2018 Passover Lessons

Pesach, the Feast of Unleavened bread has come and gone once again. Did you manage to stay Kosher?

This year I have had an unique perspective on this holiday. I am in a time of life where I am expected to meet perfection in a physical and business sense. I don’t leave my house without my hair being styled, at least minimal makeup on, and without following a hefty list of fashion rules. When I do leave my home without following a list of procedures, I feel strange, not put together, and not very confident. Additionally, my diet is nutritionally stricter then it has ever been. I am extremely cautious with every word that I speak and every word that I type because keeping a clean reputation is “everything” at this point in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am still all about being real and honest with the world, however, I have begun to take that approach in more of a ‘Clean cut” type of manner.

In one way, my life has more direction and is more put together then it has ever been, however, in another way I find myself disappointed in myself if I don’t meet this standard of r(un)realistic perfection. If my clothes need to be ironed or if I forget to wear mascara (and for some reason, I don’t have any in my bag), I find myself feeling not as confident. My mind will fixate on what is wrong with my physical appearance instead of focusing on the beautiful parts of my personality.

Within this past Passover, God showed me that I need to start having inword grace and forgiveness for myself. I did NOT manage to keep a Kosher diet this year. To my knowledge, I consumed leavening twice. Was it the end of the world? No, it was not. I was reminded even more just how much I am in need of a personal savior who shows conditional love even when I have a wrinkled shirt, or ate a piece of bread on Pesach. How I need a savior because I mess up more then I would like to admit. How only HE can satisfy my needs and mend my brokenness.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. ~ Psalms 100:5

~Leah

Email: lamaleahblog@gmail.com

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The Storm Still Rages- Guest blogger Lauren Flickinger

It’s funny how everything can change in a matter of a year. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.

 Last year I was saying: I hate me. I hate life.

But today is not that day. Today I get to say: I love where I am today

Last year I was praying: God please take me

But today I’m praying: Thank you for victory

Last year I was thinking: I can’t do this anymore

Today I’m thinking: I can do ALL things (Philippians 4:13)

 

Last year the storm raged.

The waves tossed, knocking me to the ground

The sky darkened, I couldn’t see

The thunder boomed, there was no hope; this storm was going to take me

The see was deep, I was drowning

I seemed to be in an everlasting storm

 

But today I’ve found hope

Sometimes storms still come

But I’ve found my anchor amid the storms

The waves toss, but I remain standing

The sky darkens, but I still see the light peeking through the clouds

The thunder booms, but I hear a whisper, “I am with you”

The sea is deep, but I remember I can swim

I remember: This storm is but for a moment

 

When you walk through the storm remember the victory you have in our sweet Savior

Go on sing it!

Shout it out!

Praise God for the victory!

 

“I heard an old, old story

How a savior came from glory,

How he gave his life on Calvary

To save a wretch like me

I heard about his groaning

Of his precious blood atoning

Then I repented of my sins and won the victory”

 

“OH, VICTORY IN JESUS MY SAVIOR FOREVER”

 

Perhaps this next verse of this hymn is the best to sing over and over when walking through the storm

“I heard about his healing

of his cleansing power revealing

how he made the lame to walk again

and caused the bling to see;

and then I cried “Dear Jesus,

come and heal my broken spirit”

And somehow Jesus came and brought

To me the victory

 

“OH, VICTORY IN JESUS
MY SAVIOR FOREVER
HE SOUGHT ME AND BOUGHT ME

WITH HIS REDEEMING BLOOD

HE LOVED ME ERE I KNEW HIM

HE PLUNGED ME IN VICTORY

BENEATH THE CLEANSING FLOOD”

 

I’ve found the victory I have in Christ.

I’ve found His peace

His healing

His power

I’ve come from a place of no hope, to a heart full of hope.

Storms still come, but I have hope, I have victory, I have peace.

Today I say and I mean with my whole heart, “IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL”

-Lauren Flickinger

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Confessions Of A Dyslexic Pretty Girl, Part 2 

Almost two years ago I published a post titled, “My Value has not decreased, It may just be a little different then yours~ Confessions of a dyslexic ‘Pretty girl’  I wrote this blog at a vulnerable time in my life when I was trying to figure out, “Whats next?” I was insecure about not going to college because I didn’t get in. In fact, I just barely graduated high school. I shared about how I found my niche in fashion, and makeup as a creative outlet when school was too stressful. Times have changed since writing that post and I decided to do a part two. 

I cried out of insecurity when writing that post and to my suprise, it ended up getting national attention. I think my readers appreciated my honestly and how I was vulnerable. 

About a year ago, I started my path towards the entertainment industry. I was in hopes of becoming a singer, however I was advised by several industry professionals to try focusing modeling as well. When I was given this advice, my heart always sunk a little bit. I never felt as if I was good at anything besides having a decent physical look. I didn’t want this advice, but I understood that those that were giving me the advice knew what they were talking. I didn’t want to loose opportunities simply because I had to much pride not to listen to them. 

I found that I actually love being in front of the camera as a model. Within a short period of time, I have accumulated a large portfolio. Additionally, I believe that I have found the route that I would like to take my professional career. I’ve learned that I love branding and marketing. I’ve leared that I can tell stories with not only words, but through pictures with my emotions and poses. I’ve learned that eventually, I want to be on the other side of the industry as a talented scout, industry coach, or a booking agent. I probably would not have learned these facts if I hadn’t embraced my physical appearance that I was embarrassed about two years ago. What I have learned is that being physically attractive is NOT a fault in the way that I saw it not too long ago. Meanwhile being academic is NOT a fault. I still wish that I was mentally able to achieve the dreams I had as a child to pursue an academic path. However I am no longer sad and have accepted it. I am contented within finding that I am pretty.

Pretty loving 

Pretty talented 

Pretty insightful 

Pretty nice

Pretty creative 

Pretty determined 

Pretty strong 

With much love, 

~Leah 

Facebook: Lamaleahblog & Leah Pilcher Actress/Model

Instagram: @Modellamaleah & @Lamaleahblog 

Twitter: @lamaleahblog 

Email: lamaleahblog@gmail.com 

Photo courtesy of AB Portraiture

Hair and Makeup: Unica Beauty 

How I found my voice- Guest blogger Brixey McWhorter

Initially, with all the wonderful things in life, I found my voice as a writer and individual when I was LOST.  For the past year and a half leading up to August 2017, I was barely employed. It was a trying season for me as I felt discouragement on many different levels in life. From fighting my own inadequacies, to essentially being without a job for over a year and a half, and confiding in anyone and everyone instead of those who I am closest to.

Last year I was significantly lost. I didn’t see clearly, and I was too stubborn to verbalize my need for help to the ones who mean the most to me. So instead, I turned to the community with my fears and anxieties in life, which was both a beneficial and a negative thing. I turned to the community, and I turned to my notebook and pen.

Though I would vocalize some of my fears to people, I would also press myself to spill it all out and navigate it on paper. On paper I did not have to go to my family, or friends, or people within the community, and I didn’t become what I felt like was a burden to those whom I spoke with when I word-vomited whatever I was going through at the moment.

So, out of adversity, confusion and being lost — a voice for poetry was born. It led me and taught me how to be honest and raw with myself. Through writing, I found in me the things I value and the things I hate. Through it, I am learning to celebrate them all. Learning to love myself and others better through this magnificent magnifying glass I have been given.

Though it is cliche to say, if you are out there and you are lost, this time may honestly be rough and challenging, but perhaps it’s a special time that has been granted to you so you may encounter the gold within you. Whether it be your voice or something else that may come about from the time you are enduring. Maybe the dark times in our lives are only here so we can encounter the genuine light within us and others.

~Brixey McWhorter

Adressing my darker photoshoots

If you have been following my journey via social media you may have noticed that lately, I have been posting darker content. I have received some mixed reviews about my recent projects. Some of those who follow me have expressed encouragement and excitement while others have expressed concern.

A few months back, I posted a few photos from a moody photoshoot and received a private message if I needed Jesus because of the dark content that I shared. I responded with kindness sharing that I was just fine spiritually and that they could even take a look at this blog if they continued to doubt.

In 2018 I have continued to take moody shots but the concern for my spiritual and mental state has shifted from random people on the internet to individuals in my congregation, and family members. I have decided to publicly address why I continue to post moody content while in everyday life I am a happy lady.

First of all, I would like to remind everyone that I am based out of Wichita, KS. I am under no contracts with anyone in this area. If I want to model, I have to do the networking myself. Even though the Midwest as a whole is a commercial market, I have not been booking commercial print work in Wichita. This area has a semi predominate creative community and I have managed to stay busy within it. That being said, I am pretty much at the mercy of the photographers projects. Moody content is trendy in this area at the moment and, therefore, I accept the projects that are offered to me under the right circumstancesI do not shoot with someone just because they own a camera. They have to meet several requirements before I say yes to an offer.

Moody is a trend right now and if I refused to do it I would be limiting myself as a model just because they have a darker feel to them. To me, I see modeling as a form of art and only a form of art. Typically when I am participating in these types of shoots, I am laughing with the photographer between shots because generally, my shoots are light-hearted. I can switch from being happy, commercial Leah, to dark, sad, and moody Leah in a few seconds. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing commercial styled shoots. I enjoy giving a huge, happy smile to the camera BUT I would be a bad model if I could not portray more than just a general happy emotion.

It hurts a little when I receive negative comments from fellow believers concerning my choice to do moody work. I was recently asked I was doing these shoots with “Christian photographers” and I was taken aback for a second. I think I only know one photographer who claims Christianity but how could I ever be a light in an industry consumed with darkness if I only worked with believers? These same photographers that I work with frequently know the brand that I maintain and know not to even to bother asking me to do shoots that would be considered to be sacrilegious or would be too edgy for me. I have maintained modesty and try my very best to maintain a quiet but yet bold testimony within the community.

Art can be made within many elements of life. I believe that the human body makes the most beautiful kind of art though. I appreciate everyone who is following and supporting me on this journey. I am truly grateful for every follow, like, and encouraging comment. I do not intend on quitting moody photoshoots any time within the near future. I have been able to reach an entirely new community of artists when I agree to do these types of shoots. I do not feel any conviction about not continuing with this form of art, therefore, I am going to continue with it. If you have a problem with it, however, I kindly ask you to keep your opinions to yourself. You do not have to like every project that I work on, however, it hurts on an entirely new level when a believer questions my heart behind a photo shoot just because I do not perceive to be happy when they see the results.

 

-Leah

Facebook: LamaLeahblog & Leah Pilcher Actress/Model

Instagram: @modellamaleah & @lamaleahblog

Twitter: @lamaleahblog

Email: @lamaleahblog@gmail.com

The images below were taken by my dear friend Kim at Creative Reflections photography.  Read More

Stand Your Ground- The WOW Project

Considering my background in theater, I’m already accustomed to being labeled a prude. There seems to be an theory in the industry that an actress or model must be willing to do whatever it takes in order to “make it.” Those who draw a hard boundary line are often slapped with the label of prude or told they’re not really cut out for the job. But this ideology leaves the door wide open for producers, directors or photographers to take advantage of women (or men) who are trying to establish themselves in the business.

This industry is broad. There is plenty of room for everyone to find a niche. There is a place for artistic nudes, boudoir, and even ‘sexy photos.’ And there are plenty of other styles for those who are uncomfortable doing such shoots. What there is not room for, however, is photographers who use a model’s trust and body for personal enjoyment. Whether this involves unwanted touch, unwarranted use of nudity, or simply shaming a model into pushing past her own clearly established boundaries, it is inappropriate and inexcusable.

I’ve been fortunate, thus far, to have been largely treated with respect while on shoots – even by photographers I was later warned against working with. I have a generally positive perspective on the photography community here in Wichita. I have only once attended a shoot where I actually feared for my safety. However, I have attended a couple of shoots where I was asked to pose in a manner that was both beyond the boundaries I established at the time of booking, and also irrelevant to the style of shoot. There was no need to be asked to do “sexy poses” at a headshot shoot. Nor was there an excuse for pouting about pre-approved cosplay costumes not showing enough cleavage or leg. I do my best to screen portfolios to make sure my style matches up with a photographer’s, but when I am approached by a photographer and he agrees beforehand to the style and theme of the shoot, it’s disheartening, to say the least, when I am then treated as though I am “difficult” because I won’t suddenly start acting sexy. I have found this mindset particularly prevalent in “for trade” shoots, where the photographer behaves as if the model owes him compliance because he is volunteering his time. In reality, both parties are investing time and energy into the shoot, and both parties should behave professionally.

We as models need to remember that our time and talent are valuable and that we do not have to compromise our personal safety or standards while on a shoot. Communicate clearly before the shoot begins, speak up if a photographer’s conduct is unprofessional, and speak out if you believe that other models could also be at risk. Let’s all remember that “whatever it takes” should never include harm to or exploitation of our bodies, especially by professionals whom we should be able to trust.

-A Local Wichita Model

An Open Letter To The Person I love But Can’t Be Around

To be honest, I miss you.

I would by absolutely lying if I said that I don’t think about you every day. Some days, I would give anything to text you, see you, or dance with you again. Before you left, we used to hangout all the time. I miss how we would stay up talking. I miss how you would give me feedback on my Lama Leah posts. I miss learning from you, and how you would challenge me on a weekly basis to be a better student of the Torah. I miss that. I miss you.

I truly believed that you were trying your best to uptain the Torah. I believed that you loved the law. I believed that you were following it.  Maybe I put you on a pedestal. Maybe I began to look at you, instead of the Tanakh. Maybe I should have spent my time with more people who are willing to be vulnerable, open, and real.

I don’t miss how you didn’t support my choice to start pursuing the industry, even though, in a way, you had the same desire that I had. I just went about it in a different way. I don’t miss how it sometimes felt like you were judging me when I broke a Mitzvot. I know you did it out of love, but I didn’t appreciate how you would lecture me when I didn’t wear Kosher clothing, or did something fun on a Saturday. Sometimes it felt like your entire religion was based on a set of rules but those rules were not in your heart. I hate that you felt a need to tell me what I, “can and can’t” wear to a photo shoot. Or that you cautioned me more than you supported me.

What I hate the most is how things ended. I hate how I went months with no explanation of why you were no longer around. I hate the fact that I didn’t know if you were safe or even alive. For a few weeks after you stopped responding to any form of communication, I went to a few of your hangout places, hoping that I would find you, hoping that I would be informed that you were okay. I did not know if you were safe, or even alive. I cared alot for you. We saw each other multiple times a week, so my life felt weird not to see you often.

What bothers me the most, is finding out where you are, and what you did to be placed there. It scares me because I truly thought I knew you. I have had sleepless nights since you have tried to contact me again. I have thought, “This could have been me. I could have been your victim.” Ever since I found out who you are, trusting people again has been hard. What did I miss about your persona? How did I miss knowing who you are?

I choose not to allow you into my life anymore because I need to spend my energy with go getters and you are not that. If I want success in life, I need to spent time with successful people. I want you back in my life, but from a distance. However, I need to put myself first at this point in my life.

I miss you, and I will always love you, but at this point you are not worth the tears.

~The best friend that had no idea who you really were

Jesus Wept 

If you know me on a personal level, or even follow me on social media, you would know that basically two things are basically my life right now- modeling and writing. In 2017, I had 66 photoshoots, traveled to several different ciqties for modeling related events, and made like minded friends that will last a lifetime. As a writer, I worked on my first international project as well as producing content on a local and national level. It has been a busy time of life. 

I am a driven individual but sometimes drive isn’t enough. As much fun I’ve had in the past several months, I’ve also had alot of stress. Being brand new to modeling, I had to learn the hard way who to trust. I was shown the dark part of the industry from a singer at the very beggining, following a few photographers who tried to take advantage of my newness of the field. I have had to make career making or braking desicions when it came to agency’s to pursue. I have had to ask myself, “Is the sexual harrasment worth the opportunity?” I has been difficult to navigate. I’ve prayed for God to give me clear answers. I’ve cried from a place of stress and I have come close to screaming a few times as well. 

Over the weekend, I received a pep talk from a friend when I wasn’t believing in myself. The next day, I got to return the favor to another friend pursing the industry who was not believing in themselves that night. As I was pep-talking my friend I thought, “How in the world do they not realize how talented and special they are?!?” As a friend, I see the talent even when they are not believing in themselves. Likewise, I wonder if God thinks the same thing when we are having doubts about our ability to achieve greatness. I wonder if He hurts for us when we watch someone we love is hurting. After all, whats the shortest verse in the bible? The two words, “Jesus Wept.” 

I think the most important reminder that I’ve learned in the past few months is, “Remember who I am, and who’s I am.” This quote can go for someone in any part of life. Tonight I want to remind you that you are a child of the King and NOTHING that you could do, or be said or done can change that.

Love,

LAMA-LEAH 

Email: lamaleahblog@gmail.com 

Facebook: Lama Leah blog

Instagram: @modellamaleah & @lamaleahblog 

Apology for Dissaperaring 

Hello, long time no see. I want to appologize for dissaperaring from this sight. I have incredible readers and I know this blog would not be where it’s at today without you. Truth is, I have been struggling emensly with anxiety. I will have posts written and then stress about the content not being good enough. I have had troubles sleeping at night and then I have been having a difficulty functioning during the day. Responding to emails and DMs have been a challenge for me and I haven’t been treating Lama Leah the way that I built it up. You all know that I’m about being transparent and this is a post where I’ve had to be transparent. 

Love you all,

~Leah 

Email: lamaleahblog@gmail.com

Facebook: Lamaleahblog

Instagram: @lamaleahblog & @modellamaleah 

Twitter: @lamaleabblog