Happy Monday again! I hope you are enjoying some lovely spring weather today!!!
I’ve been on spring break this past week. In fact, today is the very last day of it. (We were fortunate to have the day after Easter off, also.)
This past week has been WONDERFUL for me. My parents were able to visit with us from Chattanooga for a few days. We were able to take three day-trips together as a family: a college visit to Florida Polytechnic University, downtown Fernandina/Fernandina Beach, and St. Augustine.
[I took a bunch of pics at FL Polytechnic because their main building is A-MAZING!!! You can link to that blog post HERE to see for yourself!]
This time off from school has been great for me because I’ve been able to set aside some time for introspection. I’ve come to realize that I’m super busy. all. the. time. And not all of it is good. I’ve picked up some bad habits–> particularly in the area of time management.
I’m ashamed to admit that my social media usage has gotten out of control. It’s to the point that I’m not sure how to live my life without it. And THAT is a terrible thing! I’ve got to take control of this. I really need a time management makeover.
This is just ONE of the outcomes of reading Lara Casey’s book, Make It Happen. If you feel overwhelmed, uninspired, and/or frantically busy….this book is for you, too! If you are a perfectionist like me or need courage to jump into a new venture in your life, this book is also for you!
Lara’s book is divided into two sections. In the first 2/3 of the text, she shares her own personal story and struggles. It must have been difficult for her to put everything out there like that. However, I appreciate her vulnerability. I have gone through some of the same things that Lara has struggled with, and maybe you have, too. We can all learn vicariously from her experiences. In the midst of her story, she asks her readers several questions. To be honest, some of them are pretty tough to answer–if you’re candid with yourself. But if you have the courage to respond to them honestly, you will discover a lot about what’s going on under the surface of your life. Chasing perfection is just a symptom of a deeper issue. Constant busy-ness is the result of something bigger. Fixing the symptoms is NOT going to get anyone anywhere fast. Lara encourages her readers to dig deeper. To find out what is really going on in our souls.
Another aspect of Make It Happen that I love is that Lara unashamedly weaves her faith throughout this book. Christ is the source of her true identity. And mine, too. He is absolutely the biggest factor in the life of a Christian and in facilitating true change.
The last 1/3 of Lara’s book is a guide to do just what the title says: MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Again, more tough questions. I ordered a six-month starter set of Lara Casey’s PowerSheets about halfway through reading her book. They came last Friday, and I’m in the process of setting them up. I’m not going to lie. It’s hard work, and it takes some time. But it’s SO WORTH IT!!! (See my post about PowerSheets HERE.) The steps in the last part of Make It Happen and in the first part of the PowerSheets are very similar. So I’ve already done a lot of the hard stuff. :)
Personally, God has been prompting me to take action to focus my life for awhile now. It really began last summer when I attended a Beth Moore conference. Before the conference even started, they played a video leading up to the song “Oceans”. (If you’ve never heard this song, listen to it here.) The video was about Peter, when he and the other disciples were in a boat. They saw Jesus walking on the water. Jesus called to Peter. But Peter didn’t have to go to Him. Peter could have stayed right there in the boat. And that would have been fine. BUT GOD HAS NOT CALLED US TO FINE. No!!! God has called us to live an abundant life in Him.
I don’t want a life of FINE. I want a life of finding God’s purpose for my life and living INTENTIONALLY for Him. I want to eliminate distractions and negative influences. I want to live on purpose when it comes to spending time with Troy and my kids. I want to have meaningful relationships with friends. I want the work I do with my photography business to be intentional and God-honoring.
I received more encouragement in this area from Julie Paisley. I did a one-on-one business mentoring session with her in Nashville, Tennessee over Christmas break. She is amazing! (Check out her brand new website.) Julie helped me a lot with my photography business. She encouraged me to specialize. Before, I had been doing any and every type of session–not focusing on anything in particular. So now I’ve narrowed my focus to weddings, engagements, and maternity. And I feel so much better! I’ve turned down several sessions (mainly newborns) that don’t fit the focus of my business, and that has felt very freeing for me. Julie also encouraged me to set specific work hours, which has also helped a lot.
Reading Make It Happen has made me more aware that I need to capture my time and live on purpose. I feel like there are a lot of things that God has prepared for me to do, but I need to cut out the clutter in my life so that I can focus on what really matters.
And so my journey continues…… And I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next!