It's a new year. Many of us have made resolutions to change something about ourselves. And many companies are using the slogan, "A New Year. A New You." Yesterday, my pastor used this slogan as the main point in his sermon.
I've always been the type of person that needs a reset or a clear place to start fresh. I think this is one of the reasons that I enjoyed teaching so much. There was constantly a point for me to finish something up, either the year or the semester, and then take the lessons I'd learned and apply them to a new season. It's just easier to start over or do better when I have (even a false sense) of a clean slate.
But yesterday, during his sermon, my pastor made the point that really the only way we can start new is with Christ. And I know that he is right. That's why choosing to focus on simplicity and intention in 2016 is so important to me.
I've always been one to easily fall into the comparison trap. I have based my worth on my stuff and accomplishments...on how the world sees me. But you know what? That doesn't really matter. I was reading Anything by Jennie Allen and she makes the point that, "If we believe this life is temporary, that belief alone changes how we live it." Now, I don't pretend that this is a brand new concept to me. I've grown up in the church. I've been told my whole life that God doesn't care about my status here on Earth. And I'm not going to pretend that I'm all of a sudden no longer interested in things that this world has to offer. I will have to die daily to this aspect of my life. Even Jennie makes the point that while we are not of this world, there are still things in this world we will have to do like pay bills and feed our families. And I don't think that God is mad at you because you finally saved up and bought that pair of Hunter wellies you wanted.
I do believe that God is disappointed when we let ourselves feel worth less when comparing ourselves to others or when we feel discontent with the blessings He has given us after we put our lives next to someone else's. Unfortunately, I find myself in these situations often. I'm not proud of it, and I want to change it. Again, I've had no life altering epiphany. Changing this about myself will not be an overnight change, but a process.
In order to make some changes in my heart, I need to make some changes to my physical space as well, so the month of January is going to be all about simplifying my physical space. I plan to declutter every room and closet in my house. It is also my goal to buy nothing this month above what we need for groceries and personal care. I don't want to bring anything new in until I have the old out. I'm going to be making a list of items I want to purchase later to optimize organization in each area (like bins and sorting containers) as well as items needed for projects in each room. Then in February, I'll start tackling different items on the list. Having less STUFF to care for will allow me to have time to study devotions, learn Italian, read more and spend more time with my family.
I'm also taking the month off of Instagram. Instagram is by far my favorite social media, but I can lose serious time scrolling through all of the amazing feeds. I also find that Instagram, above any other social media, is a gateway for me into the comparison trap. I follow some seriously talented bloggers, and it's easy to feel less significant when comparing myself to them.
I'm hoping that clearing my home of unwanted and unnecessary items will allow me the space to create a home I love and am proud of in the upcoming year. Taking time away from Instagram will also help me to be authentic in my choices instead of trying to keep up or copy another's look or life.
Do you want to take on the challenge of decluttering your home with me this month? Maybe you have something else you're focusing on? I'd love to hear what it is! Leave me a note in the comments so I can cheer you on!
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