An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #1

Hi, friends! Welcome to the first week of the An Inspired Life Book Club! :)

I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading through the first chapter. I’m looking forward to connecting right here in the comments and on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #AnInspiredLife.

For this first week, I’d love for you to take some time to introduce yourself in the comments below. Share your blog address, Twitter, etc. and what inspired you to participate in the book club. We will also be chatting about some of the questions I posed in the video, as well. So feel free to get the discussion going about any of those. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better and encouraging each other to live fully and creatively this year!

P.S. Don’t forget: We’ll be having the first An Inspired Life Twitter party this Thursday at 9 p.m. EST. 

Okay, so, let’s chat, shall we??! :)

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13 thoughts on “An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #1

  1. Whitney Conard says:

    Hey Katie and everyone else!

    I read the first chapter tonight and am excited to jump into conversation with y’all. Quick intro – I blog over at Journey Mercies {http://journey-mercies.blogspot.com}. My husband and I have lived in Cambodia for almost 3 years. He is a water and sanitation specialist working with Samaritan’s Purse, and up until last week, I was volunteering in a medical missionary clinic as a nurse.

    We’re expecting our first baby in about a month (a boy due date March 5), and we’re moving to Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday to deliver the baby there. So obviously, I am in a season of anticipation and change – becoming a stay at home mom, seeing my ministry change, putting my nursing on hold, but also growing in my writing and creative pursuits, as being home I’ll definitely need the outlet!

    For my passions, I love nursing (especially pediatrics – I worked at a children’s hospital 4 years before we moved to Cambodia), working overseas, writing, design work, and collaboration with other women. So I feel like my seasons are shifting, in that I won’t be pursuing my nursing passion right now, but God is opening the door to other passions.

    Ephesians 2:10 really struck me as I was reading chapter 1 – just the idea that God has specific good works for me to do in this new season of life, and he’s created me and gifted me specifically for those works – is pretty amazing. I think it goes along with 2 Cor. 9:8 that I’ve been thinking about lately, which says that God will give us all things at all times, so that we can abound in every good work.

    Whew! Hope that wasn’t too long – I look forward to getting to know you all better in the coming weeks!
    Whitney
    twitter & instagram: @whitconard

  2. Kelly says:

    Hi Katie and Whitney.
    First of all, Katie, I want to say thank you for doing this and for putting out a blog that is so filled with joy and inspiration that it is contagious!! I am loving your e-book.

    Whitney, congratulations on your baby boy. Wow he will be here so soon. I’ll be praying for all to go well. I admire the work that you and your husband do. This new season will be so exciting for you and, yes, He does have specific works for you in this season for sure and He will equip you with everything you need when you need it.

    I am sort of between seasons right now. I have had the privilege of being married to my best friend for 30 years and raising two incredible young men who are now 26 and 23. My youngest was just commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the Air Force. His first assignment will be at the end of May when he leaves for Greenland. I am drinking in every precious moment before he goes. I have loved being a mom and so for this season to end is gut wrenching. I know that God has been preparing me for this new season and I am choosing to be excited and see where He will lead me. I know it is so important for me right now to find my identify in Him. I love your quote, Katie, “When we understand who He is and who we are in Him, we are free to live braver, fuller lives.” That is just what I want to do. I worked from home for many years, but right now I am taking time to pursue things that bring me joy. I am taking some web design classes and I know God has been nudging me to start a blog. I am passionate about health and fitness. I love encouraging others to find joy in the life they are already living and to embrace what makes them unique so Ephesians 2:10 really speaks to me as well.

    I am looking forward to this and meeting new friends here.

  3. Lauren says:

    Hi, everyone! Katie, thanks so much for creating this book club. Whitney and Kelly, it is wonderful to meet you (virtually, anyway), and I’m excited about the community element of this inspiring book.

    I just started blogging about a month ago (downtoearthy.com). Like you, Kelly, I have been feeling that nudge from God to start a blog, and I feel called to write about seeking happiness and gratitude in everyday life. For a while, I stayed on the fence about starting a blog, but it was An Inspired Life that gave me the encouragement I needed to just go ahead and do it–so I guess you could say that’s my biggest takeaway from every chapter!

    My current season is one of listening and waiting. I’m in my eighth year of teaching high school English, and until now, teaching always felt like my calling. My work felt like both a career and a ministry because I felt like I was there to help students find the people they were called to be. Lately, though, I’ve been having more and more negative experiences in my career, and while they’ve been wonderful for helping me turn to the Word for support and reminders of strength, they have made me wonder if this is still a career and a ministry or if maybe it’s becoming just a career. I’m trying to listen as carefully as I can for guidance. My favorite verse is Ephesians 5:2, and I’m in a season of figuring out what path He wants me on as I “walk in love.”

    I’ve been married for three years. My husband and I love to cook and travel, and we have the laziest, most ridiculous dog ever.

    I will be thinking about you guys and praying for you in your current seasons. I’m looking forward to our time together!

    Lauren
    Instagram: downtoearthy
    Twitter: @DownToEarthy14

  4. Katie @ A Place to Dwell says:

    Hello, everyone! I’m loving the discussion already! Sounds like we have a little bit of a theme of change/transition. :)

    Whitney, congrats on your baby boy! That’s so exciting! :) I loved looking up the verse you shared: 2 Cor. 9:8: 8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” What an encouragement that He is equipping us in every season with exactly the wisdom and giftings we need to follow the call He’s placed on our life! It was also such a blessing to read about your passions. I think it’s amazing the way God places different passions in all of our hearts. What an inspiration it is to read about what He’s placed on your heart when it comes to nursing — and the doors to new passions that He is opening for you in this season of transition you find yourself in!

    Kelly, I love your heart for the changes you’re facing in your current season and love what you said here: “I know that God has been preparing me for this new season and I am choosing to be excited and see where He will lead me.” It is so true that sometimes we have to CHOOSE joy and excitement and to fully TRUST Him. I’m learning this a ton in my own walk. I’ve been thinking a lot about what true surrender looks like and how we can make space in our lives for God to move. I learn more and more that I want to partner with Him, so I can live more fully and creatively FOR Him. :) I also love that you are pursuing things that bring you joy. In my season of singleness, I find that the more I do that, the more fulfilled I feel — and the more I can feel God using and growing me.

    Lauren, I’m so excited about your blog! Way to be brave and take a leap of faith! :) How’s that been going so far? I also loved reading the verse you shared. What a wonderful focus, as you wait for direction from Him. Seasons of waiting can be trying at times — I’ve known quite a few myself — and often consider my singleness to be a season of waiting, too, but one wonderful thing about those seasons is they really turn our hearts toward God, as we keep our eyes on Him for where He might lead us next. I need to look you up on Instagram, so I can see pictures of this lazy pup you mention! :)

    Thank you all for sharing your hearts and your stories! It really inspires and encourages me to be connecting with all of you! I can’t wait to see what He has in store for all of us during the next few weeks!

  5. Kia Perry says:

    Hi ladies! My name is Kia, and I’m a Brand Stylist and Blogger over at Girly + Inspired! This is so awesome! I’m so excited about this book club! As you can tell from the name of my blog, I’m all about living an inspired life. One thing I’ve noticed about the creative community is that it’s full of Jesus loving people, and that is so refreshing. Hi Whitney, Kelly & Lauren! Nice to meet you!

    My current season is one of growth and going forward. For so many years during and after college I was so lost as far as who I was and what my purpose and passions were. At the top of 2013, God showed me a career path that when looking back, like you mentioned Katie, was right in front of my nose the entire time. That path was being a designer/creative, and not too long after He revealed that my God Father sent me this scripture, Exodus 35:35, which speaks about God giving creatives special skills to design and create (my interpretation anyway). Another scripture that designated with me as a creative woman was Luke 1:45. It’s the foundation of my design business and blog. This season I want to grow in every aspect of my life and realize what God has blessed me with and walk in that!

    Currently, I’ve recently started my little design studio and my blog about my journey as a creative has come a long way! I’m stepping out of my box and meeting other creatives in my community, and I have to say…I’m loving ever minute of it! When God tells you to move…MOVE! I’m looking forward to this time together as we read this amazing book Katie wrote, and I’m praying for all of you as well!

    Twitter: @girlyninspired
    Instagram: @kiaash
    Facebook: kiaaperry and girlyandinspired
    google+: Kia Perry
    Pinterest: KiaPerry

  6. Nancy says:

    Hi Ladies:
    I’m so excited to meet you all. Katie thank you for this gift of yours, I’m already so inspired.

    I too would like to start a blog. I had one years ago and miss it. I let the fear of judgement stop me every time and I decided this would be my year. Reading chapter 1 has given me that push to post something in the next few weeks (yes, I have the blog set up ;). You all will be the first ones to hear when I hit publish.

    My current season is one of waiting. Something I’m not 100% percent ready to share publicly yet, but I’ll go for it on here. I’m 38 and single. I was in a very long term relationship that ended without the white picket fence that I dreamed about. I’m ok now and within the last year have heard the adoption call. I’m in the very early stages of adopting a little girl from Haiti. Once I’ve been accepted (would love your prayers) I’ll share it on the blog but for now I am keeping private on twitter and Instagram. I want to shout it from the rooftops, so I may surprise myself and change my mind and make a grand announcement ;)

    I’m so excited to get to know all of you. What a blessing this group will be for us. This is why Philemon 1:6 really stood out to me, this beautiful faith community Katie has created, is the embodiment of that passage!

    Nancy
    Twitter: @nmh57
    Instagram: Nancy7811

  7. Kimberly says:

    Hi Ladies! It is so excellent to hear such diverse, yet similar, stories! Thank you, Katie, for starting this book conversation. I stumbled upon your blog last fall when I was dealing with the loss of my grandmother who was very close to me. It has been a huge encouragement and inspired me to start a blog of my own {heathandthistle.wordpress.com}!

    When reading the chapter and thinking over the prayerful prompts, I felt the word “anticipation” jump to mind as soon as I began pondering my current season. That was before I even saw Whitney’s post! Like most of you, I seem to be in a transition season. I am currently a college lecturer in history at a local college in North Carolina and I am an historical consultant for a local museum. Recently, I was accepted to begin postgrad research for my PhD at an amazing university in Scotland. Yes, Scotland!!

    God has been preparing me for this for a while. It took some time for it to finally sink in, though, that I had lost my first love over the last few years of graduate school and trying to start a career. This past year was a wake-up call. I felt my faith shaken to its core and was at a breaking point. I needed answers. All along I had no idea how much God was pursuing me.

    That’s exactly what stuck out to me in reading the first chapter — God is pursuing me so that he can shape me and inspire me to create, not undo me and leave me to wither. My passion has always been stories. From the time I was little I loved them, in books, at the kitchen table. At the heart of history is a story, and at the heart of a story is people. I have come to appreciate people so much more when I realize that we are all living stories. [Wow, that sounds a lot like Perks of Being a Wildflower!]

    I look forward to seeing where our conversation heads!

    <3 Kimberly
    heathandthistle.wordpress.com
    Twitter and Instagram: @heathandthistle

  8. Natalie (@fashionatalie) says:

    Katie, you’re so cute and gaining so much confidence on these vlogs. ROCKIN’ IT! Thank you :)

    Ladies, hello! So glad to meet all of you :) I’m loving that we’re all in different seasons yet when we come together with a passion for living for the Lord and sharing the gifts He has given us, that all melts away and we are just SISTERS in Christ. Love that “family of God” idea–so powerful.

    I’m in a serious dating relationship with an amazing, Godly man, and learning more and more about how to live REAL “relationship” every day. It’s such an exciting season. It’s also very overwhelming because we are long-distance for now (I moved away), work is busy, my freelance/creative career is taking off, and there are a lot of exciting things happening. Amidst that, though, I’m struggling with the winter blues and I’ve been battling anxiety for a few years that I’m trying to kick. So I’m excited to learn more about living a free and abundant life in Christ using the gifts He has given me in the areas He wants—scary as it all seems! I feel like I’m on the ledge and I have to jump into His arms with a leap of faith but I’m scared silly!

    I blog at Good Girl Style: http://www.goodgirlstyle.com/
    and Tweet @fashionatalie
    and I’m on Facebook, too, as Good Girl Style Blog

    Yay! Have an AWESOME week, ladies! xo ~Natalie

  9. Hannah says:

    Good Morning, ladies! So nice to meet all of you and hear what God is working out in your lives. Thank you so much, Katie, for this book and for your heart. I’m so excited to be a part of this lovely community of women and to hear a fresh word from God through this journey.

    My word/theme for this year is “Seek” – so the first chapter very much resonated with me. I am in a season of going after the passions and dreams God has put in my heart to accomplish. It’s been a process – 2013 was a rather difficult year for me, but God has used those challenges to refine me and define what it is exactly that I want to do presently and in the future. Because it is my nature to “have it all figured out” before I move ahead, and I don’t know all what really lies ahead at this point, I am being stretched in my faith by constantly seek God for the things He is wanting me to do in order to follow the path of life He has for me. The beautiful thing has been seeing the blessings that come from trusting Him and the inspiration and excitement that comes from God thrilling me with Himself. He is so good that way and I love that about Him!

    God has put it on my heart to do more with my blogging, writing, and photography. I’m a Social Worker by occupation and work on an administrative level. As much as I love my profession, God is changing my heart about what I can do in this role. He has really been speaking to me about taking my education and experience and incorporating that into the creative gifts He’s given to me on a full-time basis. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and it has been such a great experience for me. I was initially so scared to put myself and my words out there for all to see, but God has used my blog to not only help me express myself, but encourage and inspire others, and that’s my favorite part of it! In 2012 I had also started writing a book about my own personal faith journey. I didn’t touch it in 2013 – I think with everything going on last year, it just wasn’t the right time – but now it’s 2014 and God has been giving me the time to get away and the words to write. I don’t know what will come of it, but I’m following God’s call to finish writing and will take the steps to do whatever will bring Him glory through it. My photography is more through the lens of my i-Phone these days (thank you Instagram), but one of the ways I experience God most is by capturing His beauty on camera and sharing those moments with others. It’s been a great way to connect and share my faith. Honestly, this all feels so huge and the unknown freaks me out (I’m a perfectionist / control-freak by nature – LOL!) – but I have to keep drawing circles around God’s promises that He’s with me, for me, bigger than my fears and doubts, and nothing is impossible for Him. I love that about Him too!

    The take-away from Chapter 1 for me is Ephesians 2:10. This verse has come up countless times in the past week. I loved your quote, Katie: “When we understand who He is and who we are in Him, we are free to love braver, fuller lives.” I want to be brave and have a full life. This is my hope and my prayer.

    I blog at Living the Good Life: http://livingthegoodlife12.wordpress.com/
    Find me on Instagram: @hgottschalk12
    I’m on Facebook too: Hannah Leigh Gottschalk

    Blessings to all of you!

    Hannah <3

  10. Holly @ The Young Museum says:

    LADIES! I am so sorry I am late with my comment/participation!

    Katie- I love that you started us out with prayer! :) I’m so excited about this Book Club!

    My name is Holly Young, and I am currently a Stay at Home Wife. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, and we have two dogs named Scarlett and Noel (we call them “The Girls.” ;) )

    I taught Elementary School for 9 years. I loved my kids and co-workers, but I had a horribly long commute to work each day. As state legislation, administration, and the overall field of education began to change I started to feel a lot of unrest in my heart. My dream is to be more homeward focused as we get a little closer to starting a family, so in the spring of 2013, I left my teaching job to work for my husband’s painting and contracting company and try my hand at blogging/shop ownership/writing.

    I am in the middle of a re-brand (again…haha). But this time, I’m REALLY praying about my shop/blog and what The Lord wants from it and being intentional about the way I run my business rather than just slapping up a header and pursuing it all as a “hobby” as I have in the past. Your will, Lord!

    My take away from Chapter 1 is that God wants to use us right where we are! As I prepared to leave my job, I struggled a bit with depression. I didn’t cook or grocery shop for a month. I cried every night after school. I knew leaving was right but, “GOD….WHAT AM I IF I AM NOT A TEACHER!?!?!” That was often my question!

    He used me in that desert just as he’s using me now!

    My verse lately has been Habakkuk 2:3-

    “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”

    So excited to journey with you all! Praying for each one of you!

    Holly Young

    holls_y@hotmail.com
    Twitter: theyoungmuseum
    instagram: theyoungmuseum
    Shop: etsy.com/shop/theyoungmuseumshop

  11. Katie @ A Place to Dwell says:

    Can I just say how ENCOURAGING you all are?! I am seeing so many steps of brave faith! From adoption to career changes, to being brave creatively, to studying in another country! WOW is God working in so many incredible ways! He is GOOD! :) What a gift it is to be sharing our stories, here, seeing God how God has shaped our hearts and our dreams and our passions!
    And speaking of stories, Kimberly, I loved this: “At the heart of history is a story, and at the heart of a story is people.” What a beautiful truth that is! And it reminds me how important it is to share our stories. And Holly, love that verse you shared! I need to look that up in my Bible, because I’m not sure I’ve ever read it before! God’s plan almost always seems to be a process, a process that draws us closer to Him and allows Him to shine in our lives. The waiting can be so tough, but just like the truth in that verse says, God’s plans are not a day overdue. That’s bringing me some peace and comfort and encouragement tonight! :) Sorry this is a bit of a short response, but I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night at 9 p.m. for our Twitter party!! :)

  12. Alyssa Ryan says:

    Hello ladies! (sorry I’m a little late to the convo) It was such a joy to read all of your stories and get a chance to “meet” you. I am really excited to grow and learn together.

    Katie, thank you so much for starting this book club. I came across your blog by chance and am so glad I did. I am really looking forward to what God has in store.

    Currently I am in a season of waiting and uncertainty. Waiting for some direction, as to where I am going and what I should be doing. I have always had a passion for teaching and right not I am in the middle of waiting to file for my teaching credential and also working on my Master’s degree in education. I have the privilege of working at a private school as a teaching assistant which I loved but am slowly becoming very frustrated with. I also work at Ann Taylor Loft which has been such a great experience. It is a great outlet for me to just talk with people and also have some fun with fashion (a passion for me that I think is growing but unfortunately shrinking my wallet ;). I have been thinking about starting a blog but am a little apprehensive about how to start one or what to even talk about. Words are not my strongest suit.

    I really enjoyed the first chapter. It made me really think about what I am passionate about and what I truly enjoy doing. The one thing that jumped out at me was how you (Katie) said “The more I understand who He is, the more freedom and courage I find to become the truest version of myself.” It’s really made me think about how much I need to look to Him and not my own selfish desires to see what He has in store for me. Although right now in my dream world I would love to be teaching in my own classroom and go home to that perfect, godly husband that’s not what he has planned. I think he’s showing me that I need to develop more in my relationship with Him. Draw closer to Him. This is my prayer and also my struggle. Putting all my faith in God so I am anxious to see the work He has in store for me and all of us through this book club. Really looking forward to getting to know each of you more.

    ~Alyssa
    Twitter and Instagram @alyssjune22

  13. javacia says:

    Hi ladies,

    I really enjoyed the Twitter party on Thursday night. Sorry I’m late joining the comments party.

    My name is Javacia and I’m a writer and teacher living in Birmingham, Ala.

    As I stated Thursday night, I’m currently in a weird season of feeling extremely blessed and extremely restless. So many wonderful things are happening in my life right now and I feel they are all leading to something big, but I’m eager to know what that something is. I suppose God is using this season to teach me patience.

    I feel God fanning the flames of several passions of mine including my passion for writing and blogging, my passion for fitness, and my passion for empowering women and girls. All my life I have seen those passions as separate from my passion for God. But I am learning that I am called to use my passions for God.

    The thing that stood out the most to me in chapter 1 was the idea of viewing my life in seasons and seeing this as a spiritual act.

    I am really glad to be part of this group.

    Blog: WriteousBabe.com
    Twitter: @writeousbabe
    IG: @writeousbabe

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