by Sarah Miller
Whether it’s starting your own business, tackling a degree, or changing the way you approach life, taking that first step is HARD. You can feel surround by worries, self-doubt, the need to “get it right”, and live a life that looks good on Instagram. Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose was a book written for women who are looking to start living out their dreams. Women who want to stop chasing perfection. Women who want to embrace a life of intention. Women like YOU.
Lara, an author/motivational speaker/publisher of Southern Weddings/wife/mama/gardener extraordinaire, published Make it Happen in December 2014. Full of stories about her struggles, her joys, and her journey with the Lord, Make it Happen is a must-read. It’s the perfect combination of encouragement and personal accountability, like having your best friend talking to you. Lara has you take a long hard look at what’s holding you back, and then helps you tackle it step-by-step. We asked Lara a few questions about herself, her book, and her journey (and pie, because who doesn’t love pie?).
MC: Why did you write Make it Happen?
Lara: I started the Making Things Happen conference seven years ago after being inundated with requests for business consulting and coaching advice. At first, it was a way to meet a great need I saw in the creative industry to help others make things happen. Over the years, as my own heart and life have been changed, it has grown into far more. Now, the goal is to encourage people to make what matters happen. That may not mean “big” dreams in the traditional sense, but rather chasing after what lasts longer than us. We’ve now done the workshop more than 45 times and seen thousands of fears met, leaps of faith taken and new paths paved. The book, Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live On Purpose, was born out of the many stories women have shared with me over the years. I wanted a way to hand women a collection of lessons I’ve learned from the many brave women I’ve encountered. Thomas Nelson publishers approached me about writing the book after they came across my yearly goal-setting series that I run on my blog. The goal for the book and conference is the same: help women live on purpose, using all the gifts they’ve been given to the fullest — in work, motherhood, marriage and in their communities.
MC: What was the most difficult part of the book to write?
Lara: All of it. I imagine that writing about gardening or bees might be easier to tackle than writing about one's failures. But, I am so grateful! Writing these pages was a refining experience. It made me draw closer to God, seek His wisdom, and wrestle with a lot of past pain and shame. Like most of the very best things in life, they can often come out of struggle and challenge. Every moment of challenge in writing was worth it!
MC: What’s your favorite part of the book?
Lara: Writing about my miscarriage was a gift, because it helped me heal and remember that God is good and, even when you can't see it, He is at work. After winter, always comes spring.
MC: What’s your favorite verse?
Lara: ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’ (James 1:5 NIV). This has been a key verse for me this year as I keep seeking Him and what He wants me to do with my minutes each day. Every time I go to Him for wisdom and direction, He delivers on this promise when I listen with all of me!
MC: Who do you go to for support and encouragement?
Lara: To the Bible, to prayer, to my amazing friends and church family, and to the arms of my husband. He’s pretty wonderful!
MC: What’s next for you?
Lara: We are expecting (I'm due in July) and also adopting this year. So, what's ahead is likely a lot of surrender and letting go of control. We are excited and grateful! I'm also in the process of writing my second book.
MC: What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Lara: Well, I'm pregnant and having a boy. When I was pregnant with Grace, I craved nothing but salad and fruit. This time around I want pizza, meat, and I could say yes to just about any kind of pie. My favorites are pecan, sweet potato, and lemon ice box pie!