In my most recent couple of posts, I’ve shared a bit about the wisdom that comes from numbering your days, and about Four Ways To Hear from God once you’ve numbered those days and then want to start figuring out what the heck to do with them. I hope you’ve been encouraged by these posts, because truly friends, this is what we have. These are the days and we don’t know how many we’ll get! It’s scary deep that simple old saying:

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

Along with numbering our days and digging deeper into the heart of God to find the things He created us to do, I want to make the most of this opportunity (while I might have you thinking these deep thoughts) to share a couple of practical resources with you. These have impacted me in a significant way, in helping me recognize both the limitations of my time on Earth, and the possibilities.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us… {Hebrews 12:1}

Perhaps it goes without saying, but let me still say it: any other practical resource is no substitution for running after the heart of God and asking Him to lead you personally toward the destiny He has for you. With that being said, I believe there is a place for practical resources, like books that can help us think these things through and better understand deep and important concepts about the race we’re running. Even though C.S. Lewis (for example) died before I was born, he still remains a part of the Great Cloud of Witnesses that has formed and informed my faith, and ultimately drawn me closer to Jesus.

Simply put, the pen is mightier than the sword… and I am mighty grateful for it!

I’ll just mention a couple of favorite books in this post, but I’m sure more will follow in the days ahead. First…

Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro

I hope you’ll answer no to this question, but have you ever arrived at a season in your life where you felt like you were completely spent in every way possible, and if something didn’t give, you weren’t going to be able to survive another day? Well, years ago, Wayne Cordeiro hit that wall and just kept on running… for quite a while. He eventually found himself on a curb weeping uncontrollably when he’d gone out for a jog before a speaking engagement. His journey through complete burn out and full-on depression, which he describes as a “three-year odyssey” changed his understanding of life, his core values, his goals and even his understanding of his calling.

In Leading on Empty, Cordeiro recounts this journey, with illustrations (you know I love my word-picture analogies) that have stuck with me since when I first read it six or seven years ago. The most important insight I gained from this book was the ability to look at the balls that I’ll juggle over the course of my lifetime, and to recognize which ones will bounce if I drop them, and which ones will break. As a daughter or a wife, a mother and a Christian, there are roles that only you can fill, positions that only you can hold. It is essential for you to understand which roles those are.

My thoughts? Learning to recognize what’s breakable is perhaps THE MOST important part of the process of numbering your days and gaining understanding about what on earth you’re here for.


Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

If you want someone to tell you exactly how to start figuring out your primary goals, how to “triage” the different dreams and responsibilities you have for your life, and what to do once you think you’ve got those priorities figured out, this book is FOR YOU. I think this is the most practical, step by step approach to “Life Planning” I have ever read or even heard of. This quote sums up why I was challenged to take the concept of Life Planning seriously:

Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than identifying the outcomes they want to see in the major areas of their lives. Is it any surprise when life doesn’t turn out the way we want? {Hyatt and Harkavy, Living Forward}

What kind of parent do you want to be? What kind of co-worker or boss? What kind of husband or wife? What practical goals can you set to make sure you’re moving in the right direction? Living Forward is full of VERY practical wisdom to help you systematically plan how to achieve the goals you might set for yourself in every role in life you choose to take on.


My thoughts? You are MUCH more likely to achieve your goals — no matter what category of life they fall into — if you have a plan in place to help you take practical steps toward crossing those finish lines. 

Another favorite quote I’ve mentioned here before, from Michael Hyatt, is that “A goal without a date is a dream.” If you are not taking any steps toward turning your goals into reality, they are truly just dreams. If you’re okay with that, then okay — but if you want to do something about it, this book will help you figure what that something out to be.

I have followed Michael Hyatt and been grateful for his practical, instructional guidance for a long time now, and when he advertised that he and Daniel Harkavy were looking for a group of folks to preview Living Forward, join the Launch Team and give feedback on their personal experience with the book, I jumped at the opportunity to grab a free copy and dig in. I was not disappointed.

What It All Boils Down To

There are probably thousands of books on the shelves that offer to help you figure out where the heck you want to go and how you’re going to get there. What Color Is Your Parachute? has sold some ten million copies and has a 2017 version coming out this month. The Purpose Driven Life has been translated into 85 languages and named the “bestselling non-fiction hardback book” in history.

We all struggle to decide what to do with our lives at one point or another — don’t be afraid to look for help, because that is an excellent way to take a step toward figuring things out.

If you read the stats on career changes, it seems people are struggling more than ever to find the things that make them come alive, and to focus in on what’s most important (which by necessity means choosing to say “this, that and the other are NOT as important.”)

Keep counting your days and giving thanks, and seeking a heart of wisdom from Jesus. But don’t be afraid to employ additional resources to help you figure out how to get to the places you believe God wants you to be.

I’d like to share (from personal experience) a bit about the danger of trying to do it all soon.

In the meantime, keep asking, praying and planning! I’d love to hear from you — do you have any questions about what I’ve shared above, or have you read a book that has helped form your future? Please join this conversation in the comments!