New Year's resolution #1: simplify my life.

This year my goal is to cut back, say no more, and slow down. Last year felt so crowded and confusing. So this year my objective is to create space and catch my breath.

Yet as I consider my soul’s craving for rest, I'm shocked by the compulsion that arises from within. I long to be wanted and needed. I find busyness thrilling. I fear I might miss out on something monumental if I take a break.

So I make lists. I work late into the evenings. I seldom sit still. And as I toil, I let the really gratifying parts of life slip through my clenched fists.

This year I want to sit on the sofa with my husband. I want to sense God’s presence early in the morning when I sit down before his Word. I want to really listen and laugh hard when a friend tells an epic tale about her two-year-old over coffee.

But to get to these places, I must first create space. I’m learning that simplicity starts on the inside. The more tangled my heart feels, the more tethered I live to my to-do list and the more complicated life becomes.

So before I clear out my calendar, I'm asking God to clear out my soul. I want him to untangle my affections and tie me back to life with himself.

Earlier this month I looked up Augustine’s famous prayer, printed it on plain white paper, and tucked the tiny square below inside my Bible. I put it there to remind me about what matters most. It vocalizes what I long for but seldom know how to express.

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you forever;

through Jesus Christ our Lord 
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.

— Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Instead of making another resolution, list, or life-plan, this year, I’m asking for less. I want less chaos and confusion so that I live in God’s rest.

Your resolution might look different than mine. Perhaps you plan to run a marathon or write a book or schedule family dinner times this year. Do it with Augustine’s words in mind.

Let’s live simply and with space because our hearts are tethered to the One who created us and calls us to himself. How do you live untangled? 

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.

One Comment

  • anouschka

    Untangeld by Amanda de witt

    Thanxx a lot for this article

    I need to slow down as well and lean on the lord,

    sometimes you forget so easely, that stay connect with him and the holy spirit

    protects you from this wicked world, who wants to stress you and mess you up.