Peace

How To Live In God's Favor

If you’re like me, you want to be wise and avoid making foolish mistakes as much as possible. To do this, we need to remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is literally the starting point to living well.

The fear of the Lord is a beautiful thing. It causes us to run to God, not away from Him.

If you want to live in God’s favor:

1.     Live in radical obedience to Him. Whatever He asks, decide to obey Him.

These days there is such an emphasis on doing whatever makes you “happy.” This is worldly wisdom and is complete foolishness. Living for momentary pleasure outside of God’s ways is a recipe for disaster, not peace and hope.

If Jesus is your Lord, you must say “yes” to whatever He asks you to do. Saying “No, Lord” is an oxymoron.

2.     Put your hope in God’s love for you.

Ask Him to tell you how much He loves you, then live in that reality. If you feel like you don’t hear an answer, remember that He showed His love for you by sending Jesus to die for you. There truly is no greater love.

Pursue God’s favor over your life, just like Jesus grew in favor with God. When God is for you, no man can be against you.

The Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 147:11

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3 Steps to Living in Peace

How are you doing today? Have you stopped to take your internal peace temperature? I really want you to know that true, lasting peace is available to you, no matter who you are or what your circumstances may be.

John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Peace is a gift, and it is a responsibility. Jesus gives the peace to us, then He tells us it is our job to make sure we stay in it.

There is only one pathway to true peace: absolute obedience to Jesus Christ. This is the starting point to true freedom.

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Once you start to live in peace, abundant joy is right around the corner!

JOY HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE SO MUCH PEACE

THAT YOU CAN'T HOLD IT INSIDE ANYMORE!

John 15:10-11 goes on to say, "If you keep My commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

  1. Keep His commands
  2. Stay in His love
  3. Thrive in His perfect peace & joy

KEY IDEA: IT IS COMPLETELY POSSIBLE FOR YOU 

TO LIVE IN ABSOLUTE PEACE AND JOY!

What To Do When You Can't Decide...

Sometimes it can be really hard to make a choice. It's especially hard if you're the type of person who really wants to get it right. The higher the stakes, the harder the choice.

I recently had to make a hard choice in parenting. It was so difficult because parenting my kids is one the most important things to me. I went back and forth between a couple of options, back and forth, back and forth.

Here's how I landed on my decision:

  • I prayed about it
  • I got into unity with my husband about it
  • I bounced it off the people in my inner circle
  • I fought off fear
  • I finally picked the "scary but exciting option"

You see, I felt the Lord speak to me that the "scary but exciting option" was actually His provision for our family. I chose to let go of all of the "what if's" and move forward. As soon as I made the choice, I felt peace and relief. I know that if at some point the peace leaves, I can choose to make another change.

Sometimes it's hard to make a choice when we really value doing the right thing. As long as we aren't choosing to do something in violation of God's ways or our conscience, we can move forward with courage and confidence. Even if we choose "wrong", God is able to make everything work out for our best.

Key Idea: pray, get in peace, submit to God,

and choose the "scary but exciting" choice!

How To Pray Against Terrorism

It seems like almost every day we are bombarded with images and stories of brutal attacks by terrorists. I think that we can tend to either get really scared or become numb. What if we were to avoid both of those options and pray powerful prayers instead?

Let's start by reading what Jesus had to say about it:

In fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. John 16:2b-3

It really all boils down to a lack of love. People who have hateful, murder filled hearts have not yet received the love of God. They go through life thinking that they have to prove something to God, not knowing that they can turn to Jesus and have a good Father who loves them so deeply. They live like orphans, fighting for every scrap, when they actually could have a relationship with a Father who wants to bless them with every good thing.... They just don't know it yet.

Let's start to pray faith filled prayers that God would visit terror minded people with His great love. Let's pray that He would visit them in their dreams or in any other way He sees fit, not just to protect ourselves from attacks, but so that these orphan ones can experience true love and freedom.

Jesus died because they too were valuable to the Father. Let's value what He values, and pray that the lost ones will come home!

Hidden Provision

I've been really wanting to replace the carpet in my bedroom, hallway and stairs for a few years now. Every time I got close to saving up the money, something else came up to spend the money on instead. It's not like I spent it on emergencies, but on fun stuff like going on trips to Cuba and Washington DC.

Anyway, I finally got the money together and decided that now is the time to get this project done. We're inheriting a complete bedroom set, so it seemed like the right time to change the flooring since we have to move everything anyway.

I did my research to make sure I had enough money saved, picked out the new flooring, and had the company do the measurements. It seemed like everything was coming together until the sales person from the store sent me the quote. It was almost double what I had figured!

I was busy, so I just sat on it a couple days. Before many days had passed, I found myself on a longish drive to an appointment. This meant I had plenty of time to think. I was starting to get stressed about the whole situation (first world problem). Should I forget about replacing the flooring, only do part of the project, or what? I was committed to paying cash upfront, so financing wasn't an option.

Thankfully it wasn't too long before I caught myself losing my peace and decided to ask God about it. I told the Lord that I needed Him. I told Him that I needed His wisdom and help, and that I know He really loves me and wants to give me my heart's desires. Then I decided to stop thinking about the situation and move on with my day. My peace was back!

God is so good. Within a couple hours I received an email from the sales person apologizing that they had done their figures incorrectly! Wow!

I had been hoping to pick up some extra work to make up for the discrepancy, but when it came down to it, I actually already had all that I needed.

I wonder how many times in our lives we stress about things that we think we need, when we actually already have them.


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Get your copy  here

Get your copy here

Don't Spew On the Ones You Love

I bet that if you had a stomach virus, you would never intentionally walk up to your loved ones and puke in their faces. Gross! Who would ever do that to anyone, much less than to the people who really matter to them.

Reasonable people try to stay away from others when they're sick. They do it out of mercy and kindness. They stay away until they are well, and no longer contagious. If the sickness doesn't seem to be passing, they get to a doctor to do their best to resolve the situation. Being sick is no fun for the one who is sick or for the rest of the family.

Why is it that we let emotional issues go unsorted for years and years? When the emotional pain buttons in our lives get pushed, the fallout hurts the people around us at least as much it hurts us.

You know the secret areas of pain that you keep hidden and hope that no one ever finds out about? I have news for you, people may not know the specifics, but they certainly feel the painful symptoms.

If you aren't willing to get healthy for your sake, at least do the hard work of getting yourself sorted out for the sake of the people you love. You really don't want people around you to feel like they have to spend their whole lives walking on eggshells.

Don't delay. Get the help you need. Make an appointment with a counselor or reach out to get with a mature, trusted mentor.

Action point: I recommend you follow Danny Silk - Loving on Purpose

If you don't deal with your issues, everyone around you will have to.


Get a copy  here

Get a copy here

Moving From an Idea to a Plan

Whatever God is calling you to do, He will always provide everything you need in order to follow through on it. He is a good Father, and He will not ask you do something, then leave you to do it on your own. Here's where to start...

  1. Get clear on your mission. What problem in the world makes your blood boil? What is your dream testimonial?
  2. Make a short term plan with a few things you can start on right away to get you headed in the right direction.
  3. Imagine what you want your life to look like in five or ten years. Are you putting the right things in place to get there?

It's not enough to get a vision; we need to ask Holy Spirit to help us walk it out. Feeling overwhelmed? You can do this! It's time to cooperate with God.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22


Would you do me a huge favor and take this one minute survey about where you are on the journey to your destiny? This will help me know how to help you.

The Time My Son Almost Had A Brain Tumor

A few years ago our oldest son started experiencing bouts of extreme dizziness and ringing in his ears along with some hearing loss.  After consulting with doctors it was determined that he needed to have an MRI.  Basically they needed to check to see if he had a brain tumor.

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Wow, that was unsettling.  It is so hard to go through these kinds of tests when you have to do so much waiting.  It's like they say, "This is really serious; go home and wait and wait and wait until we find time to help you out."

I remember ironing clothes and fighting this mental battle at the same time.  I had to choose to put the thought of cancer aside and think about other things.  It's like I actually imagined in my mind pushing the worrying thoughts over to the side and bringing thoughts of things I could control into the center.

The MRI did come back clear, and he was diagnosed with Meniere's disease. Miraculously his hearing loss has been restored!

Jesus gives us peace as a gift.  He also commands us to not let our hearts be troubled. Sometimes not letting your heart be troubled requires you to fight.

Peace is not the absence of war.

If you fear, you can't hear.  If you allow your heart to be troubled you won't be able to hear the whisper of Holy Spirit as He guides you in your life choices.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

7 Things "The Shack" Made Me Feel (no spoilers)

 

7 Things "The Shack" Made Me Feel

  1. It made God seem more real to me; like I can talk to Him more freely than before.
  2. It made me feel that heaven is real and close by.
  3. It made me feel that God really does love me and is really fun to be with.
  4. It made me feel that God is working for my best.
  5. It made me see that (Tweet This) it is always possible to forgive and move forward. 
  6. It reminded me that I can do anything when I'm with Him.
  7. It made me impatient to get to heaven. 
 

I enjoyed this movie so much, that I went to see it a second time. I hope that you go see it too!


Did you already see the movie?

I'd love to hear what you would add to my list!

7 Reasons To Deal With Your Stuff

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It's impossible to grow up without picking up any unhealthy patterns, regardless of how great your parents were. We all have some bags that need to be unpacked and put away. Here are 7 great reasons to stop stuffing your issues and get healthy!

  1. If you don't take care of your issues, you will pass them on to your kids and grand kids.
  2. Your marriage relationship will go to a level you've only dreamed of when you see things with a clear perspective.
  3. Living with stress and turmoil on the inside will make you physically ill.
  4. Being spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy makes it possible for you to do your part in bringing heaven to earth.
  5. Jesus paid too high a price for you to keep living below your potential.
  6. As you humble yourself (embracing vulnerability) God will release grace to you.
  7. You can travel faster in peace than any other way!

I would love to hear any more reasons you can think of.

You can reply with a comment to get the conversation going!


I recently bought an air fryer. So many people asked me about it, that I decided to make a video review. Check it out!

Peace Train

I want to share with you an experience my spiritual daughter had with the Lord. I love it so much because it's all about abiding in peace and the Kingdom. Enjoy!

From Ashley Reddish:

I just had the craziest experience with the Lord. We were standing in this train station, and I could literally feel the air from the train pushing against my face and back.

I was like,"Hey, I hate trains."

Jesus was like, "Let yourself go." The wind totally held me up.

He was like, "That's abiding in peace."

Then we walked onto the train, but it was still moving so fast. He was telling me the importance of abiding in peace and asked if I wanted to see something cool.

I said, "Yes."

We got off the train, and the station was crowded. Everyone was frozen and Jesus said, "Watch this."

He went and began to change people's faces, their expressions. He was like, "You try it."

We literally ran through the crowd, and we were taking casts off people and taking their crutches. We would just stretch out the person's legs or arms or whatever, and they were gonna be better. Then we went back on the train.

He told me that I can travel faster in peace than any other way. - You Can Tweet This


I'm planning to write three 30 day books this year, one of which will be about living in peace and hope! For now, I would love for you to check out this book by Steve Backlund. It is an awesome tool to help you recognize and beat the lies the enemy tries to tell us.

Discovering Your Special Sauce

What are you good at? Chances are you don't really know. Think about it for a second....

Most of the time the things we are good at don't even make the list. The things we are good at come to us so naturally that we tend to not even notice them. (Click to Tweet) They can be a bit like water to a fish.

You might be able to identify the things you are best at by noticing what things you tend to judge the most in other people.

For example, if you always find yourself looking down on people who dress sloppy, you may have a gift for beauty. Maybe you could develop a practical solution to inspire others to dress for the life they want to have.

As natural human beings we tend to judge other people's weaknesses against our strengths. This is a recipe for disunity. In reality, criticism is the opposite of honor. You cannot have a positive impact on society without honor. (Click to Tweet)

Generally it's a bad idea to compare yourself with other people. If you compare other people's strengths to your own weaknesses, you could put yourself into a clinical depression. We all have different strong points. No one has a monopoly on perfection.

As followers of Jesus, supernatural beings, we get to come up higher and begin to value each other for the wide array of strengths we each bring to the table. It takes all kinds to get the work of the Kingdom accomplished. After all, Jesus is the Head, and we are His body. I'm pretty sure He doesn't want to be all elbows. Another way to find out what you should focus your life's efforts the most on is to think about what things break your heart the most or make you feel intense anger.

In my case, thinking about orphans breaks my heart. There is something about the kids living in the slums in India that tears me up inside. I know that part of my destiny is to rescue as many of them as I can. I want to see them not only provided for physically, but also nurtured emotionally and spiritually.

I cannot afford to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. I have to take it one child at a time. For the past few years we have been sponsoring one little boy from India. My dream is to one day be able to provide homes to care for multiple children there.

Another thing that makes me feel intense frustration is when I see angry parents being harsh with young children. Of course all parents experience moments of frustration, but spewing anger on kids is so damaging to their hearts. When I see a child wilt right before me, it breaks my heart.

My heart also breaks for the parents. Most of the time they never had nurturing parents themselves and are really just emotional orphans. 

It makes me just want to swoop in and pour love and nurture on the parent and child alike. The parents really need someone to come along side them and parent them. Only then will they have the life tools needed to stop the dysfunctional cycle they are living in.

 

The people who are the angriest about a problem,

are usually the ones who are to be the solution. (Click to Tweet)

 

Ready to find your special sauce? What makes you angry? What breaks your heart?

Ask the Lord to show you what your part is in bringing a solution.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

You can reply with a comment to participate in the conversation.

Your Internal Soundtrack

Have you seen the Pixar movie Inside Out? It shows the inside workings of a little girl's memory bank. From time to time an annoying bubble gum commercial ditty randomly pops into her head.

Get a copy of the movie  here!

Get a copy of the movie here!

Do you have a certain tune that pops into your head from time to time?

When I was a kid we used to sing this verse to a fun, little tune. From time to time it pops into my head and sticks around for a while.

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge

and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Psalm 91:1-2 KJV 2000

Singing the scripture is such a great way to get God’s Word in your heart. Once you’ve learned a verse to song, it stays in a place in your brain for years. At any moment the Word can spring forth into your memory.

This basic memory function is what advertisers who write jingles depend on. If they can plant messages in our minds, we can definitely do it to ourselves too.

It’s so great to have scripture playing in the soundtrack of your day instead of negativity. As you meditate on God’s Word, the enemy’s lies and accusations get blocked out.

Putting scripture to song is a fun way to fight back. It really is a powerful weapon for you. Think of it as part of putting on the full armor of God.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11

Intentionally get God’s Word into your heart and mind, then meditate on it as you go about your daily routine!

Which piece of armor do you think singing the Bible best represents? Helmet of Salvation, Breastplate of Righteousness, Sword of the Spirit, Belt of Truth, or Shoes of Peace?

Which piece of armor do you think singing the Bible best represents? Helmet of Salvation, Breastplate of Righteousness, Sword of the Spirit, Belt of Truth, or Shoes of Peace?

A Believer's Solution For Apathy

Do you ever feel tired or unmotivated? It turns out that Jesus offers a very simple solution to this common problem. He instructs us to simply come to Him and drink.

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast,

Jesus stood and cried out, saying,

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”

John 7:37

In case this sounds too mystical, let’s look at some practical ways to “come and drink.”

It’s really nice when we feel a sweet longing to spend time with Jesus, but even when the feeling is absent, the coming to Him is still powerful.

When you do feel a stirring to “come” to Him, drop what you are doing and go with it. As you respond to the smallest nudge of His presence, you will be filled with His love and peace.

Discipline yourself to come to Him daily whether you feel anything or not. You might want to set a daily reminder on your phone to pause to talk to Jesus and meditate on His Word.

As you read the Bible, don’t rush. When a verse stands out to you, stop and chew on it. Don’t worry about getting through a certain amount of reading. Focus on mediating on the Lord and the verses He is highlighting to you.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath as you let His Word go deep inside. This is a great way to “drink.”

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said,

“From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

John 7:38

The more you spend time letting the truth of Jesus go deep into your heart and mind, the more powerful you will become. Let God take you through a process of mind renewal until you truly believe that you are one with Him.

This is the place that powerful ministry stems from. Ask Holy Spirit to come more and more until your entire being is saturated with His presence. Be aware of the fact that you are a spiritual being at your core.

Release the rivers of living water within you by opening your mouth and letting the naturally resulting praise and prayer flow.

When you take time to cultivate God’s presence in your own life, you can begin to release His Kingdom everywhere you go.

As you go to work, school, or shopping be aware of what you are carrying. You truly are a supernatural being who has the power to shift the atmosphere simply by showing up and releasing love.

A very practical step is to practice looking people in the eyes, smiling, and making small talk. This does not come easily to all of us, but it is the pathway to deeper conversation and connection.

You can do it! You are not alone; You are powerfully connected to Love!

Christmas Night with Syrian Refugees

Have you ever felt love for people you've never met? Christopher has had a burden for Syrian refugees for a few years now.  He had the great idea to bless a family with Christmas gifts. We found a family to reach out to through our friends David and Ashley. My heart joined with Christopher's as I spent time and money shopping for the family.  

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

Matthew 6:21

I sincerely enjoyed shopping for and spending money on a family I've never met. I didn't even know their names. As I shopped for and carefully wrapped each gift, I felt a love grow in my heart for boy age 17, boy age 15, boy age 13, girl age 11, girl age 8, twin boy and girl age 4, mom and dad. 

Maybe it's a tiny taste of the way God says, "Before you were born I knew you, and I loved you."

Our whole family took the gifts to the refugee family on Christmas night. It was especially fun to watch the 4 year olds with their brand new bikes. They were so excited. The little boy fell off his bike three times while we were there, but that didn't diminish his ear to ear smile one bit. 

As we sipped tea and ate unleavened bread, we spoke to each other in broken English. They told us a little about their journey including how their house in Syria had been bombed to the ground one month after they had fled to Jordan.

Before we said goodbye, Christopher prayed a blessing over the family. We released peace and love, and we left with full hearts.

We didn't even make it home before we found out that the father had posted this on his facebook. 

It truly is more blessed to give than to receive!

Enough With the Mind Games Already

You've got a mission and you're relentless about pursuing it, but sometimes doubts start to flood in.

Do you ever hear a voice in your head accusing you of being a fake, going overboard, or being annoying?

One of the best things you can do is recognize that 'other' voice and decide to ignore it. That is warfare. Put on your helmet of salvation to protect your mind from spiritual mental attacks.

 

My sheep hear My voice,

and I know them,

and they follow Me.

John 10:27

It's time to get our heads sorted out...

It's time to get our heads sorted out...

Let's practice listening to the voice of Holy Spirit and shutting out the voice of that stranger, the accuser.

The closer you get to your destiny, the more mind games you may have; but even if you were to give up on your destiny and decide to do nothing with your life,  it would not solve the problem of the accuser constantly accusing you. That's his main job.

It is better to chase your destiny down, while fighting some mind games, than to end up living in boredom or depression while forfeiting your purpose. 

What do you think?

That Time When God Became A Man

I have been gripped this Christmas season by the amazing fact that God turned Himself into a human. Wow! That's earth-shatteringly vulnerable. 

I'm sharing this worship video today because this song has been touching me so deeply the past couple weeks. I don't believe this song was meant to be a Christmas song, but I do believe it sums up what Christmas is truly all about. Come, let's adore Him together!

Onething Live / Justin Rizzo - There is one found worthy, from the album Onething Live Magnificent Obsession by IHOP in 2012

 
He was born to die because God wanted you so much. Merry Christmas!

He was born to die because God wanted you so much. Merry Christmas!

How I Got Past the Devastating Pain from Our Failed Adoption

Do you ever feel like your head is fractured?  Like the plates of your skull are literally pulling apart. That's the picture that comes into my head when I think back to the most painful holiday season I ever went through.

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A few years ago our family went through a very difficult season when we experienced a failed adoption. We had a toddler foster son living with us for over six months, and just before the adoption was due to go through, everything fell apart.

That season was one of the hardest times of my life. Parenting that precious boy felt to me like it must feel to parent a terminally ill child.

To some that may sound too dramatic or even insensitive to those who have lost biological children. All I can tell you is that is how I felt. There was so much uncertainty.  

Uncertainty is very hard for me. I like to "make a plan and work the plan!" Hourly we were waiting for word to confirm or deny that this baby would be ours forever. I guess I always had a sinking feeling that things weren't going to go the way we hoped.

I remember having days where I would literally daydream about escaping. I would imagine how wonderful it would be to just sit all alone in a dark, silent room for hours. It was like there was just too much noise and uncertainty spinning all around me, and I needed peace.

After we got the news that the little guy would be moving on, I spent the next few months just recovering and resting. The grief process just takes some time.

It was extremely painful because the authorities involved had told us to bond with him and get him to bond with us because he was going to be ours. I have a clear memory of him lying his head on my lap while I patted his back and called him my baby. He would repeat it back to me in such a sweet secure little voice: "my baby."

Having to send him off from our home when there was no way on earth we could explain to him what was happening felt like such a betrayal. It broke my heart. Our final days with him were right between Christmas and New Years.

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Looking back I can see how much the Lord held us during those devastating moments. He sent some wonderful people into our lives who loved us well when we really needed it. Though I felt like everything was falling apart, God was actually building strength deep inside of me. That incredibly hard time built perseverance. I cannot say that I lived in perfect peace, but I can say that I fought hard to stay in perfect peace, and it was worth the fight!

After a couple years of grieving,  I attended a church service with a guest minister. He shared about peace and took us through an exercise to let go of pain. That night was a turning point for me. In a matter of minutes I was able to let go of the deep pain that had been trying to swallow me alive.

A friend of mine wrote a book with the basics of the model that I learned that night. The book is written to kids and teens, but it definitely is usable for adults as well. This book can help you move past any kind of pain and grief.

Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend.
Thanks so much for being a faithful reader!

click to tweet this: True peace only comes through Jesus.

Stayed Upon Jehovah,

Hearts are Fully Blest,

Finding as He Promised,

Perfect Peace and Rest.

-Francis R. Havergal

This book would make a great gift for the book lover on your Christmas list. I especially recommend it for people who are trying to work out their life path.  Here's a review from Amazon:  Being a missionary's kid myself, this book resonated with me on a number of levels. I enjoy Beth's storytelling, and this book is full of some great stories. I also appreciate how she moves beyond autobiography, making truths she's gleaned from her experiences accessible to the reader. Her questions made me think, and gave me healthy perspective on decisions I've made in life (both good ones and failures). The perspective didn't take me into introspection or regret, but helped me think about how I can talk about these keys with my girls, as they mature.

This book would make a great gift for the book lover on your Christmas list. I especially recommend it for people who are trying to work out their life path.

Here's a review from Amazon:

Being a missionary's kid myself, this book resonated with me on a number of levels. I enjoy Beth's storytelling, and this book is full of some great stories. I also appreciate how she moves beyond autobiography, making truths she's gleaned from her experiences accessible to the reader. Her questions made me think, and gave me healthy perspective on decisions I've made in life (both good ones and failures). The perspective didn't take me into introspection or regret, but helped me think about how I can talk about these keys with my girls, as they mature.