HAPPY 2014!!! Welcome to a brand new year, friends. If you are just joining us, you are in the right place : ) It’s never too late to start this process and spread the word to your friends to have them join you, too. Here are the previous posts:
Part 1: Let’s Do This!
Part 2: Get Fired Up.
Part 3: Your 2014 Vision
Photo of my Make It Happen desk card by my friend Mary Boyden.
My answers from Part 3, starting with my 2014 Vision:
Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)
My 2014 vision. OK. I’m going to walk you through my honest thoughts today as I uncover this. Honestly, my brain feels so full lately with traveling and giving my whole attention and love to family and trying to write my book and being a mama and a wife and a business owner. Those things don’t go on Christmas vacation. So, I am taking it day by day to love The Lord with all of me and through all of this. Your instinct as you read this night be to say, “Well, Lara, take a break! Relax!” You see, though, God doesn’t tell us to seek pleasure or a life where we just coast. He sometimes calls us in seasons of our lives to rise up and let Him work profoundly in us to accomplish far more than we can on our own. I’m in one of those seasons and I am praying for Him to use me. In these seasons, and always, He tells us to work hard and let Him fill us with a kind of rest that a vacation just can’t accomplish. It’s 20 levels deeper. If you read Proverbs 31, you see a woman who works hard for what matters, rising at dawn and using all she has for her family and others. And then she rests in Him. But, lately I’ve been falling into the trap of self-doubt during some of that rest time. My brain has been spinning a bit, thinking that I cannot write a great book or be a great mom or have as good of a year in business as last year. But. But! Then I remember the greatest lesson I learned from 2013: His plans are far bigger than mine. He is bigger than me and what I can do on my own. He is in control. My job is to simply trust and obey.
(and I just took a deep breath)
Trust and obey. (Anyone love that old hymn as much as I do?) I typed this out because I don’t want you to think any of this just naturally happens. I struggle and, when I stop to have a literal “come to Jesus” moment with myself, all becomes well. It is well with my soul. That’s what God’s peace does. My physical circumstances haven’t magically changed. But He changes my heart and that, in turn, helps me change my vision from cloudy to clear in an instant. This is why I have to stay in the Word and focused on Him, because it is so easy to forget the truth.
So, my 2014 Vision is to be clear. To see God’s heart clearly and my heart clearly — no matter how messy sometimes — and to keep aligning my heart with His. My 2014 Vision is to love my neighbor as myself by sharing the clear truth that has changed and continues to change me. My 2014 Vision is to couple boldness with tenderness, knowing I am weak and that I can’t do anything good without Him, and to speak the truth in love to others. I want to use all of the gifts He has given me and give them all away.
To borrow a powerful phrase from my friends Jessi and Hayley, my 2014 Vision is to be “wild and free” for Him in spreading the Gospel and living in His joy. My 2014 Vision is to see through His lenses and do something — everything — about it.
Having defined that, now here is what is NOT in my 2014 Vision and what I’m saying NO to in 2014:
- Self-doubt. I’m redefining that today after what God just taught me. I should doubt my own abilities on my own, but I can have FULL confidence in His power and plan, whatever that may be.
- Eating junk. With the last part of 2014 being so busy, I went to sugary foods — ice cream, candy, too many Luna bars when I was on the go — to fill what needed to be filled with good fuel. Ari and I started a modified Daniel fast today for January. For Him it’s “no meats, sweets or alcoholic treats (which are rare for him anyway).” For me, it’s no simple sugars (ice cream, candy), bread or large portions when I am stressed. We are doing this fast so that, each time we crave one of those things, we look to God instead for nourishment. It’s a way of being more spiritually mindful in taking care of the lives God has given us.
- Comparison. I will be writing a lot about this in my book, but comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s the thief of everything. When I compare other wedding magazines or blogs to ours, I get so far off track thinking about their numbers compared to ours and I completely forget the enormous fundamental difference that sets us apart – championing strong marriages above all else. You can read our whole mission statement here. I fall into comparison in so many areas, but I will work hard in 2014 to say NO to that and see what He sees.
- Email. I get too much of it. Not junk, but legitimate email. It’s hard because, every time I write a blog post or put something out into the world, I get emails. Really lovely wonderful emails that I am so grateful for from really lovely people. But, sometimes, they add up when I have a lot to reply to and that takes away from my time with my family. This is such a challenge for me because I want to reply to everything and I do. So, perhaps I can say NO to feeling compelled to always give long replies. But, friends…. just for the next month… I am kindly asking you to not email me. I cringe even typing that because I don’t like saying no, but I have to finish writing this book! : )
- STUFF. This is a huge one. I’m still going on the Contentment Challenge, but I have a long way to go. This quote from the book Margin that Nancy Ray posted sums it up perfectly:
- More: days that are filled with too many projects, getting angry instead of praying first, days where I don’t take time to study the Bible well, worrying about things I can’t control. I will keep adding to this list as I think of things and I encourage you to do the same with your lists.
Number one: knowing that I am made new in Him.
Finishing reading the Bible (I didn’t end up completing my goal to finish by today, but I am still pressing on!), working out hard so I can be a healthy mom for Grace, more music in our lives this year, intentionally teaching Grace good things, cooking more (more on that in a bit below), and opening my heart to the possibility of having another child. There is more, but I will keep adding to this as we go! Done is better than perfect right now. I want to spent time with my parents this afternoon and pick lemons from my mamas trees with Grace : )
My word for 2014 is CLEAR. I keep saying that to myself as I have gone through this process. Clear about my purpose, clearly using my gifts to serve others, clearly giving love to others… and free from distraction and the stuff that doesn’t align with His purpose for me.
Alright, welcome to Part 4! Cue the dance party — you’ve made it to the final steps of Goal Setting for 2014 before we actually set some solid goals!
STEP 10: Plant Seeds. Create Legacy.
My mom gave me the most special gift last night. She gave me decades of family memories, holidays and celebrations, her heart — her greatest passions and the unique gifts God gave her to share — in cook book form. My mom is a trained French chef and most of her happiest times have been in the kitchen and around the dinner table with us. She spent days and days putting together two giant binders of her recipes, kitchen tips and favorite family memories for me. Now, I can relive these memories with her in my own kitchen and pass them on to Grace. I’m crying typing this. That’s how big this gift is to my heart. This is her living legacy.
One of the greatest motivators I have is currently doing her farm puzzle at my feet : ) I told her I am writing things that I hope will help people. She smiled and went back to her puzzle, happy that I am writing to you. When Ari leaves for work in the morning, we tell her where he is going: to help people feel better. She loves knowing that is what he does. We know Grace understands. And telling her this makes us accountable. It makes both of us want to use all of our time wisely and to the full to genuinely help others. I know that she watches my every move and hears more than my words – she hears the heart behind them. She mirrors me all day long, showing me in human form how important it is for me to plant good seeds and LIVE the way we want her to live. Now, this is also the thing that can paralyze me and make me completely lose confidence the most. Creating a living legacy for Grace in all I do is a lot of pressure, but it’s a good pressure. Writing to you here on this blog, I am aware that she may read it some day, too. That makes me want to write boldly and clearly, with tenderness. It makes me want to leave a legacy that leads her to the heart of what matters. It makes me want to plant good seeds in really good soil. It’s what made me create this book…
A couple months ago, God put it firmly on my heart to leave Grace a legacy of love and wise guidance. So, I created A Handbook for Life for her and for all mamas and anyone who wants to leave your best advice, wisdom, family memories, reasons you love them and so much more. Ari and I can’t wait to fill this book out for Grace. This was one of my favorite things to create ever. Read all the details here and pre-order now for delivery before Valentine’s Day.
What little seeds can you plant in others? What legacy can you pass on to those you love now? What can you teach to others? What traditions can you pass to them? What gifts of love can you sow? Sometimes, the tiniest seeds produce the most amazing things. The mustard seed is one of the smallest of seeds, but grows into one of the largest of trees. For example, your seed might be starting a small savings account for a child or grandchild. It might be teaching someone something that will help them — like volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club or teaching at your church or just writing a blog post to share your knowledge about something. It might be writing a love letter to plant a seed of encouragement in someone else’s life. It might be creating something — using your art and creative talents — to multiply love in the heart of another or to inspire many. It might be starting an email account for your little one that you send love letters to daily and, when they are older, you will give them the password to let them read years of love. I have done that for the last two years and love sending Grace special emails! Make a list of “seeds” you can plant now — perhaps in the next few weeks — or the living legacy you want to pass to others. Leave your ideas here in the comments. I’ll share more of my list tomorrow.
STEP 11: Do something radical this year. For those of you in my generation, this doesn’t mean Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure kind of radical. I mean the kind of radical that changes everything for the better. That thing that has been set deep in your heart. That thing that scares you. That thing that feels impossible right now. That thing that you know would help you and everyone around you.
Radical literally means very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary. ‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. ‘ – Tony Robbins Do something different this year, something that feels bigger than you. Imagine the possibilities if you do! You get to define what your radical means to you. Maybe it’s big like finally getting out of debt or starting a personal budget or getting healthy. Maybe it’s finally going on that mission trip or writing that email or starting that business. Maybe it’s saying “no” to something or simply and profoundly choosing to be more still this year. Before you get completely overwhelmed (I know I just dove into deep waters here with you!), here this: start small. The core principle behind what I’ve taught at the Making Things Happen workshop for the last 5+ years is this: begin anywhere. Little by little, make it happen. Your task here for Step 11 is to define your very first tiny small little itty bitty action step towards making that thing happen.
If your “radical” is getting out of debt, your very first step might be as small as going to the local library and checking out a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Yes, most libraries have new awesome books like that. Or get a copy from a friend. Or read Emily’s personal finance posts! Or sign up for a free Mint.com account to start an online budget.
If your “radical” is strengthening your marriage, maybe your first tiny action step might be leaving your husband a simple love note in his car tonight so he gets it tomorrow on the way to work. Just an “I love you. I appreciate you.” Maybe your first step is to give him or her a hug just because, even if he or she left the dirty dishes in the sink again or said that thing that made you upset. Maybe your first step is to simply listen and genuinely ask, “How are you?” even if they don’t ask the same in return. Maybe your first step is to pray for them. Prayer is an action step. Perhaps one of the very best ones.
If your “radical” is learning to be content, maybe your first tiny step is to read this post.
If your “radical” is getting healthy, your very first tiny action step might be to open a trash bag and step into your kitchen. If there is stuff in there that isn’t on your Making Things Happen Train with you (imagine all the good stuff cheering you on!), donate it to the food pantry, recycle its container and/or toss it. I’m giving you these steps as examples — debt and finances, marriage, health — because I once took these exact same steps myself. After college, in the thick of depression, I gained 50lbs in 6 months. It was a long road to learn to fill my soul and body with what it really needed. And it didn’t happen overnight or without struggle or failure or buckets of tears. But, little by little by little, it did happen. I eventually became a personal trainer to try to help others learn to do the same. I trained hundreds of men and women and learned more about fear and self-doubt than I ever anticipated. I am so grateful for my journey and how it has translated into the work I do now.
So, what is your “radical”? Define it. Write it in black and white and let it marinate in your big beautiful heart. And then DO something about it. Something very small. Sometimes — most of the time — the hardest part is starting. The rest of the pieces can come later. Define your radical now. Share it here and let’s support and pray for each other. I will share mine tomorrow, too.
Step 12: OK, 10 and 11 were admittedly challenging, though likely the most fruitful. So, here’s an easy one. Choose a song for this year! A song that lights your heart on fire and makes you feel alive and connected to what you want most. Music has the ability to connect us to what matters most in an instant. Music can lift us out of a slump fast. Music can fill our should with goodness on days that nothing else seems to get to our hearts. This is most definitely my song for this year. Share your song for 2014 here in the comments, too!
Remember, if you need an extra kick in the pants to make this happen, I’m going to be giving away a $20 gift code to my shop (there are some crazy amazing new Making Things Happen and inspiring goodies coming to the shop soon!) and goodies from other shops I love on EVERY POST in this series to one lucky commenter per post.
PRIZES FOR THIS POST: Read Part 1 for all the ways you can win! Randomly chosen commenters on this post will get either a $20 gift card to my shop or one of these new Life Handbooks. YAY!
Yeah!!! Happy NEW Year!!!
Happy 2014!! Another amazing, inspiring post, Lara! I wrote my vision statement yesterday morning and just posted it on my blog this morning. I loved having a vision statement last year, and I’m looking forward to keeping this year’s at the heart of all I do and plan and dream.
I also chose a song yesterday (so I was super excited to see that listed as a step in your post today!!): Here’s my song for the year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14c_sCyQ2Lo
I especially love the lyrics: “And everything is possible now. For God is here. And God is good.” Love that this song incorporates my 2014 One Little Word: POSSIBLE. 🙂
Here’s 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 vulnerably, 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.
Thanks for the encouragement to think of what radical thing I will do this. I need to think and pray on that a bit.
Wishing everyone a blessed first day of the NEW YEAR. 🙂
I love your visionKatie! I just clicked on your blog after reading it and your colors are so cheerful! I read some of your recent posts and I am definitely adding you to my blog list, you speak encouraging words! 🙂
Your vision is lovely, Katie! I adore how you say “I will…” The intention and commitments you’re making are admirable and inspiring! Blessings to you in 2014!
Aw, thank you Kyla and Hannah! What a blessing to stop by Lara’s blog this morning to read others’ goals and see these comments! Can’t wait to read both of your vision statements and goals! 🙂
Happy New Year Lara! Thank you for sharing your heart with us even on your vacation. I really needed to hear that beautiful part about resting in God and asking for his strength to carry us through life’s busiest times. Also, your mom’s gift sounds incredible. Handmade gifts are my favorite. Which brings me to the Life Handbook (!!!)- such a wonderful idea. My grandmother gifted me a book on my 18th birthday that she had started filling out in 1992 when I was born. It was full of lessons and memories and things that she wanted to leave behind as a legacy for me to cherish always. There is such value in gifts like that.
After reading your post, I want to share that my radical is going to be to move forward with surgery on my back, at least taking the next steps towards it. The surgeon recommended it, as it will restore my range of motion and allow me to start living my life again, rather than being on modified bed rest and being limited in what I can do. I have spent a lot of time in prayer lately, and I feel that it is time because I am not seeing results with PT and such, and it has been exhausting to do the same things over and over and expect different results. I will be walking into my biggest fear by doing it, but I know that it will help me to live the fullest life possible again when I am able to walk and sit and serve and LIVE without pain anymore. My first action step will be prayer for clarity and discernment on taking the first steps towards making that happen, such as when to make the appointment and who to seek for a second opinion. I will be using this time to rest in God’s presence now more than ever and to trust that He has a beautiful plan laid before me on the other side of this.
I have not yet found my song yet for the year but I am excited to find one that makes my heart sing! I will be praying for you over the next few weeks as you finish your book and focus on what matters. Happy New Year! 🙂
I’m going to be praying for you Kyla! Prayers for a healed and healthy back!
Thank you so much Megan! 🙂
Praying for you this morning, Kyla! Praying for clarity, discernment, courage, and complete healing. May you rest in Him, as He guides you through this journey to healing!
You were right 🙂 I really loved this post, especially in relation to the legacy, my word of 2014.
Radical goals is all that I need, because I got tired of playing not to lose instead of playing to win. I’m praying a lot to not fail this year for not giving my best.
Oh, I forgot! The song for 2014 is “Joy to the World” by Citizens.
My song for 2014 is from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, ‘Happy’. If you’re not in a better mood by the end of it you may need to leave it on repeat till the feeling sinks in.
Oh my gosh! I was just thinking of a different song, but YES. This should be on everyone’s playlist this year!!
Thank you for giving me so much to think about. Great, great things. Thank you and praise the Lord.
My seeds to plant for Step 10 are encouragement notes. I am committing to send a postcard of encouragement once a month to several friends working in ministry internationally . I am going to make this happen by buying each friend’s 12 cards for the year, and pre-addressing them!
I love this Emily! I set a goal of sending a piece of ‘happy mail’ to someone every week of 2014 so I had a crafty afternoon on Saturday and made a bunch of cards so that I can be prepared as well! It’s so fun to spread the love, especially when loved ones are far away.
Emily, I love that idea! I might do something similar. Notes of encouragement are such a blessing to people. I definitely want to do more of that in 2014. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂
I chose two songs for this year- one is “Oceans” and the other is Captured by the Digital Age (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG9K0lUDwI0).
My word for 2014 is “SEEK.” And my word for this year is “Oh How I Need You” by All Sons and Daughters. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ZpcJzGBpE
The lyrics fit my word and vision perfectly:
Lord I find You in the morning
Lord I seek You everyday
Let my life be for Your glory
Woven in your threads of grace
I need You
Oh how I need You
Oh how I need You
Oh how I need You
Happy New Year! 🙂
I LOVE All Sons & Daughters. 🙂 One of their songs was my song for 2013! Happy New Year, Hannah!!
I so happy and excited to be able to share my vision after much effort to get it clear and focused for this year. Following suit with my word for 2014 (SEEK), my vision for 2014 is that…
I will SEEK God – His love, grace, truth, and kingdom – first and foremost, in all things. I want to be so full of God that all that I think, say, and do are a result of the outpouring of His Spirit in me. I will SEEK love – in my marriage, family relationships, friendships, and in my community. My heart’s desire is to pour myself into the people and places God has put in my life, serving and cherishing them to the best extent possible. I will SEEK health – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I commit to balancing activity with rest, and honoring the mind-body-spirit connection within me. I will SEEK inspiration and influence – immersing myself in the those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable to empower my gifts and talents in order to help others and myself live our best lives now. I dare to be brave and step outside of my comfort zone to reach new heights with my passions and creativity. I will SEEK adventures – traveling, exploring, and trying new things to keep me awake to life and the big wide world around me. I will SEEK the ‘good life’ in everything that I do – keeping perspective, believing in myself, dreaming big, praying wildly, practicing simplicity, and embracing the beauty and grace that surrounds me every day. My vision for 2014 is to become a woman after God’s own heart who falls in love with life every day and inspires others to do the same.
My radical this year is going to be writing about writing. I’ve never done this, out of fear of judgement, failure, and a million other things. But last year I wrote a book – I put a lot of other things aside because I felt like I had a story to tell and I told it – and then I sent it off with very realistic expectations, which were blown wide open when the literary agent of. my. dreams. requested the full manuscript. It was huge for me but I kept it quiet. I barely told anyone, even friends and family members. I was terrified to write about it on my blog. But it feels bad to keep any part of yourself smothered that way, especially when there is accomplishment in it, and I want to use my little space and experience to encourage others not to feel the way I did when I wanted to shout and instead chose to whisper. Nothing is signed or official and there are several other agents looking at it as well – all of whom could potentially say “Thanks but no thanks” – so it’s scary for me to put it out there right now. But this year I’m trying to discard the worry of other peoples’ perceptions and just say what I have to say because there’s no telling who I could help or encourage along the way. Playing small doesn’t serve the world, after all.
My song for the year is “Stars On Your Way” by Brock Tyler. The lyrics, “You’ll find your way once you’re lost in the night” get me every time. 🙂
YESSSSSSS!!! This makes me so excited Jenny!!!! AHHH!!
I love your word and I can’t wait to begin these steps to an amazing year for me! Thank you for all this wisdom and encouragement
One song? I can’t do it! LOL! I love it though! Last year after my marriage almost fell apart and then began to strengthen I started a playlist that I added to all year. It contains songs that reminded me of my husband, our love, and the progress we were making. It contains the song Stubborn Love by the Lumineers… a sweet, soulful song. It’s a little bittersweet, reminding me of how sad things can be but also hopeful and encouraging, showing us where we are going (thanks to healing that we have only found through Christ.) ♥
Thank you for another excellent goal-setting post… this post, in particular, really speaks to my heart. I haven’t yet found a song for 2014, but each year, I choose a particular Bible verse to focus on as my ‘theme’ for the year. Last year it was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, and this year, I decided that it will be John 3:30… “He must become greater; I must become less.” What a constant, wonderful reminder to think about & meditate on throughout the upcoming year + making what matters most happen! Thanks for your encouraging words, too.
My words for this year are still being praying about…I’m thinking something like “persistent” or “unstoppable” because I am NOT giving up this year!
My song(s) for this year are “Arms wide open” by Creed (oldie but a goodie!) And “Set the World on Fire” by Britt Nicole (prob also throwing her song ‘Breakthrough” in there too for a great playlist that will be on REPEAT!!)
Love you SO much Lara! 2014 really will be set on fire!
Lara…you truly SHINE with his love . Thank YOU for making time in your schedule to share your wisdom, His truth and inspiration.
After a long time once thinking and praying I am focusing my goals on Proverbs 31 woman with a heaping portion of grace! God been teaching me MUCH about what the abundant life looks like…like you said its not a permanent vacation or sitting on a beach with ad aquarium in hand. Those things are wonderful and bring SUCH joy…but I have been learning the abundant life is serving, loving and growing in faith and action.
I was driving into town with my sissie today (to get much needed chocolate milk) and 10,000 reasons came on. I started to tear up because there are SO many reasons we can give him the glory. I was honestly discouraged last night on what DIDNT go right in 2013 and this song was the kick I needed. He is good…so good. Love you!!!
I have two radicals this year: I want to apply for a PhD program in Educational Policy (and get accepted, of course!) and I want this year to be my healthiest and fittest year yet. The PhD is definitely the thing that scares me. I never thought it’d be something that I’d want to pursue (and I made this clear to friends ALL the time while I worked on my Masters), but I’m at a point in my life where I think it’s the step I need to take. It will be a huge leap of faith, but I’m ready.
As for getting fit, it’s not quite as scary to me as the PhD, but it’s something I’ve struggled with for the past year and it’s time to take action. I’ve gained about 30 pounds since I graduated last December and entered the professional world, and I don’t feel good about the road I’m leading myself down right now at. all. My mom recently lost about 50 pounds and she is my inspiration. I know I can do it, too!
My song for 2014 is also Oceans! “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” could definitely be part of my vision statement. I want to boldly follow where he leads me this year.
I’m so thankful for these Goal Setting posts, Lara — you are helping so many of us prepare for an AMAZING 2014!
I ordered your Life Handbook for my grandchildren. I may order a second for my college aged son to have for his some day children. There is no guarantee that I will be around for them. Another thing I am going to do ( and I hope along with their other grandmother) I am going to purchase a Bible and throughout the year I will use it as I study. I will write notes and prayers to and for the children and underline those passages that mean so much to me and then hopefully at the half year mark trade with their other grandmother and do the same for the other childs Bible. It may not mean a lot to them now but what I wouldn’t give to have that from my own dear grandmother.
Legacy is actually on my list of goals for this year ( turning 61 made me want to put family history and traditions in a secure form and not just in my head)
Yeah, today was hard. I threw out my candy stash (but not without eating the last Ferrero Rocher… you said small step, right?). I have a million excuses for being overweight…genetics, thyroid, 3 kids…but the truth of what getting that weight would do for me and my family haunts me every single day. I can’t think of much it wouldn’t change.
So that’s my radical thing. Deep breath.
I am loving this goal setting series again this year. I shared the post on Facebook for my friends to get in on the action too! I found this post very challenging. I don’t feel in any position to be leaving legacies. But here are my short lists for today:
Step Ten: Plant Seeds + Create Legacy
Love letters to others, starting traditions in my little family
Step Eleven: What is your “RADICAL?”
My “radical” is learning how to open my heart to others. My first step is to read “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.
Tonight my husband Jordan and I will have our annual New Year’s Day dinner date when we talk about our vision for the year and how we can better use our efforts, time, and resources to glorify the Lord. It’s easy to look back on 2013 and immediately begin to dwell on my failures (like you mentioned in one of your previous posts), but your challenges in these posts have inspired me to take the lessons learned from those mistakes and shortcomings, not the guilt. Thank you so much for that!
I’ve gone through all of your 2014 goal setting posts today, so I’m still processing quite a bit. The word (two words, actually) that keep popping into my head for the year are ALL IN. To truly follow Jesus I have to be all in! He must increase, I must decrease. This reminds me of your presentation at the Influence Conference that continues to stick with me – not to follow your dreams, but to follow HIM.
I’ve been excited about your upcoming book ever since I heard you speak and met you at the conference. You better believe I’ll order it as soon as it’s available! 🙂 Praying for you as you write. I truly appreciate your time and wisdom in these posts. Thank you, Lara! God is using you big time!
Ooh…and my song: Take My Life — Chris Tomlin version. “Take my moments and my days…let them flow in ceaseless praise.”
Very Inspiring!! I love the way you put thoughts in words and inspire ans aspire us to execute them in real. Thank you!
My word for this year is STRENGTH. I need Strength… strength to say NO, Strength to say YES, Strength to stay Focus! Strength to face my fears… Strength to be courageous!
My seed to plant for this year is to set an example of healthy eating and exercising, to pass on the importance of good health to my kid. I plan to do this consciously by having a planned menu and streamlined grocery list.
My choice of song is in my native mother tongue. A very inspiring folk song. It makes me feel happy. The song goes something like “God is nearby, watching on us and guiding us…we might not know…but he is there”
I genuinely believe God planned all this. Stumbling upon powerful blogs and articles by Laracasey… Whitney English, Emily ley and many more…. Its a sign. Good Things are gona happen soon…. 🙂
10. Plant Seeds + Create Legacy
Love notes to Erick (my boyfriend). I like the email account idea. Get more involved with children’s ministry at church. Start a blog.
11. Define your “RADICAL”
Running that 5K and staying consistent with health and fitness goals. Practice being still, contentment and patience. Read more and learn a new craft (crocheting). Get rid of junk that doesn’t glorify God.
12. Sing Loud!
“Alive” by Hillsong Young and Free &”Oceans” by Hillsong. “Alive” is so upbeat and reminds me of the goodness of God while Oceans encourages me to have faith and press forward. I couldn’t pick just one :).
My #11: make my debut as a professional dance instructor, performer, and choreographer. I can’t even articulate how difficult it is to write that. I’m terrified.
And in response to the butterflies in my stomach right now, my song is James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing”… the lyrics say, “Get up off of that thing, dance and you’ll feel better…” It has been a theme song for my life for many years 🙂
The legacy I will leave is sharing the joy of dance with others. I want others to experience what I have through dance.
Go get it, Jessi!!! You’ve got this! And way to go being brave and sharing your radical!
( Pinned this post: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/115475177919855526/ )
What if we have multiple radicals? I feel like there’s so much I want to accomplish this year: finally figuring out what’s going on with my health ( crazy stomach problems need to end ), be strong as I send my boyfriend off to officially join the Navy, and challenge myself to be healthier. Maybe I should find common ground among those and make THAT my radical!
Love these posts, Lara. They’re truly thought provoking!
I have been following you for years. The design and branding you have done for yourself is remarkable. You are inspiring women beyond the southern demographic that you initially aimed. I love the way you are challenging women and MEN to put their intentions down on paper and be accountable for their own future. What is most inspiring is that you live by the principals that you are selling. Congrats on all of your successes!
Thank you, that is very kind!
My song will be “Stay and Wait” Hillsong United
“I will stay should the world by me fold
Lift up Your name as the darkness falls
I will wait and hold fast to Your word
Heart on Your heart and my eyes on You”
My radical for this year is to build a stronger marriage! I’ve been married for a little over 2.5 years and although God has blessed us with an amazing friendship, I want to take it even deeper. While dating we prayed and memorized scriptures consistently and somehow in the hectic-ness of life and marriage, this has been neglected. Instead of waiting for my husband to initiate (an excuse!) I want to express these desires and initiate prayer time, leave him notes with scriptures and tell him why I respect him. We went through pre-marriage counseling but that was the last time we really invested in time with another couple on a consistent basis to LEARN and I want to change that this year too! I want to be ok with saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing or how to be a great wife” and get help from a couple in our church. I want our marriage to THRIVE and not just exist. I love your emphasis on the little steps that achieve the bigger goal.
Ah I could get teary thinking about legacies…but I am grateful God put this on your heart to share! My dad passed away when I was young (it will the 20 year anniversary on January 12th…pray for me 🙂 and I am in awe of his resounding legacy in my life and through people he knew and cared for. For the 10 year anniversary of his passing my mom made me a beautiful scrapbook of pictures and letters from his closest friends. Since I was only 5 when he died there was SO much I didn’t know about him, but because he invested in deep, purposeful and Christ-centered relationships, I was able to get to know him so much better through those people and their kind words. I love this quote by Nelson Henderson “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” You never know how your vision and goals will change someone else’s purpose or life , but it’s SO WORTH IT!
Here’s my “dance like no one’s watching” song – Happy by C2C – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvY7Nw1i6Kw
Happy New Year!
I pinned! Having a no social media month 🙂 You have gotten me so excited and motivated about 2014! I have prayed and wrote and prayed some more! My legacy is defiantly photos! I love photos, and i get that from my grandmother (bless her heart, she was horrible at taking them, a head was ALWAYS missing, but that didn’t keep her from keeping kodak in business!). I want to get caught up on all my photo books so that we can sit as a family and relive the memories – good bad and messy. This has also fueled my dream to start my own lifestyle photography business, to share with others how beautiful our lives are.
Good for you on doing no social media – that is awesome!
Happy New Year!!
Leaving a Legacy:
– Re-committing to sharing my knowledge this year.
Creating lasting, quality tools at work, for friends, and even strangers to guide them through tough technology concepts.
Send friendly e-mails to friends and colleagues when I come across a helpful tool.
Be open to receiving questions via e-mail and archive the responses. The time spent helping this person can likely help others.
– Find an opportunity to volunteer, whether it be one time, once every couple of months or regularly. Look for organizations that could benefit from my strengths.
– Encourage and compliment daily. It is so easy to complain or discourage, this stuff takes time, but makes a lasting difference.
– Making less wasteful purchases
First step: Looking over Mint.com and inspecting & accepting what’s been spent and where. That can’t be changed, but new habits CAN be started. I work hard to earn a paycheck and that money should work just as hard to create a wonderful and comfortable life for our family.
– Transforming our family’s health
First step: Signing up and committing to the Love Your Body Challenge over at Tone It Up. I love that this isn’t just about be fitting, but truly loving your body and boosting self-confidence.
– Mastering and maintaining my skill set
First step: Committing to taking Spanish this next semester, accepting that taking just one class is okay and awesome! I can always take a math class in the future. This is about making progress.
“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
I love this song! Always make me feel happy and a great reminder to live each day to its fullest!
Here’s my blog post! (and I pinned! ) https://www.theelectrictypewriter.com/2014/01/making-things-happen-part-4.html
– Inspire others (especially for happy marriages) through my Marital Glue blog.
– Inspire others through my photgraphy blog (and business in general)
– Send letters randomly to the people I love since I express myself much letter through writing
– Send birthday cards
– My husband and I are doing a year of dates. We each created six (twelve total – one for each month) and we haven’t told each other what they are. We will be really working on our marriage to make it even stronger this year!
– Write letters to our unborn child when I become pregnant.
– Photographing love and sharing it
– Being open with others about my experiences
I’ve had a very strong pull to do something to help women stay at home with their kids. It’s something I feel very passionately about. I’m not a mom yet, but I have been working to make this dream come true for myself. It makes me very sad that so many women must work (or feel that they must) outside the home when they really desire to be home more with their kids. I don’t have any clue what I am to do with this passion, but I want to explore it more this year and hopefully have a solution for what I can do to help women achieve this dream.
My song is “Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe. I want so badly to give myself completely to the Lord, and this song is about just that. It move me to tears every time I listen to it! I adore Kari Jobe!
My ‘radical’ is launching my own design/creative studio and shop!
This spoke RIGHT to my heart! So much I already blogged about my song last weekend…In Christ Alone….
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
…if I can only live those lyrics in EVERY day! WOW. What an incredible Lord.
Legacy. Also on my heart. My gram always said there’s only one thing we can make on earth that will last for eternity…a life. As my husband & I think about having a family, I pray fully seek him & what a legacy I will leave.
I love ALL this so much…Thank you for sharing & allowing others (ME) to identify with! I love that our God gives us encouragement in sisters we’ve never met!
I love that song so much too – and your heart!
As always, great post, Lara! My song for 2014 is ‘Go Do’ by Jonsi.
Can’t even begin to tell you how enlightening this has been. Sharing with my twitter friends too!
Oh my gosh these posts are challenging and I’m loving it. It’s really making me dig deep this week. My song for 2014 is I am Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave. Without fail this song helps pick me up and dust me off when I’m not feeling “good enough.”
My word for the year is “Intentional.” Still praying about my song!
First off, THANK YOU. This series is just what I needed. Truly, it feels like an answered prayer. Secondly, I have A LOT to think about, but for now, this is what I have come up with.
Planting Seeds and Leaving a Legacy:
1. Capturing God’s Beauty through photography.
2. Organizing those moments so that I can share them with others.
3. Loving well–not being distracted!
4. Living a life that demonstrates my trust in Him.
5. Encouragement letters for my little girl (born this february!)
Doing Something Radical:
1. Praying for direction. For a clear vision on which way He wants me to walk.
2. Researching photography tips, natural photography, etc.
3. Possibly emailing (if I feel led to after prayer) to email a few people to have my photography displayed.
“Home” by Phillip Phillips
**And I “turn” it into a worship song.
“Hold on to me as we go”: Holding on to Him…trusting His path for me! And not listening to the “demons” or negative thoughts in my head!!!
Thank you Lara!! For all that you give!!
Planting Seeds and Leaving a Legacy:
1. Creating timeless photos for my clients AND myself
2. Sharing strength with the world – and how we all have ENORMOUS amounts of it deep in our soul
3. Start filling in your Handbook for Life
4. Study the bible so that I can share my faith with my future children
5. Continue to write letters for More Love Letters
1. Write a book EKKKK that is SO scary to put out there! I want to fill others with inspiration and comfort in the fact that we ALL struggle but it’s possible to get back up again!
This one I’m still thinking about!
So there with you Gina on the EKKKKKK
My vision: This year I will be gracious. I will be kind and teach my children kindness and gratefulness. I will pay off debt and then pay off more debt! We will be debt free this year. There will be no more being a slave to money. It’s time to spend and give wisely. I will consider the future and my goals when making decisions. I will finish projects I start. Even when it gets hard or boring. When I feel bored or resistance to not following through with something, I will say a prayer and push forward to completion. No more unfinished business. Little by little I will work toward finishing BIG things. Fear has held me back, but that is not serving me, my family or my business well at all. It’s time to go and do. This year I will plant seeds!!! I keep hearing/reading about seeds- it’s time to plant good seeds. I will take more time to encourage others. I really enjoyed writing and sending cards to friends and family last year. I will be doing more of that this year. I love what Lara said about, “God doesn’t tell us to seek pleasure or a life where we just coast.” That was really, really eye opening to me. I go through those seasons often- where I am just lost and overwhelmed and don’t know where to go. I just pray for a break or to “coast”, that’s not what the Lord wants for me. Praying for his deeper rest and peace this year-knowing that I am doing the right things and trusting in His plans for my life.
~ Love Parties are my radical. I threw a couple of love parities last year and it was amazing. Amazing. It’s what I want to do with my business and how I want to spread goodness to others. Showing them how beautiful and loved they are. How appreciated they are by the ones around them and photograph that. It was the huge breakthrough God gave me last fall and I was soooo incredibly excited about it. i still am, but now it’s follow through. These parties could be so great! I just have to do it. I’m scared about how/when to start this big project with my business.
Song: Yikes. I am so motivated and touched by music, but choosing one song overwhelms me. I will be thinking about this! I have really enjoyed reading and listening to everyone’s song choices. Maybe I should take them all and make a play list of 2014!
I really love reading everyone’s comments and praying for new friends!
I’ve been pinning and FB posting and posting on IG!
If we are being totally and completely open and honest here I feel a bit lost. I have great goals and a beautiful vision of not only 2014, but my life. I know my main focus is on being a happily married, healthy and strong, intentional mommy… but as I pray more about my business and the ways God wants me to meet financial needs. I feel so up in the air that I am not sure how to move forward or plan in any way. The things on my heart are getting harder to express. My husband is in a place I found my own self in not long ago. With much impact by the world, he has trouble with the idea of prayer, the Bible or that there even is a God sometimes. His distance is making it hard for me to tell him the things on my heart. The struggle I am feeling of recognizing my gifts, the back and forth of fire and ice about my business. I’m scared to just jump all in and tell him where I stand for fear of scaring him away. I know it is going to be a day by day process of maybe not saying so much, but leading him through my actions. I am very prayerful for my husband and for the ways God wants me to use my gifts for Him.
I missed sharing on this post so this comes a little later but I know that is ok 🙂
Seeds: I want to plant seeds of Faith, Love, Comfort, and Inspiration. You know that feeling when you leave lunch or coffee with someone and you feel great? You love yourself more, you love the world more, and you just want to sing out loud? That is usually because someone planted a seed in you – and that is how I strive to leave everyone I meet.
Radical – Launch and share my business. Launching is a BIG step right now but a baby step in the next 10 years so I want that to be my Radical. Just start – with what I have, and where I am at!
Song – Never Gone by Colton Dixon just lights my heart up every time I hear it. And when days are rough, I turn to this song. Also, Southern Girl by Tim McGraw. It makes me happy and smile every time I hear it. My hand reaches for the volume dial wherever I am at and I smile.
These steps are so big. So much thought has to go in to the answers and I don’t usually take the time to actually think things like this through. Lara thank you for asking the tough questions, the ones that truly matter.
I need to remember that finished is better than perfect.
My song is “Ready or Not” by Britt Nicole
My RADICAL is putting away my cell phone and being PRESENT! My song – STRONG ENOUGH by Matthew West.
Shared on FB & on pinterest.
My radical is taking control of my health and finally shedding those college pounds and keeping them off! That is so scary to write becuase I have tried so many times and always fall off the wagon and gain most of it back. This is the year that doesn’t happen!
also pinned this!
My radical: Embracing myself and pursuing what’s in my heart. I want to expand my thinking and open myself to all the possibilities out there.
My song: Garth Brooks – How You Ever Gonna Know
“How you ever gonna know
What it’s like to be there
How you ever gonna know
If you’re the best
How you ever gonna know
What you believe in
If you don’t put it to the test
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold him
How you ever gonna know
What livin’ means
How you ever gonna know
If you never chase the dreams”
I am obsessed with laracasey.com and I’m so blessed to have found this site. I love reading post by Lara because each post is inspirational.
My radical for 2014 is to…Do whatever, or go wherever, God leads me for my career WITHOUT fear!
This entire 2014 series has been a blessing in my life and I am forever grateful. These series are keeping my eternal flame for accomplishing my goals alive . I can humbly admit that these post will assist me with becoming a better person to everyone that I encounter. My Radicals for 2014 are to: re-launch my business , create a website, and get debt-free. My song of 2014 is 10,000 Reason (Bless The Lord) Matt Redman’s version
Without even hesitating I knew exactly what my song would be for 2014… & I clicked your link to hear the very same song through my speakers. (: So excited for this journey of learning to trust without borders,
Yay for Oceans!
I’m saying NO to:
-negative thought life
-not taking personal time
Saying YES to:
-writing, journaling, documenting again
-putting myself on a higher priority list
-more prayer, being still, and quiet time
-dedicated Bible time and finishing the Bible in 2014
-hire someone to help with web and blog design
-start a veggie garden!
My vision is to be happy, truly joyful, healthy, loving, humble, God-centered, focused, and organized both mentally and physically.
So grateful for your honest answers and taking the time to help others with this! It makes a difference!
These last 24 hours have completely changed my year already! Thank you for your step by set process for my future!
My word for the year is “Purposeful.”
I couldn’t even tell you what I did with the last 365 days.. but the next 365 are going to be purposeful.
My song is “Song for the Suburbs” by Ben Rector.
“Maybe we’re still breathing but we’re all asleep.
Because I want to live until I die. Don’t let the devil bury me alive. Don’t let the suburbs kill my heart and soul. ”
I just can’t help but throw my arms up in the air and scream “I want to LIVE!”
Your efforts to write all of these posts have given me such clarity. Thank you. A million times over.
I want to wake up every day in 2014,asking myself this question: How can I multiply my value 100-fold today? I also want to learn how to be 0% offended by what people say/don’t say or do/don’t do to me & lastly, speak the truth to myself & others.
My word for 2014 is GIVE. I have so many blessings. And the small amount that we give to charity is not enough, by far not enough. I gave a lot more to charity this Christmas than usual and nothing in my life changed. I didn’t even notice the difference in my bank account. This tells me I have a lot more to give. And not just money, but my time. And to my friends and family as well. I spend too much time working. I see it in my friends and family’s faces when I take time off to spend with them how much it means.
My Radical: Start my own business, not just dream about it!
My Radical: This was so hard for me! I want to plants seeds of encouragement. I love missions and hope to create a legacy of local and global missions –> we love because he loved us first. My husband and I created a “Heiling Tree” that represents what our family stands for. We hope our kids find their roots in that! I want to write a handwritten book of love letters to our kids. I want a radical marriage. Our kids to know it was full of life and uplifting. I want to continue traditions we have (Christmas fondue, Christmas pj’s, family movie nights… these run 3 generations deep already). my 2014 Go to Song is “He is All We Need” by Highlands Worship.
These last two days have lighted a fire in me. Thank you, Lara, for sharing your passion and inspiration so openly. It has made me not hide my weaknesses because I know other people might need to hear my story.
I am saying NO to:
– Media. This year we did a better job with this, but focusing social media when I am with my family and friends this year. It does not bring extra joy to my life therefore I am limiting it.
– procrastinating on the BIG items. well, procrastinating in general really.
I am saying YES to:
– Waking up with God (devotion, prayer)
– Sharing my faith more
– Planning ahead
– Meal planning. My family & I I are active, but we don’t do a great job of eating well. We don’t eat horrible, but I know we could do better for our health. I want to learn more about cleaner eating.
– Be Intentional
– Make time for yoga practice
– Log my miles
– Step outside of my comfort zone
– Things that benefit my family
– Write random notes. I do this, but want to do it more. Who doesn’t love a hand-written random note?!
– Start Sabbath Sunday traditions. Growing up, Sunday was my favorite day because we would go worship and then to my grandmothers for lunch where we would have great family time. While none of our family is in town to do that with us, I would love to establish a Sunday tradition tailored to my little family.
– Have another baby if it is in the Lord’s plan.
Step 10. Legacy.
Live the way I want my son to live. I have an email address for him & want to implement the love letters…great idea. I want to do this for my husband as well. He is such an amazing person and I need to show him. I will be ordering one of your Handbooks for Life for my little guy! We gave something similar to our Dad’s and they filled it out for Max. Such a blessing to have.
Step 11: My RADICAL is stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing with women who struggle with anxiety & depression. I have struggled with anxiety for a few years and have learned so much about myself and strongly walking with God has been a huge part of the process. Additionally, starting my own business (started in Dec & need to step out more!).
Step 12: Sing Loud
My song for 2014 is “The Words I Would Say” by The Sidewalk Prophets. This song is a blessing and says all of the things I know, but sometimes forget. When I do forget, I will play this song throughout 2014…and sing it loud! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t9u-LOa3OI
Step 12: My song is “He is With Us” by Love & Outcome. Being a new first time stay-at-home-mommy , without much support has been so hard on me this past year. I heard this song recently in my car , cranked up the radio, rolled down the windows and cried. God spoke right to my weary, torn, lonely heart… “We can trust our God, He knows what He’s doing. Though it might hurt now, we won’t be ruined. It might seem like an ocean in between, but He’s holding onto you and me. He is with us, always.”
I have been working on those steps and could not for the life of me think of a song. Then it hit me. The song I write. One of my 10 goals for my power sheets has been to write a song. I am so encouraged by so many songs on K-Love. Especially since Vivi’s birth. Matt Maher’s “Lord I Need You” was playing during my c-section and got me through it. I’ve been wanting to “expand my territory” like Jabez and a song seemed the perfect way to encourage so many people. I made a CD in college (shared with only a handful of people, because I’m shy and NOT a singer!) but haven’t touched my guitar barely at all sense! Even more inspired now that I NEED to write this song and now I know the direction to take. : )
Love this! That you are going to write your own song.
In 2013, I wrote a 30-day custom devotional for my brother, by sending him an email for 30 days over a course of 6 months. I led a weekly Calisthenics session for a couple months, while Sameh taught photography. We had the opportunity to facilitate a pre-marital series for co-workers who got engaged. These events proved to us that we love imparting to others over time. We love walking alongside people, and being a part of their journey.
This year, we are still considering what we can implement intentionally (feasibly in our schedule). For now I think of:
*Genuine, joyful smiles and hugs. (I have probably digressed, being in a foreign context, but I will sow more in 2014.)
*Curating an album over time of Sameh’s best photography – series to inspire, mobilize, or document. Packaging in the form of postcards, prints, and coffee table books. This will bless him and our future children.
*Spreading health & wellness to those who crave it.
*Calls to Mom & Dad with a blessing every week.
So, what is your “radical”? Define it:
Becoming un-offendable and pursuing the best for others whether it is comfortable for me or not. Showing respect and tenderness for my husband in all circumstances, even in the middle of a conflict. Gaining back my sunrises, winding down at sunsets, being flexible in the evenings – prepare and rest for the next day.
Song of 2014: Ascend by Bethel Music
We will ascend the hill of the Lord, and we will declare His holy word.
With clean hands and pure hearts, we will see God.
We fix our eyes, we give our lives. Our hope is in Heaven.
So let us run, we have overcome – now and forever.
From glory to glory, we will arise!
I just want to let you know that I am so blessed by your Goals for 2014 blog, I wish you knew how much! I have wanted to quit my job for about 2 years but don’t know where else to go, or what else I want to do. Anyway- my word and vision for 2014 is Joy- Joy in all circumstances. I figure if I can get that down first, the job situation will come eventually 🙂 Thank you so much. I have renewed joy! Thank you!!! I have also been downloading all the songs you all are posting and I am making a Goals for 2014 soundtrack for the “long” drive to work 🙂
My radical = to live a 4-Hour Work Week (a la Tim Ferris)
My song…Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
Luv the idea of choosing a song for the year I selected Celebrate The World from The Lorax movie the lyrics & music always uplift me!
Pinned this post!
Love the song Oceans as well! My radical involves putting together training for teachers in India and other countries, who are working with kids in slums, or who are undertrained or untrained. I want to use my skills, spiritual gifts and experience to be about building God’s kingdom, not my own. It will likely mean a trip to India, and it will definitely mean being out of my comfort zone. We will see where he leads! Trusting him to be my good shepherd and choosing him (by his power of course) to be chosen portion (psalm 16) each morning!
“If you read Proverbs 31, you see a woman who works hard for what matters, rising at dawn and using all she has for her family and others. And then she rests in Him. But, lately I’ve been falling into the trap of self-doubt during some of that rest time. My brain has been spinning a bit, thinking that I cannot write a great book or be a great mom or have as good of a year in business as last year. But. But! Then I remember the greatest lesson I learned from 2013: His plans are far bigger than mine. He is bigger than me and what I can do on my own. He is in control. My job is to simply trust and obey.”
This has encouraged my heart more than you could possibly know Lara. Thank you for writing your heart. One of my “radicals” is to become a momma this year and serve my family well.
As soon as I hit step 11 I had a mini excited dance/nervous in my stomach feeling. I’ve been debating going back to school to pursue an MBA for 3 years and continue to put it off. This year’s the year I make it happen.
I picked two songs for this year – one for my spiritual aspirations and one for my more professional aspirations. Be Thou My Vision, as sung by The Lower Lights and the other song is still to be determined.
My radical is being more transparent in my relationships. My first step is just to acknowledge the wonderful friendships God has blessed me with. I am going to write letters to each of my friends to acknowledge how much I appreciate them in my life.
I couldn’t choose just one song for 2014, but these two songs immediately popped in my mind. “Help Me Find It” by Sidewalk Prophets. I love the lyrics “I will trust in you, You have never failed before, I will trust in you”. And the second song is “Overcomer” by Mandisa. Overcomer is one of those songs that instantly fires me up and convinces me to really trust in God and I can get through anything.
I had to think about what my radical for this year was going to be, but when it finally hit me, it hit me real good. Mine is school. Going back to finish my bachelor’s. While it may not really be new, it will be different, because I’m different. I’m new and improved and my previous failures won’t hold me down for my future. This time it’s different because I have a loving support system that is rooting for me all the way. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s the people that love me so unconditionally that are new and different.
LEGACY: My gift to Jesus this year that I put under the tree during our “Happy Birthday” Jesus party was to “Encourage Others.” I want to plant seeds of encouragement through cards/letters and also to be more diligent in praying for the needs of others. I also want to do this for my children.
I want to teach my children the importance of memorizing God’s word. My husband and I have felt very convicted that they need to be hiding His word in their hearts.
Also the project that comes to mind that I would love to pass down is a book of miracles. I want my kids to be able to look back on our faith journey and see the hand of God in their own lives. The Bible is a personal account of how Jesus impacted the lives of those writing it. I would like to have a written book of our miracles and faith journey.
RADICAL: This step just makes me laugh out loud. I am not sure how much more radical I can get without losing my sanity. Adoption, Africa, leaving our ministry/church home of 8 years to pursue God’s leading… All of that is so bigger than me and I am not sure I have quite adjusted to this new radical I am living. What would be more radical? The thought scares me?!
I would like to get more serious about my writing. I enjoy it. I would like to write a book. I would like to continue to expand my blog. I feel my first step to doing this is I have done which was starting a blog/writer’s group on facebook called Influence.
Love this – “His plans are far bigger than mine. He is bigger than me and what I can do on my own. He is in control. My job is to simply trust and obey.”
You should make that into a printable. Thanks for your posts….you are very inspiring! 🙂
My song for 2014 is “Letting Go,” off of Bethel’s “Tides,” album!
Planting seeds and creating a legacy:
1. Keeping the dinner table meals and conversations with my husband. We both work a lot and those are precious times when we disconnect from the world and problems and can talk things out, enjoy the food and drink, laugh at our own ups and downs during the day.
2. Keeping my records: photos, phrases, movies I love, music I enjoy, cards, letters.
3. Writing a diary or finally thinking about the novel I wish to write, put the ideas down on paper and work on them.
Definitely learn how to say NO, ignore the negative and stop being indulgent.
My song for 2014
Oh, this is a difficult one! I like several things in different moments of my life, but if I had to choose only one it would be “We Are Young” by Keane. I love the possibilities it makes me feel. We are never too old to do our Radicals for example.
Have a great week!
I am really loving this goal setting series. It took me a while to find a song that fit the way I want to feel this year, but I think I found the perfect one. My theme song for this year is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.
This year, my radical is learning to become content with my business path, and secure in knowing it will result in a brand I’m truly proud of.
This is probably a little silly, but it is my song & not anyone else’s so my song for 2014 is Drops of Jupiter…You know? That song by Train. It happened to come on this morning while I was making breakfast. I spent the morning considering what I wanted my goals to be for the year & how I was grateful to be developing a relationship with Christ after not giving it any effort in the recent years past. I prayed for his to help guide me and the part “Did you miss me while looking for yourself out there” came on, I felt like it was one of those moments where God just wanted me to know that he watched me struggle those years and I was meant to be building my relationship with him at this exact time. All I needed was him to begin to understand who I really am.
The song also includes the lyrics such as “Reminds me that there’s a time to change” and “Heaven is overrated.” Reminds me that it is my time to be here and present on earth, to fulfill whatever my mission here is. That heaven isn’t right for me yet & some day the wind will sweep me off my feet, I’ll dance along the light of day, & head back.
I did a Yes and No post on my blog! https://gratefulwithtwo.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-yes-and-no-for-2014.html
I am so excited to make things happen in 2014!!
That’s my song too! This is the part that really has my heart’s attention right now, and I’m proclaiming it/ making it my prayer:
And I will call upon Your name
and keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise
my soul will rest in Your embrace
for I am Yours and You are mine
I finally had some time set aside to work on this today and I feel refreshed and excited. Thank you for sharing your tips and your heart. xoxo
My radical for 2014:
Show my girls they are important to me and to God.
Show my hubs he is important to me.
Blog my heart. And that my heart would be His heart.
Take care of myself (eating right and exercising)
Starting a handmade shop and giving the profits.
On planting seeds and creating legacy:
Showing my girls that they are worth far more than rubies. Let my girls see me doing what I love. Reading and writing to them. Letting them express their creativity and creating traditions with them. Teaching them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to believe with them that He has an amazing plan for their lives. Teaching them to trust God and to choose joy:)
My seeds to plant will be simple ones- smiles, thinking the best of people, believing for good things, having fun!, caring, giving, and praying.
I had never heard of the song Oceans by Hillsong until I read your blog and ever since it has been on repeat in my head, on my iphone, on my computer. Thanks, I love it. My song for 2014 is Lifeline by Hillsong:
Over the horizon
Is where I look beyond
You’re the silver lining
Breaking through the storm
Jesus You’re all I want
You’re all I want
Thank you for sharing your heart and being so open!
These steps packed a punch! Took me a while to complete, but thankful for quiet time this morning to pray and plan and plumb my heart.
Though it’s not what I originally intended, my word for this year is “Whole” and sums up the other few words I had originally thought would be my pick. I want to live from a place of wholeness, where Christ has pieced together my brokenness and broken past. I want to be healthy spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I want to know healing in those deep, still-hurting places and have a deep understanding and confidence that I AM LOVED and chosen and set apart for God’s purposes. I want to walk confidently in faith, trusting God and His Spirit within me, leading me and fulfilling the purposes to which He has called me.
Sounds funny, but my “radical,” what came immediately to my mind and heart is to write. So much fear has prevented me from making this a priority, but God has called me to write. In this season, taking the time (and overcoming the barriers) seems impossible, but where He has called, He will empower and equip.
My other radical is taking a family vacation and intentionally making family memories. We live on a small budget and haven’t been able to afford vacation, especially with a growing family, but I have been convicted that this “extra” needs to become a priority, and I will trust Him to provide as we do our part and hide away pennies and coins and save toward a family vacation.
I am excited about this year and so very thankful for how the way you have walked us through really seeking out the deep desires God has planted within us. Thank YOU for being faithful, Lara. So blessed by YOUR obedience and praying for you as you labor over this book you have been called to write.
My song for this year is “All that Matters” by Addison Road. It’s kind of an oldie, but it always reminds me that what others say and how you look to them is not what matters! It only matters that His love has set us free.
Pinned this : )
Your posts are always just what I need to hear. Today reading “opening my heart to the possibility of another child” spoke to me. I’m not sure what your journey in life is but I’m feeling the pressure to have a second child, whether that is my internal made up pressure or outside . After doing everyone of your steps it dawned on me no where did i write down, have a baby, start trying, and it made me sad because I do want our sweet Emersyn to have a sibling BUT today I realize in 2014 I will pray to have my heart opened to the idea. & that is enough 🙂 Thank you!
My song is ” Overcomer” by Mandisa. This song always lifts my soul!
Love love love that song!!! Good choice 🙂
How fun to read through all these comments! I made a Spotify playlist with many of your songs and the one I’ve chosen for this year, Brave by Sara Bareilles. If that doesn’t pump ya up I don’t know what will!
I love this song, Abby! I haven’t really listened to the words until you mentioned it. I’m totally one of those people who just sings whatever I think it is saying and not really making sense of the lyrics. Haha!
My song this year is Lay Me Down by Chris Tomlin.
My song for this year is “The Words I Would Say” Sidewalk Prophets. I especially like: Come find peace in the Father
And the chorus goes like this:
Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got his hand on you so
don’t live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
Thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say.
I just ordered your Handbook for Life to have my parents, family, grandparents and future in-laws fill out for me and my fiancé to have as we begin married life together.
My radical is to start always reacting with love first. I am aiming to be more selfless and full of forgiveness and grace this year! So my first act will be to start practicing this on my future husband!
This makes me so happy and excited! Congrats to you and your fiancé! : )
My song for the year is Don’t Blink by Kenny Chesney. Every time I hear this song it really speaks to me and i think it is especially appropriate here as well:
I turned on the evening news
Saw a old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today
Asked him what’s the secret to life
He looked up from his old pipe
Laughed and said “All I can say is.”
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your better half
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink
I was glued to my TV and it looked like he looked at me and said
“Best start putting first things first.”
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can’t flip over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it’s worth
I’ve been tryna slow it down
I’ve been tryna take it in
In this here today gone tomorrow world we’re livin’ in
Now, don’t blink
In tears, and so thankful to God. The Lord will speak to you if you are willing to hear. Lara, you have no idea what God has done through you for me with these posts. All praises be to Him. His love … I can’t verbalize! So many things, my radical is NO MORE FEAR. Fear has paralyzed me for far too long. No more. My song for 2014 is clean this house by Isaac Carree https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hEluuTkn6U
Lara may God continue to bless your ministry!
My radical for 2014 is to strengthen our marriage. My husband and I just celebrated our two year anniversary and have grown so much since we were married. I know that we have so far to go to build the foundation God wants for our marriage. I want to read the bible with my husband. I want us to pray together. I want to trust God’s plan for our family and know that He is working through us for others. I know that God has big plans for us and we are just getting started.
My song for 2014 is Holy Spirit. I could listen to this and Oceans on repeat for hours. I feel God working in me when I sing this song out loud. “Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.”
I pinned (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/110901209548416285/) and tweeted (https://twitter.com/ShandyRenea/status/425285564057661440)
My radical is to become a healthy and fit weight and maintain it. It has always been a struggle, so I want to create a healthy lifestyle that enables me to better serve God and others!
I loved this part!!! It totally grooves with my intentions, everything I’ve been stuck not doing so well.
My Legacy needs to start with my Children. I need to be more aware of documenting life’s everyday moments. I am good at taking pictures, but I need to document their words, feelings and thoughts. I will work on documenting their lives. Which leads me to my Song…
My Song. Happy by Pharrell Williams…that’s all I want for my life. Last year, was a wonderful Blessed year, we had two weddings, a couple of baby showers, attended funerals for long loved lives…but in all of that I had moments of being anxious and feeling overly busy. I need to remember to make the most of each moment and soak in the Happy.
My Radical is to go against the grain, and when I hear not so positive things I will turn them around and bring out the positive, encouraging in everyone. I struggle with falling into people’s negative, and want to raise people up 🙂
Thank You, Lara!!! ( for allowing us this space and time)
My legacy: cooking with my kids. I want them to have the recipes, but also the memories and my time.
My radical is selling my house. Keeping it ready to show is going to be a huge challenge. I’m starting by just making the bed every day!
I want to start to plant seeds of celebrating life’s moment big and small – even if it’s a little note to a friend saying that I rooting for them
My song for this year is: No One Higher by Seth Condrey! This song fires me up every time I hear it!
I pinned this post! Hoping to come back here in the next week to answer these questions! I am LOVING WORKING THROUGH MY POWER SHEETS AND THIS BLOG SERIES! Ha! Didn’t mean to all caps that whole sentence! But I’ll leave it because I’m that excited about it! 😉
After listening to your webinar for the PowerSheets and working through them, I realized how much I am still driven by perfectionism. I want everything to be perfect, but it is SO freeing to just DO, to get started on something without everything having to be perfect and in place. I have come a long way in this area, but I realize it is something I am still struggling with. I love the freedom that comes when I realize that my vision in my head of myself (as this “perfect do-it-all” person) does not ultimately line up with my life vision. It is radical in some ways not to try to do it all! Rather, I want to be all for Jesus.
My legacy is definitely built into my relationship with my son, but also with my husband. I want our marriage to demonstrate to Ezra (our son) and any future kids a relationship of unconditional love and support. And I also am building a financial aspect into legacy, because I want to show responsibility and a healthy relationship with money.
My radical – just doing something and accomplishing what I set out to do. This is radical for me because I ALWAYS give up. I always think it’s too frightening to actually succeed so I throw in the towel so I don’t have to deal with anything. I’m going to change that this year!
And my song? Same as yours – Oceans by Hillsong. Oh my goodness when I heard this song it was right when we closed on the sale of our house in early January and I just needed it to be on at.all.times. A close second would be Resting Place by Misty Edwards.
Seeds to plant now: encourage others through snail mail, encourage others through phone calls, encourage others through regular blog posts, pray, continue to volunteer weekly at the USO, be open with others about my faith, dreams & past experiences, write more via my blog and journaling.
My radical: be healthy emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Action steps: stop eating out and don’t buy junk at the market, be honest in the moment with my emotions, sweat! yoga 2x/week and one other sweaty activity, study the Bible and BE WITH Jesus.
My song for 2014: “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. I love, love all of the lyrics. They are the cry of my heart right now. But I especially love “Bowing here I find my rest // Without you I fall apart // You’re the one who guides my heart” and “Where sin runs deep Your grace is more // Where grace is found is where You are // and where You are, Lord, I am free // Holiness is Christ in me”
love & blessings!
pinned to MTH in 2014 board: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/175288610470663638/
Listened to my 2014 song – Jesus, I am resting, resting – tonight while I rocked my little one to sleep and immediately thought of this post. 🙂 This year isn’t about me working for His love or approval or trying to “arrive” but it’s about resting in Him (Psalm 46:10)! I won’t share the whole song…
Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
O how great Thy loving kindness. Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.
Ever lift Thy face upon me, as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting; Fill me with Thy grace.
I pinned this post: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/172122016982817113/
I pinned this post!
The song that really sparked change in my heart is:
Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher.
However, I have to say I just listened to Oceans by Hillsong United and it is so, SO beautiful. Music is so impactful and always changes my mood instantaneously. So grateful for you and your beautiful heart. Always inspiring and full of pure love and honesty. My sincere “Thank You” will hardly ever be enough. So much love to you!
seeds to plant: I want to encourage others when they are feeling their weakest. it’s so easy to dislike who we are at the point but I truly believe that when we’re most likely to reflect the honesty of who Christ is since that’s who we have to lean in and depend on. It’s been true for me at least 🙂 Anyway, as a 22 year old I realize I have a lot of life to go so uncertainty and big decisions are to be made and instead of constantly worrying about my personal decisions I want to encourage young women who are experiencing the same overwhelmed moments.
My radical moment: actually walk into law school confident in my academic abilities. I CAN DO THIS.
My song: I will Exalt thee with Amanda Falk
Oooohhhh, as challenging as some of the other posts have been, this one was easy! Oceans is definitely the song I will choose. It challenges me to reach and trust and reminds me that He is enough during those times. Praying that I will continue to follow Him so that my faith is without borders and that I will trust Him to lead me into those places my heart would never go otherwise.
And radical, WoW, that has defined our family over the last few years. Quite unexpectedly, because I may be the last person in the world ANYONE expected to be radical. Over the past few years our family has traveled to Uganda multiple times, survived a harrowing adoption journey, and accepted the responsibility of fundraising and essentially running an orphanage for street kids in Kampala. I say this only to be in awe of a God who would take a reluctant heart and use it for His Glory.
Our radical for this year will be to trust Him to lead us in His ministry. We are starting a primary school at our current location, and pursuing buying land to start a holistic self-sustaining community for our kids. We hope to get all our kids sponsored so that we have the resources to meet their needs AND they know that there are people who care enough about them to help.
What we are learning is that our “do”ing is just telling our story over and over and over and over. And trusting God to convict hearts of those He wants to join us. It’s easy to be anxious and try to jump ahead, but sometimes the “do”ing is waiting and allowing God to move.
Thanks for these challenging and encouraging posts.
Gosh, Lara! It amazes me every time how your writing is spot on with what God is doing in my little life. You wrote, “my job is simply to trust and obey,” and God is continually putting that in front of me. It is God’s work, I just need to say “yes!” With my whole heart! Working for God is pretty much the most awesome job ever, working for the best boss with a mission starement I believe in my core, with an amazing salary and benefits that will never end. Lately, though, worry has overtaken me and I’ve been dealing with severe postpartum that enrages me. I have to take it a day at a time, which is hard . Plain hard. My word for this year is JOY. Each day I want to chose to seek joy in each moment. I know I will fail, but I take courage in a God who never fails. Keep it up, Lara! God is using you!