When you realize you have begun to muscle your way through life, it is time to simplify.

Time to slow and breathe. 

Photo credit: Alex @ unsplash.com

Dearest Readers,

I hope your holidays were beautiful and restful, filled with laughter, love, and family. I thought of you many times. It has been days since I have come to the page, and yet my journal is near full of words, words spoken in the Secret Place. There has been much pruning in my heart these past weeks.

The simple truth is this; I over-committed, left good work undone, ignored deadlines, spent time curled under a blanket in the corner of my sofa, gasping for breath. I was suffocating under the weight of it all.

I wonder if you can relate? We take on too many things, good and godly things; we are left smothered of our best selves. Our best offerings, before and for the Lord, mangled in our hearts lie buried underneath our desires. I know these symptoms well. I think you may as well.

We shake with reverent laughter at the story of Mary and Martha, claim the overdoing as serving.

 While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.’

The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,  but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42 (CSB)

When we are distracted by many things, we find ourselves not finishing anything. We find ourselves gasping for breath and longing for a simpler life. We miss God.

When P.O.T.S. claimed my former life, the first thing I did was simplify. My life depended on this. It was and is the only way to live my story well, to serve the Lord well, to serve you well. There was no other option, and I had gone and filled my days to overflowing, AGAIN, depleting my soul. I felt as if I was smothering.

In all of my times of claiming a word for the year, this year found me empty. I prayed for a word, the word. A word God meant to work in and through my heart and life. I sat in the darkness, pen in hand, scratching words while nothing came to me.

Psalm 147:10 & 11 jumped at me in my daily reading:

“He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The Lord values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

We want to muscle our way through and before you know it we have lost our strength. The thing is, we are not meant to nor do we have to. I recognized the whisper in my soul, the word, “Simplify.” When my life is simplified, I do not need to muscle my way through it, exhausting my strength.

As I begin 2018, I am back where I was five years ago, not physically, but spiritually. 2018 is my year to simplify. Simplify commitments and my space, choose wisely, sit at Jesus’ feet. More of Him and less of me.

The reality is this: our goal is for there to be more of Him and less of us.

“Simplifying your life invites you to start peeling back the layers of excess, outside and in.”

Courtney Carver from Soulful Simplicity

Gifts of Grace

In case you missed The Upside Down Advent you can find them here:

Knowing Before the Seeing

The Waiting: Looking Forward

The Long Journey: What Must Mary Be Thinking

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.