A Life Overseas – On Living with Flexible Purpose

Readers – when I began blogging I wrote a short piece on living intentionally but flexibly. I have retooled the piece today over at A Life Overseas and I hope you’ll join me there!

Here is an excerpt from the piece.

intentional and flexible

Several years ago I read a newsletter from a couple who have spent many years living and working in Amman, Jordan. The letter was an honest look at how they decide to spend their time. In it they described their particular styles and personalities — she was relaxed and spontaneous, always ready for an interruption and an adventure. He was methodical and loved to stick to a schedule, order was important and intentionality paramount. He was a planner.

They recalled the many negotiations they had to make in their marriage through the years and how this related to their living cross-culturally, blending American and Jordanian cultural norms and attitudes.   The parallel between their marriage and  cross-cultural negotiations and the words they used “learning to live flexibly but intentionally” resonated with me.  

With purpose and goals, but always willing to bend those for the sake of people coming into their lives and unexpected circumstances demanding adjustment, flexibility and of course, time.  This sounds like a balanced way to live, a critical mix of East, where people and relationships are paramount and West, where goals and ideas yield some amazing results.

A life overseas carries with it incredible joys and tough challenges. It is easy to become results-oriented to please both funders and fulfill our own sense of purpose, sense of worth. This too often brings with it a rigid way of life that demands control and order. And burnout is inevitable. But — a life overseas can also hold endless distractions and at times, utter chaos. It can be easy within that chaos to give up on any goals, to throw up our hands and succumb to endless interruptions.  Auto-correcting in both modes can swing us one direction or another when what is best is a balance. Read the rest at A Life Overseas.


Take a look at these Lemon Ricotta muffins from Stacy! They look incredible. Click here to get the recipe! 

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2 thoughts on “A Life Overseas – On Living with Flexible Purpose

  1. I forwarded your post to the man I do editing for, because it applies so directly to the life he lives. He was so impressed with your writing that he would like to have you do some work for him. Will you contact me for more details (whether or not you are available) so that I can get back to him? Thanks so much. You’ll be famous yet, ready or not!


    1. I am so honored by this — you have no idea. It’s been one of those days when I’ve seriously questioned my writing. I will contact you. And just this — thank you.


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