A Beautifully Uncertain 31-Day Challenge: Week Two
I hope everyone enjoyed Week One of the challenge! I have to say…I think I’m even more excited about Week Two!!!!
To recap: I decided to do things a little differently in 2016. This year, I’m inviting you to ditch the resolutions and instead start a New Year’s REVOLUTION with me, in the form of achieving one very simple, attainable goal each day. Since so many of us are in seasons of waiting (waiting for love, waiting for marriage, waiting for babies, waiting for an answer to a prayer, waiting for a cure or a phone call or a diploma or even a miracle)…this challenge is designed to help you learn to wait with purpose and embrace the beautiful uncertainty of your unique journey. (Which, coincidentally, just so happen to be BIG themes of my new book Beautiful Uncertainty.)
So whether you’re in a season of Singleness, Surrender, or Stepping Out on Faith…I hope these next 24 days serve as a launchpad for the next chapter of your life. Don’t feel like you have to stay in order if you need to switch up any of the exercises and do them on different days than I have listed here. Or if you even need to get caught up with Week One before starting Week Two…that’s cool, too! If you want to blog along with me as we go or post about your experiences taking the challenge on social media, please use the hashtag #BeautifulUncertainty so the rest of us can follow along with your progress!
Day 8: Ex Doesn’t Mark the Spot
You’ve purged your house…now it’s time to purge your heart.
It’s impossible to open yourself up to new love in the new year if you’re still clinging to the old loves of years past.
So take a deep breath…and delete your exes. From anywhere online or offline where their ghosts reside: Your phone, your Facebook, your Snapchat, your Twitter feed, etc, etc.
It’s time to break those connections that keep breaking your heart. (If you need a little help, download my Guide to Letting Go and Moving On FREE when you preorder Beautiful Uncertainty.)
“Thank you, God, for the strength to stop reliving the past, to start living my present, and to walk in the beautiful certainty of knowing my future lies with you.” ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 9: Surrender
The subtitle of Beautiful Uncertainty is “Singleness, Surrender, and Stepping Out on Faith” for a reason. The year of my life that takes place over the course of the book (2014) was the year I learned to surrender to God and to my life more powerfully and completely than I ever had before. And honestly, more than I ever have since.
So today I want to dare you to surrender.
I want to dare you to say the prayer that I said during the course of my beautifully uncertain 2014:
“God, please remove anything or anyone from my life that isn’t pleasing to you.”
It’s a powerful, POWERFUL prayer…so only say it if you’re serious. If you’re not, you might as well go ahead and skip to Day 10. Because when you are willing to say those words to God…when you’re willing to hand Him anything or anyone that isn’t in His will for your life, or maybe just not in His will for your life at this moment in time…He will honor that prayer.
And your life will change.
Day 10: 99 Red Balloons (or even just one)
This week has been all about letting go and surrendering the past…so today I want you to physically release something to symbolize everything you’re letting go of emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
This exercise is simple, yet powerful. I first shared it with you guys in my Guide to Letting Go and Moving On (which, as I may have mentioned a few times 🙂 – you can download FREE right now when you preorder Beautiful Uncertainty.)
Go buy a bundle of balloons. I always buy red ones because it’s such a bold, empowering color. Take a sharpie and write on the balloons everything you need to let go of. Exes. Heartbreak. Failures. Insecurities. People who have hurt you. Bad choices. Fears. Selfishness. Whatever it is that’s holding you back from living your best life.
Then pop the balloons one by one (this used to be “release the balloons one by one” but I got reprimanded by people who say that releasing balloons is bad for the planet. So I altered the plan. And in the process I discovered that popping the balloons feels a million times more amazing!) and watch all your baggage deflate and disappear…one issue at a time.
And never look back.
“When you let go, something magical happens. You give God room to work.” ~Mandy Hale
Day 11: Get Uncomfortable
One of the biggest miracles that came out of the year 2014 (and led to me writing Beautiful Uncertainty) was the planning of the nationwide tour I went on, where I got to meet and speak to and encourage literally thousands of women across the country.
A tour that culminated with us speaking at Lakewood Church in Houston…literally the biggest church in the country.
And we planned the whole tour in less than a month.
You’ll read the full faith story in Beautiful Uncertainty…but it all started with a prayer that I said at the start of 2014 based on a nudging from God.
I decided to “get uncomfortable” in 2014. And it changed the course of the entire year and honestly, the rest of my life.
So today I dare you to say that same prayer. And then find little ways as you go throughout your day and your week and your month and your year to GET UNCOMFORTABLE. Not simply for the sake of getting uncomfortable but to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take big, bold steps of faith. Or even teeny-tiny steps of faith. But do SOMETHING to challenge yourself and push yourself and expand your horizons. I promise it will change your life.
“That’s what faith does. It moves you, challenges you, stretches you, and shatters your comfort zone…and with it, the limitations you place on yourself and God.” ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 12: Take Yourself on a Date
We took God on a date earlier in the challenge…now I want to dare you to practice the whole “Getting Uncomfortable” thing we did yesterday by taking yourself on a date. Completely alone.
Maybe it’s out to lunch. Or dinner. Or coffee. Or a movie. What you do and where you choose to go is entirely up to you. BUT: Don’t hide behind defenses like a magazine or a book or sunglasses or your phone. Be bold enough to sit confidently in your aloneness without apologizing for it. And without feeling ashamed of it. If you’re single, this is an opportunity to declare your freedom from dependence on other people or crutches or insecurity. If you’re taken, this is an opportunity to get away for a little while and reconnect with yourself, outside that relationship. And no matter WHAT your relationship status…this is an opportunity to learn to love yourself and your own company a little bit more.
Day 13: Random Act of Kindness
The other day I checked my PO Box and had a sweet note and Barnes & Noble gift card from an anonymous reader. It was such a simple yet sweet and thoughtful gesture, it literally made my day. And it made me want to commit my own random act of kindness. So I took the card to the coffee shop at Barnes & Noble and bought myself a cookie…then left the remaining $21 on the card with the barista to cover the next couple of customers. Who knows who they were or what kind of a day they were having, but hopefully they smiled a little bigger when they learned they didn’t have to pay for their coffee that day.
In Beautiful Uncertainty you’ll read about a very powerful encounter I had with a homeless man named Louie. Sometimes we have to pause in the midst of our own busy lives and take time out to be a blessing to others. And you know what I’ve found? When we do that, it always winds up blessing us a million times over. That’s why today I want you to find your own Louie and commit your own random act of kindness. Maybe it’s buying coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Maybe it’s stopping and buying a homeless person a cheeseburger. Maybe leaving your waiter or waitress a really big tip. Or maybe it’s something else all together. But whatever you choose…I promise that the joy you bring to someone else’s day will be far greater than any inconvenience it may cause to yours.
Prayer: God, help me to always seek to be a blessing to others, even when it’s scary or uncertain or inconvenient…especially then. May I never pass up an opportunity to allow your love to shine through me. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 14: Forgive Someone.
Today’s challenge is quite simple: Forgive someone.
A family member, a friend, an ex, YOURSELF…anyone you’re holding unforgiveness or resentment or bitterness against in your heart…let it go.
Not necessarily because they deserve it. But because YOU deserve to be free of whatever it is they did. And maybe even to be free of them all together.
Don’t let the pain that they caused you define you for one more minute.
You might have to make and remake this choice to forgive every single day for the rest of this challenge. For the rest of the year. Or even for the rest of your LIFE. Forgiveness isn’t always a one time thing. Sometimes it’s a choice we make every day, until we wake up one day and the burden of carrying around all that pain has lifted.
But you have to start somewhere.
So why not start today?
I’d love to hear from YOU about your experiences each day with the challenge! Comment below with your feedback. And stay tuned for Week 3 coming soon!
This is exactly what I needed to hear. But I don’t know how to begin and where to start. My faith feels like it’s in a thousand directions. I lost my mother, less than a week ago now on January 2nd, 2016. My heart’s shattered, this feels unbearable, and how to I live without my her…she was my best friend. She’ll never see me graduate this year in December 2016 nor get to see me married someday nor be a grandmother to my children. I’m depressed, angry, bitter, and everything in between. She passed at the age of 49, I’m only 26, and my younger brother Tanner is 23. Please keep my family and I in your prayers. Especially Tanner, he was with our mother when she passed…all alone, just him and her. I feel so bad and guilty that I left him alone. Also, that Mom and I got into a
semi-argument…even though we made up before before I left our home. Then she passed 15-20 minutes later. That’s all I can say for now. The services are tomorrow – January 9th, 2016 at 10:30 am in north Texas. Again prayers are appreciated. Blessings, love, and Shalom.
Samantha, I’m praying for you and your family, I lost my dad a few years ago and it took me a long time to get over the feeling of guilt that I didn’t get there on time before he died.
It’s probably to early yet as mourning our loved ones is important but please try and focus on the good times, the fond memories and the happiness you shared With your mum. It could help you get through this difficult time.
I’m sorry to read this Samantha. I will pray for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding for you. What a difficult time.
I haven’t lost a parent but I have had some other very rocky times and personally I find Psalm 91 to be very comforting. May you know His comfort.
God bless you.
Praying for you Samantha!
Samantha, I am so sorry for your loss! I know what you are going through, as I lost my mom when I was 28 and she was 49. My heart goes out to you and your brother. I know this is a difficult time for you right now, but I am praying for you. Please remember that God has you all and this situation in His mighty palms and if you will only let Him, He will use this in a beautiful and amazing way. Sending hugs and prayers to you all. Much love, and blessings.
Praying for you Samantha. God will never leave you or forsake you..
Praying for you today. My heart breaks with you.
Samantha, my heart goes out to you. I pray you will be comforted. It also pays to remember the sweet times yo had with your mum, let go of any guilt you feel over her death and try to fufill any desires she may have expressed…while you are at it, you will say am doing this for you mum.
Let God comfort you. Take a step at a time. U cant heal in a day or by wishing grief over. I am praying for you and Tanner.
Ex Doesn’t Mark the Spot
This was really amazing! Deleting old numbers and praying/ waiting for a new one to enter!
I am enjoying each day… I wrote a letter to an ex with all my feelings and God and I ate fries with ketchup then walk to the train on a rainy day…I enjoy the vision book and purging was started, but I feel there is more too throughout the month
I have a very hard time believing in a God that wants me to be single and miserable. I have been hurt time and time again in relationships and I am a good person who doesn’t deserve to feel this way. If he truly loved me, he would send me someone who would treat me the way I deserve to be treated.
Jessie, I understand your pain. And I am sorry. I don’t believe God desires for any of his children to be alone and miserable. But He also doesn’t want us to be in a relationship where we are mistreated, used, taken advantage of, abused, ignored or neglected. We have to value ourselves so much more than we do, so that we don’t just accept whatever or whoever walks into our life. I speak from experience, and it is a difficult lesson to learn. When we get fully comfortable with just ourselves, and fully reliant on God, then marvelous things happen. It’s a process, little steps taken slowly day by day, and then all of a sudden, life changes! I urge you to rethink on the way you value yourself, your views on God, and your future. I am not asking you to do anything I haven’t had to do myself.
I totally understand how you feel because I feel the same way. I just keep in mind that God knows the right time to bring the right man into my life!
Today while driving I was thinking of what words or phrases to put on my balloons for tomorrow’s challenge. During that time I heard the lyrics to a song that God used several months to not only touch my heart but speak to me. I was reminded of something I was reminded of a few months ago. To quit worrying, let God handle it all and just be held. Clearly I haven’t quite learned that lesson as He’s still having to remind me of it. Taking that big step of doing exactly that and writing on my balloons and letting on all go and giving it all to God! Now I just have to make sure I completely let it all go.
It has been an awesome, breath taking expirience since I started this 31 day challenge. My date with God was the most beautiful love experience I’ve ever had! God revealed His plans for me this year 2016! I am so excited! Can’t wait to take myselfon a date and get uncomfortable. Lol. God bless you Mandy Hale, for being a blessing to me.
So beautiful! Thank you for sharing, friend. xo, Mandy
Fell in love for the first time since my divorce 16 yrs ago… Dated a wonderful man for a few months, gradually he started distancing himself, said I was too good for him and said I deserved better… Heartbroken all over again…held on to all text messages, pictures, everything that reminded me of him, wondering where we went wrong. I Promised myself that at the end of the year on December 31, was going to delete everything and let it go. Then on December 30, out of the blue I received a text from him, we talked all night, he came over a few days later… We talked and discussed everything that had happened and what I went thru while we were apart. Things were great the entire weekend, then midweek from one day to the next he stopped texting and calling, he ignored all my texts, except for one yesterday, I asked him why he was ignoring me and he just replied ” I’m sorry”. That’s it, now he blocked me. It’s killing me not knowing what happened… I know I need to let it go, but I deserve an explanation. I know I need to turn to God, and with his help I will get thru this, I have to.
Today’s challenge is my theme for 2016: Get Uncomfortable. The first uncomforable thing (for me) that I’ll be doing this year is participating in a speed dating event later this month. That is way outside of my comfort zone, to be sure! I plan to push myself in several areas of my life this year; that’s just one area, my social life. Super excited for the journey! 🙂
Day 14 – forgive someone. This is my struggle. How do you forgive someone for ruining your life? How do you forgive them for tearing your family apart and causing so much pain? How do you forgive someone who’s actions have put you in such deep depression? How can I forgive someone when the very sight of them puts me in a rage to the point I just want to run them over?
It’s been a year now. I would love more than anything to not have this in my head everyday. But where do I start? Just saying that I need to stop letting these people get to me isn’t working. I tell myself this daily. It’s just not working.
You are an answered prayer for me right now. Thank you for all you do.
Can you give me the link of the start of this challenge?
Since beginning this challenge, I cannot tell you how many signs I have encountered that I am making the right decision by surrendering my life to God. It is a daily surrender but as I was reminded in church today, we are all given a fresh start…it isn’t found in trying harder but only found in surrender. We are all guilty of trying harder and believing that we can control the outcome of situations if we just “push it” b.c it feels right. When in all actuality, as soon as we surrender our actions and attitudes to God, we begin to realize a sense of peace and happiness. Thank you for being a part of my transformation and a new “self” for a new year.
Thank you Mandy. I am just now getting this challenge and I am so thankful for it.
Has week 3 been released?
Has week 3 been released