3 Small Practices to Breathe Life Into Your Year

I would never claim to be the most organized person on the planet. Nope, I’m a scattered mess of stacks, piles and wishful thinking on my best days. Chalk it up to my personality or my laziness.

Last year God taught me about how to embrace how He has made me. For me that means finding practical ways to make my life give back to me. I’ve learned the ways I organize my life shouldn’t add more stress than they alleviate.

I don’t need another way to structure cleaning my house or better ways to meal plan. Ok, maybe I do need some of those things, but when the weight of the day is pressing down I need to be able to create space for my lungs to fill and hope to grow. I don’t need a fancier planner or a million free printables. All of these things can be helpful but they can also suffocate us under the pressure to keep everything in it’s proper box.

Ok, I know that I’m getting a big eye roll and vigorous negative head shaking from my Type A friends. If that is the case then these tips might not be all that helpful to you. However, if you’re a bit scattered like me then let these simple practices be a way to create some margin in your life. Let these practices slow you to the rhythm of God in your life.

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1) Never do more in a week than you can fit on a 3×5 notecard.

What? I’m not going to tell you to knock the longest list possible out? Nope.

Why? Because when every inch of our lives is filled with to do’s then we lose track of the should do’s and start making lists of would do’s. The act of limiting yourself can be very freeing- at least it was for me. Also, for those of us who have our hands full with littles it can seem daunting to get anything done. A 3×5 index card is enough space to feel accomplished, but not overwhelmed.

CONFESSION: I have a mild obsession with index cards. I use them for grocery lists, to do lists, a way to capture new ideas. I can get carried away with adding to the list and marking things off of the list.

Now do this: Fill your index card. Only do what is on ONE side of the card- no cheating.

No matter how tempted you are don’t do more than is listed on that card. Start a new card with more ideas on it for the next week if your card is already full, but stick to one card a week. I’ve found that I have room to spare in my day and week when I don’t overload my card.

You don’t have to include everyday things like dishes, laundry, or regular errands. If you need to write these down then feel free to use an index card just for daily tasks like that. I do this sometimes because of the joy I get from marking something off.

If you have an index card addiction like me then these 3×5 color coded notecards will do the trick.

2) Write out Scripture

In the rush to be efficient it is easy to push our hungry souls to the back burner. Carving out space to be with Jesus and hear from Him can be crazy hard in our busy day to day. One practice I’ve found truly life giving is to take time to write out passages of Scripture.

The Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina draws us to see the Scriptures as the Living Word of God. I’ve found writing out Scripture really allows my heart and mind to meditate on the Word.

You can do a verse a day or pick a book of the Bible and work your way through writing as little or as much a day as you want. I’ve been working my way through Colossians and am enjoying how I’ve been able to hear God speak to me through the words as I pen them.

I use these little moleskine minis because they are perfect for writing out God’s Word but don’t take up as much space as a full-sized journal.

3) Find the light

My husband is the sciencey one of us. But I know there is some sort of law in physics about equal but opposite reactions? 2015 will have it’s dark days no doubt. These days may possibly be darker than either of us realizes at this moment.

What I know is God always infuses light into our darkness. Search it out. Hold on to it.

Maybe your light chasing means a journal of gratitude where you pen moments of beauty. Perhaps it is simply pausing in the madness to pray.

I love that,theologian and evangelist Jonathan Edwards, told of his mother who was known for throwing her apron over her head to get alone with God. The woman had something like 18 kids so if she can do it then we all can- Michelle Duggar included. I’m inclined to believe she was chasing light something fierce in those moments and would tell us it was worth the fight.

If you are going to be voracious about anything this year then make it believing God is for you in all circumstances.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m not the most organized or Type A woman in the room. I hope these small encouragements infuse a bit more light and life into the days of your 2015.

Do you feel it friends? The way the air just filled your lungs and there was a lightness to your soul?

What are some outside of the box practices that create life giving space in your day?