And then I wrote an e-book for you.

DO YOUR THING is part e-book, part journal, and it's ready for you. I can't wait to send you a copy!
 
Do Your Thing is about being yourself, and living your values. It's about who you were made to be, and who you are meant to be. It's about living our imperfect lives, with purpose.
 
Get your FREE copy now.

Purposeful highlights. #write31days

October was all about rewriting the rules and living with purpose. Here’s the best of Purposing.

Rewrite the rules. Live with purpose. A #write31days highlight reel!

Because maybe you could use a handy little reminder to read, while I am moving to a new house with six children underfoot this week?

(Really the children have been super helpful. There are other things underfoot, though. Like BOXES and DUST and THINGS TO PACK.)

I haven’t hit the stage where I walk around muttering, “WHY DO WE OWN STUFF” and “WHO INVENTED CLOTHES” and “WHAT’S THE POINT OF DISHES.” There’s still time. You can follow our moving adventures on Instagram, if you like.

On to the highlight reel!
 

Live with purpose.

Call out the norms and rules that aren’t helping you, and make new choices that make sense. Ask the questions that help move you toward your purpose. Keep asking, even if the answers aren’t neat and expected.
 

On being yourself.

Because who else is going to be you, if you don’t? It’s easy to offer up the tidy version of yourself, but the real you has texture and depth and nuance. You can choose to honor who you were made to be. You can be yourself, imperfections and all.
 

On the moments that matter. (They all matter.)

Every minute counts, the glorious ones and the ones we’d rather forget. Every choice matters. And if we need to, we can always choose again.
 

On the importance of small things.

Small beginnings can take you anywhere; small can be the first step of a great legacy. Small things offer us a place to start, a place to try something new, a place to practice. Small matters.
 

On having purpose during all the times.

Because some days are easier, and some days it feels like there are rocks in your pockets. Take just one small step. And ask questions that help.
 

On living your story.

A good story is always true, and you’re living a good story. Even if you don’t know all the details.
 

On rest.

Rest has purpose, and you were made to rest. (I hear that lots of you connected with this one!)
 

Say yes AND say no.

So many of you told me this was your favorite post this month. (Thank you!)

You don’t have to do it all. No one does it all. We don’t even agree on what “it all” IS.

1-1-IMG_76632-011If that sounds right to you, I wrote an ebook you might like.

DO YOUR THING is free right now!

It’s part ebook, part journal, part inspiration-and-ideas for NOT doing it all.

Get your copy here.

You are enough. #write31days

31 Days of living on purpose

Our 31 Days of Purposing are just about over, and they turned out to be more like “24” than “31,” because counting is tricky.

Or because I didn’t post every day.

I’m okay with that. When it comes to blogging vs. sleep, I generally choose blogging, but when it’s blogging vs. Evelyn, well. Ev wins every time. That’s how blogging with purpose goes, for me.

But before we retire the purple flowers, though, there’s one more thing I want to make sure is clear.

When I say LIVE WITH PURPOSE, I don’t want anyone to hear: TRY HARDER. DO MORE. BE BETTER.

Not at all. Living with purpose is not a try-harder kind of deal.

I don’t want anyone to walk away thinking: OH GREAT. I’m supposed to take my already-jam-packed days and then add in “purpose”? Really? How’s that going to work? BECAUSE NO.

I hear that. Don’t worry! It’s not about adding on. It’s not about doing more.

When I talk about living with purpose, I want you to hear: You are already enough.

You, being yourself, have a purpose.

You, valuing the things you value, have direction.

You, doing more of what fits — what fits your personality, your passions, your life season, your skills and interests and responsibilities — and less of what doesn’t, are living with purpose.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do MORE.

You don’t have to take the already-full life you’re already living and add purpose on top, like a seasoning. Purpose isn’t there to make things spicy. Purpose is the meal. Purpose nourishes us and helps us grow and keeps us healthy.

Purpose is what we start with, and build on.

You don’t have to do more. You can just be the person you were made to be. You can live a good, true story. You can live your values. That’s living with purpose, and on purpose.

1-1-IMG_76632-011Does this resonate with you? You can read more in my brand-new ebook, Do Your Thing.

It’s ready for you! It’s part journal, part e-book, and I’m super excited to send it to you.

Get your FREE copy now.

Purpose and surprise. #write31days

You were made for rest.

I know more about sleep than about rest.

How much a person ought to sleep, based on age and health and recency of last growth spurt. How a muslin blanket can help very small people sleep. What shade of blackout curtains are needed for napping during full-sun hours. How much coffee to drink when small people wake up too early. All this I know, because it shapes the contours of my days.

I am familiar with rest in a more academic sense.

I do know a few things about it. Rest is not something you earn, rest is something you need. Rest was made for you, and you were made to rest, and I believe that.

I’m terrible at it.

I wish I could say it’s because I have these kids. (Have you met kids? They don’t turn off, is all. There is no pause button.) But rest has never been my strong suit. Procrastinating, maybe, but rest? Not so much.

Limits and boundaries, I’m good with. There’s no one thing eating up all my time, but there are always more things that I could tend to, and there continue to be only twenty-four hours in the day. Somehow rest always gets crowded out.

I’m not recommending this, as a strategy. I recommend the rest thing. And I’m going to keep recommending it to my own self until I start taking my recommendation.

Over the weekend we celebrated Sadie’s birthday. She’s seven. Seven is such a middle age, isn’t it? Not a little one, not a tween, just a perfect kid.

(I remember that I sobbed when my oldest turned seven, because she was practically an old lady already. I guess by kid number four I have worked that out of my system. So that’s good, then.)

Sadie has been quietly in love with horses for a long time, so for her birthday, we scheduled a private riding lesson. Just Sadie, a horse, and a couple of knowledgable young women to teach her about grooming and tacking and walking and trotting.

When we stepped out of the car she said: Owen was right. He told me horses can be stinky sometimes.

And a minute later: He didn’t tell me about the flies, though.

And a bit later: Once you’re having fun, you hardly notice the smell at all!

All this was true.

Also true: for me, at the stable, five out of six kids were paused, because they were not there. The internet was paused, because it was not there either.

More things that were not there: the dishes, the laundry, the dinner prep, the shoe closet that needs tidying again, that crusty stuff that happens when the baby spits out her rice cake and I forget to wipe it up right away. All paused.

I stood outside the ring and watched Sadie bounce up and down in the saddle, and I breathed deep, and it smelled like rest. Manure notwithstanding.

Rest does not mean do nothing. Rest does not mean eat cereal and watch cartoons all day.

Rest means nourish your soul.

Outdoors, fresh air, sunshine, nothing needful at my fingertips: yes, that will do.

I didn’t earn it. I didn’t even see it coming.

It was surprise rest.

Surprise rest is good. I will take that, when it appears.

But. I do not sit around waiting for surprise breakfast, or surprise oxygen. I am not holding out for surprise clothes before I get dressed in the morning.

Some things are nice, and some things we need. I am learning.

Rest on purpose.
 
31 days of living on purpose.This post is part of a #write31days series about living on purpose.

More about that here, or read all the posts in the series here. I’m letting go of the “every day” aspect on purpose.

Purpose, not predictability. #write31days

Your purpose is not always predictable.

Some evenings you find yourself, long past bedtime, standing with a toddler in your arms. The teething is fierce with this one, and you hold her against your shoulder and sway while she chews at the shoulder of your shirt.

You are near the bed, near enough to reach it, but you know that sitting down will disturb the equilibrium you have swayed into existence, so even though your arms are turning to toothpicks made of jelly, you sway. You shush. You become slowly more damp, a human swamp of tears (hers) and saliva (hers) and sweat (yours).

And you realize that tonight, perhaps for a few nights, you can choose to live with purpose, or to blog about purpose.

Sometimes purpose is not the same as predictable. Sometimes purpose does not mean that you hit every mark, meet every deadline, score every goal.

Purpose means living the way you intend to. It means living your values. In my house, purpose is going to make space for toddlers and teething, even if that means every other thing is put on hold a little while.

So here you are. Here I am. Swaying. As purposefully as possible. For a little while longer.

 
31 days of living on purpose.This post is part of a #write31days series about living on purpose.

More about that here, or read all the posts in the series here.

Purpose doesn’t have to be tidy. #write31days

1-Your story doesn't have to be tidy.

You’re living your story right now, and I think it’s a story about something true.

I think it’s a good story.

That doesn’t mean you have to know exactly where you’re going, or how exactly you’re going to get there.

You don’t have to know all the details. (I never do.)

We don’t have to know what the next chapter will be, or even the next scene. We don’t have to know what’s coming.

Even if we don’t know all the plot points yet, our stories can still be about something.

We can still choose to value something, to pursue something, to care about something, to believe in something. That’s what our story is about.

Living your story is not the same as being in control. Living with purpose is not the same as being in control. A whole lot of things are out of our control, but that’s okay. We get to choose how to respond. We get to choose what to believe.

Your story does not have to have to be made up of tidy lessons and teachable moments. It doesn’t have to be tidy at all. It can, in fact, be decidedly messy.

When we look back, we can see themes emerging. We can see that our stories have been about something, all along. We have been about something, all along.

We’ll just keep on living our stories until then.

 
31 days of living on purpose.P.S. – More on living your story.

This post is part of a #write31days series about living on purpose.

More about that here, or read all the posts in the series here.