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.


  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 sasha@sashaakatz.com.

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Fall Discovery: How to Give a Dream Back

Earlier this year, I read a book by Ann Voskamp called Waymaker: Finding The Way to the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of. The tag line seems unattainable. Maybe even self helpish at first look. If you follow Ann, however, then you know that the way to that life is by giving away your life to a very present God, often through a time of suffering and sacrifice.

Ann is a woman that I admire. During a handful of dark and chaotic years, I clung to her words. I even kept of few lines of her book The Broken Way in my wallet. I remember connecting with a friend who was suffering in similar ways. She also felt connected to Ann’s words.

Ann’s most recent book has a small thread of the story of Hannah. Just a few paragraphs have stayed with me. Ann’s words are the inspiration for this post, How to Give A Dream Back.

The Story of Hannah

Hannah is our infertile sister with a husband who loved her dearly. As was the Jewish custom, families, including Hannah’s, annually traveled to Shiloh as a pilgrimage. Shiloh held the tabernacle which was the earthly dwelling place of God for worship and sacrifice. In the Torah, sacrifice, or Korban, is different from our modern understanding of the word.

We think of sacrifice as giving up something of value for the sake of something else that is regarded as more important or worthy. Korban, or Jewish sacrifice, was about making an offering to draw near to God. Korban was a way to move into a closer relationship with God. It was an expression of gratitude and joy, and it was a path to remove obstacles caused by sin.

Jewish pilgrims offered a sacrifice to God and then sat down together for a communal meal with the remainder of the sacrifice. The meal included a time of worship and singing and exemplified a commitment to justice and ethics. All of this was difficult for Hannah because her husband’s second wife used the pilgrimage as an opportunity to taunt her infertility. The second wife had birthed multiple children to their husband.

This particular year, Hannah slipped away to the temple steps to pray to God with tears. She poured out her heart asking God not to forget her and grant her a son. Her prayer included a promise to God. I’ve included her prayer in three translations so that you will find one to connect with.

Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.

1 Sam 1:11 CSB

Oh God of the Angel Armies, if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you. I will set him apart for a life of holy discipline.

1 Sam 1:11MSG

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime.

1 Samuel 1:11 NLT

You can read the whole story in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.

Who does that?

In her book, Ann says of Hannah –

Why ask God to make a way – and then give back to the WayMaker that very dream that He made a way to? Who does that?

Who does that?

I stayed there for a while.

Who does that?

Honestly, who does do that?

Ann goes on to say,

Someone who doesn’t want anything to get in the way between her and God.

Imagine Hannah

Imagine Hannah in her pain and desperation. She had probably asked God every year, for years, for a child. This particular year was different. Perhaps she embraced Korban in a way she hadn’t before. She offered herself with tears and she offered to give back the one thing she so deeply desired – a child.

We all have intimately asked God for something we deeply desire. We want for all kinds of reasons. Some of our reasons are pure and honest like Hannah’s Korban prayer. Sometimes we can mix up the dream with other things. Perhaps in past years, Hannah’s desire for a child was more about avenging the second wife and less about glorifying God. Perhaps her prayers were more about elevating her appearance in the community by becoming a mother instead of giving herself fully to a God that loves her as she is.

When we deeply desire something good, the gift can get wrapped up in the draws and measures of this world. We can shrink in the trap of comparison like Hannah may have. We can look to appearances for security like Hannah may have. I don’t judge Hannah and I won’t judge us.

A Dream Revisited

God has given me a desire to share myself through words. Upon the grandiose standards of today, well, you know what that looks like. Books on shelves. Podcasts. Social media notoriety.

If I travel back in time, over the years of this gift in my life, it has been about deep community, encouragement and sharing from the heart.

The dream has a mission statement:

Bloom where you are planted. Grow in the quiet of God’s spirit. Look deeply in to see the needs of others. Write and rest and be with your people.

The dream of sharing words plays out very well in my tightly knit bible study community, with local women, extended friends from past and present and on the blog. Less so on social media or at speaking engagements. The dream plays out well where God intends it to play out well.

My dream, in its pure form, is not mine. The dream lives within me as a gift to share with others. In that sharing, I have the honor of glorifying the Father. I feel joy and gratitude. This is Korban.

In pure form, gifts or dreams exist without reference to comparison or appearances. Gifts grow out of Korban prayer. As we draw near to God, He draws near to us. If comparison or appearances or whatever “extras” you struggle with stand between you and your gift, go back to Shiloh. Take the pilgrimage in prayer. Pour out your heart and soul on the temple steps. Remember Hannah. Let her be your courage as you lay down your desires before God.

Remember, it’s hard to give back dreams wherein we have written a lot of our own footnotes. It’s freeing to give back the dreams that He actually gave us.

Coffee with a Friend Revisited

Last week, I met a newish friend for coffee for our second annual meet up. She understands what it is to be a person with a dream. She shared that dreamers tend to want the dream to change the world because passion fuels the dream. We both quietly acknowledged that such things as doubt and disappointment are real things when it comes to dreams and passion. She kindly shared that my dreams have a valuable thumbprint right here in the space that matters; beyond what I am able to see.

That is the kind of dream you and I can legitimately give away. The kind that matter close to home and beyond what we are able to see.

The giving away may not make total sense in the way of our modern understanding of sacrifice. But we can in the way of Korban.

Sacrifice: Giving up something of value for the sake of something else that is regarded as more important or worthy.

Korban: Making an offering to draw near to God. A way to move into a closer relationship with God. An expression of gratitude and joy.

In the Korban way, we can give our dreams back to God. In the Korban way, we can be women who don’t let anything get in the way between us and God.

Thank you Ann.

I can’t wait to meet you Hannah.

Reflection Questions:

  • Is there an author or speaker that you admire? Who and why?
  • What has been a common thread in your life when it comes to gifts or dreams that God has given you? Have you freely given back your dream to God? Why or why not? If not, look for verses that give you courage to give your dream back.
  • Do you have a dream? Does your dream have a mission statement? If not, ask God to inspire you to write one now.
  • Do you relate to Hannah? Have you ever cried out to God for something? How did God answer you?
  • Think about the differences between the modern word sacrifice and Korban. I feel a deeper sense of intimacy around receiving from God and giving back to Him. How does the newfound meaning impact you?
  • Have you had coffee or tea with a friend lately? If not, please do.



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Fall Discovery: How to Find Solitude

Solitude is quiet within.

Do you like the sound and feel of that statement?

Hearing the words quiet within is like the sound of the ocean waves rolling onto the sand.

Quiet within looks like sun beams coming down through your window into your home.

Quiet within is a deep desire of our beating hearts. We crave it. But we lack patience and priority. Even though all of what we may need lies within a time of quiet, we have a hard time passing through the noise and motivating ourselves to get there.

How are you doing with quiet within?

Do you know how to turn off your internal volume?

Did you know that solitude is a spiritual practice?

“Scriptural solitude is the biblical practice of temporarily withdrawing to privacy for spiritual purposes.”

– Donald Whitney

Solitude is  . . . “intentional time in the quiet to be alone with God.”

– John Marc Comer

This post is about how to find solitude when your off button is missing or lost.

A Bit of My Story

I got to a point in 2016 where my internal noise was so chaotic and untamed that it shouted out in the form of panic and anxiety. I did not have a turn off button. Circumstantially, my internal ruckus made perfect sense. Practically, the days and nights were overwhelming and emotional.

Over time, with help, I transformed the chaos to order and tamed my thoughts with reason. I practiced. I learned how to find and use my turn off button. If you want to know more about that particular time in my life, my friend and women’s ministry leader Annie Harley, gifted me with a short video testimony. You can take a look at the three minute version of what I learned through 2016 to 2018.

My First Practice: Vinyasa Yoga

One of the earliest methods I used to calm down was Vinyasa Yoga. Let’s not get too deep or existential. Yoga helped me with solitude for one primary reason. If you don’t constantly listen to the teacher, you will get lost in the class. In dim light, you listen to the teacher’s words for instructions to move through the hour long flow.

My licensed therapist with a seminary degree suggested yoga to me because he knew something about me that I didn’t. My brain could not simultaneously run its chaos and follow along in a yoga class. My mind took the logical jump to be present in the class rather than remain present in my 2016 mess. Clearly, that jump was the Holy Spirit’s work to help me cut through the noise.

Just before Christmas last year, I came back to yoga. I set a holy intention at the beginning of the class which typically relates to my chosen verse of the week. By the end of class, I can hear God’s wisdom during shavasana (end of class relaxation). Truly, I can hear him speak and I am grateful. This is not an advertisement to buy a membership at a yoga studio. It’s a practice I use to find solitude.

My Second Practice: Beach Walks

The other way I find solitude is through beach walks. My soul settles when I feel sun rays warming my skin. The warmth on my skin somehow levels the thoughts in my mind. Almost immediately, I feel God with me.

As I walk down A1A, I listen to the rock music that the construction workers play. I note the rhythmic sound of chirping birds and the crickets. I listen in on the instructional talk between the teacher and the student scuba divers. I nod at the wrinkled, tanned old men in beach chairs. I smile back at the dogs running ahead of their owners in their morning happy. I look at the beach bungalows being repaired one after another for their 40 year city certification.

I come prepared with ear buds, loaded podcasts and play lists, but I never listen. I don’t worry for those thirty five minutes either. I find solitude. As soon as I find it, I sense that God is moving down the street with me.

What do you find in solitude?

Internal quietness in the presence of God offers the gift of truth. Solitude replaces your version of chaos and untamed thoughts with what your soul really needs to know; with what your soul really needs to hear.

What does your soul need to know and hear? You can find the answer in solitude.

You cannot find truth while intermittently texting, googling, snapping or checking FB, IG or Twitter. You can’t find truth while adding to your to do list between bible verses. You can’t comprehend biblical wisdom while cooking during online church. You can’t find truth in chocolate or binge watching.  

I like scrolling, to do lists, cooking, tv and chocolate. Frankly, I feel God’s presence while doing many of the things I like. Even so, God calls me and us to solitude.

Solitude teaches us the truth about what we actually need in our need. We don’t necessarily need the outcome we are hoping for OR the answers we greatly desire. Circumstantial relief is not reliable in the world of time and space that we live in. But the presence and comfort of the Trinity is a promise.

When I am in the midst of worry, change, loneliness, pressure or problem solving, I can be disturbed by my tendency to fill up my chest with my need for answers and outcome. I think I know how to get relief. My mind conjures up answers with to do lists. But, in solitude, I am led to find that my need is his presence. Everything I desire lies in his presence.

Questions to ask in solitude

As I gear up for my beach walk, I ask God, “What are you up to and What do you have to say?”

This is a good way to start because it lets God set the tone. If left to me and my quivering heart, I would jump to – God, what have I done wrong and how can I do better? I know those aren’t the questions he’s looking for me to ask. I order the conversation with God going first.

This positive practice of ordering the conversation has taught me that my father has good things to say. Along those same lines, his plans are good. Even though I may have hard or bad things happening in my life at any given time, his goodness tells me that the outcome also will be good.

We are not waiting for the other shoe to drop. We are not waiting for God to turn his back because he has other stuff going on. I don’t know exactly how I have reconciled bad things with his goodness, but solitude plays a role. His truth rather than my faulty truth becomes central when I am committed to the practice of solitude.

Are you convinced that solitude is a worthy spiritual practice? Are you already practicing it? Will you give it a try?

Reflection Questions

  • Have you thought about the spiritual practice of solitude lately? In what ways are you practicing it now?
  • I really like sitting at my desk by the window at home. But I am rarely alone at home. I find it too hard to escape questions and chit chat so I head out to nearby places to practice solitude. Practically speaking, when and how could you carve out solitude in your week?
  • We think we know what we need in our need. Think about letting God’s presence and wisdom inform what you actually need. Spend some time in solitude. Journal how God may have changed your view of what you need. What’s different? How do you feel?
  • Solitude helps us reconcile the hard things in our life with his goodness. In solitude, welcome God to speak to whatever is hard – your heart, a relationship, a loss, a financial situation. God’s thoughts are higher and kinder than our thoughts. Let him show you his goodness in solitude.



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Fall Discovery: How to Kick Off Fall

It is, indeed, possible to celebrate all that is good and beautiful during the golden harvest days, while at the same time reconciling the reality of all that has been upended by pain, health troubles, relational conflicts.

Jennifer Dukes Lee, Growing Slow: Lessons on Unhurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl

We are not farm girls. We are Florida girls who know no change of seasons whatsoever. Yet, we know the abundance that is intrinsic in Fall. We celebrate with plaid shirts and booties even though it’s 80 degrees. Our churches and schools haul in truckloads of pumpkins and gourds for photo ops. We bake with apples, pears and cranberries that come from somewhere else. Even so, we treasure the harvest.

We know growth and we welcome fruit when it appears.

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

I truly wasn’t sure if I would craft a bucket list this Fall. But then a friend asked me to make a bucket list for her pastor’s wives retreat. After I finished that project, I changed up a few of the items to cover those of us ladies who are not married to a pastor, or not married at all.

I hope you’ll print this bucket list and put it on your desk or in your purse. I will probably stick a copy in my planner. I mark off each item as I go and try to remember to take a pic of the thing that I did for remembrance.

  • My hope is that through monthly coffee with a new friend, you’ll grow deep roots of friendship and exemplify community to others.
  • My wish is that you’ll have fun and maybe even feel unexpectedly brave with a seasonal, signature lipstick.
  • I am already smiling at the thought of you dropping off a fall basket on a friend’s doorstep, ringing the doorbell and running back to your car before you’re seen.

Two Things at Once?

I see you doing all of these things despite the pain, troubles and conflicts you’ve been living. It’s okay to do two things at once. I have always loved Fall, but I love it differently now. That’s because I’m okay with doubting and believing at the same time. I am okay with growing and being pruned in the same moment. I’ve learned to face the hard circumstance and also be filled with hope. I can be confident and also not know what is going to happen next. It’s okay to do two things at once.

Girls, even Florida girls, live the Fall bucket list. Celebrate the season of harvest. Even if you are sure it’s not your season of fruit, embrace the season that promises the coming of fruit. Reconcile, grow and celebrate all at the same time.

Love you always,


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Summer Discovery: How to Keep Your Inspiration

In my view, inspiration is necessary. If I am tunnel-focused on the work at hand — whatever that life work may be — I lose the beauty of this life. My hope slips away. My passion exits. The color disappears. Inspiration is a way to revival. It’s a rebellion against all that holds you back from creating the beauty the Lord planned for you to release into this world.

If we don’t intentionally live in a place where inspiration is possible, the joy of living fizzles away. That’s really what this summer devotion is about. I shared with you a project to memorialize your summer. The purpose is to let the sacred be sacred. Namely, crystallizing the time you spend with people doing the things that make life sweet. The aesthetic craftiness of your summer memory book makes no difference at all. Treasure the summertime with your loved ones and remember this season a long time from now.

Be Inspired by Reading

I shared with you a few things to read. It’s not a race or contest to be the most well-read. There are thousands of intellectuals and book lovers out there who will read all of us into the ground. Books ignite thoughts in our minds to ponder and share with friends. Words spring questions to talk to God about. Books multiply our ways to think about life and solutions to our problems. Reading puts your creative mind to work and often gives you plenty of ideas of how to bless others. Choose books, blogs, and articles to read that cause inspiration, change, and connection in your life. The experts say that twenty minutes a day is all you need to create a reading life. It’s my good challenge for you.

Be Inspired by Sharing Food

I shared a few recipes with you. Not because we are on our way to becoming the next food influencer on Instagram but because it’s another way to create and share. It’s a way to discover what brings you joy and lights you up. Making things to eat for my family, their friends and my friends brings me happiness and fulfillment.

Be Inspired to Share Yourself

I shared with you my thoughts through the weekly devotions. Sometimes I believe it’s too bold to think that you really want to read about this complicated, up and down, yet thriving little life I am living in my thoughts and in my actual days. Vulnerability is a hard choice. I am learning, through many of you who are reading this and living life with me, that there is no real heart and soul, or gratitude, or colorful living without choosing vulnerability. I am learning that there is no valid reason to hold back the winning combination of truth and love. It’s hard to express and sometimes even harder to receive, but it is the way of Jesus.

Be Inspired to Use Your Time Wisely

Finally, I shared with you questions and exercises. The purpose is not to overload your to do list. No. Never. Please. Let that never be the case of the things you are choosing to do with your time. If it turns out that you chose something that isn’t lightening your load and lighting up your life, quit. I am a recovered perfectionist and a hard-core finisher. But no more do I continue with stuff that makes me weary or grinds my soul. My desire is to go where God is and join Him in His work. If the questions and exercises inspire you to reflect, grow, and revive your desire to join God in His work, please do them. If not, choose something else that takes you to your first love.

Fall is Upon Us

We are here at the end. Fall is upon us. Yet, for me, sisters, it’s the beginning of summer. I look out my window at the net my husband put up to catch the mangoes falling off the neighbor’s tree into our yard. I read exciting messages of families landing in Greece to celebrate recent grads. I read texts of a husband and wife leaving on a plane for a sabbatical that we actually prayed would happen for this beloved pair. I see my son and his girlfriend savor the last few weeks before they each set out into the next stage of their new adult lives. I see one of my best friends move out of our neighborhood into an upcoming season of empty nesting.

For the Love of the Seasons

Seasons my sisters. My tears stream. For the love of the seasons. My breath is taken away by the thought that we are loved so deeply by God and others. We actually get to live these seasons. This is the wondrous feeling of gratitude. My streaming tears do hurt as I ponder these things. This is a sign of living and loving and doing our very best to be where God is.

May this summer revive your heart.

May you let the sunshine soak into your life.

May you reflect and be inspired to grow.

May you go where God is and join Him in living the story of your life.

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