Live Free, Live Brave

live free live brace

It was Friday Night, Saturday Night, and really any other night before this launch that I sat at my computer trying to do it all. I had a list to my side covered in little words that all needed to be crossed off, 20 tabs open with different articles & Pinterest pins on business/blogging/social media open, and a mind running deliriously too fast and directionless.

Preparing for this launch brought out a lot of the achiever in me – and also a lot of the stress monster. I wanted great boxes with beautiful text getting you to sign up for my newsletter (that I would figure out how to write and get some lined up to send out) and I wanted e-courses (let’s just say two) to offer you, and cute & quirky writing (so you would know just how cute & quirky I am), and the perfect Instagram (plus rocking social media in general) and whistles and bells and everything that could be dreamed. I wanted loud perfection and I went a little crazy trying to get there.

But something that was said at church on Sunday really shook me up. It was a small phrase and not even the main point of the sermon but the idea was that we want to know our purpose – how do we living in the here and now define our purpose? Achievement is the cry of the world. We have to do it all and do it now and check it off because our time is short and we have to achieve as much as we can before it is over. When the pastor said that my heart said – well that is kinda true and what if we want good God things, that should be okay right? Achieving cannot be all bad (speaking of I’ve got to write down the 8 more things I just thought of that I want to do today for the launch on the back of this bulletin…) and then later he said something about how we don’t need to achieve anything, the Lord has already achieved it all (the battle over sin & death) and we can live in that freedom. We get to just be with Christ, invest in that relationship, and reflect Him to the world – not from anything we have worked for necessarily, but just by letting Him transform us and work in & through us. It was so loud to me in that moment that my heart was thinking about it all so backwards.

I let that sit with me throughout the day, I sat on the back porch soaking in the sun, I had my family over for lunch & went to the park to play Frisbee, I watched the Bronco Game (go Broncos!) without opening my laptop, and I went out to dinner with friends. A day that could have been filled with achieving and crossing things off my list to prepare for a big bang on Monday was spent lighter. The burden was not so loud as I laughed, sat, enjoyed, & rested. I made some final changes that night and went to bed at a reasonable time – many things on my list still unchecked.

I want to push out quality content for you. I want to respond to your comments, engage, encourage, and inspire. I want to make e-courses to pass on what I have learned so that you can grow, and I want to talk with you personally about your blog and brand. Letting go of my to-do list didn’t drop any of those things –  it just allowed me to launch something that is a work in progress. It allowed me to introduce one new thing at a time so that  there would be room for growth but not an explosion of thoughts, dreams, and plans all pushing to achieve.

Sweet friends. I know so many of you may be able to relate to the pressures of achieving. Reaching your goal of Instagram followers or newsletter subscribers or a certain monthly income. You are a creative, a dreamer, a writer, an entrepreneur, a blogger and there is so much information out there – so many classes to take, articles to read, things to do all to help you (and tell you) to achieve more. Yes, dream big! Yes, be brave! But don’t forget to live free. You are not defined by what you achieve – you never will be. Live free from the burden of achieving and live brave as you fight the norm, let the world see your “imperfections,” and put your trust in Jesus and not in yourself.

Live Free, Live Brave. 

xoxo, elizabeth

PS: You can pick up this adorable mug for yourself over at Jenny Highsmith Lettering if you also need the reminder!!

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Love the message of this post! It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the pressures of achieving, you forget to enjoy life. But, I must say, all of your hard work was worth it. The site is beautiful!

    xoxo
    Kat

    • Kat! Thank you so much! I agree! It all came together and even though it wasn’t perfect, it was good! I am learning just to put things out and trust instead of waiting for perfection! Thanks for your sweet encouragement! XOXO

  • Amen to the message in this post! I’ve been struggling with achieving this summer and there have been so many times where I had to sit myself down and say “No. You’re plugging away. You make progress every day and that’s what matters most. A little bit of progress is better than stressing yourself out and not being able to do anything.” And then I have to pray about it and re-release it into God’s hands.

  • Amy

    such a great and thought provoking post.
    one i definitely needed to read and take to heart.

  • I seriously needed to hear this. I am writing, well, editing and perfecting a book of mine and the thoughts you had cross my mind. A. Lot. I set deadlines for myself, and then I don’t get there in time – then I freak out and think my dreams won’t go the way I planned. And they won’t – because I need to trust God and His plan. This summer I’ve been doing that and if something doesn’t get done when “I” want it too, I’m learning that’s okay. Thank you for writing this!

  • Thank you for this post, Elizabeth. It was just what I needed to read <3

    Little by little, no rush. We're here for you, to read your blog and to hear from you.

  • Yes! I love this. Thank you for sharing!

    I was in a similar place earlier in the year and decided to shake up how I set goals for myself. Each morning I write a ‘brain dump’ of all my to-do’s, then I leave it whilst I make some tea. When I come back to it, I work through my list crossing off anything that feels like a ‘should-do’ rather than coming from the heart.

    Then, I work my way through the remaining list focusing on one task at a time and trust that everything else is being taken care of. Some days I get 1 thing done, other days it might be 12. But I’m learning to tune into what I’m led to do and trust in perfect timing 🙂

    • That is such a great habit you have created! I love that I need to try that more often!!!

  • Such a wonderful post! Wow do I need to let go of my to-do list, thank you for getting me thinking.