Less, less, less…it kept coming to mind every time I tried to think of my word for the year. It seemed strange to me, not anything like the words the “cool” kids were choosing. It wasn’t courage, or pray, or perseverance, or beloved. It was simple, and it didn’t even truly make sense to me why I felt like less should be my one word.
I struggled with it for a week at the beginning of the new year. I kept trying to think of what I thought would be a better, more inspiring word to lean on for all of 2015, but I couldn’t. The word, less, infiltrated my every thought; no other word even had room to enter. So I finally took the time to sit with it. After hearing this word whispered to me for a week, I finally decided that maybe I wasn’t the one that was doing the choosing. Sometimes I’m a little slow to listen.
I sat down with my notebook and my bible during my few minutes of quiet time while the kids are napping, and I wrote this.
- filling the calendar
- to do lists
- need for perfection
- need to keep up
- need to (fill in the blank…feel I need to do this and that, be like someone else)
This will create more…
- quality time with my kids
- time to read
- time in God’s word
- time celebrating and mourning with true friends
- time to write
- time for me
- time to run
- time to pray
- money for bigger goals
- love and time for my husband
- of a better role model for my kids on how to live life
- Life the way it was meant to be lived
- time to open my eyes to people’s needs
- space to listen to God’s direction
Reading this last part now, space to listen to God’s direction, I should have realized how he was directing me right then and there with the word less, and yet I still was not fully convinced. After writing this list I felt a sense of calm, a sense that the word less could guide me into a life with so much more of the meaning that I live for.
There are so many long and exhausting days during the week with two young kids. Many nights as I go through our normal bedtime routine feeling completely spent, I think of all the things I wished I would have spent my time doing that day instead of all the time I felt I wasted. Time wasted on worry, to do lists, scrolling Facebook, and listening to my crazy inner self saying I need to clean the bathroom, and I need to cook dinner, and I need to grocery shop for the next month, and I need to finish Ellis’ baby book that I am 6 months behind on, and I need to, need to, need to…I hear this need all day.
I don’t quite know how I was still so unsure of the word less at this point, but sadly I still wasn’t listening. I gave the word one last shot, and I finally opened my bible. I went to the back and looked up the word less. It was not anywhere to be found. For a moment, I thought, “I knew it. Less is so not my word for the year.” And yet, I still felt like I needed to keep trying. I picked up my phone, went to my Bible App, and searched the word less.
The top bible verse (really the only one where the word less is used other than for saying “less than 2 miles” or “much less than”) was this verse.
He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30
I sat there still, and read it over and over again. So simple, yet exactly what I was looking for. Not only do I have a long list of things in my life I want less of to create more time for the things that are important to me, but doesn’t this verse really encompass my whole list and more? If He becomes greater in my life, and I become less, all of my self doubt, my need for perfection, my need for more stuff, my feelings of guilt and worry, and my need to always do more sinks away. If I am focused on Him, He makes me worthy of so much more.
Now I know my word for the year is definitely LESS! It totally is a cool word. It is a word that I am focused on. It is a word that is making me live better everyday when I take the time to remember it. Less is written on my heart, and my mind, and it is creating room for so much more than I ever could have imagined.
And now I have a reminder of it everyday…