On Life and Letting Some Things Go (also, a giveaway!)

A few weeks ago I stood at the kitchen sink, scrubby in hand and a pile of dishes before me that seemed to have been crusted with food particles since the dawn of time. (Note: my dishwasher is old. It rolls across the floor. It cannot remove grunge from plates. Oy).

As I scrubbed, water sloshed on the front of my shirt. That was all it took, all I needed to send me into a full on fluster-fest.

Just trust me. You don’t want to see that.

What exactly was I fluster-festing over? Dishes. Laundry. The family vacation I needed to prepare for. School coming. Overflowing baskets of clothes to be folded and hung up. The weird smell coming from the fridge. A deadline. A book releasing soon and very soon (with many speaking engagements along for the ride)…

You know. Life stuff.

“I can’t do ALL of THIS!” I thought. “There’s just too much!”

Then I proceeded to dig through all the clean laundry for a dry shirt only to realize that none of my clothes were in the land of the clean.


Now that I’ve cooled off and I’m looking back at that moment (or hour) I can see how isolated I felt just then. I thought I must be the only mom in the ENTIRE WORLD who can’t manage to hold it all together.

But that’s not true. Not by a mile.

11694782_10207819561110880_1483027653292056623_nHow do I know this? Because, at the perfect time, I read a little book by my good friend Brenda Yoder. It’s called Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All. Brenda tells story after story about the struggles moms face. It’s like she’s taking the reader’s hand and saying, “Yup. I’ve got that room in my house, too” or “I’ve felt buried in never ending housework, too” or “Uh huh. I feel like an underpaid taxi service, too”.

But, what Brenda does next in her book is unlike most any other mom-blog/book I’ve read. She doesn’t tell you to get it together and make that sink shine like the top of the Chrysler Building before you DARE put your head on your pillow. Nope. Brenda says, it’s okay to NOT do everything.

For People-Pleaser, Golden-Retriever, Must-Make-the-World-Happy Susie, it felt like reading this book pulled a heavy weight off of me. It made me feel okay with serving up dinner on paper plates. Encouraged me to tell my husband how overwhelmed I’ve been feeling. Made me feel all right when I had to say “no” about doing something that would take away from my family and my writing time.

Brenda’s words took away guilt, tossed it out the window, and said “Don’t go out and pick that guilt up. You don’t need it anymore”.

Can I tell you, that’s freedom. That makes the air easier to breathe.

Friends, it’s okay to let some things go in order to obtain balance in life. It is.

Now, I loved this book. I was given a copy so that I could help promote it. Honestly, I would have bought this book anyway. Not just because Brenda is my friend but because I needed it. Big. Time. I know I’m not the only one. 

Brenda has generously offered to give away a copy of this incredible book to one of you! All you need to do is leave a commend down below telling me one area in your life you find hard to keep balanced. It doesn’t have to be a mom thing or even a woman thing. All answers are good answers. I’ll draw the winning name on Monday, September 14, 2015. 

Learn more about Brenda: 

IMG_1799ed2-66Brenda L. Yoder, LMHC, is an author, speaker, educator and counselor. Her books, Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All and Who Do You Say I Am released in 2015. Her ministry, Life Beyond the Picket Fence, can be found at brendayoder.com where she writes about faith, life, and parenting be-yond the storybook image. Brenda’s also a parenting columnist for 10 To 20 Parenting, Choose Now Ministries, and Whatever Girls, She has a mental health col-umn in her local paper, and has been featured in Chicken Soup For The Soul:Reboot Your Life. She was twice awarded the Touchstone Award for teachers.

When Brenda’s not writing, working, or speaking, she’s a wife and mom to four children, ages teen to young adult. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Periscope (@BeyondPicketFenc) and Twitter.

21 Comments on “On Life and Letting Some Things Go (also, a giveaway!)

  1. I find it hard to balance our homeschooling. The balance or line between what is necessary for my kids to learn vs what is either busywork or truly unimportant can be hard. I want them to enjoy learning and learn to just be with God and in life and not always be constantly driven to achieve. But I also want them to grow to be productive members of society that put in a hard day’s work and contribute. So I really struggle with when to push and when to lean back and let go and allow God to work in them.


  2. Oh how I need this book! When I saw that you were reading it Susie, it immediately grabbed my attention and not just because you were reading it, but also because the title took to a place that I need to be! I find it hard to balance all the everyday housework and dinners for my family. Wanting to make something that everyone will enjoy – and getting overwhelmed because even though I can cook. I so do not enjoy it. Why must they all eat?! LOL


  3. I really enjoyed this article because I have been praying about getting my life more in balance. I can usually get the housework done o k ( I am an empty nester) but I have a hard time with the extras in life, yard work, repainting my long over due walls and finding time for things I want to share with my family, walks with my dog and just relaxing and keeping my spiritual life a priority. I thought things would get less stressful as an empty nester but find It just as hetic in a different way.


  4. EVERYTHING. But my biggest balance issue at the moment is the teeter-totter of parenting a tween and a teen. How much do I do for them? How much assistance is too much – and how much isn’t enough? When do I “save” them – and when do I stand by, chewing my fingers to the bone, letting them learn from their own mistakes?

    Sometimes I wish life were a true-false test – or at least multiple choice (with only 3-5 answers). And a teacher’s guide, of course.


    • Seriously! I get this! I think it would be easier if the answer was the same for all children. Kids just *have* to go around being all unique and such. 😉 It’s a very tough balance, Joanne. I’ve heard this exact thing from other moms and have felt the tension myself.


  5. So many things in our lives that we can’t balance and have little control over, but the first thing that came to my mind was “unsightly facial whiskers” :).


  6. Pingback: Hoop Dreams | Susie Finkbeiner

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