It seemed like a good word to choose for 2017. After all, my life had become overrun with busyness, clutter, and commotion.
As I committed to this one word resolution, I immediately began to encounter obstacles.
In my quest for simplicity, I had uncovered complexity beyond what I could have imagined.
For instance, a couple days into 2017 we experienced an epic flooding of our kitchen. Our newly repaired dishwasher broke down and gushed water all over our kitchen floors. It seeped through the hardwood and drenched belongings in our basement.
This, to me, is not the definition of simplicity.
THIS was not what I signed up for!
When I chose the word “simplicity” I expected a year of organizational tasks.
I thought I would be cleaning and mastering the art of minimalism. I envisioned tidy closets and clutter-free drawers. Instead, I was thrown obstacles and challenges that rocked my world both inside and out.
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Yet in my battle against chaos, I encountered God in a big way.
He led me through storms and when I look back on the year, I can see how some issues actually helped me cope better with the bigger issues that followed.
This year I learned these essential lessons about simplicity:
- Simplicity is more than minimalism.
- It requires us to relinquish control.
- God wants us to trust Him rather than rely on our own plans and ideas.
- Simplicity encompasses all areas of our lives, from our schedules, to our health, to our finances… simplicity isn’t confined to cupboards.
I’m not saying this year was bad. In fact, of all years, this was the one where I think I made the most positive changes. For example:
- In 2017 I was told I was borderline diabetic and had high cholesterol. Within 3 months I lost 10 lbs and embraced healthier eating habits.
- After facing a couple financial curve balls, we finally saw the need for an emergency fund (and created a budget to build one).
- Through loss, sickness, and heartache, I saw the beauty of being in a Christian community. I have never felt God’s love through people like I have this year. The people of my church have loved on my family so much… it’s mind blowing!
- In simplifying our homeschool curriculum, I experienced the freedom to do more with (and for) my children and extended family.
- By doing less, I was able to be more present for my children.
- I learned the importance of self-care and how to find true rest.
WHAT WILL MY FOCUS BE FOR 2018?
As 2017 slammed against me with tidal waves of stress and anxiety, I naturally began to crave peace. So, I am committing 2018 to PEACE.
Peace is mentioned many times in the Bible. In fact, within minutes of deciding peace was my word of the year, I found this scripture:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (ESV)
Peace is also one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It seems like this is a cornerstone to the Christian character and something I need to strive for, especially considering I’m prone to anxiety.
MY PLAN FOR PEACE
I don’t want to overthink this part. lf anything, I’ve learned that we can’t always plan things because God’s lessons for us often come in surprising ways! However, here are a few things I hope to do to weave peace into my life during 2018:
- Continue with daily Bible study and prayer.
- Use my Spiritual Journal for Christian Women daily.
- Seek out and compile a list of scriptures about peace.
- Add peaceful times into my days.
While peace may not come in the way I hope or envision, I’m certain the Lord has plans for me to explore and find peace.
Do you have a one-word resolution? If so, I would love for you to tell me all about it!
“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”