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Believe in 2016: April Goals

This is no joke, y'all. Giving myself permission to take last month off was INCREDIBLE. I felt both relief and re-envisioned for Brave Love Blog at the same time. My first three months of 2016 felt like a marathon, always on the go-go-go, and now the hamster wheel has stopped. This week I got to step off with wobbling knees and catch my breath. It has been beautiful.

It would also happen that after I announced a break I'd get all the ideas and more ;) Such is life.

You may recall that at the start of 2016, Rachel and I gave ourselves the first three months to plan and that was it. January, February, and March were all my heart could hold and conceivably set goals for, and as of today the first season has come to a close! What a whirlwind!

But the decision to take the year in quarters is the best decision I've made in a long time. This next stretch of three months is FAR different from the last, and it makes SO MUCH SENSE that my goals should be reassessed and rearranged as needed.

Today I am sharing April's goals, and next week I will break down this quarter's goals.

Making April Happen
Verse of the month: Lamentations 3:21-25
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.' The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him."

1. Finish grad school! Guys. This is my last month of classes! Graduation isn't technically until May 6, but I finish class on April 30. WHAT. IN. THE. WORLD?! With that in mind, I'm determined to finish strong. This means taking care of homework ahead of time, investing in my department, and cleaning out my office. I'm so close!
2. See Cinderella in Tulsa (+ more shows if possible). This one will be taken care of tonight. I'm headed to Tulsa to catch the tour of Cinderella with a friend, and I cannot wait! I love, love, love the show so much. It is also one of my goals to see as much theatre as possible each month, so I'm hoping to catch a few more plays elsewhere as well as the National Theatre in London's NTLive broadcasts. Seeing more theatre makes me a better artist, and it totally fires me up.
3. Participate in the 24 Hour Play Festival. Each spring our department holds a 24 Hour Play Festival. Everyone involved meets at midnight (tonight) to get the theme. Last year it was Twilight Zone. Then the writers have until 7am to write their plays. The directors meet at 7:30am to get their play and cast the actors, then the actors show up at 9:00am to start rehearsal. We will rehearse all day then end with performances that night at 8:00pm. It's going to be crazy day, but I'm so excited to do it this year! I signed up to direct. You'll catch glimpses on Instagram all day tomorrow. Wish me luck (or break a leg)!
4. The Contentment Challenge + Study. I've tried and failed at this too many times to count, but here we go again. The Contentment Challenge was started by Nancy Ray, and she recently came out with a devotional to go along with it. My challenge spans April, May, and June, and I'll share the details next week. It starts today!
5. Journal through the April Daily Declarations. On Instagram, I shared about a list of daily declarations that I was given in college. It's a list of Biblical truths partnered with scripture, to the said aloud everyday for 30 days. I plan to illustrate my way through them this month, digging in each morning. You'll see them appear @lovebaileyjean, I'm sure.
6. Read 5+ books. I'm still working on my 52 Books in 52 Weeks goal for the year, and I am 15 books in! Woohoo! I have two book club selections to read this month, as well as a few fiction options I picked up from the library. I'm actually going to finish Pride & Prejudice on Audible today, and it's 25 hours long so it totally counts. ;)
7. Disciple my girls well. I have the joy and honor of meeting with a handful of gals each week to walk through our goals and to dig into what the Lord has been teaching us. They challenge me and encourage me every time! I really want to invest well in them, in prayer and in our meeting times, this last month I have at school.
8. Contribute to my teams. I am on the creative teams for Illustrated Faith, Laura Rahel Designs, and I am going to be contributing to the PowerSheets community site blog soon, so I want to be sure to give time and attention to each one of these commitments. Blogging about them here will be part of the fun, too. You'll see!
9. Finish the In the Wait study. I was gifted In the Wait by the sweet Holly Holt, and it has spoken right to my soul every time I've picked it up! I put it on pause to co-host a study of Hebrews through Instagram last month, and I'm working through the final three weeks of it with one of my discipleship gals. Goodness, it's glorious! You should check it out ;)

There you have it friends. April, you're going to be a good one, I can just tell! There are plenty of things to get one, but after a month off I am approaching it with such a healthier mindset and heart. Thanks for hanging in there with all the ups and downs lately. Y'all are the best!

So what are YOUR goals for the month?
What do you want to make happen this April?

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