Introspection: My Weekend Outlook Overhaul

This weekend I had a really great overhaul on my outlook on life.

I realized that I've been forcing myself to live in a state of make-do limbo until I am in the "meaningful" life circumstances I'd like to have.

For example, I haven't organized some places in our house, even though we've been there months.  I've caught myself saying, "Eh, well it's good enough for now" about things in our home that I could change.  I haven't been putting forth the effort to completely unpack and settle in because "we aren't going to be here that long anyway."  Why buy holiday decorations?  Who cares?  I clean to keep ants out, not to make my home a comfier place to be for myself and Jacob.  Just doing the minimum.

I've been putting all of my emphasis on the future when I'm at that job doing the purposeful work I'm supposed to do, not the pay-the-bills work I'm doing now.  I've focused on the nebulous future instead of the here and now because the future is where my important work is.  This stuff right now is mediocrity.

I realized that I've been looking at my life all wrong.

I've been putting my hope in having an adventurous, adrenaline-packed career as a linguist, helping bridge gaps between people groups.  I looked at that as being my life of purpose, a life of meaning.  Not the day-to-day plodding I'm doing right now.  Someday when I get to that job and that life, then I'll be doing important things.  Then God will proud of me because I'm doing lots of obviously good things, trying to make a difference in the world.  My value will come from that job.

Jesus really cut through that ridiculousness and clarified things for me this weekend.  (Yes, Jesus and I talk often.  I know some of you don't believe in that sort of thing, but I definitely do and I'd be glad to talk about it with you should you ever wonder about it.)

God showed me that living a life of purpose and meaning isn't about doing a certain task or having a certain job.  He showed me that living a purposeful life is about taking the circumstances He gives me now and making them the most beautiful I possibly can.

I don't have to wait until I'm at my "dream job" to live a life of value.  What if I never get to that job?  What if life just takes a different course?  What if my life isn't an action-packed thriller full of intrigue and adventure every day?  What if my life is more about the day-to-day, normal life stuff?

If you had asked me how I felt about a "normal" life only a little while ago, I would have told you I had extreme disdain for it.  I wanted adventure!  I wanted adrenaline!  I wanted a more "noble" task than just comfy, normal life!  Don't tie me down, man!

I still want those things, but I no longer find my life's value in them.  I have realized that I can live meaningfully without them.  There is a wonderful art to taking normal, everyday life and making it beautiful, and that is the kind of life God is asking me to live.  He is proud of me for being a person of character, not for doing a bunch of good tasks.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is totally freeing to me.  God isn't waiting for me to hurry up and make something of my life that he can be proud of; He's already given me a life he's proud of, purpose and meaning already included.  I make him proud by doing the daily life things I need to do with integrity, intentionality, and grace, by being faithful to my commitments, and by loving the people he has put around me.

For me, one way this is intentionality put into action is by taking pride in my home, not just making do with it, and opening it to others.  I'm motivated to make it truly beautiful, to add little decor touches, to keep it organized, and to make it really work for Jacob and me.  Heck, I bought a Christmas wreath the other day!  I'm motivated to re-do some things in our home and I'm actually excited about it!

How do you feel about your "normal" everyday life?  How do you cope with what can sometimes become dull routine?  What gives your life purpose and meaning?

P.S. The Two Year Anniversary Giveaway is still going on!  Don't forget to enter for lots of prizes!


  1. This is great, important, life-altering insight. The choice to see the beauty in "normal" and "mundane" frees us to enjoy NOW while still looking forward to the future. Thanks for being transparent.

  2. I love this.....keeping it present, keeping it purposeful, and keeping it real. Good for you!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! I've been feeling this way too lately. My husband and I are in this weird temporary season and it's hard to make the everyday special when we keep hoping for the next chapter. This blog has definitely helped me to see the beauty in these "mediocre" days. I mean heck, we're newlyweds! We should be embracing each moment. These are the days we will talk about when we're old and grey!

  4. The sad thing is that we have taken "God" out of so many of our words in order not to offend. What is so wrong with embracing God and all he is? I'm glad you are saying these words. Stay strong to your belief. Whenever I feel astray I come back to three words God is Love. There is a lot of philosophy into living in the present. It's sometimes difficult to clear thoughts to do so but when you can there really are epiphany events in the everyday moments.

  5. Emileigh, this is so very true. You can't always predict where life will take you, and it can certainly have its dull-seeming moments, but I think the secret to happiness in life is to find the beauty in the everyday moments of life, right where you are now.

  6. We all get held in a place of inaction from time to time I'm afraid that is the same for me too. Procrascination or somedays deviating to tasks that seem more interesting, turning a half blind eye to the messiness around. But realisation is exactly that little nugget of gold we gain from enjoy the moment. Wishing you a fabulous week ahead!
    May x

  7. I understand this so well, although my circumstances are a bit different. I've been out of work for over a year now with a back injury. I LOVED my job and felt like what I was doing is what I was meant to do and I was making a difference in peoples lives. The first few months were really tough, that's one reason I started blogging. So I still felt like I was offering something to the world, making people smile and bringing beauty to the world. I'm still not working, but my back is feeling somewhat better and I am now able to be up and moving around for more time during the day. I now use this time to take care of my house and my surroundings the best I can and create beauty as much as possible. Although I am not particularly religious, I understand that living a live for the future (in my case, when I am no longer injured) is not really living, it's a half-life. We much be present and engaged in the moments as we live them while also thinking ahead and working towards goals. Thank you for such an amazing, heartfelt, and insightful post.

    She Knits in Pearls

  8. I was reading Max Lucado the other day and he talks about why we sometimes feel restless about where we are in life. He says that this is not our home and that as sons and daughters we often feel this sense of restlessness because this isn't where we are meant to be. I often wonder is it then, when I'm not satisfied with the ho hum life I'm living are those the times that what I'm really longing for is my heavenly home?
    On another note your post reminded me that we need to be good stewards with what we have ( story of the talents) before we can be trusted with more. I say this because my heart has been longing for something that is out of my reach and as much as I want it I may never have it. So the question to my heart is " Are you ok with that?"
    Thanks for the thought provoking, the reminder, and possible the answer to a prayer.