Happy New Year! 2016 here we go! I hope you had a lovely New Year’s Eve celebration last night. Not wanting something fancy (read: not wanting to spend lots of money and then drive on roads with crazy people), Riley and I made dinner with his mom and sister, and then we all watched the ball drop together. We love time with his family, there are always so many laughs!
Now that it’s officially the new year, you can count on nearly every blogger posting long, wishful blog posts about new years resolutions. But not me. Why? Because, really, what we need is less, not more. We don’t need more things to do, more things to learn, more places to go, more pounds to lose. We don’t need the feelings of shame and guilt when we don’t wake up every morning at 5am for a one-hour quiet time with God. We don’t need to hate our bodies when we haven’t lost 40 pounds by June. We don’t need to spend money on books that we’ll never read. No, I can say with assurance–we don’t need more.
We need less.
Of course, I think reading and exercise and quiet times are all great things. I understand the heart behind resolutions: to better ourselves and our lives. That’s great, noble even. But here’s the truth that is lost in this pursuit: that in order to do a single thing to better ourselves, in order to implement a single change, we must first swing in the direction of less.
My un-resolution this year is simply to simplify. Perhaps you’d like to join me?
Maybe what you need is less busyness. Perhaps, then, it’s time to take a look at your commitments and cut out those that are no longer life-giving. If you’re looking for less noise–cancel your cable or Netflix or remove the TV from your bedroom. Maybe your home feels congested and cluttered and you need breath and space? Read this book, and then get to work. Do you need less stress in your life? Look at your job. Can you look for a new one? Is it finally time to take a stand? Do you need to kneel in prayer for the Lord to open a door for you? Are your finances tight and difficult? Maybe you need to stop keeping up with the Jones’ and live within your means instead. Are your “friends” people who, yeah, they deserve to be in quotation marks? Well, perhaps you should invest time in real friends without those four tick-marks instead, even if your social circle shrinks.
Our world will always, always, always scream MORE! MORE! MORE!
It will always yell for you to do more, be more, commit to more, spend more…it will always be more. But you can hear it, can’t you? That little whisper that reminds you that truly, you’d be better off with less.
So instead of stuffing unrealistic expectations into your already jam-packed-over-stuffed-too-full life, this year, what if you didn’t add one more thing? What if you decided that your “resolution” would just be to appreciate and simplify what you already have?
Because, friends, honestly? It will be in the middle of the simplification–in the saying no and cutting out and paring down–that you’ll find the time, space, and energy to do what you actually want to do. What you’re actually called to do. You will finally find time to be you and do what makes you come alive, I promise.
So get off the hamster wheel. Stop running. Stop spinning. Stop the madness. This world loves busy. Oh, the glorification of busy. But nowhere, ever, not one time, does God command us to be busy. Never. Productive? Yes. Obedient? Certainly. Busy? Never.
Here’s to a simply beautiful 2016.