For years, maybe even all my life, I’ve believed the lie that “if you’re not moving fast, you’re not moving forward.” Well, friends, that belief has sent me into many tailspins and ugly burnouts. Over the last two years I’ve been more intentional about living “slower” to make space for what matters to me—energy and undivided attention for God, those I love, and my community.
I’m laughing at the term “slower,” because some would argue my life isn’t slow while others may argue it’s not fast enough. But who really needs to define the pace of my life other than me? Regardless, there are days, or even seasons, where I struggle with living “slower” more than others. I can STILL get so tunnel-visioned that I don’t notice that I’m creating an environment of anxiety and stress in my home (palm to face). That is NOT the type of lifestyle I want to exemplify to my children or share with my husband.
That’s why I’m so grateful for my community who holds me accountable. I’ve been a frenzied mess trying to prepare for the baby (just over three months until we meet him!). The list of all we’ve been doing could fill this page, and I know I’m not exaggerating, because I have a beautiful list titled, “To-Dos Before Baby,” displayed on my fridge, ha! 🙂 This week a mommy friend, who probably wasn’t aware of the extent of my frenzied mess, let me borrow a book called, “Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy,” by Emily Ley. The book as three parts: Grace with Yourself, Grace with Your People, and Grace in Your Calling. Each section has thought-provoking questions and journaling areas. It has served as such a timely reminder.
My childhood self would’ve never believed that I’d be willingly writing a pseudo “book report” as an adult, ha! But because I genuinely love connecting with you on a personal level, I thought I’d share some of excerpts that resonated with me. Maybe it’ll speak to you too? Even if you don’t feel like reading on (though I hope you do!), this post will serve as a reference to me during challenging seasons.
Grace with Yourself Excerpts (quoted directly from the book):
- You don’t have to be perfect to embrace grace. Just receive it.
- Perfect doesn’t equal worthy.
- Even if you can do it all, no one can do it all well.
- Give yourself permission to be a priority again.
- When we are desperately worried, we often point our focus inward, robbing us of faith and weakening our hearts. When we are weak, we aren’t our best selves. We can’t draw water from an empty well. And when we are empty, we’re good for no one.
- How do you set yourself up for joy? Start with grace, continue with a plan, and with grace.
- Don’t sacrifice the good to chase the perfect.
- Just because you’re good at something or because something is noble, doesn’t mean it needs your attention right now.
- It’s okay to be a quitter when you’re choosing what matters.
- Society LIE: I thought that if I worked hard enough at something, I’d get it.
- The joy is in the journey, even the hard ones. With each piece of the puzzle we release, we find true freedom and true joy. When we let the pieces fall where they will, we free our hands for better purposes.
Grace with Your People Excerpts (quoted directly from the book):
- God’s grace shines through our ability to love others with sincere patience, gratitude, and acceptance.
- When God strips us of all the things that make us feel safe and secure, He gives us a story far greater than we could have written for ourselves.
- Marriage steers the family.
- Building community and surrounding yourself with good people is about more than just having a social life. It’s about putting yourself in the right situations to meet people who make your life better.
- You don’t have to be the best at everything. Allow your weaknesses to be someone else’s strengths. That’s what community is for.
- Make your online world a place of inspiration, genuine connection, and joy. Unfollow relentlessly. Guard your heart.
- Building community is so much more about looking outward to potential connections than looking inward at our own needs.
- God’s way of revealing Himself to us is by revealing Himself IN us. When we show God’s love and grace, we are living, breathing examples of His perfect love.
- Gratitude that wells up from that realizations tells me: I already have all the things I need to live a beautiful life. Those things are my people.
Grace with in Your Calling Excerpts (quoted directly from the book):
- Instead of molding your life around your job, choose or create a job that supports and accentuates the life you want to have.
- Mommy guilt: born of comparison and life clutter
- Embrace this season of life, for it is just that…a season.
- The peace of contentment is just as valuable as the confetti that comes with achievement.
- How is it SUPPOSED to look? When we create fantasy images in our heads, we slay the beauty in our lives.
Friend, I know the bullet point list is long, but it’s filled with SO much wisdom and applications for the life I want to live and nurture for my family. As part of my community, will you help hold me accountable to these things? I’d also love to hear any insight you gleaned after reading this or practical ways you’ve simplified your life! Talk to you soon!