An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #3

Welcome to week #3 of The An Inspired Life Book Club! I’m excited to talk about leaning into our seasons this week.

As I mentioned in the video, I’d love to talk about these two things in the comments below:

  1. How are you leaning into your current season and how is that blessing and encouraging you?
  2. Let’s brainstorm some new ways we can each lean into the seasons God is calling us to.

Looking forward to hearing from each of you!

Here’s to another week of living full, inspired lives! :)

P.S. Totally just realized I’m wearing some form of polka dots in every single video so far. Wonder if I can keep that up for the remaining videos? ;) Haha

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10 thoughts on “An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #3

  1. Hannah says:

    Happy President’s Day, ladies! Hope all of you are enjoying a great start to the week! Katie – I love your polka-dots and festive flair for Valentine’s Day – you are adorable! : )

    I found Chapter 3 to be so helpful and encouraging this week. I agree with you, Katie, that I don’t want to feel “stuck” or find myself in an “in-between place.” I want to be making the most that I can of each day, even when it doesn’t all go according to plan or work out like I thought it would. I love the concept of “Rooted in now. Hopeful for what’s to come.”

    I’m leaning into my current season of “Making Things Happen” with prayer, self-care, and music. I’ve become more intentional in writing out my goals / dreams and praying over them, circling them in God’s promises. I’ve also been taking more time to take care of myself. I’m really working on the whole “letting go” thing and enjoying those moments that I can do more of what I love – working out, reading, crafting, writing, watching an uplifting movie, spending time with friends and family, etc. I’ve also been spending more time listening to and soaking in music. Lyrics put to music are powerful, and sometimes an encouraging song or playlist is all it takes for me to get out of a funk and back in the game.

    Some other ways to lean into the seasons that God calls us to are to count the gifts God gives us each day. Naming and declaring the gifts God gives us expresses our gratitude and opens our hearts to more of Him. Another thing that helps me is to look ahead on the calendar and plan some adventures to look forward to. Having those things to come in the future makes it much easier to get through the long and difficult days of life.

    Looking forward to hearing more from all of you! : )

    P.S. I recently heard Francesca Battistelli’s new song, “Write Your Story,” and immediately added it to my iPod. It’s been my personal “theme song” the past few days and speaks to exactly what we’re learning through this amazing book and through what God is teaching us in our unique seasons. It might encourage you too! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecV1NHmELuA

  2. Kyla Mary says:

    Hi book club community! I just wanted to leave a little update here because I have not yet participated in discussions since we began two weeks ago.
    I am having surgery performed on my spine on Thursday to hopefully fix a very painful problem that I have been dealing with, and over the past couple of weeks that has been keeping me very busy and pre-occupied mentally. I am excited to work through these first three chapters over the next few days and first few days of my recovery, and then be caught-up by next week so that I can finish strong with you ladies!
    Katie, this book has a whole lot of goodness in it, and even though I am not participating actively, I am enjoying it!! I look forward to truly participating next week :)

  3. Holly @ The Young Museum says:

    Now that I’m working from home, my schedule is super flexible. The winter is the slow season for my husband. The other day, we had the opportunity to sleep in on a weekday. I am bad about feeling guilty and anxious in this season, “Oh…other people are already up working…” or “I should be at the gym…” or “Tim has a slow week ahead of him…is business going to pick up this spring?”

    I’m really trying to enjoy this season, and see it as a blessing. God doesn’t want me feeling guilty or stressed at 9am on a random Tuesday. I believe he wants me to see it as a blessing. That flexibility…the extra time that particular morning to just relax…it’s a blessing. Just this weekend, we were able to spend an extra night at Tim’s parents’ house visiting with his parents and brother.

    Leaning in looked like biscuits and gravy and an early afternoon road trip home. :)

    Praise God for flexible schedules!

    Right now, I need ideas for how to create my own structure and be intentional about how I’m spending my time. Does that count as “leaning in?”

    I’ve pinned a few blog-planning tools (THANK YOU, WHITNEY) :) and also printed off a cleaning schedule that I LOVE!

    Next, I think I’m going to order Lara Casey’s power sheets. I’ve heard good things.

    How do you stay on-task when you’ve got some open space in your schedule? Katie- you seem especially good at this.

    Help! :)

  4. Natalie (@fashionatalie) says:

    @Hannah, LOVING your idea of “naming/counting your blessings.” This is something I’ve really been focusing on, too. I started a gratitude journal at the beginning of the year and this is my second year to do a “Happy Things” jar where I am collecting little trinkets of the happy things throughout the year to empty next New Year’s Eve. So fun. Also loved your note about “self-care.” I find that so important when I’m making big leaps of faith and staring anxiety/fear/big things right in the face. Long hot showers, yoga, nourishing food, quiet music time, reading time, unplugging, naps on the weekends, etc. are all so important to me right now, too.

    @Kyla, Praying for you, girl! Hope to see you soon and back to full strength asap, feeling better than ever.

    @Holly, Katie and I both ordered Lara Casey’s PowerSheets this year!!! I’m loving mine, though I haven’t put the actual monthly goal sheets to practice yet because I’m in the midst of a new relationship haze and it’s taking up a lot of mental space :) :) :)

    I’m curious, though, if there isn’t a GOOD sort of in-between, like I’m feeling now. I’m 3 months into a fantastic new relationship, so I’m starting to dream about bigger things in that arena, and it’s also making me cherish and relish my freedom because I can start to see a change in my future ;) It’s a really special time but it’s also scary! I am also feeling in-between because there is so much I want to be doing as far as my “dreaming” goes, but my anxiety is preventing me from being the Brave Natalie I used to be, and I can’t get to the root of where this anxiety came from in my life (any suggestions on getting to the bottom of that, ladies??) Writing, in particular, as one of my God-dreams this year is to write a book of some sort, too! It’s a bit overwhelming. I want my anxiety gone so I can be totally free in my relationship (travel is a HUGE anxiety-trigger for me right now, and like I said, we’re dating long-distance) and in following my dreams.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if ANYTHING I just said makes sense, but I feel like I’m in a real transition phase right now and it’s overwhelming :) So I guess I need to lean in to “Being Fearless”? “Leaving Anxiety Behind”? Believing God’s words on fear/faith in PRACTICE rather than theory? All suggestions/comments welcome and encouraged, new friends!

  5. Katie @ A Place to Dwell says:

    Hello, ladies! Loving reading all of your comments, as usual! I am truly inspired and moved by all God is doing in your lives and your hearts.

    @Hannah I love that song! :) And I love how you’re counting gifts and focusing on self care. I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately, too — and how we should not feel guilty about making that part of our priorities. When we are filled and nourished, we then have more to give to others. :) On Instagram I recently saw someone make a blessings jar. She’s going to add blessings and praises all year and then read them at the end of 2014. I really like that idea, and I’m considering it! :)

    @Kyla Praying for you this week as you prepare for your surgery. Praying for the surgery, healing, and full recovery!

    @Holly I think structure is good, but what I’m learning is that it really comes down to priorities. I think at the last Twitter party I shared something from Shauna Niequist that really brought freedom to my heart! In her book Bittersweet she says: It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about. That’s a hard, but wonderful lesson I’m learning. Shauna made a list of what she does and doesn’t do, in order to make her priorities happen. That’s something I’m planning on doing, because I find I sometimes struggle with comparison to other ladies. I often feel like I SHOULD be doing everything that everyone else is doing, and I feel like I’m not measuring up if I’m not doing all of that. But we all have different callings and priorities, and I want to focus instead on what God has for me and be okay if I’m not doing #ALLTHETHINGS. ;) I could go on and on about this, and I’ll stop rambling here, but I’ll be honest, for me, sometimes writing and creating and investing in others wins over having a “perfect house.” That’s something I’m learning to be okay with. :)

    @Natalie I do think there can be a good sort of in-between. It all comes down to our perspective, I think. If we view the in-between as a place of no movement, or a place of being stuck, then I think it can be negative. But when we’re hopeful and rooted in Him and expectant, yet content, I think that’s a beautiful thing. :) Love all God is doing in your life and the dreams He’s placing on your heart! :) I can truly relate to the whole anxiety thing, and I think you’re on the right track with wanting to identify the triggers. Once you know them, God can equip you to conquer them! :)

    Tonight, I’m praying that the Lord would fill us all with a remarkable confidence and courage — the kind of courage and confidence that we’re sure could only come from Him. I pray that He reveals the sources of any fear or anxiety we are each battling, and in doing so, that He equips us with all we need to conquer those fears and anxieties in Jesus’ name.

    So thankful for each of you! I see God doing big things in this community, and I can’t wait to see what else He has planned! You’re all AMAZING!!! :)

    See you Thursday! :)

  6. Lauren says:

    Hi, everyone! Gosh, this chapter and this discussion are what I really need right now. I love the encouragement and inspiration from this book club.

    @Hannah and @Natalie, I LOVE these ideas! I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for a while now, and it has been such a blessing. I have to start a trinket jar! What a great idea!

    @Kyla, many, many prayers for you! I hope you have a speedy recovery.

    @Holly, I like the PowerSheets a lot. They’re inspiring without being overwhelming (not another to do list to feel guilty about if you don’t get to everything right away). I love how you’re leaning into the flexibility. I struggle with that during the summer, thinking about all the things I *should* do and not necessarily what I want to do with that time. There’s something to be said about balancing responsibility and enjoyment, right?

    @Natalie (again!), I know what you mean about the anxiety that comes with change, even wonderful changes like a new relationship. I experience that anxiety with changes in my routine. I think we are creatures of habit, even if we value being fearless and taking chances, and there’s a little anxiety associated with changes to our routines–even if they’re fabulous changes! My advice is to remember that this relationship and the changes associated with it are all part of His plan, and He never lets you down. ;)

    @Katie, I love that idea from Bittersweet! That’s something I’m trying to do more of so that I don’t feel guilty about how I spend my free time. I spend so many Saturday afternoons thinking that I should be cleaning or working or doing something “productive,” when I might get the most enjoyment out of reading something for fun, wandering around my neighborhood, or napping with my dog. While those activities may not feel as “productive” to me, they are restorative, and I’ve got to start prioritizing what I enjoy and what restores me. I’m so much better at what I *have* to do when I’ve enjoyed time doing what I *want* to do. :)

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a season of listening and waiting. Like you all, I don’t want to feel like I’m stuck. This is hard for me because I am SUCH a planner! I’ve been praying and thinking about big changes that might be in store for me related to my career and a call to lay ministry I’ve been discerning, and it’s hard for me to enjoy the season I’m in when I’m spending so much time and energy thinking about the season to come. Katie, I have your lovely Romans 12:12 image as my desktop background–that’s actually how I found your blog in the first place! so thankful!–and I’m trying to reframe my inclination to plan based on this verse. Rather than thinking “plan,” I’m thinking “hope.” It’s easier for me to think about the hope I have for the future AND lean into my current season than it is for me to try to plan my future season and miss the blessings in my current one. It all comes back to trusting His plan, doesn’t it? ;)

  7. Alyssa Ryan says:

    Can I just say how much I loved this chapter! It spoke volumes to me. This season for me has been a challenge, especially with me realizing that there is a purpose for me being in this season of waiting and uncertainty. I think God was directly speaking to me when He used Katie to say that our lives aren’t static. So many days I feel like I’m stuck in this cycle of the same thing, but I’m beginning to realize that as mundane as it seems there are little rays of sunshine in each day that I need to stop and take time to appreciate. He placed me in this season for a reason, which I think is to ultimately strengthen my relationship with Him. Leaning into this season is a bit of a challenge, frankly because of my fear of waiting and thinking that this season is the “in-between time,” but understanding now that I have been placed in this season for a purpose I do not know gives me hope. Hope in Him and the confidence to push through this season.
    @Hannah I’m also loving that song. I heard it and went “Ok God. You’ve got me.” It’s so amazing how he uses other people to speak to us.
    @Kyla Praying for your recovery and so glad you can join in with the discussions. Feel better soon :)
    @Holly I totally get the being intentional about how you spend your time. That is a prayer for me this week as well.
    @Natalie I’m also struggling with finding that bravery I once had. I wish I could find that point in in my life that completely sucked my confidence away. Praying you will get that confidence back and reach for all that God has planned for you.
    @Katie That reminder again from Bittersweet is something I am literally writing down at this moment and hanging on my wall so I see it everyday.
    @Lauren Hope! A much better word than plan. Such a lovely reminder that He has a hope and a future for us beyond what we can even imagine or try to plan.

    It is such a joy talking with all of you every week. Again, Katie, Thank you!!!!!

  8. Lauren Willman says:

    Hello all! As I have been busy with my senior year of college, I have not yet participated in writing in the comments even though I have reading the chapters and loving them! Katie, I cannot tell you what an amazing impact your kind words have upon my day. After my quiet time with The Lord in the mornings, I have been eager to read your book and carefully consider the prayer prompts listed at the end of each chapter. Your words are definitely refreshing and encouraging, so I just wanted to thank you. I feel as though I have made a new friend in you :)

    First of all. Thank you @Hannah for the wonderful song recommendation! Music is a huge part of my life and I’m so glad I have discovered this artist! What a powerful song!

    Currently, I am in a season of waiting. I am waiting to graduate, waiting to move into a new apartment, waiting for my parents to come to Christ, and waiting for my boyfriend to propose and my parents to accept him and our decision to spend the rest of our lives together. I have learned that the purpose of waiting is God’s gentle reminder that we are not in control. This revelation has shaped my current way of thinking and I have been consistently praying for guidance through my trials and that I would be fruitful and able to work in God’s kingdom as he as already planned. I am leaning into my season by learning to be present in every moment and to find balance in everyday life. I am finding new truths about being present in my current season every day and surrendering and entrusting my heart to Him. God has remained faithful, as He always does. :)

    @Kyla- praying for your surgery tomorrow and God would bring healing on your body :)

    @Holly- way to go for wanting to be intentional with your time! God will bless that intentional heart within you and I will be praying for intentionality for you!

    @Natalie- Girl, I’m totally with you about “leaning into fearlessness and leaving anxiety behind”! I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a few months ago and although it initially made me feel worse, I have learned that there is still a plan and that dependence upon The Lord with every step is absolutely crucial. I am praying with you as you leave behind your anxiety!

    @lauren- nice name :) I love your idea of thinking “hope” instead of “plan”. I’m slowly realizing that Gods plans are always better than mine (go figure) and that all I can do is trust him and remain hopeful! Thank you for the inspiration!

    @Alyssa- I agree with you that this chapter and the ones before it have been incredible! I think that it’s amazing that God has shown you that this current season is all about surrendering to Him and strengthening your relationship with Him. How wonderful that we have a God that will never leave you or forsake you in any season :)

    I look forward to continuing this conversation with everyone! :)

  9. Kia Perry says:

    Hi Katie! I’m back! I missed commenting on Chapter 2 but I did read it. I turned 27 on Monday last week so it was right on time! This book is so perfect for where I am in my life right now because I’m going through ALL of this. This time last year I actually found myself in the ‘in-between’ phase where I feel completely stuck and that God didn’t want to help me, but the thing is, I allowed myself to feel that way. Believe me, it’s not a good feeling at all, but one thing I can say is, I should’ve been more patient. I should’ve had more faith in Him, know He was in the midst of everything.

    Fast forward to now, God has done some amazing things in my life. As I mentioned before, I’m in a season of stepping outside of my comfort zone and not being afraid, and I can honestly say I’ve been leaning into that season. I’ve taken opportunities that I’d normally shy away from out of fear. I’ve reached out to other creatives and because of that I’m now working on a huge collaboration! In the next few weeks, I could have the opportunity to go down a dream career path that I’ve been waiting for. So leaning into my season has definitely been blessing me. I still struggle with fear. For instance I almost gave up this dream opportunity because I was afraid, afraid of failure, afraid of something new, but what I always remember is, when an opportunity scares you, that’s an indication that you need to do it! So guess what? I’m doing it!

    New ways for me to lean further into my season is taking advantage of more opportunities that come my way, reaching out to other young creative women like me and encourage them to do the same, like you mentioned, take more risks for God, and most of all trust me progress! I’m right where i’m supposed to be!

  10. kbs1871 says:

    Even though this is a week late (eek!) I really wanted to comment on this chapter. Katie, this hit at the heart of where I have been for a long time now! Leaning into my current season, a season of transition and big dreams, has been difficult. When I found out that I was accepted for my postgraduate program, my mind and heart had already moved to Scotland. It was hard to refocus and get back to the business of teaching, writing, and designing for my current projects that will wrap up before I move. I did not want to feel stuck either.

    As I brainstormed where I wanted to be by the time I get ready to step on that plane in September, I came up with a few common goals:

    1. Finish my last two semesters of teaching with style and grace while continuing to inspire my students.
    2. Complete my consulting project in good faith.
    3. Digging into God’s Word more deeply and asking him to lay a firm foundation for my future.
    4. Savoring life in my hometown and rediscovering the things I love about it before I leave.

    @Holly I have not used the powersheets, but I based my goal-setting and vision planning off of Lara Casey’s method this year.
    @Katie I adore Shauna Niequist and fell in love with Bittersweet last fall. It was perfect for the grieving process of losing my Grandma and learning to trust God again.

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