Seven ways to write better.  The top 10 tricks to finding great blog ideas.  Twenty-five ways to healthier snacking.  Forty-seventy shortcuts to inner zen.  (Shouldn’t the first few have worked?)

How-to and help books, tips and videos are everywhere we turn – bookstores, online, television commercials, infomercials, movie theatre ads, social media, friends and relatives selling things…everywhere.  You can’t turn your head without seeing or hearing of somebody else offering some way to help you do something better.

We all have moments when we want to do better, be better, learn better, have better…something.  But, when is it the right amount of extra help and when does it become too much?  When are we actually getting something beneficial out of the extra input we receive, and when does it reach DEFCON 1 nuclear sucky status?


I used to delete everything, any ad or email that sounded even the slightest bit spammy or scammy or like someone was trying to sell me something.  Bam.  Delete.  I didn’t read it, didn’t listen to it, didn’t skim it, didn’t give it a chance.  I didn’t have enough money to waste on extra stuff anyway, so it wasn’t a loss.  My filter was “want” or “need”.  And most things were not “need”.

But as my writing has grown, especially over the last year, I started signing up for regular emails I thought would be helpful about writing, blogging, marketing, healthy stuff, etc., but only the free ones.  I figured an extra email once a week would be just the right amount, I could make time to read one, or even a few, and I wasn’t buying – or buying into – anything.

So, how do I now get somewhere around FORTY emails per day?!  I didn’t sign up for all of this crap, I mean help.  Going through my inbox every hour drives me bat crazy, and not the fun kind like Batdad (have you seen him on Facebook?  That guy is huh-larious!)  But I have to do it because otherwise there are too many in there and that drives me bat crazy.

It’s partly my fault.  I am on the computer all day and I see when the number changes in my inbox.  I know when one of those insidious creatures makes it onto my screen.  And even if I wasn’t looking, my phone flashes a tiny blue light at me when a new email comes in that repeats “you have email, you have email”…and not in the cute way it was delivered in the movie either.

But, it’s partly God’s fault, too, because He put all these letters into my personality.  Being ADOS with an OCD chaser means I can’t just ignore the insistent blue flashing light.  This isn’t Kmart where the blue light means you have an opportunity for a great deal.  So I have to click to my inbox and clear out the new emails, whether it’s moving them to an email folder (see, I tried to get organized) or deleting them.


good thing2

I.  Love.  Deleting.  Emails.  It is such a powerful feeling.

Sometimes I delete one that I might have wanted to possibly read either this week or in 2020, just to do it.  Just to feel the power of a potential landmine of helpful gold getting sucked into the digital trash bin abyss.

And that’s a good thing.  We need to cut ourselves off sometimes, even from “help”.  Too much of anything can be a bad thing, even too much of a good thing.  It’s okay to place parameters on our input.  We can still get plenty of beneficial information without overloading our sensory systems, and that’s a good thing, because when we are overloaded, we really don’t receive anything of benefit anyway, we just automatically tune it all out.

What are your input parameters?  What has worked for you before?  What works for you now?


Becky is a single mom and a reluctant disciple, called to share her story with others in her own unconventional way.  She knows God equips her for her journey, and does her best to trust in His plan for that journey, and not to judge others on their journeys…unless the waist of their pants is at their butt cheeks; then she thinks they should pull those puppies up.  Or if somebody says she eats too much chocolate; then she just can’t be friends with them anymore.  But she will pray for them.  Join her to discover how your plans and God’s plans come together in this life filled with groovy trails.