Embrace a joyful life
Show of hands, ladies, at who tries to do it all? Work, raising the kiddos, maintaining friendships, church activities, sports, PTA, marriage, dating, cleaning… AGH!!!!
Okay. Deep breath.
Emily Ley wants us to see that it’s not about getting it all done and making sure we get it done well. It’s about living and resting in the fullness of God and more importantly, the Grace of God. Doesn’t that sound oh, so good?
Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy will be a welcomed breath of fresh air to your heart, mind, and soul.
As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of her bestselling Simplified Planner®, a favorite among busy women everywhere—from mamas to executives and everywhere in between.
Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.
Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart.
I’m so happy to have Emily Ley stopping by today. Let’s see how she adjusted her life after the realization that she can’t do it all!
Hi! I’m Emily. I’m a businesswoman, wife, and mama who loves throwing Friday night pizza parties on the floor, drinking cappuccinos with my husband, and making memories with my twin toddlers and brand-new kindergartner (*sniff*). I’m in the middle of the most circus-filled season of my life, and I’m so thankful for my faith in Jesus; at the end of each exhausting day, He keeps me standing strong. Lately, I’ve been taking time to intentionally seek Him, and I can see Him more clearly than I ever have; He’s woven threads of grace throughout my life bit by bit, year by year. Come on, I’ll show you.
I grew up in Pensacola, Florida (with the prettiest beaches you ever did see), and my first job out of college was in nonprofit management. I found myself surrounded by women making enormous impacts in our community, and I wanted so badly to be just like them. At the same time, I yearned for a flexible schedule that would complement my life-long dream to become a mama.
So with a penchant for design, in 2008 I launched a side business, Emily Ley Paper & Gifts, having no idea how to bring my creativity to life but with a little gumption and a lot of hard work. I spent countless hours learning how to design my own website, and I sold monogrammed cards on Etsy for $5. I slowly saved my money until my small side business became a full-fledged company.
The day I handed in my two weeks’ notice to my corporate job, I found out my husband and I were expecting our first child (see any Jesus threads yet?).
Shortly after the most transformational day of my life—the day I became a mama—I found myself pacing around my house, cradling my crying newborn in one arm and taking client calls with the other. My steps were heavy after another sleepless night, but my heart was heavier—because I wanted to do it all. Surely I could have a made-from-scratch dinner on the table at six while running my company and rocking my baby at the same time—and do it ALL with perfectly curled hair and six-inch heels.
I mean, everyone else was doing it . . . right?
That day, I tearfully spilled my heart to a friend and decided enough was enough—and I committed to holding myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
It’s a decision that’s served me well (hint: another big Jesus thread!).
Last year, as I waited for my preschooler in the carpool line, I casually checked my email and saw a message from a publisher, asking me to write a book. As an English major, writing has always been my first love, but the opportunity to write a book was a dream I dared not dream. It was too big, too impossible. But, God, He knew better. He met me in the busiest, messiest, most circus-filled season of my life with blank pages and an incredible opportunity to fill them. And thanks to His plans and faithfulness, my new book Grace, Not Perfection, has just hit bookstore shelves.
I’m so thankful I get to share how God’s grace has shaped me. One of the most important lessons He’s shown me is that I need to intentionally spend time on what matters most. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way that when I say yes to all the “stuff” life throws at us—the committees, the surprise project at work, the decorating spawned by house envy, the endless social media feeds—I’m actually saying no to the people I love; I’m filling my schedule with worry when, instead, I can be filling my time with things that bring life-giving joy. For us overachievers, I know it can be hard to say no to tackling more “stuff.” But that’s why I that’s at the beginning of each week, I sit down and intentionally set aside times to be with my people: my kids, my husband, and Jesus. I literally write it all down because in the midst of our busy days, sometimes we need simple reminders to help keep us on track. And when we stay on track, we’re much more equipped to trace the threads woven through our lives; we’re able to see how He’s worked things together for our good!
Sweet friend, take time out today to figure out what God’s been up to in your life, what kinds of blessings and gifts He’s given to you. And don’t forget to give yourself a little break now and then, eat some good chocolate, and spend some time with Jesus and your people. You’ll all be a little better off for it.
Thanks for spending some time with me today!