right. I am working on being completely open to Him and see where is takes me. And allowing Him to lead me to what he sees best for me. Oh yes, there is backstory here and I am very well aware that it seems a bit cliché as it is the New Year. But the moment and the New Year just happen to bump into each other. Anyhow, you have reassured me that I am continuing on the right path. Thank you for this!

  6. Leslie, thank you for sharing your experiences abroad, but more importantly, how the world came to you. It’s easy to feel too small to do big things for God. Isn’t that right where he wants us–too small so he can be so big? I will sit in my smallness and watch for God’s bigness all around me!

  7. Thanks for sharing, and yes! So true!! We’ve moved 5 times in our 15 yrs of marriage from AL to ME, and it’s been humbling to see God’s fingerprints the entire journey…and it continues. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your journey with God!

  8. So great, Leslie, to find this encouraging message here. The truth is we never know where the wind of the Spirit is blowing us. The idea we thought was going to be “the next big thing” shrivels and disappears, while the small act of obedience grows into a mighty oak tree for the glory of God.

  9. I love what you wrote: “Yes, life is mainly lived in the ordinary, but what if God wants you to toss off your fear and take one awkward, uncomfortable, or terrifying step into something new and unconventional?”

    I love the reminder that life is lived out in the ordinary but to be open to the uncomfortable and new. God has been pushing me to new boundaries this year as my husband runs for mayor of our community. Never envisioned politics in my arena.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. This timely message is just what I needed to hear today!
    God is Good!

  11. After my husband passed away i wondered where God would lead me…through a series of events i realized my mission field was my home….to young women coming from Germany to serve at our local Youth for Christ ….for a term…what an incredible time it has been …I am now awaiting girl 9,10 and 11 to arrive end of January …my daughter and family just moved to Germany as missionaries and guess what… all the girls live less than 2 hrs away from her….God is so good…

  12. at 58, I’m just stepping into the prompting of the Lord, though those who know me say I’ve been doing wild and crazy things for Jesus since I was 9. I have to tell my story… and you are another voice of God’s telling me to “go”… not to somewhere, but into his purpose for my life. thank you!

  13. Those Spirit nudgings are usually soooooooo uncomfortable for me – and ONLY thru historic (tho not steady!) following have I realized it’s always better to go with the celestially humored discomfort from Father- ALWAYS!

  14. Leslie, what a gifted story-teller you are. “Spirit-born,” and “Spirit-powered” ideas are the ones we live for, aren’t they? I pray His plans are born in my heart this year, and that I have ears to hear them. — Love how He “sent the nations to (you).” Such a sweet testimony. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  15. Thank you for this confirmation that if I am listening to and obeying the holy spirit then God will order my steps. Much as I have previously planted God inspired tiny seeds in my life last year I took the biggest leap and steped out on faith. I have not forgotten that the same holy spirit two years ago prompted me to move to the bay area. The move turned out to be perfect for my cousin who got into a college here and has family support close by which is important for a young adult moving across the globe from Kenya to the US. Thank you for reminding me that God’s ways are not our ways and its a good thing otherwise the best connections in life would never be made. God bless.

    • Priscilla, thanks for your comment. I love when we catch a glimpse of God at work in our ordinary lives. Thanks for reading, commenting and reflecting.

  16. This post hits right on the mark for me right now! I have been obedient to God’s prompt to ‘wait and water’ for a long time, and things are sprouting exactly as He promised they would! (As if there was ever any doubt!) I also struggled to settle back into my everyday ordinary after doing missions (also to China) – to ‘just’ being a wife and a mom. Then God started to show me how He intended to use me here. And it is honestly more than I could ever have imagined! Thank you for the encouragement today!
    Also, the verse you use in the title of your website is one of my absolute favourites!

    • Hey Jamie! It sounds like we have parallel stories in some ways–love that. Thanks for sharing some of your story and experience. God likes to keep us guessing, doesn’t He?

  17. Leslie,
    Thanks for your story. Like you I have traveled many places and was born and raised in West Africa. I now teach ESL at a Denver Public High School. Thank you for sharing the different paths and ways how God can have be in our stories and use us in our paths. Perhaps one day we can meet as we both live in Colorado

    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for reading and commenting. Our stories are rarely predictable–even the ordinary ones;-) Maybe I’ll see you in Colorado sometime;-)

  18. Thanks, Leslie! This is a challenge that’s particularly relevant for me at the beginning of this new year. We live in a community and country that constantly requires us to step out of our comfort zones, but it’s amazing how God empowers us to keep doing the things He places in our hearts.

  19. Leslie, your post really resonated with me. God is teaching me about obedience, and your experience is inspiring. I pray that I will be obedient to Him in ALL things … big and small. And I also pray that I pay attention to those longings the Holy Spirit places in my heart.

    Many thanks!

    Have a blessed day!
    Lara <

  20. This post stirred something powerful in my heart. I have big dreams and hopes for the things God will do in my life and my family. We are a military family, stuck in a period of waiting. It is so hard to be patient during the wait, but I anticipate that God is using this time to bring about his purposes.

  21. When I finally surrendered to the things God was calling me to, life became an adventure and I’m grateful for it everyday! He takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary, but we have to be brave enough to step out. It’s amazing what he has done in your life with your gifts!!