2014 Making Things Happen: Spring Update

2014 Goals

Whew.

I have not been doing very well with the whole keeping up with blogging thing. I have a notebook full of ideas, but just haven’t been able to devote the time or energy to develop and share them. I suppose there are seasons like that, and we have to be okay with the ebb and flow of creativity in our lives. I’ve never been someone who posts just to post. If I don’t feel I have anything to share, I don’t share.

I’m also at a bit of an in-between season when it comes to blogging and creating. As I do every so often, I’m re-evaluating the heart behind the blog and where I want to take it next. That’s definitely a process, but it’s a good thing, and I’m excited to see where God leads me next!

Anyway, I’m writing tonight (accompanied by a bowl of cheddar/caramel popcorn!) to share an update on the goals I set at the beginning of the year as part of Lara Casey’s Making Things Happen series. (It’s hard to believe it’s almost May, right!?!)

Here’s a brief recap of this year’s goals (as well as my updates so far):

  1. Make space for God to move. The biggest way I’ve been seeking to do this is beginning each day in the Word. I want to hear from God and know what He’s calling me to. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m looking forward to taking prayer walks again, as well. They really clear my head, allow me to worship, and just take time out to really share my heart with God. They refresh me in a way that just reading my Bible or praying inside cannot.
  2. Invest my time and heart into building an encouraging creative community that blesses others and brings God glory both online and offline. It’s been pretty amazing to see God moving in this area. Even though we are only a few months into 2014, I’ve already been blessed to build community in quite a few different ways. I had an incredible experience hosting the An Inspired Life book club, and I’m excited to host more of them in the future. I’m also looking at possibly offering eCourses that would create a similar community and experience. I met miss Kelsey of Pinegate Road, and we’ve been collaborating on some branding stuff that I’m excited to develop, as well as resources/events for local creative folks in Cleveland. I know I keep using the word excited, but seriously. I’m really excited!! ;)
  3. Live a full and inspired life in 2014 — and encourage others to do the same. So many things could be listed here, but basically, I’m trying to live intentionally, with purpose and with passion. I’m identifying what’s important to me and determining how I can make those things a priority in my life. I even did what Shauna Niequest wrote about in her book Bittersweet and made a list of What I Do and What I Don’t Do. As Shauna wrote, it’s easy to decide what we want our lives to be about, but it isn’t easy to figure out what we are willing to give up, in order to make those things happen. Maybe that’s a future post, but that exercise really helped me find focus and direction (and do less comparing). Some of the things that have been priorities so far this year that are helping me live an inspired life: reading lots and lots of good books, taking ballet barre classes, starting to run again, and creative collaborations with others.
  4. Date intentionally — with courage and with hope. I’m praying this simple prayer and trusting God to take care of the details. I’m taking chances and being open to God’s plan. And I’m learning A LOT. It’s a good season, and I’m hopeful for what’s to come.
  5. Explore new possibilities. Lots of new possibilities on the horizon: the branding of this blog (working with Kelsey and taking Braid Creative’s personal branding eCourse, etc.), further developing my idea of helping others live and tell inspired stories, and learning hand lettering. We’ll see what else gets added to this list as the year continues! I’m really trying to live in such a way that I look for even the little possibilities in each and every day, too. That might be a future blog post, as well… :)

Since this update is starting to get pretty long, I think I’ll wrap it up, but I feel good about the progress I’ve made and everything God is doing and teaching. I really believe in Lara’s advice to focus on the small, but steady steps we take. Dreams aren’t chased and caught in a day. The important things in our lives take time and faithfulness. I want to be okay with the pace God sets for me and enjoy the journey.

What about you? Did you set goals for 2014? How have they been going? I’d love to hear from you.

 

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How do you creatively recharge?

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One of the things on my January Tending List was to read something inspiring — offline. It was a monthly goal I set to help myself find the balance between creativity and inspiration, doing and learning. It’s been a great addition to a month of firsts in 2014.

As I’ve been working through my goals and PowerSheets for January (and planning February’s), I’ve really been able to see God in everything, and I feel encouraged to keep pressing on. I also believe I’ve settled on a few verses that really give voice to my heart behind the year ahead and every goal I’ve set.

The first one is in Hebrews (10:24): And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. I feel God calling me to create community this year, and I read this verse a few days ago and knew it would be on my heart for the rest of the year. The other verses I’m keeping close at heart throughout the year are verses that speak the truth of my One Little Word: POSSIBLE. Verses like… Mark 9:23: Everything is possible for one who believes. And but with God all things are possible. I love the “but” in that verse, because it basically says, hold up. You know who you’re dealing with here, right? :)

I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead. I have some adventures planned with new friends, books to read, and words to write. The mix of quiet and community is just what I need after a rather hectic week.

How do you creatively recharge? How do you make space for it in your life?

P.S. The candle pictured above is my new favorite. An incredibly bookish, cozy scent. My next purchase from Frostbeard Studio is going to be their Old Books candle. A bookworm’s delight, eh!? ;)

And P.S.S. The An Inspired Life Book Club kicks off MONDAY! I seriously can’t wait!! Are you signed up??

My 2014 Goals

2014 Goals

If you’ve been following along this week, you know I’ve been working through my Powersheets and Lara Casey’s 2014 Goal-Setting Series.

Today, I’m excited to finally share the five goals I’ve set for the year ahead!

I love that Lara’s process is slow and reflective and intentional. It took TIME to get to the goals below, and they’re goals that support my vision and what matters most to me.

  1. Make space for God to move. I want to seek first the Kingdom daily, with a heart that longs to hear Him and go where He leads. I’m going to be going through a praise and wisdom reading plan in my One Year Bible that will take me through Proverbs once during the year and the Psalms twice. I want to have my eyes and heart open to the possibilities He has for me each and every day.
  2. Invest my time and heart into building an encouraging creative community that blesses others and brings God glory both online and offline. I’ve already started this goal online by launching a book club to discuss the eBook I wrote last year called An Inspired Life. I also have it on my heart to really invest in my local art community this year. I’m not sure of the particulars of this one just yet, but I can’t wait to see how God moves in this area. I also want to have many productive, inspiring creative collaborations in 2014. Working with other creatives is a huge passion of mine, and I look forward to doing this as much as I can in 2014.
  3. Live a full and inspired life in 2014 — and encourage others to do the same. This one encompasses so much — eating fresh, healthy foods, practicing holy yoga, joining a gym, spending quality time with my friends and family, etc. This goal is also about living the kind of life I imagine for myself, the kind of life that makes me feel like ME. I want to live surrounded by art, inspiration, and color. I want to make art regularly and read good books. I want to explore my city and celebrate life and my own unique story, a story that is a gift from God. And I want to find new ways to encourage others to do this, too — whether it’s through my blog and online outlets, discipleship at my church, or just a simple handwritten card or note that blesses and encourages someone God puts on my heart.
  4. Date intentionally — with courage and with hope. I will keep praying this simple prayer and trusting God to take care of the details.
  5. Explore new possibilities. One of the new possibilities I’m excited to explore in the new year is hand lettering/typography. I want to take classes, go through the Spencerian script workbooks, etc. I’m also planning on hand lettering a phrase a week and posting it to Instagram, Twitter, etc. Who knows what other possibilities I’ll explore in the year ahead, but I can’t wait to prayerfully wait before the Lord to see what He puts on my heart to pursue.

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Have you set your 2014 goals yet? I’d love to hear about them and the process you used to set them.

P.S. Have you signed up for my An Inspired Life book club yet? It’s a great companion to goal-setting and dreaming for the new year.

My 2014 Vision

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Happy 2014, my friends!

Dreaming and planning are two of my very favorite things, so I’ve been delighting in dreaming up and writing down my hopes and prayerful plans for 2014.

If you’ve been following along the past few days, you know I’ve been working through Lara Casey’s PowerSheets and Goal-Setting Series on her blog. Yesterday, while listening to worship music and drinking a hot mug of coffee, I reflected on all of the goal-setting steps I’d completed so far and came up with my vision statement for 2014. Having a vision for 2013 was extremely motivating and encouraging for me, so I was excited to write a new one for 2014.

My vision statement represents what matters most to me, and my goals for the year ahead will be written with this statement in mind.

MY VISION FOR 2014: I will live with hope, joy, and creativity, embracing — and giving thanks for — the possibilities He blesses me with every day. I will make space for Him to move, seeking first the Kingdom with a heart that longs to hear Him and go where He leads. I will fill my days with art and inspiration and creativity, being brave in new adventures with Him and the people I am blessed to share life with. I will cultivate life-giving, encouraging relationships and community that celebrates creativity and each of our unique God-given dreams and stories. With honesty and vulnerability, I will write and make art that blesses, inspires, and points to Jesus. I will believe anything is possible, and I will keep asking, seeking, and knocking about some of my most precious hopes and dreams. My vision for 2014 is to be a woman who lives an inspired life for the Lord — and a woman who encourages others to live this way, too.

If you’ve written a vision statement for the year ahead, I’d love to read it.

Have a very blessed first day of the new year!

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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::

2014 Goal Setting with Lara Casey

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Coffee in hand, PowerSheets binder open on the desk, and heart bursting with possibilities…

I just finished sharing my goal-setting progress on Lara’s blog and thought I’d share the progress here, too. Today, Lara has asked us to reflect on what did and didn’t work in 2013 and what lessons we learned as a result of those experiences.

A few of the lessons I’ve learned this year from what DID and DIDN’T work:

  • I can accomplish BIG dreams (I published my first eBook: aninspiredlifebook.wordpress.com)! Yay! Happy, happy dance!! It took me a little more than a year to write and create, but I feel so, so thankful to have accomplished that major goal.
  • Community is essential, and I love collaborating to create. In making my eBook, I worked with many talented friends, and I realized just how much creative collaboration fires me up. I’m looking to do so much more of that in 2014, and I’m praying and dreaming what that might look like both online and offline (creating inspiring life-giving community in my city).
  • Adventures that stretch us are good for the soul. Did some things a little out of my comfort zone this year and was truly rewarded by seeing the way God blesses our bravery. :)
  • Faith will get me everywhere (kept dreaming, kept hoping, kept believing).
  • Being late causes stress (and so does disorganization). Two things I really want to work on in 2014.
  • Disconnectedness from God hurts my focus and creativity. Seek first the Kingdom is something I want to live out even more in my day to day.
  • Sometimes, we have to make hard choices that lead to healing and growth.
  • Fear is sometimes still too present in my life.

Overall, 2013 was an incredible year of being brave, taking risks, and chasing dreams! So many beautiful memories were made with my sweet friends and family, too! I turned 30 and had an amazing celebration with the people who mean most to me. I went on a California adventure with  my sister, and I attended the Influence Conference. I continued to pray about my future marriage and even recently decided to simplify that prayer to this: that I would meet and marry my best friend.

I’m so thankful for all the ways God was working in my life and heart in 2013, and I’m excited to see where He leads me in 2014. I’m ready to do the hard work of making space for Him to move and partnering with Him to follow the purpose and plan He has for my life. Let’s #MakeThingsHappen in 2014, friends! Are you fired up yet?! :)

And speaking of 2014, I’ve chosen my One Little Word…

POSSIBLE

I’ve already created my One Little Word Pinterest board (it also happens to be my Making Things Happen board for 2014). Decided to simplify things a little this year and have just the one board that encompassed both. I’d love for you to come follow my board and leave me a link to yours, if you’ve created one for your 2014 goals and dreams! Let’s encourage one another in our big dreams and hopes! :)

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What about you? I’d love to hear where you’re at in your dream and goal setting process. If you’ve blogged your progress, leave me a link, or feel free to just write yours in the comment section.

I really want this blog to be a place of community and collaboration in 2014. I want A Place to Dwell to be a place where we can share honestly and encourage one another to seek Him and live fully and creatively!

I believe He has possibilities for each of us in 2014, and I’m praying we’d delight in discovering every one.