Share Four Somethings—November 2022
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Near the end of each month, I share four somethings at Heather’s.

Plus my latest One Second Everyday monthly video . . . 

[click here if you can’t see the video]

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Something Loved

  • COACH CADILLAC

We’re Auburn University fans in my household (War Eagle!). But our football team has had a rough few years. This year we fired our head football coach midseason, and hired Carnell “Cadillac” Williams as our interim coach. He was an outstanding and beloved Auburn football player himself from 2001-2005, who played for the NFL from 2005-2011. He’s humble, enthusiastic, and loves the guys who play for him. And they love him back, as do we fans.

Tomorrow is Auburn’s big rivalry game against the University of Alabama for the Iron Bowl. Alabama is a 21 point favorite to win. But win or lose, Auburn has been totally reenergized by Coach Cadillac. 

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Something Gleaned 

  • NONFICTION NOVEMBER

November is a fun month for bloggers who favor nonfiction books. Each week we’ve been sharing favorite books around a different theme. I’ve collected lots of new recommendations from other nonfiction readers, and shared a few of my own. 

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Something Braved

  • GOT MY REAL ID

For domestic airflights after May 3, 2023, Americans need a driver’s license compliant with REAL ID (or another acceptable form of ID). I’ve delayed getting my STAR ID (that’s what it’s called in Alabama) for awhile because it seemed like a lot of work.

But November is when my license expires anyway, so I finally gathered all the documents I needed and headed to the DMV. My wait was very short, and the process was very smooth. And now it’s over.

If I had known it would be so simple, I wouldn’t have put it off so long. 

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Something Achieved

  • 60 CIRCLES AROUND THE SUN

Today is a milestone birthday for me! One of my best friends is cooking dinner for Jeff and me tonight. She has promised we’ll also play Bananagrams. That’s my kind of celebration. 

What has been a highlight of your November?

Share in the comments.

I’m linking at these blog parties


Featured Post for Grace & Truth Linkup

Maybe you’re traveling this week for Thanksgiving. Are you ready yet to be back home? It’s nice going out, but I do love returning home to my safe nest.

Jerralea reminds us in our featured post this week to view the Lord as our home. “In addition to a dwelling with a door you can close shutting out the world, you have a Father to go to for comfort and rest.”

Read all of Jerralea’s post here at her blog, then add your own links below.

Thankful for Home


Review the rules here about adding your most recent Christian Living posts and how to be the Featured Post. Visit all four hosts social media here or websites here: Maree Dee, Lisa notes, Lauren Sparks, Tammy Kennington.

Now Let’s Link Up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Fill Out the One Word Survey + November One Word Linkup

One Word Linkup

Share Your One Word Update

Link your One Word blog post below. Share an update about your One Word in the comments.

Almost There

You’ve almost reached the end of the year with your One Word!

Is there anything more you’d like to do with your word before the year ends? Catch us up with a current update as well as any last-minute plans you’d like to accomplish. Link up a blog post or share in the comments.

Take the Survey

Will you take this short survey about your experience with our One Word 2022 community?

It will help with planning for 2023. All answers are anonymous.

The November linkup will remain open from Tuesday, November 22, through Wednesday, November 30.

The final linkup for One Word 2022 will be on Thursday, December 22.

Remember to add discussion in our One Word Facebook group if you’re online there. Each link here will be shared there throughout the month.

Sign ups will begin soon for NEW people to join our One Word 2023 group! 


Leave a comment here about your One Word.

Link Up About Your One Word!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


How These 5 Books Changed Me

How these 5 books changed me

Some books won’t let us go. They challenge our thinking. They make us turn around and do differently.

“Worldview Changers” is the category for week 4 of Nonfiction November. Join Rebekah at She Seeks Nonfiction to see more worldview changing books.

Week 4 Nonfiction November

5 Worldview-Changing Books

Here are fives books I read this year that changed me.

1. Self-Compassion
The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
by Kristin Neff

• A new thought it made me think:

Our culture has incorrectly focused too much on self-esteem. That focus made us fall into the traps of self-righteousness, prejudice, narcissism, self-absorption, etc. A healthier mindset is to focus on self-compassion.

• A quote I like:

“We can recognize that weakness and imperfection are part of the shared human experience. We can feel more connected to our fellow life travelers who are just as flawed and vulnerable as we are. At the same time, we can let go of the need to feel better than others.”

• An action it motivated me to take:

When you’re having difficult feelings, try one (or all) of these three things:

  1. Give yourself kindness and care.
  2. Remind yourself that pain is part of the shared human experience.
  3. Hold your thoughts and emotions in mindfulness awareness.

2. Do the Work!
An Antiracist Activity Book
by Kate Schatz and W. Kamau Bell

• A new thought it made me think:

Racism is prejudice plus power. Instead of defining racism as a person who hates a person of a different race, Bell says racism is when one group has the power to carry out systematic discrimination by (a) the institutional policies and practices of the society, and (b) by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices.

• A quote I like:

“You might call these things ‘microaggressions,’ but honestly? Can we just drop the ‘micro’? That makes it sound almost cute. Death by a thousand papercuts is still pretty aggressive. A microaggression is just racism that didn’t get me killed.”

• An action it motivated me to take:

Put my privilege to good use in multiple ways, including using my voice among white people to speak out against white supremacy, to listen and believe Black people when they share their experiences, to support Black-owned businesses when possible, and to continue reading books by BIPOC authors.

3. The Sleep Solution
Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It
by W. Chris Winter

• A new thought it made me think:

Even if I don’t actually sleep all night, resting even without sleeping is still good for me. I don’t have to be asleep to still feel relaxed and comfortable, taking a needed break from the stresses of the day.

• A quote I like:

“For many people who struggle with their sleep, you can almost think of their nightly angst as a mini-PTSD episode….Don’t make your sleep disturbances a defining characteristic in your life. The hour or two it takes you to fall asleep is not that big of a deal. Believe this. Free yourself.”

• An action it motivated me to take:

Put my phone further away from me during the night so I won’t be tempted to listen to podcasts when I can’t sleep. Stop looking at the clock when I do wake up in the middle of the night. Accept that it’s ok if I’m awake part of the night.

4. Immortal Diamond
The Search for Our True Self
by Richard Rohr

• A new thought it made me think:

Dying before we die is an important practice. As some roles are stripped away, I’m more aware that who I am in God remains. I am still complete. The goodness of God fills all the gaps of the universe, without discrimination or preference.

• A quote I like:

“Remember that resurrection is not woundedness denied, forgotten, or even totally healed. It is always woundedness transformed. You still carry your scars forever, as both message and trophy. They still ‘hurt’ in a way, which keeps you mindful and humble, but they no longer allow you to hurt other people. Pain transformed is no longer pain transmitted.”

• An action it motivated me to take:

Watch and participate as God—through love—fills in the gaps. Know that after each little death, resurrection will follow.

5. The Power of Regret
How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward
by Daniel H. Pink

• A new thought it made me think:

Being aware of my regrets brings benefits. Ultimately it can strengthen my sense of meaning and connectedness, if used properly.

• A quote I like:

“When relationships come apart, whether by intent or inattention, what stands in the way of bringing them back together are feelings of awkwardness. …Yet those concerns are almost always misplaced. But more often—much more often, in fact—we overestimate how awkward we’ll feel and underestimate how much others will welcome our overtures.
So, this simple problem has an even simpler solution. Shove aside the awkwardness.”

• An action it motivated me to take:

Ask myself which I’ll regret more: inaction or action (we typically regret inactions more than actions). Use my thinking to prompt my doing in the direction of my deepest values.


What book has changed you this year? Share in the comments.


It Is Safe to Hope for the Next Season
—Grace & Truth Linkup

grace-and-truth-weekly-christian-linkup-its friday

I take a quick glance at my flower beds. They’re dismal. The cold weather choked the life and beauty out of each blossom, each stem.

But after reading Donna’s post about the promise of new life, I am reminded anew that the appearance of death isn’t always what it seems.

Frost is here now, yes. Winter is indeed coming. 

But after a season of rest over the next few months, the hosta will again send up new shoots from the ground. The rose bush will break out in tiny pink buds. The azalea will turn from brown to explosive red.

The breath of God, of Love, will restore beauty.

It is safe for me to hope for what the next season will bring, even as I experience the chill in this one.

Read all of Donna’s post at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.

New Life Amidst the Ruins

Share your thoughts in the comments.

I’m linking at these blog parties


Review the rules here about adding your most recent Christian Living posts and how to be the Featured Post. Visit all four hosts social media here or websites here: Maree Dee, Lisa notes, Lauren Sparks, Tammy Kennington.

Now Let’s Link Up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Release Your Perspective as the Only One

“It didn’t work.”

I hear the nurse mutter this under her breath. I am just now waking up from the sweet sedation of anesthesia.

I get my bearings. I’m back in the recovery room. I’m in a hospital gown.  My routine colonoscopy is over. I’m happy about that.

But she’s saying it didn’t work? I went through all that horrible prep for nothing? How could it not have worked?

My emotions plummet straight down.

Some things are out of our control. We can’t stop a rainy day. We can’t stop life from changing. We can’t perform our own colonoscopies.

This year I’ve been working on the RELEASE of things I can’t control (Release is my One Word 2022). For November I’m trying to release my perspective as the only one, the right one.

But when the nurse says, “It didn’t work,” I can only see from one perspective: mine.

I find my voice. I ask her, “My colonoscopy didn’t work?”

The colonoscopy went fine. She says she was talking about her ipad. It’s her ipad that wasn’t working.

Oh!

Seeing things from her perspective instead of my own makes me very happy.

It doesn’t always work this way, of course. Sometimes seeing someone else’s perspective can be painful. It can increase our angst or reveal our inadequacies or prove we were wrong.

But even if temporarily painful in the moment, broadening our viewpoint is almost always helpful in the long run.

So I continue to work on releasing the fallacy that my perspective is always the clear one, the true one. Maybe sometimes it is, but many times my perspective is formed in the leftover fog of life’s anesthesia.

There are many angles in any given situation. I only see from my limited perspective.

But by opening up to the perspectives of others, I can expand my own.

Things aren’t always about me. They’re also about someone else. Or their ipad.

I’m glad to know that.


Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read More:


4 Keys to Make and Keep a BFF {Stranger Than Fiction}

To what lengths would you go to find a new best friend?

Making a new friend as an adult is different than as a kid. I’ve done it. I’m glad I have. It’s rewarding.

But making a new adult friend doesn’t always come naturally or easily. Neither does keeping one. And especially not a best friend. 

This week’s theme for #NonfictionNovember is Stranger Than Fiction. Visit the linkup at at Christopher’s blog for more recommendations on nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real.

Here’s the book I’m recommending that almost doesn’t seem real:

MWF Seeking BFF
My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend
by Rachel Bertsche

The author Rachel is a MWF (Married, White, Female) who moved to Chicago, leaving her friends behind in New York City. She was lonely in her new city. She knew she had to do something.

Rachel says,

“Popular culture has made it okay to yell ‘I want a man!’ from the rooftops, so why are we still embarrassed to say, ‘I want a best friend’?”

She formed a plan: make 52 friend dates, one per week for a year, to find her new BFF (Best Friend Forever).

“I was nervous everyone would think I was either really pathetic or really annoying, but so far they’re mostly flattered. People want friends, they’re just embarrassed to ask for them.”

Personally, I could never do this project. I’m not made for it. I lack the emotional, mental, and physical energy for a scheme this outlandish. I’d just stay lonely if this were my only option.

Maybe that’s why this book was so intriguing to me. How could someone actually do this???

But Rachel does it. She seeks out 52 people to spend time with in 52 situations. She creates a spreadsheet to keep track. 

She learns things along the way about friendship from her encounters. She shares those insights in her book.

Thankfully, we can glean from her insights about making and keeping friends without taking on a challenge like hers.

4 Keys to Make and Keep a BFF

Here are 4 lessons you can glean from Rachel’s year-long experiment to find her new BFF.

1. TELL SOMETHING PERSONAL

Rachel says,

“Friendship intimacy starts with self-disclosure—sharing personal information you wouldn’t tell just anyone—and reciprocity, meaning if you tell her your secrets, she better tell you hers.”

To get closer when making a new friend, be vulnerable in sharing your stories. And invite your new friend to share her stories, too. (Granted, until you know who you can trust, don’t start with your deepest, darkest secrets.)

[Read my thoughts here: The Two Things Your Friendships Need to Survive]

2. GIVE SUPPORT

But just swapping secrets isn’t the point. When I’m vulnerable in conversations, I want appropriate responses and interaction. I appreciate friends who believe in me and say so. And vice versa. 

Rachel says true friends aren’t just two people talking side by side in parallel monologues. They participate in a dialogue. Don’t just listen to each other; provide support. 

3. SHOW UP IN PERSON

I know we introverts or you busy-busy-people like to just type words on a screen. That’s fine for the in-between times when we can’t get together, but typed words usually can’t carry the weight of a true friendship. Face to face is best.

But when you can’t meet in person, consider this hierarchy: Phoning with video (Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc.) is better than phoning with only voice, but even a voice call is better than texting (Rachel’s advice from John Cacioppo).

In person > Video call > Voice call > Text/email > Silence

This has proven true for me especially this year as I navigate a rough season of life.

4. MAKE THE TIME

It’s tempting to offer “Let’s do lunch!” to lots of people. But unless you have the time/motivation to pick a time and follow through, you may be hurting more than helping your friendships by an empty promise.

Be realistic. We don’t have time to be best friends with everybody. We have to prioritize.

“Friendship brings responsibilities and obligations. If you’re tending too many, you may not have time to get really close to any of them.”

Rachel says if there’s one single factor that can turn a potential BFF into a real BFF, it’s consistency. We consistently make time for those we care the most about.

Rachel’s adventures on her friend-dates in this book are amusing. But her entertaining stories aren’t just fluff.

Making and keeping friends (whether good friends or best friends) can change your life.


Of the 4 keys (1-Get personal, 2-Be supportive, 3-Show up, 4-Make time), which is easiest for you in friendships? Which one is hardest? What would you add to the list? Share in the comments.

More Book Recommendations on Friendships:

  • Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker
    This book contains MUCH helpful and scientifically-based information on relationships of all kinds, written in a very relational and easy-to-read format.
  • Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First by Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine
    My book club recently finished this book together. It gave us lots of conversation starters and paths into sharing more details about our lives. We learned new things about everyone. 
  • The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate by Harriet Lerner
    This is a great book on encouraging you to use your voice. Without meaningful conversations, relationships can’t grow.