Freedom in Simplicity

The MOPS theme for next year is Free Indeed. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working my way through the leadership guide as we begin preparations for next year’s group. I think it’s going to be a really awesome year, and while I was working through one of the devotions about freedom, something that I should have known all along suddenly hit me: Freedom comes from listening to and following the guiding of the Holy Spirit. I read verses like Isaiah 40:31:

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

…and think “awesome, I will have super human strength and be able to do everything …in Jesus’ name!” But that is not at all what that means. It’s not about being able to do everything…if you’ve been around here for very long, you know I’m not a big fan of the “do it all!” mindset (although that doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with it). Instead, Freedom comes from being discerning enough to do only the things that He has called us to do.

It is SO easy for me to fill my plate with “yeses,” but I have slowly learned that a full plate does not make me a very content person. It makes me tired, stressed, and forgetful. I always go back to my very wise friend who stopped attending the young adults group at church because she looked at her schedule and realized every day was filled with some sort of commitment—good commitments, but commitments none the less, which left absolutely no time for those spur of the moment ministry opportunities.

Minimalism is all the rage right now, and I am in full support of filling our homes with less stuff—but I also feel like we need to inventory our calendars and to-do lists and cut out the unnecessary clutter in these areas as well. The last couple months have only re-iterated this point in my own life, as all of the components of moving filled my brain and my to do list, leaving little time for much else. I missed seeing friends, I missed having a set meal plan each week, I missed feeling like my head was above the water. I’m looking forward to getting back to the freedom of a clear head and the ability to listen to where God is guiding me.

The hard part about all of this is that you don’t know how glorious it can be until you make the leap into freedom. That’s how I felt when I left my job. I knew it was what God was calling me to do, but I was still terrified. I know some very very busy people who I am sure look at my life and think “wow she is really lazy.” I just tell myself 1) It’s not about what they think, and 2) they don’t know what they are missing!

While we strive to find freedom in this area, we are cutting back on some of our commitments, but I am still finding ways to be involved (hence the spot on the MOPS leadership team). I am choosing opportunities that won’t involve too much time away from my family, things that will help me grow, and things that don’t require regular commitments outside of things I am already doing. Having some of these criteria in place helps me to filter through the opportunities that come my way so I can give my best “yes.”

Where are you on the journey to freedom?

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