Living a good story in the chaos

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

I‘m still struck by the concept of Story. Last week, I told you how the Philippines trip was shaping me, internally and out. And how it was affecting my writing, my brain, and my decisions.

Well, it still is. I’m in the middle of a story, and I hope it’s a good one. All our family’s possessions are in a moving truck, waiting for a journey to Oregon. We don’t have a house yet, but we do have a goal, and by the end of the month, we’ll be living in a new town. It feels like we’re in a good story — that is, if good stories often have struggle, adventure, and the unknown as part of their plots. I think they do. So I’m probably in a good story.

It sounds like many of you are in one, too — or at least, you’re taking steps to make your life a good story.

But there’s a general message I also hear from the readers here, and it’s something akin to feeling stuck. That you want to be in a good story, to start a good story, but your current life stage doesn’t allow it. It’s trapping you from hiking the Serengeti or feeding the poor in Calcutta or attending Fashion Week in Bryant Park, so you’re, unfortunately, unable to live out a good story.

I’m exaggerating, of course. And I do understand. It’s hard to feel like you’re living a good story when you change ten diapers a day, have overdue library books, and spend your days at the neighborhood pool.

But may I humbly suggest something? I’m right there with you — I have three kids under 6, I work from home, we’re homeschooling, and my days are spent making dinner and doing laundry — and I feel like I’m in a good story. So I think you could be in one, too.

Let me tell you why.

There’s a goal in mind, and we’re working towards it.

A good story isn’t the absence of chaos. It’s living well right in the thick of it, and having a goal you can see.

Kyle and I have deliberately decided what we’re about. We made a family purpose statement together (questions and ideas for creating one are in chapter 4 of my book), but more than that, we talk all the time about who we are and what we’re doing.

Donald Miller’s A Million Miles has really got me thinking this past week (I finished it, by the way), and I like what he says here:

“‘You know,’ I said, ‘a story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling the people around us what we think is important.’”

What are my actions saying about what I think is important? I want to become more intentional about my actions reflecting my priorities.

Here’s an example. Kyle and I want our family to be available to live wherever, whenever. It’s part of our personality, and we feel like it’s part of the calling God has on our lives. So we very intentionally don’t have debt (we paid it off awhile ago), we don’t pile up “things,” and we place a high value that the home we live in work for us as a family — not too big, and in a location that allows us to act out our calling effectively. It’s why we’re moving to Bend, actually.

We also don’t watch much TV, because we find that it really waters down our motivation, our perspective on life, and our time stewardship. It makes us want things that aren’t part of our bigger goals. Miller says:

“Half the commercials on television are selling us something that will make life easier. Part of me wonders if our stories aren’t being stolen by the easy life.”

Having a goal helps us make choices that free us. The goals don’t chain us.

Our big goal is outside ourselves.

Our family’s goal also doesn’t only benefit ourselves. Serving fuels us, as it does with most everybody else, I think. Living for something and Someone other than me is what gets me out of bed in the morning, what makes life worth living.

If my only goal in life were to set foot on all seven continents, for example, or to have a net worth of a million dollars, I think I’d despair. It would ultimately make me ask, “What’s the point?”

Ultimately, our goal is also realistic.

We’re not telling ourselves that we will single-handedly be able to cure cancer, because that’s just not possible. We just want to play our small part in the Bigger Story the Writer is scribbling.

In case you’re wondering, our goal is to serve people-who-serve with hospitality and care. We lived overseas for several years in full-time, cross-cultural ministry, and we know first-hand how hard it is. We are now passionate about taking care of those people God is calling to the really difficult places. We want to do our part to help them thrive.

This involves clean towels, a hot meal, playing with their kids, and letting them sleep in. It’s providing them a place to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate. It’s also listening to their stories.

Simple.

These are the reasons I feel like I’m living a good story amidst the diapers. Because we have a goal that we’re working towards, it’s bigger than ourselves, and it’s do-able.

I don’t despair that my life is sticky and chaotic. It’s ultimately about a Bigger Story.

More about living out a good story next week.

What’s the goal of your story?

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Comments

  1. avatar
    Anna Mango says:

    I love this idea. I read this book about a month ago. I also have your book and am working through it, even though I am single/no kids, I see the value in living simply so that I can be ‘available to live anywhere’, and go where God calls, I’ve traveled and lived many places around the world and am just waiting to see What’s next:) Thanks for your encouragement and insight!

  2. I read your list of things that keep us from feeling we live a big story (10 diapers, overdue library books, neighborhood pool)…are you in a fly on our wall? My husband and I literally had this conversation on our date night last night…that what you do speaks louder than anything you say you believe. Fortunately we both come from homes where our parents lived the “bigger story” in the midst of the mundane of life. Thank you for the encouragement and for encouraging so eloquently!

  3. I have to say, this is an incredibly inspiring article!!! I pulled so many concepts out of this one little article that just FIT with my personal feelings on life. Well done! I really appreciate it!

  4. An early welcome to Oregon! Having recently lived overseas (Mozambique), I’m intrigued as to your goals… :)

  5. My goal is to not accept the definition I was given of myself and what I would (or would not) be by others but to create my own definition of me. AND to raise a lovely, productive, empathetic, smart, strong, loving adult so when I get stuck in the aggravation of everyday behavior of a three year old I try to remember both those goals.

  6. Welcome to Bend! It’s my hometown (although I now live in Portland), and I love it dearly. I hope it becomes the place for you that you hope it will be.

    Your words really spoke to me tonight. I am in my last week of full-time work. We have decided to make the move to live life more closely to our ideals and have me at home halftime. While the change in income is scary, nothing has ever felt more right. The one reason I would have stayed at full time was to afford a private Montessori education for my oldest son – and now he is first on the waiting list at a Montessori charter school. We continue to find that when we open our hearts to living a life that aligns with our beliefs, the pieces fall into place better than if we placed them ourselves.

  7. LOVE THIS POST! I definitely need to look into the idea of a family vision statement. It’s a great way way to live with intention. Thank you for the thought-provoking post – yours is a wonderful family story.

  8. avatar
    Cathryn says:

    It concerns me that your toddler’s car seat is not buckled in the first photo.

    • Ha! I wondered if someone would notice that. We weren’t moving yet (still in the driveway). I asked Kyle about why it looked like we were moving with the blurriness out the windows. He said he photoshopped that. Stinker.

  9. You put alot of things in perspective here. I usually think of purpose as such a personal thing, but seeing your life goals in terms of how you fit in the big picture, and in terms of how you want to serve others instead of what you want for yourself. . . it’s somehow freeing. Which seems paradoxical. But so do all great truths.

  10. Hi I love your post! I learned a lot from it that I would really cherish. Also I love this line : “Living for something and Someone other than me is what gets me out of bed in the morning, what makes life worth living.” It is indeed very inspiring!

  11. Enjoyed your post…very inspiring! It comes at a very good time, and is just what I needed to read. I homeschool my daughters too, and being of service and volunteering is a huge goal of ours this year. Each week we do something different to help others – within our family, community, state, or world. We’re calling it 52 Weeks of Giving, and each week I blog about it at http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com .

  12. i love that book and your posts are making me want to revisit it! so encouraging. i need to refocus. i read your book and my husband and i sat down and wrote our family purpose statement. but that’s it. i haven’t gotten much farther than that. honestly, i work outside the home and have two precious babies. life is chaotic and often i find it difficult to live a good story. often i think “if i could just be at home with the kids THEN i could live a better story.” but the fact is, this is the season of our lives. i am working outside the home- booo! but i can still live a beautiful story and do the same things i would if i were home all the time. i want to bring heaven to earth through loving others and teach my children to do the same.

    thanks for these posts!

  13. Your post is just awesome dear,i also believe in the same criteria to live a life and satisfy ourselves…i also love to serve people…..(keep doing things for someone to make them happy and feel your good story)….it’s just a great idea….”HEAVENLY FEELING”.
    THANK YOU

  14. living a good story has been on my heart for the last several months. my prayer partner and i read donald miller’s books this year and blue like jazz and a million miles, both really challenged me to think about living a good story. for me it’s about being intentional – my finance and i yesterday were talking about how we’d like to work to stay in a smaller flat during our first years of marriage in our very busy city – the reason? so that we are able to make choices that are authentic to how we wish to live – with intention, in a community, focusing on experience and adventure rather than stuff.

  15. Dearest Tsh,
    Your blog is such an amazing blessing. I just “stumbled” across it today for the first time…. and I’ve spent the past hour reading so many wonderful posts… and sending them to my friends. Thank you for your words. In His great timing, they spoke what I needed to hear… an answered prayer in the most gentle, loving tone. My sincerest thanks.

    Deirdre

  16. Best book I’ve read in a very long time, reading Blue like Jazz now.

  17. Just a quick note, if you are moving to Bend, you have to check out Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. Its an amazing ministry. They have a website. Loved this post, too by the way!

  18. So inspiring – you always have a way of pointing me in the right direction. Thank you!

  19. What a blessing you are. I love your blog and can’t wait to get your book.

  20. Tsh, I purchased your book some time ago (on Nester’s recommendation) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This post hit home…we are currently studying 1 Peter in worship at our church, a series entitled Living in Hope. Yesterday’s sermon was “Serving in Hope”.
    As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen 1 Peter 4:10-11
    Wishing you great happiness in your new home!

  21. It’s sad that an endless, meaningless effort to prove ourselves often sets the plot to our stories, rather than a motivation to love and serve others. It seems that my passion for life and for contributing my gifts is often short-circuited by my own attempts to prove my significance. I am at my freest when I drop out of this rat race, find my significance at the Source, and humbly and openly contribute to the world.

  22. Great post! I especially like your quote about how easy living may be stealing our lives from us. Indeed, I think it is.

    I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter (my first) wondering, am I ready for this? The reality of life and all the riches in it is recognizing that while you’re always trying to be prepared and ready – you’re never quite ready. You just have to dive into the raging currents of life and swim hard!

    And the other thing I’ve learned is that we give too little credit to the simple acts we do each day. Too many people focus on saving the planet and ignore the needs of people right near them. But by “saving” one life, we may be doing more to save the planet. Being a good parent in today’s world is a tremendous gift to the world as well as your child. Don’t ever diminish it.

    Love your reflections, Tsh!

  23. On your recommendation, I picked up Donald Miller’s book at the library, and have already finished it (it’s great—I don’t normally make it through books so quickly!).
    Thanks, Tsh, for sharing how you’re on an intentional trajectory IN THE MIDST OF the laundry, nose-wiping, etc!

    I loved this quote:

    “If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He’s a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn’t change, the story hasn’t happened yet. And if the story is derived from real life, if story is just a condensed version of life, then life itself may be designed to change us, so that we evolve from one kind of person to another.”

  24. Sitting here, in a city and country we just moved to three weeks ago, I very much needed to hear this today. I’m a SAHM and we massively reduced our possessions in the last year in order to simplify our life and reduce debt. Moving overseas was a faint dream with no shape to it until my husband got a call 3 months ago that changed everything. Quickly we were preparing to leave our family and selling all our furniture.
    We’re settled in our new home and now… I find myself wondering what next. I have a few ideas, a few sparks of things I would like to accomplish but some days they feel very far away when I’m spending most of my hours running after a toddler.
    Thank you for this graceful post and an excellent reminder to live well and create our story every day.

  25. Beautifully simplistic. Do-able and life changing. Keep the good stuff coming!

  26. This was so good for me today.

    This past year – my husband and I have felt like we are suppose to have ‘loose roots’. Kinda like you guys – to be available. This is awesome..but it’s making for some chaos.

    We just put our house on the market – so that we can rent, get rid of a bunch of junk, and pay off some school debt. We recently found out that we are expecting our 3rd baby…. and all of this on top of lots of other big transitions and such. It’s a lot to juggle when you pare it with the normal duties of being a mother :) It’s good….but it’s easy to get watered down in it all. So all of this about ‘story’ – in the season I’m in…is a healthy thing for me to think about.

    Thanks :)

    Blessings to you as you move and serve!

    - Kate :)

  27. You have a way of igniting a passion to live from our heart. I love your blog, your book and your desire to make a difference. We can all live a good storing we can apply the simple tools you outline for us every day. Simple does not mean easy. We (american culture) can sure complicate the basic fundamentals and end up squeezing all the joy out of simple moments. Your life is inspiring. Thank you.

  28. Hmmmm….I’ve been thinking about these issues to, because of–believe it or not–a book by Eleanor Roosevelt I’m reading.

    Tsh, I think so much of life is what we make of it–what kind of person is changing the diapers and reading those (overdue) library books? And how is that person taking action today to continue towards a good (or bad) story in the future?

  29. I love this post. Stopping long enough to *see* the story you are living is a gift.

  30. For all those in the life stage with young kids: I think it’s also important to remember that helping those kids get started living their stories is a vital job. I used to worry that I couldn’t do much for God because I was so busy changing diapers. Then I realized that changing diapers for those miraculous people God put into my life is just as much an important part of my story as serving in ministry at church or giving to/serving the poor. Just having the opportunity to bless and serve my children, to teach them the truth and help them see their purpose, is huge. Changing diapers is an important job! I have to remember not to let other parts of my story, like ministry opportunities outside my home, interfere with the huge calling and responsibility to raise healthy children – and be a good wife to my husband.

  31. Love what you said about ability to ravel being part of who you are. It is indeed something I have been praying lots for: an ease to pack up and go. We scaled down few years ago for the sake of having a relationship with each other again, when baby was born, we simplified even more. We even moved to another country so that we could have the first 2 years together as a family, far away from rat race. Thank you for the beautiful story you are sharing! May the move be an easy one!

  32. “A good story isn’t the absence of chaos. It’s living well right in the thick of it, and having a goal you can see.”

    Oh, Tsh. My friend, I really needed to hear this today.

    Thank you for the perspective and the gentle reminder.

  33. I love your story. I love your writing and the concepts you share. You are truly an inspiration as you so gracefully show us that whilst being a mom and doing the mundane, daily routine that needs must, we can turn that time spent on housework (work, etc) into a mulit-faceted opportunity to share and inspire our children. Also to grow further ourselves because as we teach, we constantly re-learn or hone our ideas. So, rather than being a ship afloat, we take control of the wheel and steer ourselves/our lives/our futures into a direction we desire. I also love my story…I love teaching my children to have independent thought, to be responsible and compassionate to others. If this doesn’t suit others criteria of a good story, fair on them. Thats’ the thing, we all get to choose the story we bring. Better yet, when the story becomes outdated or no longer fits, we can modify it. Yahoo!

    • I agree 100%!! I recently bought your book, and I absolutely love it. Your words speak to me and I’m so glad I found your blog and book. Thank you so much!!!!

  34. As a daughter of a pastor and being once married to a minister, I commend you for your determination to serve and minister to the ministers! What a great encouragement you will be for many.

    The story that I authored for my life was wonderful, pure, well-intentioned, predictable and … small. Now, I have NO IDEA of my ending, there is drama, mystery, betrayal and resuce. It would be an interesting read, for sure! But I’m no longer the offer and so I’m doing my best to stay connected to the author and let Him give me the ending He desires.

    I love these thoughts and it sounds like I need to get that book.

  35. “A good story isn’t the absence of chaos. It’s living well right in the thick of it, and having a goal you can see.” I just added this quote to my signature on a message board. (attributed to you of course!) This is the key for me. I am trying desperately to bring my “just moved in to a new house self” out of chaos. Perhaps I should embrace it?

    Good luck with your move. Enjoy your journey.

  36. “A good story isn’t the absence of chaos. It’s living well right in the thick of it, and having a goal you can see.”

    Love it. You inspire me!

  37. There’s a LiveJournal group I sometimes participate in called DITL, or “Day In the Life.” (http://ditl.livejournal.com/) On a predetermined day, you document everything you do from the moment you wake up ’til the moment you go to bed with photos. Even if it seems ordinary or boring, you take a picture. Then everyone who participated that day posts their photo story to the group.
    A lot of the participants are SAHMs and college students (or both), and no matter how ordinary they may think their days are, to me and others who look at their photos, they’re interesting. What’s mundane to you (where you live, your house, your family) is different and novel to others.
    By participating in the DITL group, I started to see my life as more of a story. I began to notice what was unique and interesting about my everyday routine. Even if you don’t want to post your pictures online, I recommend trying the photojournaling experiment to learn what it reveals to you about your story.

  38. I have been wanting freedom to live where I want, which coincidentally is Oregon. Then I actually paid attention to the fact that you paid off debt in order to have the freedom to live where you and how you want. I think that in order for us realize our desires and gentle push may be to set our house in order. Pay off the debt. Then that freedom and push from God will be set clear. Thanks for the post and clarity that I haven’t been wanting to listen to.

  39. Ah-ha! It’s the GOAL. Thanks for that :) You are such an inspiration.

  40. How exciting for your new adventure! Donald Miller lives out in Oregon maybe you can do ministry together! :) Wow I am so excited for what God is doing through you! Thank you for you willing heart to say, “let’s go God”

  41. My story is longing for contentment wherever God leads me on my journey. I pray to be a shining light, living by faith, that others can see. Whether I’m working in a career, or as an “@ home mom” (as I currently am) – I want to see beauty in every day, as even rainy days result in a beautiful rainbow!

    • I love this. I am trying to define my story and it would be something similar – being content, finding beauty, serving others with the guidance of God.

  42. avatar
    Shelley R. says:

    For the story that I live out to be both tenacious and tender; passionate and yet prone to lengthy ponders. For it to be evident that I’m simply a partaker in the brainstorming of ideas, not the final Editor. And that each chapter is better crafted, richer in language and character that the previous one.

  43. Thank you so much for your desire to serve those who are serving. My husband and I are in the process of moving to Mexico also to be a refreshment/encouragement/help to a missionary team there. People like you are SO needed in ministry. I pray that God continues to help you to Live Beyond Yourself (just happens to be the Beth Moore study I’m going through myself…). Thank you for your blog which is a refreshment to ME.

  44. i enjoyed to read this post!
    we should find the light in every single thing in our life – so we can truly appreciate and know the best that exist!

  45. Wow, what’s the deal, Tsh; you’ve totally been reading my mail lately! Ha! It’s really crazy. I feel like you’re always a few steps ahead of me, so I get the benefit of you sharing your experiences and reflections. What a blessing your blog has been to my life. I shared in a comment before about how my husband and I are starting the workbook that goes with the Your Money or Your Life book, and from that we’re hoping to gain more of a vision for our lives in the midst of what I’ve heard referred to as “the wiping years” (bottoms, noses, hands, spills). I really don’t have a clear picture of what our story is, and that kind of scares me. Your blog and that study are helping me to think more clearly about what are values are so that we can start writing our story. Thank you!

  46. You know, I’m starting to “re-think” some things. I love your families’ goals and motto. I love that you know what you’re about.

    Bend is only 5 hours from us here in Boise. Hope you love your new “home.”

  47. I’m leading a college Sunday School class on Miller’s video teaching called “Free Market Jesus” and have been thinking about what he says about commercialism and culture effecting how we view God. I blogged about it yesterday, actually. He’s got good stuff!

    Thanks for the reminder that our stories are important and worth being intentional about, even if they include hours at home by ourselves while little ones nap. :)

  48. Tsh, your words are very inspiring – and they echo my thoughts of feeling “trapped” and wanting my story to be a great one. Although I’m very far from figuring out my next steps – I admire your resolve and your mission. You’ve obviously got an interesting story in the works, simply based on the success of simple living media. God bless you and your family in this next adventure….

  49. I don’t know if my comment will go through, i just typed a long one and it disappeared….oh well.

    Thank you for being willing to stand in the gap for those who “have been called to really difficult places”. There are many who are there but few who are serving them. I’m thankful for your willingness to be so bold and transparent about how the Holy Spirit is leading your family. Bless you and your family richly.

    Second, welcome to Oregon! I live in Portland write for a frugal blog here and we love Dave Ramsey. We’ve linked to many of your posts as encouragement to others in their pursuit to live a debt free life. We have some readers in Bend too!

    Thanks again, most of all, for your story. It inspires me and it inspires others.

  50. I love the way you said it : “A good story isn’t the absence of chaos.” Good stories does contain all the elements in it like chaos and peace but it is through chaos that you find what you are really made of and what your strengths are. I understand that it is not always easy to move around and I do hope you get settled in soon. Helping others is indeed a great deed. And regardless of how much one can contribute to a cause they believe in, the important thing is that it must come from the heart.

  51. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    The thing that has spoken to me the most so far in the book (and I’m still a few pages from finishing) is when he talks about life’s pursuit not being pleasure, but rather it being about meaning. When you look at it that way, it changes everything – at least it did for me. I think so much of what we expect is that it’s going to be easy and if it’s not, then we need to find a way to fix that. And while easy doesn’t necessarily mean meaningless, it doesn’t mean happiness either. Just as to live a good story doesn’t mean something major is happening everyday – it just means something intentional, something deliberate is happening. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of that book (I’m halfway through yours too!).

  52. Tsh, As a former missionary to the southern Philippines, I’m proud of you for the direction you surrendered to go in, serving those who serve. Those serving in difficult places need special places of refuge, to come apart for a while and be ministered to while they rest and/or heal. Thank you for stepping into that roll and following God’s call. I pray God blesses your ministry greatly and you are used to be a tremendous blessing to those you will serve.
    We all have a great story, it is a matter of perspective, focusing on God’s grace through it all gives each of us a great story. Thank you for the encouragement to continue being intentional and deliberate as we live out our lives for Christ.

  53. What a great post. I’ll be looking into your book as well as the one you mention by Donald Miller. I found the quote you referenced so telling of our times: “Half the commercials on television are selling us something that will make life easier. Part of me wonders if our stories aren’t being stolen by the easy life.” I wonder this all the time. As we’ve simplified our lives in my family we’ve found tremendous joy and peace. Our children are busy being children rather than vehicles of consumer driven society. It’s wonderful to see others are finding value and meaning in simpler things and it giving to others. I’m inspired by your blog! Thank you!

  54. This post spoke to me as well. I live in the heart of NYC, but I still struggle with juggling diapers, laundry, naps, outside play time, and taking advantage of the treasures the city offers. We strive to live simply (it’s a requirement with 5 people in a small 1 bedroom apt). Even though many may consider my life quite “exciting” I still struggle with the mundane and wonder what story I’m telling. And the story that I’ve begun for my children.

  55. Hi Tsh
    First time I read your blog and really liked it:) Much needed to hear words! I just had my third little chipmunk and am a bit overwhelmed at the moment- so it was cool to hear and to remind myself that I’m part of a story, and mostly that these tiny little beings will be in my life for the next 60 yrs or more:) I’m also new to the blogging thing ( yes maybe too much with a newborn…)but anyways just wrote about how to face your real heart( ache or joy). Your blog sure helps with my heart(ache&joy)!
    Live it up!
    Xxxx
    Nadine

  56. Thank you so much for sharing this today. We are in the middle of some changes in our life, and although it is tough, I realize that God is once again stretching us. While it may seem hum drum at the moment, I know in the long run it’s just part of the bigger picture.

  57. This is such an inspirational post. I am a new college grad–at the precipice of change and I can’t help but look at my future full of doubt and uncertainty, with a never-ending list of questions. I consistently wonder if my choice to move away from my family was the right choice; whether or not, trying to make it on my own as a young professional in the big metropolitan city of San Fransisco was the smart and logical choice. I don’t know what my story is just quite yet, but I do know that I want to celebrate and bask in all the small victories of my new life. And that is the only piece of certainty I have as I navigate through my first chapter of adulthood! Thank you for your words of wisdom! It really helped!

  58. love. this. post.

  59. avatar
    Kristina says:

    Loved this post. I feel the same way and have to remind myself that being a mom is a huge “story” and calling from the Lord! I’m very focused on being thankful for my life HERE and NOW, and also in serving others. I want my environment to be peaceful and decluttered, so that I can feel energized to serve others–so many friends in need, etc. We just weathered the unemployment storm just a year ago (for 11 months) and now I feel the Lord calling me to be the support to my friends who are weathering their storms NOW. Thank you for your posts and your book (which I just read about 2 weeks ago). God’s blessings on you in this new part of your story!

    • avatar
      Kristina says:

      Also, I’m in the chaos of three children ages 6, 4, and almost 2…I think I forgot to mention that! :)

  60. I have long believed in ‘Singin in the Rain!’ Thanks for another way to say it =)

  61. I was so excited to read you are moving to Oregon! I hope we will get a chance to meet someday. If you find me on twitter @unicornbeauty I will introduce you to some other Portland Mom Bloggers. They are starting to try and build a group so maybe you can join us.

    I hope your move went well!!

  62. *luv* this post:)!

  63. Oregon! That’s wonderful. I’ve heard excellent things about that state. We’ll actually be passing through there this fall. Maybe we can meet up?

    Also – Can you tell us more about Bend? How did you choose it? What is it like? Have you visited there before? Will you be renting or buying? Etc. :)

  64. One other personal question/note: I was recently invited to participate in a 8-night blogging trip with World Vision. After MUCH prayer and discussion and listing of the pros & cons, I declined. Eight nights is a long time to be away, especially in this year of transition for us.

    I’m curious. How many days was your trip? Did you miss your kids like crazy? Was it a tough decision to say “yes” or “no”?

    Clearly, we’ll have a lot to talk about if we have an opportunity to meet in the pacific NW this fall! ;)

  65. Hi Tsh, I always appreciate your posts – I felt compelled to write for another reason though – are you aware that your son’s harness on his car seat is not clipped in the photo? I’m a Child Passenger Safety Technician and it just concerned me that it’s an image I think I’ve seen before on your blog. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children so it’s so important to be properly restrained on every ride – no matter how short or long.

  66. Such beautiful thoughts, Tsh! I am so, so glad that you are recording all of these ideas here on your blog. My family’s goals are very similar to yours, and it IS so fun to be mothering in the midst of a larger purpose. At The Power of Moms, we focus on “deliberate mothering,” and your ideas of simplicity go perfectly with that.

    Hope you’re enjoying your break! I just got back from a couple of weeks off of blogging/website work, and it was glorious . . ..

    Much love,
    April

  67. This is so good and it resonated with me in such a big way. I read A Million Miles as well and it gave me so much to think on. You’re right, it is hard to keep our vision on the concept of living a good story in the midst of the mundane…I’m right there with you amid laundry and children, homeschooling and grocery-shopping. Thanks for this apt reminder of intentionality and a God-directed life.

  68. avatar
    Tiffany Larson says:

    Tsh – This is exactly the theme our church has been studying on/off over the last year. God keeps bringing it up in other areas of my life and I’m looking forward to seeing where He is going with it.

    I reserved A Million Miles at the library and it came in yesterday, I can’t wait to read it on our road trip to Sunriver this weekend. Which is, as you may know, a few miles from Bend. I grew up in Bend and my mom lives there so we visit often. I hope to end up there in the near future. We’ll see if it’s part of my story!

  69. Setting goals to achieve is easy but actually acting on it and staying on the right path to success is another story. Great read. Keep up the good work :)

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