Day 1: What Does “Having It All” Mean?

Having it all. Such an interesting concept. What does it really mean?

The meaning of “having it all” depends on who you are. When I asked you, my lovely readers, to do a little word association with “having it all,” here were some of the responses…

“clean house, obedient children, plenty of money, great husband, great health, great kids, great looks, great job, nice house…”

Those all sound great, but that is a lot of pressure as well, right? Eek.

“not having to worry about anything”

Many link the concept of the American dream with “having it all,” but the American dream was originally just about freedom, not stuff. We have distorted the foundations of the American dream to include money and possessions and it has also heaped on the stress.

“having everything you could possibly want or need”

The American dream used to mean freedom, now it feels like a burden.

“success, wealth, big house, adorable children, vacations”

Over the next 31 days, we’re going to explore the idea of “having it all” and find freedom and contentment in the process.

31 Days of NOT Having It All Square

Our mission:

We are on a mission to discover that trying to have it all does not lead to happiness. It’s time to stop “keeping up with the Joneses.” During these 31 days, we are going to make some hard choices, simplify our lives, and find fulfillment in God and the blessings we already have.

I resonated with so many of your responses to the survey I posted. This week, we’ll explore more of the feelings you and I have associated with “having it all.” We will discuss the possible positive connotations to “having it all” {there MIGHT be an upside!} and take a look at what God has to say on the subject. The rest of the month will be dedicated to dispelling the myths of the many things we think we “have” to do.

I’m really glad to be going on this 31 day journey with you! I need to take a good look at all of these areas as much as anyone else and can’t wait to hear your thoughts as we work through this topic!

How would you define “having it all?” Does it have positive or negative meaning in your life?

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  1. This is going to be great Erin! You’ve made me want to look more into the origins of the “American Dream” (not b/c that’s a good foundation just b/c it’s interesting). I think I probably think of having it all as life being easy. Not “needing” anything, but that’s really subjective. Maybe having it all is really being content with what we already have even if we have nothing. Just some rambly thoughts this morning. 🙂

  2. Christine says:

    Well done Erin! Looking forward to this journey with you and your readers.

  3. I’m in! I definitely could use some simplifying and this sounds like a great start. 🙂 Looking forward to tomorrow!

  4. charlotte crowe says:

    Love this!! and I am looking forward to simplifying my life. Right now, having it all has a negative meaning because i feel like i am always comparing my self and my life to other people…its stressful and leaves me feeling like it doesnt measure up.. I wan to enjoy life and not worry about what others think or have…

    • I Feel like I never measure up either, but its about what GOD thinks of you and he loves you Unconditionally No Matter What. Its not about people its about your relationship with Jesus.

  5. I know what my sinful nature would say having it all is, but I know deep in my Jesus loving heart that He is having it all. Having the freedom to step away from my sinful nature and say I am free.

  6. I’ve been asking a lot of these same questions since my mission trip to Haiti. It’s really hard to look at the selfish nature of America after you see babies who won’t eat that day. Who don’t have a mama to wipe their tears away, rock them, or change their bottoms. It’s a tough one but I think those of us who are willing to examine it can be the world changers. The US changers even. I’m looking forward to following you on this journey.

  7. I can’t wait to join in this journey! Having it all right now would mean having my own house again even though we are just fine with my in-laws in the in between time 🙂

  8. Exactly what I was going to say!

    I think this is so incredibly difficult in a country where we have so much and where the prosperity gospel has become so prevalent. We MUST find our satisfaction in Jesus; we will spend an eternity searching if we try to find it elsewhere!

  9. Oops! I meant that in reply to Randi’s comment. I clicked the wrong reply button apparently. Ha!

  10. How can I sign up? Is there a way to get your posts via email?

  11. I love how you said the American dream is really about freedom, not stuff. I agree. It is really hard to avoid getting caught up in all the stuff you want, and the stuff you think you should have (but don’t even necessarily want). I had an amazing reminder recently of the ffact that God provides exactly what we need – someone mentioned to think about pine trees and how they always have the right amount of needles, even though they lose some, new ones grow. God provides the pine tree with the needles it needs, so of course he provides for our needs too. In that moment, it really spoke to me and now I think of it every time I see a pine tree!

  12. I am so happy a friend led me to your blog and this post! I also have three boys (5, 4, 2) and expecting our 4th babe (praying for that girl!) In May. I am looking forward to following along with this topic. Having it all has always been a negative for me because my boys, hubby, and home take it all (and I give willingly) leaving me without much time to get it together. I spend most my days in workout gear because exercise, getting a mental break, and staying fit are important to me. Leaving me not looking my best around other Mommas. But I can clean up good 😉 I am hoping to change my thinking into something positive when it comes to “having it all”. Having faith, the love of God, family, financial security, food, a roof over our heads, should be how we see it as “having it all.”