It’s the New Year and I am feeling bombarded with the need to get my life organized. It’s time to declutter my house, set a schedule and tackle my “to do” list. Every store, magazine, blog and product seems to create a solution for how I can accomplish organization and balance in my life.
When you start digging into the barrage of information thrown at you, it’s easy to see that everything is telling you the same thing. niNe. magazine is guilty of this too: Keep what you like, Throw Away what can no longer be used, Donate or Recycle what you know longer want. The same goes with your schedule and “To Do” list: Keep what you like and wat to do, stop or don’t do what doesn’t benefit you and hand off tasks to other people that you don’t want anymore. This is a good approach, obviously, otherwise the ideas would have changed by now. That’s the problem though, we haven’t come up with anything new and every year, we all dig into the same routine: keep, throw out, pass along to someone else.
We always need to organize our lives after the holidays when we’ve received a ton of gifts and we’ve stuffed our schedules silly. But, what can we do to avoid this disheartening cycle? Perhaps, we need to consume less.
Now, it would be disrespectful and ridiculous to take all our presents back, but we can certainly change our mindset throughout the year. Rather than gather items all year long, perhaps we need to be more discerning about what we purchase and why. Instead of spending our money on things that just create more clutter, we need to spend our money on things that bring us joy or better yet, bring us the joy of the Lord. The Lord calls us to live a simple life.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:12, “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” Living a simple life means not filling our space with unnecessary stuff. It means being at peace with our talents and what we’re able to do. To live simply means not to rush from one event to the next, but rather trust in the Lord and let Him guide you. Living simple means being responsible for what the Lord has called you to do and following through with your responsibility. It means relying on Him and making time with Him a priority. This means living life for Him and doing everything to honor Him. Yes, even doing your homework or washing the dishes can bring you and the Lord joy if you are doing your best and doing it unto Him.
To live simply means we aren’t trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” It means we aren’t seeking worldly possessions. We aren’t filling our time with unnecessary things just to feel busy. It means we aren’t finding or defining our worth through our possessions, our activities or our accomplishments. But, it also means that we aren’t supposed to live without. We are supposed to have a house, fashionable clothes, money, activities, talents, friends, food, etc. God has blessed us with all of this and He wants us to enjoy His blessings. We just don’t need to overindulge.
If we commit to living a simple life, then neither our closet nor our calendar will need to be decluttered. We won’t need to throw anything away because we will be utilizing everything we have for God’s glory. We won’t need to give used things to charity because we’ll be donating our unspent money and time to actually make a difference in someone’s life. It’s nice to donate our used stuff to those who are less fortunate, but there are other resources for them that could actually be more beneficial. If we spend time at the beginning of the year seeking God’s vision for our year, rather than sorting through the past, then we will be able to make incredible plans which will thrust us into a great year.
This is our organization challenge this year. Take every new moment, purchase, item and opportunity and give it to the Lord. What does He want you to do with it? Will it bless Him and you? If we can bring this process to our attention just once a day, overtime our intention will increase and we will have a very satisfying life. Soon, people will take note of how calm, balanced and organized your life is without having to go through the yearly “sort out” tradition.
Since we are following up the Christmas season when we do receive massive amounts of gifts, create a Christmas list. Then you will create a way to inform loved ones of your desires and you will receive things that you really want or need, therefore they will be used. Maintain your focus on what God wants you to have. You may be surprised by how much more He blesses you when your focus and intention is on Him rather than on stuff.
Take on this challenge and let the Lord delight you throughout the year, not just leading up to Christmas forcing you to decompress right after. This is another way to let His birth impact your life all the time, not just when we celebrate His coming.