When life is crazy, it’s time to empty your plate.

I’m sitting here in the middle of a messy living room.  Toys and coloring pages all around me.  Shelves begging to be dusted.  Ironing board in the corner, clothes piled high.

When life looks like this I get the unshakable urge to simplify.  To purge.  To toss anything and everything we don’t absolutely need.

And while it’s good and important to declutter once in a while, I’m learning that this urge to simplify runs deeper than the material things.  A clean house is only a surface sweep.

Life – my life, our family life – is crying out for simplification.

A few weeks ago, our pastor challenged us to take everything off our plate, then only put the most important things back on.  The next day my friend Chandice brought up the same exact subject.  We realized that our lives are being overrun by good things that push out the possibility of great things simply because there is no more room on our plate.

So here I sit, in the mess, ready to take it all off my plate.  One by one I will put things back on.  The great things.  The most important things.  Faith, family, friends, food, fitness (apparently I have an “f” plate), giving, reading, crafting…  I will work on separating good things from great things.  Urgent from important.

So what does this look like in a practical sense?

For the next month, I am going to experiment with blogging only once a week (or twice if it is a contributor week).  I will also take all social media (except Instagram) off my phone.  I will have set hours for working, keeping my computer in the office (instead of out in the open, ready to check all day long).  I will take time to read, play with the kids, exercise, and have friends over for dinner.

I’m not naive enough to believe I can reset once and all will be perfect, but I think this is a start.  Six months from now I’ll most likely have to do it again.  Or maybe sooner.

I think we could all benefit from reevaluating what is important in our lives.  Searching and striving for simplicity.  Running from the trap of busy.  Aiming for greatness.

If we don’t, we just might miss the greatness we’ve been made for.

When life is crazy, empty your plate.

What do you need to take off your plate?


  • Kristen Culliney November 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I recently left FB for this exact reason and I find I am much more present for my family and non-tech life. I still have work to do but I’m making strides. Thanks for the beautiful post and gentle reminder.

    • InspiredRD November 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Kristen. I have a lot of friends who have stepped back from FB as well. I think we all need to find our own limits and set them for the sanity of ourselves and our family.

  • Alece Ronzino November 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

    This is so good, friend. Hard to do in a lot of ways, but so good. A selah for your soul…

    • InspiredRD November 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks, friend. YOU are good for my soul.

  • Mark A. Scott November 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have a bigger plate in the garage you can borrow

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    I seriously feel like you’ve said how I’ve been feeling…better than I could ever say. THANK YOU.

  • Angel Haynes November 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    So awesome, Alysa! Last week in a meeting with friends, Chad said, “We have exactly the amount of time in every day to do exactly what we want to do.” We can’t make time. We have to take time. I’m excited to see the great things God will reveal to you through this soul cleanse. Love you!

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      Thank you Angel, this is hard, but good!

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