Summer Discovery: How to Revive Your Heart in the Sunshine – 12 Week Devotion For You!

It’s Summertime!

There is no other season that tells you it’s time for rest, relaxation, and renewal.

No other season gives you permission to choose a different pace.

This season tells you to take off somewhere. To have fun.

No other season welcomes a break from the grind without condition or guilt.

This is your summer! This devotion will help you reflect on your gifts, feel the warmth of God’s love and help you grow beyond where you are today

Each week for the twelve weeks of summer, you will be inspired to

  • Create a collection of summer memories
  • Soak in the sun with a good read
  • Share a simple homemade summer recipe
  • Be Grateful with a monthly list
  • Read 12 weekly devotions
  • Topics include discovering your convictions and God’s timing, stepping back and finding your desire again & choosing a mindset of abundance over scarcity.
  • Every devotion is scripture based and includes Discovery questions and Growth exercises

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Feeling Disappointed? How To Live Between Conviction and Calling

When you were knit together in your mother’s womb, each part of you was meant to come alive.  Certainly not all at once. But in steps and curves. Over mountains and through valleys. With one foot in front of the other (sort of), each part was made to come alive in its season.

You may have a very old longing in which time hasn’t offered an open door yet. You may have a new longing that you are trying out in bits and pieces. In other areas, well, you are an expert.

Being a beginner isn’t always encouraging. Being an expert may hold a lot of pressure. Having something dormant in you may be a surprise.

Think about your life. What is your soul speaking to you that you haven’t heard in a while or maybe ever? Does being an expert feel stale? Is being a beginner causing you to want to quit?

What’s in your crate?

A few years ago, I read the book Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger, Founder and CEO of Noonday Collection. In the first few pages of her book, Jessica shares that her friends in Uganda asked if she was interested in selling a crate of bags, scarves and jewelry – – all crafted by Ugandan artists who sought to provide for their families through their art.

Jessica can tell you the full story in her book. The long and short of it is that the party she hosted in her home to sell the goods in the crate was actually the launch of the “largest fair-trade jewelry company in the world” in only five years. It is a miraculous story mixed with hope, risk and grit. You will love it if you decide to read the book.

I became laser focused on page four where God offered Jessica a crate to sell to benefit others. I wrote in the margins in turquoise ink all over pages four and five.

The gist of what I wrote is that the Lord has a crate for me, for you. The crate is full of really good things to bless others with. At that time, I pondered what may be in my God given crate. I think I may be closer than I was a few years ago to knowing the contents of the crate. But still, it’s not crystal clear.

  • What is inside your crate?
  • What is keeping you from seeing the contents of the crate?
  • Do you feel like quitting because you can’t figure out what to do with the contents of the crate?
  • Are you terrified that the crate may put your destiny into motion?

These are hard questions.

Let’s first answer the easier question.

What do you NOT do with gifts God offers to you?

  • You don’t put light under a bowl. Matthew 5:15
  • You don’t dig a hole and bury your gift. Matthew 25:26
  • You don’t walk away in exchange for the path of least resistance. Ruth 1:14

Consider Moses.

Moses began his journey as a baby in a floating crate. With desperate faith, his mom released him to the current of the River Nile so he could live. Moses was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter. He grew up as a privileged insider while the rest of his family, his people, remained outsiders. Despite his regal upbringing, Moses had a conviction. He saw the pain and suffering of his people as slaves in Egypt.

Moses recognized that he had something within him. Moses realized his convictions. Conviction remains in your mind’s eye. It’s a discovery that travels with you. No matter how close or far you are from discovering the mystery of the contents of the crate, convictions remain.

Convictions remain and remain and remain until they have an outlet.

As a young man, Moses saw an Egyptian kill an Israelite and he in turn killed the Egyptian.

Conviction and opportunity collided for Moses. But it was very much unlike Jessica Honegger’s offer from her missionary friend in Uganda. Jessica’s offer came at a time when she was confident that work was a way out of poverty. She also was in the middle of seeking to adopt a child from Rwanda and needed money to continue the process. That’s a good collision of conviction and action. It’s so important to know, to discern, when the crate has come from the Father or when the crate is just a crate.

Moses missed the red flag that day. He acted on his convictions prematurely. God hadn’t called him yet. Moses hadn’t received any direction or plan from God and I doubt God would have called him to revenge any way. Moses had the right conviction but he lacked the character he needed to follow his calling.

For Moses, it wasn’t time to move from conviction to action. God put a holy burden in Moses but he didn’t release him to his calling yet. Moses’ character hadn’t been formed in the way God planned as of yet. Sometimes your conviction and calling do not have the open door you are yearning for.

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.

Ecc 3:1

Just Wait

My friend Connie was ready to shift careers. The Lord lovingly pressed her to acknowledge the change he was awakening her to. She slowly moved out of her comfort zone. The new position didn’t work out in the timing she anticipated. She stays put in less desirable circumstances. She waits with a soft heart, with conviction.

I have another friend whose role at her job keeps shifting. Job security doesn’t always feel present. She ponders what the Lord may be calling her to with her skill set. There is a spark of mystery and excitement. In the meantime, she does life where she is at. She does it well and also keeps the spark alive.

There are a few things I think I want to do. I see better now than I did before the picture God is framing. I have some growing to do. I have my people to serve. There is more pruning to be done within me.

Disappointed?

Sometimes your conviction and calling do not have the open door you are yearning for. But God doesn’t remove the conviction. He wants to cultivate the light in you. He wants you to take joy in the talents and gifts he placed within you. He wants you walk alongside him in hard places so that your character can be pruned and molded.

In some seasons, the look and feel of how you are living out your conviction and calling aren’t what you hoped for. You are allowed to be disappointed. God’s timing sometimes hurts. His timing often results in doubt. We doubt our capabilities. Ourselves. Even Him.

In the disappointment, waiting and wonder, we can learn from our brother Moses.

Taking action on a conviction before it’s time may be the ugly version of our calling. The ugly version may feel better in the moment. The premature action may feel better than doing nothing at all. While that may be true for a moment, self willing God’s timing will eventually lead to shame.

After Moses took revenge against the Egyptian, his Hebrew brother, having knowledge of the killing said:

Who made you the judge and do you plan to kill me too? Exodus 2

The backlash came from the one he planned to protect.

Eish. Cutting. Brutal.

But if you roll forward a few verses in the story. Don’t you wish you could roll forward a few verses to see that God’s plans are always good?

If you roll forward, you see that God had a family waiting for Moses in a new town. Imagine that. The story includes a hospitable father in law, a committed wife, a job he didn’t have to apply for. Eventual children.

Sisters, we get to live in the in between.

We get to settle into uncomfortable places where we find we are needed and loved. We get to gain character while we wait. We get to serve and love right where we are. We get to be a part of what others are doing with their calling. We get to sweat and love. We may even start to forget that we are waiting.

After a long time, the King of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned because of their difficult labor; and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their difficult labor ascended to God. And God heard their groaning; and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and with Jacob and God saw the Israelites; and God knew. Exodus 2:23

God hears. God remembers. God sees. God knows.

God knew the time came for relief, for healing balm, for freedom.

God heard the cries.

The person to share in the deliverance is you.

You are no longer a person with an elementary understanding of justice. God no longer is concerned that you will come up with a shallow, temporary plan to live out your conviction. God engages with a mature you.

The angel of the Lord appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but not consumed. So Moses thought, I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up? When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!” “Here I am,” he answered. Exodus 3:2-4

From there, Moses learns his assignment. Conviction intersects with opportunity in a holy way. Moses deeply cares about deliverance of the Israelites. The Israelites had a need for freedom. Moses had the tools, character and support to live out his calling. Finally. Perfect. In God’s timing.

He hears. He sees. He speaks.

We have conviction and a calling. We also need the character for the job. God holds the timing in his hands. He is not absent minded or distant. He hears, remembers, sees and knows. And then he speaks.

We are living the lives he has given us. We are needed and loved. Right where we are. We gain character. We serve and sweat. We love. We start to forget that we are waiting.

One day, we find that we are standing on holy ground. We are a little afraid because we see that the flame God put in us has not been consumed by time. God tells us that he has some work for us to do unlike what we have done thus far.

We feel unworthy because we finally have the character of humility. We still are afraid, but God promises to be with us. I AM WHO I AM is the confidence we live by.

We now understand:

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.

Ecc 3:1 (Read more on this in my blog post)

We now understand:

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

We now become grateful for this truth:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-10 (Read more on this in my blog post)

We now understand:

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James 1:22-25 (Read more on this in my blog post)

QUESTIONS WITH CONVICTION

Define conviction in your own words.

What are your convictions that may lead or already have led to a calling?

What may be in the crate of gifts that God has for you?

Do you relate more to the Moses that acted prematurely on his convictions or the Moses who was overwhelmed by his calling?

Do you believe that you are a person God has chosen to share in the deliverance of someone else? Why or why not?

What is your favorite verse mentioned above and why?

Photo Credit to my friend Silsbee Philo who blesses me with her art.

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Why Having a Bucket List Will Do You Good

My dad was a traveler. He was an expert in his field of martial arts. That brought him to teach, judge, coach and compete all over the US and internationally. I remember taking weeks to look through all the gifts he brought me back from faraway places like Japan. It was long before the rise of Hello Kitty in my world. I discovered the round-faced cat with tiny pens and plastic pouches from a cardboard box in my dad’s room. That was fun.

Over the years, my dad continued his travels. He told me and my brother that he wanted to see the seven wonders of the world. He was doing a pretty good job checking off his bucket list. Yes, that is my first memory of the bucket list! Of course, neither he nor I called it a bucket list. But that is in fact what it was.

There began my love of lists of all sorts.

My mom made her lists for the week and month at the kitchen table. She planned her days and checked the list items off. I watched her. She was diligent, resourceful and had plenty of time for us.

There began my love of calendars and planning.

I am not alone. Most of you love these things too. It’s hard to resist a good list with a good pen and a good plan.

If I am losing a few of you, here is another version for you: Lists are mini dreams for your day just like vision is big plan for your life. So whether you are drawn to lists or larger than life vision, you understand the idea of taking time to make it all happen.

Crossroads excite me.

When life puts you at an intersection, I want to be there with you. I want to be there to help with the decision that leads to the glory of your Father. I’ve learned well that outcome doesn’t belong to me or us. But unknown outcome does not take away from the truth that God loves the heart, soul and effort we put in deciphering and following his will.

If you read the blogs of my summer revelations (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), you know that God in his sovereignty wiped out (floored, removed, pulverized, with nothing left but dust) my plans.

By God’s grace, I didn’t run to anger and bitterness. I stood in awe and silence of his majesty, wisdom, kindness and love. I stopped my life for about two months (in part because I was too sick to do otherwise). Then, I unraveled my life to a place as close to a beginning or a start over as I could.

Once the dust settled and shiny objects stopped calling to me, a few things remained.

  • My love for others.
  • My need to learn to love myself as God loves me.
  • My need to learn to better care for myself.
  • A massive desire for creativity.
  • Great joy in spending time with people through gifts of hospitality.

Hence, the bucket list materialized.

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

Today, I’m sharing some pics and notes from my Advent Inspired Bucket List. I know that you really don’t want to see remnants of Christmas in February. Perhaps my timing will work out better next year.

Truly, I worked on this list through December and January and am putting it to bed (mostly) after today.

I say (mostly) because I have not made the red velvet pancakes with the natural dye I bought just for that bucket list item. I figured time has been kind to me since red goes well with Valentine’s Day.

These are the kinds of things bucket lists teach you.

If you can’t get to the garden with your friend, share your hopes for the New Year over the phone. Thank you for sharing that with me Stephanie.

Be flexible.

If your people are too busy to go to the Farmer’s Market, go with your mom instead.

Be resourceful.

It’s okay to frame a new pic rather than an old one. You still hit that bucket list item.

Don’t make a list a rule. Life is more than lists.

I didn’t bless a foster kid this year, but I went to Mexico to serve kids who really needed it.

Take the opportunities as they come.

Dear sisters, be intentional with your life. Let these bucket lists guide you.

Enjoy the New Year Bucket list!

New Year Bucket List

My love to you always,

Sasha

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Life is a . . . Bowl of Cherries or Chair of Bowlies?

Do you remember Mary Engelbreit? The vintage artist who shared images and quotes decades before it became a thing? I loved her art and phrases as a teenager. A few of my favs were

When life shuts a door, open it again. It’s a door. That’s how it works.

Bloom where you are planted.

Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.

And my all time favorite:

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

There is a theme here. Think about that for a moment. Realistic Optimism laced with Gratitude?

On the other hand, there were a few phrases I didn’t quite get as a teenager.

This morning, as a series of thoughts and connections flooded through my mind, one of her quotes came to mind, and finally made sense: Life is Just a Chair of Bowlies

What the heck does a seventeen year old know about the balancing act that will ensue as a young, optimistic woman grows into a working woman, married woman, mother, adult friend. Not that much, I think.

The best I could do at seventeen was figure that I liked cherries and maybe lots of bowls of them in my future life would be a good thing.

At almost forty-seven, the image of the chair holding all the bowls represents my mind holding all the thoughts.

What will I do with all these bowls, she thought?

What will I fill them with, empty them of?

How will I organize them?

I have one life to live. One God to serve.

Dear Mary E. Dear Jesus. Will you help me with this?

This week, I am holding a lot of bowls. I am suffering from some sadness, raw emotion and old shame this week.

The verse that comes to mind is

Be cleansed by the washing of the word.

Ephesians 5:26

I authentically share with you because, in community, sadness morphs to meaning and intertwines with joy. Raw emotion finds its place among strong hands and wisdom. Old shame curtails its way to truth, redemption and hope.

I am sad because one child is on the springboard to adulthood. He is my primary source of compassion and lives out deep kindness towards me. How will I move forward without that present in our home come summer and Fall?  

I have some old shame that rises again. This shame points towards regret regarding my career choices. I have always felt that I could have used my intellectual gifts in other areas of the law. In some ways, my gifts have been underutilized in my particular career. That has led to comparison and a narrative of “less than/not enough.”

I realize that I have not fully recovered from the trauma of being seriously ill with Covid last summer.

I have some regrets about my parenting. Did I unknowingly let them see too much when I fell into the darkness of depression? Did I say too little about what was happening on the inside?

Bowls and bowls. Bowls and more bowls.

The point of communal authenticity is to morph raw emotion into meaning: My son growing up is not the end of God’s expression of compassion and kindness in my life.

To pursue wholeness is to enter into joy, warmth and wisdom: Life’s journey is not over even in death. Some of the best things are yet to come here on earth and on the other side in heaven. That even includes gifts and career regrets.

Seeking truth is to redeem shame.

Hope is the gift of Jesus.

Finally, I have one more bowl to share with you.

I am reminded by God, my friends and the Word that we are more than our many bowls piled upon bowls.

We are the image of our Father. Our identity is in our Father. Our Father takes great joy in us. He is among the bowls. Pouring out. Pouring in. Offering to organize and prioritize if we let him.

May this be inspiration for your life.

May this letter be evidence that you are not alone with your thoughts. Not just because I too am thinking bowls of thoughts. But because your Father lives among you and in you. Your Father is the author of good things. Every good and perfect gift is from him. James 1:17. All of your bowls lead to good gifts when you pass them to him.

As my beloved friend Trina says (that’s beautiful Trina up above), He is not just the giver of good things, He is the giver of good things that just keep getting better.

My love to you always,

Sasha

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It’s Time To Draw Lines in the Sand

As I recovered from Covid late summer, I drew a few lines. Some lines represented an end point. Other lines represented a beginning point.

I moved away from social media for almost four months. I didn’t miss anything. When I came back to it, I found that social media lives best as a memoir to share and a gateway to ideas and people that I don’t know in person.

I didn’t read or write a single thing for about two months. Not even the word of God. I had enough word stored up in my heart and enough awe to be still in the presence of his voice. It was a slow road back. I started by coloring scripture. That was the most I could mentally do in that season.

Later, I picked up the second half of the book that I had previously started before my winter season began. I highly recommend that you read Growing Slow by Jennifer Dukes Lee. She helped me understand that winter is a valuable season to be in. God often does his greatest work in seasons where it appears nothing is happening. Enjoy her unhurried list. I carry it with me, actually, literally.

More Lines in the Sand

Being so ill caused me to have a regimen pointed toward health. God showed me how strong my mind, soul and spirit are, but how tired and worn out my body was. My body bears the weight of the good works that I so dearly enjoy. My body now has a voice that I am learning to hear. Not an easy task, but I continue to shift my priorities toward her well being too.

Meditation

These lines are similar to the boundaries of the sea to the sand. Take a few minutes to read these four verses. Think about the roar of ocean and the lines that the Lord has set for it.

What comes to mind? Are there people you are pleasing over doing what is right for your life? Are there events or activities that you are saying yes to that rule out your opportunity for rest, fun or growth? Is there anything that you truly miss because the roar of the ocean washes away your commitment or love for that thing?

A Few Key Questions

  • How do you stay in awe?
  • How do you stay in the still?
  • How do you know the difference between the glitter and the true work God has called you to?
  • How do you let go of the habits and grasp of your old ways?
  • How do you acknowledge unsustainable productivity and choose a soul serving pace?
  • How can you stay in the routine of self care?
  • How do you know the difference between kindness and people pleasing?
  • How do you adjust your desire to make plans when you are asked to just be still?  

I write to you for two key reasons.

Sister, sister as my friend Christina V says.

1. I want you to know that I struggle alongside of you.

I get sucked up by the worries of this world. But, like you, I come back to center.

I make mistakes that feel heavy, and sometimes hopeless, as I wait for God to come in to free me.

I want so badly to know the answers for my children. I want to clear the way for their path. I want to labor for them. I want to be more than God’s instrument in their lives. But then I obediently recall that his plans are better than mine. His ways are higher than mine. His goodness is better than mine.

2. I want you to know that you should also do the thing you love to do.

You can wait until you think it’s perfect. Or you can simply begin. I write imperfect letters to my friends. What will you do? Or what are you currently doing that you can share with others?

I am confident that your thing is worth sharing. It’s worth sharing with the few probably more than it’s worth seeking to share with the many. Your thing is worth sharing. Your people want to hear. They want to know you more than they do today through sharing the thing that you love to do.

You are a Masterpiece

It’s been a while since I embraced Ephesians 2:10. There is no work in winter. Perhaps in winter we remember that we are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus – – minus the good works. Perhaps we must take a break from good works to rest and then decipher what good works God actually prepared for us before time began.

Summer Revelations

I’m wrapping up my summer revelations. I’m thinking of the questions I shared a few paragraphs ago. I’m thinking how easy it is to lose awe as the feeling of the landslide gets a little harder to recall, as time passes.

When you are watching the landslide come down, it is a soft heart that invites the new stillness, new landscape.

When the landscape settles, it’s a soft heart that receives the new garden in all its palm tree-daisy-vine glory.

A soft heart walks the new garden, learning its ways.

A soft heart is mindful of the weight of the old ways.

A soft heart puts one foot in front of the other in the fields of the new landscape, even when the worries and pressures of this world seek to bury her.

A soft heart recalls that she has been rescued in her mistakes and difficult circumstances before and she will be rescued again.

A soft heart allows the holy spirit to run free in the lives of her loved ones. She smiles at the thought of being an instrument instead of a conductor.

She tells herself the landslide came for a purpose. She reminds herself that her desire for output is the very thing that shuts out the stillness. She acknowledges that the speed of this life will eradicate the awe if she lets it.

Sister, what will you tell yourself as you examine your ways?

I have asked a lot of you the last few weeks. I’ve asked you to be still and trade in your linear thinking for the awe of Jesus. I’ve asked you to shed some things that you are attached to. I’ve asked you to quit things and give up things. I’ve asked you to acknowledge that you already have more than enough. I’ve asked you to look to the glow of the moon over the fields that you have been faithfully planting.

These requests make up the landslide that became my life these last several months. You give me the gift of sharing. I hope to give you the gift of imperfection and an invitation to vulnerably share the gifts God has given you.

The Simple Prayer of Shed & Shift

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May you pursue stillness and awe. May you live as he speaks rather than in the plans you think are best. May you remain an instrument instead of a conductor. May you know that I struggle with you, alongside of you. But not without the hope, joy and freedom of unmerited grace. I love you sister sister.

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The Unexpected Garden: Look Up Child

Have you ever been digging and planting in a particular path? Have you seen blooms in the forward moving garden you’ve been planting? Have you added rows and depth to the field you have been given? Perhaps you have even seen the fruit of your labor. This is the good stuff life is made of.

When I speak of the garden, I am speaking of our lives. We pursue the calling that God gives us. We listen, learn, study and practice. We measure risks and take steps of faith. We do our best to direct our energy in areas that serve eternally, valuable ends.

Occasionally, however, we get so focused on the planting and digging that we forget to look up.

And then, abruptly, without notice or knowledge, the bougainvillea you planted rises as a palm tree. The herbs you planted come up as daisies. The roses you planted grow up the wall as lovely vines.

God has done a very unexpected work.

You had been working so hard digging and planting the path that you missed the work that the Creator’s hand was forging. He was composing a different, yet beautiful path.

Yes, we can become so focused on the planting and digging that we forget to look up. I guess I am saying that we can have our head in the dirt. Good, fertile dirt. Nevertheless, garden dirt is hard to see through and it doesn’t provide much of a reflection.

The Moon over Montana

This summer, I stared out the window into the dark Montana night. I watched the full moon glow as it traveled across the sky. Until it was no longer in my view. The moon was my companion that night. I tend to think that the Covid pneumonia was setting in at that time. While there was no solace in my body, the moon was a reminder that he is with me in the dark.

The moon is a reminder that even darkness is light to him.

Inspired by Psalm 139:12.

Since the spring of 2020, the glowing moon in the dark sky has been calling me. The glow has brought my gaze up and away from the fields. The moon has been asking for my attention. The moon has acted as a stable focal point calling me to less and calling me to rest. The moon helps me see the big picture.

What is your big picture?

If you can respond to God’s call to you with a soft heart, you will know the big picture of your life. You may miss the message if you are digging in the dirt of your garden more than gazing at the glow of the moon. You may miss the call to shift or shed if your heart is bent towards the planting more than it is bent towards the awe.

So, what happens when the bougainvillea rises as a palm tree? Or, the herbs come up as daisies? Roses as vines? I am guessing that your answer is the same as mine. Nothing makes sense. The garden plans must be revisited from the perspective of awe, rather than good works.

When nothing makes sense, awe and stillness make sense.

The awe has shown me rest and less. It’s my nature to opt for more. It’s my nature to broaden the horizon rather than narrow the possibility of it.

What’s your nature? In what ways do you veer from God’s path for you?

The awe has shown me to weigh and measure the short term value along with the long term view. I truly love to spontaneously, whole heartedly serve in the here and now; often spending more resources than I have. I later find myself burning the candle at both ends to serve the purposes that were meant to be at my forefront.

For most of my life, I glanced at the moon, heard its message of rest and less and carried on with field work. Until the landslide. Until the palm trees, daisies and vines were full grown in my immediate view. Until I was so awestricken that I dropped the map and stared at the moon.

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Enter into his rest.

Hebrews 3 & 4

Striking the Balance

James conveys to us the perfect balance of looking up and digging and planting. As you read the verse below, focus on the importance of hearing the word and doing the work. When we engage in both, we are blessed. Hence, do the garden work and look up to Jesus for truth and direction. This way, our perseverance in our work will live in congruity with the perfect law of freedom.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works – this person will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22-25

It’s Okay to Let a Few Things Die in the Garden

These past few months, I let some big and small dreams die. Some of the dreams were for myself and some were for others.

Let that settle for a moment.

We are allowed to let dreams die or let them live on without us. We are allowed to reset in the light of the glow of the moon. Such an act of death or abandonment of a God inspired dream seems counterintuitive. The ways of heaven are sometimes counterintuitive.

I hesitate right about now. The hesitation is 50% fear of vulnerability and 50% commitment to confidentiality. I will be both vulnerable and confidential.

God knows I love to teach and encourage women in small groups. I had the desire to shift fully from my law career to something entirely new in range of my passion and calling. In my efforts to shift, I came to realize that the handful of women in my life love me and believe in me so deeply that I don’t have to make a full shift to live out what I love. My dream of a career shift has died a decent, honorable death.

In light of confidentiality, I can share wisdom but not details of the second dream. I had a dream for someone else. That dream was snatched away in practically an instant after years of hope and pursuit. The wisdom of the palm tree-daisy-vine garden is that sometimes the big dream overshadows the hidden dream that was quietly being sown in silence and humility by Jesus himself. Perhaps silence and humility grow the best gardens. Counterintuitive, but true.

The Season of Shed

Sister, shed. Shed, and shed some more. Look up. Take a break from the garden digging to find the awe of the stillness of your Father who is a constant source of light.

Sister, be soft hearted. Embrace the palm tree-daisy-vine garden and don’t lose heart when dreams die. For new dreams form when we are soft hearted.

Sister, be still with awe. Drop the shovel and the map long enough to see what he’s been growing under your nose. The roots are strong. The smell is sweet. And the fruit is tasty.

SHED CHALLENGE

Can you relate to the analogy of life as a garden?

Have you stared at the moon lately?

In what ways do you veer from God’s path for you?

Do you have a soft heart when nothing makes sense?

Is your heart bent towards planting more than it is bent towards awe?

Read the book of James. It’s short and full of wisdom.

Info Overload: More Things I want to share with you

My mom and I have a fall cookie project. My mom has a professional photoshoot next week, but I had to share today! You get these gorgeous cookies & fun filled cards from me including the Fall Bucket List, Gratitude List, my mom’s secret pumpkin cupcake recipe and a Fall Photo Challenge for you and your people! You can preorder by clicking here. The order process is a little rudimentary on my blog, but you will get your stuff! Email me at sasha@sashaakatz.com with any questions.

I am part of Ruth Chou Simons launch team for her new book When Strivings Ceases. Do you think I am a little excited to read this book during my season of shed? Yes! Check out the book and preorder. It comes out on October 12.

Last thing is kind of the first thing for me! It’s fall my friend! Woohoo! If you like my seasonal bucket lists, here is it girlfriend! Get to it and share your pics with the Fall hashtag #Fallbucketlist and tag me @sashakatz. One winner will receive Ruth’s new book (see above) and a Fall cookie box from my genius baker mama!

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