My One Word

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Photo by Agence Producteurs Locaux Damien Kühn on Unsplash

It’s that time of year again.  A time when many of us make resolutions with every intention of keeping them and then break them just a few days into the new year.  I go between making resolutions and choosing a word to shape my year around.  When I make resolutions, I try to use Luke 2:52 as a template.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

I’ve found that this verse, in particular, gives me a holistic look at life: Mental, physical, relational, and spiritual.  After all, life is all about finding balance.

But this year I’m choosing a word.  A single word that I want to guide my everyday activities.  And that word is: “SIMPLIFY”

About a year and a half ago, my small group at seminary read a book by Richard Foster titled “Freedom of Simplicity.”  What I took from it is that I am so caught up in the world around me that I don’t take time to understand why I do the things I do.  Why I buy the things I buy.  Why I want the things I want.  But most importantly, why simplifying my life can free up resources that can be used to help those in need around me.

I have yet to really put this into practice.

Why?

Because it’s overwhelming.

But I’ve got news for you.  It’s also overwhelming to look at all of the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years and realize that I’m tied down by it.  And being tied down by it means that I have less freedom than I would like.

I’m studying to be a pastor.  I have no idea where I’ll be working after I graduate.  What if it’s in a big city where our living arrangements don’t provide us with storage for days?  What then?  What if it’s overseas and we can’t take our stuff with us?  What then?

Besides that, do the two of us really need 2,000+ square feet of space?  Let’s not even get started talking about how we’ve been in the house for 9 months and still have stuff that is packed.

So, it’s time for me to simplify.  And that goes for everything.  Stuff, tasks, food, leisure, and then some.  It’s time for me to start thinking about the whys and not just the whats.  I anticipate the whys will force me to make some difficult decisions.

Some areas for simplification:

  1. Remaining boxes for moves
  2. Clothing
  3. Books (this one’s gonna hurt)
  4. Records
  5. Kitchen items
  6. Diet
  7. Entertainment
  8. New Purchases

At any point in the process:

  • I’m going to make some mistakes.
  • I’m going to drag my feet.
  • I’m going to throw tantrums.
  • I’m going to feel vulnerable.

And that’s all ok.  Change is hard.  Change is painful.  But most change is worth it.

Throughout this year, I’ll be seeking out documentaries that cover this process, journaling my progress, and taking pictures of before and after.  When I’m able (school starts in two weeks), I’ll share this information in the hopes that it will give you the courage to simplify your life.

We can do it.  Together.

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