Meet Leslie

Thank you so much for stopping by! I feel honored that you’re here.  Here are some things you should know about me:

You Can Bond with Me Over a Passion for:

Spicy ethnic food, cooking, living abroad, drinking freshly roasted coffee (or home roasted in our case, thanks to my coffee snob husband), minimalism, running, discussing cross-cultural, race or social justice issues, or figuring out how we’re supposed to reconcile the life of Jesus with our right now lives. I’ve been accused of being a “friend collector” in the past, so I am always open to one more.

I Often Wish I Lived in Another Country

This blog reflects a lot of my angst over God’s perceived call on my life and His actual call on my life.  Many of my posts wrestle with my re-entry journey back after moving back from China.

I wanted to serve God overseas since I was 16 and lived in dread that I would have to live in America. God eventually did lead me to serve Him overseas for five years in a remote city in northwest China, where I taught English in a university for three years and then studied Mandarin full-time for two years after that, thinking I would live there forever. I loved it.

But God had other plans.  Jesus wanted to fulfill the OTHER desire of my heart–marriage to an incredible man and being a mom to two very devious, yet delightful teeny people.  And so far marriage and overseas work have been mutually exclusive, though I still have a passion for overseas work and other cultures.

Marriage Isn’t What I Thought

You can read our love story here, but here I’ll just say that God brought me more than I deserved and more than I asked for in a man.  I’m married to an audio book narrator/voice actor who is self-employed and records in a studio in our basement (which is a huge challenge when you have three little people who are constantly trying to clatter around above his studio).  He is selfless, encouraging and affirming and is truly my best friend.  We’re self-proclaimed goof-balls, so our children pretty much have no chance.

Strangers Tell me I Have my Hands Full

I have a two-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and a baby boy.  I’m staying home with them right now, though I was an elementary and middle school teacher in previous years.  Most days I adore being a mom, but there are days when I focus more on what I’m missing than what I’m gaining, so this blog is also a fight to enjoy the gifts Jesus has laid in my hands right now.  And they really are precious little stinkers.

Why “Scraping Raisins”?

The title for this blog comes from how I often feel after going on a run–as if all those thoughts, like raisins, have finally gotten scraped free.  I write most of my posts in my head on runs before they ever reach the computer.

I’m so glad you are here.  Welcome to my head and heart, because when I started this blog I decided I’d write honestly and openly about what God is teaching me through the life I’m living.  Right now, that is through being a wife and mom in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, though my fascination for other cultures, desire for justice and quest to fall more deeply in love with Jesus lend color to many of my posts.

Thank you for joining me on my journey.  It’s so nice to meet you:-) Subscribe to Scraping Raisins by email and/or follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  I’d love to get to know you better!

Here’s My Professional Bio (if you’re in to that kind of thing):

Leslie Verner has her masters in intercultural studies and bachelors in elementary education, both from Wheaton College. She has taught in both public and private schools, for students ranging from fourth to eighth grade, though most of her teaching career has been for seventh and eighth graders. She lived in China for five years, teaching English as a second language for three years and studying Mandarin full-time for two years before returning to the states to get married and be a teacher in Chicago’s Chinatown. She is currently staying home with her three small children, but is a freelance writer and editor at SheLoves Magazine and volunteers with international students in her area. Though Chicago was home for about 15 years, she and her family currently live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where they enjoy “hiking” as a family (their oldest child is four). They also love exploring used books stores, craft coffee shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, though most of her days are spent chasing children at the library or park. Leslie blogs regularly about faith, family, social justice and cross-cultural issues at

Follow her on Twitter: @leslie_verner | Facebook: Leslie Verner | Instagram: scraping_raisins | Pinterest: leslie verner