Welcome to Day 29 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be…  Or…simply: Be…
Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin”
and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you’d like
to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.

31 Extraordinary Days to Be... AnExtraordinaryDay.net


“To be, or not to be?”

Good question!

The correct answer is…to be.  

Hands down!


The second question might be, “To do, or not to do?”

What? Doing is good isn’t it?

Yes, it can be.


Day 29 :: A Big Fat Lie and A Prescription To Be :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


During this #31Days series we’ve been exploring being versus doing.

Often, if we choose to do…rather than to be…we lose.

Usually ourselves and the best of life.

I know.


It’s been a little more than four years since a major life-changing event took place in my life.

Removed from the day-to-day, I was able to look back and see clearly.

You know the phrase, hind-sight is 20/20.


My life was crammed with doing.

It was all for good.

And I thought, for God.

Giving, doing, spending myself…mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Wearing myself out.

Losing the best part of spring and summer….every year.

Being too busy to walk in the park and enjoy the changes of the seasons.

All for virtuous reasons.


Day 29 - #31Days :: To Be :: Halloween Fireplace Vignette :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Looking back.  I was deceived.

The organization I was involved with didn’t see this as something bad or unhealthy.

No…for them it was a good thing.  It made them look exceptional.

Great things were happening.  Growth was occurring.

All the marks of success said this was good. But, it wasn’t.

Sure, it felt good.  But I was tired.  A lot.


You know you’re not on the right path when you go to a time-share seminar to get a free ticket to Disney and the speaker convicts you of your out-of-balance life.

You know you’re out of balance when you are too busy for friends and building relationships.

You know you’re too busy when your cat forgets how to play catch.

That’s bad.  But, that was my life.


The thing is….our culture values living this way.

It lifts up a too-busy life of late nights and never-ending work.

I’m here to tell you that we need to stick our fingers in our ears whenever we hear culture’s lie.

And believe me…it’s persistent.


So where does that leave us?

What do we need to do in order to be?

Here’s the prescription….

Be yourself.

Be the unique person you were created to be.


Day 29 :: To Be... :: Halloween Fireplace Vignette :: Culture's Big Fat Lie :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


On this #31Day adventure I focused on seven different areas…one for each day of the week:

  • Be…Joyful
  • Be…Hospitable
  • Be…Content
  • Be…Encouraging
  • Be…Creative
  • Be…Strong
  • Be…Extraordinary

I confess that my original intent in this series was to focus on the being and not the doing.  God created us as human beings not human doings.  Yet…we (I especially) struggle with the need to do.  It seems to take precedent over being most of the time.


We can make a bigger difference in our families and in our world when we choose being over doing.

I’m not suggesting that you just veg out.

I’m suggesting you discover who you are.

Whether it is through self-evaluation, talking to friends, taking some sort of test, or all of these…learn about who you are, what makes your heart sing, and how you best relate to others.

But, don’t spend an overabundance of time doing this either.  Navel gazing isn’t exactly a healthy activity.  You’ll get a stiff neck and you’ll end up being a pain in the neck to someone else.

When we find out who we are, we are more free to be.


Day 29 of #31Days :: A Big Fat Lie and A Prescription To Be :: Fall Vignette :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


From that spot of being…we can do.

Actually we should do.

We were created to love and serve others.

We were not created to put our own personal needs and pursuits first.

We need to be self less.

For it is out of that place we can be and do in freedom and liberty.

We’ll have appropriate boundaries.

And hopefully we will do the most good.


We will be living fully and beautifully.

We won’t need to fill up every hour in the day.

We’ll have time for play. Time for people.

Time to be joyful, creative, encouraging, content, hospitable, and extraordinary.

And there is no question, we will also be strong….for we will know the source of our strength…and it’s not in doing.


Day 29 Challenge:  Do a personal assessment.  Figure out 1 – who you are; 2 – what makes your heart sing; 3 – how you relate to others.  Next, take a look at your calendar.  Are you following the culture’s call or are you living fully and beautifully in the moment?  If not…what steps do you need to take to go from busy to being?  Take another look at that calendar.  How or where are you exercising your passions and gifts for the benefit of others?  Our lives should be about loving others…and that is not the call of culture.


Thanks for stopping by today.

You and your sweet comments make my day!

Be all you can be….


I hope you’ll consider visiting each day during this #31Day series.

All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October.
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What a wonderful adventure this will be as we journey together to Be…

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Sharing at these Extraordinary spots:
Savvy Southern Style + The DIY Dreamer + Whimsy Wednesday + Clean & Scentsible + DIY by Design  + Lavender Garden Cottage + Fine Craft Guild + We Are THAT Family + Women Living Well + Someday Crafts + Rose Chintz Cottage + Timewashed + From My Front Porch to Yours + A Delightsome Life + No Minimialist Here + Stone Gable + Live Laugh Rowe + Embracing Change + A Glimpse Inside + Living Well Spending Less + Made in a Day + The Girl Creative + Imparting Grace + Common Ground + Jennifer Rizzo + French Country Cottage + Thrifty Groove + Rooted in Thyme + Redoux + Shabby Art Boutique + Design Dining &  Diapers + Chase the Star + Serenity Now + My Romantic Home + Thirty Handmade Days + Meegan Makes + The Dedicated House + In The Studio + Sunny Simple Life + Five Simple Things + Tater Tots & Jello + Funky Junk Interiors + Cheerios & Lattes + A Night Owl Blog + Art.of.66 + SITS Girls + Twigg Studios + Made From Pinterest + Life on Lakeshore Drive + Nifty Thrifty Things + Pink Flamingo Toes + Three Mango Seeds + Too Much Time On My Hands + The Tablescaper + Sewlicious Home Decor + DIY Showoff + One More Time Events + Alderberry Hill + Boogieboard Cottage + Frugal Foodie Mama + Uncommon Designs + Sew Can Do + Dwellings + Between Naps on the Porch + By Stephanie Lynn + Maison de Pax + The Dedicated House + Cozy Little House + A Pinch of Joy + A Stroll Through Life + The Scoop + Our Home Away from Home + My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia + Cupcakes & Crinoline + Home Stories A to Z + The Gunny Sack + A Bowl Full of Lemons + Memories by the Mile + Carolyn’s Homework + Elizabeth & Co.


  1. Thank you – I needed this. In transitioning from a career to stay at home Mom due to illness, it has really put me on a journey to discover who I am now and what will my life look like. I was already on that journey after huge physical changes from weight loss, but now I’m on it for a different reason. Working had me so busy with career that I lost track of my children’s lives – now I have that back and am looking for ways to engage with them and share their lives instead of just schedule and “survive”.

    • Diane says

      “Schedule and survive.” That seems to be the current mantra.
      How wonderful, Alecia, that you have are now actively engaging in your children’s lives. I have no doubt they are grateful and will benefit immensely. I’m sorry to hear that it was illness that brought you home. Praying that you find wellness and restoration in the days and weeks ahead.
      It does take time to re-discover ourselves….but I think you’ll love the you that has been on the back burner of life. 🙂

  2. Kim says

    Great post, Diane, best one of the series, I think! This one really spoke to me. I am involved with my mom’s care, my family’s care, volunteer work, the responsibilities of the household…too much doing, it’s all valuable and necessary work, but I rarely, if ever have time to be. I need to step back and re-evaluate. I guess I just needed a push and permission. Thank you.

    • Diane says

      Kim…I am so blessed that this post was helpful to you. You have a lot of responsibility. I hope you can figure out an easy way to accomplish what you need to and carve out time for being. Big HUGS to you sweet friend. 🙂

    • Mel says

      Ohhhh…..I like that explanation about the difference between hurried and busy!
      Thanks for sharing that.

    • Diane says

      Thanks!! I watched the video and it’s really good.

  3. Gwen says

    I met a woman who never ever watched TV. I thought to night after reading this post and the screeching of the Voice had to be shut off…too noisy…how much more could I glean from dropping even just the, mindless TV!? Then, because doctors take time, I’m so very exhausted. I do not have the mental nor physical stamina I think I should have. Pain, confusion, brain injured caused sorrow gets in the way of that once busy life. So we never know when those days of busyness will be snatched away either. Busy caring for a baby: they are soon off to school. Busy being a caregiver to an aging Parent: they pass away and that time is done. Our time on earth is ebbs and flows of very overwhelming busy times to lonely quiet times, like me or my mom in assisted living and just a few minute visit from a daughter halfway on her hour commute. My writing is actually part of my brain therapy and a way to connect and interact. I find blogs more fun but I am starting to delete days when I used to read daily. I’m too tired. My brain just doesn’t work right. So now my “hobby” of reading blogs on a wide variety of subjects changes as well. I do believe though that the one thing that I can count on never changing is God’s love for me. He promises to work all things together for good to those who love God and are fitting into His purpose. Being busy to be busy can indicate a need to escape unhappiness. So I go to God’s Word and I’m reminded to Give thanks in all things. Live my short life for Him. And no. I’m not perfect. But I do not want to stop turning from the sin of neglecting my Lord and His daily gift of a bee or a pattern on a leaf or how raindrops look splashing on water to make ripples. Thank you again for helping me get out of the blues over more difficulties and stop and do some thinking which led me into God’s Word!

    • Diane says

      “I do believe though that the one thing that I can count on never changing is God’s love for me. He promises to work all things together for good to those who love God and are fitting into His purpose.” Gwen…”that one thing” is the best of things. And more than anything…it is the very thing that sustains us, isn’t it? I’m so sorry for your fatigue and tired brain. Seriously, sweet friend, I really have no concept of what you are facing. But, I do know that you have an undefeatable spirit. You stand on the word, and you count HIS gifts, and you share HIS love with those in your world every day. There are people whose minds and bodies function perfectly that do not live as fully as you live.
      Yes, I’d ditch the TV…too much noise. When we moved from NY to PA we moved to an area where we needed to get a satellite dish. We didn’t want the expense and so we lived without TV, except an occasional program via Hulu. It was one of the best things ever. A quiet home is a peaceful place. And, frankly, I’ll never go back.

  4. As someone who is way over scheduled, especially at church, I need to take a moment to stop and ask God who it is He created me to be, and what it is He wants me to do. Such a timely post for me.

    • Diane says

      Barbie…church is the very place I referred to in the post.
      I pray with you that God will show you just who he created you to be.

  5. Mel says

    I think the overwhelming bit was that first question. If I don’t know ‘who I am’, then I sit, paralyzed and ‘do’ nothing, search for nothing, change nothing….. I was blessed to have a wise person in my life who helped me come up with the values/ideal that I wanted for/claimed for my own which became a foundation to build on. I didn’t have to know ‘who I was’ before I began living as the ME that I was created to be. I had a starting point for the adventure. And yup–it HAS been an adventure. Some of those values/ideals that were on the list, no longer are. As the ME I AM evolved, so did some of those values/ideals. (thank goodness….LOL!!) It’ll continue to–I ain’t done growing yet!
    I’m guilty of ‘busy-ness’ or ‘hurried’ as the video explained. Always in the next moment, thinking of me and what was next to be said, next on the agenda and next on the list of ‘doing’. And I was one who bought into the ‘what I DO for a career is who I AM’. Painful lesson to learn–health issues took away the ability to live that one anymore–but it a lesson that’s served me, G-d and others immensely.
    Continuing to take stock of how I’m doing at staying true to the ME I AM, has to happen. I’m a bit ADD and get distracted by all the awesome things in life. 😀 (nice way of saying I can be fickle, huh? LOL)

    • Diane says

      I love that we aren’t done growing yet!! 🙂 For me…especially…there’s lots of room for improvement! 😉
      Mel…I think we have been taught to live hurried lives. And wow…why did we swallow the Kool-aid when it came to thinking that who we are comes from what we DO?! Arrrgh!!!
      Fickle? Ha!

  6. Carolyn says

    Hi, again, Diane! Was away a few days, w/o coverage but happy to be catching up w/you once again. Great post on being. God is so gracious to reveal Himself & His ultimate purpose for us as we seek out truth. Yes, He’s so much more concerned about who we are becoming than what we can do! After all, what in the world can we do for Him!?! He owns all, has all power & knows everything & everybody there is to know. What can we really offer Him that isn’t already His in the first place. Our hearts; therefore our worship! That’s what He’s really after! The gift of ourselves–fully given over to Him. We show it by what we are & by what we do w/what we know about Him. There must be a balance of faith & good works!

    • Diane says

      “After all, what in the world can we do for Him!?! He owns all, has all power & knows everything & everybody there is to know. What can we really offer Him that isn’t already His in the first place. Our hearts;” Carolyn…that was so well said. And that is where we so often get things turned upside down.
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful response.
      And welcome back!!

  7. Sandi says

    Excellent post, Diane! You’ve given folks a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing. Love the photos too.


    • Diane says

      I appreciate that Sandi. It was one of those posts that took a while to write as I felt like I was being a bit direct, plus putting myself “out there,” to say the least.
      That little “photo shoot” was a little whim of the moment when I spied those stems of leaves. Fun too. 🙂

  8. I can identify…very much so!

  9. Wow. You are really digging in these days!!! Good for you. Am following your story and voting for you!

    • Diane says

      I don’t know what to say, Rose, except thank you.

  10. Wow Diane, you have given me so much to think about. I just jumped into the series here and I bet this is exactly what God wanted me to hear. I am absolutely a doer. And it is like doing can be an addiction. I think it is harder to ‘be’ sometimes. Thanks for this- I need to reread it a few times and really pray on it to let it truly begin to sink in I think.

    • Diane says

      Krista, my heart swells with gratitude that God would use this post to touch your heart.
      You are so right…doing can be an addiction and one that most everyone applauds. Sad. I know this too well.
      Big hugs…

  11. A really wonderful post. And a great reminder for many things in our lives!

  12. How incredible you are, I can relate to everything you shared because I just walked away from a business that I thought I loved but it was really sucking my spirit It is not a popular decision to just quit, he internet is full of quotes about the sin of quitting. Yet I had to because it was killing me. Thank you for sharing what was in my heart but not quite ready to express.

    • Diane says

      You are so kind, Maureen. My heart goes out to you. Your choice flies in the face of what culture deems to be wise. Yet…you made the wisest of choices. [hugs]

  13. Jen says

    We took a full year off of ministry just to be. It was an incredible time of seeing just who God made me to be. Now that I’m back in ministry, I find myself trying to figure out the tension between the being and the doing. Such a journey!

    • Diane says

      What a privilege to be able to take time off to do a heart check like that Jen. Continuously ask God in all your choices and you will navigate the tension beautifully.

  14. The SITs link-up and a loving universe brought me to your post today. This is a question I struggled with for 2 years after losing my job. It was my identity and if I wasn’t doing something then who was I? Thankfully, I muddled through and now pursue my passion for books and reading. I still haven’t completely released the force of doing but I am much better at being now.

    Thank you for the beautiful writing.

    • Diane says

      Oh Catherine….I know exactly what you are going through. How wonderful that you kindled a new passion for books and reading. There certainly is a lot more ‘being’ as a bibliophile. 😉
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!!


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