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.
“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
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.
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!