The Pursuit of Enough: Vol 1 Can you possibly organize your ENFP life?


I had a breakdown freak-out sobfest last week. I feel like if you’re gonna cry, go hard or go home. So the sobfest included my slamming my fists into the couch, standing up, screaming, “Don’t laugh at me!” at my husband and then stomping to my office with the intent of slamming the door until I realized my kids were sleeping so I just flipped  off the light switch with as much fierce fervor as I could muster. (I don’t recommend taking your anger on light switches. It’s not satisfying.)

In other words, my sobfests may be dramatic but there was a reason my husband was laughing. I tend to tantrum like a four-year-old. Fists clenched? Yes. Punching furniture? Yes. Attempting to slam doors? Yes.

The whole display of frustration may have been infantile, but its buildup was typical: I’ve been so incredibly frustrated with myself. I’ve been tired and anxious and overbooked.

There are things I wish I could talk to you about. A project I’m giddy over but haven’t been given the go-ahead to mention. That project is a big one, one that’s demanding all the time I can scratch from the sides of my life. I’m finding the sides lacking in time.

This year I am Pursuing Enough. And I’m claiming that there is enough time to live wholeheartedly. But while I may be claiming it, I’m deep in the process of learning to believe it. I know something’s got to give in order for me to find that wholehearted way of living in Time.

I need to say no. For a people pleaser, saying no is equivalent to bringing home a D on a report card. (Not quite failing, but almost.) I need to say no to August’s school, which wants parents to plan the February carnival. I need to say no to joining a Community Group at church, so I can claim that night for family time. I need to look at how this extrovert spends time with friends and ask God to show me how to make that time rich, even if it’s limited. In attempting to make those choices, I feel a heavy burden of failure.

I know, I know. I’m not failure because I’m saying no. But, there’s a big go-getter inside of me who wants to prove that I’ve got it under control. After all, my kinfolk were cotton farmers from the rain-forsaken plains! We’re a somewhat fierce, mostly hard-working, small -boned people! I can do this! I can grit my teeth, sleep less, and be the woman I want to be in every aspect of my life.

Here’s the true thing: I am not enough. To Pursue Enough, I have to believe that I am not.

I cried and punished the light switch last Wednesday night because I’d missed a writing deadline and I felt like a total idiot for never having noted it in my calendar.

I cried last Wednesday because earlier in the week, at the teacher/parent conference, I mentioned how August has been having trouble with transitions, and his teacher asked me whether he had the sort of routine he needed in his home. I had to admit that he didn’t. I’m terrible at schedules. When we’re home in the morning my natural inclination is to simply feel my way from one part of the morning into another. I realized my disorganization is affecting my kids.

I cried to my husband, who was sitting on the couch, pathetically nursing a cold and a fever. He was sorry for laughing. I was sorry for my sorry attempt at an outburst. He said, “I think you need to pray through this before you break your office light switch.”

So, on Thursday morning, as I sat down at 5:30 with my coffee, I prayed for God to straighten me out somehow, to give me some sort of guidance. How do I make a morning schedule for my boys? One that is consistent, healthy? How do I prioritize the writing I need to do and be content with what isn’t going to get done? How do I weave prayer into all the movements of my day? How do I actually make to-do lists and follow through with them?

Sometimes, God uses Twitter. (I know, weird.) And that’s what God did on Thursday, when lo and behold, my girl Ann Voskamp had given me 25 (Twenty-Five???) ways to keep my sanity. I opened it up, leaned into that Ann Voskamp piano music and said, “Okay, okay. I can do that…I can maybe, kind of, sort of do that…”

This is the list she gave. (Caution: It may be mind-blowing to all you ENFPs out there.) So Friday morning, I woke up at 5:30 and prayed through the Divine Hours. Then I pulled out my “Day’s Draft,” wrote down, You are my hope, O Lord, my confidence since I was young. I lit a candle (Ann Voskamp’s idea) to remember that I am the light that is put on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house. And I was ready when Brooksie woke at 6:30. I was ready to chat with him and read stories and snuggle on the couch. Our “Morning Routine” was written on the marker board.

One day doth not an organized mother make!

But what matters is that I’m learning. I who hate being tied down to routine, I who want every day to be new and exciting and outrageous, I who will never return every email that is still sitting in my inbox right now, I who long to lead bible studies and write massive amounts of words without ever having to give up time in other areas of my life.

I am learning that submitting to Time, submitting to the reality of my kids’ needs, submitting to my own limitations as a human, is scratching away the pride in me. It is carving a path for a true humilty.

I cannot be enough. I will let people down. I will have to undo some deeply ingrained habits in my life. But I need to rest the wild triggers in my head. I need to sleep. I need to get to work on the big stuff and let everybody else’s opinions about me matter less than God’s. 

I need to lean into Enough.

Time wants to show me that there is enough of twenty-four hours to go around. Christ wants to show me that there is enough of him to widen my whole heart.


Thanks once again to my brother, the amazing Jason Boyett, for the graphic.
  • Angela Guilloud

    Micha, I am looking forward to hearing about your “project”….my guess is it is a book???? Anyway, can’t wait to hear, and thanks for your real post, once again, that we all can relate to.

    • michaboyett

      Thanks so much, Angela! Can’t wait to share. : )

  • amanda p

    i love this beyond the words that might express it! thank you for this one!!

    • michaboyett

      You are welcome, my friend. Seriously, it means a ton that any one else out there might understand (even just a little bit!) how hard it is to make room for a little order in our lives…

  • Phyllis lorenz

    This is beautiful, Micha. Pursuing “enough” is such a paradox, isn’t it? Because you/we are enough, and yet not. I was reminded of how we cheer on our little ones when they pursue anything new, not for their falling down, but when they get up and take that next step, again and again. That is how we learn and grow.

    I forget who said it, something like this … “God loves us just they way we are, and loves us too much to let us stay that way.”

    Congrats on the big project. I can’t wait to hear about it.

    • michaboyett

      Thank you, Phyllis. Paradox is totally the right word for it. Thanks for the reminder that the steps toward the new thing are what count…it’s so easy to focus on the falling down, isn’t it?

  • Erin

    It’s always so encouraging to know that other people struggle with the same things I do. Thanks for the links. I’ll be praying for you this week!

  • HopefulLeigh

    “What matters it that I’m learning.” That’s it right there, Micha. Taking it one day at a time or one hour at a time as we manage our desires for change and the situations before us.

    Looking forward to hearing about your project!!

    • michaboyett

      Erin and Leigh, Thanks to both of you…

  • Noveltraveler

    Beautifully written and timely for me. Recently diagnosed with cancer, God has been telling me this is a season to rest and to focus on myself and our journey thru the “valley of the shadow”. As a wife and mother of four young adults, I always attempt to keep their worlds in rhythm and I’m realizing that cannot continue to be my job description if I want to make it to the other side successfully, so again, thank you. My prayers are with you in your process.

    • michaboyett

      Noveltraveler, thanks so much for your comment and for your willingness to share about your diagnosis. I’m writing “Noveltraveler” on a sticky note to pin to the cork board above my desk, so I can remember you in prayer when I sit down to write. Praying for your rhythm and your rest and grace in this season.

  • Elisabeth

    Yes, let’s do it, let’s defy Pinterest Culture and be the Revolution of women who aren’t going to live competitively or for display purposes only or to satisfy our shared guilt complexes and just look at what WE have, what OUR lives are, what OUR limits are, and live those. I mean not to reinterpret your post, but to add my hearty AMEN and thank you.

    • michaboyett

      I love your hearty AMEN! Thanks, Elisabeth.

  • http://diana Diana Trautwein

    Well, cutie, you had me at the light switch! I was laughing empathetically. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve stomped off somewhere, crying furiously. And I’m nowhere near small-boned. :>) My husband has served as my faithful ‘say no’ partner – sometimes when I wish he’d just knock it off. But 99% of the time, he has been so dang right. And may I ever so gently say. . . YOU are not Ann Voskamp. Nor is Ann Voskamp you. Thank you, Lord. We need you both. Some of what works well for Ann may well work well for you. But not all of it. So prayerfully pick and choose. And please, in the process, learn to be just a tiny bit kinder to yourself. Give yourself permission to be a slightly unorganized people-pleaser. It takes all kinds of us to build the Body. You are valuable just as you are. Not to say that you aren’t in the blender with the rest of us, gradually finding your way to smoothie perfection :>) This part will get easier. Yes, I promise.

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  • Kristin T. (@kt_writes)

    Ha! I completely agree with this: “I feel like if you’re gonna cry, go hard or go home.”
    And I can definitely relate to the frustrations that led you to that place. When I got to the end of your post and read this: “I cannot be enough,” I thought, “Ah, but you *are* enough.” The distinction is very fine, but there’s a different between being as in DOING, and being as in resting, leaning, as you put it. I’ll be praying for you!

    • michaboyett

      Thank you for the prayers, K. Your word are balm: Yes, being as resting and leaning. I think I need to have someone cross-stich and frame that one for me.

  • Deborah Dean-Ware

    Hi Micha–
    Love your writing and today’s post struck a cord in me. Have you ever worked with the Enneagram? I have found it very helpful in my spiritual quest to find balance…
    Keep writing!

    • michaboyett

      Deborah, it’s so funny you ask that because all the pastors and staff people at my church are obsessed with the Enneagram. I was at a party recently where it felt like every conversation I joined ended up coming back to the Enneagram! Maybe I should find a test online. I’m really interested to hear how it helped you find balance…

  • Kelly @ Love Well

    I’m a weird ENFP, in that I’m an organized ENFP. (Being married to a Vulcan INTJ for 20 years might have something to do with it.) But the part about being a people-pleaser and feeling like you are handed a D in life when people are disappointed with you. Oh. That stung.

    Like you, this is a new truth for me that is sinking down slowly and changing me from the inside out. It’s incredibly humbling to be human. (I totally thought I was above that. I’m an ENFP! I am God’s gift to the world! Able to do all and be all!) But maybe that’s the point. God is bigger than me, He is the one responsible for all things, not me.

    • michaboyett

      Yes, Kelly. I sighed when I read your words: “incredibly humbling to be human.” I so want to be above that, too! Thanks for agreeing and letting me know I’m not alone.

  • Joy @ Joy in this Journey

    “I who hate being tied down to routine, I who want every day to be new and exciting and outrageous, I who will never return every email that is still sitting in my inbox right now, I who long to lead bible studies and write massive amounts of words without ever having to give up time in other areas of my life.”

    You just described me. Tantrums too. Inability to say no. All of it. Looking forward to learning with you.

  • grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

    wow, Micha. We are astonishingly alike…this read like a page out of my own journal… expect for the fact that I have, ahem, slammed a few doors loudly. I’m an ESFP (but my S/N is very close, like within a single digit). All the other three are RAGING looneys far over to the extreme side: extreme extroversion, extreme feelings, extreme perceiving. it’s rendonkulous actually. Anyway, we are so so so so similar in almost every aspect you named here down to the teachers question!!!! I need and want to do something similar that you are doing for the year. my husband asked me to “embrace the mundane” of life right now and stop being ever-hungry for some big adventure. (who me???) just kidding. And with that, I should probably go to bed instead of trying to catch up on serveral blogs tonight. ay ay ay. =)

    • michaboyett

      Cheers to my Sister-Raging-Looney! Yes, I’m way extreme in the extroversion, feelings, and perceiving. Too much thinking combined with too much being with people = Not enough space or time! So glad to see you here, friend.

  • cara meredith

    Oh friend, I am just reading this email now – seriously, are we twinsies? Thank you, thank you and thank you again. Your heart was just what I needed to read right now at 12.16 pm.

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