des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Nurturing an Intentional Life & Blazing your Own Path


Do you ever feel like your to do list never ends? Maybe you feel like a hamster on a wheel that will never stop spinning. Or less than because your life does not look like a magazine or Pinterest image, while hers does? Darling, I hear you and today I am sharing how I have seen a shift in those perceptions in our life this summer as we have been nurturing an intentional life. We all fall down the rabbit hole sometimes, but you have the power to climb out and enjoy the ‘Wonderland-esque’ life on the other side.

When I set out to refresh my goals for the summer, the word Blaze came to mind. I have spent so much time and energy trying to live up to my perception of others’ expectations for life, business and parenthood. I wanted us to have the picture perfect, magazine ready home, nursery, ‘successful’ business and life, that I got lost in to do’s and things that do. not. matter. You know what, that made me feel so foolish! Over the years, I have worked so hard against those feelings and somehow, this life change we are going through catapulted me right back into that mindset. Ugh! How do I get us back on the path to an intentional life that serves others and our family? I feverishly wrote out why I am not going to do that anymore and these words — BLAZE OUR OWN PATH!

Do you know how liberating that was to see on paper? I know that is what we should be doing, how I should approach Harper Hadley and our life overall. So why did I let lies creep in and change my perspective? Fear. The past two years have been full of change, growth, trials and new seasons. Growing up, I felt that all the time, but somehow doing it as an adult, with those added responsibilities makes it harder to roll with things. Many of the seasons we’ve walked through have been good and we always learn something in them. Even though this parenthood prep and big life change is something we have prayed for, it is still a season of unknowns. Now, y’all know that this gal and unknown are like oil and water. I always feel the need for a plan.

By writing out that we were going to blaze our own path in life and business, I felt freed. Free from comparison, expectation and lies. I have committed to only scheduled social media time, not scrolling to fill time, not looking to others for validation or direction. We have had more fruitful conversations about what WE want, not what I think we should have or do. It has been such a mind and heart shift (realignment) and wonderful for our marriage. When we started taking things into our own home and shut out the noise, progress was made and my heart is at peace (even amidst the necessary to do list). The best part is, we have more margin to focus on the things we love and that matter! Now, that is living an intentional life to me.

{ Ellen Ashton }

The summer of 2017, to date, has been a joyful, progress filled, wonderful few months for us. As we slide into August (!?!?!?), my goals are centering on a few things that speak to the notion of “blazing” and building OUR intentional life. By definition, to blaze is to burn fiercely, shine brightly or powerfully and to achieve something in an impressive manner. Here is the key – I am not looking to do anything to impress anyone else. This blazing of our journey and path is all about us being happy, content and rooted in what matters to us and God.

What does that look like? For us, it means more time with family and friends, preparing our legacy for our children and beyond, making healthier lifestyle choices. Also, budgeting and setting long term goals for our family and being intentional with our time so that our work serves our life. Above all else, prioritizing our marriage and faith. And that is just the start.

This might all sound so life focused to you and you might be wondering, where is your business in all of this? Lovelies, all of those things feed into Harper Hadley so seamlessly, because that is the heart of my business. Relationships and serving others are two of the pillars of everything I do in life and business. I want our couples to have the time to do the same things we are focusing on. To build their relationships instead of worrying about details, meetings and tasks. For them to lay a foundation for their marriage and family that will long outlive them, through their children and grandchildren. To foster a joy in them that encourages them to dream big and adventure wherever they choose to.

See, my business is so personal to me and intertwined. I have come to realize I don’t need to separate the goals like I used to. My vision for both life and business should be aligned. As I work through what that looks like with our new family life, I will blog my thoughts and process. If you have any tips on balancing parenthood and business, I’d love to hear from you!

All this to say, August is going to be the cherry on top of a summer full of heart change. After finishing Cultivate by Lara Casey, I am invigorated and have a brand new vision of how we will bring our dreams to life. How I will serve our couples and other creatives. All of it starts with little ideas that we will nurture into something wonderful.

What ideas are you hoping to grow this month? I would love for you to share so we can encourage each other on this journey. You’ve got this, friends. I have faith in you and am cheering you on as you build and nurture your intentional life!

xoxo, Jenn

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