I started the journey of decluttering shortly before Christmas. For many people, the holiday season is one giant rush and the true meaning of Christmas gets lost in the frenetic pace. Something happened to me during that time of decluttering my life. I couldn’t put it into words right away, but I felt a profound shift. I wasn’t stressed and overwhelmed. I moved more slowly, my calendar wasn’t overbooked and my life was calm. I wanted more of that.
December passed but the sign by my front door remained. One simple word on a single piece of wood. “Simplify.” It was no accident when Joshua Becker’s book, Simplify: Seven Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life, showed up on my suggested reading list. I couldn’t get enough. The word simplify echoed and soon became my mantra as I started the New Year. I wanted to simplify, declutter and embrace Sabbath rest.
Now some of you might think since I am semi-retired, that a simple life might come easily to me. That’s not necessarily true. Daily life demands, my writing world, my spiritual direction practice, doctor’s appointments, grandkids, visiting sick friends and relatives, church life, hosting Bible studies in our home. Well, you get the point. It adds up and soon—I’m back at the frenetic pace. I have more space to breathe as I declutter. I have more internal rest. The delightful bonus is a Facebook group of friends who want to live a simple or minimalist lifestyle. I’m learning much from their experience as I tentatively ask about decluttering and living simply. My desire to shop has decreased and my time with God has increased.
A few years ago, I was an associate with the Sisters of Mercy. I will always remember a wonderful Sister who told me she was a Kindergarten teacher. She said, “I moved so fast all day, I found myself running in circles.” Then she taught us the heel-toe way of life. She taught us how to be actively contemplative and contemplatively active. (You may want to read that line again.)
I hope to continue on the heel-toe journey. I look forward to creating more space in all areas of my life. (Although I will admit that I’m procrastinating on decluttering my bookshelf.) I like this new way of life and I especially enjoy having more time with God.
What about you? Have you ever fasted from FAST? You might want to try it. You never know how it might change your life.