Have you found yourself short with others when they don’t come through as you expected? Or ticked because your husband lost his cell phone, wallet, favorite pen, or car keys—again? Or irritated with a child because she didn’t do what you asked her to, even though you reminded her twice? Or disappointed because the event you planned didn’t come off exactly as you wanted it to? Or… I’m sure you can add to the list.

I have realized that I can get easily frustrated—even grumpy and unpleasant—when things don’t go the way I want them to. When others don’t come through the way I think they should. When I don’t accomplish what I intended to. The reality is that I want everything to turn out the way I think it should. I want to be in control. And this is mostly in the little things. If I’m really honest I find that I’m bordering on wanting to be God. To fix and direct everyone. To make things right—even myself. Did you notice all the “I’s” in this paragraph? Oh, the subtle dangers of self-centered thinking. Life isn’t all about me. I am not God and maybe, just maybe, I need the freedom to relax and let Him do His job.

Our culture causes frustration and leaves little time for healthy humor. We rush from one meeting to another, one soccer field to another, one project to complete to another. We watch the news and feel overwhelmed with sadness and anger. Our society feeds stress. And keeps life from being fun.

I feel way too responsible. Part of a woman’s sense of responsibility comes from our nurturing nature. As moms we have to be responsible. It’s in our DNA and part of our job as a parent. But sometimes my sense of personal responsibility crosses over to control. And I need to let go a little bit and remember that I’m not ultimately in control. God is.

Some of us need to step up and be more responsible but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I need to be a little more laid back. I need God to infuse a bit of lightheartedness into my daily schedule.

So here are some things I’m trying in order to “lighten-up”:

  • Do something spontaneous.
  • Look at life through laid back lenses.
  • Choose laughter over irritation, quickly—in the moment.
  • See interruptions as opportunities instead of inconveniences.
  • Open myself to God’s doing something fun and new in my life.
  • Pray for a fresh sense of humor in my life and in my marriage.
  • When my plans get interrupted, let my first reaction be, “oh well,” instead of frustration.
  • Decide to give up hurrying. Move more slowly.
  • Eliminate something from my to-do list for today.
  • Hang out with friends who make me laugh.

These are little things. Too often we assume that we have to make big changes. But the reality is that it is the little changes in our daily lives that may ultimately result in significant transformations.

It is helpful for us to frequently ask ourselves, What will I do to lighten up, to inject a sense of fun into my life that will overflow into the center of my home?

{Editors Note: This article originally ran on MomLife Today in 2014, we think it is for sure worth bringing to our attention again! Lighten Up Moms!}

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  1. A great and inspiring article, Susan! Thank you! I need to put this list on my bathroom mirror.

  2. Kitty Bennett says:

    Thanks, Susan. I will share your ideas on lighten-up with the diplomat wives tomorrow. This is truly the season to breath deeply and keep your eyes on King. Along the way I hope to look for the spontaneous and laugh a lot. Appreciate you! Kitty