April 5, 2016

Making it Happen

Make. It. Happen.
 
Three words I've been constantly repeating, especially when I'm having a hard time getting motivated to check items off my to-do list. Have you been there? One day I'll wake up feeling ready to see what the day will unfold, and confident I'll be able to do so gracefully. Then there are the days that I just struggle. The anxiety starts to build as soon as I start working on a task and then BOOM! I'm a hot mess. On one of these particular days when I was stressed and couldn't think straight, I decided to drop everything I was doing and ran over to my bookcase and picked up Make it Happen by Lara Casey. I already knew a lot about the author Lara from reading Southern Weddings Magazine for a number of years and admired her love for the Lord, her passion for the South and her joy for all things weddings. Without really knowing what the book was about, I decided to purchase it because I knew whatever Lara wrote about would be good. But y'all, I didn't know it would be as life changing as it was. It was challenging, an eye opener, and so good for my soul.
 
This was a book I could have finished in a couple of days it was THAT good. But the content was so rich and powerful that I didn't want to rush through any of it! Just like a conversation with a dear friend, I invested my time and full attention on every word, every question and every task. Without going into all the details of the book (I think you should really just go ahead and purchase it after you finish reading this post!), I thought I would share a few things I highlighted and found valuable.
 
- Doubt can turn into desperation.
 
- "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" - Beverly Sills
 
- God's way isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
 
- It's in the depths of our challenges, when we are left with what feels like nothing, that we sometimes see more clearly. I couldn't agree with this statement more. I've never gone longer then a couple of weeks without working until recently. Being unemployed is NOT fun. It's stressful, causes doubt and a whole slew of other things. But over the weeks I've been able to see more clearly all the blessings I have in my life.
 
- Making it happen is a life lived on purpose and comes by surrendering control.
 
- Done is better than perfect, and doing one thing well is better than doing a thousand mediocre things. Can I get an amen? I need to write this one down and put it on my fridge.
 
- Don't let your unhappiness make you ungrateful.
 
- You will learn from your failures than you will from any of your successes. Your failures are gifts, allowing you to learn, grow, redirect, and take new and potentially better paths.
 
- Making things happen is about taking positive, purpose-filled action. Learning how to break things down into action steps in an essential skill.
 
- When you know where you are leaping, the how doesn't matter as much as the why.
 
- Busy is the enemy of peace. It takes us away from our purpose. Busy is not truly productive in the big picture. Busy means life's joys and surprises can't find a way into our lives as easily because we move too fast to see and experience them.
 
- I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. No one is perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect life, the perfect home, the perfect job, or the perfect look. So if that's true, then why spend so much time trying to create something that's not possible?
 
Can you relate to any of the above? Which one is your favorite? If you've read the book, what other things did you take away? I hope y'all found this encouraging and have a great week!!

April 1, 2016

March Review + April Goals

March

- Went the month (minus two days) without soda. This was a success in my book! I'll be doing this again in June, September and December.
 
- Went to the Abundance Conference in Asheville with my dear friend Chelsea, and y'all, this conference was one of the best ones I've been too! So much truth was spoken through some amazing speakers at this two day event. One of my favorite parts besides getting to hear Lysa TerKeurst speak was getting to hear and sing along to some of my favorite worship songs lead by Natalie Grant and Christy Nockels. And if you haven't heard of Annie Downs or Lisa Harper you have GOT to look them up! These two are hilarious and know how to lighten the mood while having a deep conversation on tough topics. Insert #girlcrush!
 
- Planned a surprise birthday dinner for Will with the Mackvick's. The day I got back from the Abundance Conference, I had less then four hours to unpack, bake a cake and get ready. Will thought we were going to meet up with his dad and brother for dinner since they were in town but when we pulled into the parking lot, his whole family was there! It was fun seeing him completely surprised!
- Celebrated Will's 27th birthday with private golf lessons and a visit to Sugar Creek Brewery!
 
- Got my third and final steroid neck injection. For those who may be new around here, I have degenerative disk disease in my C5-C6, C6-C7 regions and have tried anything and everything over the past eight years to find something to relive the pain. The neck issues have recently been worsening and have led to TMJ which just sucks. Unfortunately, the steroid injections haven't been working so we are going to reach out to a Neurosurgeon at Duke Hospital to get a second opinion on possible next steps which will likely be surgery or continued physical therapy. In the meantime, prayers would be appreciated!
 
- Finished reading Make It Happen by Lara Casey and wrote a blog post recapping my favorite parts that I'll be sharing next Tuesday!
 
April

- Go to the Alabama Shakes concert. I haven't listened to them that much but Will is a big fan of them. Even though I don't know a lot of the songs they play/sing, you won't find me saying no to quality time with my husband or being able to spend time outdoors!
 
- Visiting Chicago! Neither of us have been and are excited to explore a new city. Leave a comment below if you have any recommendations!
 
- Review bank accounts and set financial goals. We had planned to do this last month but didn't get around to it but are making it a priority this month.
 
- Print out photos from our honeymoon.
 
- Back up files and photos on my computer. I try to do this at least once a year but I can't tell you the last time I did this and it's way overdue. I wouldn't want to find myself in a situation where my computer dies and I lose everything saved to my Mac. Can't be too prepared these days!
 
- Update my passport. I've still yet to do this since Will and I got married and think I need to just go ahead and get the process over with. NO MORE EXCUSES!
 
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