Do you sometimes feel like a mess? Many of us deal with a whole myriad of issues that make us feel that we don’t have it all together. We walk through our lives trying to put on a good front but feeling like a mess inside.
Leslie Speas is an author from Winston-Salem who is a self-proclaimed “Hot Mess.” Her book,
Confessions of a Hot Mess: From Mess to MESSage – 90 Days of Messages for the Hot Mess in You was released in November.
She claims that she is not the typical MESSenger. She compares. She tries to control. She worries. Her sense of humor is a bit off-color. She drinks wine. She didn’t know Jesus until later in life. But she says that she honestly doesn’t know how she would have survived the last few years without her faith.
Leslie says that she felt led to share her mess to help others with theirs. She uses stories, humor, Scripture, and tips to provide ninety days of lessons on various topics she has grappled with, such as comparison, control, impatience, insecurity, guilt, and forgiveness.
When asked to share some takeaways from the book, Leslie shared five tips to help you move from hot mess to success.
- Work on your thought life
Does anyone else have a crazy mind? Mine can go here, there, and everywhere! Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think because your thoughts rule your life.” Don’t let your thoughts control you! Take your unhealthy thoughts captive and redirect them to something more positive.
In the Bible, we are told to “renew our minds” (Romans 12:2). The single best way to do this is through a steady intake of God’s Word. Satan is always tempting and troubling us by getting up in our minds. Recognize and reject Satan’s lies and replace them with God’s truth. Sometimes I even say, “Get away, Satan!” (to myself, of course). Also, consider the things that you are filling your mind with – television, social media, news, music, books. You may have heard, “garbage in, garbage out.” It works the same way with your mind. Fill it with good things, and better things will come out of it!
- Take care of yourself
You can’t care for others if you aren’t taking care of yourself! We know it’s important to take care of our bodies, but what about our souls? First and foremost, a close relationship with God is critical because your soul was made for Him and, without Him, will always be restless. Some suggested activities for caring for your soul include spending time with God, reading, enjoying nature, laughing, and resting. Where you can, you may also need to let go of negative relationships and mindsets to keep your soul in tip-top shape.
- Let go and let God!
Does anyone else have “control freak” tendencies? We aren’t in control, so why try to be? COVID-19 illustrates that our best-laid plans can easily be thwarted.
To trust God to take care of things, we must confess and surrender our need for control. Second Corinthians 5:7 tells us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” When you are tempted to get in there and fix situations, say “not my will, but yours be done” and turn it over to Him. Are you noticing that I talk to myself a lot?
- Find ways to serve and help others
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about yourself and what you want or need? Getting your mind off yourself and focusing on others will undoubtedly enrich your life. We all have gifts and talents that we are called to use for good in this world. First Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” So, what’s holding you back? Look for and pray about opportunities to serve others, and then do it!
- Be grateful for what you have
In the past, I wanted to be more, do more, and have more. We often desire what we do not have and believe that we will be happy once we get it. The truth is that we might be satisfied for a few weeks, but then we are on to the next thing.
It’s important to focus on what you DO have instead of what you don’t. Don’t compare yourself or your possessions with others. Be grateful for the people and things in your life, and most importantly, for God. Bonus – research shows that when we practice gratitude, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us.
Confessions of a Hot Mess: From Mess to MESSage is available for purchase on Amazon and Kingdom Winds website. You can follow Leslie on her website, lesliespeas.com, and her Facebook page, Hot Mess to MESSage.