let why lead
Welcome to Let Why Lead, a place for the purposeful wife and mom. I’m Erica, and I'm passionate about living fully and filling my family with love and belonging. For regular reminders of the whys of your life, I hope you’ll keep coming back.
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My Top 16 Resources for Women Living with their Whole Hearts

Top 16 Resources for Women Living with their Whole Hearts

I’ve been culling this list for months. Reading, listening, thinking, deliberating.

Finally, I think I’ve got it pinned down! I’m excited to share my top 16 resources with you. The books, TEDs, podcasts, and blogs that have made the biggest impact on me—and what I love about each.

The list will be permanently available to newsletter subscribers. The letter goes out next week, so go ahead and sign up here! It’s only quarterly, it comes with this great list of resources, and you can unsubscribe any time. What’s stopping you?? :)

How about a little teaser?

  • A TED talk that will make you want to infuse your child’s life with more mystery and wonder,

  • A podcast that is so profound you’ll be scrambling for a pen so you can take notes,

  • A book that will without a doubt change the way you see the world,

  • And a blog that will permanently solve your problem of what to read next. :)

4 Books  |  4 TED Talks  |  4 Podcasts  | 4  Blogs 

Sign up here!


Please feel free to pin this image or share on twitter or facebook if you think any of your friends would enjoy this list. I really appreciate you for just being here; social sharing is the cherry on top! (My husband is so going to roll his eyes when he reads that last line. :)


Essentialism: 5 Takeaways from the Best Book I’ve Read All Year

Does anyone know how to practice essentialism like a toddler? :)

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The other day I got this text from my husband: “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

Although it sounds a bit like an insult when you’re directing it AT someone, his text had me grinning because I knew it meant he’d started listening to the book I recommended, on his drive into work.

As Mary Oliver wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

This book, Essentialsim: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, had my mind twirling nonstop with how to answer that question, AND it gave me tools to help me follow through. Because I don’t want to forget everything the things that struck me—and because I thought it might help you too—I’m sharing my top five takeaways today.

1. Cutting nonessentials lets us live at our highest point of contribution. The author asks us, at the end of your life, “Is it at all likely that you will say, ‘I wish I’d been less true to myself and done all the nonessential things others expected of me’?”

2. Three fallacies we need to let go of: “I have to,” “It’s so important,” and “I can do both.” How often have you tried to do both and ended up disappointing yourself and the people you committed to? (Too often.) McKeown says we need to replace these fallacies with, “I choose to,” “Only a few things really matter,” and “I can do anything but not everything.”

3. “Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not an inherently negative part of life. Instead of asking, ‘What do I have to give up?’ they ask, ‘What do I want to go big on.’”

4. Don’t make other people’s problems your own. I thought this was revolutionary. McKeown believes that when we assume someone else’s problem, we do both parties a disservice. We burden ourselves, and we take away the other person’s opportunity for growth. The key is finding ways to support the person without taking ownership of the problem.

5. “Essentialists invest the time they have saved by eliminating the nonessentials into designing a system to make execution almost effortless.” Systems allow us to execute the essentials in a way that is as friction-less as possible. (One simple application: Staying on top of the day-to-day housework allows me to be more present with my family in the moments that count.)

Mind blow, right?? Seriously, I love this book.

Essentialism 5 Takeaways from the Best Book Ive Read All Year

Now my question for you (and really, for myself) is basically the crux of this book:

What things do YOU want to go big on? What is your “why”?

You ladies continue to floor me with your insightful comments. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say on this one! (I’ll share my answers in the comments too.)

A quick fyi – if you purchase something on Amazon through a link in this post, I’ll receive a small portion at no cost to you.


The Power of Ritual: One Word Substitution that Will Improve Your Life

Remember college? That time in your life when an impromptu ANYTHING was just as valued as a good study session in the library. I LOVED those impromptu moments. Like the time my roommates and I (mad at boys) belted out “You Don’t Own Me” on top of a picnic table while no one was watching. Or all the times we ran out for ice cream…


Weekend Reading for Purposeful Wives

The other day after school, a couple of the moms and I opened up about a subject we’ve never bonded over before: our husbands. :) We vented a bit about feeling like we’re the quarterbacks of our families, but no one is listening to us give the plays! We chatted about how low or high our bars are for cleaning and…


A Case for Family T-Shirts + Some Inspiration

When I said my family would make up dorky handshakes and wear retro family T-shirts, I meant it. :) Family identity is more than something we talk about during the occasional family meal. It’s something we work together to define; it’s something we post on our walls. It’s something we think about on taco Tuesday or pizza Friday or during any other tradition…