Today I’m thankful to welcome Alexandra Kuykendall, a writer I’ve had the privilege of meeting, to listen and learn first-hand how genuine she is. I read (and endorsed!) her first book, The Artist’s Daughter, and now she has a second book out in the world, Loving My Actual Life. Thankful for her reminder to shake our addiction to hustle.

When did rushing become such a thing in my life? I think it was when my kids became busy, with lessons and practices and schedules of their own. But no, I remember busy before that. Maybe when my babies were born and I was meeting others’ needs all of the time? No, I know I had the hustle before that too.

When I was full on career girl, yes busy then. I almost can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying hard to catch the finish line. Perhaps in my childhood there were times when I didn’t put the rush on. But as an adult, trying to calm it all in has been a way of life.

We live in an incredible era of opportunity for women. But I think we’ve misunderstood our newfound choice as a people, especially a female people.

We are not choosing anything; we are trying to do it all.

Because with a choice we must say “no” to something in order to say “yes” to something else. You choose one thing over another. But I find I’m instead saying “yes” to everything.


And that way of operating forgets that I have limits. My days have twenty-four hours no matter how much I try to cram into them. My body needs fuel and sleep. I try to deprive it of both. My soul must have quiet, though I live a nonstop existence of information consumption. My soul doesn’t do well in the hustle.

It’s no surprise that a hustler is one who tricks and lies. That’s exactly what the hustle does, it lies to us about what’s important and what makes us important. The busier, the better, right? The more productive, the more valuable. It’s the American way. Protestant work ethic and all.


Yet the truth teller squeezes in between me and the lies and whispers this, “Come.”

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Or, “Come to me all those toiling and bearing burdens….” Our work makes us weary. Our toiling creates even more burden. Our hustle makes more work.

The opposite of lies is truth.

The opposite of hustle is come.

It is a moving toward. And if we’re truly weary, it is a falling toward. A collapsing really, toward the one who gives rest.


In my little life experiment of how better to do life, I started with the hustle. I knew I needed to quit it. Like any addiction, it was telling me I couldn’t live without it. And yet what I truly couldn’t live without, in every sense, was him. The Prince of Peace. Emmanuel, God with us.

Pulling the Band-Aid off hurts. Whether done quickly or methodically. We all have our preferences, perhaps we fall into categories of fast or slow people. No matter, we are all prone to the busy. The hustle is simply an overextension of what we can humanly bare and pretending we can do more than we actually can.

A Band-Aid does not heal. It simply covers.

As is true with the over extending and with the people-pleasing. Or more accurately, people-impressing. With the saying “yes” past the limits of our human capabilities. We use the hustle to cover the hurt, to avoid the injuries of the heart, the parts of our actual lives we want to avoid.

Sometimes it’s easier to look at a Band-Aid than to examine the wound.

I had to do it, this hustle quitting, this pulling off the Band-Aid, in the context of my actual life, the one that has five other people to feed thas work deadlines and soccer games and a parent transitioning fulltime to a wheelchair. I needed to separate the essential from the extra. And for a girl who finds the hustle tempting, even addicting, I needed to stop.

So that is where I began the experiment to love my actual life. By stopping.


I did not want to miss this one life I’ve been gifted. This one day. There is no promise for tomorrow.

We are called to meet Emmanuel here, in the nitty gritty of our ordinary surrounded by our actual circumstances.

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” –Phillipians 4:11-13

The opposite of lies is truth.

The opposite of hustle is come.


 Alexandra 2014Alexandra Kuykendall did a nine-month experiment to love her current life. She documented her journey in her new book Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me. She is the author of The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir and frequent speaker to women’s groups around the country.

Alex and her husband Derek make their home in the shadows of downtown Denver with their four daughters. You can connect with here at