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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The New Rhythm of Quarantine

Dear Sisters,

This is a season of new practices for me. The rhythm of the past no longer fits. If I am honest with you, God should have quarantined me a few years ago. Nothing but global, governmental restrictions could have stopped me.

Most of you are in my boat.
Busy. Hardcore. Hard-pressed. Fast-moving.
Sleepless (or sleep little). Worried. Tarried.
Pushing. Moving. Living on Self Pep Talks.

About a month ago, I noticed that I could not live, move and breathe in this new climate with my old self. I see in my written prayers, on my phone app lists and on mini-poster boards on my desk that I have been both begging God and hearing from God to SLOW DOWN. I have been Chasing Slow for several years. All of my attempts to reign down my schedule and my expectations of myself have fizzled out or, to be candid, failed for one reason or another.

And then came 2020 + Quarantine.

In early January, work shifted away from a client that had kept me busy and stressed. While this was a good thing, my worry about tomorrow (finances) kicked into high gear – – despite the truth that He always covers us with what we need at the right time. I weathered through February.

Then came March.

I don’t have any secrets to share with you. I have circled back to the thing that God has used to ground me in my life. I watched my mom do this at our kitchen table (which also was her office) my entire childhood. She wrote out her schedule and her corresponding lists. She stuck to both.

I’ve narrowed down the precepts of my day to four statements:

Morning Reading & Journaling
Accomplish Something
Afternoon Rest
Body Movement

For the last month, I’ve been working on this new rhythm. When I want to go straight to work in the morning, I tell myself to 

Stick to the Plan.

When I determine that I can mow through a football field in one day, I tell myself: 

Accomplish Something

(Not Everything)

My afternoon rest is listening to a chapter of an audio book. My body movement basically has to be with a friend because I’m not very good on my own.

I’m sharing this with you because when I get on Zoom calls with women these last six weeks, I mostly hear Overwhelm. Frustration. Can’t Sleep. Anxiety. But, I also hear that women are overcoming through Prayer. Meditation. Outdoors. Exercise. Community.

These things can’t be accomplished without a rhythm that you will stick to.

My hope is that, if you haven’t already, you will find a new rhythm in this season. My hope is that you will build the life you were aiming to live and stick to before the quarantine. My hope is that, if you haven’t already memorialized this new way of living, that you will set aside an hour to do that today.

Because I am extraordinarily practical, I am attaching a guide for you. It was fun for me to make it. Enjoy it!

Because I understand that active change usually cuts straight to the heart of the matter, I am also including encouragement for you. If creating a new rhythm draws out some unexpected emotions, thoughts of failure or negative beliefs about yourself or God’s love for you, remember this:

My dear sister,
You are never alone.
Never too lost or afraid for a homecoming.
Your Father protects you.
He marks the boundaries in your life.
He prescribes a rhythm for you to live by.
He paints the landscape as you walk through life.
When you spin out, He is faithful to pull you in.
When you fall back, He’s got you.
When you slide to the ground, His arms pull you to His chest.
My sister, put aside the old.
Busy. Hardcore. Hard-pressed. Fast-moving.
Sleepless. Worried. Tarried.
Pushing. Moving. Living on Self Pep Talks.
My sister, embrace the rhythm He created for you.
As you seek, you will find the place
Where you find yourself face to face
With the Living God.


Your Soul Sister Sasha

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