Episode #41 Walking in the Spirit: From Corporate Executive to Ministry Leader. Leann Maxwell-Muir

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From Today's Episode

What if God created your vision board? Leann Maxwell-Muir experienced a powerful revelation from God following a trip to the Moab desert with her sister. When she heard, “It’s not what you achieve, it’s who you become,” everything shifted and a ministry was born. Leann resigned her position as a corporate executive, and along with her sister, founded the Spiritual Seeds Planner company, which offers beautiful products along with spiritual encouragement, community, and discipleship.

Today's Verses
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • John 10:10
  • 2 Corinthians 4:18
  • 1Thessalonians 5:24
Additional Resources


www.KellyHall.org Subscribe to receive Inspirational pdf Bookmarks

https://www.kellyhall.org/freeoffer/ Receive your Hope for the Weary collection


Walking in the Spirit: From Corporate Executive to Ministry Leader. Leann Maxwell-Muir

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kellie Hall, and this is where we wrestle through faith questions, such as how do I trust God’s heart when His ways and delays are breaking mine? We’ll hear from people just like you and me, who have experienced God’s faithfulness when life didn’t unfold as they expected.

My prayer is that God would renew our hope in His Word and His love through these conversations.

Kelly: Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re here today. Before I introduce you to my guest, I wanted to invite you to subscribe to my website. If you haven’t already, kellyhall. org. I would love to be connected with you. Also, I’d like for you to receive some of these inspirational bookmarks and prayers I have on my website.

So I put together some links that’ll be in the show notes for you to check out.

My guest today is [00:01:00] Leanne Maxwell Muir.

She is a follower of Jesus. She was raised in a , faith filled home by a mom and dad who demonstrated the unconditional love of Jesus on a daily basis. God has been turning her life upside down and inside out as he has invited her in to this great adventure.

He’s called her to retire from a successful executive job in the corporate world and start a business. Which is actually more of a ministry with her sister. You’ll hear how the Lord took her vision board and transformed it into a calling. You can check out their company, spiritualseedsplanner. com. They sell beautiful planners and products to help you stay organized, but their entire focus.

Is spiritual encouragement, community and discipleship. Their key verse is Galatians five, which describes the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, [00:02:00] goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. They’re byline. Their whole focus is bringing the hope of Jesus to the world around us one fruit at a time.

I think you’re really going to enjoy this conversation.

I’m excited to have you on the show, Leanne. Welcome.

Leann: Thank you so much, Kelly. It is such an honor and a pleasure to be here and it’s been such a delight just getting to know you. So thank you. Happy to be here.

Kelly: I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’d love for you to start by just telling us about your family.

Leann: Oh goodness. So I am native Oregonian, lived in Oregon my entire life, married for 43 years to the love of my life. And yes, it was love at first sight. And we have three children, boys, three grandchildren, . And , I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I love being a grandmother. I never had ambition to [00:03:00] follow a career path, but God had different plans and somehow unintentionally I became a career woman, a business woman. So that’s been kind of the twist of my life. So career woman, but at heart, mom and grandma.

Kelly: Wow. Okay. So over the last several years, God’s been inviting you into a new role away from your current corporate job. I’d love for you to describe that to us.

Leann: Yeah. Although being a career woman wasn’t my intention, as I look with hindsight, I see how God put me in this role and used me in it so many times. And I’ve been in the same industry. I work in the grocery industry. And my most recent role as a senior director for ConAgra foods. It’s been amazing. And that alone has been an incredible journey, but in the most recent years, I’m going to say recent as [00:04:00] in, let’s say 10 or something, , God has been moving me towards a new role, kind of like a promotion when you think about the work world, you know, I’m going to take a new job and he’s been calling me, To move and to expand writing and speaking for Jesus , it’s step by step, but the most recent step when we moved over here to central Oregon, he said now, you know, cause I would pray when God when do I get to do this? When do you want me to do this? And he says now. And I’m like, what does now mean to him? Does it mean the same to me?

Kelly: Yeah. . You’re asking God about his definition of the word now. And I just think it’s funny because in the Bible Jesus uses the word soon, but soon did not mean tomorrow. So that was a very wise question.

Leann: Exactly.

So, my response has been take the next step. Show that I’m open and willing and pursuing and let him do that. But that is the challenge, right? [00:05:00] Because as a leader, and I am a business leader, a strategic leader, if you will, it’s my job to make the plans. So to let him be the planner. Is a challenge for me.

And so nine months ago, maybe a year, God started saying, you’re moving. Now I’ve set you up. You’re where I want you now’s the time. And so I retired. I gave my notice and in my current role as a senior leader, you have to give six months notice. It’s one thing to say I’m leaving today because then you kind of have an emotional bumph behind it.

But to say I’m leaving in six months and stick to it, that’s hard. And to stay in your current role during those months, right? Yeah. So once you say it. You’re committed. And so I kind of like the way he asked me to commit and then walk through it with him. And so I’m excited. I’m eager. I’m [00:06:00] also incredibly challenged.

What does this look like? Am I truly qualified? So I’ve now been retired for, 4 days, I just retired . And so super new to all of this, but in the last final days, what I’ve learned is that, it’s hard to let go of an identity and a success and a place of comfort and impact where, you know, you’re doing things well and step into some new territory that’s less than comfortable.

And you’re just a little unsure, but there’s a sense of loss. And they talk about a grieving process. So I’m like, Oh man, I’m feeling that. And what’s been interesting about it is as I feel that hesitation and that loss and all of these emotions, I try to help God out. Let me just put it that way. I’m like, you know, God, I could also do this and I could probably [00:07:00] do this and that.

And are you sure this is what you’re saying? Like I questioned God and it’s not intense. Like I’m going to change my mind. But it’s natural and so he has had to come in and remind me over and over of his faithfulness and say, trust me, you know, you don’t need to know all the ways.

And so 1 of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah, 55. My ways are not your ways. I don’t know how many times God has to tell me this before I get it in my head. My ways are not your ways, Leanne. My thoughts are as far above your thoughts as the heavens are above the earth. And I’m like,

okay, I get it. I get it. , and then he reminds me and says, I know the plans I have for you and people often take that scripture and they jump to plans for hope and a future, but he has asked me to sit in those words that say, I know [00:08:00] my plans.

In other words, you don’t need to know them. I know them. And I’m like, okie dokie. So that has been, , God asking me to participate in his plan, but in a new role and really submitting to that. And not trying to lead, and not trying to question, but to just. Take that next step and embrace it and enjoy it.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s tough. You’re in this tension of not being able to run forward with your plan. So you’re used to just leading with a lot of energy and having a plan. And you know exactly where you’re going. So it’s very comfortable for you, but then you’re moving into this place where There is a lot of loss. You’re in a totally un. Familiar territory, and you’re having to wait on the Lord and trust on the Lord. But, there are two questions that I have about something you mentioned. So one was, am I qualified? And what was that in reference to?

Leann: I think it’s just, am I qualified for [00:09:00] anything and everything God’s asking me to do, so he’s asking me to write and to speak and to serve him in a new capacity. I’ve clearly never had that job before. Yes. So I’m like, well, Lord, you’re going to have to qualify me because I’m not entirely sure that I’m qualified yet.

Kelly: Okay. That makes sense. Thanks. It reminds me of First Thessalonians 5. 24. The one who called you is faithful and he will do it. We know he’ll supply what you need, but okay. Thanks for clarifying some of that confusion you’re feeling. And then also another thing you mentioned was the loss you’re walking in the loss of that job.

That it’s huge. It’s so huge. You were in such a capable position and you had a great job. The respect of coworkers and the respect of your superiors. And so this loss involves so much about not only your timing, but your identity, your purpose. So can you talk a little bit about how that’s landing on you?[00:10:00]

Leann: Yeah. Loss in, in so many things. And I think most importantly, just the comfort of knowing. I know how to function in this role, that place of confidence, but also the provision, , I’m walking away from a salary and into zero. And I’m like, is that really what you plan God? , I’m going to have to trust you in that.

And I, when I say trust him, I mean that don’t try to solve it for yourself, be willing to walk without the answer.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s huge. Well, I would love for you to take us to the point in your story where God turned your vision board into a calling.

I mean, he just took that vision board, and turned it upside down and inside out. So talk to us about how the Lord led you and your sister to start this company and take us through that moment where God spoke some visionary truth into your mind.

Leann: Sure, so my sister, Julie and I, who are very close, we’re close in [00:11:00] age and it’s been said that we share a brain cell and no, we are not allowed to be on the same team when playing Pictionary because we don’t need to write anything. We just know. Right. We’re both leaders. We’re both career woman. She has an amazing career. And so, like, every career woman or mother or anybody, we’re always looking for improvement. And so we had this goal, just to be better.

And so what we did was we planned a trip. We called it recalibration and the 2 of us took a journey out to the Moab desert to recalibrate. And what we did, this was our vacation, mind you. So, it’s kind of like Thelma and Louise, you know, out in the middle of nowhere. And we hiked and each day that we hiked, we chose a different subject.

Today’s finance; tomorrow’s relationship and next day’s health. And we would just dig into it as we hiked. The arches and the Moab desert in 106 degrees and by the end of the [00:12:00] day, we were so powered by our words and our ambition. We would come back and we would write down a summary of all the changes and things we were going to do to get our lives in order and be more successful and achieve more.

And so, we did that and we came back feeling like. We got this thing all figured out and so she was like, you need a vision board. You got to go home and get a vision because that’ll motivate you.

So I went home and I said to my husband, you know what, we need to create a vision board. Neither one of us had ever done that before. And we put this vision together. Of what our life would look like if we had achieved , , all of our goals.

Imagine that Kelly, all of your goals, all done and at first we were kind of proud. It looked good. And of course, God’s in the middle of it. You know, there was, Hey, we want to spend more time with family. We want to do more service. You know, definitely God is in the middle of it. But the more we looked at it, the less we liked it [00:13:00] until honestly, I couldn’t stand to look at it and there it sat, but I couldn’t figure out why, like there’s something unattractive about it. And finally, thank goodness, the Holy spirit got ahold of me and he said, it’s cause you’ve got it all wrong. I’m like, well, that explains it. And it hurt because there’s pride. And he said, it’s not about what you’re achieving. It’s about who you are becoming. It’s about my goal. My goal is that you be fruitful. My goal is that you show Christ living in you so that he can live in others. And I’m like, Whoa, boy, did I have it wrong?

Kelly: Oh, I love that. It’s not about what you’re achieving. It’s about who you’re becoming.

Leann: Yeah And so we started thinking about it going. What exactly does that look like? And again, God stepped in [00:14:00] and said, think of it as your goal. Make being fruitful by the power of the Holy Spirit, revealing Christ in you so that others can invite him into their life, bringing the hope of Jesus to those around you, your goal. Think of it as a goal, Miss Businesswoman, and treat it like you would any other goal. And Kelly, the light went on. I said, wow, I know how to do goals. Julie and I, we know how to do goals, right? This makes sense to me.

Kelly: And you knew that you could somehow incorporate, spiritual planning into a daily planner. Is that right?

Leann: Exactly.

Have you ever planned to be kind? , have you ever planned to be gentle? What if you planned to walk in the spirit? Like you planned an afternoon lunch. How do I put that in my planner? How do I schedule [00:15:00] it? And it was just this revelation.

And so from that moment, we got to work and God led us in the creation. Of spiritual seeds planner, which is a planner designed with 1 goal. 1 goal that matters most. And that is the goal that God has to set us free. And so if that’s our goal, how do we partner with the Holy Spirit? We look at each area of our life and we open up our hearts to him and we say, here’s our daily activity.

Show me what to do and where to go that I become fruitful and show Christ is living in me so he can live in others to use my life for your goal. And that’s how the planner came to be.

Kelly: Oh, that’s beautiful. I such a paradigm shift, and it reminds me of Matthew 6 33, which says seek 1st, the kingdom of God, and then all these things will be added unto you.

So it’s a focus. It’s [00:16:00] just the focus of our heart is on Jesus. That is just amazing. And you were so gracious. You sent me a planner and it’s beautiful. You can also get the undated planners, which I want to mention because we are in April

But you can also get all kinds of beautiful stickers and verses on the stickers. And also even the bracelets with the fruit of the spirit on them. I just thought it was so creative and amazing and inspirational.

Leann: Yeah. Thanks Kelly. I appreciate that. It has been so much fun

Kelly: I know you wrestled with the Lord back and forth about whether you were hearing him correctly, whether you were qualified to follow him in this ministry. And we’ll talk about that, the ministry in just a moment, but God did something at your farewell from your company that really helped confirm this decision in your mind.

Leann: Yeah. Right. , the group that I work for, it’s big group, you know, big company, 15 billion a year, right? . And [00:17:00] so they had Kind of a farewell to Leanne, so to speak, and they shared and in that sharing, the senior VP, my boss shared with the group who I am and what I’m about.

And he said, Leanne is a follower of Christ and she’s pursuing a calling for Christ. And this is in corporate America on the screen. He shows a picture of the crucifix. As a symbol of my faith and where I’m going. And I am so moved by this because I know the rules of corporate America, right? Yeah, he goes on and he says, when Leanne came, he goes as a Christian, you know, I’m always kind of like tiptoeing around.

How do you show that? How do you act that? Where do you say things? Where do you not say things and remain politically correct and in compliance with the organization? And he said, Leanne comes in and she’s just, [00:18:00] here’s who I am. I live for Jesus and transparent and bold, not in a preachy way, but just in an everyday.

Mannerism and that gave me the freedom to do the same when I heard those words and I had the response of so many who were on that call that day, feeling the same thing, God said to my heart. All these years, these are the things I’ve been doing. You didn’t even know it. As you were just doing what I asked you to do, I was working towards a greater goal in showing who I am through you and through others.

in a place where we’ve been told not to. And so that brought me back to, of course he has a plan. , that confidence came back that you could trust him then and you [00:19:00] can trust him now.

Kelly: Gosh, that is so beautiful. I can’t believe he did that in corporate America.

Leann: Yeah. Yeah. It was crazy.

And honestly, I didn’t realize it was happening. At the time, I just doing what I do for Jesus, you know, yeah, I said, yeah, but it’s in those day to day moments that others are encouraged.

Kelly: Yes. And then even in this place where you have this business with your sister, it’s more of a ministry than a business. Which I think is so beautiful. So tell people about the business and what you offer, but especially about the spiritual encouragement you offer on the website. I just think it’s so cool.

Leann: Yeah. So spiritual seeds planner. Our mission is to bring the hope of Jesus to the world around us. One fruit at a time, because we know that it’s seeing Christ in us. That affirms everything about him, that he lives, that his word is true, that he’s [00:20:00] available. And it’s only by the power of the Holy spirit, that’s possible.

So partnering with the spirit is where we’re like. Walking in the spirit.

one of the things we really hone in on is: the life we plan is the life we live

but who is planning to bring joy to a meeting? Who is planning to reveal Christ at the dentist? And so we really emphasize people plan to walk in the spirit and you will yeah.

Kelly: That’s so good.

Leann: Yeah. I’m planning to go get my teeth cleaned this afternoon, but I’m not planning to be kind or reveal Christ. Maybe I should plan to bring Christ. And while I’m there, I’ll get my teeth cleaned.

And so what we bring to people is tools that help make spiritual practical. A planner that says, rather than just planning, my to do list, I’m going to plan how I [00:21:00] can walk in the spirit, how I can leverage and utilize my daily activities to grow the kingdom to produce fruit to be transformed and to.

Bring hope to those around me. So it’s bringing that practicality into place. And when we do, we see that transformation, we see our life change, and we walk Differently, right? Don’t stop going to work, but we go to work with a different purpose. And so we create the tools on the website. It’s the planner is the foundation just being very proactive and planning, being intentional about your day to day activities.

By setting a goal and recognizing and partnering with the Holy Spirit to carry those actions out to look to proactively look for opportunity. And then we also do a podcast, but the podcast is simply a word of encouragement each week. And we do [00:22:00] videos and we offer other tools, scripture downloads, and

what we really do and what’s most helpful is we offer support groups and so whether it’s an online group or a group in person, I like to think of it as the Weight Watcher group where we come together in community and share ways that we’re making our walk with the spirit practical and lift each other up and share stories of transformation and so really, supporting one another, but also recording the results.

So we’re just creating tools, offering the website, Facebook, social media, but in person groups, really supporting 1 another in every way. We possibly can.

Supporting recovery groups with planners, people who are trying to put discipline into their life and a walk with Christ in their life. So if they bring those 2 together fruitful, right? And the [00:23:00] abundance.

Kelly: And healing. John 10 10 says the enemy comes still kill and destroy. But Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. So your tools are there to, help us to have a vision as the Lord leads us into that abundant life.

Leann: Yeah.

Kelly: Exactly,  It’s a whole different perspective. It’s looking at your life through the eyes of Christ, who reminds us in 2 Cor 4:18 to look at things that are unseen, to look at the eternal rather than the temporary.

Leann: Oh, Kelly, you hit it. If I was to say to somebody, how has my life changed since we’ve been doing this, which is now four years, two things. I’m walking in the spiritual. I am seeing the unseen every little situation at the grocery store. My eyes are open because the Holy Spirit is so present and active, and I’m choosing [00:24:00] to use his eyes.

And there is a new boldness where maybe I would have gone to the gas station and not even looked at the attendant. And now I intentionally. Because I’m planning and I’m purposing and I’m making it my goal to bring Christ into every situation. I’m walking up to the attendant and saying hello and looking them in the eye and really leaning into is the Holy Spirit leading for a deeper conversation and that’s it boldness and unseen like we’re now walking in that spiritual world.

And the practical is secondary where normally it’s yeah, I got this to do list and I’m hoping to become more like Jesus while I’m doing it.

Kelly: Yeah. I love that one line. You said the life we plan is the life we live. CS Lewis said something so similar aim at heaven and you’ll get earth thrown in aim at earth and you’ll get neither. So [00:25:00] what you’re talking about is having an eternal intentional perspective.

Leann: I So love that. We want to strengthen them and say, repurpose every day of your life, and watch your impact for the kingdom explode.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s awesome. I and just to help us understand very specifically, if you go to the spiritual seeds planner website , you’ll see the podcast, the word of encouragement for this, week. It’s peace God’s way by Greg, who is Leanne’s husband, . You can listen to that encouragement about how to be a peacemaker in your daily life.

And Leanna has one up there called sustainable joy, and this one in particular focuses our eyes on Joseph and how he had joy, even in difficult circumstances.

Leann: Yeah. And I’ll just be honest with you, Kelly. We’ve never made a penny. We’ve done nothing but give money. And this year we donated 500 planners to our church and, , they, , Sold them. So people were invested, right? . And then that [00:26:00] went to a ministry through the church. so that was a great way to do that, but, , it’s really helping pastors as well, send their people out to work the fields, if you will,

it’s a fruitful life. You want a fruitful life? You got to have a fruitful plan. You have to plan to be fruitful. Yeah. Yeah. So I hope that answers your question a little bit.

Kelly: Yeah, it does. That’s so good.

Leann: God did not tell us to be successful. He called us to be fruitful. And it is by the love we show from the fruit of the spirit to others that he’ll be known.

Our job is to make him known, you know, his goal is to increase the kingdom.

The fruit of the spirit is so amazing because it’s a description of Christ. This is the character of Christ and it’s the manifestation of Christ in us. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s nothing I can create on my own and goodness knows I try. Right. And so, but when you allow the spirit to [00:27:00] do it, it’s so far above and beyond us.

But here’s the crazy thing. No one opposes. love. We hear this in Galatians. There is no law against the fruit of the spirit. There is no limit to the fruit of the spirit. You can’t have too much love. You can’t have too much joy, but it breaks down barriers between believers and non believers because they welcome peace.

They welcome kindness and gentleness. But if you say Jesus, It’s hands up and so it is a common ground and a way of reaching those without. Hitting that wall, if you will. And what I’ve found is that as we dig into the fruit of the spirit, he just reveals more and more deeper, deeper, you know, like my idea of love and the love of the father are about.

18 worlds apart, you know, and [00:28:00] so there’s, you can never get to that place where you fully understand it. And then he reveals the power in it, which is Christ. But he has created a boldness and that’s amazing. And just watching people’s lives be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and then being used for others has just been beyond my wildest dreams.

Kelly: I’m so grateful to the Lord for what he’s been doing in and through this ministry. And you know what you said is so true. So much of what we do divides, but what you’re talking about is when you show up in the power of the Holy Spirit, it unites because you’re exuding the love and light and gentleness and power and kindness of Jesus.

Leann: Yeah. Yeah. He, I mean, he’s the bridge builder, right? Yeah. Yeah. And it’s really, what would I look like if God created my vision board? It’s Who I am becoming in Christ.

And it’s a picture of the character of [00:29:00] Christ.

Kelly: So you’ve just been able to go deeper and deeper into the heart of Christ as you’ve been focusing on his character through the fruit of the spirit.

Leann: Right.

Kelly: That’s so insightful. So good. Well, Leanne, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and I’m wondering as we leave, if you could just offer a word of hope or encouragement to our listeners.

Is there anything else you’d like to leave us with?

Leann: I would just love to encourage anyone wherever they are , God is with them. And that means he is in them. If you are a follower of Christ, the day that you accepted him and invited him into your life, he sent the spirit, his spirit to live in you. Walk in the spirit, walk in the spirit from morning to night, every day.

He’s in you. We often are looking for God and say, where are you, God? He’s in you. He’s with you. We say, God show up. It’s like, I say, bring him [00:30:00] he’s in you. And I think that changes everything. So I would encourage people to recognize, wake up and greet God who’s in you.

Kelly: Amen. Thank you, Leanne. Her website again, spiritualseedsplanner. com. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks for being here today. This was a really wonderful time.

Leann: Kelly. It’s been a pleasure. It’s so great to sit with you.

If you were encouraged in your faith today, it’d be great if you’d help get the word out by subscribing, sharing with a friend or leaving a review. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out through my website, kellyhall. org and pick up some free resources while you’re there. Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope Podcast.

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