Less and More: Adjustments for a Joyful Life

“Sit down in your seat!” I yelled at my wide-eyed son. I was holding him in his car seat, wrestling to snap the buckles as he fought against me. This was not just a stern tone of voice, it was borderline shrieking.

My voice rarely sounds like that and he cooperated immediately. As soon as the words came out, I teared up. “I’m sorry, buddy,” I said. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you. I’m going to try really hard not to do that again.” I cried in the front seat and prayed before starting the car.

This wasn’t like me. I have many struggles, but losing my temper isn’t usually one of them.

What adjustments lead to a joyful life?

Out of Balance

I snapped because I’d lost my joy. Without joy, my patience and self-control were severely lacking. I needed to make some adjustments to bring myself back into balance and honor God.  This is my reflection on the changes I want to work towards.

Less analysis, more action
Less worrying, more trusting
Less passive, more proactive
Less texting, more praying

Less overwhelm, more confidence
Less doubt, more faith
Less phone, more conversation
Less social media, more quiet in my soul

Less hurry, more pause
Less expectation, more spontaneity
Less caution, more abandon
Less self-sufficient, more Jesus-dependent

Be less self-sufficient and more Jesus-dependent. Click To Tweet

A Day Changed

Yes, the day got better from there. Sweet Noah apologized, too, and didn’t fight against his car seat the rest of the day. (I guess that’s the silver lining!) My reaction to normal four-year-old defiance was the red flag I needed to stop and reflect.

Have you had a shrieking moment lately? When we get to that point, it’s a sign of unease within our soul. It doesn’t mean that we’re bad moms, or bad wives, or bad coworkers. It does signal that something needs to change in our lives. Run to God in that moment and let him help you figure it out.

What adjustments are necessary for a joyful life?

How are things going your way? What less/more statement would you add?


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11 Comments on "Less and More: Adjustments for a Joyful Life"

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Becky Wuerzer

You know something is out of sink, when a co-worker says when you apologize…”I knew you were out of character.” She went on to say, “That’s called human.” I wouldn’t allow that to be an excuse, asked for forgiveness and said that it doesn’t make it right. Thankful our Father offers forgiveness when we ask!


For me personally I would add Less work, more play and Less seriousness, more playfulness! Sometimes I let my full-time work schedule and blogging schedule get to a break-neck pace and I lose my joy and playfulness. Thank you for the reminder to slow-down!

Malinda Just

High stress is a big trigger for me. It helps me to re-center and re-focus–much like you talked about–spend more time in the Word/prayer, not less, and also evaluate my heart motives. God continues to soften my heart to all these nuances…and I am grateful for His breathed out scripture designed to be profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness so that we, people of God, may be complete, equipped for every good work! (1 Tim 3:16-17)

Tammy Dunlap

I love the list of goals (less/more) and pinned it ! Thank you for this sweet piece. I will say that sometimes God uses those moments of “melt-down,” to make an impression on others. Strong, patient, kind, though we TRY to be, WE too have feelings and struggles and sometimes our kids NEED to see that !!

Christa Sterken (@Csterken)

I love that you apologized! I was not taught that growing up but I sure purposed to learn it when I became a mama!


Great post, Beka. Love all the less…more lines. Especially these; “Less texting, more praying” and “Less self-sufficient, more Jesus-dependent.” Shared and followed you on Twitter. Blessings!

Meg Weyerbacher

Oh yes, I know about these things. I am thankful that God allows us to reboot!


I’d have to say, less noise. Not necessarily audible noise but the noise of going here, doing this, being that; the holiday season is just beginning to get cranked up and I am already stressing more than usual at this time of year.
I definitely need more quiet, alone time with God; thanks for the reminder. I found your link today at By His Grace bloggers.


Beautiful list, Beka. We have all had days like this, but don’t always recognize the warning and choose a better path forward. Great self-reflection.