Category Archives: life stories

Boy, Do I Have a Story to Share!

I have been told more than once how amazing it is that I could write my book about my experiences- or create videos that share something I learned on a given day.  “I just don’t have those kind of things happen to me. But it’s nice that you do!

Hmmm? Could it be that I have more things happen to me than you do? I doubt it.  Would God show up in my story more than He would in yours?  I don’t think so.

I don’t have a secret password to get to God.  I have bad things happen just as much as I have good.  Some of you wouldn’t want my story- and I wouldn’t want yours.

But my story Continue reading Boy, Do I Have a Story to Share!

The Beauty of Signing a Book!

OK! It’s official! I’m an author!  I held my first book signing thanks to the gracious and persistent Tanya Augsburger of the Bluffton Public Library, Bluffton, OH.

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Months ago- before there was an actual book, Tanya engaged me to consider hosting an author event at the library.  I thought she was jumping the gun, but I appreciated her thinking ahead for me. It was a delight for me to work with Tanya to put together this book signing event. I am so grateful for her and the Library for hosting this opportunity.

I knew that book signings were often part of an author’s next steps.  I knew that it was valuable to connect with interested and potential new readers.

But I witnessed so much BEAUTY in this moment and in the people who attended. Continue reading The Beauty of Signing a Book!

Influence Like a Dandelion

Ten years ago next weekend, we gathered to remember a spunky little gal named Leisha.

We celebrated her life And mourned our loss of her.

We remembered the things she didTo make us laugh

To make us cry,

To make us crazy!

She touched our lives and she taught us,

She changed us in the living and the dying.

Would she have made such a difference in our lives if she had just lived?  I know I’m her momma, but I think so.

The day she died, I met her on our country road. I was teasing her because she was so eager to get her driver’s permit. I said,” you just want power. ”

I could see the wheels spinning in her head and her eyes were sparkling.

She spoke,  “I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say, I’m going come with me.”

“Honey you were made to influence,” I replied as I stroked her nose like I had so many days since she was born.

10 minutes later,  she was gone.

I want to influence. I want to say, I'm going come with me. Click To Tweet

my first bookSeveral have asked why, out of all the pictures I have of Leisha,  I chose a black and white one of her blowing a dandelion for the cover.

Well, dandelions have long been important at the Burrus house.

For one thing, Continue reading Influence Like a Dandelion

Lovely Traces from Sarah

My friend Sarah, over at Simply Sarah: A Seer of People, has recently shared some of her memories of Leisha as we have talked about the soon to be published book Lovely Traces of Hope.

I asked if I could share her most recent post.  I thought you might find it interesting as well.  Sarah shares her story in the book Lovely Traces of Hope, due out August 2016.  If you have other memories or comments, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Thank you Sarah! You are Simply Breathtaking!

“Your Smile Made Me Smile”

by Simply Sarah, June 14,  2016
Seerofpeople.com

“I believe that once it lives, beauty never dies. I’ll never forget those eyes.” – Leisha by Josiah Gillespie (Written by Josiah Gillespie, 2006)

A lot of tragic things have been happening lately, in my personal life (as I talked about in my last post), in our city (3 shootings in 3 days), and in our country (Christina Grimmie’s murder and the shooting in Orlando). This has only added on to what I have already been feeling since March.

You see I experienced a great loss in my life almost ten years ago, and I relieved that experience by reading about it from the perspective of another back in March. Ever since then I have thought about it from time to time. I have the past (almost) 10 years anyway, but especially these past few months as I relived it in a way and God brought me to deeper healing with it.

For those of you who do not know, when I was 15-years-old one of my best friends, Leisha, ran out of this world and into the arms of our Savior. Continue reading Lovely Traces from Sarah

Grateful for this Woman of Influence

This past weekend I received an email from this special lady pictured Linda Dillow- wrote forwardwith me in the photo. Her name is Linda Dillow.  The email is the forward she has written for the book, Lovely Traces of Hope.

Linda has been my mentor in life, marriage, and worship most of my adult life, though we have only met a dozen times or so.  I received her first book  as a wedding present in 1979.  I have read all of her books since.  (I’ll list my favorites at the end of this post.)

It has seemed that just when I needed to take a next step, she was putting out the next book.  When I was invited to lead a worship team to Ukraine, she was the speaker at that same conference.  No, we didn’t plan it.  When Rennie and I were on sabbatical, she invited us to stay in their home for 10 days while they were away.

For whatever reason God chose to place her in my life over and over again, I am eternally grateful.  She led me in a journey of contentment, worship, marriage, sex even.  She encouraged me to find contentment in my life and see my words, attitudes, work, and my waiting -even my pain – as an act of worship. She led me in worship, not in songs of worship, but in worship of two hearts bowed at the sofa, remembering who God is, recalling what he has done and praising him from the core of our beings.  She invited me to see that my marriage was a reflection to my world of God’s love for us.  She challenged me to want more for my relationship with Ren.

Linda is one of my heroes!  No, this is not hero worship.  This is gratitude.  I trust her.  I know she is a woman who pursues God and points others to him, because I have seen her do it.  Not to one or two women, but to thousands, perhaps more.  Not for a short time, but for her lifetime.  I know. I’ve been watching her for 37 years now. Linda is the real deal. She is a woman of influence!

That is why I am humbled and grateful that she has written this forward for the book.  I could make you wait to read it in the book, but I just had to share it.  Take a peek. Here’s what a woman you can trust has to say.

FORWARD for Lovely Traces of Hope.

What does a mom do when her beautiful, vibrant fifteen year old daughter is suddenly, harshly, instantly gone? Grieve? Of course. Go on a long journey of seeking God and healing? Yes. Kathy did these things but also did something very unusual.

After Leisha died, she opened her daughter’s journal and found Leisha’s “book.” If she flipped Leisha’s journal over and upside down and opened the cover, Kathy found her daughter had started to write her own story. She even included the title page.

Lovely Traces

So Kathy began writing to finish Leisha’s story.

The Burrus family: mom, dad and three girls came to have a vacation in our basement in Colorado Springs in 2002. It was a special time to get to know Kathy, Rennie and their three lovely daughters, Caitlin, Brielle and Leisha. A few short years later, Leisha was singing in heaven and Kathy was finishing her story. As I read Lovely Traces of Hope, I smiled, I cried and I wrote these words to Kathy about the book she and Leisha had written.

Thank you for walking through the dark tunnel to His Light

Thank you for writing so honestly and vulnerably for me and others about grief and pain and how to walk….believing that there is HIS Light somewhere ahead

Thank you for “taking your clothes off” and being real

Thank you for revealing the beauty of walking the Christ walk

Why do I think you should read this book? Let me use Leisha’s name to tell you.

L egacy

Both Leisha and Kathy have much to share about building your legacy. Kathy says, “When we intentionally NOTICE what really is happening, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we are learning from it. More importantly we see what God has been doing. We NOTICE His fingerprints, HIS HAND on our everyday, ordinary lives.”  That is especially true when we reckon with the painful areas that may leave us paralyzed in some way. Many times just “noticing” allows us to reframe the events and their effects on our future.

E ncouragement

As a mom, Kathy gave me hope, showed me how to face problems with teens, how to reach inside myself and be willing to look honestly at “me.”  We all face loss. Loss is not the defining moment of our lives, it is how we respond to loss that matters. Kathy helped me see in a new way that healing is a progression.

I nfluence

Not many fifteen year olds think about being an influence—they are too busy thinking about boys, clothes or the Friday night party. Leisha wanted to be MAD (Make a Difference)! At her tender age, she thought about being an influence and leaving a legacy. Teens need to read this book!

S incere

Kathy is honest. Listen to her sincere words. I hesitate to write these next pages. Offering them here is a risk. What will you think of me if I tell of the places in our lives we didn’t have it all together? What if I take off the mask enough for you to see me as I really am?

H oly

Leisha and Kathy’s book points you to the Lord God Almighty. In pain. In grief. When life is a dark tunnel, Kathy discovered that God is still Light. She says, I had to learn to NOTICE God showing up differently.

A dvance

This book is an advance. It takes you forward in your thinking, in your faith, in your personal journey toward the legacy you are creating. Books have been written on grief. Kathy achingly walks you through how she processed her grief. Books have been written on how to help your teen and whole family walk through trials, Kathy shows you how her family did it.

Leisha and Kathy’s combined story is for every mom, every teen….really for everyone. I highly recommend Lovely Traces of Hope to you. I promise you it will lead you to hope as it did me!

LINDA DILLOW
Author
Calm My Anxious Heart
Satisfy My Thirsty Soul
What’s It Like to Be Married to Me?

Co-Author
Intimate Issues
Passion Pursuit
Surprised by the Healer

Want to get updates or join the launch team for Lovely Traces of Hope? click here!

That’s Influence!

This past week, my daughter lost a mentor.  Denny Griffith had been the president of CCAD, Columbus College of Art & Design while she was a student there.  She describes him often as such an instrumental person, a spectacular man, an artist, and a person of influence.

I always marveled at the closeness she felt toward him.  And then I read one of her Facebook posts this week.  She wrote: Continue reading That’s Influence!