About the Author

a lazy writer, church plantin' wife, and mom to three brilliant little Hubers, learning to live with intention while permanently living in transition

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  1. I’m crying with joy after reading this.. I’m so happy for you. I know what it’s like to feel devastated all the time, and how relieving it is to start living more intentionally. Yay.

    • Oh, I so know what it’s like to read something and cry tears mixed with joy and relief. Thanks for the encouragement – and for journeying with me!

  2. Oh God bless you! I’ve been asleep for 3 and a half years and am trying to wake up to intentional living. Like you, I thought it would come naturally but alas it hasn’t. I’m still groggy eyed and it’s a struggle but with God’s help I’m sure we can make it!

  3. I wish I could copy and paste and put this in my journal- it’s like that. I will have to come back and reread when the tears abate. Thank you!

    • I give you permission to do that. 🙂 Seriously though, I’m continually amazed to see that this rough road I sometimes travel is not so unique to me. We’re so not meant to be alone, or to do it alone.

  4. Ohhhh, so good. So, so, so good for me.

    I’ve been grappling in the same way….saying those same prayers….thinking those same things.

    Living intentionally. Playing. REALLY living.

    I needed this shove in the right direction today. And I needed the encouragement.

    I’m also ordering Tsh’s book this weekend. I’ve been meaning to for months now.

    May the Lord bless you! Thanks so much!

    Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  5. It’s amazing how the sense of finding purpose fills our souls with life and energy! I think I’ll have to order that book, because I’ve heard such great things about it over and over. What a blessing to read about how the Lord has filled you up and breathed new life into your family!

  6. I have to tell you, I really needed to read this today. In the email this morning, we received this and the Mother’s Day for the Motherless Daughter, both of which brought me to tears. Admittedly, the surface pain of not having my mom still takes over even 14 years later. It’s hard to think that I’ve lived with her the same amount of time that I’ve lived without her.

    Anyway, thanks.

  7. I LOVE hearing your journey. I could see a subtle difference & maturity in you last week but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I think I’m going to have to treat myself to that book for Mother’s Day. Love you!

    • Thx for being such a big part of it… and loving me even when I’m drowsy and frantic and loud and weepy… (etc, etc, etc…)

  8. I loved this post. I sent it to my husband. We have been working on this same thing for the last few months. We are now going to look at a mission statement.

  9. Oh, girl, I hear you! When my {only} child was young I felt like I was in “survival mode” rather than “enjoyment mode.” I remember trying so hard to *be in the moment* and struggling to sit still and just play for more than five minutes. I couldn’t. I breathed hard and sputtered “I can’t.”

    And now, a good fistful of years later I’m feeling freer. My hand is now grasped looser and I’m more freed up to take another little hand inside and skip, instead of pull insistingly my way.

    What joy there is in living freely in the moment. When we choose to surrender our fears, and our plans, and just be in this moment. There really is so much power there. Such purpose. Such joy.

    You’ll still flounder and flop about, but remember the peace that is only a-deliberate-change-in-focus away! Rich blessings…

  10. Thanks – your article really helped me this morning. We’ll see what happens with the rest of the day. I’m in a similar spot feelings-wise, except my kids are still little. 4, 2, and 8 months. Oh, I’m Mark Rico’s wife, by the way – he told me about your article. Hi! Nice to meet ya. 🙂

    • Hi Amy!! Nice to meet you too! Thanks for reading and commiserating. I’m definitely not an expert… but hoping practice makes perfect. 🙂

  11. Thank you for speaking to my soul! I could and cannot say it better myself than ““Failing” was what I was doing, but it wasn’t so much failing at motherhood as it was failing to live, thrive, or enjoy the good gifts God had given me”. I am not a mother yet, but I feel as though I am falling to be the wife, friend, daughter, and person I was put here to be!

    I feel as though God was confirming so much to me in your post! Thank you for being honest and saying what needed to be said.

    God Bless!

  12. I lost my mother 24 years ago and never got the chance to resolve some longstanding resentments. I gave those to God many years ago and made peace with it. Today, however, my mother has been on my mind so very much–perhaps because my own daughter is expecting our first grandchild in June. I am overcome by the blessing of it! Thank you for reminding me to pray for motherless children and childless mothers too.

  13. God bless you for your willingness to open yourself up and write these words. I am crying as I sit immersed in the same ennui you describe here. Just this morning I started the preview copy of Tsh’s book. Your post has inspired me to buy the complete version as a mother’s day gift to myself. A million thanks for being real, honest and inspiring all at the same time. I feel truly blessed and encouraged by your words!

  14. I just love this post. Very well done and very real. Intentional living – I like that. I am teaching 2 groups of women using Ann Voskamps’ book One Thousand Gifts and we did chapter one yesterday. Great thoughts came out of that first chapter. I can’t wait to see what happens after the entire book.
    You are doing exactly what God wants you to do. I love your list for your family.
    Can’t say enough, but this is the ‘heart of the matter’
    – Many blessings,
    Jan

    • Jan,

      I am currently listening to One Thousand Gift’s & I think I must be missing something. I have heard how much it has changed people, but I obviously am missing something BIG!!!!!!!!!!!

      If you have any suggestions or material I could use in addition to the book, please let me know. My email is sarah.smalling@gmail.com

  15. PTL that He has brought you through this difficult time. Thank you so very much for sharing your heart with us, (strangers). This day I needed to know that their is someone else out there that has or is feeling this way and this gives me hope…
    These words below describe me.
    “Failing” was what I was doing, but it wasn’t so much failing at motherhood as it was failing to live, thrive, or enjoy the good gifts God had given me.

    • I started to comment to this when one of my good gifts – the toddler – needed some extra attention. 🙂 Thanks for sharing bits of yourself, as well. I find loads of comfort, strength, and encouragement from other moms (not just moms, though – wives, sisters, friends) who are also in similar circumstances. I think we sometimes think if something doesn’t come naturally to us (if we actually have to WORK at it), then we’re really bad at it or not meant to do it, whether it’s mothering or befriending or serving or whatever it is that takes us outside of ourselves and into the spheres of really loving other people. I still struggle with it… but God is good and every good thing is a gift from Him. Realizing that and trying to live like that, now that’s work! 🙂

  16. I wish I could click “LOVE!” on all the comments. I mean, not the loving that we are all sometimes in the same boat of restlessness and discouragement, but loving the fact that we are soooo not alone. I read some things and think “oh, that’s so where I am” or get to the end of an article and have to go cry it out for awhile. I’m so grateful to be a part of a greater community of women who are God seekers, trying to reclaim and celebrate who He’s made us to be… and trying to discover who He’s making us into.

  17. What do you mean by CREATION care? I haven’t read the book yet. It’s on my list. Thank you for sharing.

    • basically just to be good stewards of the earth and valuing God’s beautiful creation. My husband loves gardening and anything outdoorsy and it’s become important for us as a family to invest in and protect our land and resources. Creation Care just kinda sums up the idea and reminds us that God is the Creator.

  18. It made my heart swell to read this! It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that someone else out there feels the way you do. Thank you!

  19. Thank you for posting this. I haven’t read Organized Simplicity yet, but this also reminds me of “The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family – A Leadership Fable about restoring sanity to the most important organization in your life”. Really helping to focus on what is important and structure life around those values. Be blessed!

  20. Reading this was like reading something I wrote. I myself am just waking up again after being asleep on the job for the past 4 years. It’s so hard sometimes and such a daily struggle…sometimes hourly struggle. It’s comforting to know that I am not alone.

  21. Oh, how I can relate! I have been asleep and now I am awake. No one told me it would be this hard. No one shouted “WAKE UP!” How I wish I could go back and start over. But I can’t. Only move forward. Start again. Let the wasted part of my life go and renew the future. Enjoy your kids this weekend. Take it all in. Bless you.

  22. This is an awesome testimony! I know how it feels to barrel through life, too busy and too afraid to actually step into that life and take some control over it. To become an active particiapnt. I came to a breaking point last summer, and since then God has graciously been teaching me how to really live and feel.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Bernice
    Don’t live your life in default mode

  23. Karen- you spoke the struggles of my soul into words. Beautiful, God-filled post. I am deeply (in) couraged by what you wrote and what you are living out. Thank God for his vibrant, tenacious love for you & your family, thank God you are in our church family.

  24. Love this post! Totally getting it! I don’t think I had the aha moment of it all, as I tried so hard from the beginning to be that intentional mom and wife, but I keep watching it slip…realizing I need God like I need air…I can’t keep it up on my own!

    And you really got to the heart of the matter, the fruit of this intentional life is not a more organized life, but a deeper one. One where journals are written in ink and people are more important than things! We can definitely love on those people with a more organized and simplified house and life, though.

    I just loved this post (did I already say that), it was so encouraging to me. I thought you were going to divulge some really great dirt, 🙂 and here you are just saying the things that are in my heart too! 🙂