GUEST BLOG: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

It is with such great pride and honor to share with our readers this guest blog, Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy, from our dear friend, Emily Ley. Her NEW book (launching in October) Grace, Not Perfection is already on our must-read (and live by) list.

Not only will this book will be a revolution for so many women that can connect with Emily’s message, but this post alone will resonate. Emily wants every woman to know that it is okay not to be perfect, but instead be the woman that God created them to be - messy, broken, bruised, talented, tired, loved, and FREE. Keep reading to learn more about Grace, Not Perfection from Emily Ley herself! 

Ladies. Can we talk about something? Can we admit that none of us are doing life perfectly, with six-inch heels, homemade dinner on the table every night, and perfectly behaved children? Because from time to time, I feel like I’m the only woman whose life is a little bit of a circus. I often remind myself that social media is a highlight reel, but I still feel the ache of comparison as I try so hard to keep it together. As a consummate overachiever for years and years, I held myself to an unreachable standard of perfection. But, inevitably, in 2011 my overachiever buckled under the weight I’d asked her to carry for so long. I decided I was done trying to prove to the world that I, too, could “do it all.” Instead, I decided . . . 

I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

Goodness, there is so much freedom in that statement. It was a phrase I proclaimed to a friend while circling my living room with a newborn baby on one hip and a laptop on the other. And on that day, my soul was stirred in an enormous way. Why on earth had I been burning my time and giving myself the unnecessary pressure of trying to get it “right?” As they sometimes do, two wonderful things came out of that dark day in 2011. I created the Simplified Planner, a tool that empowers busy women with a fresh start every day. And I committed myself to a standard of grace. It’s a journey that finds me stumbling every day, but a Grace, Not Perfection standard is hopeful, free, nourishing, and achievable. I promise.

I began to explore what this idea of Grace, Not Perfection (GNP) meant as my business grew and, simultaneously, as my husband and I welcomed twins into our now-family-of-five. Life got much more complex and, while they brought more joy, these new additions also brought more stress and more reasons “to have it all together.” 

Cue the white flag. I am done messing with that kind of stress.

On my GNP journey, I’ve learned that organization, routine, and structure are wonderful and completely necessary, but they are far different than the ideals of perfection. Perfection is suffocating. Perfection is impossible. Perfection is unattainable. But structure is calm. Organization is attainable. Grace is the freedom and permission to be who we are – flawed, silly, imperfect, messy, and full of joy.

And I’ve put all the lessons I’ve learned on my five-year GNP journey into a new book. 

Grace, Not Perfection explores tactical, attainable ways to add routine, structure, and balance to your busy days. Throughout its fifteen chapters (with beautiful photographs, checklists, worksheets and more), we will explore what it means to embrace Grace with yourself, your people, and your calling. 

Life may not always be easy, but there is always joy to be found along the journey. Come on, sister – let’s find it together