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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          It’s Time to Say #GoodbyeFall

          What a Fall it’s been!

          If I am totally honest, I have struggled hard with constant low grade anxiety, some sadness and that mid-morning tired feeling that is, well, exhausting. I’m not without a pool of good reasons for the state of my heart and mind. Even so, it’s been a hard Fall.

          My boy has been in Italy for almost four months. His absence is the equivalent of removing one of the strong rocks in my life. Perhaps that’s an odd thing for a mom to say about a child, but that’s who Quinn has been for me. He comes home soon, only to leave again in January. Woe is me as my nest empties.

          At the office, I had several difficult issues to work through. As a professional woman with a commitment to excellence and desire to deliver a job well done, those obstacles were/are hard! I’m reminded by my wise counselor Dan not to personalize the professional – – what a difficult practice!

          When my self talk and prayers hit bottom, I force myself to speak truth to myself.

          I remind myself of my worth by framing my purpose in light of Jesus’ love and kindness toward me. It would be nice if my world served up everything I needed to feel secure and confident. But then I would have no need for God.

          I keep a quote in my planner to counteract my performance oriented personality. I feel life rise up in me when I am kind to myself in this way.

          There is no shame in being proud of the smallest amount of progress.

          Morgan Harper Nichols

          I acknowledge that my soul craves connection. In the big picture, we all need it. As an individual, connection keeps my head above water.

          I try not to overlook the small things that life delivers when the big things are not in view. Small things like – Mom, will you bake banana bread? The girls love your recipe. Or, my mom and her husband picking up a Christmas tree for me and getting it on the stand.

          Friends, this has been my hard Fall.

          Despite myself, I pursued intentional joy during my hard Fall – – which brings me to my Fall bucket list share.

          As you know, my bucket lists are intentional guides to help us live out love, self-care, creativity and hospitality in every season.

          As we say #GoobyeFall, I am sharing with you some of the pics from my Fall bucket List adventure. I hope you enjoy the pics. I truly hope you too pursued joy this Fall.

          Love always,


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          Fall Discovery: How to Set Wise Boundaries

          Most of us are not masters at setting boundaries. However, I think we can agree that all of us are in need of them. We need boundaries for our sanity and our security. Since I am not a good source of limits, I look to my Father who is the master creator of boundaries.

          On the day time began, our Father spoke boundaries into the formless, empty darkness before Him. He separated darkness from light. Sky from water. Land from sea. He split day and night. He eventually split a rib so that man would not be alone. Genesis 1 & 2.

          God is the master of boundaries. I don’t often know when or how to create them, but he speaks them out of wisdom and love. The Word often uses the analogy of the sea when it comes to boundaries. Proximity to the ocean and its view are peace for me. But the ocean also rages, just like our lives. God has a plan for our peace in the midst of the raging sea.

          When worry and anxiety strike and control is something you don’t have, God provides the boundaries. We are not out at sea without cover. We are children of God whose nature it is to create boundaries. As his daughters and sons, we can believe and trust that the hard thing won’t consume us.

          Security in the Storm

          The next few verses have been safety for me when I don’t have insight to the resolution or outcome. In other words, I am speaking of the stage of circumstance when there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The chaotic season, the fearful season. The lost in the dark season. These verses give us security to know we are protected while we are in the middle of the storm. The full verses are at the bottom of this blog if you want to read more.

          The one who has your best interest in mind limits the stretch of the proud waves. He rebukes chaos and puts everything in its place. God limits transgressions so that they cannot flood you. Even when the circumstances of your life are roaring against you, God places a perpetual barrier around you.

          Can you feel the safety net around you? Can you feel the promise that there is no drowning in chaos? Can you believe that no matter the rage of the storm, barriers exist to protect you?

          If we know, believe and trust the character of our Father, it makes sense that he holds the wisdom to help us express boundaries in our own lives.

          Boundaries can feel complicated, well, because relationships and responsibilities are complicated. But there is a simple starting point that has worked for me.

          You Have Control of Your 24 Hours

          If you know God protects you, what in your daily practices will you protect? We know that daily practices are key to living a peaceful, productive, purposeful life. Simply start with your calendar. This is the aspect of your life where you can push back proud waves, tame chaos and create barriers. You, my dear sister, have control of the twenty-four hours a day that belong to you.

          I’ve been working on this in my own life for a few years. Below are a few bullets that represent some of my daily and weekly practices. I may not be in the same season as you. We may have different likes and resources. You will have to brainstorm within your specific life circumstances. The point of my sharing is to provide evidence of how intentional daily practices are the stepping stones to strong boundaries.

          Daily & Weekly Practices

          • Monday Verse of the Week, Prayer list and Inspirational Quote
          • Weekly Bible Study in a group
          • Tuesday Physical Therapy
          • No Cooking on Friday nights
          • Sunday Night Review for the week
          • Weekly act to replenish my joy
          • Weekly act of kindness towards another
          • Mail a snail mail card to someone every week
          • Regular blogging and posting
          • 2-3 walks at the beach
          • 2-3 yoga workouts

          Whether or not you can relate to any of these daily and weekly practices, consider how the carving out of space for these practices results in the small steps of boundaries. As you take responsibility for the time you have been given and protect your resources, you are effectively splitting your life into yeses and nos. As you separate and split your time in positive ways, you are mirroring your Father. You are honoring your Father.

          Creating boundaries in your personal life sets in motion boundaries for the rest of your life. When I am exercising my positive spiritual, mental and physical boundaries, I can offer more clarity, love and intentionality in my friendships and parenting. I can offer understanding and realism in my marriage. I can give work what it’s due but not my blood.

          Boundaries Rock the Boat

          When you are a woman with boundaries, you rock the boat and rile up proud, raging waves. Your opposition doesn’t like the path of your life when you are living a peaceful, productive, purposeful life with boundaries in place. Your opposition prefers that you wear yourself down and out – –  especially in the areas you are most vulnerable or insecure. The opposition intends to stop you from growing in depth, calling and wisdom.

          As you assert boundaries, attacks come. Arrows hit. In these moments, we can allow these arrows to point us toward old, unhealthy ways such as

          • Overcommitting your calendar
          • Staying in toxic friendships, organizations or business relationships
          • Allowing work to take more than its allotted time on a regular basis
          • Spending more financial resources than you have or in the wrong areas
          • Taking on the needs or problems of others while neglecting your own

          Or, we can interpret the arrows as opportunities to hold tight to our boundaries, even if our actions rock the boat.

          Lesson in Boundaries

          Recently, I had a prior client make untrue claims and unfair demands. I decided to stand by my firm’s work. At the same time, I attended to her requests to the best of my ability. In the end, my efforts failed to please her. She filed a formal complaint against me and her view of me has remained negative.

          Without boundaries, I may have met her unfair demands. In this case, that would have solved the problem in a way that didn’t honor my time, credibility or resources. I maintained my boundaries and had to stretch myself to deal with the resulting “raging sea”. That was a tough arrow for me as it hit me in a place of insecurity. Who am I if I can’t make everyone happy? Am I still worthy or valuable in the face of other’s negative opinions?

          I thought several times, was this experience worth setting a healthy boundary? When it comes to my bend toward people pleasing in a way that doesn’t honor my time, credibility or resources, this was an exercise of growth. Boundaries really do rock the boat. Maintaining the boundary cost me time and emotional stress. At the same time, maintaining the boundary is also growing my worth, resilience and faith. God places wise boundaries and I can do the same.

          In Another Instance

          In another instance, I was involved in a community project. In that role, I found myself regularly questioning my worth, attempting to earn my value and over exerting myself in areas that are not my strengths. I defaulted to an equation where if I worked hard enough, the dynamic would change. In obedience to God’s direction in my life, I decided to humbly step away. It took a full year for my soul to heal. Until writing this blog, I had not realized how important my eventual boundary was in this scenario. I pray for you and for me to learn to mirror our Father and place timely, fitting, protective boundaries in our lives.

          Imagine That

          Imagine yourself as a woman of worth with protections around you that are set by the authority of God. Can you shift your mindset to believe that the opportunity to set boundaries is there to grow and prosper you and not to harm you or hurt others? Can you stay alert and not be caught off guard by arrows that seek to open wounds that Jesus has healed or is healing?

          My examples above may not feel as heavy to you as some of the circumstances you may be facing such as abuse or betrayal. Look less at the facts of the story and more at the lesson at hand. My experiences may be preparing you or me for bigger steps in the area of boundaries.

          Stand Your Ground

          When we are in the heavy circumstances of life, we don’t have to be unprepared or without clarity or direction. The Word tells us

          . . . to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm . . . Ephesians 6:13-14

          . . . Rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produced perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us . . . Romans 5:3-5

          . . . walk in freedom for we are devoted to God’s commandments. Psalm 119:45

          Let’s acknowledge how hard standing our ground can be. Let’s be candid about the process of perseverance and suffering. Obedience that leads to freedom costs us something. These are hard precepts. Hard promises. Hard love.

          Let’s also recognize what God has done for us by example. He split the day from the night for our well-being. It’s not the other way around. We are not meant to be split open through overcommitting our calendar, overspending our resources or staying where we are not called to be. The unboundaried life does not get to choose how we live for Jesus. The boundaried life is one that models Jesus in wise choices of yeses and nos.

          Do you feel the protection of that? Can you feel the perpetual barrier around you? Can you believe that creating boundaries are good despite how we may feel in the moment?

          Mirror Your Father

          Let’s mirror the Father and follow his example of setting wise boundaries.

          You may come this far, but no farther; your proud waves stop here. Job 38:8-11

          You set a boundary they cannot cross. Psalm 104:5-9

          He set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate his command. Proverbs 8:27

          The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it. Jeremiah 5:22

          Begin with a reflection of your daily practices. Stick to them not because you are a rigid person but because these practices are your lifeline to expanding boundaries in your life.

          Know that setting boundaries will rock the boat. Stand firm. The same God that split night and day holds back the waters for your good. Mirror Him. You can trust the God who split open his body to make you whole.

          Remember . . . the one who has your best interest in mind limits the stretch of the proud waves. He rebukes chaos and puts everything in its place. God limits transgressions so that they cannot flood you. Even when the circumstances of your life are roaring against you, God places a perpetual barrier around you.

          Reflection Questions

          Of the four verses describing limits, which one provides you the most security that God has your back in difficult circumstances?

          What do you think about the concept that daily and weekly practices are the springboard to strong boundaries? Write a list of your current practices. Pray about adding one or two. Pray about removing one or two that are not promoting growth in this season.

          What circumstance in your life feels like a raging sea? What yeses or nos can you decide upon today to start a path of healthy boundaries?

          You know boundaries are working when the opposition increases. What are some ways you can stand firm and continue to cultivate a boundaried life?

          Full Verses

          [I] enclosed the sea behind doors when it burst from the womb . . . [I] made the clouds its garment and total darkness its blanket, [I] determined its boundaries and put its bars and doors in place, [I] declared: “You may come this far, but no farther; your proud waves stop here.” Job 38:8-11

          You established the earth on its foundations; it will never be shaken. You covered it with the deep as with a garment, the water stood above the mountains. At your rebuke the water fled; at the sound of your thunder they hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the place you established for them. You set a boundary they cannot cross, they will never cover the earth again. Psalm 104:5-9

          I was there when he established the heavens, when he laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean, when he placed the skies above, when the foundations of the ocean gushed out, when he set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate his command, when he laid out the foundations of the earth. Proverbs 8:27

          Do you not fear me? This is the Lord’s declaration. Do you not tremble before me, the one who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier that it cannot cross? The wave surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it. Jeremiah 5:22

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          Fall Discovery: How to be Intentional

          There are thousands of ways to live intentionally. In fact, this is one of the widest action words I know. Intention can be applied to literally every area of our lives. Work, relationships, faith, parenting, friendships, fitness, mental well-being, hobbies/interests . . .When the options are so vast, intention can get lost in the opportunities.

          Simply put, intentionality is taking specific actions toward an outcome that is important to you.

          Intention can get lost in the action and execution when we don’t first determine what is important to us. We can adopt someone else’s list of intentional acts because they appeal to us. But if the purpose isn’t in line with our own purpose, intentional living ends up fizzling out or burning us out.

          Why I Started Creating Bucket Lists

          I started making bucket lists about two years ago. Previous to that, I had shifted from writing to women’s networking for a time. When it was time to shift back to writing, I lacked inspiration and my personal why. Creating bucket lists were a simple way to find what was important to me again.

          My first bucket list was for Valentine’s Day. The list focused on loving others, self care, creativity and hospitality. You can look at that first bucket list and all of the others by clicking here.

          Four Pillars

          As I continued to create bucket lists for Spring, Summer, Fall, Christmas and the New Year, my why became clearer and clearer. My four personal pillars represent what is important to me.

          • Loving others is a biblical call and brings me joy.
          • Self care is an area I have neglected most of my adult life. However, I can confidently say no more after a lot of growth in the last few years.
          • Input and output in the way of creativity is what keeps my soul alive. I find that I am more fully myself and happy when I am honoring creativity in my life.
          • I think I could write a book on hospitality. In this brief bullet, I will share that my home with its furniture, accessories and food represents a valuable way to invite others into peace, comfort and enjoyment.

          The List Must Bolster Wholeness, Not Productivity

          My understanding of intentionality also grew as I wrote and lived out bucket lists. I learned that if, even for one minute, the list felt like a burden, then the list was no longer serving its purpose. If the list sneakily transitioned to a measure of productivity, then it was time to stop. Or, if the list negatively impacted my worth, then the list lost its worth. Make sense?

          Bucket List Mantra

          As I continued to create bucket lists, this became my mantra:

          My bucket lists are about bearing fruit. They are intentional guides to help you live out love, self care, creativity and hospitality in every season.

          Fall Bucket List Progress

          This week on IG, I shared my Fall bucket list journey thus far. I’m sharing the pics here with more detail. Enjoy. Be inspired. Be intentional. Be bold with your love. Down below you will find a few questions to help you write your own seasonal bucket list.

          Three of us pooled resources for this fall bundle of goodness. I dropped it off, sent a text that something was outside and hopped back in the car. We picked this friend because she is a giver and tends to isolate when she is in need of comfort, sisterhood and understanding. This was our way of delivering that to her while honoring her desire to seek solace within her home.

          Dustyn is my monthly coffee date for the rest of the year. She doesn’t know that it’s life giving to me to serve her as she lives out a part of her story I see in myself. What a blessing to exercise vulnerability, laughter and sisterhood.

          I love my green pumpkin. I also have a yellow and orange striped cutie with a green ribbon tied around the stem. I have been known to go overboard with my pumpkin purchases, but I am quite happy with these two this year.

          We have fall scented candles in every room. Many of them are lit right now. The last three people who walked through the front door said, what smells so good? Bull’s eye!

          If you flipped over this card, you would see that I have written three Christmas miracles I am praying for. I hope to write a few more. Some are big and some are small, but all mean something to me.

          Discovery Questions: WRITE YOUR OWN BUCKET LIST

          1. Name four things that are important to you. You could include categories like I did or individual people, a specific hobby, something work related. Enjoy writing a few important things.
          2. Once you have a few important things, think about your season of life. You could choose the actual season as I did. Or you could note your life season such as empty nester, busy time at work, hurting in need of healing, overflowing season . . .
          3. Write down the season you chose in number two on the top of a sheet of paper. Below it, write the four things that are important to you.
          4. Now you are ready to write your bucket list. Be inspired by things that are important to you in the season of life you are in. Give yourself a time frame to live out your bucket list items.



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          Fall Discovery: How to be Confident

          Years ago, when I was crafting the beginnings of my own personal blog, this was one of the three verses that served as my anthem. 

          I am confident that I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

          Psalm 27:13

          There are a few reasons why I love this verse.

          First, I love unique words that stand in for other more common words. The “land of the living” stands in for our earth, the place in which we live and move and have our being. The land of the living speaks to me because it inspires my imagination. What could it look like to see his goodness in this life? What does it currently look like to see his goodness? 

          Second, I love the word “confidence” in this context.

          Confidence is the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

          In Psalm 27, God is inviting us to feel certain about his promises of goodness here on earth. He is telling us we can confidently trust him. God is asking us to look at Him and his reliable qualities and abilities and believe that whatever has happened or is happening, we will see him work it out in his goodness – – in the hear and now, in the land of the living, and not just in eternity.

          I feel you sister. Confidence and trust are not easy when we are living out God’s calling over our lives. The truth we are walking feels very upside down in this upside-down world. Let me remind you of the seemingly impossible things you are embracing:

          • You surrender what deeply matters to you.
          • You practice dying to self in order to live.
          • You embrace last in order to be first. 
          • You willingly carry crosses to express love and sacrifice.
          • You experience thorns in your side to comprehend grace.
          • You turn the other cheek to honor humility.
          • You lay down your life for your friends. 
          • You willingly choose character over “success”.
          • You relate to your Savior as a man of suffering and sorrow as you experience the same in your own life. 

          Let’s be candid sisters, it makes little rational sense that living this way would build confidence in God’s goodness. An objective read of the above leads to a sort of death by a thousand cuts as my friend Suzanne D would say. Through a spiritual lens, however, this sort of life leads to saving exactly who you are and who you are meant to be.

          So, how do we find confidence in the midst of so much laying down of our lives? How do we venture into this often upside down Christian life with confidence in his goodness?

          Researchers have found that confidence is not an emotion. It’s a complex pattern of brain activity. Increasing our confidence isn’t about changing how we feel, it’s about changing what we believe. Paraphrase from The Powerful Purpose of Introverts by Holly Gerth

          Confidence comes from a bundle of intentional choices. We can change what we believe by choosing to:

          • Receive, hear and absorb encouragement from our brothers and sisters.
          • Take time in solitude so we can listen to what God has to say
          • Spend time reading (or listening to) inspirational books so we can gain courage in our own walk
          • Read the word and know that God moves in you just like Esther, David, Matthew, Ruth, Deborah, Mary (all three of them), Hannah and teammates Shiphrah and Puah.

          The regular practices of hearing encouragement, listening to God in solitude, gaining courage through other’s walks and reading the truth in the word help us make small shifts. “These small shifts in mindset can trigger a cascade of changes so profound that they test the limits of what seems possible”. McGonial, 2016 as cited in The Powerful Purpose of Introverts, 2020, page 81.

          Did you hear that?

          A shift in mindset can actually grow your confidence in such a way that you change your view of possible and impossible!

          When impossible because possible, it is fair to say your mind has shifted to certainty of God’s truth. Our gaze is upon his qualities and character, and we believe. We have confidence.

          Back to the Story of the Blog

          Be Confident. Be Bold. Follow Your Calling.

          That was the original tagline of my blog.

          I fell for the confidence offered in Psalm 27. I began to believe that I would see God’s goodness in the land of the living. Once we believe, we become bold. Most of you would describe me as a kind, gentle spirit with a soothing voice. Even so, I chose the word bold because, once we have confidence of his goodness, we have no choice but to be bold with living out God’s calling over our lives.

          I started the blog because women boldly following their calling matters. The thorn in my side is seeing any woman stuck because she believes a lie that tells her what she cannot be or do for God. This leads me to my second anthem verse.

          Every woman is God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for her before the beginning of time.

          Paraphrase of Ephesians 2:10

          Having spent most of my life pursuing friendships and listening intently to the women in my life, I learned to decipher a particular deceitful voice. The voice reflects untruths about her limits. The voice rises from a false belief about limited resources, lack of experience or education or lack of time. The limiting voice sometimes comes from someone she believes has power over her identity and future. That’s the voice that breaks my heart and also makes me bold.

          Let’s Talk About Hope

          Over the last few years, my core burdens and calling haven’t changed. However, over time, my understanding of hope has.

          Like many of you, I have been through seasons where my hope dwindled down to a grain of sand. Life can be deeply burdensome and harsh to the point that your internal self becomes silent. In this way, hope can practically disappear. Yet, the one grain of sand remains by the power of the Holy Spirit.

          Like many of you, I also have been through seasons where my faith decreased to a spark; or maybe a smolder is a better description. With my grain of sand and smoldering faith, I kept walking towards renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit. [I grant you permission to laugh out loud while you envision me with my tiny spark and smoldering coal.]

          This part is bonus.

          This bonus list includes the truths that helped me rebuild my hope and faith, and my confidence in God’s goodness. These truths were hard earned and also make me the woman I am today. As I walked toward renewal, this is what I learned.

          • The only thing I have control over is me.
          • It’s okay to rely on others. Sometimes that will work out and sometimes it won’t.
          • No expectations unless they are based on past experience.
          • It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to hit the bull’s eye on the moving targets in my life; not mine.
          • Some friends step away as life changes and some stay with you forever. Know the difference.
          • The character flaws of other’s are not a reflection of me and it’s okay to be truthful about that.
          • Use communication to ask for what I need.
          • Other than I love you, my best words to my kids will always be Choose Wisely. It’s up to them, not me.

          Where are you at with your hope?

          As we grow, hope grows. Psalm 27 doesn’t mention hope. Yet, it is drenched in hope. As we grow in hope, we become confident that we will see God’s goodness in the land of the living. Confidence is fueled by hope.

          Where are you at with your hope? Are you in a season where you are barely holding your one grain, or do you have buckets full?

          If you are holding one grain, you are in a growing season. Ask yourself: What can I learn here? What knowledge do I seek? Who can help? Scroll back up to the list of four intentional choices to help shift your mindset. God won’t give up on you. He wants you to move from impossible to possible.

          If you have buckets full of hope, are you following your calling? Have you defined God’s plan for you in this season? Have you designed a plan? Are you following it?

          My blog tag line used to be: Be Confident. Be Bold. Follow Your Calling. I spent two full years of my life helping women define, design and follow their calling. In this new season, my desire is to provide tools for the growth of hope. Hope fuels confidence. Confidence leads you to be bold with your life and to follow your calling.

          My tag line now says: Be Confident. Be Bold. Be Hopeful.

          I stand by my wish that you will follow your calling. I stand by my passionate burden to see all strongholds fall in your life. I stand by my confidence that you will see his goodness in the land of the living. I stand by my wish for you to be bold with your life. I stand by impossible things. I stand by hope.

          Discovery Questions

          • Where are you at with hope? A grain of sand, buckets full or somewhere in between?
          • Given your current obstacles or difficult circumstances, what areas do you wish to grow in? Name a few people that can help you grow.
          • When considering the path to increasing your confidence in God, which intentional choices will you choose to shift your mindset? Scroll up to the four bullet points to choose.
          • What’s your “bonus” list? List your big life lessons of the past five years or ten years or even in the month of September?
          • Because I can’t help it and September just ended, name ten things you are grateful for in the month of September. I’ll share mine very soon.



          P.S. If you have an idea for my next “HOW TO” blog post, please email it to me at

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