the invisible, glamorous life

We’d never seen a boat that big in the harbour. I’ve been coming here for 11 years – The Man for all his life. It was the Never Enough. The irony was not lost on anyone watching.

They said that the crew was dressed all in khakis and fancy shirts in the early day, and at dusk we saw them in their black ties. We could hear all the excitement from where we stood as the yacht slowly made her way around the smaller boats, and I nearly expected Jay Gatsby to walk right out onto the deck and nod to the crowd with a smirk and a white-coat wave.

She moved slow, heavy, regal. And I wished I was there, part of the buzz and glitz and mystery. But not really. Because as I lazy-looped my arm through The Man’s and we meandered our way back to our beach house, I realized that this life I live is someone else’s boat – they look and long and wish for this. And so do I, until I remember I have it. That glamour life doesn’t really exist, and the ones who chase it discover quick, It isn’t really there. Whoever named the boat knew that. This tangible life is never enough, not really.

It’s been four months since I first saw Never Enough floating slow in the harbor, and every time I see a movie star on the cover of a magazine or daydream about jumping on a plane to Paris, I think about her and about how she may have been the biggest yacht in our harbor, but she’s not the biggest yacht in the world, not by far. When you strive to be the biggest and best, the smartest and wisest and most interesting, your goal will always be frustrated with bigger and better, smarter and wiser, and much more interesting. And so there is an innocent comfort and safety in humility, in receiving what this day gives, and in knowing that none of it originates with me.


  1. says

    I find myself waiting in anticipation for your latest post. It is always so thought provoking and beautifully written. Today’s is no different. Amazing how the things of this world can never satisfy or plug that hole in us that is reserved and custom made to only fit the Lord. It is so true…this world and the things of this world will never satisfy and never be enough.


  2. says

    This is another great post. And it rings so true with us as women. We have this complex (thanks to America and sin and our flesh) that what we have is never enough, that who we are is never enough. I just saw an awesome post elsewhere and one of the pics just showed a women’s upper chest where the words “I am enough” had been painted. We as Christians need to rest in Christ that thru Him we ARE enough, what we have is just enough.

  3. says

    “Innocent comfort and safety in humility…”

    Have I told you lately how much I love the beauty and simplicity of your words, the grace and peace and rest tucked into each one? Because I do. My visits here are a tall drink of water from the spring of Life. Thank you for all you share and how you share it.

  4. says

    Hi! I’m a new reader and a big fan. Thank you for this post. It was just what I needed today. I’ve been feeling a bit “lost in the crowd” lately. I know God sees me and that I’m not invisible – and I do have a life that is blessed beyond measure. Thank you for reminding me that I may be someone else’s boat and to stop and be thankful for this life of mine.

  5. says

    this year i’ve stuck my neck out big time. and it’s resulted in opportunity. and with new opportunity comes that rat race you wrote about here: smarter, bigger, better. but the opportunity is still from Him and so i will go forward reminded to make it ABOUT Him , too. thank you for these words!

  6. Jamie says

    I LOVE this post. One of the best gifts my parents ever gave me was the gift on contentment. To do your best and find happiness in the simple things in life. If I could pass one thing onto my girls it would be that same message. Our little family motto is “love is more important than money”.

    Love it!

  7. says

    Such a rich post, Emily. Money and things can never fill that void, created by God, reserved for Him alone. This is proven over and over again, by watching the rich and famous, and how they live. So many turn to drugs, live recklessly, even attempt to take their own lives, and some succeed, all in search of the peace and deep joy that knowing the Lord, on a personal level, brings. Even in the midst of heartache, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

  8. says

    Emily, I love your line of “there is an innocent comfort and safety in humility”. That is so true. Humility is very powerful, as well as empowering. We are free to be all that God has called us to be when we are humble and fulfilled with where we are and with what we have. Thanks for another great post!

  9. says

    I hope this doesn’t sound patronising, but – how did one so young get to be so wise?!
    I love the way you communicate deep truth with such simplicity and sincerity.
    What a gift!

  10. says

    your last line reminds me of a Rigoberta Menchu quote that I love, “the moment that you think something you do belongs to you, you lose the way”…i read it in college in spanish and found the way it was exactly translated in her english book “I Rigoberta…”…so good. so true. such a mirror and steadying thought. bless you!

  11. says

    Amen – amen! I remember when I was in college and working a part-time on-campus job for just above minimum wage. Sometimes, I would think about how if I only made “X” amount of money, how much easier things would be. Then, I graduated and started working full-time as a nurse. I think I made in one paycheck what I made for an entire year previously. But, eventually, I came to the point of thinking how much easier life would be if I could, yup, make more money. I (fortunately) quickly learned that chasing money was a never-ending chase that I did not want to run. Of course, it is hard to not be tempted by scenes like the Never Enough…but I am glad I can usually come back to my senses and set my affections on far grander treasures. ;o)

  12. says

    So, so, so well said. So many of us certainly do spend too much time chasing after the never enoughs in our own worlds, in our own ways. It is so encouraging to read this coming out of my beloved USA, because I’m concerned TOO, TOO many of us have been chasing Never Enoughs to our own detriment as individuals and as a people. Amen and Amen!

  13. says

    I love the picture of the “Never Enough”. I think it will stick with me for a long time. And as I near my 10th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband and look at my precious healthy children, I am filled with the same feelings as you – I have it. I pray the Lord will remind me of that daily!!

  14. says

    I’ve been in that harbor, seen all of those boats, and entertained the thoughts you articulate here. And I fight that crazy paradox on a daily basis: the more you have, the more it’s not enough. Somehow I think I’m above all of that but one glance at a pair of beautiful brown tall boats or a brand new sofa without stains…I can be undone and discontent in a heartbeat. Boots and sofas aren’t a yacht but they may was well be.

    I love this post and I love you for writing it. As is often the case, it’s exactly where I am today.

    • says

      I love this! I, too, can seem to pass by the big, bigger and biggest things this world has to offer, but when it comes to the small, almost unnoticeable things, ie that cute little coffee mug, or the latest {greatest} book, or a great app for my phone, I just crumble….and am reminded over and over again….these things can not bring true joy….only Him….

  15. says


    I’ve really enjoyed your blog and your photos for a long time, but I’ve never commented before. Today’s post really hit home, though. I lived the “glamorous” life with 6 years as a publicist in the music industry. I was always on the go and always in a hurry from one “big” event or “big” meeting to the next, until I realized I was living a life of never enough.

    God’s done a lot of work on my heart in the past few years to slow me down and help me realize my life is more than enough in Him, and He’s still doing a lot of work in me to help me lead a simpler life.

    I hope it’s OK if I link to this post actually. I’d love to share it with my close family and friends!

  16. susan says

    Thank u again & always,Emily. I learned it once when I was the suit/heels mover&shaker, fell hard, (body gave out), but apparently, I have to keep learning the hard way. I did get my priorities straight (kinda) and put my parents first in my earthly life, I just have to keep getting smacked upside the head to take care of me,spiritually&phsically, for He promises no one tmrw here on earth. His promise is far greater. I just have to focus on purpose in each day,and pray I fulfill it wisely. “Mouth shut&ears open” used to make me giggle. Now I know it’s how I enjoy life the most,only I add “heart open” too. I just appreciate you poking me in the right direction when I need to hear it most. And i’ll shaddup. 😀 -s-

  17. says

    Wiser words have never been spoken. When we base our entire life on the struggle for more power, we will eventually be drowned in disappointment, because our desires can never really be satisfied.

  18. says

    This is lovely. I too often get caught up in my perfectionist ways only to be outdone by another. It really is discouraging to try to be the best all the time. Always feeling like life is a competition. I do not want to compete anymore. Thank you for your thoughtful words. :)

  19. Ruth Baumgartner says

    This is my first visit to your blog… I LOVE IT! My husband and I have been chatting at length on this very topic of late… thanks for articulating things so succinctly.

  20. says

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