I don't know what it is about every New Year, but I find myself compelled to declutter, downsize, and organize my home each January.
When I dismantled the Christmas tree the other day and put away all the other household holiday decor, it appeared as if my rooms grew to twice their holiday sizes. The walls, tabletops, and furniture looked stark and sterile. I actually liked the streamlined look, to be honest. Simple. Easy. Clean (and easy to keep clean). The same efforts can be made in many other areas of our lives. Maybe the new year is a good time to reorganize things like our time usage and weekly schedules. Perhaps I need to rise earlier and shift my waking hours earlier. Could I better consolidate my weekly food shopping, banking, and other errands? Possibly my financial budget needs some tweaking too. Are there areas in which I just don't need to spend as much as I have in the past? Restaurant meals have always sapped a good chunk of our extra bucks.
Perhaps my acquisition of new material items can be minimized. I recently heard of a 2018 challenge group in which the participants will buy no new clothing, shoes, purses, or jewelry and accessories in this entire year. And furthermore, how can I continue my quest to give away much of what I have that is excess? What are my "cigarettes and booze" items, those items I freely allow myself to purchase? I'm not a smoker or drinker, so for me, it's books. I allow myself to spend plenty of money on that beloved habit/hobby of mine. Maybe I need to finish reading my entire pile before I order one more book.
I've been studying through the book of Jeremiah for the last month or so, and today I came across a verse that nearly leaped off the page and into my heart and mind.
" ... for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?" declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:21)
No matter how much we declutter, organize, or minimize in this brand new year, let's keep the main thing the main thing: staying close to Jesus. He's earnestly looking for those of us who yearn to deepen our relationship with Him with every passing day. Let's start and end our days by spending quality time with Him in prayer and in His Word. That's a sure bet to keep our lives in the proper order. In this new year, go ahead. Organize, sort, declutter, minimize, and re-organize to your heart's desire. Just please, stay close to Him. He's looking for those who will.