What is your purpose?

zack maggie whitley

It’s been almost seven years since I wrote my first blog post. I’m not going to link to it or re-read it, but I can only imagine it holds a bit of scatter-brain text, with the purpose of those posts being vastly different from my posts five years ago, three years ago, and even, this year.

Seven years ago Zack and I were living in Detroit and had been married for just a couple of months. Seven years ago we didn’t have a strong vision for our family or our financial goals. We didn’t have our dog or our two babies, and we certainly had gone on a lot less adventures & moves. Seven years ago I was getting ready to walk into the handmade scene and begin my five year journey as a shop owner.

notes maggie whitley

Seven years ago I barely had a purpose statement for my blog or my day-to-day life. I wasn’t bothered by that, but I also had much less going on compared to today. And to think seven years ago I was “always so bored” ;) Side note: I hardly remember what bored feels like. The things (and people) that kept me busy seven years ago are vastly different from today.

Take the broken terra cotta pot on our counter. I’m honestly not sure when I’ll re-pot it, but the grace-filled truth is that’s fine with me. I am not losing sleep over that broken pot. I kinda like it’s broken self and seeing it’s roots throughout the day. It’s bearing it’s authentic soul to all who pause to look.

home maggie whitley

Today we are living in Los Angeles. Today we have two healthy, gorgeous, happy babies. And don’t forget about our energetic, spunky dog! We are living in a cozy apartment with very limited space and items, but just like you I suffer from owning too much stuff (and at times, struggle with not owning “more”). We are deeply invested and aware of one other, that’s for sure.

Today we have a very concrete vision for our family and our financial goals. I am so happy with our goals in these areas, oh my goodness. I feel challenged daily and in wonderful ways, and I feel so overjoyed to be creating a home alongside my husband. He’s the best mate for me, the best friend, the best anything-I-need-him-to-be.

texture maggie whitley

Our purposes with our careers and our roles at home have shifted a little bit in the last seven years. Because my heart is set on specific goals it’s been a bit impossible for me to commit to the same amount of time to this blog as I have in years past. But at the same time, I very much take delight in who is taking up my time :) They sure are cute teammates.

My purpose has changed compared to seven years ago, but it has changed for the better. The reward of having such specific goals is better than any “impossibility”.

Year after year I continue to write here because I enjoy this community. Despite what an average day looks like, how much time I have to write or how little time I have, I enjoy the process of blogging. It blesses me that we can share our struggles and our highlight reels and general lists of “things I learned today”.

plants maggie whitley

Just like running helps me to clear my mind, writing is restorative as it helps me to see life from a different angle.

It has been incredibly valuable to spend time at least once per year asking myself, what is my purpose? I apply this question to my personal life and my career life, and I remind myself there is no wrong answer.

ergo kids maggie whitley

Here are six additional questions that have helped me find my purpose:

How do I want to remember most this year?

What personal/career obstacles am I trying to overcome?

What brings me great joy?

What activities do I avoid?

What strengths do I assign myself? What strengths would my family assign to me?

Do I realize saying “no” can later become “yes” (and vice versa)?

 

I believe we grow insurmountably as women when we recognize it’s OK for our purpose to change from year to year.

If what I was doing today was the same thing I was doing seven years ago then I’d be missing an immeasurable amount of life.

It’s easy to wonder with doubt: What if I have failed to notice that my purpose has changed?

But even better than that: Thank God I recognize I have a purpose (and it can change every year).

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A different kind of perspective.

table maggie whitley

It’s not so much about having too much or too little to do each day.

It’s not about cleaning up the living room once the babes have gone down for their naps

It’s not about having a multiple-page to-do list waiting for me.

It’s not about having the entire day scheduled out.

It’s not about feeling like I must be (!) in control.

It is about having the right amount to do, which changes from day to day depending on our family’s season.

It is about our home being a showcase of the precious lives it serves.

It is about having just enough to do that I feel inspired, but never too much that I feel overwhelmed.

It is about making plans and following through, and sometimes this means nothing is planned.

It is about knowing we were created by a loving God who desires for us to know, at all times, that He is in control. Recognizing this allows us to let out a slow exhale, dissolve the need for perfection, and absorb our blessings.

Day after day we must remember this perspective.

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Happy Easter!

easter 2015 family maggie whitley

We visited a new church a week ago and we enjoyed it so much that on Monday of last week I was already anticipating their Easter Sunday service. We’ve been wanting a new home church for quite some time and finally decided to visit our friends’ church, which they absolutely love, and turns out we love it too! Our Easter Sunday was low-key, and rather quiet in a sense as we remembered what Christ did to cover our sins. But it was also really joyful! Here are some photos…
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A special book for “the dreamers & the doers”.

Since September I’ve been praying over (and working on) a special group project, and today I get to share with you what we’ve been up to! :)

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It’s no secret I’m a dreamer and a doer. Since I was young I’ve been creating and making plans. I love to sketch on paper my dreams to see how real they can become. But perhaps more than that I love how far an encouraging word can take my dreams. Do you feel the same way?

Last year I joined a group of women and together we co-wrote a book called, Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer — and, it’s a lovely prayer book.

Lovely like, “my heart is re-filled with grace and overflowing encouragement to keep going.”

Lovely like, “I wasn’t sure how to pray over my situation, but now I have new-found direction.”

Lovely like, “I am not alone.”

31 days of prayer maggie whitley

Inside this 200+ page book are beautiful, real prayers covering the following topics:

prayer // God’s word // worship + gratitude // faith

freedom // seasons // rest + balance // wellness

authenticity // identity // grace in my home // simplicity

serving // loving {well} // singleness // marriage

motherhood // dreams // my spouse’s dreams // my children’s dreams

fears // comparison //confidence // goals

creativity // stewardship // success + failure // busyness

my business // branding + marketing // collaboration + opportunity // online influence // social media

 

Each of the 31 prayers includes a full-page prayer, four verses and three reflective questions.

I’ve written on the topic of simplicity. This was an opportunity for me to share my heart on living cozy in a big Los Angeles. It’s so important to be thankful for exactly what God puts in our lives. This community collaboration has allowed me to be vulnerable with so many others who may be thinking, worrying, and praying about the same things.

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I’m so honored to be joining these women and my friends over at The {Well} Studio.

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