A Beautifully Uncertain 31-Day Challenge: Week Three
To recap: I decided to do things a little differently in 2016 by I’m inviting you to ditch the New Year’s resolutions and instead spend this first month of the year 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 16 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 15: World’s Largest Vision Board
In Chapter 2 of Beautiful Uncertainty, you’ll read about how creating a Vision Board filled with my goals and plans for the year literally changed the course of my life in 2014. And on Day 5 of the Challenge, you hopefully created your own Vision Board (if not, there’s still time to catch up! You can download the first two chapters FREE right now when you preorder Beautiful Uncertainty. In chapter 2 I detail exactly how to make your own board.)
A couple of months ago I got a crazy idea to create the “World’s Largest Vision Board” on a wall in my house and invite all of my readers to submit their #1 goal for the year for inclusion on the board so I could be meditating on their goals with them, praying for their progress, and believing for great miracles and breakthroughs. And a couple of days ago…I created it! It’s MASSIVE…8 feet x 7 feet and literally covers my entire wall. (I have since done my research and actually submitted the board as a Guinness World Record.)
Today I want you to review your goals for 2016 and pick your #1 goal. Then I want you to submit it to me for the World’s Largest Vision Board. You can do that in several ways.
- When you preorder Beautiful Uncertainty, you’ll get a super cute, downloadable “2016 goals” card to write your #1 goal on and either scan it to me or mail it to me.
- You can either email that scanned card to me at [email protected] or mail it to me at Mandy Hale, PO Box 330991, Murfreesboro, TN 37133.
- You don’t have to preorder the book to submit your goal (“But it would sure be cool if you did” *spoken in my best Matthew McConaughey/Wooderson voice*) You can simply email it to me or snail mail it to me at the addresses above.
- You can always tweet or Facebook it to me…but those are sometimes trickier for me to see, so be patient with me if it takes me awhile to get to it.
I know it sounds CRAZY…but I’m believing for a MILLION goals to be posted on that board. So let’s make it happen together! Here are a few I’ve gotten already…
And then step back and watch as God takes our little faith offering and turns it into something beautiful.
Day 16: A Little Step Toward Your Big Dream
What is your BIGGEST dream in life?
What are you currently doing to pursue it?
What is holding you back from realizing it? Time? Money? FEAR?
In Chapter 10 of Beautiful Uncertainty, I trace back my entire career path and journey of being a writer to a moment as a little girl, holding a book, dreaming of someday creating her own stories and characters. And that’s the way all really BIG things in our lives happen…with one small step. You’re reading this blog right now because I took the one tiny step of sending out a tweet. To zero followers. Into a Twitter universe that I knew absolutely nothing about. And now here we are, three books later.
That’s even part of the reason I wanted shoes on the cover of the book, and the subtitle “Stepping Out On Faith” (and yes, I meant for it to read ON and not IN because I view faith as God’s invisible safety net that we step out on even when all evidence to the contrary tells us we shouldn’t, because we know HE’S GOT US).
So today…I want you to take a step toward your dream. I don’t know what that looks like for you. But do SOMETHING. Make a call. Write a blog. Enroll in a class. Whatever your dream is, take some sort of action step, no matter how tiny, to get you a little closer to it becoming a reality.
Because TINY steps taken in faith are better than allowing fear and doubt and hesitation keep you stuck. And even the tiniest steps, taken faithfully, will eventually get you to your destination. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
One of the great big testimonies that came out of my journey in Beautiful Uncertainty was the cross-country tour I planned in less than a month that put me, for the first time, in front of thousands of precious ladies all over the United States. From coast to coast (literally!) I got to share my heart and help encourage women just like you and me, night after night, for almost a month. It was one of the most rewarding, terrifying, beautiful, uncertain, life-affirming experiences of my life.
And it all started with a bold ask.
Actually, a few of them. We needed transportation and gas and tour dates and a road manager. And all of these things were supernaturally provided because we were operating in faith and in accordance to God’s will…and also willing to put ourselves out there in a BIG way. I’ve learned that the most amazing things can happen in life if you’re only willing to ask for what you need and then get outta the way and let God provide.
So today’s challenge goes along great with yesterday’s because it’s going to hopefully put you one step closer to your dream, or even a bigger and better life.
Today I want you to make a bold ASK. Maybe it’s for a raise or for a date or for your dream job or for forgiveness or something else altogether…but ask for SOMETHING bold and daring and unexpected. Even if it’s something from God. Especially then.
The worst answer you can get is no…and your life will go on.
The best answer is YES – and your life could change forever. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 18: Celebrate Your Inner Seagull (Say WHAT?!)
In Beautiful Uncertainty, I share a story about an experience I had on the beach observing seagulls and pigeons and how sometimes as a single woman, it can be easy to feel like a pigeon in life. Ignored. Forgotten. Overlooked. You get the point.
Honestly, that’s how society kind of trains us to feel about ourselves…not just as single women, but as WOMEN. We’re never skinny enough. We’re never married enough. We’re never pregnant enough. We’re never pretty enough. We’re never ENOUGH.
So today, my beautiful fellow pigeons…I want you to get in touch with your inner seagull. I want you to write down five things that you really, really love about yourself. It can be absolutely anything in the world that is really cool and awesome and unique about you. And then I want you to meditate on that list of awesomeness for the remaining thirteen days of this challenge. Because chances are you’ve been ruminating on a lot of negative, defeating thoughts about yourself for so long you can’t even remember and it’s going to take at least thirteen days to change those patterns of thinking.
You are no longer going to agree with what the world has to say about you. You’re going to get with what you KNOW about you – the beautiful, strong, faithful woman God has created you to be. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 19: Enjoy the Moment More, Capture the Moment Less
In one of my favorite chapters of Beautiful Uncertainty, I share memory snapshots from the cross country tour I went on in 2014 – everywhere from Times Square to the Santa Monica Pier. These memories remain so clearly imprinted in my mind because I spent a lot more time LIVING on that trip than I did capturing my life on camera OR trying to convince people on social media how much I was living. And I wouldn’t trade one moment of it for all the money in the world.
It’s easy to get caught up in our phones and our Facebook feeds and our online lives that we neglect entirely our ACTUAL lives…so today I want you to put the phone down. Step away from your online life as much as you can and focus on your REAL life. And all the beautiful people and places and moments in it. Resist the urge to take actual snapshots and instead take MENTAL snapshots.
I guarantee you they’ll stay with you a whole lot longer.
Because that’s what life is about: Capturing the moment. Grabbing hold of it and refusing to let it slip from your grasp simply because you’re tired or inconvenienced or in a hurry. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
Day 20: Trust without Borders
Today’s challenge is very simple.
Say this prayer…and leave the rest to God.
Day 21: Close a Chapter
This might be the most difficult challenge yet.
We all have one of those on-again, off-again relationships floating around on the peripheral corners of our lives. The “Mr. Big.” The “will he or won’t he.” The guy (or girl) who is never quite in and yet never quite out of our lives.
I had mine. For almost eight long years. I let him break my heart more times than I can count. Mr. E. And since our story finally gets an ending in Beautiful Uncertainty…I want to encourage you to close the book on your own “almost lover.” It’s time. You will never fully be available and open to meet anyone else or fall in love with the person who deserves your heart as long as you keep holding on to the one who plays with it.
Today…let him go.
Earlier in the challenge I encouraged you to delete your exes from your phone and your online life. Now I’m encouraging you to evict them form your heart. It won’t all happen in a day…but perhaps today can be the beginning of the end of whatever long, drawn-out, agonizing journey you’ve found yourself in the middle of.
Because the one who is right for you…the one God has for you…he won’t ALMOST love you.
He’ll simply love you. No conditions. No questions. No hesitation.
For every chapter that ends…another begins. ~Beautiful Uncertainty
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 4 coming soon!