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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Sometimes You Just Need to See Yourself from Someone Else’s Point of View

Sometimes you just need to see yourself from someone else's point of view. | A must-read post for any mom!

It was my favorite time of day. An hour before sunset. We pulled into a dirt parking lot, empty except for one car.

Underneath a big, gnarly tree sat a couple, close together, on a picnic blanket.

Our three kids scampered down the hillside to a fallen tree. Quickly, one became an engineer, the other an army general, and the third just chugged down some gatorade and toddled around.

I snapped some pictures with the DSLR I only halfway know how to use, and I handed the camera off to my husband so he could take a few of Quinn and me.

Soon Ryan and I found ourselves sitting shoulder to shoulder, watching the kids play hide-and-go-seek around the tree trunk. (FYI, no fingernails were lost in the making of these memories.)

My husband was a bit tenser than usual, just from the normal pressures of life and work, but we kissed (a real kiss) and talked comfortably as the sun sunk closer to the hills.

(As if you wanted to know, I’m instantly transported back to our dating days whenever we kiss outside. It’s just one of those things.)

Sometimes you just need to see yourself from someone else's point of view. | A must-read post for any mom!

As all five of us climbed slowly back up to our car, we said hello to that couple on the blanket.

They smiled at us with starry eyes—even the guy—asking if we caught some good pictures and commenting on how beautiful our family was. They told us a few more places to explore nearby, and we left with that feeling that there really are good people in the world.

As we drove home, I thought about how idyllic that glimpse into our life must have looked. That couple didn’t know about any tension my husband’s shoulders carried; they hadn’t heard the baby’s yells on the car-ride there.

They couldn’t read my thoughts, just hours earlier, as I wiped up a spilled smoothie on my hands and knees while one baby cried over her diaper rash and another one (granted, five years old isn’t exactly a baby, but still) ordered me to get him more cheese.

That evening, sprawled out on a picnic blanket, that couple was us ten years ago.

Looking in on the life we would build. Clueless to what was coming. Happily seeing only the best.

Sometimes you just need to see yourself from someone else's point of view. | A must-read post for any mom!

Sometimes I want to be that couple again. Sometimes—we can be that couple again.

Because in spite of everything I know now about parenthood and marriage, it really is as good as I imagined, especially when I’m looking in on my life from someone else’s point of view.

Sometimes you just need to see yourself from someone else's point of view. | A must-read post for any mom!

Linked up with On My Heart.


You Are Still *You,* Even If…

How often do you gather up your fragile sense of self and willingly hand it away?

If wholehearted living means never putting our worth on the table, it means first starting to take notice of the times when we do. Today—a simple reminder that you are you, and that’s enough.

You are still you, even if…

You feel like no one in your life needs a friend like you do. 

You are perpetually one crucial ingredient short of the meal you’ve already started.

Your child’s teacher has your phone number memorized.

You are still you, even if…

The friends you thought you were close with post pictures on Instagram that you weren’t included in. 

You are still you, even if…

You’re on the wrong end of a few too many of your husband’s jokes.

You get a lot of hard-to-interpret stares in the grocery store.

You just learned your child has some developmental delays and you can’t help but wonder if it’s partly your fault. (It’s not.)

You are still YOU, even if... | A great reminder of how valuable your sense of self is! #wholeheartedliving

You are still you, even if…

Your toddler has a (rather embarrassing) biting habit that only comes out to play when other parents are watching.

You feel dumb for posting yet another photo of your baby to social media. (For reference, I love it. Keep them coming.)

You run to put on a bra when someone knocks on the door.

You think you use your device too much around your kids, but you also think some days, that device is the only thing keeping you sane. 

A great reminder of how valuable your sense of self is and all the things you DON'T want to trade it in for! | You are still YOU, even if...

You are still you, even if…

You’re the only one at a dinner party who “doesn’t work.”

You sassed your mother-in-law like a teenager…even though you’re 30 years old.

You have been avoiding the bathroom scale for years.

You yearn in your heart for another baby but lack the confidence that you could handle another one.

“The core of your true self is never lost… You don’t have to find yourself; you just have to let yourself in.” D. Antoinette Foy

You are YOU. That’s all you need to be.

You Just Have to Let Yourself In | Don't miss this great post on handling your self-worth with great care, letwhylead.com

with beautiful images from Tyler Branch Photo

linked up with On My Heart


5 Nuggets of Wisdom that Stuck with Me in 2014

Last year, I was surprised at how often I referred back to my post on the nuggets of wisdom that stuck with me in 2013. Documenting them was the perfect way to make sure those little lessons became a part of me—for longer than that one year. 2014 was full of learning for me, so I want to remember these takeaways….


They Have Each Other

In the car, she’s always reaching out to hold her brother’s hand or just rest her hand on his arm. When she was tiny, he would feed her a bottles in the car when nothing else would keep her from wailing. As she grew, he’d hand her toys or fruit snacks; he’d distract her by pointing out birds flying in the…


A Self-Love Reading List for the New Year

A few weeks ago, a sweet friend invited our family over for dinner. She made an amazing meal, complete with jarred food from her summer garden, surrounded by home projects she had made herself. She has more kids than I do and seemed totally good with that. Heavens, the apron she wore was probably hand-sewn. Later that night and through the next day,…