Bailey’s PowerSheets: May’s Progress

Our goal for this community is to create a safe place for PowerSheets users to share their intentional goal-setting journeys. We're excited to share a May PowerSheets progress update from our contributor, Bailey Robert. If you haven't yet, be sure to read Bailey's introduction here and first contributor post here. Thank you, Bailey! - Laura

May was a big month in my world, and it flipped my schedule and rhythm topsy turvy. I graduated from graduate school with a MA in Theatre (insert praise hands emoji here!) and I moved back to Texas. Well, partially. I'm staying with my parents while I hunt for teaching jobs and save up for the summer, then once I know where I'm going we'll pack my apartment and truck it to the right place. I have to admit daydreaming about a new apartment has been all sorts of distracting, but there would be no new apartment if I didn't get things in gear with my goals. So back to the basics we go!

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I find that I thrive in routine, and it should come as no surprise that my PowerSheets help lead the way. But this month my routine has been thrown out the window with the move and the lack of a class schedule, and some things have not gone as planned. Even so, I returned to my Tending List and the Cultivate Gratitude pages for May, chanting progress not perfection over and over and over again.

The Cultivate Gratitude section keeps things in perspective, and I'm immensely grateful for that on its own! Filling in the little flowerbeds of thankfulness reminds me of small victories and memories made that may or may not have been included on my Tending List.

My favorites this month include:

  • Seeing a new play in Dallas with a friend from college.
  • Graduating from graduate school!
  • Celebrating my little sister's college graduation/engagement.
  • Completing 30 days of my 100 Illustrated Days challenge (so far).
  • Reading good books, new and old. (A Severe Mercy + The Selection)
  • Visiting friends in Austin.

A couple of these were on my goals list for the month, but many of them happened by surprise. These are also great reminders of what fires me up, and they give me ideas for what to add to my Tending List next month. I mentioned that my little sister got engaged, so you know Maid of Honor duties will have their share of the page. ;)

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Another thing I've learned in three years of using the PowerSheets is that it's important to include major milestones and upcoming events in the Monthly Goals section of my tending list. They are (almost always) guaranteed to be checked off, and they remind me what I'm looking forward to most!

Number one this month? Graduate from graduate school! That one received a big ol' check mark - and I don't know how many more times I can/will mention it in this post. ;) Number two? Move back to Texas. These were major game changers in my schedule and season, and thanks to them several of my goals had to be adjusted or set aside.

Some of my usual goals found their place in the Monthly or Weekly spaces, and some found success while others floundered:

  • Read 5+ books. I've read 10!
  • Continue The Contentment Challenge. Ehhhh... this month has been rough.
  • Write for Illustrated Faith + PowerSheets blog. You're reading the answer to this goal!
  • Complete my teaching certification. Progress? Yes! Completion? Not yet.

Bailey_PowerSheets 6

Again, it's about progress not perfection here. It's also about being real with yourself about what your month will hold or has held as you assess your progress. I knew the move and the end of school would throw a monkey wrench into my routine, which means I knew early on that this month would get a lot of grace to cover the goals left unchecked.

No matter what your May held, and whether or not you have one box left unchecked or twenty, remember to give yourself grace and cultivate gratitude. Fill in your gratitude page and celebrate what DID happen this month and which people left their mark. This month I was all kind of grateful for blogging friends who encouraged me during the transition and surprised me with sweet notes in the mail to celebrate graduation.

As we look forward to the summer months, I repeat: PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Set goals and make what matters happen, but sometimes what matters is setting the to-do list aside and being with your people. Give yourself grace when that happens. The goals will still be there when you get back.

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My Word of the Year – Gina Fornito

We're excited to introduce the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring Gina Fornito! Read below about how Gina's implementing DEVOTION into her life this year and how she's making what matters happen.

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:
Hi y’all! I’m Gina and I’m the gal behind the brand, Gina Bean. I am a lover of God, coffee and paper goods. I have an incredible family and amazing friends and I love my job in the creative field. I also work part time for Best Friends For Frosting and it's an absolute dream!

What fires me up:

  • Loving on others
  • God’s grace
  • Coffee dates
  • Helping others
  • Creating
  • Photography
  • Reading
  • The Bible
  • Writing

What do you value the most?

  • God’s will and love for us
  • My family and friends
  • Loving on others

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?
My most fulfilling year yet would be full of praising God for his glory and sharing His works with others. I would be helping people be their best selves in whatever way made them happy. I would be living God’s word. I want to live on purpose, to have a life full of love and worship and people. I want to do what matters according to our God.

What is your word for this year? 

How have you implemented DEVOTION into your life so far this year?
My word for this year is DEVOTION. This is because I need more time devoted to God and His word. I want to make what matters happen through devotion, even in my darkest hours. This season is for learning how to be myself and following through with my goals. This means being devoted to God, my work and my family as well as myself. I want to continue to be devoted for years to come. I often ask myself, “Is this something I am passionate about?” or “Do I want to be here/doing this when I am 80?” It helps me decide if what I am devoting myself to is important or not.

What are you saying yes to this year?

  • Living on purpose
  • Loving others
  • Time with God
  • Working hard
  • God’s word
  • Progress not perfection
  • Grace
  • God’s will
  • Writing what’s on my heart
  • Writing to others
  • Exercising

And, what are you saying no to this year?

  • Anxiety
  • Excuses
  • Depression
  • Negativity
  • Control
  • Self pity
  • Wasted time

Where do you want to be when you're 80?
When I’m eighty I want to look back and have lived out God’s word, loved on people immensely and worked hard to encourage others. I want to have laughed from my belly and built a life I was proud of. I hope to have spread God’s word in the best way possible and shed light on His graces.

Where can we find you online?  •  @ginabeandesign

Thank you for sharing, Gina! We're cheering you on as you chase devotion this year!

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Our Favorite Things – May

Hi, friends!

The LC Team is excited to share the May edition of "Our Favorite Things" where we share our favorite things that are helping us cultivate joy, make progress on our goals and create more purpose in our days. We'd love for you to share what "things" are helping you in your PowerSheets progress, too! Share your ideas in a comment below!

  1. Our PowerSheets, of course! Working through our PowerSheets at the start of each month allows us to celebrate the progress we've made in the month before, set clear goals, and focus on specific relationship tending.
  2. Publix Herb Garlic Salmon with Irish Cheese Potato Cakes Recipe. "We love Publix and their easy recipes that help me work toward my goal of cooking at home more!" - Marissa
  3. For the Love, by Jen Hatmaker. Helping Kristin with her goals of Education and Growth.
  4. Blessed is She email devotionals. "These devotionals help my prioritize my relationship with the Lord by spending time with Him in prayer and the Word daily." - Lisa
  5. Journaling Bible. "This covers two of my goals—the practice of creating and using my creative skills weekly and also more time to spend growing in my faith." - Amber
  6. G2 Retractable pens in extra fine point. "While it's taken me a while to get used to making a mess in my PowerSheets, one thing I'm pretty particular about is that the pen I use doesn't bleed through to the other page. I love the Extra Fine point G2 Retractable Gel Pens for PowerSheets Prep and updating my lists." - Jess
  7. Emily Ley's Simplified Planner. "Helps me tend to my goal of investing in marriage by easily allowing me to scheduling date nights with KPW!" - Kristin
  8. Noisli. "What I listen to when I do my PowerSheets each month. My favorite combo is fire + nighttime + rustling leaves." - Nicole
  9. Fiddle Leaf Fig. "I'm proud to say I've kept this fiddle leaf fig plant alive for a year! I keep it right near my workspace and the bit of nature and freshness makes me happy while I work." - Laura
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Meet Our Contributors – Meghan Coleman

The LC Team is so excited to introduce our next PowerSheets Community Blog Contributor - Meghan Coleman! Over the next several months, Meghan will share openly about her PowerSheets journey. We hope that you'll be encouraged by her progress over perfection, and can take away some of her tips for making the PowerSheets work best for her. We are excited for this community to get a glimpse into these PowerSheets users' lives and how they're making what matters happen. Get to know a little bit about Meghan below and stay tuned for her first contributor post in the coming weeks! 

What's your story in a few sentences?

I’m a wife to John, mama to Grace and Henry, a believer, a perpetual dreamer, lifelong learner and recovering perfectionist who loves love and all things gold. I just recently (read: last year) started fully embracing who I am and living life on purpose. I spend my days with my littles, wrapping up my Master’s degree, and slowly, but surely launching a hand lettering business, jules + henry. I love creating and spreading joy through my letters.

What's your favorite color?

I will always gravitate toward shades of blue (navy and mint blue/teal are my ultimate favorites). Though, admittedly, I am totally digging pops of coral this spring.

What fires you up about spring?

Bright morning sunshine, fresh flowers (especially from the farmer’s market!) and lots of outdoor time with my family.

PowerSheets_Coleman Family

How long have you used the PowerSheets and how have they helped you in the past?

This is my third set of PowerSheets. The first two times I used PowerSheets, it became more of an outlet for me to process and understand some big life changes happening, start getting clear on what I really wanted, and truly start laying the foundation I needed to open up my heart in following my passions. Just writing everything down was immensely helpful.

This year has been all about dreaming big and setting small, achievable goals to help me along. It’s been about intentional living and giving myself grace if goals change or I don’t fill on line (or page!) in during any given month.

What is your favorite part of the PowerSheets?

I love, love, love the practicing gratitude part; establishing a regular gratitude practice has been transformative for me. I also love the three-month refresh section. The prompts were so great this spring in helping me track progress, re-evaluate goals and recharge for the new season ahead. Also, the stickers. Oh my, the stickers. Can I just say I love it ALL?!


Tell us about one of your goals for the year. 

Growing my business. I never saw entrepreneur in my dreams for myself, but now, I am SO excited to just dig in and give it a go. I’m both nervous AND excited and I know that’s exactly the right place to be right now. This last year has really taught me that beautiful things really do happen when you keep your heart open and follow your passions.

What is your favorite PowerSheets sticker? 

All of the gold foil stickers are my favorites. Gold is basically one of my love languages.

As a contributor, what encouragement can you give to our PowerSheets community?

Dream big, work hard, love big, and be yourself. You CAN do hard things. AND it’s absolutely okay to get messy with your PowerSheets! The best thing that could’ve happened to mine was my two littles getting a hold of them unexpectedly and scribbling on many of the pages. Just that little bit of imperfection was all I needed to allow myself to follow suit.


What's your word for 2016?

The word I chose for 2016 is GROW. 2015 was such a pivotal year in my life with the birth of my son and deciding to change course in my career in favor of spending more time at home with my family. Those were two huge changes, so I gave myself plenty of grace just to settle into my new roles. 2016 is all about flourishing. For me, grow means coming into my own in my roles as wife and mama and entrepreneur. It also means that I love myself wholly, am growing in my faith, and am building connections and community with others around me.

Anything else our community should know about you? 

I’m a Minnesota girl through and through (born and raised and no, the cold isn’t actually that bad!). I’m also a total hugger and I’m left-handed. Three random, fun facts that basically sum up who I am.

Thank you so much, Meghan! We can't wait to hear more about your PowerSheets journey!

Follow Meghan at:  •  @julesandhenry  •  @mlcoleman

Photography: Sally Gruman of Gruman Photography


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My Word of the Year – Rachel Anne Hopper

We're thrilled to introduce the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring Rachel Anne Hopper! Read below about how she's implementing CONTENT into her life this year and how she's making what matters happen.

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:
Hi y’all!  My name is Rachel Anne Hopper, and I am a wife, mom, friend, encourager, and a believer living life with an attitude of grace, gratitude and grit. I have a wonderful family, strong and beautiful friends, and I love my work as a college administrator.

What fires me up?

  • My daughter's laugh and the way my husband dances me around the kitchen
  • Simplicity, joy and living a life on purpose
  • Faithful friendships
  • Hospitality
  • Fresh flowers
  • The perfect crescendo in a song

What do you value the most?

  • God’s grace
  • My husband and daughter
  • Cultivating relationships
  • Encouraging and caring for others

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?
I would see relationships flourishing, a year full of giving, and the knowledge that I made wise decisions.  I want to look back on 2016 and know that I chose the best yes’s in life, made good decisions for my family, walked with God, spent our finances wisely. Also, I would see relationships flourishing instead of accumulating stuff or status. I’d remember more laughing than crying, more date nights than meetings all night, and purpose over perfection. I would look back over my year to see gratitude and grace given and received. In reflecting over the past months, I realized I have lived out my most purposeful year yet!  Keep going lady, you’ve got this!


What is your word for this year? 

How have you implemented this word into your life so far this year?
My word for the year is content because God is enough, which makes me enough.  I want to bloom where I am planted within the season I am placed.  I don’t need all the extras in life.  I don’t need the next title or new, shiny thing.  God has called me good, and I want to rest in that.  One example of how I have implemented this is to evaluate my ‘needs’ versus my ‘wants’.  If I come across something that I want, then it goes on my wants list for 30 days.  If at the end of the 30 days I still want it, then we will figure out a way for it to go into the budget.   Another example is evaluating my motivation for my extra-curricular activities.  Am I part of an organization because of status motives?  Do I want to attend an event because of who may be there?  These questions help me identify motivations and steer clear of what may draw me away from contentment.

What are you saying yes to this year?
I am saying yes to spending time in God’s word, meaningful relationships, focusing on my family, prayer, grace to myself and others, loving hard and laughing loud.

And, what are you saying no to this year?
I am saying no to comparison, lies of lack, ‘need’ for things, status and perfection.

Where do you want to be when you're 80?
In November 2015, I sat at MTH while Lara asked me to think about my 80-year-old self. When I closed my eyes to envision this, I saw myself sitting next to my husband, and we were watching our family (children, their spouses, grandchildren) laughing loud and loving hard. I looked at my children's faces and saw joy. I looked at my husband and saw more than 50 years of better, worse, memories, hard work, commitment and dedication. I looked at my able body and saw a well-loved, yet fragile being.  Then, I started to look deeper at my vision. When I looked at my children and their spouses, I saw relationships thriving because we modeled marriage and therefore our children desired marriage. Likewise, when I looked at my children taking care of their own little ones, it told me that my husband and I modeled parenthood in such a way that our children wanted to lead a family. In my vision I also had an able body - strong, nurtured and cared for.  I want every decision I make to lead me to that vision.

Thank you so much for sharing, Rachel! We're cheering you on as you chase CONTENT this year!

Follow Rachel on Instagram at @rachelannehopper.

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