Everyone around me knows that I love Lara Casey like I know her in 'real life' (I don't, but I would love the opportunity to!), and that her blog posts and her work was (and is) a huge inspiration to me since I discovered her early this year. If you don't know her, she is this amazing, talented, God-fearing woman who started Southern Weddings Magazine and who inspires women (and men!) through her blog and her shop. She really does it all: being a wonderful mother, and also working with Emily Ley (another awesome lady) on Making Brands Happen and started the Making Things Happen Conference in the US.
At the beginning of 2013, she started this Making Things Happen series on her blog and created the PowerSheets that will help you work through the series. Instead of half-hearted goal-setting at the beginning of each calendar year, she brought us through a series of posts to help us dig deeper and discover our vision and therefore, purposeful goals for the new year. Doing this series/exercise has been the best thing that has happened to me since I started my business in 2011 and I am now sharing the love with you guys since it was time for a goals check-in.
We were supposed to check in with our goals in April, July and October of 2013. She didn't check in in July 2013 (reasons she mentioned in the blog post I linked to above) and I conveniently forgot about it too. But with the August check-in 'forcing' (gently reminding) me to reassess these goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year, I dug out the sheets I designed on my own (before she launched the PowerSheets, which are more awesome in every way imo) with what I had spent HOURS writing on to reevaluate how far I have come (or not come) and measure my progress so far. (Noting here, that progress, not perfection, is key + nothing measured, nothing managed.)
My choice was to type out the goals I had written (pen on paper) and then evaluate beneath them how much progress I have made (or not made) in the past few months. I sat down on my MacBook and properly did it for April, and I did it again this morning. But I was much more enthusiastic in April, so I guess life + worry (unnecessary...) took its toll on me this year as well.
A very simple, no fluff, no fuss Word document (since I don't have the PowerSheets) that allows me to just pour out how I feel onto the keyboard and not think too much and let my heart lead.
I'm going to share with you guys (briefly, because my check-in was 4 A4-pages long!) how far I have come.
My Vision for 2013: To lead a Godly life and to build everything (my marriage, my business and life in general) on the foundation of God. I want to be grateful, joyful and fulfilled.
So far, I have stuck to my goals of studying the Bible more, attending church more often and serving God. I am on a Discipleship Journal Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan to finish reading the Bible in a year. Some days I slip up and fall behind (not more than 3 days in a row, though!) but I always catch up. I also read, on a daily basis, 2 - 3 reading plans on Youversion (I am currently doing She Reads Truth's Women in the Bible Part 3, and Pastor Joseph Prince's Daily Devotional, if anyone's interested) and although I am not as enthusiastic as I was in April, I am very sure that with more prayer and intimate sessions with God, I will be back on track and gain more thirst for Bible knowledge. Serving at the Children's Ministry at my church has also humbled me and let me let God use me more for His plans. I hope that where I am right now, I can shepherd God's children to see His glory, grace and love more and walk in His ways.
I am also training regularly, eating healthier and being strong all round for God's work, learning to trust Him more in all my ways and my decisions, and in general, be more grateful and appreciative of His love + pouring out for me and the people around me. I am also cooking more for myself and the hubby (hurray!) but not spending enough time together with the hubby in God's word (we have not been using our Couple's Devotional Bible).
On the business front, I have successfully rebranded and relaunched my business to be more streamlined and God- + passion-centred, but am still making various tweaks to bring it closer to perfection (ha, what this word does to us all, am I right?). I am happy to have Petite Paper + By Kara Anne and feedback from lovely ladies that my words + work do inspire more celebration, joy and love in their lives and lifts people up. I also hope to bring people back to Jesus, or love Jesus more through my work (or just LOVE LIFE more in general). I still want to learn more everyday so that I can use my creative talents for GOOD and spread + radiate more joy + love.
I also added two more goals to my list this year (I now have a total of 12). The first was to complain less / stop complaining altogether so that I can be more grateful and focus on what really matters instead of on frivolous things that breed anger, jealousy and bitterness. Hopefully, this change in me will also inspire others and strengthen my marriage. Also, this helps me remember that my words carry weight + power, since God has ordained it to be so and trusted such a powerful tongue to me, I shall use it FOR GOOD and not FOR CURSING.
The second is to be more active on this Christian platform called GraceHope. Although I didn't get the volunteering position I applied for with YouVersion, I sincerely still want to help out the international community in my small little ways. On GraceHope's Ps. Prince's prayer page, I hope to dedicate a daily time to pray for these people in need of prayer, stand in agreement with them and intercede for them with God. Giving back takes many different forms... Don't belittle the ways you can give back!!!
WHEW! That was a long, heavy post to write + digest.
$10, Petite Paper Store
I am currently working on painted / calligraphy pieces and PRINTING out on good quality, heavy card stock that will be oh-so-perfect for framing for my Petite Paper Store (Etsy + in-store) and I am so very excited!!! Some will be God-related, but some will be totally neutral (I don't want to be pushy, y'all!) so keep your eyes peeled if you're looking for eye candy for your walls!
In relation to this post, I have also decided to give away one DIGITAL HOPE PDF PRINT from my store to a reader here. Just comment on how God has changed your life / your weaknesses that He has strengthened / just how you are like me -- seeing reminders on the wall is SO IMPORTANT because you tend to look away really easily, and I will pick a winner on August 25th, 2013. Please comment before August 24th, 2013 (2300, GMT +8).