Pssstttt! A Place to Dwell Has a New Home! :)

Hi, friends!

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, this little blog of mine has found a new Internet home!

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Hope on over to aplacetodwell.com and do some exploring.

Can’t wait to see you over there! ;)

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An Inspired Season | Celebrate Today

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I can’t believe we are almost to the end of An Inspired Season! It has been such a good exercise for my heart and my creative spirit.

(P.S. Sorry for posting this a day late!)

Tuesday, July 28th. What’s one thing you can do this week to celebrate your season? Set the intention (on Instagram or Facebook) and then do it! Write about the experience.

I’m smack dab in the middle of a pretty ordinary week, so I think there couldn’t be a better week to respond to this prompt! :-) Life is made up of normal Tuesdays (or Wednesdays I should say), yes? :)


So here’s my plan for celebrating my season this week: I want to design an art print that features the bucket list I created earlier this month. I saw the idea on@abeautifulmessofficial, and I thought it was such a fun and artful way to appreciate the joys of right where you are.

 
I’ll be back to share the finished art piece next week sometime! I’m also excited to share that I’ll actually be checking an item off of that bucket list this weekend! I’ll be attending an outdoor movie event with my sister, and I can’t wait to celebrate the joy of summer by making that memory with her! :)

Photo by: @tracyxo_

What about you? How will you celebrate your season this week? How will you celebrate today? :)

Goal-Setting with Lara Casey: My 2015 Goals

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I’m excited to finally share my 2015 goals (they’ve been about a month in the making), and I feel really settled and good about them. I think they are doable, but also stretching. I’m also looking forward to searching for scripture that speaks to each goal. I got the idea from Valerie of Val Marie Paper. (Here’s a great post on doing that, if you’d like to seek scripture for your goals, as well.)

Moving on to the actual goals… :)

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  1. Seek and find God in everything. I want to find and follow Him wholeheartedly, filling my  mind with His truth and thinking about the best, not the worst. I want to memorize scripture and recite His promises DAILY.
  2. Wait on the Lord — especially in my singleness.  I want to lean not on my understanding, but instead, I want to trust Him and look to Him in all things — including dating and singleness (especially dating and singleness?!). I want to remember that those who wait on the Lord will not be put to shame and that waiting on God is always worth it. I want to believe that He is good and that He has a good plan for me. I want to live fully today, with hope for tomorrow.
  3. Make time for creative adventures. Paint, draw, read, write! Create “just because.” I want to take myself on inspiration and creativity dates often, filling my life and heart with what fires me up and points me to Jesus. I want to take classes, explore new art forms, and learn new things. I want to live fully and creatively, thankful that God gave me a creative, inspiration-loving heart.
  4. Spend, save, and give with intention. I want to be wise financially, so I can use  my resources for good and for God.
  5. Find a fitness routine I love and make it a regular part of my week. I want to take care of myself — health, heart, and spirit. I want to practice self-care regularly, so I have energy to go, do, and create everything that God has in mind for me this year. I want to be healthy and whole, so I can love well and bless those in my life.
  6. Continue to simplify my life. Give away what I don’t need and keep only what is useful, meaningful, or inspiring to me.
  7. Be an encourager and a celebrator. I want to mentor and encourage others — online and off. I want to lead a Bible study for college/early career at my church, and I want to write blogs that speak to women who are in that season of life. I want to support my church, my friends, my family, and my city. I want to be a resource and an inspiration for those God connects me with this year.
  8. Use social media and my blog with intention, and continue to evolve and find the focus/niche God has for me. I’ve been blogging for almost eight years, and my blog and experience online have changed pretty dramatically during that time. I want to continue to evaluate the heart  behind what I’m doing and ask the Lord for guidance. I want to focus on community over followers, and God’s heart for what I do over what’s deemed “popular.”
  9. Find the balance between living the stories and telling them.  I want to journal every day, capturing thoughts, dreams, ideas, prayers. I want to get back into the practice of art journaling, too — telling stories with paint and paper. I want to have cell-phone-free time every day, and I want to be intentional about making meaningful memories with friends and family. I want to live in the moment — being fully present — but also make time to capture the good stuff and tell the story God is writing in my life. And that leads me to my final goal…
  10. Be brave in writing and creating. I want to take risks for Him. I want to write and create honestly and vulnerably, and I want to go after big dreams. I want to collaborate with people who inspire me and pitch my ideas to publications I dream to work with. And I want to start taking steps toward my dream of writing books. I’ve got an idea that’s been slowly taking shape, and I want to dig into that this year and see where God might take it — and me.

So, there you have it! My goals for 2015. I’m sure they will evolve as the year goes  on, but I’m looking forward to seeing how God works and moves and orchestrates in each of these areas. I also hope you’ll help hold me accountable to the things I’ve listed here. I’d love to hear about your goals, as well!

Let’s cheer one another on and get excited about all God is going to do!

P.S. I wanted to announce a little something exciting before signing off!

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I’m hosting an online study through the book of Ephesians with a group of amazing ladies this month, and I’d love for you to be a part of it! Go check out Bailey’s blog post today for more details and to get in on the action. (To be honest, my heart has felt a bit disconnected from God the last few months, and I’m so looking forward to diving back into His word and seeking Him wholeheartedly!)

 

Choosing Community + Collaboration

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Sometimes, the natural response to everything online can be to compare…to line our story, our gifts, our contributions — even our faith — up against someone else’s and try to figure out how we measure up.

But comparison creates competition, insecurity, and division. It steals joy and squashes creativity.

And it can even cause us to doubt what God is doing in our own lives.

But what if we chose community and collaboration over comparison and competition? What if we looked for ways to celebrate and support, dream and dare — TOGETHER?

And what if we started to create and live from a place of deep connection and security in God, knowing that we were each made uniquely and that there is plenty of room for all of us to write, share, create, and be who we were made to be?

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Are you leaning into your season?

Last week, I invited people to celebrate what they love about their current seasons using the hashtag #AnInspiredLife.

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I’m excited to share some of those photos today! :)

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Isn’t it inspiring to see others living fully and loving life right where they are?!

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Thanks to everyone who submitted!

P.S. You can still join the celebration! #AnInspiredLife

:: Instagrammers featured in this post: theyoungmuseum, completelycaroline, xxoashley, pinegateroad, hgottschalk12, Kadie_Smith_Designs, and a few of my own ;) ::

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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!

My First Five-Minute Friday Post: Truth

Truth. That’s the word for this dark Friday morning. And it seems fitting, because the truth is light and bright. When I think of truth, I think of finding the freedom to live fully as the woman He created me to be. I think about the importance of replacing lies with His truth and allowing truth to do the hard work of restoring and rebuilding our broken parts, our doubting parts, our messy parts. I also think of living out the truth — taking its courage for words I’m scared to say or adventures I’m nervous to take. And I think about it pointing back to Him and all He’s done in my life. And I give thanks for it.

 

An Editor’s Note: This is my first time participating in Five-Minute Friday. I’m nervous to write quickly and not have the chance to really craft my thoughts and sentences. But, I figure as a writer this is a good exercise. I also may have edited JUST a smidgen. But only a smidgen. ;)

Asking, Seeking, Knocking

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A few days ago, I decided I wanted to end this series with a simple post about asking, seeking, and knocking.

That’s much different than what I originally thought I’d do.

Originally, I thought I’d write a long post detailing everything I learned, the state of my heart after doing this challenge, etc. But the truth is I’m not even sure of any of that yet. I feel like I still have to sit with everything, pray through everything, and wait for God to reveal the fruit of this journey.

So, that’s why I wanted to end with a post about asking, seeking, and knocking — with an emphasis on the seeking.

The other day, that phrase was on repeat in my heart. I started thinking about how the seeking is sandwiched in-between the asking and the knocking. It’s almost like it connects the two. And I don’t know why, but I loved that picture — loved that in our asking, we find Him, only to be drawn into seeking. And that then, in the seeking, we find the faith, courage, and persistence to keep knocking.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I’m ending this 31 Day journey knowing one thing for sure: I want to focus on the middle of that phrase; I want to settle myself in the seeking. I want to begin every day with Him and end every day with Him. I want my belief to grow, because I’m seeking Him in all I do.

To seek is to attempt to find something, to ask for something from someone, to search for and find someone or something. Synonyms include:  search for, try to find, look for, be on the lookout for, ask for, request, petition for, appeal for

I want to constantly seek Him, searching for His still small voice and the whispers of His will for my life. I want to be on the lookout for His goodness woven throughout all of my days, and I want to bring all of my requests before Him with bold belief and courageous confidence.

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Thanks for being a part of this journey with me. I pray He would continue to grow your belief and bless you in your seeking.

::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.::

 

Believing in the “Impossible”

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Throughout this whole series, I haven’t said enough about His ability to make the impossible, possible.

How often do we hear the scripture everything is possible for those who believe? A lot, right? But how often do we really, truly believe in those words?

Sometimes, unbelief says that phrase is just for the pages of my Bible, a phrase to speak of His glory in others’ stories, a phrase that’s not for me or my story.

But belief says that phrase IS for me. And for you. For ALL of us.

What we have to remember, though, is that just because God tells us that everything is possible if we believe, it doesn’t mean He’s presenting us with a blank check to get whatever we ask for. He’s still sovereign and all-knowing and good. He still sees parts of the story that we cannot.

So, how should we take that verse? How should it encourage us and spur us on in our faith and our lives?

I wrote the post below a few months ago and wanted to share it with you. It was written from a place of being inspired by the possibilities God orchestrates in our lives. It was written from a place of restlessness, but also excitement and anticipation. God’s possibilities are mysterious, just as we should expect them to be, but no less exciting or amazing. I think when we trustfully dwell in the beauty of that mystery, knowing He can do anything, and being ready to go wherever He calls, then we’re beginning to experience the fullness of that phrase, and the everything that God is capable of.

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That restlessness in your heart may just be a beautiful sign that God is moving in mighty ways. 

God’s been moving in my heart lately — He’s been stirring up dreams and ideas and possibilities — so many that I’m not even sure what to focus on.

At first, I was frustrated, wondering why I felt such restless energy. But then I realized what a gift those stirrings really are. I realized they are a powerful reminder that God is moving and working in my heart and in my life. They are a powerful reminder that He is moving me forward and taking me further in my faith.

I believe in living life with an open heart to the possibilities He has in store.  And I think it’s a blessing that He is faithful to continually reveal new ones — both big and small. 

My favorite quote is “I dwell in possibility” by Emily Dickinson, and it just so happens to be the story behind the name of this blog. My tagline living an inspired life of possibility is a reflection of who the Lord created me to be and how I see the world around me.

It’s how I want to encourage your heart, too. 

I am so thankful that when our faith and hope are anchored in the Lord, the possibilities are truly endless — because anything is possible for those who believe.

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If you have an impossible dream or hope on your heart, I’d love to know about it, so I can join you in prayer. And I hope you know how precious your hopes and dreams are to Him and how many possibilities emerge when we’re walking closely, in faith, with Him.

{image via Lara Casey}

 

::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.::