My Aha! Moment -K.I.S.S.

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I always love reading the My Aha! Moment section in Oprah‘s magazine.  In fact, I usually feel like I have mini Aha! moments with each one.

Being of the perfectionist type A personality, I’m quick to find the error of my ways, looking how to improve the way I’m doing things, kicking it into overdrive as I do.  There is no half way here.  It’s speeding all the way, pedal to the metal, as I tackle not just one or two things to improve, but the whole shebang.

And before I can pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t, I’m burnt out, tired, and completely unable to focus or remember what I was trying to “fix” in the first place.  My mind is hurried and harried, my body tired and trembling.

Recently I found myself up to my neck in the middle of too many irons in the fire, being “good” at any one of them not an option. Only excelling at all of them was allowed.  By me.photo (26)

I burned rubber, skidding sideways into a burnout moment which resulted in the need to take a mental health day from work.

The first half of that day was spent feeling guilty because I wasn’t being more productive.

But somewhere in there God placed His gentle, firm hand on my shoulder, breathing new energy into me.  Energy that didn’t make me feel like I needed to DO something.  But mental energy that created focus and clarity.

I realized that in trying to do everything, I was doing nothing.  At least nothing worth doing.  I spent so much time trying to micromanage (aka Control) everything I took on from the process all the way to the outcome.  And the weight of that need to control was suffocating me.

A modified definition of the acronym K.I.S.S. hit home.  Keep it super simple.

Instead of trying to do everything perfectly, I now work at doing some things that are the most important to me–like being mom, wife, grandma, writer, employee–the best that I can. God can, and does, control the outcome.

photo (24)When I stress about the outcome of something I’ve taken on, I envision the worst possible scenario. Yup.  The worst thing I can think of.  Because it’s usually so far out there and absurd that I end up laughing until my stomach hurts and the anxiety simply dissolves.

Rather than try to tackle an entire book in the Bible during my quiet time with God, I have learned that reading and meditating upon one or two verses–or even a short passage–brings much more peace.  It’s then I truly absorb God’s message because my focus becomes God, rather than my time.photo (27)

I have found that when I slow down and take off my control superman cape, I’m  less restricted and  more productive.  And  life is so much better.

Slow down and smell the roses is more than just a cliche.  It’s keeping things simple. And that simplicity has saved my sanity.

All is Grace.

 

Let Go and Let God

When my boys were babies, then toddlers, it never occurred to me that they would ever be anywhere else but home with me.  Home where they were safe.  No matter what could, or did, happen anywhere else in the universe, at least we were together. photo (1)

As they found their way into, and through, adolescence, moments of fear began to take its grip,  choking my ability to be fully present and enjoy our time together.  Rather than trust God to in order to completely enjoy them, I feared that God would take them from me.  That fear took me from them.

Having been that fiercely protective mom–okay, I’ll admit some may have called me that “helicopter mom” since I had a tendency to hover–I tried with all my might to protect and buffer them from painful lessons that had I stepped aside, would have had great potential to help them grow into God-fearing, God-dependant young men.

Sometimes it felt like our lives became a yo-yo. Give them to God, take them back, give, take, give…you get the picture.  I’m forever grateful He gave.

Despite the sometimes paralyzing fear of losing them, and the raw ache at the thought of having an empty nest, God has used my weakness to grow stronger in Him, teaching me how to not only let go so they could grow, but to learn the power  of the simple phrase “Let go and let God.”

He’s teaching me to:

Let go of trying to control every outcome and let God guide the journey instead.photo (8)

Let go of protecting my family with suffocating persistence and let God protect them by giving Him–and them–the space they need.

Let go of trying to change what is not within my power to change,  and let God give me the strength to change what I can. And to know the difference between the two.  (The Serenity Prayer)

Let go of trying to force them to understand me and let God work in me to understand them.  To truly love them with a love that can only come from Him. Exactly as they are.  Exactly where they are.

Let go of the need to orchestrate and plan every moment of my day, and let God lead our day.

Let go of the tendency to regret yesterday or fear tomorrow, and let God help me live fully today.  In this exact moment.

Let go of the need for organized perfection, and  let God help me find the beauty in the messiness of life.

The messiness that can create a masterpiece.  A unique, one-of-a-kind, work of art by the master artist Himself.

Grace to You.