There was a time when I white-knuckled it all. I was super controlling, super intense, and super tired.
I’m talking everything from trying to manage relationships that shouldn’t have been to searching for missing toy pieces in the backyard with a flashlight at 1am.
Seriously, can you see the visual? Crazy woman in a bathrobe and slippers on a mission. And if I couldn’t find the piece I was looking for, I did what any other psycho mom would do. I ordered it, of course. Immediately. I couldn’t stand the thought that all parts and pieces weren’t accounted for and in their rightful place.
There was no wiggle room for error, especially when it came to timeframes. I remember telling the pizza dude who LOST MY ORDER that I lived my life with precision and the extra 30 minutes he just made me waste was going to cost him.
Yes. I really said that.
And not only did I live my own life, but I felt the need to live everyone else’s life for them too. I was often the ‘Go To Girl’ for guidance. But I couldn’t stop at just a well-meaning conversation or word of encouragement. Noooo, that would have been falling short in my book. I had to immerse myself in their issues and see the problem through to a solution. I was invested and I didn’t want to ‘lose’ anyone to stupidity.
Life was pretty complicated.
This didn’t come from a place of ill-intent. Actually, quite the opposite.
** I didn’t have much money, so taking care of our things was my way of showing responsibility.
** I loved living life, so why not do as much as I could with each and every day God had blessed me with?
** I cared deeply for my friends and family, desperately desiring them to be healthy and full of joy.
So what was the problem?
I was the problem. So consumed with the end result, I paid no attention to the journey, the method, or the consequences.
Thank God for Declutter Now! It literally has saved my sanity and my life. I’m not suggesting that if I didn’t change my ways I would have physically died, but how I existed was no way to live. So, with the help of God, my husband, and my newfound passion, I got a second chance at life. A more fulfilling, simpler life.
How are things different now?
Today I share 7 life lessons which have transformed me from overwhelmed to overjoyed!
- Assessing Responsibility – Not everything is my problem. Wow, even just typing that STILL makes me wince because I want to collect it all – every broken item and every broken person. But I’m not Jesus and my shoulders aren’t big enough to carry the weight of a broken world. I now evaluate every situation and simply decide where my responsibility starts, if at all, and stops.
- Determining Importance – Not everything is a five alarm fire and I’ve stopped living that way. Oddly enough, when you take the urgency out of the middle, seemingly critical situations often just fade away. Simply removing the ‘audience’ can be a huge help. I now take a step back and calculate before jumping in.
- Establishing Priorities – It’s overwhelming when you feel suffocated by a zillion to-do’s, all of which need to be done first. You’re only human, however, and doing everything all at once is not only an impossibility, but also uber inefficient. I now rank items in order of priority before working on tasks. Simply put, some things will just have to wait and that’s life. Own this concept!
- Relinquishing Control – For natural control freaks, this ain’t no small task. Stepping over the line the first time or two is the hardest, but I promise once you do, you’ll find an abundance of freedom which will propel you forward over and over again. Sometimes the hardest behavior to master can produce the greatest results, and this would be the case with relinquishing control. I now throw my hands up far more easily than ever before, more often than not, with a smile on my face and in my heart; I can speak truth in love and move on. Freedom simply feels so very good!
- Recognizing Blessings – Sounds like a no brainer, right? Wrong! If you’re caught up in the daily grind and deeply absorbed in doing life, it’s incredibly easy to overlook blessings, both large and small, that are woven throughout the course of our day. I now make an intentional effort to recognize and thank God for every blessing my heart uncovers. When is the last time you thanked God for the gorgeous blue sky? Or something as simple as a smile? Start there and work your way through all that touches your life. On our craziest, busiest, worst day, we are incredibly blessed.
- Embracing Life – I had this all wrong. I thought embracing life meant using every single, solitary second and doing something useful with it. So for me, I actually had to identify the true meaning of ‘embrace’. I now consider simple, meaningful moments and ‘being still’ to be a significant part of embracing life. Taking a step ‘back’ to embrace life is actually a step forward! Second in difficulty only to relinquishing control, I can slip up on this one quite easily, so my radar is on high alert and I stay mindful of my new objective. And when I regress, well let’s just say, the hubster doesn’t tolerate it and offers reminders that get me back on track pronto!
- Seeking God’s Word – Discernment is key. Are there times when you need to take responsibility? YES! Deal with a critical situation? YES! Help someone in need? YES! Assume control? YES! Bust it to get something important accomplished? YES! The key is to use God’s judgment, not your own. Go to God in prayer and seek his direction and guidance. I now ask Him to help me wade through the murky waters of decision and I follow His lead. My ‘win’ ratio is certainly going up, but there’s also a freedom in obedience. Even if things don’t pan out perfectly, following God’s will for your life is always, simply put, the right answer!
I must end with a disclaimer.
I’ve still got work to do! Believe it or not, I STILL have a hard time keeping my mouth shut! I still struggle with my natural God-given tendencies and fight against my human, sin nature, but ‘simple’ has become a way to live and love.
I’ve learned that ‘Less is More’. Life doesn’t have to be riddled with complex and complicated. Underneath all the crazy is a beautifully ‘simple’ life waiting to be lived. Declutter destructive behaviors and find out just how amazing ‘simple’ can be!