Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
In 2014 I want to throw off what hinders and the sin of clutter in my life. By that I mean inside and out. I want my mind uncluttered of worldly things so that I can focus on heavenly things. I want my home uncluttered so I can sit down and forget about it when I am studying, praying, and focusing on the Word. When someone asks how is it going, I want to respond something like great, but I find now that not only I but most everyone I ask that question responds with “busy”.
Why are we so busy? Good grief I am retired and as busy as when I worked, if not more than when I retired. One of my sisters even gave me a desk calendar for Christmas – the busy woman. She thought I needed it. Maybe that was an eye opener.
Cluttered homes, over-booked schedules, credit cards maxed out from Christmas, things that we buy to satisfy some deep hunger within, closets full of clothes we never wear, trinkets from all over we have collected and the list just goes on and on, although I have to admit I have tamed my shopping habits because I just don’t need more “stuff” in the house or things to wear, and I have never maxed out a credit card and pay them monthly but you get the picture.
So how do I simplify:
1. Simpifying my time – We all have 365 days a year and 24 hours in a day. I want to be mindful of what I am doing with my time. Am I really spending enough time first in prayer – on my knees. I want to be on my knees more in 2014, and I almost selected knees for my one word.
I want to do more de-cluttering so that my house is more clean and organized so I can feel comfortable when I am sitting here in my studies each morning. In Psalm 90:2 God says “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. Time marches on, and when you get my age you realize that your remaining days are getting smaller and smaller. I want to simplify, I want to set my priorities right. I want to be careful that I don’t get engrossed in things of the world, things where Satan will take me if I am not careful and he can divert me from what is important.
Simplifying my time will reflect what my priorities in life really are. It will reflect how I spend my energy, how I spend my money and how I spend my time.
2. Simplifying my faith. How do I simplify my faith. Faith is supposed to be simple. Even Jesus used a child as an example of faith in Matthew 18:2-3. Faith should make our lives simpler. We have to learn to trust God to handle our problems, learning not to worry and dwell on them.
3. Simplifying my beauty – To focus too much on how I look or too little on how I look is wrong. I want to focus on inner and outer beauty as God wants to see me. As I continue focusing on my eternal self, I believe other things will become simpler as I place all areas of my life in the loving hands of my Savior. Get my mind off of myself and dwell on whose I am. I need to spend more time exercising and more time planning menus and shopping to eat healthy.
“Nothing can be done except little by little.” – Charles Baudelaire
So how do I begin? Little by little.
1. I need one master list of things that need to get done around the house. Are you like me where you start on one project, walk in another room and the first thing you realize you have left one project for another finishing nothing? So this year I am keeping a master list. I have started it already and each day I will choose 3 items to accomplish and FINISH!
2. Meal Planning – I need to be more organized in my grocery shopping and meal planning along with running errands to the post office and other places while I am out. Here’s a blog with some tips and sample shopping lists I loved and have started using. https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/organization-to-peace-day-8-shopping-lists-and-menus/
3. Say No – Learn to say no and only do those things that I really feel led by God to take on.
4. Communications – Limit my time on the computer and TV even though that is sometimes difficult on the computer when you have Bible Studies ongoing, but there are ways to check in less and get off and not get side-tracked to other things. I also need to spend much time deleting emails and ending that clutter so I can find things. I will write down goals of what my email count will look like each day until I reach my goal each week.
5. Create a daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. If life interrupts go on to the next day when you can and don’t fret. It’s a schedule and it’s ok to get off for important things that come up.
6. Clean out my closet and chests. I don’t like to admit it but I have three closets in the house with my clothes and I have 6 chests that are my clothes. It is time to purge and get rid of those clothes I no longer wear.
7. Eat Slowly and Healthy – Eat slowly and enjoy my food and spend more time at the table with friends and family. Eating healthy is sure to save on doctor bills in the future.
SIMPLIFYING my home in 2014 I think will lead to more opportunities and time for ministry and family and ME!