Bio Photo with Bee

art of adventure feature

Alive to Her Own Adventure: Erin Loechner

On Fridays we feature a woman who is coming alive to her own adventure! A woman who is practicing the rhythms of stepping into the unknown, taking tiny risks, trusting God, and loving extravagantly in her season. It is our desire that through their lives and unique stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to all of God’s gentle invitations for you to follow Him, and in doing so you will come alive to your own adventure! 


Today I get to introduce you to Erin Loechner! I have been reading her words, Design For Mankind, for about a year now. In December I was honored to be on the launch team for her first book, Chasing Slow. I resonated with her message of desiring less, traveling off the beaten path, and finding the courage to embrace myself even with my contradictions. I couldn’t wait to pick it up every evening after the kids went to bed and found myself underlining every other sentence:) I just knew I had to invite her to share here on Art of Adventure.

In this interview Erin reveals what adventure looks like in this season of her life, her biggest fear + two things she does to overcome it, a risk she took + what she learned from it, and offers some sweet + simple writing advice for those of us wanting to birth a book one day! Also, don’t forget to read to the bottom to win a copy of Chasing Slow and a surprise from the Shop.

FIRST, INTRODUCE YOURSELF {TELL US WHERE YOU ARE FROM, WHAT YOU DO, YOUR MOST MEMORABLE/SCARY/BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE, & ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT YOU!}

I’m a writer, mother and stylist living in the Midwest who has lived many, many grand adventures, big and small! I’ve adventured through fame, fortune and accolades (a show on HGTV.com, spotlighted in the New York Times, featured on the Huffington Post and more) and spent much of my 20’s scaling mountains in hopes of “arriving” at a place where I feel I could be proud of my successes and accomplishments.

The most beautiful adventure, of course, has been walking away from it all and scaling down the other side – a side filled with grace and truth and compassion rather than grit and tired and crazed. I’ve written quite a lot more about this in my recent memoir, Chasing Slow.

WHAT DOES THIS CURRENT SEASON OF YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE & HOW DO YOU DEFINE A LIFE OF ADVENTURE RIGHT NOW, WHERE YOU’RE AT?

Currently, I’m defining a life of adventure as seeing that the adventure is already here. I’m no longer looking ahead, just around the bend or ahead of the curve, and instead, I’m focusing on loving the life I’ve been given.

We’ve just adopted a baby boy, our second child, so life has felt still and small and quiet (amidst the chaos of child-rearing, of course), and being fully present in this season has taught me so much about what it means to dedicate ourselves to what matters now, today.
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SHARE WITH US A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW AND WHEN GOD HAS MET YOU WHEN YOU’VE WALKED INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH HIM?

Specifically, turning down a HGTV show was a big leap of faith in walking to the unknown. It’s human nature to want to do the next big thing, the next right step, but sometimes that step isn’t meant to be forward progression by the world’s standards. Sometimes the promotion or the new relationship or the bigger, better house isn’t the path intended for us. By taking a step backwards and walking away from the fame and frenzy, I learned to reevaluate and reassess my own priorities and the priorities I want for my family. It’s been a beautiful exercise in surrendering to something larger.

WE’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT TINY RISK(S) YOU HAVE TAKEN RECENTLY OR WILL TAKE SOON?

Writing a book! Writing Chasing Slow was hard, and deeply vulnerable, and it took quite a bit out of me. It’s always a risk to tell the truth to the masses, knowing your truth might not be kept safe or within the context of another’s perspective. But what a gift it’s been. Writing this book changed me to the core, and I can only hope it will do the same for others.

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HOW DO YOU HEAR GOD’S VOICE MOST CLEARLY? IS IT A TIME OF DAY, A PLACE YOU GO, A THING YOU DO…ANYTHING!

I hear God in my children. My toddler utters the most profound statements that allow me to see the world in a new light – the upside-down way, if you will.

Kids have a way of waking us up to our own reality, and I’m often always learning more about wisdom and grace from these tiny people than I ever thought possible.

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SO MUCH OF WALKING WITH GOD ON THIS ADVENTURE IS ABOUT FACING OUR FEARS, EMBRACING CHANGE, AND TRUSTING HIM…WHAT IS *ONE* OF YOUR BIGGEST FEARS THAT KEEPS YOUR PARALYZED FROM SAYING YES TO GOD’S ADVENTURES FOR YOU?

I often fear the unknown, or the ambiguity ahead. I want answers, and absolutes, and right now, please! Having the patience to understand the nature of life’s seasons has been instrumental in realizing that we have only enough manna (and exactly enough manna!) for today. Life isn’t a given – it’s a gift.

AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THAT SPECIFIC FEAR?

  1. A favored, wise verse from Matthew 6:27:
    Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
  2. I often rely on this anxiety cure when I let my head get the best of me – it works nearly every time.

WHAT WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT + TRUTH DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE HUNGRY FOR AN ADVENTURE WITH GOD, BUT FOR VARIOUS REASONS (FEELING STUCK, CONFUSED, FEARFUL, TOO BUSY, ETC) DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY CAN EVER HAVE THAT IN THEIR LIFE?

Adventures look different for everyone. They can be big and small, loud and quiet, chaotic and calm. Understand that your adventure is not around the bend – it is here, today, already.

You are living your adventure now; you need only to pay attention. Look for it, fight for it. Make the decision to see it all around you – in the baby’s cry or the business proposal or the brunch date or the deadline. It’s already here; the adventure has already begun. Live as if that’s true, because it is.

And lastly, we’d love to hear about your new book Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey off the Beaten Path…what is your heart behind it + what is one piece of wisdom you’d pass on to those of us who feel called to birth a book baby one day…

My heart for this book is to encourage women that life is not about seeking happily ever after, either through slow living or fast living or some metric between. It’s not even about seeking. It’s about seeing. Accepting today for what it is, enjoying what you have, embracing what you’ve been given, and throwing a nice little kitchen dance party along the way.

As for book writing advice, start now! Take notes, journal daily. Write whatever comes to mind, and get in the habit of processing your world through words. There is no story too mundane, no moment too boring. Honor your own life and your own truth; write down the rest.


{GIVEAWAY!}

We love encouraging you to come alive to your own adventure with God…so where is He asking you to take His hand and trust Him, or what fears are holding you back right now? 

Share below and you’ll be entered to win a surprise from the Art of Adventure Shop and Erin’s new book Chasing Slow!
Winner announced on Monday, January 30.

Erin would love to hear from you, leave a comment below and she’ll be sure to get it!
Be sure to read her delicately woven words at Design for Mankind
and follow along with her adventures on IG

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Comments (1)

  1. I am a perfectionist, so I think I am fearing trying new things and them not going perfectly. Things like writing more or attending things that involve new people. But I know that this is where God is calling me.

Be intentional about seeking a God-adventure in 2017! Hand-painted calendars on sale for $6 in the shop