Wednesday, April 11, 2012

on creating a life to be lived, not merely survived

Feeling settled into our new surroundings and giving into the creative flow that will not be ignored.   For everything there is a season and happily ideas are spilling onto blank pages and unsuspecting pieces of furniture.

Yesterday I woke up in my favorite state of mind.  I began a new project, ordered some fabric, baked cookies, did yoga, and sketched.  When I gave in to the first, all the rest came freely.  My children were so pleasant and nice or maybe that was me and my rose colored classes of creativity.  Anyways, I’m convinced that when we do the things we love, it pours out into everything around us, our homes, families, attitudes, and energy. Try doing a bunch of wonderful things and then notice how washing the dishes doesn’t seem so unpleasant.

I’ve been reading Nurture by Nature, a parenting book that I finally can handle, because I’m a personality junkie and even though I hate the idea of being put in a box, I love understanding how we are all created so intentionally.  I especially love when the knowledge sinks in and you transform your life and all its systems to be in sync with who you are.  Living life so it makes sense, optimal living, not just living a life they say you should and as you struggle along wondering why it’s not working.

"Parents who understand this quality of INFJs can help protect them from a demanding and high-speed world. By creating private times and places, parents communicate a respect and understanding of their child and help foster a close relationship that lasts a lifetime."
"INFJs also need privacy to make the many intuitive connections they do and to develop their creative ideas and visions. For them, the creative process is essentially a solitary one."

-Nurture by Nature

This is what we have been doing, without even realizing it.  Because having a million things to do and dozens of places to be doesn’t work for me and it sucks the life out of me.  Interestingly enough, my son shares this personality with his parents and he thrives when he has time and space and quiet too.  Go ahead and fill his day with endless activities and you’ll see a frustrated, exhausted three-year old,  a less than dreamy version of himself.  The same sentence would describe me.

I’m on a mission to create a home full of cozy and comfort, a peaceful environment where we can thrive and learn and enjoy this beautiful, meaningful life.  That means continuously discovering how the four of us function best.  I know every family is different, but I’m convinced we don’t need to succumb to the struggle of just surviving, because there’s more, so much more.  And yes, even a beautiful, meaningful life is full of exhaustion, challenges, and trials, but they don’t get the final word.  And if our lives are indeed our most creative act (to quote Erwin McManus), then I believe we can take whatever we have and turn it into something remarkable.


  1. I agree so much that our kids need privacy and quiet and lack of organized activity. Some days I feel guilty for this lack of "planning", after all, all my friends are trucking their little ones (at 4 or 5) every night to and from activities (it makes me crazy just thinking about it). But I keep reminding myself that this is what works for us.

    1. Of course! I think my best memories of childhood were time spent with my family or friends, not necessarily going or doing something, but just being.

      I want my kids to enjoy a peaceful life and know that they don't have to get so lost in all the demands that are eager to take over.

  2. Olivia, I have been reading your blog and love hearing you say (in a more eloquent way) what I have been feeling! Lately, it has become more and more clear to me that true worship is enjoying God in all of life, including in the things that bring you pleasure... for me, that's art. A sermon I heard in February from a pastor in Indiana summed it up well. One thing he said was, "The Creator has made us creative." So, it makes sense that we find joy in creating things. It is also a form of worship to truly enjoy the life God has given us (even if it is simple) and to recognize the things we are surrounded with as God's glory. The pastor also said, "the Glory of God is man fully alive." I know this is a long post, but after reading some of your posts, I thought you'd understand what I mean, and wanted to let you know your posts are encouraging! Keep 'em coming! -Coriann

  3. The glory of God is man fully alive. This is beautiful. Thanks for your long comment, I don't need to hear that anyone is encouraged by what I'm sharing, but I do love it.

  4. I love your new creations. And it makes me so happy that your new home is already cozy and warm and inviting you to create.

    Your children might never know to thank you for protecting their time, but knowing you, I know their contentment will be thanks enough for you. xoxo


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