Apr 23, 2013

YOU ARE EXTRAORDINARY

, ,

I just had a great talk with Nicole after doing three client coaching sessions this morning. I wish I would have recorded our conversation. We talked about believing in the gifts we’ve been given and how easy it is to beleive the negativity in our heads… and how VITAL it is to own your good.

All three clients I spoke to this morning are truly brilliant. Yet, in some way, every single one had a different idea of their value than I did. This is the case with all of my clients and I know God has given me the gift of seeing through the trees for people. I see what’s there. I tend to see a LOT of possibility in people. My job is to be a mirror. To reflect back to my clients what is there underneath layers of doubt and uncertainty and insecurity: brilliance, untapped potential and that they are enough. They are capable. They are far more valuable than they see.

DEEPEST-FEAR-LARA-CASEY

So much clouds our vision. Life punches us in the gut sometimes (sometimes lots of times!) and the world says we aren’t enough and somewhere along the line, we start to believe everyone else. Well, friends, everyone else is wrong. You ARE enough. You ARE capable. You ARE filled to the brim with talents and a purpose. God wouldn’t have put you on this earth if you didn’t have a great purpose. Here is one of the many things God says about our purpose and how we are to love others and ourselves:

Of all the commandments, which is the most important?

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

– Mark 12:28-31

So, let’s break this down. First, love God. Next, love your neighbor as yourself. We tend to treat others how we treat ourselves, right? How we treat others really mirrors what’s going on in our souls. We project so many of our own feelings and problems and stresses onto others. It’s human. It’s natural. And yet, we have a choice. It all starts with filling your cup with what’s important so you can fill others, too. It starts with believing in yourself and literally stopping when you start thinking, “I’m not good enough.” Replace that thought with the truth. You ARE enough. You ARE capable. I’m going to say it a few more times here in hopes that it will start to sink in.

lara-casey-you-are-wonderful

For me, loving myself means loving God first and filling my heart with what is good, pure, lovely and true so that what pours out of my own heart will come from a river that never runs dry. Oh, y’all. I have been on the opposite end of this for pretty much my whole life up until the last year or so. My river was constantly dry. And I still see the drought coming from time to time, but times have greatly changed. It has taken WORK and hard decisions and facing how I cope with challenges and facing my faults and fears. It’s work I keep doing daily. But, when I love myself in the way God wants me to love myself – as a child of His, as deeply valued and cared for – then, I can love others in that same way. It doesn’t mean being perfect. It means tending to your soul so you can be your best for others. Love God, and in doing so, you will fill your own heart so you can pour that love right back out on others. This all builds a humble confidence that brings lasting joy and PEACE.

And there is a big difference between feeding our egos and true God-filled confidence. This is God-filled confidence:

‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ – Hebrews 4:16

‘But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.’ – 1 Thess 5:8

‘So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”’ – Hebrews 13:6

Good confidence is knowing our value to help others. That gives us energy and wings to soar in all we do.

Dangerous confidence is thinking we are better than others and then feeding our egos to try to fill the void created by accepting the negative things the world tells us about our worth. Sound familiar?

‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.’ – Philippians 2:3

I digress. Sort of. This all goes together.

All around me, I see so many not filling their cups with what matters. I’ve been there myself more times than I can count. Facebook, fame, money, popularity, business and bookings vie for our attention. They promise us everlasting happiness, and they give us a great high for a moment… and then it’s back to “real life”. And we keep going through this cycle: boredom, I’m not good enough, so I’m going to get on Facebook to zone out and look at other people’s lives, now I feel worse and I’m distracted and behind and I need a bigger distraction. You know this cycle. I can write about it because I know it, too. And I am on a mission to kick it to the curb and help others do the same!

I don’t know about you, but I got tired of the high highs and low lows. I wanted consistent lasting joy. And I have found it. You can too. Right now. It comes at a price. The price is letting go of control of your life and giving it to the one who created it. The price is humility and owning your imperfection and fighting the belief that the number of followers you have on social media or the number in your bank account or your beauty or your status or your ____(fill in your blank)____ somehow equate to your value in life. They do not.

you are extraordinary lara casey

My dear client and friend, Lori, sent me this video below today and it haunted me. I hope this helps you see where my heart is today. Believe in yourself and squash that mental negative dialogue that keeps you from the greatness you were meant to step into, friends. You ARE enough. More than enough! You are EXTRAORDINARY.

P.S. I have been SO encouraged by your goal progress! The Tieks giveaway ends May 1!

P.P.S. Ari and I told the whole story of our marriage – everything – on camera last week. I hope you will join us to watch the footage this Friday night from 6:40pm EST to 8pm EST. It’s FREE to watch live and we’ll be on live to answer questions. See you Friday!

P.P.P.S. How ARE you? Really. Does anything I wrote here today ring a bell in your heart? I’d love to hear from you….

42 Comments

  1. Rhiannon on April 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I just wrote a post about this before I left for Jamaica about being ENOUGH. We ALL need to remember this. Amen, sister!

    • Lara on April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      I adore you and I am SO proud of you!

  2. Pam Parker on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Oh Lara! The Lord is using your words to push me harder toward something He is telling me to do. I’ve been telling Him. ” You must want something else or someone. else”. Now your post is not just a nudge …. it was a big ole shove.

  3. Ashley on April 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Straight from God…oh how I needed this DEARLY today. Life has just happened to me all at once this past month and I have been beat down, but I’m realizing so much of that beat down is all in my head. Sometimes it seems God breaks you down until you have no excuses and nothing to hide behind or fear to run away from so you can start to believe all this goodness that is in you. THANK YOU FOR THIS REMINDER. I needed it so very, very much.

  4. Lindsay on April 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Lara–I don’t know you. I met you once at Natalie Norton’s Breathe seminar in Vegas. I have followed the MTH tumblr and your blog.
    This video made me bawl. Big baby tears down my face. And it could not have come at a more critical moment in my life. Thank you for sharing it. And for continually reminding us all that we ARE enough and we have SO much to contribute to this world.
    I needed to make an important life decision. Today. Yesterday really. And this video alone helped me clear the forest and see where I need to go. What I need to DO. Thank you for helping me see.
    And may God continue to bless you for all the good you bring to this world.

  5. Amanda on April 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Lara, you don’t know me, we’ve never met, but while reading this I felt like you were saying each word right to me, about my situation right now. Thank You.

  6. Leigh Pearce on April 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Man oh man, I needed to hear this this week. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from The Help: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.“Kathryn Stockett. Sending you a big virtual hug for lifting up others, myself included, today!!

  7. Tamara Menges on April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Lara, oh my goodness I am in literal tears right now. You have no idea how much I needed this.
    These past few days I have been in a really sad place. Not sure if you remember, but after the MTH Austin intensive, I was so fired up about Making Things Happen and emailed you about my plans to apply for Martha Stewart internship. I also applied for a few other positions as well with other magazines. I received an interview from one magazine and shortly after was offered the position in New York for the summer, my dream and goal I set a long time ago. In between the interview and offer, Martha Stewart HR contacted me for an interview (which I couldn’t believe!!). After the other offer, I only had two days to accept or not and I knew I would not hear anything from MS. So I truly felt that I was being bold in my faith in God’s plan because of the sheer passion I had for MS, but also His hand had been in SO many other aspects leading that I really thought His plan was for me to be in NYC this summer. I learned last week that MS went with another intern. While I am ok with that, I can understand that I wasn’t the right person, I am now struggling with whether or not the other position was God’s plan, but I was so blinded by what I wanted God’s plan to be that I gave up a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am questioning what will I make happen now? I wanted so badly to do something great this summer and to inspire people that I walked in faith and truly prayed for God’s will, not just praying that I would “get it”. I feel lost at the moment, but this post is helping me heal and confirm that God’s plan will be awesome this summer because I am His child and He loves me. I can’t stop crying! Thank you so much for who you are and how bold you are, and just everything. I am enough….I AM.

  8. Annie {little&ever} on April 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    So it is 6:52am for me right now, I’m (supposed!) to be getting ready for work. However, here I sit, bawling my eyes out watching this video. Touching and amazing! As someone who struggled with acne for years (and still has the occasional bad skin day/week) I only saw myself as a pimple for years. Nothing more. It is INCREDIBLE what others see in you.

    Thank you, thank you. What wonderful words of encouragement for today. Always needed, always grateful. Annie x

  9. Jaqueline Faria on April 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Lara,
    You are such an inspirationa and such a blessing. I was sitting today at my cubical crying yet again, feeling completely inadaquate and disspaointed in myself, feeling stuck like I can’t breath, working a job I hate and yet I’m to afraid to do or go after a job I might like, because I don’t feel that I’m capable to achieve it to succeed, I don’t feel like I know enough. So out of fear I allow myself to play small, I cry about it until my husband can’t stand it anymore, and then I shove it away and try to move on but in a week or so it’s all back again. I’ve been playing small for years now and all I want to do is see the potential everyone keeps saying they see in me, so that I can face all the fears and do all the things I dream about doing and feel like I am enough. Your words ache my heart beacause I see myself in it. Sorry if I shared too much … but thank you for writing and sharing.

  10. Linda on April 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    What an extraordinary post from an extraordinary lady! I can raise my hand high to everything you wrote! I constantly compare myself to others and let Satan penetrate my mind, thinking I’m not good enough and nowhere near where I want to be. There’s the problem: Where I want to be. You’ve reminded me that I AM where GOD wants me to be and that’s the best place ever.

    I’m a newlywed and we’ve just started a wedding and event planning business. We just registered with Dallas County last week! This has been my dream since I was a little girl, but I always thought it was such a silly idea. After planning the best day of my life with the best man I know, my heart was yearning even more to take this risk. What gave me the real kick was my husband (feels so strange to type that!) He ignited my flame and has been the biggest support and cheerleader through this process. He’s also taken on some of the slack I can’t handle or miss and we’ve been such a great team, just like we were when planning our own wedding!

    My question to this is: if you don’t focus on getting bigger or expanding your business, how do you become successful? I’m sorry if that sounds so secular, but isn’t that what people want for any business to make a living?

    Thank you for allowing His Spirit to shine through your inspirational words!

    • Lara on April 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Great question and my answer is too big for a tiny blog comment, so in short – do what matters. For us, doing what matters, getting specific, and following our core have made us continue to grow as a company year after year. The more specific you get with your core mission, the more you have to say NO and this allows you to say YES to greatness. That is the key risk worth taking in order to create a business that fuels your life, not the other way around. I hope that helps a little! Too much to say in a small space! We recorded three really helpful webinars on this earlier this year. You can view the recordings here.

  11. Jordan Maunder on April 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Oh man, you are awesome. Just what I needed to hear. My ears perked up when you mentioned filling our cups with things that don’t matter I’m constantly worrying about bookings and business and money. I’m about to graduate college and jump into a photography business, and I pray that I’ll be able to support myself. It’s really interesting to try to build a business and establish myself, all the while keeping in mind that endless amounts of clients could never really give me everlasting joy. I keep reminding myself to focus on what really matters and to root myself in gratitude, and the rest will follow. The Lord will not let me starve or become homeless. And hey, maybe I am good enough to do it! Your words give such comfort and I honestly thank God for the fact that you exist and that I can blogstalk you 🙂 YOU are extraordinary!

  12. Amber Housley on April 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Feeling blessed and grateful and believing every one of these words. Thank you friend for always being a light! xo

  13. Beverly on April 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    You are speaking to my heart, Lara. (I’ve had a piece of Marianne’s quote on my desktop for about a week now…) Thanks for sharing your perspective, and the video. I love your honesty and appreciate your wisdom.

  14. amanda on April 24, 2013 at 12:02 am

    i swear when you write blogs you step INSIDE MY HEART and post accordingly. thank you never seems like enough, but yet it’s all i can seem to come up with. thank you for letting him use you, and speak through you. you are a blessing, and meeting you was seriously one of the biggest blessings in my life thus far. you are an incredible woman, and i owe you SO much right now.
    lots of love Lara!!

  15. Caroline Winters on April 24, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I LOVE this blog! So rich and full of truth! I wish you could disciple & coach me!! Thank you for this wonderful blog.

  16. Katie on April 24, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Fighting back the tears as I write this. Thank you, dear friend whom I have never met 🙂 For I feel that only a true sister and friend can get right to the heart at what has been keeping me up at night without even knowing me. I’m on my third job since graduation in 2009. I have immensely disliked all three, as I know each day that i sit at my desk that my god-gifted talents are not being used, that I am made to feel small and incapable, that I am made to feel stupid. Sometimes I start to believe it. I’ve never felt so low in all my life. I see no light at the end of the tunnel, but your inspirational words and the sincere interpretation of the gospel is what gets me through the week, truly. Thank You, thank you, thank you.

    • Lara on April 24, 2013 at 1:17 am

      I am praying for you, Katie. Let your light shine. So grateful to meet you here.

  17. caryl lyons on April 24, 2013 at 1:42 am

    So wonderful and watching that video was exactly what I needed, just at the most perfect time. Thank you dear friend! xo

  18. sarah on April 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

    lara, thank you so much for this! Long time reader– first time commenter. Everything you write is so inspiring and uplifting. Keep using your gifts.
    I love how you are so open and honest about your marriage. What advice do you have for women (myself included!) who desire to be in a holy, christian marriage, but aren’t married yet?

  19. Carly Totten on April 24, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Oh, Lara. This post was exactly what I needed to read today. I almost started to cry at work because I had been put down one too many times. All I could think was “do you (person putting me down) know that I graduated Summa Cum Laude from college? Do you know that I love the wedding industry because of my grandparents who never ever failed to believe in me? Do you know that the person you are putting down is struggling?” The answer I know to be true to all of those questions is that some people don’t care. Those people are what cause me to feel as though I have to pump myself up again and remind myself that I AM enough because I start to want to put them down too, which is so terribly wrong. Thank you for this post and for the reminder. I’m saving it, so I can read it whenever I stop believing in myself. I am so thankful for you!

    • Lara on April 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Your heart always inspires me. You ARE enough. And remember that the person who is attempting to make you feel small is likely treating themselves the same way. Praying for you both! Love you!

  20. Monica T Smith on April 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Hey Lara;
    Thanks for sharing this message of power. A friend shared this quote with me and my family last year as we celebrated my graduation from seminary. In front of everyone, she said this quote represented me and who I am to others. WOW! Since then, God has been peeling back the distractions, lies and unbelief I have been carrying to reveal His power within me. When He gives me a glimpse of what I am and am to be in Him, it takes my breath away! We need belief and most of all trust and patience. The desires He has placed in our hearts will come. We just have to trust Him as our Creator, Provider and Director.
    My word for this year is “new” and I am watching God lead me into newness of life everyday. There is freedom and joy in this. I pray that all of the people you (and I) inspire will let go of the controls and let God take them on the wildest, most glorious ride, doing exceeding abundantly above all they could ever ask or imagine. May they all know their power in Him, embrace it and fly.
    Be blessed,
    Monica

  21. Jenny Collier on April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    That video (and your words) are amazing. Completely lifted my spirits this morning. Thank you for always being such an inspiration and a blessing in my life.

  22. Tabitha on April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Lara, I can’t tell you how God has used this post! Again I am in awe at how God uses you! I’m grateful that you are seeking Him and listening to Him, because you are doing mighty things girl!! I’ve been meaning to say thank you a million times. I was able to sit in on the MTH Webinar as a winner and what I’ve learned from you and Emily and all the women is that I am valuable. I do have a special gift that God wants me to offer the world. I want everything that God has for me in this life, and seeing your posts, your words of encouragement on your blog and on instagram has had a tremendous impact on me. I owe you more than words could ever say. Thank you. And thank God for you!

  23. Catie Ronquillo Wood on April 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you my friend! This is just what I needed to read today. Thank you Jesus for the perfect timing 🙂 I feel like I’ve been in a constant battle with myself for the last several months. Change is scary, because it’s unknown, no control! – but less scary when I remember to surrender myself to Him and trust in HIS plan (not my own!) I recently started a day job (which is less than inspiring, but is helping make what matters happen – and temporary!) and have been reevaluating my business. I am “retiring” from weddings after a dream come true wedding to close this chapter — IN FRANCE! Can you believe it!? In June! God is good. I’ve been praying for God to show me where He wants me to go, and it’s away from weddings and towards empowering young women through senior portraits. I felt so hesitant to make this change, but in just the last few months since MTH, it’s what God has placed in my heart. It feels so hard to leave what I thought I was supposed to be doing, thought I wanted, and move in a new direction. That was MY plan, not HIS. But I’m feeling like this is truly what He has called me to do — it fires me up more and more! It will also help me focus on what matters most with more family time and flexibility so that we can hopefully make babies happen, if it’s in His plan, of course. I’m so excited about things now, I finally feel like it’s moving in the right direction. It’s crazy to think where this journey has taken me up and down and through a maze to get to this point. And all the change that has happened bit by bit since that first MTH I attended in 2010 — and to see the change in both myself and in you, it’s amazing what God does. Thank you for this reminder today. Love you!

  24. Kylie Swanson on April 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Love this so much Lara! Thank you for the reminders. This is actually something that stuck with me deep down in my soul after MTH…and it is so refreshing to hear it again. Grateful for you!

  25. Debbie on April 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Lara, this post is so beautiful. I found myself feeling every one of the negative feelings you described, and have been feeling them for a while. It’s so nice to see this and remember, above all, I am a child of God. Thank you so much. I intend to reread this often and hope to fill my cup meaningfully.

  26. Bianca Valentim on April 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    You truly inspire me Lara, especially today!
    Thank you for reminding me that yes, I’m enough, more than enough. Thanks for sharing all of your heart.
    My heart is smiling now 🙂

  27. emily h. on April 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    lara,
    THIS very post is word for word an answer to a prayer in my heart for SO long. I keep praying about my worth, my purpose, my confidence in the lord, letting go of negativity and letting God in. He answers me patiently every day reminding me to trust in him. I feel as though I’ve been banging my head against a wall for a long time trying in all the wrong ways, thinking I need to “fix” myself. I feel like that fog is starting to lift. Thank you so so much for the reminder. You shine so bright, girl.

    • Lara on April 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Oh I so understand what you said – thinking for so long that I had to “fix” myself. I’m so glad that fog is starting to turn into sunshine for you!

  28. Hope Easter on April 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Lara, I am loving your blog posts! They give me such a boost. I can already tell such a big difference in doing just a few things like goal setting. Major shift in my direction, and vision.

    I watched the Dove Beauty Sketches the other night. It was…..wow………it makes you wonder what would happen if you did the same thing. How do we really see ourselves?

    Keep up the amazing work, and I cannot wait to tell you all about my progress.

  29. Emily on April 25, 2013 at 3:30 am

    I have had this blog post up in my browser since you published it, I keep glancing back at the post, at the quote from the beginning, trying to think of the perfect comment.
    As I was writing a blog post for next week, focusing on this quote and praying over how I can best discuss it, I decided that who cares if I have the perfect comment?! I should just tell you how I feel!!!

    This was beautiful, and amazing, and perfect, and exactly what I (and so many other women) needed right now.

    Thank you, I love you so much, friend.

    • Lara on April 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      YES!!! Your comment IS perfect! : ) Love you, friend. So proud of you.

  30. Natalie Sink on April 28, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Hi Lara – I’m so glad I stumbled on this today. I haven’t visited your blog in some time and this was a God send – I needed to hear those scriptures. The more God helps me see what lies I have believed about my own worth the more I WANT the truth and peace He promises. Last year was all about learning to “control my mind” in Christ and I think this year it will be about accepting and embracing imperfection. We weren’t meant to be perfect! We can’t! No one is. What a simple, mind blowing truth.

    Thank you for sharing!

  31. Caitlin Sullivan on April 29, 2013 at 2:26 am

    love your heart!

  32. Emily on April 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Lara! This is the most honest and humbling post! It hit me hard today and I am so great full. I struggle so much with insecurities and holding myself up to I possible standards. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your heart. We are each precious daughters of the King and its time to start acting like it!
    I love your heart!!

  33. Eunice on May 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you for this post, for your blog, for all the words of wisdom and your personal journey that you have shared with everyone, and now me. I have just come across your blog (despite having known about Southern Weddings for a long time!) and I have just spent the last few nights reading a small tiny fraction of the archives and it’s so unbelievably uplifting, encouraging and affirming. I’m grateful that you openly share your faith and I can really see God working in you and through you to touch everyone out there, including me. I struggle a lot with negativity and insecurity throughout my life, and despite knowing in my head that I am a child of God and that He loves me unconditionally and has given me talents, it sometimes is really hard to truly truly believe it when overwhelmed with everything around me. I am at a crossroads in my life and am praying hard to be able to discern what I should do next and so many of your words and posts feel like they’re speaking directly to me, asking me to let go of the fear and step out into the unknown and let God lead and provide and show me the wonderful plans He has for me, if only I surrender. Even as I type out this comment, it has helped me greatly in clarifying my thoughts and I’m thankful for this community you have built. Thank you and Amen!!

  34. Jennifer on July 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I’m grateful for my little family! God has been so gracious & merciful to care for our needs. I’ve learned, since having my baby almost 2 years ago, to do my best and let Him handle the rest. I used to worry so much (well, still do, from time to time) but God has shown me how He will provide and carry us through if only we trust Him!

  35. Charly Tate on June 24, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Hello Lara! I came here via Pinterest, and I’m so glad I found you! Your words, reflections and thoughts are so wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing all of this. I sometimes (quite often, in fact) struggle with the fear of doing or being something great, showing my true potential, afraid I’ll look vain or self-important. Your words and the verses you’ve referenced are awesome. Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Comment