An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #6

Hi, friends!

I can’t believe it’s our last week for the book club! I look forward to talking about celebrating and sharing our stories this week! I’m also excited to invite you to celebrate your story and all God is doing on the An Inspired Life Book site. You can add your story, here.

A few things:

1. I’m rocking polka dots again. Thank you, Stitchfix!

2. I recorded two videos, and I actually liked the first video better than this one I’ve posted, but in the first video, my cat is doing some acrobatics in the background (including leaping through the air — seriously — so it’s a little distracting. Hilarious, but distracting. ;)

3. I’m including the Rend Collective song below. Hope you enjoy listening to it this week!

4. We will have our last Twitter party this Thursday. 9 p.m. EST.

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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!

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??! :)

An Inspired Life Book Club Intro Video

Hello, friends!

I recorded this video for you yesterday, but due to some technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to post it until today. It’s just a quick background on what to expect for the An Inspired Life Book club. Please bear with me as I get used to recording the videos, too. ;)

If you have any questions about the book club (which kicks off Monday, February 3), feel free to e-mail me or send me a tweet.

You can sign up for the book club, here.

(And I really encourage you to sign up if you’re wanting to participate, because like I mentioned in the video, I have a fun printable to email everyone who signs up!) :)

Happy Sunday!

Introducing An Inspired Life Book Club

Hello, friends!

I’m excited to introduce the first An Inspired Life book club.

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The beginning of a new year is a great time look at the year ahead with a heart full of possibility. I wrote An Inspired Life to encourage others to live their lives with passion, purpose, and eyes opened wide to possibility. I’m looking forward to going through the book as a blog community. I think it’ll be a great way to connect with one another and really encourage each other to live full, inspired lives for the Lord this year. Also, if you’ve been doing any type of goal-setting this year, this book is a great companion to that.

The details:

  • The book club begins Monday, February 3 and will last 6 weeks (we’ll cover a chapter a week).
  • Book club posts will go up here at A Place to Dwell on Monday mornings, along with a short video that talks about the chapter we’re discussing.
  • We will be connecting with one another and talking about the book in the comment section of each post, and I’ll also be hosting a Twitter discussion party each week, as well. (Those will happen on Thursday evenings at 9 p.m. EST.)

What you’ll need:

  • A copy of An Inspired Life (You can purchase it here.) In anticipation of the book club’s launch, I’m offering a 15% discount. Just use the code: BOOKCLUB Also, please note that you don’t need a Kindle or iPad to read the book. It’s a PDF download, so you can read it right on your computer without an eReader.
  • Pen and paper, if you want to journal or take notes
  • Internet connection
  • Twitter account (optional)

Sign up here for book club reminders (and a few other fun goodies):

P.S. One more detail! Want a chance to win a FREE copy of the book?! Pin, Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook the book club icon above (and let me know that you did in the comment section of this post). You can do all four, and leave a separate comment for each. I’ll choose one winner at random on Friday, January 24.

Yay! Are ya’ll ready to get INSPIRED for the year ahead?!

An Inspired Life: One-Day eBook SALE!

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I don’t know about you, but when the days start getting colder, my reading list starts getting longer! Here’s what I’ve been adding to the list lately:

In celebration of books, the coziness the winter months bring, (AND to kick off your holiday week with a little extra inspiration), I’m offering a special discount today on my book An Inspired Life. Enter the code GETINSPIRED at checkout to save 25% off your purchase.

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An Inspired Life will encourage you to reflect on the past year, be present in your current moments, and dream big with Him in the new year ahead.

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So, snag your copy today, grab your favorite mug and cozy beverage (lately, I’m partial to peppermint mochas!), and join me on an adventure to live fully and creatively for the Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

A Dream Realized: The Story of my eBook Release

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If you follow me on social media, you may have read the announcements yesterday that the eBook I’ve been writing for the past year is officially on sale. (Happy dance!!)

I wanted to share with you all a little bit about the book and the adventure I had creating it. (P.S. I do plan to continue my Creating an eBook series later this month, where I will share tips and lessons I learned along the way. So, if you have specific questions about the process of creating an eBook, let me know, and I’ll do my best to incorporate that in my series. Today’s post, however, will be more about my adventure and the book itself.)

I wrote An Inspired Life to encourage others to live full, creative, and inspired lives for the Lord. In it, I share glimpses into my own heart and story, as well as photographs I’ve taken and art journal pages I’ve created. I also hand lettered each chapter title to give the book an art journal-like feel. I hope that while reading, you’ll be encouraged to do some journaling of your own, too. The book includes colorful Prayerful Prompt pages that you can print out, journal on, and pray through, as you read.

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The book’s design was created by my talented friend Robby, who worked with me from start to finish to create a book design that brought my words to life. (He did an amazing job creating a book that feels like me — plus, he put polka dots on my cover, so what could be more perfect than that?!)

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We spent many hours dreaming up the design and then bringing it to life. And plenty of coffee was consumed during the process (as evidenced above). ;) We’ll be sharing more about the design process in an upcoming post.

Here’s a peek at the book’s Table of Contents:

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And if you want a little preview, you can read the book’s introduction, here.

After facing a few technical issues and bumps in the road last month, I could not be more excited to finally share this book with the world. Thank you all for being a part of my journey to create it — for all of the excitement, encouragement, and support you’ve offered this last year. My blog friends have been a huge reason I stuck with the project — even on the hard days. :)

So, without further ado, I introduce you to An Inspired Life. I hope that if you read it, you’ll be blessed and encouraged in beautiful ways.

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Making Things Happen: A Fall Update

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A few weeks ago, I spent my Saturday morning in the sunshine, picking out colorful mums and pumpkins to fall-ify my porch. After loading my car with fall goodies, I stopped by my local coffee shop for an iced caramel latte.

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Then, I settled myself at my bright blue bistro table and got to working through my Lara Casey Making Things Happen booklet from The Influence Conference. I’m still thinking through the core of my business — and the heart of A Place to Dwell. I’ve already started dreaming up some new ideas and products for 2014 — things that I hope will help, encourage, and equip others to live inspired lives of possibility for the Lord.

That quiet time on my porch also inspired me to check in on my 2013 goals.

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Remember my vision for 2013?

With Lara Casey’s guidance, I prayerfully declared my vision for 2013  to be:

Inspired, encouraging, balanced, intentional, going further with an open heart. I will embrace my story and my season, living fearlessly, fully, and creatively. I will abide in Him and dream with Him, using my God-given gifts and passions to pursue what He’s laid on my heart. I will pray boldly, trusting His guidance. I desire to see a fruitful harvest in my life that glorifies Him and blesses others. My vision for 2013 is to be more of the woman He created me to be —inspiring, encouraging, and spurring on the people He puts in my life. My vision for 2013 is to bear His fruit in my writing, in my artwork, and in my relationships with others.

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I feel hugely grateful to read back through those words and see the way God has taken my offering of them and brought life and color and adventure out of each humbly written one.

As part of Lara’s process, I wrote the following goals based on that vision. I’m sharing my progress on each one, here:

1.   Write, design, publish my eBook. This book is my heart right now, and I am so, so excited to finish it and release it into the world. I’m already praying that it will be a blessing to those who read it.

  • I just saw the final proof of this a few days ago, and I’m excited to say it will soon be listed for sale on my site. It has been an incredible adventure (with a few bumps in the road), but it’s blessed me and stretched me in so many ways. I’m especially thankful for the collaborations God orchestrated throughout the book’s creation. I learned a lot about myself as an artist and how much more alive and creative I feel when I get to create art with others.

2.   Grow as a teacher/speaker/writer. In the five-fold ministry quiz, I rank highest in the areas of Pastor and Teacher. This year, I want to really dig into those two areas and further develop them — stepping even #FURTHER into the calling the Lord has placed on my life. I also want to grow as a writer, continuing to develop my voice and stretching myself creatively as much as I can.

  • Leading a women’s discipleship group, attending the Influence conference, participating in The Nester’s 31 Days of  writing challenge…God brought many opportunities this year that pushed me to grow and learn.  

3.   Pursue new freelance opportunities and creative collaborations.There are a few publications I am dreaming to work with, and I need to get my ideas on paper (and in e-mail form) and reach out. I also want to just collaborate more with creatives in general. I get so jazzed about working with other talented people who love to make stuff, and I want to do so much more of that this year. It’s inspiring. It builds community. And it’s just so very good for the soul.

  • I wrote for The Influence Network Magazine and the newly launched Venture Magazine this year. And I’ve already mentioned my eBook collaborations. This goal has only further confirmed how much I value working with other creatives. I know it will be a part of my 2014 goals, as well. I’m already praying over some ideas I have to establish something inspiring for local creatives, and I’m excited to see how the Lord develops it.

4. Make intentional investments: in relationships, in His Kingdom, in developing my God-given passions, dreams, and ministries of writing and art. I want to be intentional in 2013. I want to seek Him daily. I want to hear His voice and respond. I want to always be asking myself these two questions: “What is God saying to me?” and “What am I going to do about it?” And I want to be intentionally inspiring, encouraging, and spurring others on, building community and relationships, and bearing His fruit in everything I do.

  • This is a goal I think I’d like to have on my list every year, honestly. God is teaching me so much about intentionality, and I know this is an area I can continue to grow in.

5. Fight for my future marriage: We just completed a series at church about fighting for our marriages, and while I might not be IN a marriage currently, I can certainly fight for my future marriage. And I want to. I want to be a blessing to my future husband, even now, in singleness. I want to keep praying for him. I want to keep growing and being mentored and learning about who I am and what that might mean for our future relationship. I want to know — truly know — everything the Lord has to say about marriage, and I want to carry that truth in my heart. I want to be pruned and prepared. And I never want to stop hoping. I want to guard my heart against discouragement and know that His timing is perfect, and it’s always worth the wait.

  • I think this year I’ve learned even more about who I am and what I hope to cultivate in my future marriage. I’ve come to see very clearly that He’s made me a dreamer — and an encourager of dreams. And I’ve realized how much I hope to find someone who will dream for the Lord with me, someone who also values creativity and using it to build His Kingdom here on earth. Also, just reading this goal again this morning, I was blessed by these words: And I never want to stop hoping. I want to guard my heart against discouragement and know that His timing is perfect, and it’s always worth the wait. I needed that reminder, and it’s amazing that by writing this goal, I am encouraged and strengthened months later.

6.   Seek balance: I want to be intentional about how I’m spending my time this year, and I want to be intentional about establishing a healthy balance in areas like online life/offline life, work/rest, etc. I want to pray and fast (and also pray more and worry less). I want to create more with my hands and not just at a computer. I want to get back to painting, collaging, and art journaling. I love typing out my thoughts, but I am also fulfilled in such a different way when I’m creating with my hands — when it’s messy, and imperfect, and tactile. I know I need to make more space for this in my life. I also want to eat healthy, fresh foods and exercise more. I want to joyfully create and work hard to accomplish my goals/dreams, but I also want to just experience the goodness of living life.

  • This goal is another area I want to continually grow in. I did a lot of hand lettering for my book, so that was a great opportunity to create away from the computer. I also just recently signed up for a Skillshare class on hand lettering.  Truthfully, balance is something I’m still learning, and I know He will be faithful to continue to guide me through that. It looks different in every season, too. 2013 was a year of pretty intense creativity and art making. A year of taking a lot of risks and doing things that scared me. I’m excited to see what 2014 will look like.

Whew, that was a long update, but it felt great to write. It gave me the chance to really reflect on everything the Lord has done in my life this year — and it planted the seed of excitement for next year. I’m excited to start dreaming about what’s to come and set intentional goals to grow and create even more for the Lord.

How are you 2013 goals coming along? Are you starting to dream about 2014 yet? 

A Project of Belief

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In every season of our lives, we can trust the One who’s scripting the story. We can embrace each and every day with passion and purpose, with hope, and with open hearts and open hands. We can live inspired lives that glorify Him — lives full of joy, possibility, and creativity. 

I wrote those words to describe the book I’m getting ready to release.

I wanted to share them with you today, because this project has truly been a project of belief.

In dreaming and writing it with Him, I’ve had to believe in the words He’s given me, in the story I’m living for Him, and in the resources He’s blessed me with to complete it.

I don’t know what your projects of belief are, but tonight, I want to encourage to press on, press into Him, and rely on Him to see you through to their completion.

In writing these words, I’m also reminded of a favorite line of scripture:  He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

We can believe in His work in our lives…in the work that He’s doing and in the work that He WILL do.

Amen.

It’s a good promise to rest in this weekend, isn’t it?

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 

When You Can’t Keep Up

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Whew, it’s been hard to spend time at this little space lately. Since I’ll be releasing the eBook in the next few weeks, it’s been difficult to create new content here. I’ve made my peace with that, but I hope you all haven’t given up on me. ;) I promise to be back regularly once the eBook has made its debut. AND I have plenty of Creating an eBook posts brainstormed that I just need to sit down, write, and share. I also have a few photos to share from behind the scenes of creating the book. I’m in the design phase now, working with a friend of mine to make it pretty. I get more and more excited every day, as we discuss fonts, layouts, and select photos and art. I’ll also be launching a website for the book next week where you’ll be able to learn more about the book and even read the intro.

In the meantime, I’m still posting on Instagram and Twitter, so catch up with me there!

::Photo from Death to the Stock Photo::