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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    • Amy. I am as struck by your comment as I am by Lisa’s posting.

      “Wonderfully Made” – how often I forget this…………

      The scriptures all apply to ME. So then, too, does Psalm 139.

      Thank you, Ladies


  1. Thank you for sharing your story…my heart was transported back to our son birth. He was only three weeks early but the doctor kept saying he is very small. sure enough my little skinny bird like boy was born with no fat on his body. for weeks we had to keep him wrapped in lots of blankets, being very careful to not complely un wrap him. He did look like a little bird, all head and tiny skinny arms and legs. Since we had our daughter and 7 miscarriages behind me and I was 35 we decided to quit. I am over ly blessed to have two healthy children and seven I will see in heaven. Jared is a man of 31 and has a few skelton issue but his wonderful personality outside any problems. He stay so small that everyone ask if he was a midget but FINALLY in ninth grade he took a grow spurt…praise God.

    We were fearfully and wonderfully knitted in our mothers womb just as our children are, EVen when we are frailest we created by the creator to give him glory and that is perfection when our fraility is being used by the creator.

  2. Oh! I have been living these words of truth lately! Thank you!
    I want to hear the rest of David’s story!! Please share!
    Prayers of blessings & strength…

    • I also want to hear more of David’s story…
      I am a Mom to sons with special needs…and I am often amazed to see how God works in and through them…and how He uses them to touch my heart in unizue ways!
      You have a wonderful blessing and an amazing challenge!

  3. i’m so glad you shared your story. hope in the midst of strife – gorgeous. and this passage of scripture is one that’s been important to me for a quite different journey – anorexia. i love that the word is living and active and can be applied in so many ways to give us hope for the future.

  4. I love Psalm 139 but it was these verses that bothered me. Knowing that He knit me together in MY mothers womb is what would stop me. I was angry he chose her to be my mother. He chose someone who didn’t know how to love. I was angry about it for so very long when I learned about this verse. I was in counseling and over time my anger shifted and I understood that I would not be who I am today if He has chosen someone else to be my mother. I would not have the story to tell about transformation and redemption and grace and forgiveness. Or the story to tell about how so very hard it is to trust God but if you just take that first step of faith He will stay beside you the entire time as to get through it.

    My life verse is this: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for hope and a future, not to harm you.”…Jer. 29:11 I know he knit me together in my mothers womb, the woman he chose for me, because he knew the plans he had for my life long before I was ever conceived 42 years ago. So, I’m not so angry about it anymore. He knows what he is doing with me……..

    Thank you for your story about David!

    • Lisa H, thank you for sharing your story. I so relate. It took years of therapy to come to terms with a lost and painful childhood. In time I too realized that what I gained is far greater than what I lost. I am so blessed and God has shown me over and over how much he loves me. I never knew my Dad, but I have a FATHER that has always been there…even when I did not realize it. I have a bracelet with the verse “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for hope and a future, not to harm you” I love my life!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story with us!!! Yes, are beautifully made, each and EVERY one of us 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  6. Thank you Lisa for sharing David’s story. May his life be a reminder to all that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He’s precious and perfect.

  7. First off, I thank God for all of His words and for the loving faith-filled sisters in Christ who know them. We all have our stories, that’s just one avenue that keeps God’s word alive. The works He has in each and every life. The “plans” that only He knows. My own first birth, my son, was amazing. His birth was the opposite; over due and such a big boy for a small very young girl. My James became ill after being born and had to stay an extra 3 days while I was sent home. It killed me, but he came home healty and I grew up with him. To my amazement 18 years later, my James brought me back to God after surrendering his life first. You just never know how God is going to move. His ways are not our ways…

  8. I struggle with the oft-quoted verse from Jeremiah, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (29:11) I was born with a heart condition that has severely limited my life since my teen years. My 3rd daughter was struck down with a brain and spinal infection at age 3, nearly died, and now lives with special needs, epilepsy, and a partially demyelinated brain. How can I believe Jeremiah 29:11? How are those things not harmful, Lord?

    I come to grips with the fact that “harmful” to God is not the same as it is to me. He knew that without a heart condition of my own, I wouldn’t become a compassionate and empathetic nurse. I might not want to teach nurses. He knew that my Amelia needed a brain infection to imbue her with new wonder at the world, to show us all how to wonder through the mire of life at the small things. He knew how fierce she would become, how loyal. He knew she needed extra years of breast feeding and how her 5 year old diapers would bring me to my knees daily.

    For He is not in the business of preserving temporal bodies, but in pruning eternal souls. He knows there is no future apart from His loving arms in eternity. He knows that “prospering” doesn’t mean excelling, succeeding, or gathering wealth in a world made of dust. It means becoming soul-rich in the lessons no easy life can teach, and filling our cup with His wisdom and peace so that we can spill a little of His gold, so wrenchingly hard to purify over the high heats of a scarred life, into the laps of those who have not yet walked their own purifying road.

  9. Good morning ladies……I appreciate u sharing your testimony. May God continue to bless u & David.

  10. Thank you Lisa. I love when you post here!

    I am taking this today and believing it with all my heart. We need to know this because that is how He feels about us. And I think when we do begin to sink into this for ourselves we are able to minister it to others

  11. Your son is so beautiful. I know you love him more than words can express. As we know things do not always work out as we anticipate, but God IS in control. HE knows what is best for each of us and loves us so much more than anyone else does or can. I know HE will see you through this difficult time. HE will bring you comfort and joy. You are the best mom David could ever had. God made YOU to be the perfect mom for your children. You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made and God has a purpose for you. We all need to remind ourselves of this, especially when our path lies through thorny ground! Thank YOU , Lord Jesus, for your love and care. Wrap this family, and especially Lisa, in your loving arms. Help her to feel your love in a special way today, even this very moment!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this part of David’s (and your) story. God is so faithful to us. I love His promise that He will NEVER leave is nor forsake us. And that He knit us together with purpose. We are ALL so blessed to be called children of God. And David is so blessed to be your child.

  13. Hi Lisa – Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes remembering that every one of us is a miracle and that God does have a plan for all of us is the most difficult thing to remember and accept. Take care.

  14. I can only imagine what this must be like. Women like you are my heros. You allow what the enemy meant to evil, for God to use for His Glory and turns your sorrow into Joy in Him. Bless you.

  15. I’m so glad for you that despite some minor setbacks that David was born and LIVES. The Lord can bring great comfort in those trying times.

  16. Thanks for your testimony of holding on to God’s truth. I still remember the galations study you lead us in junior high. I pray for you and your family. Blessings, Alyson ( ficht) Jefferson

  17. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for sharing this today. It is so good for me to hear. Recently I have been revisiting the question as to why our daughter, Cora, who is now almost 11 was born with a cleft lip and palate. This usually happens to me when she has another surgery coming up. My heart breaks for her each time she has to hurt, and has to go through more surgeries. If only she didn’t have to go through all of this. I know that God’s plan is perfect, and although we don’t know the exact reason that He planned this for her life, I have to trust (although it is not easy) that this is best for her, and for the things that He will do in her life.
    Although I haven’t yet met David, I know that God also has a perfect plan for him as well. I will keep David, and your family in my prayers. Thank you for reminding me today, that Cora was perfectly made, that she is a wonderful creation designed by God’s hand.

  18. What a blessing this post was, Lisa. Thank you for sharing your heart-felt story!

    Psalm 139 is one of my absolute favorite’s because I find such hope, encouragement and re-assurance in the words. This morning at church during communion, these exact words came to mind. My prayer of repentance became a plea for forgiveness – for all of the times when I haven’t lived life like I BELIEVE His words … “I am beautifully and wonderfully made.” I prayed that God would give me the confidence and faith to bury these words deep in my heart. On my church bulletin I wrote “Guide me in the way of “beautiful,” (and I didn’t mean in looks but in my attitude, my words, my devotion and faith in Him).

    What an affirmation (of my prayer), when I came home and read your blog. I love it when God uses the words of others to encourage us in our walk. Thank you for touching my heart today!

  19. What an amazing story of tragedy transformed by faith and love. I am so grateful to read it today when I am in the midst of some grieving. I appreciate you taking the time and care to post something so precious and personal. I needed to read that Psalm with new eyes today.

  20. Thank you for sharing this which is so beautifully written and told.

    Our children teach us so very very much. I am constantly amazed at what I learn from THEM if I slow down and listen and learn.

    Your story is so tender and touched me this day, this day that the Lord has made. Of our three children I seem to learn the most from our son who came to us through infant adoption. I have learned so very much from him. He has struggled with ADHD and the layers and levels of all that means. The Lord tethers me to His heart daily through my children. But I seem to be brought back down to my knees most often in parenting our middle son. And that is always a good place to find myself — on my knees before Creator God.

    Again, thank you for sharing.

    Bless you! elizabeth

  21. God chose to make David unique for reasons unknown us. When you hug that baby, give him all the love you can and let him know you love him and that God loves him.

  22. Thanks for sharing your story Lisa. God is good all the time and I remember my mom saying always that the Lord works in mysterious ways. We may not always know what his plans are for us, but we must always believe that HE does not make mistakes and that we all are wonderfully and purposefully made! I had a premie 26 years ago. I went into labor two months early and I remember praying continually in the hospital for three days. At the end of day three, the third doctor on rotation from my insurance carrier came in to check my vitals and asked if I’d had a sonogram, which I did not. She immediately ordered one and discovered I had placenta abruption, which means the placenta was disconnecting from the uterine wall. I had an emergency cesarian the following morning and delivered a healthy 3 1/2 pound baby girl. After checking her vitals, the doctor came into my room and said, and I quote, “someone was with your baby today”. I knew at that moment that it was certainly the Lord Almighty! I was moved to tears of joy. I was told aside from a small defect on her left ear lobe, she was otherwise healthy. Crystal was always an overachiever, ahead of her peers in each grade level in school and later throughout life in college. She is excelling in her career as a Systems Analyst and the biggest joy is she is Saved and loves the Lord with all her might! The Lord has a plan for us and each of us were purposefully made.

  23. Thanks! Merçi! Gracias por compartir tus pensamientos y emociones… Por abrir mis ojos y mi corazón todavía mas amor y a la vida.

  24. Thank you for sharing your story! I love the application. That if we apply Psalm 139 to our children, then we have to apply it to ourselves.

    My son was born 8 weeks early. He weighed 3 pounds. I relate to so much to the back and forth thoughts as you held him- glad for his life and worried for his life at the same time. Though my son has had no long term difficulties, I realize that I am still shaped by his birth in many ways. Psalm 139 came to life for me as I realized that God knew details of the birth before I did. (Including my son’s name.) If you care to read more, I wrote about it here- (Forgive the self-promotion, the full story is just a bit long for a comment).

    You have challenged me today to remember that what was true then is true now. God has knit my children together, knit me together, and knit together all those around me. Every life is precious. Every person has purpose and potential.

  25. Thank you for this. I was reminded of these scriptures just as much when we were told that our unborn daughter would not survive to term because of problems. We declined a termination and I carried her for another 6 weeks before she was taken home. Just as much as our living children are made in God’s image, *she* was also made in God’s image and each and every day of her life was known to God. I am thankful to that.

  26. We’re in the throes of 40 Days for Life – all over the world prayerful Christians who believe life starts in the heart of God, and therefore every unborn child is meant and precious, are fasting, and making peaceful demonstrations outside abortion clinics. I’m a doc in UK, and have been very blessed recently that a lady decided to have her unplanned, unwanted baby adopted. God has rescued that baby for a purpose in these days! If any of you haven’t heard about 40 days for life and would like to add your spiritual muscles to the task, google it and join in! I’d also like to say that if God moves any of you to get involved in supporting women who bravely carry their children despite personal difficulties which could “justify” abortion, please setp up. It’s a sad. sad thing in our world that the adoption services only need to work part time as there isn’t much call on them. Every child precious. Every child has a family – somewhere.

  27. Thank you for sharing your story, Lisa. I have three healthy adult children but when I was pregnant with each one I was certain I would have a child with Down Syndrome. I must say, I was a little disappointed. Special Needs children have so many lessons to teach all of you, as I am sure David has taught you. Bless you, and David.

  28. Amazing that we can believe these wonderful things for others but never for ourselves and yet, the same Creator made us both! Thank you for these really good words… something to chew on and rattle around in my brain and let the Savior settle as truth to me. Praying for you and your sweet boy.

  29. Lisa this was so beautifully written. I can understand your feelings written in this post as I am a mother of a special needs child, but I have never thought that I too was wonderfully made. Yes, I knew I was a Child of God, but I hadn’t thought of myself as being wonderfully made. Thank you!

  30. ah……..he’s one of God’s ‘angel babies’……..give him a hug for me!!

  31. Lisa, thank you for sharing your story! I pray that psalm over both of my girls daily as well. Our youngest was born with multiple issues, most of which the doctors had us believing we would never take her home. We celebrated her 7th month of life this past Friday. She is a total mess on paper, but to look at her, you would never know something was amiss. She is a miracle baby many times over! Thank you again for sharing and your ministry to women all over the web!

  32. Lisa, What a precious, precious post and what a testimony to our Lord. My heart was touched by this and I’m always blessed when I stop by. Hugs to you!

  33. Yes — we are all wonderfully made — I think that God knows all of our limitations, all of the things visible and invisible that make us less than perfect, but his love for us is perfect and always, always makes up the difference. Bless your family. I pray, heavenly Father, that you will continue to make David’s life a miracle, that all who know him will be touched by your perfect love. Amen

  34. Lisa, your new baby David is perfect…absolutely beautiful! The Lord made him perfect for the plans He has for your son. Most likely, David will teach you, your family and friends, and all the people who come across his path great lessons that only he can teach. Keep Ps. 139 always close; it has gotten me through 16 years of my firstborn daughter’s severe multiple disabilities. Like your sweet David, she has a purpose in the Lord’s great plan. May your whole family experience His blessings in powerful ways.

  35. I really enjoyed reading your blog Lisa! (ie through Sue Donaldson:)
    & such a JOY to have worked with your precious David subbing at C.L. Smith~

  36. My youngest, Ben, is 7 months old and has Down syndrome. The hours immediately following his birth were filled with conflicting emotions. I was joyful because my beautiful baby had arrived, and incredibly fearful because I wanted so much to protect him and care for him but I thought I didn’t know how. Our family memorized and prayed over him Lamentations 3:22-24. “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” I LOVE that God is my portion – He is more than enough for me. AND He is more than enough for Ben. Psalm 139 has also been close to my heart – especially v. 10. “Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Thanks for sharing about David’s birth.

  37. […] way.  I found myself there today and thought afterward of how this correlated with a post on (in)courage.  A post that challenged everyone to truly believe that we ourselves are wonderful […]

  38. We always see the greatness in others before we see it in ourselves. We have to be deliberate in seeing ourselves as God sees us, always.

  39. God bless you and your DARLING son! 🙂

    He is SO cute with Curious George. My son is going to have a “George” (said in my son’s random french accent only when saying “George”) party for his second birthday.

    While my son was completely perfect in every way, I too had a discouraging and terrifying birth with him. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks after his birth.

    Leaving the hospital without my son was the. hardest. thing. i. have. ever. done.

    I don’t know if this will help you, but it SURE helped me.

    One of the nurses said, “Look at you and your husband!”

    I looked at us. We weren’t that great. We hadn’t eaten in weeks and were BARELY hanging on.

    She continued, “Having a newborn in the hospital is one of THE MOST stressful things that a couple will EVER go through…and you guys are doing just fine!”

    It was true. We had supported each other like never before. We were strong for each other…even when we were crying tears into cups of chocolate ice cream.

    I know its not the silver lining you want…but it really really helped me. 🙂

  40. Hi Lisa,
    The psalms & the Scripture verses listed here are all so wonderful, but like many, I never really thought they applied to me. They were always about someone else who REALLY needed it. When my daughter was an infant, we knew something wasn’t right, but couldn’t really put our finger on it. Being type A & our first child, we read everything we could before she was born…but none of this stuff we were facing was in all of the books we read. Today she is an amazing 8 year old who has autism and has shown us a world we would have never imagined. It has really made me see that I do need to remember that not only is she a child of God, but that I am too, especially on those days when everything you touch goes wrong (not that any of us have those 🙂

    Thank you for this great reminder, like so many others here, I really needed it.

    Peace, Theresa

  41. God makes no mistakes! He’s got us right where he wants us. I’m so thankful for a loving God who plans all of our days. Maybe we need a few more “Davids” in the world to show us the things in life that really matter…

  42. Lisa, your words resound with me so much. Thankyou. Our little girl Sophie was born missing all the fingers on her right hand – symbrachydactyly. She is six now but I recall feeling the same you did at 38 weeks, however we were told something wasn’t right at 20 weeks. It was a very emotional time but we came out the other side. To us she is absolutely perfect as is your precious David.

  43. Life certainly doesn’t go as *we* plan, and…we can never assume we’re in the clear, can we?

    Each day is a mystery to unwrap and a gift to receive–even if it comes a shockingly surprising in every way–He purposes it All.

    Blessings for your courage to live this through and through, moment by moment.

  44. This is such a breath of fresh air! Lately I have been reading really sad & upsetting news articles. One about parents suing their doctor for not telling them they were going to have a Down’s Syndrome Child (they said they would have aborted had they known). And then another article about how a child born with a disability or medical issue, parents should have the right to end their life… after they are born!!!!
    I have a brother with Down’s Syndrome and my family and I can’t imagine our lives without him. Every child is special and beautiful! Let’s celebrate that and share more stories about how ALL children are wonderfully created!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  45. Lisa – I could share our similar stories, except I am the sister not the mother. I could tell you how brave you are and how loving your family is, clearly, from what I witness on your blog. I won’t. I will just say thank you. Thank you for sharing with all of us. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  46. Thank you for sharing your story, it brought me so much comfort during this time for me. My husband and I have been going through a scary time. I am 17 weeks pregnant, and we found out at 12 weeks that something wasn’t right on our ultrasound. At 14 weeks I got an amnio done and later found out that we are having a baby girl with Turner Syndrome, and our chances of her making it full term is down to 1%. I am also being told by our specialist that the baby won’t make it past 20 weeks because of all the swelling and fluid built up throughout her body. It is SO hard to hear those words, but I know no matter what that God is in control. I want to stay positive, but it has been so hard for me. We are blessed with a beautiful 2 1/2 year old boy, and I just thank God everyday for blessing us with him. He is definitely helping us during this time. I’m still feeling her move inside of me, so that just is my daily reminder that she is still here and fighting. Thank you for reminding me that this baby girl is wonderfully made. 🙂 Big hugs! Jayme 🙂

  47. Wow, what wonderful stories. This has helped me remember that God is in control and we do learn from the things that happen. My children had no problems, but my 40 yr old son and his wife do not want us to be part of their family. The reasons do not make sense. But I have to keep my heart open, and try not to let this overpower me. Luckily our daughter is very close to us and our son in law loves us as his own, and our grandchildren and grand dogs shower us with love. I know there is a plan, just gotta wait and let it play out.
    Thank you for all your stories. This has made my day.