Letter #676: Don’t Miss Your Nows.

Dear purpose,

Most say they want to live a life centered on you, but few ever actually put feet to it. Intentions start right, then busyness, laziness and life happen. Most start the race; very few finish. The beginning is exciting and easy, but I want to be someone who fights through the hard of the middle. One who chooses daily so the sum of my life might be purposeful.

As I navigate how to dream, pray and believe big while remaining faithful in the little, I keep coming back to the overarching banner to simply live purposefully.

If I can achieve this, everything else falls into place. The little. The big. The significant. The insignificant. The easy. And the hard. If I can’t live purposefully with what’s right in front of me, I’ll never be able to with the things that come in the future.

But there’s great tension that comes with this. You can’t just show up daily and never think and dream about what’s coming next. I guess you could, and maybe we’d all be more healthy and engaged if we did, but I would argue that rather than it being either or, it has to be both and.

Show up daily and be fully present but also position self in a way to prepare for future as well.

I refuse to miss my nows because I’m so caught up and consumed by my nexts. However, I’m also not going to foolishly miss my nexts because I don’t forward think and dream. And there’s the tension.

So here’s the way I’ve been able to articulate this tension of living in the present without missing the future. “Live with purpose today so you can live with vision tomorrow.”

When I live my nows purposefully, it allows me to have clarity in my nexts. If I live with you in the daily, it leads me to living my life with vision.

May we not miss what’s right in front of us because we’re consumed with the future, but may we not miss our futures because we never pray and ask God to guide and direct us.

As busyness and the tyranny of the urgent continue to take over lives, I’m fighting against it. It seems as if life just happens while people settle living purposelessly because they don’t know how to regain control of the crazy.

Life isn’t going to just happen to me. No I can’t control things, but I can choose to live with great purpose. I can choose to make the most of the moments right in front of me. I can choose to dream, pray and believe for great vision concerning my future.

I’m not settling to let life just happen to me. Instead, I’m going to “live with purpose today so I can live with vision tomorrow.” My race has started and I fail often, but I’m choosing to press into the hard of the middle. I long for the sum of my life to be purposeful, thus I must choose every single day. In the little and the big. It’s not easy, but I’m learning it’s worth it.

Press on and choose daily,


Letter #655: Father with Vision


Dear future,

Sometimes we consume ourselves with what you will look like.

Where will I live? What will I be doing? Who will I be doing life with”…spouse, kids, friends, alone?

My thoughts are often consumed by fleeting things. Things I have zero control over. What if instead I focused on and dreamed about things that matter and that I can control?

I can’t dictate the actions of others. I can’t manage our government. I can’t choose how many boys take me on dates this year.

I can choose how I spend my time. How I develop my character. How I spend my money. What if I focused on the things I get to manage and control? What could you look like if I lived like this?

It’s fun to dream of what could be. Of what my life could look like at the age of 64.

And while I dream about my character development, I’d like to celebrate a man who’s arrived at 64 in a strong way. A man who has developed respectable character. Admirable. At the age of 64, he has become something any of us young pups can look to as an example. And my generation needs examples worthy of following. Papa Roth has developed and grown into a man worthy of following and has become a man of great character.

Confident. Servant. Teachable. Leader. Humble. Hard worker. Funny. Discerning. Wise with money yet generous. Engaging. Encouraging.

I could go on, but you get my point. These are things worthy of striving toward in life that will mean something at 64. I want to live with vision of becoming a woman of character rather than being consumed by things I can’t control. To do this, I must live with purpose. Take ownership of how I spend my time and money. Be diligent in seeing outside myself. The little things today are what will make the big difference years from now.

Dad, you are someone I look to that gives me purpose and vision to live now for what could be at 64. Thanks for leading our family with vision and integrity. Press on and even in your 64th year, be open to what the Lord is teaching you.

Happy 64th Birthday Pops!!!

Striving to live with vision at 26,

Dreamer and believer of what 64 could be

Letter #634: One Step

Dear steps,

I ran a half marathon in the spring. 13.1 miles. I read somewhere once that’s about 25,000 steps. Wow.

As we go through this thing called life, we’re all on a journey. Our destinations are all the same (death :)), but not one of our paths look alike. I love and hate this at the same time. We question our journey and compare ours to others unnecessarily because we think ours needs to look like everyone else’s.

The reality is, none of our lives are going to look alike. Let’s stop trying to imitate others’ paths and start living in our own.

So I’m stepping along over here, doing my best to embrace my path. Sometimes I take lots of you consistently because I can see where I’m trying to get. Other times, all I can do is take one. I can’t see any farther. I don’t have enough courage or information to take anymore.

Both are acceptable. Both are exciting. Both are going to happen at different points in our lives. Sometimes I know the big picture of where I’m trying to get and take the steps to make it happen. Others, all I can do is simply take one step out of faith and trust I’ll know the next step because I had enough faith to take the first one.

This is where I sit currently. I’ve taken one step without knowing what’s next in a particular area of my life. I don’t know all the answers. I don’t have financial details worked out. I have no idea what exactly I’m going to be doing. This one step has taken me more out of my comfort zone than maybe any one thing in my life.

So what’s my one step? As of a week ago, I’m going to Zambia, Africa December 26th-January 4th. I’m going to Africa. I AM GOING TO AFRICA!!!!! I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet.

A really long story I’ll probably never be able to fully share short, I started praying about the possibility of going to Africa more than two years ago. Through books I’ve read, friends I’ve made, prayers I’ve prayed, causes I’ve supported and things I probably don’t even recognize, a flippant prayer prayed more than 24 months ago will soon turn into reality.

I couldn’t be more excited, yet nervous. I’ve never been more unsure about something, yet so sure. I couldn’t feel more inadequate, yet I’ve never felt more peace. I don’t know many details and I have no idea how I’m going to come up with nearly $5,000 to get there, but I do know I’ve taken one step. The next step will make itself known in time. For now, I will continue to rest in obedience of the one step.     

For the planner that I typically am, one step isn’t good enough. I want destinations. I want a plan to strive for. The older I get, the more I learn I don’t need to know everything to be obedient. Honestly, if I knew everything that was coming at me in the future, I’d probably run the other direction. God probably knows I can only handle one step. And He’s probably anxiously awaiting the opportunity to reveal Himself to me as my faith and trust are stretched.

Here’s to a wild ride filled with lots of steps,

Soon to be Africa goer/step of faith taker

***I’ll include more details in later posts, but I’m going to do camp for a week in Africa. It’s called Dream Camp through Family Legacy. Find out more here.***

Letter #631: Discipline Despite Chaos

Dear discipline,

I need you to be implemented in my life now more than ever. Today, I start my traveling adventures. While fun will absolutely be had, chaos undoubtedly will also ensue.

Drive. Drive some more. Stop and eat. Drive. More driving. Arrive at show. Tell people about Kanakuk. Interview. Finish late. Eat dinner. Hang out with staff. Sleep”…not very much. Early wake up. Breakfast with staff. Interview. Lunch. Drive. Drive. Arrive at show. Do it all over again.

You are SO hard to maintain. In every area of life. Exercise. Sleep. Food choices. Way time is spent.

But really, I’m not sure you’re ever easy. Discipline is a combination of big picture vision with moment by moment choice. And I’m going to need lots of in the moment choices to maintain any form of you during the ensuing chaos.

Thus, I’ve created some big picture vision for myself and am committed to being faithful in the little along the way. Sure, chaos will occur. I will do grown up early mornings on top of late night college nights.

But really, I’m not sure you’re ever any different. You are never easy. You’re always a choice. And not just one choice that lasts for months but rather hundreds of choices”…

So the chaos begins. As does the adventure. As does a great test of how much I truly value you. It’s one thing to be disciplined in a controlled environment. It’s a whole new ballgame to be disciplined when you control very few variables in your daily schedule.

Chaos cannot define me. If it does, I’ll never sleep, eat a bunch of crap without working out, gain 15 pounds of late night pizza and ice cream, never spend alone time and be miserable for the next six weeks. I need discipline, but it’s on me to implement it or not. Just like it’s up to you to practice it in your life, no matter what your life looks like.

Here’s to instilling and executing discipline despite circumstances,

The girl who needs discipline