Somewhere around November 15th, every year, suddenly I would have a panic attack thinking, “How is it almost THANKSGIVING!? How is it almost CHRISTMAS!? Where did the year go? I have so much left to DO!” Projects I hadn’t started, goals I hadn’t touched all year and friendships I hadn’t nurtured.
Typically, October is the month we all start gearing up for the holidays, becoming more and more spread thin as the holiday rush approaches. To fill this anxiety about all the stuff I had to do, I’d buy stuff. Home decorations, cinnamon apple candles to make me feel like I was home, and food. Comfort food. There is nothing wrong with those things, but when the stuff of our lives starts to pile up faster than leaves at the end of November, it’s easy to get really overwhelmed and weighed down. Can anyone relate to this? Can I get some virtual AMEN’s!? I don’t know about you, but I want this year to be different. Radically different. I want this year to be clear.
In these last couple months — #IntentionalAugust and #SavorSeptember — I’ve been able to practice doing that thing I am really bad at: being still. I’ve studied these ideas of being truly intentional and savoring the blessings we have. Thousands of you have joined right along with me and it has been a JOY and an inspiration to click on these little hashtags and open up a world of people who are truly living.
Clarity, clear, ready, open, sure of where I am, confident in the Lord’s purpose… that’s where I want to be this month and I am SO excited to learn from you all too as we dive into the clear waters of October! Read these definitions below carefully and let me know which ones resonate with you the most. The word “clear” holds so many meanings that surprised me and made me see just how much I need to clear, to free, to settle and to make light.
My CLEAR LIST:
– I want to be free from haze. Haze that comes from spending too much time looking at screens and not enough time gazing into eyes. I want to fill our days with good work, good healthy food, better exercise, great books, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, fall leaves crinkling underfoot (y’all should see Grace stomping on fall leaves – so funny!) and warm hugs.
– I want to be bright and not darkened. I want to be a light to others and that takes me letting the light in first. I want to take big deep breaths in of the cool crisp October air and rejoice for the gift of being ALIVE!
– I want to be transparent in my marriage and open my heart more so we can find the most fulfilling quiet love together. Last night, Ari prayed for us before bed that we would continue to grow strong together. It was a prayer that came from a silly argument, but the best prayers sometimes come from total surrender. “God, we don’t know how to make this better, but we fully trust that YOU do.” I woke up so grateful for Ari’s prayers for us and so ready to keep doing the best, most fulfilling, work I’ve ever done – the work of marriage.
– I want to be free from blemish… i.e. shame. Guilt can sometimes motivate us to be out best selves and to apologize when we have hurt someone. Shame, however, paralyzes us. It’s self-punishment. I want to let go of the shame I hold onto and fully accept the grace I’ve already been given.
– I want to see a clear path to victory for Him. Not for me.
– I want to have a clear mind and a ready heart.
– I want to be free from doubt and confusion; certain of where I am supposed to be.
– I want to make life light (worrying is like praying for what you don’t want), clear, and bright. Continuing to get rid of stuff I don’t need and learning to be truly content.
– I want to get rid of the distractions – comparison, unresolved conflict, fear — that hold me from really fully living and giving to others.
– I want to settle loose ends… or just let them go.
– I want to free others from tension and help them see life in a new bright way. I just finished reading Shauna Niequist’s Bittersweet after hearing her speak last week and I am so motivated to make stronger friendships. Her book is rich with stories of the beautiful community of friends she has and how those friendships are born from spending physical time together and giving to friends instead of waiting for them to give to you. I want to give to friends and build a community that all works together to give right back out to others, multiplying love.
– I want to jump over obstacles.
– I want to get through this magazine and speaking season well and with intention. Next week, I’ll be speaking at Proverbs 31 Conference with Emily and Gina and at the end of this month we’re hosting the Making Things Happen Conference here. I am so excited about both and ready for some face-to-face friendship time.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: I want my heart, my home, my family, my work, my body, my everything to be a clear open space, ready for whatever God has planned.
Moldable. Teachable. Changeable. Ready to say YES to what matters most.
Make your Clear List on your blog or Facebook or Instagram or ALL of them. Get these words and declarations engrained in your mind and soul. Be bold. Be tender. Be clear. Share your post and tag it #ClearOctober on social media (or write your list in a comment here!) so we can all support each other and cheer each other on. I would also personally love to pray for you.
Before you make your Christmas list and the rush of the holiday’s takes you a way, make your Clear List. Make LIFE happen this holiday season by setting yourself up for success. The kind of success that changes not only your life, but possibly countless others.
LET’S DO THIS, FRIENDS! Three people who comment with their Clear Lists and/or tag #ClearOctober this month on social media will win a Ocean Blue Make It Happen Print. I’ll choose the winners randomly at the end of the month. More valuable than a desk print though, is what I hope and pray each of us makes happen this month. Time to get CLEAR.
With my recent travels and announcing some exciting news yesterday, I am a couple days behind on filling out my October PowerSheets. But, I’m stopping now to get clear and focused on my goals this month. Oh, my stars, these PowerSheets have changed my year and given me so much clarity. As the cherry on top of this post, I’m happier than a hog in slop to announce that 2014 PowerSheet Pre-Orders are NOW OPEN! HOORAY!!!! We sold out six times this year and are putting some extra bells and whistles on the 2014 PowerSheets. They will ship in few weeks so you have them in perfect time to prepare for 2014 greatness.
I want you to make what matters happen, so I am also going to be doing a 2014 Goal Setting Webinar at the start of 2014. Everyone who pre-orders (before we sell out) will have free access to this exclusive live webinar in January. Details to come once you place your pre-order!
We called in reinforcements : )
OK, we are closing on our print edition in 5 days, so I am bucking down to make a magazine happen. Here’s to a brilliant clear October and an intentional finish to 2013! I can’t wait to read all of your #ClearOctober updates, friends!
P.S. I typically don’t blog my newsletters, but there was an error in yesterday’s email so I’m posting the corrected text here for all to enjoy. Be sure to sign up for next month’s newsletter here.