Simplifying my life in the “Year of Joy”

New Mexico between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft

New Mexico between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft

Happy 2016!  Okay, okay, so I’m almost two months late.  My whirlwind season is still going on – but I’ve been growing through it.  I’ve been told by many prophetic people that this year is to be a year of joy.

During the past six months, I’ve spent precious time with my frail parents, sister, 18 month old niece, stepson and his family, and so much more.  The picture above shows the New Mexico desert where we visited family. It was the quiet time within a busy season (sometimes the desert is like that).  During this time, I’ve also been part of huge outreaches where there weren’t enough people doing the administration (the outreaches went well, I’m still tired).  And one of my churches has become a mobile church that moves from place to place (Kingdom Culture meets mostly in Ottawa’s Carleton University, but sometimes in Lansdowne Park (Horticulture Building).

My husband Tony is also retiring from his full time job as a financial planner today.  This was his third career, so he’s been through this transition before.  We also bought a condo in another area of Ottawa, and are slowly moving in things from our very crowded home.  That kind of transition can be scary.  How do you downsize well?  Is it really all about living a simple life?  I believe simplicity is an excellent virtue – and it’s something I’ve been drawn to, despite my life of collecting books and many other resources.

So this is a time to take stock on what is important. What is essential?  Our Faith. Our families and relationships. An ability to express who you are. What can we live without?  That seems to be a process that I’m learning. I’ve been working on downsizing a little bit at a time before we were even given a good condo offer.  Yet now that there is a tight timeframe ahead, it is more and more urgent.  So far I’ve given away boxes of books – many of them excellent – to Love Ottawa/One Way Ministries.  They hold a sale of Christian books every spring as a ministry fundraiser.  Excellent timing – thank you, Love Ottawa.

How do we also simplify our lives in our schedules?  I’ve been challenged by a therapist to consider what to drop from my life so that I have more room to be creative.  Creativity gives me energy, since I was born to be creative. My faith also gives me energy.  These are good things.  So how do we get through massive amounts of work within a short time frame?  A goal.  But is the goal enough? It can be, but personally, I need that time to be creative.  Thankfully, I will be given my own creative cave – studio in the condo.  I’ve not had that for my entire married life.  For that I am incredibly thankful.  I can have a ‘container’ to create space for creativity.  And in that place, I can also envision more that brings me joy.  A place to seek God without interruption (yay!).

I pray that you also receive a quiet place, a sanctuary so to speak, in your own homes, and lives. A place to be uniquely you, with God and yourself.  A place to dream and to grow in quiet joy as you soak in the love of the Holy Spirit.

More to come in the next post – I have an incredible announcement! (I have not forgotten more “Ways to Grow” articles – to write and post in future.  It’s just that sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way).

Much love and blessings to you in Christ

Laurie-Ann

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