Interview with Leah Richardson, author of “Interior Wisdom” Part 4
Yolanda: I expected a thirty minutes interview and I could like go on and on talking with you. You are just fount of wisdom. I am definitely going to make it down to your Replenish retreat one of these days!
Leah Richardson: That’s great!
Yolanda: Because I have seen all the pictures and I am like, Oh, that looks so amazing!
Leah Richardson: I would love for you to come. It is a very special time and it is amazing what God does when we pull away. It’s good to pull away, because the world would tell you. You have to keep going 90 to nothing, and that little business of yours won’t run without you! But God honors those who honor Him and when we pull away to fill up, to just empty ourselves it’s a kind of replenishing. It is amazing what God pours out of our lives, because we are just a vessel. We are just a vessel. So when we pull away to fill up, He will definitely pour us back out in amazing and beautiful ways.
Yolanda: That is wonderful. One question. My last question that I will ask. How did Replenish come about? You just moved down to the farm. How did that come about? How did God move to make that happen?
Leah Richardson: That is an amazing story.
Leah Richardson: I am sorry that I am so long winded.
Yolanda: It is okay. No, I love it. I love it. I love it!
Leah Richardson: I could go all day long too. Before we left New Orleans, I had agreed to speak at a private ranch in Mississippi. We moved back to Florida, I get on the plane and fly over to Mississippi and drive back into rural southern Mississippi to a beautiful private ranch with exotic animals.
Women from New Orleans have driven over and women from Dallas have flown in to hear me speak. It is for the Stewart book club, which is a hundred year old book club. And so I was going to do an interior design presentation. And I had a PowerPoint. I had pictures from my book. I taught that material but on a couple of pictures I had scriptures across the top. Like Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”. At the end of the presentation, totally unplanned, I gave my testimony. And these women were totally undone.
God came down and the total atmosphere of the room changed. It was amazing. The women were crying and women wanted prayer, and it was just… I can’t even really articulate what happened, but I got on the plane to fly home, I could hardly talk; there was something that was stirring so deep in my belly.
I got home and when Jim sees me like this, he knows to just let me be.
And right away, I started journaling. I sketched out this lake. This farm house and gardens behind the farmhouse and then a chicken coop. I featured a beautiful piece of property and wrote “women’s retreat.” Where women can come…. the whole plan of Replenish about two and a half years before we even found the farm.
So I called my spiritual mental mentor Ruth. And a dear friend of mine Marcy who is a part of Replenish and I said “God has just given me a vision. I want you to be praying for me…. that I will be watchful. I will guard this. That He will give birth to this. I am very excited.” So, I went through seasons, I went through the winter, spring, summer, winter and I had almost lost my vision.
I had almost given up. It was Mother’s day 2011, which is a Sunday. I was having my quiet time upstairs. Jim was having his quiet time downstairs. And he yelled up to me, “Leah, don’t get dressed for church. We are going to find the next season in our lives.”
And I said, “Really?”
He said, “Yeah, so dress casually. And so we got dressed and we drove. We had a lovely little Greek lunch. We drove all around these little towns near where I live now. By 4:00 I was getting discouraged and did as any good southern girl does when she doesn’t get her way, I started pouting. I said “I guess we are not there yet blah, blah, blah.” We had driven around this beautiful lake and were about to get on I-4 and drive back to Orlando where we were living in Winter Park. Jim said “I think we are supposed to drive back around the lake.” I said “okay, but not much else.”
We drove back around the lake and got back on New York Avenue, and I looked to my right, and low and behold, I start screaming. I looked at the lake. I see this big farm house. I’m like “turn here!” And Jim passed it like two or three times trying to get down the little side lane that goes beside the house. As we drove down the lane. There was a little goat milking shed and I could see the chicken coop.
There was this old broken down oversized tennis court. I saw the gardens. It was two and a half acres of orange grove. I saw my vision. We drive back and I am so excited! Let me back up one little bit. The scripture that morning in my guesthouse was very near and dear to my heart. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We made an appointment to look at this property, that we call The Farm, on Tuesday. But the elderly couple were in their eighties and he has cancer. We couldn’t come until Wednesday.
When I sat down for my quiet time Wednesday morning, both of my devotional books not only had the scripture from Sunday, but the two scriptures that I had as the banner over my vision that God had given me. Exodus 33:14. My presence will go with you, and I will give you peace. I will give you rest. I will give you success is the translation from The Message Bible. God was telling me everything is going to be fine. He had opened all the doors.
And in June it will be three years that we have been here. We lived in the little cottage behind the house. Six months later we held the first Replenish and it has been an amazing journey to see God make this place a place of healing and hope. He has brought hundreds of women here to be “Replenished.”
Lives have been changed. Women who have come heard God’s calling have stepped up and launched ministries, because God gave them a calling while they were here. I have seen marriages healed. It has been amazing what God has done on The Farm.
Yolanda: On the farm.
Leah Richardson: On The Farm.
Yolanda: Great. That is a great way to end things, because I can’t wait to see the ministry is still pretty young. I will go down when I can. I will definitely be looking on your blog for developments and any devotional that you pursue. I just can’t wait to hear even more from your ministry and from you. I feel like I know you. We haven’t spoken a long time, but I just wanted to tell you how you touched me.
Leah Richardson: Thank you! You definitely blessed me. You have a great heart. Just us talking has blessed me tremendously! Thank you for the opportunity to share more about “Interior Wisdom.” You can share with your readers that they can purchase Interior Wisdom through my website or order it through the amazon.com or bn.com. I am praying that like Alexandra Stoddard’s book, Interior Wisdom will be on the shelf for years and years to come, encouraging women to put God first and open their homes and their lives and their hearts to all God has for them, because truly a beautiful life starts with Jesus dwelling in the interior. Right?
Yolanda: Yeah. Making a scripture a part of our lives…
Leah Richardson: Absolutely.
Yolanda: Every single day and in every single way teaching our kids to having it be the center of our homes and our marriages. Having God center and having his Word as a beacon that makes us closer to him and closer to each other.
Leah Richardson: Absolutely.
Yolanda: I can’t wait to share this.
Leah Richardson: Thank you so much.
Yolanda: Thank you!