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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How to Reflect in Four Meaningful Steps

The first quarter of the new year is coming to a close.

If you let it happen, the wisdom of all that you have become and learned will sweep with you into the next season. I like the sound of wisdom sweeping with me into the next season. However, something is lost if the holy magic doesn’t find a place to tangibly land. In other words, the wisdom needs a place to stick, and grow in you.

For me, tangible, fertile ground lives in my writing. When the magic transforms to words and the words release into the world, I can then take wisdom with me going forward as well as return to it when it escapes me.

In order to make your wisdom “sticky”, I’m offering you four steps to help you move forward. At the bottom of this post, you can click Page Two to read my First Quarter Reflection. Whether or not you have time to read my reflection, you will have all you need in these four steps to begin, or make deeper, your own reflection practice.

STEP ONE: Choose Your Landing Board

What is the sticky landing place for the holy magic that has taken place in your life? What is or where is the tangible landing board for your hard-earned wisdom?  

The answer lies within your gifting.

My daughter dances. My mom gives the shirt off her back. My grandma cracks one liners (possibly to your detriment). My son looks you right in the eyes. My friend Melissa hears and holds burdens. My friend Susie encourages you into believing again.

What is your gifting? That space is likely your landing board.

Don’t spend a ton of time choosing your landing board. That’s a lifelong adventure. Pick something for today and go with it. Choose the pen like me. Grab a stone from your yard and write a word on it similar to our brother Joshua after he crossed the Jordan. Make a collage of pictures for your wall or phone wallpaper. Get a temporary tattoo. Take a reflective, memorial walk for the purpose of honoring your hard earned wisdom.  

The point is that we need a space to commemorate wisdom. Without a stone of remembrance or a journal entry or visual or physical reminder, our humanity will naturally move us on to the next moment in time. If we make the good choice to reflect, the wisdom will not just sweep with us but seep into us.

STEP TWO: Understand Why Reflection is so Hard & Move Forward Anyway

Reflection is hard because it uproots the past. The past can be painful, or stressful or dumb. We don’t want to relive that again. We also get uncomfortable by the humiliation or embarrassment that may arise from reliving the emotion or fears that ran through us in months or weeks earlier. Last but not least, moving forward is so much more fun than moving backward!

Rather than hide from reflection, I look to sisters who do reflection well.

For example, my friend Steph has logged journals for decades. She goes back to the very day, one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. She reflects on how far she has come. I aspire to her bravery.

Another friend Susie has a prayer journal that has taken her through the years. She goes back to cross off answered prayer. I love her discipline and ability to celebrate success and continue to pray through the not yet.

Therefore, don’t get stuck in your emotions when it comes to reflection. Remind yourself that skipping reflection also passes over the wisdom gained by the experience.

STEP THREE: Set Yourself up for Reflection

Reflection won’t happen without time, space and intention.

Reserve an hour of time before your world fires up. For me, that means before 8:30/9am when the work email and phone calls begin.

Or, in the alternative, look for an hour on the weekend when your home or space is quiet. Reflection rarely works when you are in a space where there are questions to answer, work to be done or people to serve.

Other than your home, you can choose a bench at the beach, a coffee shop plus ear buds or even your parked car. All of these spaces have served me well.

I highly suggest that you reflect around the close of each quarter of the year. That way, the repetitive, reflective flow will help your wisdom grow.

STEP FOUR: Begin Reflection

Even though I don’t find it easy, my heart draws me to reflection. Typically, I experience gratefulness for insight. At the same time, I have a sense of urgency that I’ll lose the holy magic if I don’t structure a way to remember it. Reflection starts with a feeling and then, with intention, moves to its landing space.

Since my life is mostly powered by paper and my phone, that’s where I start. I look at the paper I’ve accumulated (there is a lot of that). I also scroll the notes in my phone, my calendar and the pictures I have taken.

NOTE: It’s a good idea to consider how to make a paper trail of your insight so that when you aim to reflect and remember, you can follow the breadcrumbs.

As you ponder these insights, ask God what He is saying through that experience, event or impression. Wait. Think. Let the moment move past your own wisdom or understanding. Presume that God wishes to take you further than your own thoughts. Let your thoughts flow to Him and wait for His thoughts to flow to you. This exchange will lead you to godly wisdom. The kind you receive and record. The kind that only comes through quiet reflection.

Dear Sisters

You have all you need to begin reflection. The steps make sense and you are ready. I recapped them for you below.

For those of you who want to read my first quarter reflection, click Page 2 below. Love you Sisters.

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How To Know When to Walk Through a Door

This post is for my friend Laura and for every woman like her who thinks she may have a spark to kindle.

Sparks start with INSPIRATION.

We tend to think of inspiration as something big. We imagine wide open doors with blinking arrows and bright lights pointing the way. On top of that, we believe that there must be great and measurable outcomes on the other side of the angelic door. We envision new meaningful relationships, exciting career shifts, creative accolades and rewarding adventure. The open door stands for OPPORTUNITY and most of us want it!

For those of us who are excited by the word OPPORTUNITY, we’ve already grabbed a pretty notebook and a fav pen. We have a stack of articles and images ready to inspire and direct. Pinterest boards and notes for a business plan are front and center. Inquisitive, hopeful thoughts fill our mind – – Where are we going Lord? What will we do? How will you use this door for your glory?

On the other hand, not all of us jump into OPPORTUNITY so quickly, or maybe not at all. Some of us ponder the word and believe OPPORTUNITY isn’t a good fit for one reason or another. You may be saying to yourself one or more of the following:

  • I’m a helper, not a starter.
  • I’m supporter, not a leader.
  • I suffer from a chronic illness that limits me.
  • I contend with mental health issues and feel unqualified.
  • I’m scared of new things and I really don’t like change.

Perhaps you are thinking you were made for the simple and small, and you connect well with verses like 1 Thessalonians 4:11.

Make it your goal to live a quiet life working with your hands.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Dear friends, the Lord has all of us in His mighty hands. He created you to be INSPIRED so that each of us can do the work of His hands.

For we are his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Time to Redefine

I’d like to redefine our utopian ideal when it comes to Doors of Opportunity. Whether we are paying attention or not, God directs His light toward small enchanted doors every single day. The tiniest doors associated with the smallest next steps are potentially the start of something beautifully new in our lives. If we are open to the small clues that we intersect with every day, we can follow God’s lead into something new.

What does a door of opportunity look like? 

A Door of Opportunity gives you reason to pause. Even if it’s for seconds, you feel the pause. Let me give you my best, somewhat recent personal example.

During the early days of the global pandemic when we were on actual lockdown, I was particularly drawn to soul care. I started reading Survival Guide for the Soul: How to Flourish Spiritually in a World that Pressures Us to Achieve by Ken Shigematsu. A few other books (see below) had preceded The Survival Guide. The arrows were pointing me in a direction, giving me small clues upon the way.

Because of the unique global slowdown, I was able to read in the morning and after I finished my law firm work. I was able to walk outdoors mid-morning most days and listen to a podcast. I spent time with my kids on their “lunch”. In the evenings, I watched TV with my daughter from a spot on the couch where I could also see the moon. I was just able. That schedule could not have existed outside of the unique circumstances of a global pandemic.

The season of digging deep into soul care enabled me to develop a morning routine that would fit my life as we exited the season of slow. I started to keep track of things like hydration, journaling, reading and moving my body. Not all of the things I choose to incorporate into my life worked. I’ve seen some come and stay, and others go.

Here’s the Magic that I Could Have Never Seen Coming

Soul care created the groundwork for me to be brave later on when I needed to. After reflecting on my life again in the summer of 2021, I had the wherewithal to resign from all of the commitments and activities that previously spoke into my worth somewhat as a counterfeit. Because I was connected to what was best for my soul according to God’s plan for my life, I was able to disconnect from the organizations, events and memberships that previously defined my worth. I no longer felt the fear of scarcity I thought I would experience by letting go of commitments.

That initial season of soul care growth has continued to impact my creativity, my ability to heal and move on from disappointment and enlightenment to other valuable parts of my person.

God Projects His Light on Tiny Doors of Opportunity Every Day.

Think about it.

I read a not too popular book that has exactly 119 reviews on Amazon simply because one of my favs, Ann Voskamp, wrote the forward. Every day in my backyard, I faithfully answered all of the journal questions with genuine earnestness. I started to build a life out of what I learned about caring for my soul and not giving a crap about how the world would measure me because of it. A season in time allowed me to live in a vast space of soul care.

The book sparked inspiration in me. The Survival Guide was an itty bitty door without any flashing arrows or heavenly light shining out of it. I let the Lord show me that this was a good door and it was time to walk through it.

What is NOT a Door of Opportunity?

You may be thinking that my example is limited to special circumstances and there are far more pressing matters than soul care in your life. I know and that may be true. For that reason, I am going to now tell you what a door is NOT.

As I said, Doors of Opportunity present themselves to us every single day. Some doors are particularly exciting and even come with invitations from people or organizations that we value or admire. These are the toughest types of doors to judge. Even so, here is a reasonably simple way to know when to shut the door without too much thought or effort.

  • If the door causes you to feel pressure in your heart, mind or body, this door is not for you.
  • If you feel you are being pushed through a door, it’s time to dig your boots into the dirt and take an about-face.
  • If you feel or know that the door resonates with a part of your heart that will be led off your God given course, run like Joseph, even if you’re left standing naked.
  • If the door makes you feel exhausted just by the looks of it, keep walking.
  • If the people or organizations standing just inside the door have a history of draining you or others you know, gracefully decline the opportunity.
  • If the door will demand time you don’t currently have, you must not say yes to this door.
  • If the door causes you to renumber or reconsider priorities that God has already ordered in your life, you must say no to this door.

Let’s Circle Back to the Good Door of Opportunity

Here are a few more examples of how to peg the good door.

You’re looking out a window in dim morning light. You see the wind blowing through arms of leaves of trees. You’re reminded that God’s there with you. What does He say to you in that moment? That’s a door.

You receive a text asking if you’ll give your opinion on a difficult topic or decision. Sharing your wisdom and experience on that topic feels natural and right. That’s a door.

You are driving on a sunny day during your lunch break. An idea comes to mind that you know didn’t originate from your own thinking. You feel the stream of the idea so strongly that you write it down on scrap paper to read later when you have more time. That’s a door. 

My Friend Laura

When my friend Laura mentioned that she liked the title How to Start Something New, my thoughts brought me to Doors of Opportunity. Walking though a door is the first step to starting something. The next best step is to continue the exploration. Here are some ideas.

How to Explore

  1. Research – Online digging, read books and articles and watch videos
  2. Community – Share your new door of opportunity with two to three trusted friends. Get feedback and encouragement. Brainstorm together so you can formulate your next best step.
  3. Events – Figure out what organizations or businesses are doing your “new door” well. Attend events and get involved.
  4. Training/Classes – Sign up for in person or online classes to help you tune into the skills you will need.
  5. Carve Out Time – Give your door of opportunity at least one hour a week of set aside quiet time.
  6. Hire a Coach – When I first decided I wanted to help women find their calling (the topic of a class I used to teach), I hired a coach to help me get clarity and create a plan.

Dear Laura and the Rest of You Fabulous Ladies,

I hope this post has helped you know when to walk through a door of opportunity. My desire is to remind you that you were created for good works that God planned before the beginning of time. Stay away from outwardly attractive doors that are not meant for you. Lean into doors that arise in the smallest, most quiet of ways. The doors that are gently whispering to you are likely the real deal.

With love,


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How to Plan an Unexpected Ideal “Me” Day

Never in 1000 years would I have thought I would title a post with the words Me Day. I am in favor of self care, life giving routines and loving ourselves as God loves us. But Me Day? It sounds very unJesus.

I come from a long history of women who wipe themselves out. We show up, serve and give the shirt off our backs. We play that record over and over again. Mind you, that is not a mantra. That’s a pattern of self care disaster, burn out and hidden bitterness.

That’s the context in which I have a hard time taking the good medicine of a Me Day.

I know I am not in this boat alone. Most of you reading this have an excellent sense of how to care for others. In comparison, you have a much less tangible sense of how to love yourself, especially via a Me Day.

The Evidence

For example, any time a woman I know is asked to give gift ideas for her b-day, radio silence follows. Most of the time it takes hours or days to receive a reply to that question. When the answer comes, she starts with, I really don’t want any gifts except to be with the ones I love but if you must have a list, here goes. I suspect it takes some time to settle with the idea of making known what you desire – – even if it’s as simple as making a b-day gift list, or a Me Day.

How My Me Day Began

This past Sunday morning, I was lingering in the dark with indecision moving about my mind. Instead of staying there, I am learning to skip over my low grade anxiety, overwhelm and indecision. I’ve concluded that I have grown out of early morning anxiety but my body and mind haven’t yet learned a more peaceful default. Therefore, instead of attending to my low grade anxiety, I’ve started asking this question to God:

What are You doing today?

This is a new conversation opener for me. I figure that if I ask the only other person present in the dark with me what He’s doing today, I will be lead to INSPIRATION over my low grade anxiety, overwhelm and indecision. After you read my notes below, I hope you try your version of this question. The switch appears to be making progress when it comes to giving my tingling chest and overactive mind something positive to inquiry.

The first time I pondered the question – – what are you doing today? – – I switched gears and questioned whether God even had the time to attend to the eight billion of us on planet earth. Was he splitting us up over the seven days of the week, thirty days of the month, over each quarter? I know this can’t be true. But, what the heck? There aren’t enough hours in the day for all of us?? Plus running the natural world!? The real time necessary presents a problem for our finite planet.

As I settled into my thoughts and prayers, the image of a roaring ocean wave came to mind. The wave was so big, wide and powerful that it encompassed the past, present and future in an exceedingly perfect motion forward. The wave symbolized God’s capacity to care for each one of us, every single day. Simultaneously and Without Pause. The breadth, power and might of His Spirit is more than enough to carry the day for the eight billion of us on planet earth. Plus holding together and orchestrating the natural world.

Actually, This is How My Me Day Began

The next time I asked this question  – – what are you doing today? – – the concept of the Me Day came to mind. In other words, I asked God my question and he answered by giving me something good to do. That’s what God is doing today – – giving me/us something good to do.

As I said, I initially I resisted the concept because Me Day doesn’t feel very Jesus worthy. However, as I rested in the dark this past Sunday morning, God brought to my mind my output over the last week.

I served my business, my family and my friends. I stuck like glue to my productivity plans. I took care of my body. I planted seeds spiritually for growth. In the end, I decided that God’s direction was more true than whatever I felt was true. I went in the direction of the Me Day. To be clear, God didn’t ordain an itemized list, but he sent me in a direction. His direction was a good direction, and Sunday was a good day. I am writing you a list of the little things I did this Sunday at the bottom of this post. You can download the list and write your own.

After all of this, if Me Day still sounds selfishly awful to you, spend some time lingering in the dark and ask God what he is up to today? You may be completely blessed and totally surprised by what He has in store for you – – if you will only ask and listen.

My Me Day

  • I cleared my home desk and drawers and looked at all the things that make me feel happy, accomplished and inspired.
  • I reinstated my subscription to a monthly gift I love to receive from an artist in Colorado.
  • I let my hair dry in the sun.
  • I unexpectedly ran into a Warehouse Clearance and bought my college kid an Easter gift.
  • I had lunch with my daughter.
  • I bought new walking sneakers which is something I said I would do after my second service trip to Mexico, but hadn’t yet.
  • I had a hot Turmeric, oat milk Latte.

Click This Link to Download the Me Day List to Write Your Own



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How to be Bravely Hospitable in an Imperfect World

I recently said that Jesus was the most hospitable person who ever lived. One of the ways I seek to be more like him is through hospitality. You can find that thread in my bucket lists, in my calendar of events and as a place in my heart.

Living out hospitality means opening my home to the teenagers, my sisterhood community, my beloved family and the couples we are lucky enough to have as loyal friends.

Hospitality is also a state of the heart. We can grow a friendly and welcoming heart that opens the door to engaging beyond the shallow. Write cards. Send texts. Schedule coffees and breakfasts. Give invitations. Show up in your own little ways as often as you can.

Hospitality has a practical side. I have a system within my home and in my calendar to create space for hospitality. At the end of this blog, I have included a few tips and lists to make hospitality from the heart and home within reach.

Humble Hospitality

In the meantime, I am about to tell you how I stay extremely humble with my hospitality. Let me rephrase. The forces of the imperfect life keep me extremely humble and I just go along with it. I am sharing with you in hopes that my imperfection will store up some joy in your heart. From that joy, I truly hope you’ll put yourself in the path of hospitality.

House Parties

I love celebrating. I recently had a house party for my husband’s birthday. I do what I can to have a seemingly spotless house. At the end of the day, there are always a few gaping holes in my plan. At this party, I didn’t have time and/or overlooked the teenager bathroom which doubles as the guest bathroom. Whatever you think a teenage bathroom looks like, that’s what the bathroom looked like. There was also the red spaghetti sauce stain on the kitchen backsplash and the sink disposal that broke during the party. Whatever. Imperfect hospitality.

Back yard garden get togethers

My Pre-Rehabbed Home

I was scheduled to teach a Follow Your Call class at a friend’s house. One of the ladies turned out to have severe cat allergies. The last five weeks of the class shifted to my house. We had just moved in and the rehab was not close to done. At that time, the entire back wall of the house was sliding glass doors from the sixties with peeled off decals. The stains looked like grime that any good housekeeper should have been able to scrub off, but could not actually be scrubbed off. Add broken vertical blinds that allowed sunlight to blast down on the women who sat on the couch. This gives new meaning to hot flashes. Whatever. Gorgeous imperfect hospitality.

Moving in day. That is exactly what the glass looked like until we replaced it all!

My Disturbed Dog

I have an emotionally disturbed dog who bites anyone who touches (yes, physically touches) my husband. He barks like a madman locked up in his crate during the entire “hospitable” event. To polish the night off, he runs after you like a midnight game of man hunt when you try to leave through the front door. Whatever. Imperfect hospitality.

Hunter, our dog

My Discipleship Failure

While I raised my kids, I followed in my mom’s footsteps and reached out to the homeless community. Like the good disciple of Jesus I aim to be, I bought a lot of fast food and groceries and sent my oldest in the streets to deliver along with an uplifting word. Because he is a pleaser, he did exactly as I asked. So you wonder, how did that go? Is he a leader in a homeless ministry? No, he is a young adult who flinches at the sight of a raggedy dressed person approaching him or his car. He rolls up the windows or accelerates like his life depends on it. Whatever. I tried. Hospitality failure.

Generally, To My Shock & Disbelief

I have a friend who witnesses the weirdest things when we are together. For starters, I invited her to come in my house  – – for the first time – – when we were doing some kitchen project in our old townhouse. The pile of stuff in the dining room was outrageous. I have no reasonable explanation why I let a new friend inside. My husband was mortified.

The second time she came over, an oversized, disgusting Florida roach crawled out of a kitchen cabinet into plain view. When I visited her house, I fell into a pile of actual garbage in her back yard.

Another time, as I was trying to be my authentic self, I somehow shoved a shoestring French fry with ketchup straight up my nostril. That burned like hell.

All that I can say is that, for the last decade, God has used my life to show her (and me) that hospitality and authenticity live in the same space as imperfection at its height.

What can I tell you? I still aim to be friendly and welcoming in my heart and in my home.

Ridiculous Attempts at Scoring a Ten

Last story. In 2021, I aimed to have one monthly sisterhood event at my home. We lunched and usually watched a break out session from a prior IF:Gathering and then discussed. It was my goal for no woman to lift a finger. So lame of me to create such a burden of hospitality upon myself. Anyway, at the end of one of the events, an outspoken sister said, “you know, you really look like $%*#. You should get some rest.”

Here is the conclusion: Be hospitable. Be real. Open your home. Open your heart. Make it easy. Make a mess (of yourself). Do it often.

Love always,


In the Home Hospitality

  • Over time, acquire catering style white dinner plates and app plates. Store them in a handy spot to pull out for a crowd. Put them back in the exact same spot for the next time you need them.
  • Do the same with 24 stemless wine glasses. Make sure everything can go in the dishwasher.
  • Look out for cotton dinner napkins and place mats on sale. Keep them folded in a cabinet so you can set a fun, colorful table anytime you want.
  • Whenever you can, fill vases with flowers from your yard or from the store. I also love handmade paper flowers that I often use instead of fresh.
  • Keep on hand bulk stuff from your favorite store. Things like marinated artichokes, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and olives. I freeze my favorite breads. If you can pull it out and put it on the counter, you are now quickly hospitable.
  • Invite people over for dinner. Have a potluck. Make friends with the prepared food section at your fav store if that works for you. We have a massive picnic table in our back yard. We put up lights, play music and have an evening in the “garden”. We don’t live in a mansion or on the water. We don’t even have a pool. We don’t care. We have fun.

In the Heart Hospitality

  • Call friends and acquaintances on the phone from time to time. I always start with, I’m one of those people who likes to talk on the phone. I can hang up and text you if you want. You choose.
  • Pick different people to get to know over a season and have coffee with them once a month. See how God uses you and how God grows the friendship.
  • Step it up and start something. Start a group text. Start a creative, monthly meet up at a local tea shop. Start a Marjane game like my friend Dana. Lead a work out like my friends Lynn and Debbie. Host an IF:Table. Invite friends to your second home for a getaway like my friend Astrid. Read a book outloud with a friend like I am with Sara.
  • Pray out loud next time you have the opportunity. Say the truth. Laugh as you speak. Ask for what you really need. Welcome others do to the same.
  • Think about the little things you are good at or want to be good at. Give that imperfect gift to others. Invite others to give with you. Don’t think too much about the imperfection. God knows. He’s got your vulnerable back.

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