Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Fresh Starts and New Mercies: Doing Less Instead of More

20 Comments

Fresh Starts and New Mercies 5

Welcome to Fresh Starts and New Mercies! We have a line-up of beautiful women who will post on Tuesdays and Fridays to offer inspiration and practical ideas for starting a new year.

Because God has a fresh start in grace for each of us.

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It’s that time of year for making new resolutions. We hope to accomplish more, grow more, and BE more. This year, I’m going against the tide: instead of taking on more, I want to do less.

That’s right. I want to simplify my schedule and do less.

I want to do less because I want more of God. I want more room for Him in my life.

Doing Less Instead of More

When I get overloaded with commitments, joy and peace are the first things to go. And let me tell you, it’s not pretty. (Just as my husband and kids.)

Last fall I hit a crisis. I took on additional responsibilities when I was already busy with hands-on home school, including tutoring a brilliant dyslexic student and coaching a senior through college tests and applications. I had regular weekly ministry commitments, and my husband was gone 13 days.

When he returned, he found a basket case. He asked, “What happened to you? You’ve become so negative.”

I realized then I couldn’t do everything I’d been doing, and expect to be a joyful person who blesses others.

I needed to streamline my life and downsize my schedule.

Will you join me in doing less instead of more in 2015?

The world tells us that being busy makes us important. The more you do, the more you matter. Jesus has a different plan. He says this:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus offers us an exchange. We lay down our burdens and our busy calendars, and He offers us his easy yoke. Taking his yoke upon us means doing only the activities he calls us to. Sometimes it means doing less, so we can be more.

Practical Ways To Take the Easy Yoke:

1. Choose the “One Thing” First

Make time with God your first priority. Remember Martha in Luke 10? The many things she was worried about robbed her of focus to choose the one thing Mary chose: sitting and Jesus’ feet and listening to what He said.

2. Evaluate commitments

Pray over your activities. Are there things you’re doing more out of a sense of obligation than of calling? What could you eliminate? If you’re considering adding a new commitment, what can you cut out to make time for it?

3. Establish Routines

A few regular habits can eliminate guess work from your life and clear your mind of clutter. I’m working on a 4 step evening routine to get a jump start on my mornings.

4. Minimize Time-Wasters

Embracing limits on television and social media free up our minds and our time.

5. Leave Time Each day For Refueling

6. Learn to Say “No” Graciously

This year I want to do less because I want more of God, more of His Word, and more of His joy in my life. I want more time for my family and significant work that matters.

Now it’s your turn. What step can you take to do less this year?

Linking up with Brittany’s #FellowshipFridays and Barbie Swihart’s Weekend Brew.

 

 

 

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

20 thoughts on “Fresh Starts and New Mercies: Doing Less Instead of More

  1. This is great, Betsy. Totally my focus for 2015. Being … not doing. I did waaay too much last year. looking forward to these posts!

    • We must be on the same wavelength, Diane. I’ll write more on this in February, but the other bloggers in the Fresh Starts series will write on different topics! Stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. These are such great suggestions, Betsy. It’s so easy to get excited about doing something new. This year I want to BE something new. I want to focus on the important and let go of things that get in the way of being a blessing to God, my family, and everyone else. Thank you for this encouragement. What a great post to start the year!

  3. I’m with you, sweet friend. I want a less year rather than a more year. Now to hear the voice of the Lord to make good choices.
    Love and blessings to you. Happy New Year

  4. I love this post and what a great way to start this series, Betsy. I, too, completely lose my joy when I overcommit. I have to be intentional about finding quiet time by myself to recharge. Looking forward to hearing from others about all these other topics! Wonderful start to the New Year.

  5. I’m joining you this year of doing less. I want to do less and love more. My crazy to do list makes my too dizzy to love. Love is not having to do more. Love is being there and present. It’s being involved in the moment. I’m not sure how to do this without getting more busy. Your post helps me tremendously to prioritize my daily agenda. More later.

  6. It’s like you’re reading my mind! I hate being over committed for the exact reasons you state. The first things to go are my peace and my joy. When I come home from work, I want to be carefree, happy Mom and enjoy a little time with my kids. That can’t happen when I don’t get out of the office on time. The whole evening is shot because then dinner is late, I have no time for my kids, and I’ll be too tired to clean up afterward.

    My resolution to do less in 2015 is not to initiate any phone calls or allow any meetings one hour before time to get off work. In addition, I am going to pretend to myself that my work day ends half an hour early. I’ll start getting things prepared to leave at that time. Then no matter what delay or interruption happens, I can quickly “escape” on time.

    I managed to get off work no more than 10 minutes late since I started my resolution this week! I feel so much more relaxed and less frazzled!

  7. Besides spending time in the Word and in prayer, #3 and #4 are ones I need to focus my attention on this year. I want to remove all of the clutter from my life so that there is more room for Him to work in and through me. Blessings!

    • Blessings to you, Barbie, as you seek to develop life-giving routines. (That’s what I call them. Routine can have a negative connotation.) And may God give you wisdom on those “time waters.” I find limiting social media time difficult since I blog. It must be for you too! I guess routines on that would be good for me.

  8. More room for Him is exactly how we should focus. I have those verses from Matthew framed on my bedroom wall, a frequent reminder to turn to Him.

  9. I like the tips you shared. I hope it works out. Thank You.
    http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com/

  10. Betsy, my heart echoes these sentiments! As you know, my one word theme for this year is “simplify.” So, I very much look forward to joining you in doing less as we make room for more of God in our lives. 🙂

  11. I really need to do this this week. I really, really, really don’t want to. But I need to. Blech.

  12. Pingback: 3 Ways to Refuel When You’re Running on Empty | Faith Spilling Over... Into Everyday Life

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