Happiest final 2016 Friday, friends! A little more than a week ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (surprise, surprise), when I stumbled upon an image of a planner. Now, if you know me well, you know I adore stationary and planners. I already had two planners for 2017, so there really wasn’t a need for another one…except this planner was different. It wasn’t the usual daily or weekly planner for which I typically reach. Instead, it was a goal-setting planner. To be quite honest, I wasn’t aware anything like that existed. Sure, I’d seen post after post and article after article on ways you should set goals, but nothing so detailed, specific, and unconventional as Lara Casey’s Make it Happen 2017 Powersheets: The Intentional Goal Planner. Intrigued, I went to Casey’s shop, ordered her Powersheets (the full year one is currently sold out), Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose book (2014), and Thirty-One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer (2014). All three goodies arrived within a few days, and I couldn’t wait to dive in and review the first two texts!
As mentioned in my previous post, Casey has goal-setters reflect and answer a series of questions. Now, series may be an understatement. In reality, she asks pages and pages worth of questions to get us digging. The first page of questions is fairly simple: what do you hope 2017 will look like? Next, she asks you to describe yourself, then she hits you with a ton of bricks and has you list what you’re letting go of and what you’re afraid of. I won’t go into every single question, but in 14 pages or so, Casey helps us unpack and evaluate our lives so that we can set truly intentional and purposeful goals. I found this part extremely beneficial and grounding. How many times have you set goals without really knowing why? And how often do you achieve those unintentional goals? Very rarely, if ever, right? I obviously won’t know if I’ve reached my 2017 goals until I reflect again this time next year, but I do feel more confident and prepared than ever to go confidently in the direction of my dreams because I now know my purpose for those goals. Knowing your “why” gives you motivation and meaning, and it wasn’t just Casey’s Powersheets that helped with that, but it was also reading her book, Make it Happen.
Part autobiography, part spiritual and personal testimony, part goal-setting guide, Make it Happen has it all, and as a young Christian woman, I found her book to be everything I needed and more. If you grabbed my copy of the book and flipped through, you’d notice marginal comments, highlights, and bolded stars galore. It wasn’t that I necessarily saw myself in Casey, but what she needed to hear then was what I need to hear now: “making it happen–a life lived on purpose–comes by surrendering control.” That, my friends, is my biggest challenge. I’m constantly worrying or stressing over that which I cannot control, or procrastinating because I want something to be perfect or because I fear it will be imperfect. Friends, sometimes we want something to be perfect and either meet or exceed our expectations, we chase after it no matter the cost and lose sight of everything in between. Sometimes we want something so badly, but worry we’re too weak or unequipped to handle the task. Sometimes we fear the difficulty and discomfort that comes from experiencing life, we merely exist in a shell. Sometimes we hate the waiting period and feel restless, especially when we know we’re meant to do more than we are. We make 1,000 excuses, but it’s time to let it all go. Casey reminds us to be still, surrender our fears, and trust Him for “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
A life without pain, sorrow, confusion, and opposition is a life that doesn’t exist. The reality is there will be rocky roads and murky waters, but it’s during those moments where strength and growth occur. Sometimes we have to go through the bad apples to get to the good ones. Sometimes doors close so that others can open. Sometimes we make mistakes so we can learn. Sometimes we don’t get what we want when we want it because God is pruning us for something better. Sometimes we have to wait and trust His timing (as difficult as that is). Sometimes we have to fail and fall to succeed. “Sometimes” will happen, and we have to be okay with that. We can’t let those moments prevent us from truly living. It’s time to let go of whatever is holding you back. It’s time to make “it” happen, whatever your “it” might be.
Making it happen means choosing purpose over perfect. Making it happen means meeting your fear. Making it happen means holding fast to the anchor. Making it happen means deciding you can. Making it happen means knowing God’s grace is bigger than your mistakes. Making it happen means trusting that God can change anything. Making it happen means taking a bold leap of faith. Making it happen means succeeding in what matters. Making it happen means following the real success equation. Making it happen means being open to God’s timing and grace. Making it happen means knowing all you really need is Jesus.
Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection, and pick up a copy of both of Casey’s texts so you can do all those things you’ve been wanting to do and intentionally live a life full of purpose. Let today be the day you make it happen, and watch everything change for the better.
Here’s to a wonderful, purposeful, and fruitful 2017!