Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I am reading 'In Celebration of Simplicity' by Penelope Wilcock. A couple of weeks ago I read 'The 100 Thing Challenge' by Dave Bruno (if you are intrigued check out his Facebook page). Both books are on simple living. I just love how books can inspire and inform you, how they point you in the way you should go. These writers have listened to God's call on their lives and have each agreed to be a pen in God's hand. Isn't this what we all want to be? 

As someone who aspires to live simply I need, more than anything, the encouragement that there are others out there who feel called to the same way of life. And so in turn I have been blogging about this topic at astalander.blogspot.com. I have been surprised by comments left there, and on Facebook, by those I know and those I don't know. I have even made some new friends: the mother of a young friend (former work colleague), and a simple liver in San Diego. And a happy coincidence- or Godincidence - is that they are also animal lovers like me. 

Now that we are getting ready to step over the threshold and into 2012 I am again considering how I might live more simply. I feel for too long I have spoken about it, but not much has reflected my words. But now I have a deep conviction, one that has been noticed by the ones I live with, and know me the best. Someone asked me what had happened - she was surprised that I was giving things away so freely - things that I have absolutely treasured. My daughter agreed that it was most unusual. She could even remember when it all started, just a couple of weeks ago. All I can say is that perhaps it is impossible to live this way unless you are called and unless God convicts you, and maybe it is a gentle process. It may seem to have started only a couple of weeks ago but I have been thinking and praying about this for years and years. 

 Yes I have re-gifted many loved items. Yes this is the year we thrived through a mostly no present Christmas day. Yes I am now unavailable for work on Mondays and Fridays so that I can focus on writing and other creative endeavours at home. Yes I am cutting back on my wardrobe (weirder and weirder). We have made space in our home and hearts for a rescued greyhound. (How is that simple living? It is making way for what is important in my life.) And the boldest thing I have done is to stop hiding behind make up! 

  I love this spacious place, the end of the year - this time of rest. What a gift it is. I sit and read and jot down notes and play in my visual journal. I sit on the floor next to my placid, handsome dog cutting out images, articles, words from magazines and creating a picture of how I might live in 2012. I feel nothing but gratitude for the abundance in my life and the wonderful, wonderful gift of words and those who write them down. 

I wonder what 2012 might hold for us. May we faithfully write the words our Lord has stirring in our hearts - you just never know what affect they will have. 

Asta x




14 comments:

  1. Wholehearted agreement from me, Asta. I am in the process of clearing out as well, but with a view to moving. I have realised how all those things can become a noose around my neck, hanging on, weighing down, steeling away that simple life. And so decluttering has been on the agenda... things, activities, clothing... even food is getting back to basics. It's easier that way. Great post, Asta. Happy New Year to you all!

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  2. Thank you Margaret. I love that you are even getting back to basics with your food. Happy New Year to you and may your move be a positive one. Asta x

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  3. Hmmm - giving away things that are very precious to me? Now that's a real challenge! But well done to you - and I can hear your enjoyment of this 'de-cluttered' space, Asta, in your writing. God bless!

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  4. Good on you, Asta! What a wonderful mind frame to begin 2012. I love the challenge your words invoke too.

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  5. Thanks ladies. So encouraging to hear from you.
    A x

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  6. That sounds like a great resolution, Asta. Good luck with it, and maybe I will try letting go of something precious now and then, too.

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  7. I warn you Debbie it is contagious. You wouldn't think so but it gives you the most amazing feeling. It is lovely to give - it is lovely to be free of something you thought you couldn't live without and find you can. A x

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  8. Asta, how encouraging! I just popped in here from Penelope Wilcock's blog and have been thinking about simplicity and the desire to live more lightly so there is more space for Christ to be at work in my life. It is nice to know there are others, closer by than the other side of the world, who are attempting to walk this path. :)
    Many thanks for this post.

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful way of life. You have inspired me to declutter this tiny home I live in.
    Xxx

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  10. Penny and Michelle - I am so happy to read that others are reflecting on what simple living might look like for them. I have just read a comment on my personal blog. I was really taken with the story in it about the gift of spinach. Such a simple thing but it says it all. If you'd like to read Susan's comment it is here - astalander.blogspot.com

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  11. I was only discussing this today, Asta - downsizing is an art form. I did it a few years back - 5 industrial bins and 25 garbage bags to charity later I knew the wisdom in the lyrics of a Jimmy Buffett song - 'I used to rule my world from a payphone...now times are rough, I've got too much stuff.' We just don't need it all, do we?

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  12. This is something I'm increasingly into too. (Having a salary drop of $125,000/year has surprising benefits!) It's surprising how much one can do without. One problem I find is that it increasingly puts me at odds with many other people due to divergent value systems.

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  13. Thanks for the book recommendations. I have ordered the Dave Bruno one from our library. They don't have the Penelope Wilcock one - will have to ask them to get it in for me!

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