Lovely Traces of Hope

It’s just another story of a mom desperate for hope after losing her child! Or is it? The one person that spoke significantly into Kathy’s grief was her departed daughter. Listen in as Leisha influences her mom to see the tiny slivers of hope- like wisps of a dandelion.

Get a sneak peak at chapter 14 today.

There are times in our life when we are forced to make a choice. Keep running away from the pain, or walk into the darkness to find the morning light. Read Kathy’s response to that choice in this free chapter.

About the Book

Days after the sudden death of her 15-year-old daughter, Leisha, Kathy Burrus found chapter one of a book her daughter had begun to write. Overwhelmed with grief, Kathy asked many of the questions we ask ourselves in life’s most painful moments;

• Why is this happening to me? 
• Where are you God?
• How can I deal with this unexpected pain in my life?

It was Leisha’s unfinished book that penetrated deep into the torn and broken heart of her mother. As Kathy wrote to finish Leisha’s story, Leisha pointed her mom to see the lovely traces God revealed about himself in random and unexpected ways. The Living One who Died became alive in Kathy’s life like never before.

Do you struggle to see goodness from the God who has allowed your journey to have heart-wrenching pain? Do you long to experience the hope that God promises you?

God is giving you Lovely Traces of Hope each day. In this book, Kathy reveals how she began to see them- and how you can too!

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About the Authors

Kathy Burrus never intended to be an author.

Wife. Mother. Life Coach. Speaker. All of these things, yes! But writing a book was definitely not on her bucket list!

That changed the day after her daughter Leisha died. In the back of Leisha’s journal, she found Chapter One of a book her daughter had begun. It opened by telling Kathy’s story and ended with "…and then I was born, Leisha D. Burrus". In that moment, Kathy knew she was meant to finish the book.

Kathy is a lover of stories, and more importantly, of the people who live those stories. She chose to become a certified professional life coach to take this a step further, and help women hear, through their own stories, who they are and how they are making a difference in their world. She loves to help them intentionally design hope as they engage their life, empower their love in marriage, and even embrace their loss.

Drawing from her experience as a life coach and from years in ministry as a worship leader and as the wife of a pastor, Kathy has found her author’s voice. In her writing, she shares a message of hope and healing to women that is authentically transparent.

Kathy and her husband Rennie, have been married for 38 years. They have three beautiful daughters; Caitlin, Brielle, and Leisha, and now enjoy the presence of two sons-in-law; Jack and Jason. Kathy and Rennie make their home surrounded by the cornfields of Columbus Grove, Ohio.

In her offstage time, Kathy enjoys hosting tea parties with her grandmother’s china, listening to music that matches her mood, and observing the beauty of nature from some of her favorite spaces. Add to that some precious time with family and friends and she is one happy lady.

To schedule Kathy for your women’s event or conference, or to learn more about her ministry and how she can help you listen to your story, email

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Meet Leisha

I had always known Leisha was a lover of words. She liked to sing them, debate them, cheer them, and even make acrostics out of them. She especially like to talk, whether it was telling a favorite story or encouraging a friend. She would often record her thoughts and stories of most recent events on a tape recorder we had given her. Her journals were full of memories of her life.
But we did not know she was writing her story until the day she died.

Inspiration for the book

Leisha had the title page for her book. "Lovely Traces" But she wrote only one chapter. She started to tell of her birth, but chose instead to write that one chapter about my story and the years leading up to her birth. The chapter ended, "And then I was born. Leisha Danae Burrus. April 28, 1991."

I knew the day I read this chapter that it was mine to finish. But her chapter was the start I needed to take a long look at my own story. Leisha prompted me to take time to pay attention to incredible lessons from my own journey. Now together Leisha and I encourage you to do the same.

What people are saying...

Speaker, Coach, Author of The Barefoot Executive

We’ve heard it often… ‘Sticks and Stones maybe break my bones, but words will never hurt me!’–and we know that’s not true. Words can hurt. Conversely, they can reveal things to us that we never knew before and they can heal hurts deeper than we can imagine.

This momma’s heart, battered from disappointments, a selfharming child and realizations that she had to let go of a lifelong dream in order to live fully present with her family, was further broken by the tragic loss of her youngest daughter.

But as if whispering from the other side of Heaven … 15 year old Leisha’s own words were a balm to her weary soul.

What do pickles, pinwheels and produce farming have to do with healing and hope? Maybe nothing, maybe everything.   Peek inside these pages to find hearts laid bare … leaving traces of love, light and ever-present hope.

PhD Professor of theology at Whitworth University

Author of A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss
And A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life

Parents assume their children will outlive them, which makes the loss of a child not only painful but confusing and disorienting.  Kathy experienced what literally tens of millions of mothers have experienced throughout human history.  But in the wake of the loss she discovered something, which changed everything.  She found a journal that contained the beginning of Leisha’s life story, a story that was stopped short so suddenly.  How many teenagers write their life story?  Kathy decided to finish the story.  The book you have before you is that finished story.  People’s lives carry forward as memory and influence, for good or for ill.  This unusual book illustrates such influence in a way that is concrete, moving, and powerful.

Normally a daughter carries forward the story of her mother; in this case the mother carries forward the story of the daughter.  I am grateful beyond measure that Kathy chose to complete the story.  God bless her for it.

Speaker, author of The 30 Day Praise Challenge

and certified life and leadership coach with The John Maxwell Team

Is there hope after death? With grace and gut level authenticity, Kathy gently takes you by the hand and leads you to hope that can be found in even the darkest places of your story. I promise you, you will walk away changed after reading Kathy’s story!

President and CEO Awana Clubs International

Speaker, Author of Well-Tended Soul and Faith Shaped Kids

After the death of her 15- year-old daughter, Leisha, Kathy dares to enter into the messy places of her pain to give us courage to look into our own losses. With fierce honesty, she leans into the darkness to see if God is for real. Inexplicably, Kathy not only found that God became more real, but that her grief had become a journey with HOPE! In Lovely Traces of Hope, over and over, Kathy points us to the One who is able to take our brown worlds of grief and transform them into green hope time and time again. This book will restore your faith in God and in his care at the heartbreaking times when we need it most.

Author of Surprised by the Healer  and others.

President and Co-Founder of Authentic Intimacy

Through this beautiful book, Kathy invites you into her naked heart. You experience her joy, her deepest sorrow and grief only to witness a resurrection of authentic hope. If you are walking through trial and grief, God will use this courageous testimony to breathe new life into you!