5 Signs of a ‘Grab-it Habit’

Grab it HabitA lot of people, especially bloggers, choose one word or phrase to focus on for the year. I often do that, but don’t always talk about it. However, today I am briefly mentioning my one word—“release”—because it relates to a negative and persistent habit I’ve had in my life. Perhaps it is one you can relate to as well … the “grab-it habit.” <sigh>

I like to think of myself as someone who does the necessary purging of the “out-of-date and unhealthy” in my life. Unfortunately, I’ve let more things accumulate in my life than I’ve released.

My house is case in point! My husband and I have tried for at least two years now to get our house ready for market. We desperately need to downsize as empty-nesters. But as empty-nesters, I’ve also got a house FULL of my stuff, my husband’s stuff, and especially my three son’s stuff. I have not “released” those things over the years and now find myself overwhelmed by the task!

[Tweet “That’s the “grab-it habit” in all of its full-blown glory! #release2016”]

Taken from observations made in my own life, I’ve discovered that there are at least five signs of this ugly habit at work in a person’s life.

Signs You May have a “Grab-it Habit”

1. You get too “comfortable” with the here and now—resisting change.

I think the older I get, the more I want to stay in my “comfort-zone.” But that’s not where God wants you and me to stay! After all, Jesus clearly said …

“Anyone does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life, for my sake will find it.” ~Mt. 10:38-39

[Tweet “I don’t think carrying my cross means I can bring the cushy pillows of my comfort zone with me!”]

2. You tend to jump ahead of God instead of letting Him lead.

Ooh! This is a big hurdle for me, especially in my marriage. Hubster will testify! I often give-in to the temptation to “fix” the conflict or speak my mind when I should let the Lord do the convicting! See Isaiah 40:31 for more inspiration!

3. You tend to give yourself permission to “indulge” more than denying yourself.

This is one that I’ve really been convicted about and it relates to both number #1 and #2. I’ve come to the conclusion that any permission I give myself to do something unwise or decadent lowers my ability to resist the next time. I’m not going to be a legalist here, but I do want to err on the side of self-control.

3. You focus more on the negatives than thanking God in all circumstances.

I get snagged here way more than I would like to admit. It is a discipline that takes great intentionality, because …

[Tweet “It’s just so tempting to focus on the negative! Can I get an “amen”? #begrateful”]

But the apostle Paul gave us a no-exceptions challenge …

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!” ~Phil. 4:4

4. You don’t get serious about releasing persistent sins in your life.

I am trying more than ever this year to daily incorporate the practice outlined in Psalm 139:23-24. I will ask the Lord to examine if there is any offensive way in my heart and then endeavor to respond obediently to what He shows me. Often this feels more like a work-in-progress than something I can check off my spiritual “to-do” list, but I’m okay with that lack of closure. It is the stuff of life!


What about you?


Which of the habits listed above has been your sticking point?


How are you working on “releasing” in your life?


Linking up with – Mommy Moments, Weekend Whispers, Making Your Home SingMondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak,  Sharing His Beauty, Spiritual Sundays, Words with Winter, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Playdates with God


14 responses to “5 Signs of a ‘Grab-it Habit’”

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Oh, wow. This one hits hard, because what I’m being asked, by circumstance, to release is life itself. (The post that will go live for Wedded Wednesday this week will actually address this, and it’s already written!)

    The other things are areas to which I can’t speak now, because I’m pretty far into the black-and-white of survival…and the fight is not going well. So I hope I may address this from a somewhat different perspective?

    There are those, some quite close, who have said that it’s OK, that I should let go and let God carry me home.

    That may be them; that is not me. I intend to carry this fight into the face of that Last Enemy, and put a sharp stick into Death’s eye ere I fall. Not because I can win, except for awhile, but to set an example.

    If I have any legacy at all, I would prefer it to be an echo of that from “Lone Survivor” –

    You’re never out of the fight.

    And I won’t save the last bullet for myself; I have a bayonet, and there’s time for one last cold-steel charge.

    No surrender, and here, no release.



    1. I can totally see how this would hit you sideways, Andrew. And I suppose that raises the truth that sometimes we must “hold on” for all our worth. It’s just important to distinguish between what is good to hold on to and what is bad.

      Most of all, I’m so sorry to hear that things continue to go downward for you. I really just want to deny that reality for you. Please know how much your friendship has blessed me and enriched my blogging experience. And I’m going to join you in cheering you on to keep on fighting to the end, my friend! Prayers!


  2. I tend to lose steam on my resolve as I get sucked into the vortex of every day activity. You’ve given me some real hand-holds here, Beth. Thank you!


    1. Yes, that’s a good point, Michele. We can lose sight of what is most important by the day-to-day struggles we face. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me in this space, my friend!


  3. #1, oh yes, #1. I am a comfort zone junkie, for sure. Change is hard … and transition can be a killer. Yet who wants to sit still in the same place. Then we’d / I’d be complaining how boring life is …

    Courage, friend!



    1. If that’s true, then you’ve been swimming upstream, my friend–with all the changes you’ve gone through this past year! I don’t necessarily like change when I am comfortable, but I do like change overall. So that one must be especially tough for you, Linda. Your life certainly isn’t boring and I can’t wait to see how God uses you in your new neck-of-the-woods. Thanks for stopping by, girlie! Love your heart!


  4. Once I decide to change I don’t want to wait. And yes I justify my indulgence because it wasn’t an option until now. It seems I am a “normal” empty nester. But that has got to change. 🙂


    1. That’s great, Jayna, that you can make those necessary changes and move forward. You bring up an important nuance about empty-nesters–we have much more time and freedom on our hands to do whatever we want! It can be very tempting to live only for ourselves since we’ve been so busy raising our kids for so many years. But I bet you are like me and looking for that next big challenge that God has ahead for us. Can’t wait to dive in! Thanks for stopping by, my newfound friend!


  5. What a brave choice of words, Beth! I admire you for choosing release. I’ve been trying to clean up years’ worth of photos that I’ve shoved into boxes (yes, another project that we empty-nesters take on). I make a little pile each day of pictures that I can actually throw away (Christmas cards, people I hardly know, etc.), then immediately trash them so I can’t change my mind. It’s hard to release things! And that’s just physical things. Emotional and spiritual bad habits are sometimes much harder to let go of. Thanks for making me think about this….


  6. I can relate to this on so many levels. I understand a house full of stuff especially when my sons’ have moved out but left most of their things behind. #1 is spot in me! Staying in my comfort zone has always been how I operate. #2 also resonates because I am a “fixer” and want to have a solution. Every time you write, I find we have more and more things in common. This is a great list that I am going to need to do something about in my own life. Thank you!


  7. We have moved fairly often over the years so we get rid of stuff on a regular basis. It has to be something you keep doing. Being comfortable is too easy. Pushing past the normal taking courage that only comes from God.


  8. Negative Nelly…or Negative Nannette. That’s me 😦 I have been focusing on it lately and even in my post. I NEED to focus on it and overcome it, in Jesus’ name. Thanks for such a timely post, Beth!


  9. Great read. I definitely needed this reminder and have to admit that I, too, have a grab-it habit. This year I’m working on decluttering my life physically as well as mentally. Tweeting, pinning and stumbling this post. ❤


  10. Dear Beth

    Good post! I am quite good at #1 and #2, but #3, #3 and #4 are definitely me.

    I can beat myself up badly for my failings (2nd #3) and that can lead right to “indulging” myself (1st #3) to “make up” for it — like the parent who beats up their kid for misbehaving then buys them a present.

    Re #4 I fret about “releasing” in the right way without doing psychological damage … and that can all easily lead back to the 1st #3.

    “Oh LORD you have searched me and known me!” I do like Psalm 139. It kind of celebrates our exposure and transparency to God. (In fact I have ticked all three 24 verse Psalms 😉

    Your selection reminds me of Psalm 19 as well. Psalm 19 rejoices the perfect world God has created, and then the last three verses are a kind of reverse “et in Arcadia ego” — “let me be part of this perfect world you have created.”

    Best wishes



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