Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rest, Renewal, and Reduction for 2017

I don’t know about you but I’m glad to see 2016 fade into the distance. I’m facing the coming year with a renewed sense of God’s presence and I’m at peace with much in my life, though a work in progress for sure. He has been faithful to bring healing to broken places I’ve carried since childhood.

I don’t normally make resolutions, but sometimes pick a word for the year. As I was looking at the books I received for Christmas, a theme emerged, one of rest, renewal, and reduction. My reading journal for the past year reflected books centered around these topics as well.

When I speak of rest, I’m not only referring to the Sunday afternoon kind of rest. I want to live an unhurried kind of lifestyle that allows me to find rest in God for my every need. I want to know complete peace when I lay my head on the pillow, no tossing and turning from carrying my own burdens. Jesus offers rest down by the water and I plan to take Him up on His offer.

I love pretty things. I love decorating my home, making it cozy and comfortable. Going through counseling over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I have a difficult time letting go of things. It’s deeply rooted in childhood trauma. I’m not a hoarder, but I could be. My family of origin was too neat and practical. My solution is I don’t buy much. I’m learning how to reduce clutter so I can live a more productive life. More things equals more time to manage all those things and less for real living...reading a good book out on your back porch, or taking a walk. Going out to dinner with family or friends, or strolling through an antique store at your leisure. 

Every turn of the calendar on December 31st gives an opportunity for renewal, that day we begin again, reset goals, thought processes, inner voices, however you choose to name it. If you’re blessed and breathing, you get a do-over.

Scripture speaks a lot of renewal. It begins in the mind. Aligning my thoughts with His thoughts will begin the renewal process. I’m asking God to renew my mind through His Spirit. He says if I ask and seek Him, I will find Him. In His presence I find peace, because He is Peace, and He will never lead me in the wrong direction. 

There’s a fourth “R” after Rest, Reduce, Renewal…well kind of…Writing. I want to write about my progress in each of these areas. Writing helps keep me on track. I don’t know how I’m doing until I’ve processed it through the written word. My thoughts are a swirly mess in my brain until I journal what I'm thinking. When I write, it either sounds silly and I discard the thought, or it makes perfect sense and I explore how I can weave it into the fabric of my everyday life.

What are your plans for 2017? Do you choose a word, make resolutions, or set goals for yourself?

How do you sort through your dreams and goals for your life? Do you journal like me, or do you need to talk it out with another person?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. You know, this really made me think. This year was the first year in a long time, that I decided to make a resolution. I decided to make a couple of goals with God and myself, but, to sort them out? I'm not sure. Your post today really made me think on what I could do, not just for me, but my girls to keep myself accountable for my goals, and theirs. Thank you! I think I've got a few ideas on what I need to do to set an example for my children and start them on a path that I was never shown as a child. You are an inspiration!

    1. Thank you Bobbie for your encouraging words! I didn't used to pick a word, and I don't every year, but this year these words seemed to pick me. I'm like you, I always wanted to set a good example for my children. I'm learning now they pick up on the details when we least expect. You are a treasure, and I'm so thankful we met!

  2. Thanks Cindy. I couldn't help thinking of Inlet Point and the week at Cherry Grove. All of these points would be processed well there. I hope this is a great year of the 3 or 4 "R's" for you.

  3. Isn't that a great place? I'd really hoped to return this winter, but it doesn't look like that's going to be possible. Maybe spring. I have very fond memories of Inlet Point since I've gotten so much writing accomplished in the solitude of that beach. 2017 has great promise! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world. ;)