How to Bless Your Mess with Less
We haven’t always been this organized.
But after our last two moves required an overwhelming and frustrating amount of purging … Rev and I decided never again!
To be honest, I’m not the one who’s organized. Rev is. He has arranged spaces and labeled storage boxes. You know the saying … “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
And I love it! I can actually find things. It’s awesome!
Do you want to know something that should be obvious but often isn’t?
It’s easier to be neat and organized when you have less stuff.
Learning the blessing of enjoying a more simplified physical life has inspired me to look into the possibility of simplifying the mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of me as well.
I’ve shared with you that I’m an easily distracted squirrel chaser. My thoughts and emotions too often pursue whatever darts by rather than…
[Breaking] down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God [and taking[ hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLV)
Wow, I can relate to Paul’s struggle to do what he not only knows he should do but what he wants to do! Can you relate to the struggle, too?
So, I’m making adjustments that will bless my inner mess with less so that with God’s help, I’ll live with less stress and anxiety and enjoy more peace and joy.
I’ve already started blessing my spiritual life with less by giving up reading what people say about the Bible and reading the Bible itself. You can read more about that here.
Now I’m working on my thoughts and emotions.
That means I need the Holy Spirit’s help, giving me everything I need to think about the “whatevers”…
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s Word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].Philippians 4:8 (AMP)
Living with less is an admirable goal but if I just get rid of the mess in my head without replacing it with something better … agitation, anxiety, and all the junk that hurts me and my relationships will return in no time. So, when it comes to taking control of my mental and emotional squirrel chasing, I have to replace the negative triggers with God’s positive “whatevers.”
And here’s how I’m starting…
7 Ways to Bless Your Mess with Less
1. Less Talking and More Listening
I’m a talker! But I’m learning to be a better listener. I still have a lot to learn and I want to be teachable. I also have things to say and I want people to be willing to listen. So, I will…
- Ask more questions and patiently listen to the answers.
- Wait for the whole answer without interrupting.
- Avoid distractions and I will make and maintain eye contact with the person with whom I talking.
- Be caring, kind, and compassionate.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.Proverbs 12:!5
2. Less Technology and More Face to Face
It’s so easy to get lost in the world of apps. Social media connects us with friends all over the world but too often, it keeps us from connecting with those we love who are right beside us. So I will…
- Set aside my tablet and phone and enjoy technology-free times with the people I love.
- Find other things I can do with family and friends.
- Choose one family member to talk with in person or on the phone each day.
- Set a technology curfew and take a break.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.Romans 12:10
3. Less Worry and More Peace
I really need to replace my “what ifs” with “whatevers.” I have spent way too much of my life living worried and I’ve had enough! With God’s help, I will
- Admit when I’m worried and identify the problem.
- Pray. Give it to God and ask Him to replace my worry with His peace.
- Memorize and trust God’s promises.
- Live in the present, do what I can today and let go of what I can’t.
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?Luke 12:25–26
4. Less Control and More Freedom
It’s funny how much most of us want to be in control. Offering control was the first temptation in the Garden … eat the fruit and “your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.” And since the first sin, a desire for control has been evident in everyone. Just spend time with a toddler!
The freedom I want can only be found in surrendering my life to the Lord, again and again, every single day. So, I will…
- Prayerfully give up my will to God each morning.
- Stop trying to manage every little detail of my life.
- Accept that there are things I can’t change.
- Walk away from perfectionism and enjoy the freedom I have in Jesus.
For you have been called to live in freedom. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.Galatians 5:13
5. Less Complaining and More Celebrating
Grumbling and finding fault seems to be a way of life at the moment but when I chase the miserable squirrel of negativity, I am just that; I’m miserable. I stop noticing the countless blessings God has given me to celebrate. So, with His help, I will…
- Count my blessings!
- Carefully filter my input – the things I read, listen to and watch.
- Intentionally look for the good in people and find joy in simplicity.
- Celebrate my blessings … big and small.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name.Psalm 103:1–2
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
6. Less Judging and More Forgiving
You’ve most likely heard the Mother Teresa quote…
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
And God’s Word consistently says that we are to love people…
Continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
And that forgiveness shows our love…
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven.Proverbs 17:9a and Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
The truth is … being judgmental and angry ruins my peace, robs me of joy, and keeps me from loving well. So, I will…
- Stop to remember how much God has forgiven in me.
- Look at the bigger picture . . . there are many things I don’t know about the person you are judging.
- Intentionally look for the good in people.
- Give up my need to be “right.”
Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”John 13:34–35
7. Less Fear and More Faith
I spent way too much of my life living in fear. I believed and trusted in Jesus for my eternal future but I wasn’t willing to depend on His ability to care for me each day. And let me tell you, that ain’t no way to live!
Jesus often said some variation of the following to His followers…
“Why are you afraid? Just have faith.”
By God’s grace, I now know that the Lord is able to give me the courage and strength I need each day. I believe I can trust His promise to…
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”John 14:27
So, I will…
- Remember the ways God has protected me in the past.
- Ask myself if my fear is real or imagined.
- Pray and give God my fears and ask Him to increase my faith and give me peace.
- Memorize God’s promises that He is greater than my fear.
I am so ready to bless my mess with less.
What do you think?
Are you ready to bless your mess with less?
Are you ready to join me in chasing few squirrels so you can enjoy more of the Lord’s wonderful blessings?
Which less are you going to choose first?
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Please pray for me. I’m too much disturb. I am not getting any job.
I am praying for you, Deepa. Asking God to calm your worries and fear, and to lead you to the job He is already preparing for you.
As I read your words today, Deb, I realized that I’ve been working on making the mess in my head less over the last several years. Yes, God has the glory in all of this! Without His help, I don’t know where I would be, but He is faithful and loving, blessing me in ways I could never even dream of or hope for.
May your post here today inspire others to make less of their mess!
Amen, Martha! I completely agree. Any changes in me have come through surrender not through effort. God is the One who does the transforming and I am so very thankful! I always appreciate your thoughts! Thank you! God’s blessings, my friend!
Thank you! This has really touched me to day in many ways! I love your e-mails so much!
Thank you, Dana! I so appreciate your kind encouragement. You totally blessed my day! Asking God to bless you today, as well.
I pride myself in being a good listener, Deb, since I’m basically “paid to listen” as a counselor. But right now that one caught my eye. Because, as you know, I’ve got a painful conflict in my life that I want to talk to my closest friends about–in hopes that my heart will ache less. But what I think God wants me to do is simply sit as His feet and listen to Him. Stop the talking. Stop the ruminating. Stop the worrying and simply listen to HIM! Thanks for this reminder! Pinning it for sure!
Oh, Beth, I’m praying for you! I am working on the same. I had something yesterday that I laid before the Lord again! I keep going to Psalms, seeing how David poured his heart and emotions out to the Lord, trusting Him to help. That’s where I want to find myself. Pouring myself out to the One who is able. God bless you, my friend!