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10 Things I Learned in Fall '23

Rewind > Reflect > Learn > Grow

Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.

This Fall, we ushered in year 4 of The Good Day with The Good Day Farm! We've had so much fun learning how to grow vegetables in the greenhouse and our only pet is a rooster we named Hey Hey (inspired by Moana) who decided to make this farm his home. (...and you thought you had loud neighbors!) He's on the naughty list right now though because he pecked a couple of the porch pumpkins, so if anyone is in need or want of a rooster, come on by and Hey Hey is all yours!

We've enjoyed watching the leaves change colors on all the trees on and around the farm. As we all know, Fall is the time when the leaves take their courageous leap to rest, and for 'Dubs and I, we saw four loved ones within our circle do the same. We praise God for His mercy in this, to not prolong suffering on earth, but of course we miss them being with us.

For this reason, I'm letting this perspective guide my reflection today. Without further ado, here are ten things (not all the things but ten things) I've learned this last season.

10. "Life is too short, and too sacred."

Attending funerals and hearing stories of those who have passed has reminded me life is too short ...and as author Ken Gire would add, "...and too sacred." In light of this, I've been thinking a lot about the brevity of life. The writer of Ecclesiastes describes it as a vapor. As vaporous as it is, there is immense meaning in it all. There is meaning in the great achievements and meaning in the mundane. It is through consistency in the mundane we reach the great achievements, and if the achievements are not for the betterment of others, have we really achieved anything worthwhile at all?

What activities occupy the mundane of your day?

How have you served someone else today?

What are you doing to help someone's tomorrow?

Just a few questions I've been thinking through. Consider joining me in this.

9. Life is too short, and too sacred to DIY - do it yourself.

I think I’ll let Him - Five words I’ve been saying more this Fall. I’m trying to take my thoughts captive more and ask myself if this is something in my control, and when it’s not, releasing it to God saying “I can’t. God can. I think I’ll let Him.”

8. Life is too short, and too sacred to neglect responsibility.

Control - do we have any? Our circumstances sometimes make us feel like we don’t but we really do. We get to control which thoughts we think about. We may not control the emotions we experience but we do choose if we let our emotions drive. We choose how we respond to others. We choose our attitude. We choose which perspective we hold. And I’m learning, this makes a lot of difference between rising above the hurt, the pain, the disappointment, the discomfort or spiraling down into it.

We must take responsibility for what is in our control and lean full-force into the Holy Spirit's power to help us seek and live out God's truth in every circumstance.

7. Life is too short, and too sacred to marvel at the lesser things.

What are you marveling at?

I’m realizing I spend too much time marveling at the wrong thing. I marvel at someone’s unkind tone or unkind response or lack of response. “Marvel” is not usually the word I use, instead it comes out as “Really?!!” Or “I can’t believe [he/she]..” but I’m realizing these are normal, common, earthly behaviors. In other words, these are nothing to marvel at, these are expected. How much better use of my time and energy to marvel at the goodness and godliness I see in others and speak it out when I see it.

Marveling is one more thing in our control. Whatever we choose to marvel at we'll see more of. Marvel at lesser things and we'll see more. Marvel at good - how the Kingdom of God is shining through in the dark places around us - and we’ll see more good, more holiness all around.

6. Life is too short, and too sacred to be the smartest in the room.

Speaking of marveling, I've marveled at the humility of Nancy Ortberg. She'll sometimes join her husband, John, on their podcast, Become New, and in one episode she said,

I'm never the smartest person in the room, even when I'm the only person in the room. - Nancy Ortberg

I've long believed and tried to live out the first part of this statement. It doesn't matter what I'm doing - whether at work, at home, in small group, at church, ordering something at Chick-Fil-A, playing pickle ball, reading a new book - I always want to enter it humbly, knowing no matter who is with me, there is something I can learn from their experience and perspective.

And now, it's the second part of Nancy's statement which has gripped me "...even when I'm the only person in the room." How can this be? I don't know about you, but when I'm alone with my thoughts, I feel pretty smart and very right. Yet, I know as a Christian, I am never alone. The Holy Spirit is with me and indefinitely wiser than me. Am I tuning in with humility to His promptings to lead me?

5. Life is too short, and too sacred to struggle alone.

There's a lot of power in humility. It opens doors and builds relationships we never knew we needed or wanted. I've been learning more about hearing God's voice, and His Word is the primary way we hear Him but not the only.

In September, I didn't really want to join another small group, my schedule was not lacking in commitments as it were, but I couldn't shake the invite. I knew I'd never have more time in my life as I do right now and this was important. Meeting once a week with these women - women whose backgrounds and hurdles are as varied as the spectrum of colors in the rainbow - could change the trajectory of my life going forward. A few months in, and I see it already is. Indeed, God speaks through His Word and through His people.

Are we spending time with others who are following Christ intently and opening up to share our personal struggles and what God is teaching us while also listening to their personal struggles and hear what God is teaching them? For when two or more are gathered together in Jesus' name, we believe He is there also. Through Jesus, we find power to overcome.

4. Life is too short, and too sacred to not have fun.

If you've been a friend of mine for even a short length of time, you know I love to celebrate. For this reason, I'm often seeking out reasons to celebrate. It's just how God made me. Turns out, it's how he made Will, too. Having just moved into our home on The Good Day Farm, 'Dubs came to me with an idea - "What if we have a Fall Carnival?" I laughed and realized I married my match!

And with this, the planning began! We had so much fun inviting families over to make memories together. We aired up a bounce house on the front lawn, turned the garage into a colorful skating rink, painted mini pumpkins, hung powdered sugar donuts on the porch, arranged a Peanuts scavenger hunt in the garden, planted lollipops in the greenhouse for kids to pick, and so much more!

3. Life is too short, and too sacred to make boring meals.

Blind dates, who said they are only for a first date?

It all started with 'Dubya and I sitting on the couch one evening brainstorming what we wanted for dinner while I blew on my newly polished nails to expedite the drying process. We just got a new waffle iron from our wedding and we had waffle mix in the pantry... my nails weren't ready to cook yet... one thing led to another and soon we found ourselves having a blind date in the kitchen.

My arms (and freshly painted nails) were tied down inside an oversized sweatshirt while 'Dubs' arms stretched through the sleeves. With his head ducked inside, he couldn't see anything and had to rely on my instructions to make the batter, mix it and make waffles! We laughed so hard the whole time. And best part, the waffles were actually edible!

Watch for yourself and be inspired to host a blind date in your kitchen!

2. Life is too short, and too sacred to overlook its beauty.

My grandmother started a tradition in our family when my great grandmother passed away. She likely didn't know she was starting a tradition, it was just something God placed on her heart that day. She walked around to each of the kids, grandkids, great grandkids and great great grandkids and handed each of us a rose. As we walked by the casket to say our final goodbyes, we gave our MaMa our rose. Such a special moment, we've done it ever since in our family. This Fall, we did it for Grandpa.

In a way, this tradition reminds me of the brevity of life - a flower is here today and gone tomorrow - yet God did not see the brevity of the flower as a reason to not create it. He gave us the flower for enjoyment sure, but also to remind us of the Creator, our Creator and the beauty He has for us here and in eternity with Him.

1. Life is too short, and too sacred to not be present.

When a friend from college invites you to a private tour of the White House, you say "yes!" That's what we did anyway and it was such a special trip. Dropping all political affiliations at the door so we could be fully present while walking through and appreciating such rich history of a nation founded on our Christian faith.

We returned home with a deeper reverence for the families who are chosen to live in this home. It's so easy to get caught up in the agendas of the time, but may we never forget they are human too. Before we jump to criticize, may we first step into wonder: I wonder how they reasonably came to this decision?

I know if I ever lived in the White House, I would want others to do this for me - to disagree peaceably, sure, but to recognize behind every decision is a human heart.

Looking Ahead

Looking back helps us gain perspective as we look forward. Now, shifting our gaze forward...

It's time to anticipate the greatest gift we'll ever know, the birth of Jesus. To help ground our focus and center our hearts for Christmas, we're going... Yep! You already know... we're going Home for the Holidays!

Four new posts will be shared in the weeks leading up to Christmas and I pray God speaks personally to you through each of them.

Now, it's your turn. What have you learned through this last season?

To help get you started, you can download your FREE printable in the Resources page. (Add your email below to gain access today!)

Let's find strength knowing we do not endure these seasons alone. Let's find joy knowing there is purpose for each season we walk. Let's find peace in reflecting on the lessons learned and accepting these circumstances, much like seasons, as temporary. Let's find rest as we cling to the eternal.

The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.

I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!

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Trisha Thompson
Trisha Thompson
Nov 22, 2023

I loved the waffle making experience! Talk about faith and realizing how little control we have. You guys are a perfect match and your joy is overflowing! Thank you Candace for sharing your wisdom with others through your Good Day blog. Love you dear friend and Happy Thanksgiving!! 💕🙏🏻

Candace Cofer
Candace Cofer
Nov 22, 2023
Replying to

Hahaha we had a lot of fun with it! Awww thank you, friend! Love you too and Happy Thanksgiving!




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