An Inspired Life Book Club — Week #2

Hi, all! Welcome to week #2 of the An Inspired Life Book club! We’re talking about Chapter 2 this week — Fully & Fearlessly.

I’m really excited to dig into the idea of fearlessness with you all this week. I believe that there’s something God is calling each of us to in our current seasons of life, and I also believe there are certain barriers of both fear and doubt that are hindering each of us from moving confidently toward these callings.

In what areas is God currently calling you to be brave?

For me, I feel God calling me to be brave in a few different areas. The first area is dating. God has been calling me to be brave and intentional when it comes to dating and being prepared for marriage. Dating can be scary and overwhelming at times, especially after we’ve been hurt before, but God is helping me to keep an open heart and to trust that He’s going to be faithful and guide me through the entire process. Another area God is currently calling me to brave in is my writing. He’s opened the door to a few new exciting writing opportunities (including joining the Venture Magazine team as a Featured Content Writer), and He is calling me to be brave when it comes to honestly and vulnerably sharing my words and my stories.

I encourage you to take some time to think about this question (as well as the other Prayerful Prompts at the end of this chapter).

Let’s speak truth and encouragement in the face of the fears confronting us, and let’s practice making courage decisions this week (as Jeff Goins would say).

Can’t wait to hear from each of you!

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12 thoughts on “An Inspired Life Book Club — Week #2

  1. Sarah (theGIRL) says:

    Thanks, Katie! I’m loving this book club. :)

    Here’s where I need to make a courage decision: I have a book inside that I believe God is calling me to write. Not a bestseller or even something that I will self publish, but a story to pen because he’s gifted me with writing and he’s chosen me as his daughter. I have a story. Now i just need the courage to write it.

    SO…prayers for early morning productivity?

    Thanks for spurring us on!

  2. Hannah says:

    Loved this chapter, Katie! So many good words, I especially love this line: “When our faith and hope are anchored in Him, the possibilities are truly endless, because anything is possible for those who believe.”

    As I mentioned last week, this season is really about making things happen / taking action on my goals, dreams, and passions. I’ve worked hard the past few weeks and as of yesterday morning, finished the first full rough draft of the book God put on my heart to write two years ago. As great of a feeling as it is to have it “done,” it’s also scary because the Lord has called me to share it with five trusted people in order to get feedback, and I’m still not sure what He intends or plans for the book moving forward. So, I’m very much praying that I will keep putting my trust and belief in Him to bring about the good He promises for this project and me as I choose to place my love and faith in Him above anything else.

    I think what holds me back from living fully and fearlessly are my “need” for control and wanting to have everything planned out perfectly, being able to see the end result, etc. It’s the perfectionist in me. I tend to get caught up in the stress of things because I worry about every little detail. The Lord is really working on me about not expending energy on those things that are fading, but rather fixing my eyes on Him, “letting go” of what’s not important, and really being present in my life.

    Praying for courage to keep the faith and a heart that is open to what the Author is writing for my life.

    Have a great week, everyone!

    P.S. Sarah – you can do it! Praying for you this morning as you take the steps to pen the story God has put in your heart to write. God has taught me so much about Him and myself through my book writing experience thus far. I know He will do the same for you! You go girl!

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)

  3. javacia says:

    I feel God tugging on my heart to do a number of things in this season: 1) nurture my friendships 2) be bold in my writing career and seize new opportunities and 3) take ownership of my teaching career.

    To my human understanding some of these goals seem to oppose one another. How can I make more time for my friends if I’m taking on new writing jobs and striving to be a better educator? But my ways are not His ways, so I am believing this will all work out the way it is intended.

    The passage from this chapter that stood out to me most is:

    “He’s leading me on a path that looks different than the one I thought I’d be traveling; but He’s teaching me the importance of being willing to take a few detours along the way to certain hopes and dreams He’s written on my heart.”

    This is the story of my life right now. For years I’ve struggled to trust the detours, but now my focus is delighting in the detours.

  4. Lauren says:

    Hi, everyone! I have been looking forward to week 2 of this book club because chapter 2 has been HUGE for me. I’m so thankful to “meet” you all, read everyone’s comments and visit your blogs, and I love finding women who are so encouraging and willing to share their experiences, wisdom, and wonderings.

    Chapter 2 speaks straight to my heart. As I mentioned last week, I’m in a season of listening for what the Lord wants me to do. But as I’m listening, I’m realizing that I need to work on the fearless part. I find myself rereading this part of chapter 2 again and again: “Living fearlessly is a huge part of living an inspired life for the Lord. It opens us up to His way and leads us to new places in our lives, relationships, and faith.” < YES! THIS! I need to read this 10 times a day!

    Fear is really hindering me right now. I think it’s a mix of fear of the unknown and–as painful as it is to admit–a lack of trust in His plan for me. I want control, more control than I have (and more than I should have). I’m struggling with truly trusting Him AND trusting Him enough to listen for where He wants me to be. Any advice for how to listen? Any stories about how listening and trusting has helped you to be more fearless? This is where I am now, and I’d love to hear more about you guys’ experiences with this.

    Love, love, LOVE this book and this book club! You’ve all been in my prayers and gratitude journal this week!

    PS: Katie, thank you for mentioning Romans 12 in chapter 2 of your book. I keep coming back to it again and again. Here are a few of my favorite verses for when I’m overwhelmed by fear, just in case they’ll help anyone else: Philippians 4:6-7, Timothy 1:7, Matthew 7:7.

  5. Kelly says:

    Katie, I am praying for you as you practice being brave and intentional in your dating. I love that you want the person God has chosen for you. It is encouraging to me to see that, as I have two sons who sometimes feel discouraged and wonder if there are any nice Christian girls out there. I can tell them, that yes, there are.

    Sarah, how exciting that you already have a book inside you waiting to be written. I am praying for you as you begin the writing process.

    Hannah, that is great that you were able to finish writing your book. I can relate to you in that I, too, like to have control and get all my “ducks lined up in a row” and be assured that everything will be okay before I take risks. I know it doesn’t work that way. I’ll be praying that as you fix your eyes on Him, you will be able to let go of anything holding you back.

    Javacia, I love that you are delighting in the detours and embracing new opportunities. That encouraged me greatly.

    Lauren, I hear you on the fear issue. I have so many scriptures and quotes written down to help me. One of my devotionals stated that in order to face the “what ifs” of fear, you must acknowledge your fear and CHOOSE to trust God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, He’s the one who will keep you on track.” As Joyce Meyer always says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” I need to hear that right now myself.

    My fear at the moment is starting a blog. I know that sounds silly because so many of you girls have one and are having fun with them. I’m not really sure exactly what it is that is making me fearful. I am praying and asking God to reveal it to me. I feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn, yet at the same time I am loving taking my web design classes. Also, in the past I mentioned to a few people that I wanted to start one and they laughed and made fun of the idea. So there’s that. :-) I guess I need to get over worrying about what other people think and the rude comments that will inevitably be left on the blog, etc.

    This week I have felt inspired by Katie’s words to “Live with an adventurous, joy-filled Spirit”. I need to take risks. If I live my life too safely, I’ll never experience the wonderful adventures that God has planned just for me.

  6. Katie @ A Place to Dwell says:

    Hello, ladies! So enjoying reading all of your comments this week! My heart is just so full of gratitude for each one of you!
    I want to share something with all of you that someone recently said to me. It’s so simple, but I’ve found so much freedom in it! “All you ever have to be is be yourself.” Simple, right?! But SO TRUE.
    So often I think fear comes from our worries that we are “too much” or “not enough.” Ladies, we are all created uniquely for a reason! We should delight in the way God created us and not allow fear to keep us from living fully as the women He created! :) I am praising Him for the risks many of you have taken — and praying for those of you who have a risk on your heart that you feel God is calling you to take!
    Hannah, this part of the verse you shared is really standing out to me: “let us throw off everything that hinders…” Reading that tonight was like God whispering to my heart that I can let go of the worries, the fears, the comparisons, and the what-ifs. All of those things HINDER me from following Jesus and going where He calls. I also love the second part of that verse to fix my eyes on Jesus. When I’m doing that I can keep moving forward — and away from all of those things that were hindering me — trusting the path He has for me. Javacia, I love your confidence in Him and how far He’s brought you! What a praise that you’re learning to delight in the detours! :)
    Lauren, I can certainly relate to your struggles with fear and trusting His plan. I have often been there — especially when it comes to dating. I have doubted the desire I truly believe He placed in my heart and I have doubted that He would fulfill it. But I think what I’m learning is that when I take tiny steps of obedience, He is so faithful to show up, and as He keeps showing up, my faith keeps growing, and my doubt keeps shrinking. Keep moving forward with your eyes fixed on Him. I am confident He will lead you through the fear!! :)
    Kelly and Sarah, I am so excited for the things God has laid on your hearts. Really excited to see Him continue to develop those plans and praying that fear would no longer keep you from taking whatever steps He is calling you to take. It’s going to be awesome to see where He takes you and what plans He has for you!
    Thanks again to each of you for being a part of this community. Your words and stories are precious and inspiring!
    See you all Thursday for the Twitter chat!!

  7. Katie @ A Place to Dwell says:

    Hello again, ladies! I wanted to share something I read this morning (Psalm 34:4). I’ll share a few different translations. This verse speaks so beautifully to what we’re talking about this week!
    “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” NLT
    “God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.” The Message
    “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” NIV

    I hope these verses encourage each of us to keep seeking Him and trusting that He will deliver us from each and every one of our fears!

    See you all tonight at the Twitter party!

  8. Alyssa Ryan says:

    Hello ladies…late again to the convo. This week has been crazy for me. Definitely needed this chapter as I struggle to let go and let God do what He sees best for my life. Ultimately that is my fear. Fear that I am giving up control and letting something happen that I have not planned. I’m also afraid of being open with people and letting people in. Trust is a huge struggle for me as well as confidence in myself that I am good enough. But God is showing me through some devotions I’ve had this week that I need to surrender and let go of the fear. I’ve also been struggling with this darkness that seems to have taken over my life this past week but God has been reminding me that He is the Light. One verse that struck me this week was Jude 24 “He is able to keep you from falling.” So many times I am afraid to do something because I fear I will fail miserably but this verse reminded me that He is always there to catch me when I do fall and also that sometimes I need to take that leap of faith and fall so I can be saved. Reading all of your comments is such an encouragement for me because sometimes I feel that I am the only one who has these fears, but we all face them. Katie, I loved what you said in Chapter 2 when that we need to be willing to take risks for Him and move forward with the confidence in Him. I’m enjoying every minute of this and can’t wait for us to share more.

  9. Kimberly says:

    Good Evening fellow Inspired Lifers!
    I wish that I was able to get to the conversation earlier this week, but we just got through a big ice storm here in coastal NC and we’ve experienced lots of power and internet outages. Life is finally getting back to normal!
    Chapter Two resonated with me quite a bit for the current season that I am in. After all, my one word for the year is “MOVE.” I’ve been called to make a big move myself (across the pond!) and I am trusting in God’s movement in my life — even when I can’t see it. God has called me to be a risk-taker this year and his Word has reminded me that, with faith, I can tell those mountains to move {Matthew 17:20}.
    This year I am heading up a project as a consultant that is bigger than anything I have ever attempted to do in the past. It entails a lot of events, funding, and a permanent exhibit space that will be installed for the museum that I have been working with over the past year. My background was never in museum studies, as I am more of a behind-the-scenes researcher, but I have come to find a fun little niche in the role that I was placed in. Nevertheless, I became very overwhelmed with the project and continued to feel under-equipped and unqualified to lead it.
    It took a lot of courage in me this past week to tell that mountain to get out of my way and trust that God is going to give me the resources I need to end the project well. Fully, fearlessly, gutsy, gumption . . . whatever it is, he knows my heart.
    Thanks Katie for the beautiful words and the loving platform you’ve created here for our conversations!

  10. whitneyconard says:

    Well I will take the award for last commenter. :) and I will keep it brief, as I know chapter 3 is out already! Basically my biggest area of fear is that I will be pushing a baby out of my body sometime in the next two weeks…then taking care of him. But my word for 2014 is trust, which I have realized is the opposite of fear. It means consciously choosing trust in God and eyes of faith over fear and circumstances. I have loved reading your stories and words of encouragement!

  11. Natalie (@fashionatalie) says:

    Goodness, everyone! What great responses and how thrilling it is to me to see you all being brave and yet still struggling with fear and anxiety like me. I’m currently working my way out of (God-willing) a season of anxiety that is hindering my life greatly. God has placed a lot of scary-big goals on my heart for this year and they all require trust & faith rather than control & fear. So tough sometimes.

    @Lauren, so glad you shared 2 Timothy 1:7. It has been on my heart lately, too.

    @Kelly, go for it on the blog! I loved Kate Battistelli’s post a few days ago about having our own platforms. This quote stuck out at me: “”The point is not my reach vs yours. The point is obedience. Sow & let God give the increase.” Here is the post: http://katebattistelli.com/faith/the-god-dare/comparing-competing-or-how-to-derail-your-god-dare/

    @Katie: That Psalm is SO GOOD. So, so good.

    Loved hearing a few of your words for 2014. Mine is “Better.” It’s a tough one so far and it is definitely calling me to a season of refinement.

  12. Kelly says:

    Natalie, thank you for directing me to that post. I got SO much out of it and it truly blessed me at a time I most needed to hear it. You are a sweetie!!

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