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Saturday, January 7, 2012

How You Live

Why hello there, weekend.

Something happened yesterday that made me stop dead in my tracks and think twice. You know those moments (maybe I'm the only one who has them) when something hits you at a time you least expect, and teaches you a lesson? I had one. And it came in the most humble of forms.

  My grandma had minor surgery last week, and I went with her (and my mom) for her check-up yesterday. As we sat down in the chairs at the doctor's quiet office waiting room, Mom burst out laughing. She quickly showed Grandma and me her cell phone screen: an auto-correct gone-wrong text Mom had accidentally just sent. In reply to a text from my sister saying she was sick, Mom wrote "my poor girl!" but good old auto-correct changed the "r" in poor to a "p"...and well, 'nough said. We sat there laughing and wailing hysterically (what are we, 8 year old boys?!) at the stupid yet (in the moment) hilarious text. As we laughed, I suddenly noticed someone.

A feeble, tiny white-haired lady sat watching us, almost enveloped by the chair she sat in - a rather small chair, really...but she made it look like a huge throne compared to her tiny frame. She just sat, watching us as we laughed heartily despite being in a sober, quiet waiting room. Her eyes were full of sadness, and longing. I could read it. (And if there's one thing I can do, it's read people's emotions...because I am sensitive, and feel so strongly myself) I could not help but notice her. Something hit me. I sensed she wished she was laughing with us, our 3-generation laughter. Our relationship together. As she sat alone, I almost wanted to stop laughing, so as not to rub it in her face. My mind wandered as my grandma and mom continued to chat…..
I thought... maybe this woman has a strained relationship with her daughter and wishes she only had what we have. Perhaps she lost her granddaughter in a car crash years ago, and her look is one of missing, longing…for what could have been. Maybe she had 3 sons and miscarried one little girl, right before birth…and that vacant look in her eye was wondering what might have been. Perhaps she had no children and never married…and she wishes she could go back and do something differently.
 Or perhaps she wasn’t thinking of us at all, or didn’t care and was just blankly staring, and I in my very dramatic story-loving mind made it all into something it wasn’t :)
That certainly could have been.

 But the point is: it made me think. Even now, in the dim evening light as I sit and sip a huge cup of hot tea, I wonder.... what will I think when I’m 90 years old and alone in a waiting room? Will I vacantly gaze onto a mother-daughter-granddaughter banter? What will I have to show for my life? What will I have done for the Lord? What will I have accomplished for God? I fight back tears now as I think about it.
It's hard to think about.
And sobering, for me at least.
Today, we are young.
But someday...down the road, we will (if given the gift of years) be just like that lady.
Sitting, thinking, coming to the end of our lives. And what will we have to show for it?
 I am inspired. To not waste my life.
(reminds me of John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" book I read in college)
To pray more. To love better.
To do simple things with great love.

I want to wake up with the sunlight, throw open the windows and breathe.
I want to do great things for Christ. Share the Gospel with how I act and live.
I want to take risks, do what I love. Be passionate about everything.
To laugh heartily. To kiss orphans.
To savor every moment. To not care so much about things or money.
To not be afraid of the truth but to embrace it with honesty.

Take a few chances. Wear your glittery heels.
Really know your Bible and the God who wrote it. Sing loudly to the radio in the car.
Wear red lipstick on casual days. LAUGH.

"Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken.
Wear your red dress, use your good dishes
make a big mess and make lots of wishes.
Have what you want, but want what you have.
Don't spend your life lookin' back.

Turn up the music! Turn it up loud.
Take a few chances, let it all out.
Cause you won't regret it...
Looking back on where you have been

It's not who you knew, and it's not what you did:

it's how you live.

(as the Point of Grace girls sang here!)

We only have one life to live.
Let's live it. For HIM.



PS- I've got some exciting stuff comin' next week, so get ready ya'll!


Friday iPhone Photo Drop

{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitself}


  1. Oh Erin, Erin, moved me to tears. I am so amazed at the heart and mind you have...and how they are so interconnected AND intertwined with your love for God and for others. You continue to touch my heart, bring me to realizations, and encourage me to be more. Thank you for sharing your honest and beautiful heart with us :)

  2. This was beautiful. Here lately I've felt like I've been wasting my life. Thank you for the encouragement to do better. (:

    Love the pics...that coffee looks amazing. (:

  3. beautiful words girl. thanks for making me think today...i needed some inspiration just now...just sitting down to dream about a few things on my heart.
    have a lovely rest of your weekend!

  4. LOVE your heart sweet girl!!!!!

  5. great post! It is challenging to think of each day like that sometimes but I'm sure that is exactly how God wants us to live. thanks for the challenge!

  6. wow what an intriguing post! I'm inspired, convicted, and encouraged all at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is an amazing post and exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I definitely have moments like this. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  8. Oh yes, yes, yes! We weren't made to live "down the road" when we get married, have kids, find stability, etc. etc. etc. We were made to live NOW. And to proclaim His name FEARLESSLY. Thank you for encouraging me this morning!

  9. What a wonderful post...You have moved my very heart. Excellent way to begin my morning, thank you.

  10. I just want to live for Him too :) This was a great post!

  11. This is a beautiful post. I requested to follow you on Instagram! :) My username is MackensieG!



  12. This is amazing, Erin. Such a good reminder that what we do today dictates who we will be in the future, and the only consistent thing will be Jesus.

  13. So beautiful :)

    I think it's like a wake up call for everyone to do just as you say: Actually live life. Not make excuses and put things off. At the end of lives here on earth, would we be able to stand face to face with God and say that we have done everything we could have possibly done with the life he has given us?

    Love your blog :)


  14. I love this, Erin! So much wisdom, and needed reminders here. It's time to stop existing, and really start living. Thanks for the encouragement! :) Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!



  15. Darling, I love reading your blog oh-so-much! You make me think, and remember that life is so inspire me. Thanks for sharing your heart :) Love you

    (p.s. this is Caitlin Goossen from Masters, i'm trying to figure out this thing and i don't know how to put a picture next to my name, and i think my name id just going to show up as Mrs.

  16. I love this, Erin. I think it's so hard to truly live well because it's such a moment to moment thing. But when those little moments add up, and we're left with the overall impression years from now, what do we want to see in our lives? Maybe that's the question we need to start asking in the moments that seem so difficult or plentiful now.

  17. So so lovely. Such sweet thoughts from a beautiful heart. That is definitely something God has been speaking to me as well. Life is short, we need to live with eternal perspective. Thank you darlin. Xoxo

  18. I love this post! So encouraging! I also want to live for the Lord and when I'm 90, I want to know that I did all I could to make the best of the life He gave me. Thanks for sharing! :)

  19. Love this post! You are a great writer lovely!xo

  20. my word this is wonderful!! :)

  21. Oh goodness. You sure have me in tears over here, girlie. What a beautifully written post!! You have me wanting to go hug someone or go.. I don't know!!! Do something to change someone's world. :-) Thank you for sharing! It truly made me think about how I want to live my life. XOXO!

  22. wow erin, you've really inspired me! you have such a way of writing that i just wanted to read more, more, more! thanks so much for sharing what you experienced : )
    oh and thank you again for following my blog! it means a lot to me : D

  23. Love your blog!! It's awesome!!
    I follow.
    Ps. My name is Erynn too!! Just spelled differently! :)

  24. it's so true. That's my constant struggle. I always feel like I'm wasting the precious time that God has given me but at the end of the day it isn't about my accomplishments but about God's glory. I love this. thanks so much for sharing!

    btw I'm totally going to start following you on instagram. love the app!

  25. Your honest and beautiful heart brings so much joy to my life! I love reading everything you post, and look forward to more once I'm done reading! Such a heart consecrated to God!

  26. Just found your blog! It's so lovely!!! The photos in this post are gorgeous. I'm loving the bright nail polish. And the pop of colors in the mug! So fun...

    p.s. I would love to do a button swap with you if you would be interested?

  27. It can be overwhelming to think about what the future holds...but also so exciting.

  28. Mmm...i <3 your teacup!!! Where did you get it?


  29. First, that's a cute mug!

    Second, what a beautiful story. Your compassion shines through in the way you personalize strangers.

    hope you have a lovely day!

  30. Such an inspiring post! Thank you for writing it. Love your blog!

  31. Erin! What a great post. I have to say you moved me a ton in this post. I am exactly like you in the fact that when I see people I make stories them. I am sensitive and can cry in a second when I see an old man at a table eating alone because I assume his wife of a million years has died. Losing my grandma this year has taught me how short life really is. Thanks for reminding me that we should be taking risks and living life to the fullest :)

  32. This is a lovely post & a great reminder. :)

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog! xo!

  33. this was TRULY inspirational and heartwarming, that i HAD to read it twice!! :P <33

  34. Best-post-of-the-year! hands down. I just found your blog...when you so kindly left a comment on my blog :)I'm following you now.

    I read your post today and could not agree more, with every word you wrote. I find myself thinking the exact same things: how will I feel when I'm older and looking at younger people. We have one life....make it good. Live to the fullest. Excellent post again.

  35. This was my favorite post I have ever read on any blog. Period. So inspirational and a great reminder that we need to not waste this short time we have on Earth by doing anything but serving our King. Thanks for sharing :)


sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.


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