My family took a trip to Costa Rica in the Spring of 2008. A phrase we repeatedly heard was “Pura Vida.” It translates directly to Pure Life. These beautiful people had so much less than we do, and yet they were so happy. To these people, the phrase they uttered so often wasn’t just a fad like “YOLO!” It was their way of life. A life of value and substance. Our family became obsessed. We got back to the states and months later my dad and I made the obvious next step and got a “Pura Vida” tattoo. Mine is on my neck, and dad’s on his arm. My sister Emily followed suit a few years later. I’ve interpreted, loosely, what a life of value and substance looks like to Joel and me.

  • I want my life to point towards the One who created me.
  • I want to spend my time wisely. Joel and I don’t have cable and we try not to hit the snooze button too much.
  • Knowledge is power. I want to always be learning from those who are wiser than I am.
  • I could lay in a hammock with Joel for HOURS. I crave relaxation where I can hear birds a chirpin’.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Gossip makes me uncomfortable. A life of value shouldn’t involve gabbing about other peoples’ personal lives and problems.
  • Marriage is holy and I care deeply  that my husband is happy and loved.
  • We try to spend time with people who are willing to challenge us and build us up. Not the people who have the coolest Instagram pictures.
  • Sometimes you have to spend a little extra money and get fancy deli meat. There really is a difference.

I know this isn’t exactly what the Costa Ricans might have been thinking when they coined the phrase. But, it’s about a life of prioritizing. What is important to you? What do you value?

You bet your bottom dollar my sister and I made sure our tattoos showed in the back of our wedding dresses. 😉