3 things I’m doing on purpose

While The Man and I were in Florida a few months ago, we drove by a forest fire. I know, it wasn’t a legit forest fire. It was a controlled burn. I don’t know a lot about controlled burning aside from the fact that it sounds like an oxymoron. I know it’s supposed to be good for the foliage and such. I also know they do it on purpose. And for what it’s worth, I rolled down my window to take this photo and it was hot. Really hot. Like, let-me-clean-out-my-pores-on-my-face- now-that-I-just-got-a-steaming hot. I couldn’t believe how close the fire people were to it, working hard to control all that burn. I have a new respect for firefighters.

At the risk of sounding all purpose driven life-y, there are some things I’m doing on purpose. I know myself, and I know I can get caught up in things just because it’s what you do without really stopping to consider why. I’m sure every profession has their own version of that. Being a writer definitely does. You have to have a website with your name at the top! You have to travel and speak at tons of places to sell your book! You have to know how to pray out loud while someone softly plays the piano! And my head spins. And I question things. And I want to choose on purpose what I do while remaining true to who I am.

With that in mind, I want to share with you three things I’m doing on purpose. Hopefully, they are things you will benefit from, which is why I’m telling you.

Grace for the Good Girl Summer Book Club

When I mentioned last week I might like to do a loosely organized summer book club with you, I thought maybe 30 of you would do it. So far, there are nearly 200 interested in joining in. And so my “loosely organized” book club is slowly morphing into a semi-structured book club. I’ve recruited the help of my virtual assistant (have I introduced you to her? Ah, the things I haven’t told you yet…) We have read through every comment on that post and are feeling our way through what will serve you best (and not make us crazy). I’m so excited! Stay tuned next week for more details and exact start date.

Updates from Chatting at the Sky

One of my goals this year was to send out a monthly update newsletter-ish type of thing. This was hard for me. I went back and forth for months – why do I want to add one more thing to people’s inboxes? How can the updates remain a gift and offer readers a place for their souls to breathe while also providing information? 

In the end, here are 4 reasons why I decided to develop a monthly newsletter.

  • to have another way to connect with you besides the blog post
  • to offer exclusive content
  • to update loyal readers with any happenings that may not get front page on the blog
  • to share books I’m reading as well as quality links to other blogs that I think may encourage you

I understand the trust exchange that takes place when you give out your email address. I hoard my personal email address – No, Old Navy, you may not have my email! No I will not give you my zip code!  I respect your time and your privacy. Your email will never be used for any reason other than these updates and you can unsubscribe at any time. My 3rd newsletter will go out next week – if you are interested in receiving it, sign up here. (You can check the box for Summer Book Club if you’re interested in learning more about that). If you would like a preview as to what these look like, here is last month’s newsletter.

The Influence Conference

When Hayley (The Tiny Twig) asked me to consider speaking at The Influence Conference in October, I hesitated. Not because it didn’t sound amazing (it does), but because I’m trying to be laser focused with those things I say yes to, especially when it means traveling away from home. But something about this one intrigues me. I talked with The Man about it, spent some silent time listening and considering what I may have to share with the group this conference might attract, and I decided that The Influence Conference was a good fit. Maybe it will be a good fit for you, too? It will be held October 11 – 13 in Indianapolis. Here are the speakers and here is the conference website.

Are there things in your schedule that you do just because it’s what you’re supposed to do? What are some things you’re doing on purpose?


  1. says

    On purpose, I’m getting up before my kids to read my Bible in the morning. On purpose, I’m taking a few minutes alone each day to water my garden and just have some quiet time. On purpose, I’m trying to be more patient with my family and love my husband more.

  2. says

    I will be at the Influence Conference, and I am so excited that you will be speaking! I really enjoyed reading Grace for the Good Girl last fall (a wonderful birthday present :) and look forward to learning more from you.

  3. says

    thanks for sharing the intimate way you live your life, it gives insight and helps me think through things in a different way. Seeing how God is unfolding your influence and how you are hanging on to what matters is good perspective in this world that pulls for attention. Thank you.

  4. says

    On purpose I am trying to keep wide margins in my life.. today is not a wide margin day and I feel that old feel of the heart racing and rushing to DO creeping back in.

    I love the honest perspective here, we do things (often) because we are expected to. Sometimes it feels obedient and sometimes it feels mechanical, uncreative and rote.

    Sometimes, blessing comes from walking through those have-to’s. But yes, there is much more joy in being intentional and designing our time around our gifts and purposefully thought out time-management. Thank you for this glance into a comparison of the two paths. At that fork in the road, I would like to choose the one purpose, by design, and in His will more often.

    Your words here are beautiful and I look forward to both the newsletter and the loosely organized bible study.

    • says

      I don’t even see any typos – and friend, you never even need grace for that here. Just spellcheck which, unfortunately, comment boxes don’t have 😉 So glad you’re here.

  5. says

    I’ve been going back and forth about Influence ever since I found out about it. It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing conference! I just don’t know how to justify adding another trip to the ones I already have planned and budgeted for. But at the very least, I think I’ll drive up to Indy that Saturday so I can see people. Maybe Hayley will give me a Saturday-only rate.

    I like hearing about your intentionality, Emily. It always refreshes me to see someone else live purposefully. It reminds me why I’ve made the decisions I have.

  6. Anna says

    I agree it is so subtle and subconscious for me that I find myself with a list of things to do or consider looking into because they are what you’re meant to need to do. I want to remain true to me too and have that openness that God doesn’t follow the world’s strategies. I tend to feel pressured and uneasy when it’s not really my heart leading and try to seek to follow the peace and joy instead. How do you recognise these things that are the done writer thing that aren’t really ‘you’ before you’ve gone and said ‘yes’ or done them?

  7. Karen says

    One thing I’m doing on purpose…..the ‘Grace For The Good Girl’ summer book club – can’t wait!!!

  8. says

    So looking forward to the Grace for the Good Girl Summer Book Club. And just so you know, I like getting something a little extra from you in my inbox.

    What I am doing on purpose right now…trying to be more purposeful about speaking life and blessing over my daughters.

    Oh, and just in case you want to know a little more about controlled burning, I actually wrote a post on it during the 31 day series last October. Yep. :) If you check out the link on my blog in the sidebar (31 days of Rooting Deeper), it’s day 18. Of course, you would have simply googled controlled burn if you really wanted to know more. 😉

  9. says

    Supposing one had to chose between Allume and Influence, what would you recommend? Or how would you distinguish one from the other? I attended Relevant last year, and have been on the fence about whether or not to try to attend again. Now I find out about Influence and feel even more confused . . .:% As for the bookclub, I think I will read it again, even though I’ve pretty much memorized your book.

  10. says

    I’ve been in FL and seen a controled forest fire before, too. And, the funny thing was that right on the side of the road there was a sign that said “prevent forest fires”…or something oxy-moron like that! ha ha! so happy for all that you are doing. Keep it up. You inspire! :) blessings, cat

  11. says

    I’m trying to be more intentional about not having things to do purposely…I know that sounds rather counter-intuitive. During the summer I’m just trying to enjoy it, to enjoy my children and husband, without feeling like I HAVE to get things accomplished.

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