I Need One Thing, Simplicity

Christa Hutchins, project manager extraordinaire from Do A New Thing, joins us on the blog today to help us get the new year started off by asking us a simple question:
What do you want for the new year?
Whether we call it goal setting, planning, vision casting or just plain dreaming, the beginning of a new year always finds us thinking about things we want.

There are a lot of things I want for my life, and work, in this new year.
  • I want to be present for my family and encourage them in their relationship with Christ.
  • I want to be part of my church community as we connect, grow, serve, and go together to make disciples.
  • I want to help women find clarity, focus and confidence in their online ministries and businesses through my coaching and services.
  • And I want all of us to do new things that expand our reach to proclaim the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
But what do I NEED in this year? Other than, of course, the favor and presence of God alongside me, I need one thing. I need simplicity.

It's all gotten too complicated for me. That became crystal clear once when I took the week off of work.

See, I've always assumed things seem complicated because I don't have enough time. I thought if I didn't have to go to work, I could get everything done, plus take on more. But even with a whole week off, most of it to myself, I still had a long list of un-done things.

So the problem is not too little time. It's too many things. Or things that take too long.
As I went looking for a scripture to inspire me towards simplicity, something interesting came to light.

The Greek word translated as "simplicity" in this verse:
“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.” 2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV)

is also translated as "liberality" in this verse:
“Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all.” 2 Corinthians. 9:13 (NASB)

If simplicity means "less" and liberality means "more", how can that be? The answer lies in this verse, where the same word is translated "sincerity."

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” Colossians 3:22 (NIV)

For me, simplicity means living with sincerity of heart ... with integrity. It means giving liberally of my gifts, but not complicating things by trying to be something I am not.


In this new year, we can embrace simplicity in three ways.

Focus On Our Passions

With the pressure we face as women today to do all the things, we are constantly spinning the plates to be everything to everyone … Supermom, high-capacity employee, faithful volunteer, Insta-perfect home decorator, Pinterest-worthy party planner … the list goes on.

How many of these things do we really care about? How many do we grudgingly allow to complicate our lives and keep us busy without making anything better?

This year, let’s focus on what we’re passionate about ... the places that God has specifically gifted and called us to spend our energy. And put aside the ones that are ill-fitting and distract us from the parts that really light us up.

Put Our Money Where It Works

As I looked back over the past year, I found that I spent a lot of money on things that I never used, or that just gave me more to do. I'm guessing the same happened to you. Memberships, subscriptions, fancy kitchen tools (I’m looking at you, fancy espresso machine!).

In some twisted mental gymnastics, we think spending money on something will motivate us to make time to use it. But in reality, it only adds to the stress and feeling of inadequacy as it sits there mocking our inability to create time where it doesn't exist.

I’m giving you permission to cancel any ongoing expenses for things you don’t use. Take the $39 per month subscription box that just clutters your countertop and use it to hire a mother’s helper to watch the kids while you work on that project you never had time to complete.

Boss Our Time Around

I'm tired of time ruling me. My decisions are made more based on what I have time for and what I don't, than on what I'm passionate about and what God has called me to do. I want to tell my time what to do instead of it telling me.

We often spend our time doing the things people ... "experts" ... tell us we must do. We aren't doing it with sincerity of heart and we suspect it is not giving us the results we expect. We need to be more analytical to understand what is working and what is not. It's not about letting results drive our behavior, but about listening to what the results tell us about our-selves, and then investing our time where it really matters.

If we are doing what really matters, we'll be more effective, satisfied and impactful.
Sounds simple, right?

Blessings Soul Friends, 

Christa

Diving Deeper

Consider how you can incorporate Christa's message above beginning with answering these questions.
1. What are you passionate about? What gifting has God given you?
2. Consider your monthly expenses, is there anything you are spending money on which is not being used? Can this expense be eliminated?
3. Make note of where your time gets spent then consider how this sets priorities. Do you need to make adjustments?

Resources

The Move Forward Line-A-Day Journal
The idea of journaling is appealing. Processing our thoughts, recording the important events of our lives, looking back to see our journey of growth.
If you've ever said: I don't have time to sit down and journal every day or I don’t have enough words to fill those big blank pages, but you want the benefits of journaling, I've got you covered.
Available at: DoANewThing.com/journal/
CHRISTA HUTCHINS  equips busy communicators and leaders with project management and problem solving skills so they can turn their big ideas into a successful ministry or business. She is passionate about teaching women to find practical application of the Bible in their personal, professional and ministry lives. Christa lives in south Louisiana with her husband in their delightfully empty nest. Visit her at www.doanewthing.com.

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