There is always something refreshing to me about the whiteness of January.  It's a blank calendar page waiting for my notes on a new year.  It's a soft shade of light streaming in my windows, highlighting my newly bare shelves after all the Christmas decorations have been put away.  It's a chance to start fresh and to simplify.

It somehow makes me think back to all the things that were on my Christmas list and wonder why I thought I needed them, especially when I remember the pastor I met from Africa who was praying for a way to feed his children twice a day instead of just once.

It causes me to look at my dayplanner and ponder what is a true need and what is just something that will take me away from my children, the question growing more urgent when I remember how much their faces had changed in the Christmas photos this year compared to last.

It gives me reason to consider my checkbook to discern what it is I have considered treasure, for where my money is, there my heart is also.

And the words of the old spiritual find their way to my lips....

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus.

Simple ways to simplify:
  • clean out your closet (or your kids' closets),  fill up a box with donations, and take them to a shelter for battered women
  • make a list of your weekly obligations, pray over them, and listen to see if the Lord wants you to make some changes
  • cancel your cable subscription; pray and ask where the Lord wants you to spend that money instead
  • schedule a day to fast; when you complete it, schedule another one
  • set one time when you will check your social media sites, and resolve not to check them at any other time in the day
  • read The Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge, and remember why you fell in love with Jesus