I’m going to talk straight to you today. There will not be mincing of words or unnecessary flowery language. The last thing we need right now is vagueness and ANYTHING ELSE that will make us cock our heads in confusion. I came across the picture above a few days ago. It was taken at a wedding a while back during a time that I was giving a lot of attention to taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I was investing in myself in ways that I have since strayed away from. Seeing this picture was a wake up call to get back there and FAST. I was happier then. I was more in control of what brought me joy then. Life has a way of getting in the way of life, you know? It takes work to reign it back in.

At this point in my life… quickly inching towards my mid-forties… I have made enough mistakes to have a few things figured out. I do not have ALL the things figured out – none of us will until we are standing before our maker after death. So for now, let’s teach each other the things we have learned. Let’s share some knowledge and move on more empowered and able to avoid crazy bitch status whenever possible.

One thing I have learned is that the opposite of happy is not sad. It is CHAOS. There are more things on our plates than any one person could possibly handle well. We own too many things that we were SO sure we needed. And now those things clutter up our everyday and require tending to. We have people in our lives that should not be there. Maybe at one point they were what you thought you needed but they have become a drain on your heart instead. We have too many bills to pay+errands to run+shows to watch+relationships to prop up and there is no room left for joy.

CHAOS is sucking the happy out of our lives.

When I found myself divorced a while back, I decided to fill my life up with as many things as I possibly could. I couldn’t take the empty space. So I worked 3-4 jobs at a time. I single-parented. I volunteered. I dated and screwed that shit ALL up. I was on a mission to prove something to myself and everyone that was watching – I could take on everything and I was going to be okay. I was strong and independent and could handle it all.


What I should have done was say no to almost everything. I should have treated myself with enough respect to rest and recover from the devastation of a failed marriage.

And I believe we should live consistently that way.. building as much space as humanly possible into our lives. Let’s learn to say no to the things that don’t make our hearts leap. {and YES to the things that do} Let’s clean out some toxic relationships. {you can do it!} Let’s take AT LEAST 42 bags of unnecessary things to Goodwill. {It’s so freeing!} Let’s actually have room on our calendars so that when friends ask you to meet for a drink you don’t have to book 6 months out. {Sorry, friends of mine! I promise to do better!}

Simply put: the more chaos you have in your life the less joy will fit there.

Now, I will be the first to admit that removing joy-sucking things from our lives is basically the same thing as trying to put on a wet swimsuit or not punching the radio when you realize it’s NPR pledge drive week. LIFE IS HARD, YA’LL.

But I promise that pruning will always bring more beauty in the long run. It can be the worst kind of pain to LET GO but the best kind of peace when we finally do. And when you DO finally let go of those things, loves, purpose in your heart to lean in and listen to Spirit about what/who should take their place.

You know that thing that breaks you heart? You never have to do that again. You know that thing that consistently takes up too much prime real estate on your calendar but brings NOTHING of value into your life? Stop penciling that mess in. You know that online store that texts you a sales link every damn day but your closet is already spilling out into every inch of your life? DON’T BITE CLICK BAIT ANYMORE.

And one more thing… we need to do better at allowing other people to have the space they need, too. Stop heaping on the guilt if they don’t say yes to your invitation or feel as connected to your pet project as you do. Let’s extend ourselves AND others the grace we need to have more joy and less chaos in our lives.

I am so glad you stopped by. Take a minute to use that comment box below and let me know how you’re doing!

I promise there are food posts coming! I’m dying to show you guys a few things I’ve been working on!

I sure do love you all! (especially YOU!)





0 thoughts on “FROM CHAOS TO JOY

  1. Steph says:

    Abbye you have hit the nail on the head. The best thing about this is your acknowledgment that it takes learning, and living, to be able to grow and find joy. I read once that as much joy as we have had we will have as much sorrow. For me, feeling extreme sorrow or stress or chaos is, while frustrating, also encouraging because I know that my life can contain that amount of excessive joy as well. Thanks for sharing this because it isn’t easy to admit that- especially when the truth is that we do it to ourselves. Keep on- because as I’ve found life swells on…

  2. Julie says:

    You are right on. Thank you for sharing. Life is hard- especially as a single parent trying her best to do and be her best- yet feeling as if she is always falling short. I’ve lost part of myself and I want to be vibrant again. There is a lot of truth in your words- I appreciate you sharing from your heart. I can completely relate. 🙂 Let’s make 2017 our best year yet! ❤️

  3. Janelle Robinson says:

    Abbye, I have not had an opportunity to know you well personally, but when I read what you write – I always wish that I could. Your words speak to me on a deep level. Thank you for your honesty and for your generosity of spirit. I will be taking these words to heart.

  4. Pamela Adams says:

    Your writing style is very capturing and painfully honest. I have watch you grow into an amazing woman with life’s battles molding you. Put it on paper and tell your story as I feel it would encourage many and make for an inspirational and motivational book. Just a thought, as I am sure you know you have a gifting in writing as well. Stay blessed and uplifted.
    Pamela Adams

  5. Susan says:

    It is as if you knew what i needed to hear!!! I can relate and yet I recognize myself. I am lost but trying to find my way back to me. Thank you!!

  6. Lindsey Dukes says:

    Screw the food posts, this is pure gold! THANK YOU for speaking truth. THANK YOU for being authentic. THANK YOU for sharing this.

    Goodness, I love you.

  7. Emily says:

    Amen sista!😁 Thanks for your inspiring and motivating words today Abbye.

    "Let your occupations be few," says the sage, "if you would lead a tranquil life."

    —Marcus Aurelius

  8. Beth Mullenberg says:

    So true. And thoughtful. And good.

    My spouse struggles often with self-flagellation. He ‘should’ have been better, he ‘should’ have made different choices…I have a different attitude….we do what we want and what we think is best. ALWAYS. Our reasons and our choices are the only thing we could have done in that moment, so that we can learn something that we need to learn. You have had some lessons. You’ll choose differently next time. Or you won’t. But you’ll still be loved and valued and special.

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