How to Ask For What You Need

The Failed Enneagram Project

Last Spring, my good friend Sara and I attempted to listen to an audiobook on the enneagram. We both had read a starter book on the topic and figured we were on our way to something meaningful with book two in the series. Sara and I have in common that we are brainy leaning towards nerdish with learning and information; but honestly, most of our closest friends fall into that category.

The point is that we expected it to be fairly easy to become mediocre gurus on the enneagram. Mark my words, we did NOT become gurus on the enneagram. We made it through three sessions. I could not understand the triads. Sara had to explain wings to me. Then, we just stopped. Seriously, thank goodness. We were not onto something!

I suppose I could blame Sara since 7s give up when they get bored. I could also blame myself because 9s reflect others (through something called merging) and forget to have their own opinions. But Sara wouldn’t let me do that even if she was extremely bored. Like I said, we’re really good friends.

The Topic of this Blog?

Recently, when I asked blog readers to choose topics for me to write about this fall, Sara replied first. She picked this topic:

How to Ask For What You Need Whether You Get It Or Not

Her second pick was:

How To Be a Good Friend (Top 10 List)

If this blog post was for Sara only, I could merge these two topics.

Here’s why:

Sara and I have in common that we are married to our opposites. I know this is no big surprise that opposites often attract. But this is not your average cliché. Because we are married to our real, life opposites, there is a lot of our world that lives in the space of sisterhood. In other words, what doesn’t work in our marriages works out in friendships. So, it makes perfect sense that these two blog topics go well together.

Where do we go from here?

If you want more on the topic of friendship, then I am going to send you to a previous, popular blog post called This is a Messy Post About Authentic Friendship. I promise to write a Top 10 list very soon!

If you want more of finding your voice, Read on.

At the end of 2016, I lost my voice. I had never fully lost my voice before. Therefore, I had no idea what was happening or how to find my voice again. Losing your voice means that you no longer have actual words for what you are going through. You feel a sense of loss but can no longer describe your loss or know how to ask for what you need. Although I learned that I was depressed in that season of life, you don’t have to be depressed to lose your voice.

The Language of Requests

Here’s the deal my friends. There is a practice of living that helps you keep your voice or find your voice again if you’ve lost it. This practice is called the Language of Requests. I don’t know if that’s a universal term. My counselor, at the time, taught me this practice over a few years. I kept practicing it – – because it is hard for this enneagram 9. 9s tend to be happy to go along with whatever works for others and tune out. Thus, I keep practicing because this girl likes to swim at the bottom of the deep sea in her thoughts. If she stays in the deep too long without using her voice, she easily forgets to ask for what she needs.

What is the Language of Requests?

A substantive request.

Defined specifically.

Without an expectation of outcome.


Friend, I am feeling sad. Would you hang with me by taking a walk at the beach with the dogs?

Roommate or spouse: Can you please do the dishes tonight before you watch the game?

I’d like you (employer) to cover my health insurance while I am on maternity leave.

Can you be my driver today while I run errands? (My actual dream)

These are substantive requests defined specifically.

No Expectations of Outcome

You can use your brain to think up words for the language of requests. But you will have to work on your heart when it comes to your expectations. The power within the language of requests is that you don’t NOT ASK because you suspect the answer is NO. You ask anyway. Yes! That is how you use your voice.

Whether with your spouse/significant other, friends or family, it can become easy to go with the flow. Some of that is a good thing. But when you lose yourself to a set of difficult circumstances, an unhealthy or toxic dynamic or a way of living that cuts off your needs and desires, you eventually sink. You lose your voice.

Spiritual Silence

Back in 2016 and much of 2017, I was so lost within myself that I could no longer hear my heavenly Father speaking to me. Yes, I lost his voice too. The loss of my own voice was a quiet falling that hurt, but the loss of my Father’s voice almost spiritually killed me. Those words sound dramatic. However, those words are truthful. The fraud of the silence kept me from so many godly promises.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Psalm 23:6

Don’t grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest.

Galatians 6:9

The Father is always at his work as is the Son.

John 5:17

Blessed are those who have not seen and believed.

John 20:29

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

Overcoming Dual Silence

The road back from this dual silence took several months, more likely years. I got brave (like the least amount of bravery one can muster to move one inch forward) and started to use the language of requests. I am sure my initial attempts were shaky and perhaps even went unnoticed. Seven years later, I can now ask for things that would have taken three weeks of preparation, several rehearsals and a therapy session.

As to the spiritual silence, I slowly learned to believe God’s promises over the quietness of my relationship with the Lord. I began to move into the freedom of the holy doubter’s tension where doubting and believing live together in faith. I chose to believe that He was speaking and working and moving in my life beyond my ability to hear or see. I learned to trust and hope with or without a tangible God.

Back to the Enneagram

Neither Sara nor I are the mediocre gurus we hoped to be. Even so, it is very fun to learn just a little. We both read The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. There is a chapter for each enneagram number. You can try to peg yourself and everyone you know as you read the book (which is what the book tells you not to do!).

If you prefer to do even less than that, but still want to have some fun, you can visit The Enneagram Institute and take the test for $12 or you can google to find a free test. From there, search your enneagram type on Pinterest and look at teachable images to learn more. That’s what I do! You can see what I have gathered by clicking here.

That’s all I got since I am less than a mediocre guru.

Love always,


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How to Run After the Harvest This Fall

Dear Sisters, what a summer it has been! Surely, I will post some of what I learned this summer in the upcoming months. To be candid, some of my summer was a question mark. I came up with a few blog post titles to give you a clue as to my summer of question marks:

How To Get Through A Very Hard Day

What To Do When You Don’t See Eye to Eye With a Very Close Friend

How To Be Vulnerable When Your Heart is Cracked Wide Open

How To Pick Up & Go On After Everything That Was Is Not

Other parts of my summer deserve a big exclamation mark!

My college boy was home. Woohoo! We got a hot tub! Yes! My gardener husband Eric warded off the second massive bee colony that set up shop in our backyard in the last six months. Phew! My nephew took his first steps! We adopted an old girl boxer who needed a home. What? Maybe that belongs up with the questions marks! lol

Our Old Girl Ginger

We Love You Summer & Now We Welcome Fall!

As the summer is coming to a quick close, I was inspired to think about the significance of the passing of more than half of 2023. After we moved my son into his new dorm last week, I had seven hours in the passenger seat to do many things I love like hunt and scroll through Pinterest clicking on interesting articles for organizing and planning, new recipes and faith based ideas for sisterhood and discipleship. Then, I began to write this Fall Harvest List and Calendar for you.

I think the last few Fall Bucket Lists are still fantastic – – and you can get them here. This season, however, instead of a Fall Bucket List, I wrote a Fall Harvest List that will help you take stock and plan to live intentionally in the coming Fall and Winter seasons. The goal is for you to run after the Fall Harvest – – no matter how far ahead the abundance may be! No matter how far away the fruit appears to be, go after it!

I also created a Fall Calendar for September, October and November that correlates to the Fall Harvest List. The Fall Harvest List is below and the Calendar is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Run After the Harvest – Even If It Feels Far Away

1. Muster up Mustard Seed Faith

      Even though the year is winding down, do the thing that you haven’t done yet with every drop of passion residing in your soul. You may be weary, tired, burdened, overwhelmed or sad. Even so, a mustard seed is all that you need to do the thing that needs to be done. Look in the James 1 mirror and do the thing God is showing you to do. 

      2. Fix Broken Things

          Whatever is broken that you are capable of fixing, get to it. Figuratively or Practically. Fix it. God empowers you to do what you can. He calls you to do what you can. No more. No less. He is fair in his calling to fix broken things.

          3. Declare Your Headspace

          While covered in the blood of Christ, inform Satan that he has no influence over your fears and doubts. God’s victory over your circumstances informs your mind’s thoughts. Check out from thoughts planted by the evil one. Refute suggestions that God doesn’t win. Declare that your headspace is governed by God’s goodness, his banner of love over you and his everlasting promises that do not return void. 

          4. Read More of the Word

          Psalm a day? Proverbs over a month? A chapter a day until the book is done? Believe that heaven rains down its glory when you soak in His word. Scripture scrolling, biblical books or other good reads are not an equal substitute for drenching yourself in the depths of his love written in word form. Be drawn to holiness and let the pull of the day wait patiently as you read more of the Word.

          5. Fine Tune Your Spiritual Disciplines

          Get serious about silence and solitude. What does God speak to you when He’s got you face to face, eye to eye and heart to heart? His love is greater than the roundest full moon, most ravenous ocean and the most thunderous mountain. He will tell you of his love if you will give him your undivided time.

          6. Be in the Moment

          The past is the past. Yesterday is gone. Five minutes ago is over. Set your mind on things above. Whatever is holy, meditate on that. The small, irritating things are passing. Let him lift your chin to higher ground. The invisible is eternal. Let your present moment be rooted in the unending love of Christ. 

          7. Get Stronger & Healthier

          The physical matters. We strengthen our minds with learning and acquired wisdom. We grow our souls to kindness, maturity and gratitude. Often, our physical body suffers neglect. Feed her well. Hydrate her. Challenge her to sweat beads and nourish her with sunshine. She will become a strong frame for your mind and soul. She has the power to encourage your mind and soul if you will attend to her. Choose strength and walk in health.

          8. Choose Smallness

          The world may sometimes appear that it is falling apart. Even so, the world needs you. Don’t give up or in to overwhelm. Choose a mindset of small where daily steps and acts matter. With intention, keep moving where God is moving. Your little will resonate and multiply in God’s hands. Take your small part in His redemption of the world.

          9. Be Open to Sisterhood

          Spend time with sisters who want to know you and show up for your deepest needs. We don’t always know the part of us that has need until someone looks in, takes our hand and speaks into the space that needs voice and community. Deep friendship is a practice of vulnerability and trust. Sisterhood can be a space where the unconditional love of Christ is revealed and reflected. Venture into sisterhood and see where it takes you.

          10. Embrace Yourself

          Choose to be a well watered garden. As much as we would like to be shade for others, refreshing to others, support for others, our efforts will be short lived if we are not well watered first. Immerse yourself in the water of the Holy Spirit. The second greatest commandment to love others can’t happen if you first do not love yourself. Be watered first my dear sister.

          11. Be Weak

          We can be molded when we are weak. When we are in need, we are most open to change. We desire strength when we don’t feel capable. Somewhere around ground zero, we have the potential to grow into strength. Allow yourself to be laid out and then let God grow you into the path of strong.

          12. Be Something New

          No one said you or your circumstances must remain the same. When it’s time to shift, do so. When it’s time to knock on a new door, lift your hand and begin. Spreading your wings and rising again is not just for the young or the risk takers. Newness is for you when the Lord calls. Be something new as He sings over you.

          Dear Sisters, run after the Fall Harvest – – no matter how far ahead the abundance may be! No matter how far away the fruit appears to be, go after it! I am running right there with you!

          Love, Sasha

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          How to Begin the Summer Bucket List

          Dear friends, spring is winding down. Graduations and all the festivities are coming to a close. College kids are home. Little ones are gearing up for summer camp or slow days at home. Friends are starting to share their take off dates for vacations and staycations. Summer flow is upon us.

          This post is to invite you to include small intentional acts toward loving others and yourself, creativity and hospitality. I created a Summer Bucket List that I am excited to share.

          Most of you tell me that you pick about three things on the list that speak to you. I pray you are inspired and motivated to try a few of these bucket list items. Scroll down below for a pic of my first bucket list item and a link for instructions to create your own summer bucket list (or just click right here).

          Create a Space for Something You Love

          Teas have become quite an event for my daughter and me. We have been on a long string of obsession with Pistachio and Peony Purim Tea with Raw Honey and Vanilla Soy Milk. The electric tea kettle was on the opposite side of the counter from the mugs, honey and other good stuff. I made a small adjustment for ease. Remember the small things my friends.

          How To Create Your Own Bucket List

          If you’d rather write your own bucket list, click here to read How To Empower Your Everyday with a Seasonal Bucket List. You will find all of the steps and purpose you need to create a list that fits you, your friends and family perfectly.

          Love you dearly and will be in touch soon!

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          How to Get Out of a Rut and Back to Adventure

          Have you ever found yourself in a rut?

          I’m not talking about the kind of rut when you are bored with life. Some other time, we can talk about when life feels bland or dry.

          This post is about when your stressors are in overdrive for far too long. Over months, you are rolling in and around potential outcomes that won’t or don’t come. Conflict that won’t resolve. Circumstances that don’t change. Attitudes that remain. The cycle of responsibilities that doesn’t ease up. Recovery that just feels too far off.

          This is the kind of rut I am talking about: Routinely scraping the grind over and over without producing what you really want.

          Girl Talk

          Recently, I was talking to my friend Sara (we use the same goal planner) and asked if she has ever lost a week, weeks or even a month where she hadn’t connected with her monthly or annual goals or daily tending list. Basically, I asked her if she’s ever unintentionally blew off personal check ins for any period of time.

          **I define personal checks ins as those set aside times when you ask yourself how you’re doing, what you’re doing and if your days, weeks and months align with your values, priorities and annual goals.

          Sara replied, yes, that has happened to her.

          This just happened to me. My goal planner was blank for the month of April. In addition to little or no personal check ins, there was no monthly brainstorming or encouraging words, no stated priorities, no listed action items or tracking of weekly rhythms or daily habits. That’s a lot to miss. Instead of asking myself logical questions, I found myself on the toilet.

          Sitting on the Toilet

          After I had rambled to God for more than an hour in the early morning hours, I headed to the bathroom to pee. While I was sitting on the toilet, I continued with my in a rut questions. God, am I going to be okay? Followed by, I think am going to give up.

          When I was sitting on the toilet, I was totally aware of how ridiculous my rut rambling was. First, I will always be okay because He will always be on the throne. Inherently, I knew that as I asked the question to God for more than an hour.

          Second, what exactly am I giving up on? The marriage we have fought so hard for. The kids who I long to show up for every day. The girlfriends that love me to my bones. My extended family who hangs in there in thick and thin. The job I have so that I can earn money for our family. Which one of those gifts will I be throwing in the towel?

          The Linchpin

          When the connection between your everyday and your life’s values and goals disconnect, you get caught in a rut. The rut in the mud is deepened each time you pass over the same conflicts, circumstances, attitudes and responsibilities without resolution. The rut gets muddier as you circle back around the stubborn situations that just keep persisting.

          As you go back and forth over the rut, you expend more emotional and mental energy plus your precious time. In these seasons, we naturally, yet unintentionally, knock out the activities, expressions and relationships that ground us. We start to feel like we are walking on a cracked sidewalk. We feel unsteady and begin asking questions that aren’t representative of who we are or whose we are.

          Back to the Toilet

          As I sat on the toilet that morning, God simply said:

          Let’s go do something together.

          As I thought about the possibility of adventure, God reminded me that there are a few core things that ground me and make me feel alive. He reminded me that I love writing to you and I love thinking of ideas for my bible study. As he reminded me of these two things that had been pushed out by my stubborn circumstances, he said,

          Let’s go do those things together.

          Although I know what I love to do, I never quite realized that writing and bible study are the same things that he desires to do with me. When I step away for longer than necessary to address life’s complications, I lose my time where I adventure with him. I lose the excitement of dreaming of the things only he could plant in my little human mind for my joy and his joy.

          My creative life is the one thing that I do with him. My friend Susie pointed out to me years ago that my creative life is just like spending quiet time with him or doing a devotional. This part of my life depends solely on my connectedness to him.

          Just the Facts, Ma’am

          When we are not living out our very individualized, creative identity that he made for us to do with him, we lose our sense of walking on a firm foundation. We lose our sense of adventure. He has made us people who thrive when we are setting out to do things with him. When we are not, we lose touch with the parts of our lives that qualify as our great adventure. Instead of feeling alive, we end up feeling like we are walking on a cracked sidewalk.

          My Testimony of Adventure

          When I walk with him on El Mar Drive in the morning sunshine, everything around me begins to speak. You know, even the rocks cry out in worship. When we adventure together in this way, I remember

          • I don’t enjoy walking on cracked sidewalks and how glorious it feels to be grounded in him.
          • It is him, and only him, that feeds my soul.
          • He has more to say than I could ever imagine.
          • He really doesn’t have anything better to do than to dwell with me and in me.
          • Everything is held together by his wisdom, his hands and his great, everlasting love.
          • Nothing is unknown to him.
          • He deeply stretches out himself before every one of us.

          When I remember that kind of love, I understand that my adventures with him give me the answers to my questions like – will I be okay and can I keep going? He has already done all of the work. We are saved in him. Therefore, we will be okay. We don’t need to give up because he will never give up. For these reasons, we can get up and go on adventures with him.

          Questions for Thought

          Have you felt a little off kilter lately?

          Have you been asking questions that aren’t reflective of your identity in Christ?

          Have you briefly lost touch with the adventures God loves to go on with you?

          How long has it been since you have set aside time for a personal check in? If it’s been awhile, stop for a few minutes now. How are you doing? What are you doing? Do your days, weeks and months align with your values, priorities and annual goals?

          Think beyond the actual hard things going on in your life. In this moment, can you list the things the Lord desires to do with you? What is your adventure with him?

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          How to Know if You’re Honoring Your Three Most Valuable Parts

          Body. Mind. Soul.

          You are a human being with three parts working together as a whole.

          You are also made of three separate parts serving individual purposes.

          Here is the wisdom: You must honor each part and you must honor the whole.

          This post is intended to give you some examples and questions to ask yourself so that your whole self can grow stronger and more resilient to the glory of God.

          Through trial and error, I’ve learned my tendencies which lean toward pushing my mind, tending to my soul and living like my body is invisible. You have your tendencies too.

          Not too long ago, I realized that my body has kindly supported my mind and soul for a long time without much gratitude or attention to the heavy load she carries. That means working mentally hard, thinking hard and worrying hard (to be candid) – – without acknowledging the great strength and care my body exerts to keep me moving mentally.

          Let’s stop here for a moment and move from the symbolic to the tangible.

          Could you, would you, rely on a foundation that does not have an opportunity to grow in strength, does not experience gratitude and has little resources to replenish or restore itself? But all along was expected to be firm and reliable?

          No way. That does not make any rational sense.

          Hence, I have learned to honor my body. I’ve shared recently that I’ve spent a lot of hours walking at the beach before my day begins. I’ve spent a lot of hours in the darkness of the yoga room allowing my body her own time for expression and for gaining strength. I’ve spent time building her through nutrients; and giving her less of the comfort foods that really only offer brief relief from the day.

          Sisters, we are a work in progress.

          I ask you, which part of yourself is living invisibly to your other parts? What part of you have you taken for granted for a long, long time?

          • Have you focused so much on a strong body that you have forgotten the value of challenging your mind with learning, reading the Word, intellectual hobbies and excelling in the home, workplace or community?
          • Have you focused so much on your soul that you have become a bit of a hermit in your own world? Have you forgotten the value of community? Have you forgotten that life is an adventure? It’s not all about our comfort and/or individual growth.
          • Have you focused so much on your mind that you have become an expert in areas that may not be as valuable as you think? Have you become so engrossed with gaining information that you have blurred out the needs of your soul or body? Have you forgotten the value of silence or peace? Have you lost touch with living out your expertise by helping others?

          Dear sisters, I urge you to create your own questions and explore your own answers.

          One of my mantras for the year is

          All Parts of Our Lives Matter

          In my daily life, this translates into mini goals and habit tracking for the benefit of the body, mind and soul. The end game is a strong body, mind and soul working together for God’s glory. The stronger the whole can grow, the greater you will serve your neighbor and love yourself as God loves you.

          Here are some quotes and verses that are blessing me on my journey to honor my whole self. May you take off on your own journey to strengthen your body, mind and soul. Love you dearly, Sasha

          The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

          Isaiah 58:11

          I dwell in possibility.

          Emily Dickinson

          Always remember: The same bravery that found you in the most challenging time of your life is the same bravery that is with you today.

          Morgan Harper Nichols

          Image Credit to Catherine Holcombe, The Beautiful Brain. See the artist’s work at

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          How to Know When it’s Time to Wake Up

          This post is about two big life questions:

          How to Know When it’s Time to Wake Up &

          How to Find Clarity When You Are Just Not Sure

          As I’ve shared before, I spend a whole lot of time prepping for the new year. To name two of my practices, I Choose a Word for the Year and Make a Powerful Vision Board. The process blesses me with a few key phrases that morph into my big themes for the entire year. Behind these words and phrases are eight fantastic goals.

          The bottom line is that I should have total clarity, right?

          I did have clarity . . . until I started reading The Life You Long For: Learning to Live from a Heart of Rest, by Christie Nockels.

          I’ve watched Christie lead worship the last six or seven years at a women’s discipleship conference called IF:Gathering. Her peaceful, attuned spirit impacts me year after year. When I saw that she wrote a book, I wanted to read it.

          The book has a big theme of going through a season of winter in your life. However, the book did not hint a single word about winter in the title or chapter titles or in the summary on the back cover. No such wintrous words were mentioned until I landed smack dab in the middle of the book.

          What does the theme of winter have to do with waking up? A lot. Let me explain.

          As many of you faithful readers know, I have written extensively about my season of winter. My season of winter had a dramatic entrance when I got seriously ill with Covid while on a family vacation in the Western US. I say that so you know I was very far from home in a very high elevation of which the combination literally took my breath away.

          Winter’s arrival was preceded by two major disappointments in our family. By the time Covid wiped me out, I was powerless to fight the hand of God shutting my life down for a season. Winter’s arrival was simultaneous to my willing surrender.

          In winter, capacity is at a halt. In this season, one relies on the process of God healing and mending our souls – – a process of which we have no control. In winter, we acknowledge that there is no work for us at hand. We stay inside. We stay warm. We lay down beside holiness. We are content in the stillness.

          I had assumed that winter was of the past. But then Christie’s book. Her words took me right back to my winter.

          Interlude for the Non-Farm Girl aka Florida Girl

          If you’re not a farm girl (I’m not) or a girl who reads about farms (I am), then you will need to know the short version of what happens in the farm fields in the freezing winter. When it appears that nothing is happening on the field’s surface, buried stones and rocks begin their rise to the top. The frozen water under the surface eventually thaws; dirt then fills the thawed space and pushes the stone to the surface.  As the snow melts and rocks appear on the surface, farmers head out to the fields to remove the stones and rocks.

          Please pause for the best part.

          With the stones and rocks removed, the soil becomes fertile, fruit bearing ground.

          Remember that the farmer has done nothing in winter to bring the stones and rocks to the surface. Creation has done its holy work by the great, majestic hand of our God. The farmer needs only to agree with God and let the stones and rocks be removed. Then, the farmer can get onto the work of bearing fruit.

          Time to Wake Up?

          After the author shares the extensive details of her season of winter, she explains that, after hiding herself and healing in the center of God’s love, she seemed to have fallen asleep to some of the things God had prepared for her. She needed some nudging to wake up.

          We sometimes need to be reminded that it is time to Wake Up.

          Of course, this nudged me too.

          This is where all my hard-earned clarity went out the window. I did not enjoy watching my hard-earned clarity fly out of my head, but I do enjoy exploring what God may be doing in moments such as these.

          Am I fully awake from winter? Have I been unaware of some of things God prepared me for during my season of winter?

          When you are in a space that lacks clarity, it’s important to determine what you know instead of staying focused on what you don’t know.

          Over the past few weeks, in order to gain clarity, I have asked myself the following questions:

          • Are there any idols I’m worshiping?
          • Am I hanging onto a view of success or worthiness that doesn’t fit my life as a beloved daughter?
          • Can I name the stones that are being dug up in me?
          • If I have the faith to look toward fertile ground, what does that fertile ground look like?

          When I started this post, I still could not answer two of the questions. I had intended to simply share with you that I planned to continue to be prayerful and wait. In the meantime, my overactive mind could not help but pursue more insight into the questions about idols and stones.

          Idols and Stones

          Dear sisters, idols and stones will be with us until a more perfect self emerges on the other side of this life. Idols will draw us away from the Father. Stones will not be so easy to dump. Both require self-awareness and surrender.

          Christie’s book tells us that we are his Beloved.

          Beloved, the highest call on your life – above any personal passion or pursuit – is to be loved by God and take your place as his child.

          God is driving home this point to me.

          My friend Lynn recently taught a devotion on Hosea’s love for his wife Gomer who constantly ran from his passionate, redeeming love for her. From that devotion, I learned that, if we are honest, we are more like Gomer than we had hoped for. But God is also more faithful than we could hope for.

          Later, my phone suggested Beloved by Tenth Avenue North. Read the lyrics. From the song, I embraced the notion that idols will never satisfy. The love we need will always be deep in the Father’s eyes.

          For the first time, our God’s beloved name for us made sense to me.

          O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.

          Hosea 14: 8

          Can there be blooms in winter?

          As I pursued the four questions above more intently and deeply, I began to consider that perhaps winter is closer to my heart than I thought. Christy’s book quotes a letter she received from a loved one about a flower that blooms in winter. She quotes,

          The Amaryllis blooms in winter, even still. It will not look to the world around it and depend on it for nurturing or care. It will instead, obey the world within it and become exactly what it was created to be. To bear the image of the beauty inside itself, set there by a Creator, not bound by time or season.

          Christie Nockels

          Yes, there can be blooms in winter.

          One can be in winter enjoying some blooms. What do winter blooms look like? For me, humble, mature confidence shows itself among iridescent snowflakes. I acknowledge that fear, disappointment, exhaustion and self-doubt are old stones that the Father continues to bring to the surface. However, my winter blooms tell me that, in confidence, humility and beauty will continue to emerge.

          My clarity returns.

          I go back to my Vision Board, Word for the Year and annual goals.

          I remind myself to Believe Again in Impossible Things. I remind myself of the value of Slow Growth. I remember that All Parts of My Life Matter.

          Of my idols and stones, I ask God to remove my pride. When we hold on to the past along with our unmet expectations, we miss God’s mercy. For me, mercy is wrapped up in this quote from Christy’s book:

          Our only hope in this life is to run back to Jesus, the conductor of the rhythm of rest. Here we are met with eyes of mercy. We aren’t even expected to dance right away. Maybe we need a minute to sit and listen and let our hearts be stirred from rest. To hide before we emerge. And that’s okay. God knows we will dance again, and when we do, it will be from this very rest, in the light and effortless way He always intended.

          Christie Nockels

          What do you need to wake up to?

          Even if you are not absolutely sure if God is nudging you to wake up to something, you can focus on what you do know and less on what you don’t. As we think about what our fertile ground may look like in the season we are currently in, we can list the things we are sure of.

          I am sure of

          • Honor my body & my mind.
          • Serve my kids as they continue their launch into adulthood.
          • Fan the Flame of the women in my life. 2 Timothy 1:6
          • Be a good steward.
          • Remember the Mission field.

          For the things we are not sure of, we can remember mercy. We can remember that it’s okay to hide in Him before we are ready to emerge. It’s okay if we are not fully ready to dance again. We can remember that we are free in the here and now and God knows we will dance again. He has full confidence in the gifts and purpose He has woven into us. He has full confidence in His plan for us. There is no pressure or ticking clock in His love.

          With that said, take the plunge.

          Write a list of the things you are sure of in this season.

          Of equal importance, write a list of the things you are not sure of.

          Let Him bring to life what you may need to be awakened to.

          No pressure. All mercy.

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