What I learned this Fall 2022

Friday, November 25, 2022

What I learned this Fall

• Being quiet is a necessity to learn a culture. My word for the year is quiet. I will be honest and tell you that although I forgot that was my word, I've used it quite a bit. I will share more thoughts on this when the year ends.

• Preparation and rest go hand in hand when you have a busy schedule. My schedule got incredibly busy this Fall. Being prepared for my week was a must along with stopping everything to rest. Being prepared allowed my weeks to flow easily. My preparation was for my good and so I could serve my family. I can see that rest served the same purpose.

• Peace is a great shelter. In the past, I've used frustration as a shelter. I've used my drive as a shelter. This Fall, peace was a shelter. I can't begin to tell you what a difference it is making. I feel better, and life is just sweeter when we make peace a shelter.

• Being alone and being lonely are different things. I was alone quite a bit this Fall. I never felt lonely because I know that God is with me at all times. I also know I am blessed with a great support system.

• This Fall I took hospitality on the road and saw what happened. I enjoy making people feel welcome. It is challenging to have such opportunities when you are the new kid in town. Still, I found creative opportunities to be hospitable. I learned that setting up a beautiful environment can make people feel welcome. My attitude is the first and most important way to be hospitable. I also learned that hospitality truly is about the other, not so much me and "my stuff." The fruit of hospitality is seen by what people do as a result of your hospitality. Does it move them to action? I believe it should.

• This Fall, I realized some people forgot about me. I learned to be okay with that. This Fall, I wasn't shocked or upset when that happened. Part of the life we live is watching people slowly stop communicating with us. No matter how much dedication and loyalty we show, one by one, they ghost you. It didn't hurt this Fall because I am learning to see the end of superfluous friendships as part of life. True friends don't forget. They show up for you in creative ways.

• I refuse to keep knocking on a door that won't open up to me. I knocked so much of it in the past that my knuckles became bruised. Friends not only open the door for you, but some will also leave the door permanently open. I practice what I call an open-door policy with my friends. I got tired of trying to force friendships with people who didn't see me as a necessary friend. If I know that I'm more nuisance than needed, I'm out of that relationship completely. I'm still cordial and Godly, just not a part of their life.

• It's okay to allow people to be themselves. I am truly for believing the best about people. Still, when they continually show me who they are, I have to allow them to be themselves. We are all entitled to our characters. I am entitled to check the facts from past interactions and proceed with wise boundaries.

• There is room for encouragement in every heart. The ministry of encouragement is so needed. I've been so blessed as a practitioner of encouragement. When our encouragement is Spirit-led, the fruit is effective and lasting.

• I'm the first person who needs to believe in the potential God gave me. I realized this truth in the Fall. I am thankful for my support system. I am grateful they believe in me. Still, I need to be the first person who believes in myself. Stepping up to the plate is easier when you do.

• This Fall, I embarked on a project that was not as successful as I'd liked it to be. I refused to quit. I pressed on and I was blessed through the process. I've always believed that if you learn you don't lose. So I won. I also was able to have a good friend along for the ride. That was a joy. True friends will hold your hand and join you in any and all life's adventures.

• I heard someone say today that you shouldn't hate who you were in the past because that person brought you to where you are today. I thought that was an interesting thought. Some of us are harsh with our past selves. Yes, mistakes were made. We overlook the decisions that allowed us to make progress toward where we are right now. Gratitude bridges the gap from where we were to where we are. I'm incredibly grateful to the hard work and decisions that led me to this Fall. God is good and He allowed me to learn from all types of situations. 

What did you learn this Fall? 

Previously in this series:

• Spring 2018

• Summer 2018

• Fall 2018

• Winter 2019

• Spring 2019

• Summer 2019

• Fall 2019

• Winter 2020

• Spring 2020

• Summer 2020

• Fall 2020

• Winter 2021

• Spring 2021

• Summer 2021

• Fall 2021

• Winter 2022

• Spring 2022

• Summer 2022  

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True love

Thursday, November 24, 2022

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1 (NIV)

Thank you Lord for the blessings you give us each day. For shelter, food, clothes and more importantly for love. No matter how many times we've been through trials and tribulations, we can always count on your love. Your love is the only true love that lasts forever. 
As we gather with family and friends today, help us remember what really matters. Help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude all our days.
You are good and your mercy lasts forever. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

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When people mistreat you

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

I don't enjoy being mistreated but every now and then it happens. It never feels good. I'm often left with negative feelings. I also want to take action. 

There is a difference between what I want to do when others mistreat me and what God expects me to do. Here are a few reminders from the Holy Scriptures:

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)

Jesus' standards are certainly different. Loving one's enemy is not easy but that is what we are called to do. Praying for those who mistreat us, and blessing them is what we are called to do. It all starts with totally forgiving those who mistreat us. 

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)

Jesus demonstrated forgiveness on the cross. He never asks us to do something He didn't do Himself. 

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV) 

Letting go of anger and bitterness when people mistreat us is a choice. Only through God's power, I can be kindhearted. Only through my own choice, informed by God's word, I can forgive as Christ forgave me. 

There is freedom when we forgive. I hope you join me in forgiving those who mistreat us. 

Please know that I am not speaking of crimes. Crimes should be brought to authorities so justice can prevail. When in question, speak with a trusted friend.

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I thank God

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people." Col. 1:3-4 (NIV)

Do you know a person who displays faith in Christ and love for all God's people? I certainly do. I have several people in mind. These people have the following characteristics:

• They do not crumble when they face trials and tribulations;

• They have true joy;

• They are givers;

• They display incredible hope in God. 

I want to encourage you to pray on behalf of the people you have in mind. 

Here are a few things we can pray for:

• Thanksgiving for the life they live 

• Gratitude for their friendship 

• Pray that they will be strong when facing adversity

• Pray that the joy of the Lord will be displayed in their lives 

• Pray for their health and well-being

We may think that people who display faith in the Lord do not need our prayers. Let us remember to offer our gratitude to God for them and let's pray for them by name. 

Prayer: Lord, I lift up (insert your friend's name here) to you. I thank you for our friendship. Thank you that she shines your light everywhere she goes. Supply all her needs. Bless her and everything that concerns her this day, in Jesus' name, Amen.

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Words of Life

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 

15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 

16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Phil. 2:14-16 (NKJV)

You have two choices in life: you can serve others or you can serve yourself. 

Once I became a mother, I realized that my choice was to serve others. No matter if I was sleep deprived or sore, I chose to serve my family. In all transparency, my service wasn't always complaint-free. I complained (in my mind mostly) about washing dishes. Yes, I read the whole spill online about "be thankful because it means you have a family to take care of and while others wish they did..." This rationale didn't work for me because while it makes sense intellectually, guilt is not a lasting agent of change. Even if I stop complaining for a minute, the complaints return with a vengeance the next time I have to do the dishes. 

Today's scriptures encourage us to do all things, dishes included, without complaining and disputing. 

The writer lays a foundation of humility with Christ as an example. I humble myself as Christ so graciously did. I see my precious family as more important than myself. I serve them the best way I can with a great attitude. 

Repenting from murmuring has to be the first step. True humility is preceded by repentance from sin. Why? Sin separates us from God. As I repent from murmuring about dishes, I am no longer separated from God. I am like Jesus, grateful and free. This freedom shows up in my thought life. There's room for gratitude in my thoughts. There's room to think about good things. Pause and calmly think of this, my friend. How would your thought life be if you were free from thoughts of ungratefulness and complaints?

Only after this type of freedom do we become blameless and harmless children of God in the midst of a world that does not know true freedom in the Spirit.

I appreciate verse 16. It tells us to hold fast to the word of life. The only way to walk in freedom is to hold fast to the words of life, which are the Bible. 

You and I will be tempted to murmur and complain again. I find that the more I hold fast to the words of the Bible, the more those words hold fast to my entire inner life. What goes in the heart comes out of my mouth. 

Can you imagine a life so filled with the words of life that everything we think and say matches what Jesus would think and say? 

Prayer: Lord, I repent from murmuring. I turn my back to complaining, especially when others can't hear me. You hear my every thought. You know me completely and you forgive freely. Help me to hold fast to the words of the Bible. Only then, I can be blameless and harmless in this crooked and perverse world. I give you thanks for forgiving me and guiding me. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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A new standard

Monday, November 21, 2022

 Listen here:

Show notes:

• Set a new standard 

• Sometimes, the fastest way to get back in the game is to expect something from yourself again. 

1. Go ahead and tie your identity to doing a good job 

2. Set challenging goals. People who set difficult and specific goals outperform people who set vague and non-challenging goals. 

3. See yourself as a person who loves challenge and goes for the big dreams 

4. Have the guts to expect something great for yourself 


1. New standards of goals 

2. New standards of follow-up 

3. New standards of company

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Pour out

"Trust in Him at all times, you people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah"

Psalm 62:8 (NKJV)

Pouring out is not my favorite thing. Especially when it comes to my precious morning coffee. 

This past week, I had many thoughts as I was making coffee. Because of my distraction, I filled the vessel beyond its limit. Coffee poured out everywhere. 

That visual reminded me of pouring out my heart before the Lord. I get to do that when I go before Him with thanksgiving. 

God certainly has my trust. When I look back at the past year, I'm not sure how I'd navigate my life without His love, care and protection. Let's not forget about the wisdom He gives me daily as I read His word. I am thankful every time I apply Godly wisdom in my everyday life. 

It is easy to pour out my heart to someone I trust. When was the last time you poured out your heart to a person you did not trust? I haven't been able to do it nor do I want to do it. God is worthy of my trust and thanks. 

Today's verse gives us further reason to thank God. He is a refuge for us. Whether you are concerned about your physical or emotional protection, you can count on God to be your refuge. He has all the wisdom, protection and resources we need to navigate the life He gives us. 

Prayer: Lord I trust you because you alone is worthy of my complete devotion. Here are the things I want to pour out before you. (Take time to cast your cares on the Lord, He cares about everything that concerns you). I also want to pour out my gratitude. (Take time to name every little thing you thank God for. When you reach your limit, keep going.) Thank you for being a true refuge. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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