My word this year is – simplify. Isn’t it great? To me it sounds refreshing and clean, and freeing; like that time you washed, dried, folded, and put away all the laundry in your whole house. Remember that? No? Me either, but I can imagine what that might feel like for about 7 seconds.
Where did this word come from? Well, it came from an online quiz I took at DaySpring.com. That sounds super lame. Stick with me…
Honestly, it came from so much more. For most of 2017 I spent a lot of time fussing over unimportant things, searching for just the right whatever – job, home decor, website template, writing journal, kid activities, vacation plans, etc…I made myself so incredibly busy that I circled faster than a fidget spinner on my 8-year-olds finger and pretty much just made myself dizzy in the process. Remember what it is like to spin and spin until you’re dizzy? You’re disoriented and groggy. You can’t see straight or focus on the past to get you from the spinning place to the safety of the couch nearby. You know what happens next. You’re so dizzy that you literally fall to the ground. And I did. Harder than I would have liked. This, my friends, is exactly where God wanted me to be, on the floor.
I spent the latter part of the year trying to un-spin. I knew I didn’t need to hear those lies anymore: “You’re not good enough to do this job?”, “This is not the outfit for you, chubby girl.”, “Your kids never want to spend time with you because you’re boring.”, “Your husband does not even think you’re attractive.”, “You are not a writer, you can’t even make time to write outside your head.”, “Why aren’t there more hours in the day? I can’t get ANYthing done!” Anybody been there? What I needed to do was ground myself in the reality of grace, throw a little on myself and push forward one small, simple step at a time. How the crap am I supposed to do that?
I started with something small. I cut out a volunteer activity from my life that I thought I could do without. It was crazy hard for me. I almost chickened out on at least 47 occasions. My husband was thrilled to see me let it go and continued to *cough cough* encourage me to just let it go. (Cue the Frozen music.) After some fuss about obedience to God (Because that’s hard for everyone, right? I can’t be alone.), I did and it felt peaceful and right. At first I thought, what else can I give up? And then the extrovert-control-freak real me showed up and said, “just pump the brakes, girlfriend, let’s see how this goes.” Shortly after, I found myself toying with the idea of picking up a new activity that sounded exciting. (There’s that extrovert we all know and love.) It was a Bible Study for crying out loud. Surely, I should say yes to that. Uhm, or not. I tackled this decision a little differently. I prayed about it. I searched scripture for a sticky note of direction…I looked for verses to give peace and direction.
I found one in Romans “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I had already felt God directing me to move to a new focus for sometime, and I talked a lot about doing it, but I just couldn’t find the time.
I know I can’t go back to the dizziness and busyness from before. I need to simplify. This is where I am, simply walking into 2018, focused and not dizzy. Ready to remove the clutter and simplify.