A great purpose.

park chalk kids maggie whitley

Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before: I’m speaking to a summer enrichment class at UCLA in the morning. I’m not nervous, I know what I want to share with this group of pre-college students. I’ve been reflecting on my presentation all week, when I’m at the park with the kids or making their lunches or reading with them as we’re cuddled on the loveseat together, and it all comes back to this…

The community of handmade has given me time with my family I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s encouraged me to dig deep to find my purpose so I can share it with the world. It’s not similar to my neighbors purpose, no, but the fact that we all were born with a great purpose is what ties us together. I keep going back to my creativity from my childhood and am finding so much affirmation that what I’m doing today is definitely linked to what I was doing then. I love that. (And I can’t wait to share more about how this morning went!)

PS. a book that has inspired & encouraged me so much? A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.

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Love your (curly) hair.

smiles natalie maggie whitley

Natalie is 7 months old and already she has big, loopy curls with lots of natural volume. Her hair is so fun (hello, hair bows!), and it’s made me think about how important it is that my actions & thoughts reflect positivity. Not just because I have a daughter, but because I also have a son, and my children will have women in their life they need to be a positive light to.

What is beauty? What makes someone “beautiful”? Why do we stop believing we are beautiful (or suddenly believe we are)?

What if we considered exactly how we were made, our natural features and all, and declared it as perfect?

Zack sent me a link to a Dove Hair commercial and it about did me in (video is below). I couldn’t agree with it more, and wanted to share it with you today. Really though, their mantra doesn’t stop with loving curly hair. We all need to love our hair, our curves, our smiles, our handwriting, our height, our freckles, our laughs, our quirks, our personal strengths/gifts.

We are women created with purpose to share our selves, our talents with the world.

And so with that I wish you a happy, positive, light-filled weekend.

Remember you are perfect, and by the way… your hair is amazing.

See you Monday :)

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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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Hearts of gold.

lovefeast heart gram maggie whitley

The month of May is nearly over, and for me that signifies a few things: Mother’s Day has passed, our wedding anniversary will be here so soon (seven years!), and my 30th birthday is the month thereafter.

Each of these events are like hearts of gold to me.

lovefeast heart gram maggie whitley

The women in our lives, the ones we gratefully call “mother”, “teacher”, “creativity encourager”, “mentor” or “friend” — they are a joy to celebrate alongside the changing seasons.

Steady hearts of gold to me.

These women add to our storyline. They reshape, renew, rebuild, restore something deep within. They can be constant, fleeting, or re-occuring. Regardless of how long we are with them, they hold a purpose.

lovefeast heart gram maggie whitley

These women have hearts of gold, and we love them dearly.

Thank you to my friends at LoveFeast for the two metallic Heart of Gold HeartGrams. They are wonderfully crafted and so sweet for gift giving.

Now through Saturday, May 30th: save 15% on all orders over $50 with code “GoldHeart15″.

PS. For even more gift ideas, visit LoveFeast on Instagram and Facebook.

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