I’m a professional when it comes to taking on more than I should. Need someone to teach you how to add way too much to your plate? Let me show you my ways.
Last year I was on too many committees, involved in lots of organizations and societies, editor of this and manager of that. Everything was good… every last thing and group. But it was simply too much. Maybe that whole “you can have too much of a good thing” holds some weight.
I pulled back, way back, and the brakes were screeching as I looked at every aspect of my life. Much like packing and cleaning out my room as I prepared to move back to college, I put things in mental boxes of keep, donate, and throw away. I told myself it’s okay to step back and pass the baton, giving myself more room to breathe and to be.
Yesterday I walked into our college coffee shop and editions of a campus magazine were being given away. Last year I served as the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, overseeing every aspect from start to finish, and it was good. Good experience, good relationships formed, and a good product that I was proud of.
But stepping back was the right decision. We may not always know the outcome of our choices, but seeing that new edition made me exhale with relief, not disappointment or regret.
“Oh yeah, you were editor of this last year!” my best friend said as she went to grab a copy to look through.
“Yeah… I was.”
“Why aren’t you part of it this year?”
“Well, I decided to cut back and choose –” and before I could finish my sentence with “relationships over results or resume builders” she interrupted with “You chose people.”
She said it because she knows me and the struggle it’s been to choose people over performances. That fight isn’t over and honestly, I’ll probably struggle with it for the rest of my forever on this spinning planet, but it’s a fight worth fighting.
There are a lot of things I want to make happen but the most important thing on that list is to love much and love well. I want to live a life of purpose and integrity, one that brings Him glory and tells the story of His goodness and grace. That’s what I want to make happen.
Less than an hour after that quick moment in the coffee shop, a friend joined our table at lunch and asked if I know what I’m doing with my life come May. And yeah, the answer to that is still a big “no.” He’s working and moving and I’m trying to appreciate each day for what it is – a gift. I have big dreams and big goals but I read a book a few weeks ago that had several quotes that stopped me right where I was because hello God, I’m picking up what you’re throwing down.
You don’t need to be ready or perfect to make what matters happen. A life of purpose–living for something bigger than yourself–is not about achieving your dream job or the ideal circumstances or the perfect timing. Use what you have, where you are, right now, on purpose.
Nowhere in the Bible did God say, “Follow your dreams” or “Follow your heart.” He simply said, “Follow Me.”
Purpose doesn’t go to work; it goes to love. God wants us to live on purpose–wholeheartedly with focused intention–no matter where we are. Living on purpose doesn’t mean having your dream job; it means being all there right where you are.
Well, okay then.
I may not know the future but I know One who does. I’ve read Proverbs 31 so many times (stick with me here) and it’s easy for it to sound like a list of Do This and Do That and Stay Up Late, Rise Early, Be Wonderful At Everything. But I don’t think I’ve ever read one line quite like Lara explained it, and ever since I’ve been praying that God would form me into this woman, one who knows His heart for me and trusts His goodness in my present and with my future.
Provers 31 describes a woman who “can laugh at the days to come” (v. 25). She has no fear about the future, not because her life is guaranteed to be perfect or because she was born a superhuman but because she knows and trusts in something bigger than her. When we believe in something more powerful than elusive perfection, we develop the courage to bid our fears farewell. The chase ends, and real life begins.
I want to be her. I want to laugh long and loud, sure that my future is certain because it is in Him, even when location and profession and one hundred other things are quite uncertain.
I want to make loving much and loving well happen, regardless of where I am or what’s on my list to do for the day.
“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want,” Lara writes. So today, I want to love big instead of worrying over what could be.
Your playing small does not serve the world. You never know how long you have left here on this earth to love others and change them for the better in that love. Taking bold action on what matters starts a powerful domino effect. The good you do today changes generations. Life is too short and too vulnerable to coast through, living by accident.
I read several books during the month of January but this was easily one of my favorites. Lara Casey’s new book, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose., is an easy read. But don’t get me wrong, although it’s very applicable it requires a bit of work to really apply what she says.
But if you do? If you take the time to fill in the blank spaces inside the book and then apply what she teaches? It’ll change things. Promise.
Lara writes with honesty and vulnerability as she walks you through the pages of her own story, sharing lessons she has learned and insight into what it takes to live each day “making it happen.” As she says, “You can’t bring everyone to Jesus, but you can bring Jesus to everyone.”
If you’re looking for a book to challenge you and encourage you along the road toward pursuing a dream or simply learning to love well in your everyday ordinary, I highly encourage you to pick this book up and give it a read.
I received a copy of Make it Happen in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links have been included.
Very insightful. Know what your capable of and know what would be a blessing to someone else to be in charge of.
Hey there! Glad to have you visit this space, girl.
“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” Wow. Never thought of it that way before, but how true.
I am pretty much the opposite of you. No is easy for me to say to just about everything. I have the hardest time saying yes to almost anything. I prefer to stay quiet, unnoticed, in the shadows. My current struggle is feeling God leading where I am not comfortable going. This book may be the encouragement I need to: Surrender my Fear, Take the Leap and Live on Purpose.
I hadn’t thought of it that way, either… but it makes sense, don’t you think? “Yes” and “no” are such funny little words with a whole lot of power. Have you read Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes? She talks a lot about saying a strong no, also.
Beautiful, insightful words, Kaitlyn! Whether we are finishing up our last year in college (you) or living our retirement years (me), we don’t know what the future holds for us; but we DO know WHO holds that future! And it isn’t easy to say NO to requests to DO things; or to back away and decide which are the best for you at that time.
You are such a beautiful spirit and your words so inspiring – I could see a book in your future, too!
Thanks for always sharing your heart and your life! Best of luck in your last months…
You’re right, every season leads into another with unknowns. Beautiful, but still full of questions. Thank you for that comment about a book… smiling so big in Starbucks.