About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. Melissa,
    I was brought up in a home where self-sufficiency was a virtue. Needless to say it took God awhile to undo that deeply held notion. He’s still at it. When I am totally self-sufficient I bring no glory to God…only to myself, but when I earnestly depend and rely on Him…going to Him for my strength and my ability to persevere, then the glory goes to Him. In shifting the glory away from myself and onto Him it is what He wants, but relying and depending on Him is what my soul deeply needs. In it I find freedom. Great reminder this am!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Thank you Bev, it is true, we need to depend on Him and that will bring glory to Him. It’s so easy to take it all on our shoulders. SO much freedom when we let go and just do things God’s way!

  2. What a beautiful reminder of how to rejoice in our sufferings and boast in our weaknesses by claiming His strength. Thank you so much for this reminder that He longs to help us and meet us right where we are, without expectations for how we are going to “get it right” or fix ourselves.

    • Amen, that is the goal, to rejoice that we cannot do it all!! What a blessing to rest in the fact that He can be the strength we need.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes….thank you for the beautiful reminder. In my effort to be so self sufficient in raising and supporting two children on my own, I often isolate myself. We can so easily lose our sense of dependency on God and on others, and then finding ourselves suddenly very alone. Thank you again….time to embrace a beautiful day WITH God and others. Warm hugs and smiles….

    • Hugs back to you, Becca! You are a strong and brave mama to raise those children. Praise God that He will carry you through this journey so you are not alone. xo

  4. I actually have difficulty with being self sufficient. I tend to want to hand everything over to somebody else, or people intervene because they know a better way to do things. Then I am doubly frustrated. Right now I am struggling with trying to determine if I am unhappy in my current job because Of living in a double bind, or if it is just my mindset and I need to change it.

    • Lack of self-sufficiency, that can be an issue, too, can’t it? We need to find that confidence to make choices for ourselves that align with our principles, goals and belief in God. He can give us the courage to make those hard choices and to say no to people who want to sway us or confuse us along the way.

  5. I have this little mantra that I repeat over and over in my head when I am doing “hard things.” When I first started repeating, “if it’s to be,it’s up to me!” it seemed a bit noble and selfless. However, as I have evolved and grown, I now know that it is a bit arrogant and clearly edges God out of the picture. As my children have grown, I have realized the danger of me handling what they ought to be handling. It results in arrested development. So, now I make a conscious effort to expect help, to build my children into the process. Getting ready for a birthday party used to be the worst example of my martyrdom. I come from a big family, so even the simplest event involves about 35 to 40 people. So, with my mantra “if it’s to be it’s up to me!” looping in my head I would do ever last bit of the work. I would cut the lawn, vacuum the pool, bake the cake, paint the banner, wrap the presents, blow up the balloons…it all carried my DNA. But it lacked joy for me…a connection for my husband…and usually resulted in me being sick the following week. But the Lord has been working me out…showing me how and why I need to be more reliant on others…but mostly on him. My overreaching selflessness had very little to do with my work ethic and more to do with fear. I felt like if I did my part, nothing would go wrong. If I produced what was close to perfection, then all would be well. But God sent me both big and little challenges that have taught me that it is the process that has the true value…not the product. He has shown me that there are deep connections that can be made standing side by side in the kitchen with my son peeling potatoes. He has shown me that there is pride that perches on everyone’s shoulder at the Thanksgiving table who has pitched in to prepare the meal. He has shown me that my husband wants and needs to be able to do things for me, it actually makes him feel good. So in my attempt to be selfless…I was actually holding back joy…not just for me…but for everyone. So now, when people get up on Thanksgiving morning there is a list hanging in the kitchen reflecting our team effort. We work together…sharing the load…trusting that God values the process more than the product. Understanding finally that our family needs to carry the DNA of all of us…not just the one who wears the crown of a martyr. I know God saw me all those years ago pushing everyone’s rock up a mountain and knew He needed to show me a better way. Every little trial He sent me led me to where I am today. I have a new favorite saying, not necessarily a new mantra, but a better way of being, “Together we are better!” I believe that, I didn’t know that ten years ago, but the Lord cracked me open…and for that I am so grateful. My old mantra left me battered and isolated…this new understanding energizes me and leaves me with energy to actually share in the fun. I no longer wear the crown of a martyr, but instead a ball cap that says TRUST. Trust in myself, in others, but mostly in a God who wants to bless me abundantly and will stand alongside me in any circumstance…working it for good.

    • I love your new way of being, and your journey. So inspiring to see how far you’ve come in resting in Him and letting others be a part of the process. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Hi Melissa, I too, can be self-sufficient. Especially the part about not being a burden to others. But it goes deeper than that, especially when faced with a really hard situation, that God has shown me that dependence needs to be on Him rather than on others or on myself. I don’t feel capable of handling it all on my own, but I trust Him. He keeps showing me that He is safe to trust.

  7. Melissa,
    Wow this was really awakening, thank-you. I have changed with time.There is still lot’s of things either I want to try and do myself to prove (to myself) that I can or because I like to. In other things I totally depend on (my husband). After losing my Parents I became more aware of the things I depended on them for. (Hopefully they knew). Since then I know I’ve become more dependent on our Father and I’m truly grateful for Him. Although I thought I was pretty self sufficient there is no way I can take full credit for most of what I do or can do. For me it is a Team effort with lot’s of players.

    Penny

    • Amen, yes, we are all a part of the body of Christ and none of us were meant to go it alone. We need each other and we need to trust God that He is in control of it all.

  8. Melissa, I completely “get” this post, and the mindset. 🙂 I’ve spent years trying to learn how to live a life depending on God. I was praised for my self-sufficiency, and to be honest, I like being in control of my own life. God’s made me a capable woman. At times I feel the need to prove I can do whatever is tossed my way. But, what God wants is for me to choose humility rather than control. To choose dependence on Him rather than toughing it out on my own. It’s such a challenge to choose dependence sometimes. But, when I do, there’s a sense of rest that replaces that drive to strive for proving myself. I’m learning to choose rest more often these days. 🙂

    Great truth here today!

    • Yes, I love that you describe experiencing a sense of rest when we choose humility and trust rather than control! That is very true! Thank you, Jeanne.

  9. I’m so glad to have found this site. God is speaking to me through it. I’ve been feeling so alone and abandoned in my self sufficiency and illness. Thank you for lifting me up.

  10. Melissa,
    Great post! Self sufficiency robs other people of joy! Not only are you leaving God out of the picture, but others who want to feel useful and can lend a hand. We get a sense of joy from helping a fellow Christian. I also understand that as women we tend to want to prove ourselves to the world that we can do it all!!! God doesn’t ask us to do it all, just do our best and leave the rest to Him and others He puts in your path!
    Blessings 🙂