This year, I've added to my goals: read more. I want to really make the margin meaningful. Where contentment and joy meet, that's where I want to steady my heart. I need to silence the distractions stealing my margin to truly savor the goodness of the daily routine. So, I'll be replacing a smidge of social media time for diving into a handful of books.
Through books I can nourish myself in a lasting way. First-hand memoirs of adventure, faith, refinement and the joy in the journey. To cultivate a life of joy I need balance between the heart and the hustle where I find a slow rythym to the daily routine. It'll take purpose on my part, but will no doubt be worth the efforts.
I hope to make it through at least two books a quarter in 2015. This seems like a small number to some, but I want to ensure I take the time to squeeze every ounce of grace from each book on this year's list.
When Lara Casey announced her book, Make it Happen, would be shipping out pre-orders January 1, I knew this would be the ideal way to start the year. And, oh my goodness friend, it really really was!
Amidst the growing pains of finding my way as a blogger, I stumbled upon Lara Casey's blog. Her mission to encourage others is evidenced by heart on her sleeve at all times. Each post published is sweet as honeysuckle yet simultaneously sparks fire in your heart to make what matters to you happen.
Lara serves up grace and gumption to pull you out of the comfort zone and into a place where purposeful living can happen right where you are. Though I've read Lara's blog, attended one of her events and a handful of webinar's, I was humbled by the personal way she shares her story in the book.
You may as well be gathered around Lara's table for a glass of sweet tea prepared for an afternoon tending to Gracie's Garden. That's how this book brings you in. Delving deep into Lara's heart for knowing your story, planting good seeds, tending to the garden and cultivating a life of surrender.
You walk alongside Lara as she lays it all down in surrender for His glory and her good. Lara breaks down all personal boundaries to let us in through career and marriage trials, family tragedy, therapy sessions and a big ole leap of faith to launch Southern Weddings. Through struggles we see refinement and Lara shares how she built on those seasons to cultivate a life of purpose over perfect.
As she says, 'This book is an invitation to stop striving, be still, and let go of your struggles and fears. To surrender what feels like everything to gain what really is everything.'
Broken down by sections the books weaves your heart in and out of reading and reflection. Be prepared with a pen and potentially an extra notebook. This isn't just a book for reading, this is a book that'll encourage you to get messy in the margins. And really? You can't dive into this book without being compelled to jot down all that's being stirred in your spirit.
Live on purpose. It's a challenge Lara presents to the readers. Make 'it' happen. Lara is quick to credit God for making all things possible. It's her trust in His sovereign hand that carries her out of the comfort zones to live a life of purpose. And friend, that's just what she wants for me and you.
Step by step you can make it happen in your life and Lara shows you how. The book breaks down your big dreams, life goals and biggest fears into small actionable steps to make what matters to you happen.
What I love most about this book, and Lara herself, is that it's sincere. It's a life that's been lived messy and full of hope. She shares these words to encourage our hearts to live on purpose because she's been there and she'll tell you she's still sorting it all out herself. She's surrendered the fear. Taken the leap. Living on purpose.
Top Takeaway Quotes
If God is calling you to something greater, He will equip you in His way and timing.
There are lots of ways to get busy and then be totally burned out. But there is only one path to purpose: Jesus.
No matter how lost and forsaken you feel, God's love never fails. He can change what feels unchangeable. God is real and always at work, even if everything in your life is telling you otherwise right now. Don't just pray about what seems logical and possible. Pray hard about the impossible.
Our purpose cannot depend on someone else's yes. The only yes that matters is God's.
This is the first book I've had no trouble powering through in years. It was sheer joy to read this book. I cried, laughed and nodded along as the pages turned. I'd rate this book a 9/10. I don't know what my perfect book is just yet, but Make It Happen has set the bar high.
You can order the book all over the place:
If you plan to read the book, I encourage you to grab a set of her PowerSheets. This set of worksheets has helped guide my goals and quash my fears in the last year. They also just so happen to flow nicely with the book's action steps. Grab yourself a set before she's sold out for the year!