30 Things for My 30s

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For the past few years, I’ve been creating yearly lists for my birthday. As 31 approaches, however, I’ve decided to create a list that encompasses more than just one year. I usually transfer items from year to year anyway, so this just seems to make good sense. ;)

That said, I’ve written 30 things for my 30s…a list of *30 things I hope to do and accomplish during my 30s (how many times can I use 30 in one sentence? Hah!).

*NOTE: You’ll notice that I don’t have exactly 30 things on this list yet. I wanted to leave a few spots open for new possibilities that might come my way. It’s a list in-progress, and God’s been teaching me to embrace the unknown parts of my story with hope, trust, and excitement. Can’t wait to see what He leads me to add in the seasons ahead. :)

  1. Continue to grow my faith and deepen my relationship with God. Pray continually; listen; make space for God to move.
  2. Read through the entire Bible.
  3. Travel: Nashville, Austin, Seattle, Portland — Europe!! 
  4. Print an Instagram photo album each year that captures and celebrates both the large and small moments of life. (I just printed one that covers the last few years, and I’ll share a post about it soon.)
  5. Print a hard copy of my eBook.
  6. Dream up a new idea for a book or women’s devotional.
  7. Find a book agent, and publish a book thanks to help of said agent.
  8. Redesign my website and start an e-newsletter.
  9. Buy a house.
  10. Marry my best friend.
  11. Start a family.
  12. Set up my own art/writing studio space.
  13. Redefine what art making means to me and the role it plays in my life. (I haven’t made a collage in years, and I miss painting and art journaling. I’d love to explore new textures, colors, and patterns — like neons, metallics, hand lettering, and doodles.)
  14. Explore new freelance writing possibilities, and pitch to a few dream publications.
  15. Get a vintage-inspired bright pink or blue bicycle with a basket, and live in a bike-friendly neighborhood.
  16. Learn how to create videos for my blog/website.
  17. Find a fitness routine that truly works for me and stick to it.
  18. Continue to cut processed foods and sugar from my diet; eat foods that make me feel good and energized. Join a CSA.
  19. Host a holiday dinner for my family.
  20. Take art and/or writing classes. Never stop learning and growing.
  21. Host a coffee with creatives event in Cleveland. Be a supporter of the local arts!
  22. Dip my toes into the waters of DIY-ing and spray paint my living room side tables.
  23. Continue to explore the Akron/Cleveland art and food scene.
  24. Practice my hand lettering. (Try brush script! Play with color!)
  25. Add to my Fiestaware collection.
  26. Find new ways to mentor/encourage others to live and tell inspired stories (I’d love to mentor college students!).
  27. TBD
  28. TBD
  29. TBD
  30. TBD

And that concludes my list so far. I’ll continue to add to and update it as needed. It will be exciting to see how God shapes this list in the seasons ahead, and the adventures that arise as a result.

Do you have a list of your own? I’d love to know what’s on it!

Hello, Spring (A Let’s Catch Up a Bit Post)

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Things have been a bit quiet around here lately (no posts in two weeks!). Whoops.

But my heart hasn’t been quiet — I’ve been working and praying through some new dreams and ideas.

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I’ve been feeling super excited about a new venture/idea/dream God has placed on my heart. I want to take the whole idea of #AnInspiredLife to the next level. I want to help you live * AND TELL * inspired stories! I’m in the brainstorming, dreaming, praying phase of what this could look like…but thinking about possibly working with people on an individual basis to help them discover the heart of their story and then how to tell and share it creatively. Thinking this could translate to working with you to write your mission statement, web site copy, etc.

Over the last few years, I’ve realized how much I love celebrating others’ stories and how inspired I am by what God is doing through each of our stories. I’m also a big geek when it comes to branding and creatively telling our stories, so I’ve realized doing more with the writing side of branding might be a perfect fit for me.

So, YAY!

Spring is such a good time to explore new hopes and dreams, yes??

More on all of this very soon.

In the meantime…

A few random, hopeful, springy things: I bought some blueberry coffee (undecided on whether or not I like it); I’ve been filling the house with fresh flowers (makes my heart SO HAPPY); I’ve been reminding myself to be brave (we could all use a reminder sometimes, eh?); and I’ve been searching for the perfect neon yellow polish.

It’s the little things sometimes, huh? Okay, many times. :)

What’s new with you?

After The Goals Have Been Set…

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A few days ago, I posted my 2014 vision statement and goals. I just love the goal and vision-setting process, but after the goals are done, where to begin, right?

I highly, highly recommend purchasing a set of Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. Last night, I started working through her action-planning sheets for each of my five goals. I will soon be filling out weekly and monthly tending sheets, as well. (The perfectionist in me wants to rush through this process, because, goodness, we are already a week into January, and I need to get planning for this month!) But one thing I’ve learned from Lara is that great things happen little by little.

Small steps. Small changes. Faith as small as a mustard seed.

Last night, as I was working, I started to feel I was rushing, quickly writing things down, in order to make it to the tending sheets, but then I closed my binder and just decided I was going to take the rest of this week and weekend to prayerfully make my way through the rest of my action-planning and brainstorming. I don’t want a meaningless to-list full of meaningless action items. I want a list that brings God glory and truly makes a difference in my life and others’ lives.

So, I guess the answer to this post’s question of where to begin after you’ve set your goals is actually pretty simple:

Prayerful planning that leads to small steps and small changes…And faith as small as a mustard seed that God will move in BIG WAYS.

P.S. I’m getting excited to prep for the book club I’m kicking off next month.

If you need a little extra inspiration to live fully and pursue the vision you’ve set for your year, I encourage you to sign up to be a part of it.

2014 Plans for A Place to Dwell

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Hello, friends,

I’ve been scribbling in my planner and on my PowerSheets, working to dream up some fresh ideas for this space in the new year. I’m thankful for the community that’s formed as a result of this blog, and I look forward to creating even more of that in 2014.

My heart behind this space is equip and encourage you to live a colorful, inspired life of possibility. I want to help you dream big and live fully and creatively.

In order to do that, I’d love to hear from you. I want to hear what’s working on the blog and what’s not, and how I can better serve and encourage you. So, I created this short survey, and I’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to participate.

Thanks for being a part of this space! :)

Goal Setting With Lara Casey (Continued)

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It’s hard to believe that today is the LAST DAY of 2013! In so many ways, it feels like this year flew by. Anyone else feel that way?!

Before the end-of-the-year celebrations begin, I’m taking a few quiet minutes this morning to check in on Lara’s Goal Setting series and post a progress update of my own.

I’m still working on prayerfully writing my 2014 vision, but I have written out what I’ll be saying YES and NO to in 2014 (as well as my list of what fires me up). (I know, I’ve gone a little bit out of order with my steps, but for some reason, I still haven’t arrived at the vision statement I know is right for my year. I’ll share that as soon as it’s ready.)

Here’s my list of what fires me up:

Coffee; creative collaborations; dreaming big dreams and encouraging others to dream big; art; new ideas; hearing Him speak through His Word; creating beautiful things; reading; photography; typography and hand lettering; capturing moments and memories; big laughter; dark chocolate; fresh flowers; farmers markets; creative couples who are making a difference for Jesus; sparkle; feeling inspired and inspiring others; prayer walks; grace; beautiful love stories; collage art; art journals; coffee shops; bookstores; libraries; dusty antique shops that hold treasures just waiting to be discovered; polka dots; charm; whimsy; hope; being brave; bright colors; living life fully and creatively

And here’s what I’ll be saying YES to in 2014:

Holy yoga; reading good books; eating and cooking with healthy, fresh foods; focused prayer/quiet time; seeing the possibilities in each day; exercising regularly; lots of creative collaborations; new adventures (and writing about/photographing them); learning more about hand lettering and typography; engaging in my city’s art community; dating intentionally; art journals/making more art on a regular basis; coffee dates; celebrating my life and story (and helping others do the same!)

What about you? What fires you up? And how will you make more space for those things in your life next year? What will you say YES to in 2014 in order to live the life you were made to live?

::image via Lara Casey::

A Year of Going Further (2013 OLW Recap)

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At the end of a year, it’s really easy to look at where you’re NOT, what you DIDN’T accomplish, and what you WISH had happened, rather than all the goodness of where you ARE, how far you’ve come, and everything you DID accomplish.

As I get ready to begin the new year, and I reflect on all I experienced this past year, I’m choosing to look with joy and gratitude on all of the experiences that led me to where I am today.

I am truly thankful for all I did and learned in 2013. What a year of being brave, taking risks, and chasing dreams!

Part of reflecting on this past year for me is remembering where I was last January, when I chose to live 2013 with the word FURTHER in mind. Here’s what I had to say about choosing that word:

I want to take everything I learned in 2012 about keeping an open heart and moving FORWARD with hope, and I want to go FURTHER.

*I want to go FURTHER in my faith. I want to know Him more, trust Him more, hope in Him more.

*I want to go FURTHER in my art. I want to write more. Create more. Set up an Etsy shop. Use the gifts He’s given me to bless others and inspire joy in Him.

*And I want to grow FURTHER…keeping my heart open to His plan each and every day, going where He’s leading, and trusting Him every step of the way.

When I look back at everything that happened in 2013, both the blessings and the moments that challenged and pruned me, I can truly see that the Lord took me FURTHER in so many ways.

At the beginning of last year, I also participated in Lara Casey’s Making Things Happen Goal Setting process. I wrote this vision for my year, along with six goals that supported it. (You can read a fall update on all of those goals, here.)

MY VISION FOR 2013: 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.

I just love rereading that vision, because I know it’s something the Lord placed on my heart, and I can see so clearly that it’s a vision He helped me live out each day of this past year.

Today, I am delighting in every sweet memory made in 2013, and I’m giving thanks for all the ways He helped me embrace my story and my season — and all the ways He equipped me to live fearlessly, fully, and creatively for Him.

What 2013 moments are you most thankful for?

Let’s rejoice together, as we get ready to start a brand new year of dreaming big and living fully for Him!

Weekending: Dream a Little

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“No matter what this week left you with or without, find time this weekend to leave it all behind for a simple moment being thankful. Ask yourself what you really want. Dream a little.” ~Megan Gilger, The Fresh Exchange

Have you asked yourself what you really want lately, given yourself the chance to dream just a little?

I’m making space for that this weekend, space to clear my head and my heart and see what the Lord places in that empty, open, ready-to-receive space.

Wishing you a dream-filled weekend of your own.

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:: dream collage design and typography by me; images — 1. 2. ::

New Beginnings

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This weekend, I’m excited to celebrate exciting new beginnings.

September marks many fresh starts and new adventures for me, and I’m thankful for His hand in it all.

Here’s to living a little, dancing crazy, wearing sparkles and sequins, being with friends and family, and celebrating the new things He’s doing in our lives!

Happy Weekending, my friends!!

xo

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Calling All Dreamers – Guest Post by Natalie of NS Pottery

Excited to be sharing the next in the Calling All Dreamers series. I’ve been blessed to become friends with Natalie both online and off, and her heart for the Lord is truly beautiful and inspiring.  Thank you for being here today, Natalie!
 

I believe God puts dreams in our hearts for a reason. The things He created us for? For the most part, we will enjoy doing them. We will have a passion for them. Dreams are a gift from Him.

At the same time, dreams can also be dangerous. They can sit on the throne of our hearts.

“If I can just do this, if I can just have that, I will be happy and complete,” we might think. 

They can distract us from the One who gave us our dreams in the first place.

It is critical to hold our dreams with open hands. Knowing that the Lord has my best interest at heart and that His plans are far greater than my own helps me to wait upon Him. The things that I think I want so badly right now?

Maybe it’s not the right time. 

Maybe there is something so much better waiting for me that I would miss if I’m too focused on this other thing.

We don’t have the whole picture. He does. And I find so much peace in that.

So while you’re dreaming, remember, He knows best. When He is first, everything else will fall into place.

 

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Connect with Natalie:

What Moves Your Heart? What Fires You Up?

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 {image via Lara Casey }

If you’ve been reading recently, you know how much Lara Casey has been inspiring my creative process. What a blessing she is to women who have big dreams!

As part of her goal-setting process, I made a list of things that move my heart and inspire me, and as I’m working on my eBook in the weeks to come, I’ll be thinking about this list of things that fill my heart with joy and energy and motivation.

{ Read more about creating your own list over on Lara’s beautiful blog. }

So, here’s my list…

I DELIGHT IN:

Art, living with lots of color, beautiful words, being inspired and inspiring others, blogging, books, antiquing, typography, fonts, hand lettering, hunting in antique shops for vintage treasures, spending an afternoon in a cozy coffee shop, historic buildings, God’s truth and the way He speaks it so beautifully into my life, living life adventurously, taking RISKS for HIM, trusting in the story He’s writing in my life, art journals and art journaling, encouraging and spurring others on, BIG DREAMS, music, poetry, HOPE, creativity and the creative process, storytelling, magazines, photography, writing honest, vulnerable, true-to-my-heart words, libraries, black-and-white photographs, polka dots, charm, whimsy, art as WORSHIP, collaborating with other creatives, intentionality, historical fiction, really good really dark chocolate, the beauty to be found in the changing seasons…

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{image via Parima Creative Studio}

What would make your list?

Let’s make it a point to do more of those things that move our hearts, inspire us, and fire us up. Let’s live the abundantly beautiful lives He is calling us to live — for Him.