Making Space for Peace

It’s February, and already I feel like the year is flying by. I entered the New Year running, and feel like I’ve finally been able to catch my breath. I have allowed myself to become so occupied with meeting deadlines that I have not allowed myself the space or time I need to write.

Today I sat down and wrote out my goals for the next three months and six months. Goals that I can measure with accomplishable steps.

Three Month Goals:

  • Plan out the June Presbytery meeting with a continuing education piece for the ministry leaders in our presbytery.
  • Make space for writing on a regular basis (posting three times a week).

Six Month Goals:

  • Rework my teachings I did in Russia last year, and brainstorm new teachings for students and staff.
  • Pray regularly for God to open doors for me to return to Russia this fall.

Over the past two weeks my moms group has been doing a project we called Making Space for Peace. We have teamed up with friends to declutter six spaces in six weeks. By teaming up, we have been encouraging each other through texts and conversations, and sharing our before and after pictures. We have each chosen six spaces in our homes (cars, closets, bookshelves, kids rooms, purses, kitchen drawers, etc.) that we want to declutter to make space for peace.

I share this because when I think of setting my goals, I need to have a peaceful space to live and work so that I can be focused on what matters to me.

In my process of decluttering, I have been reminded that less is more. Like many other people, I have a lot of things, things that take up space in my life, but I don’t really need. While working in one closet, I took out eight hooded towels that my kids have outgrown and don’t use, and a lot of old hand towels that were in need of recycling. In another closet I cleared out, I was able to donate five jackets to The Springs Rescue Mission. As I cleared out these spaces it was a good reminder for me that I don’t need all these things to live, and that having less is quite freeing.

When I was in Russia, I packed four pairs of shoes… yes… I know… four seems like a lot… and it was. Many of the students I encountered in Russia wore the same shoes every day. They didn’t wear a different pair of shoes for each outfit. Most of the students even wore the same clothes to the ministry center because they were their best clothes. I was reminded by a friend that we only wear 20% of what we have in our closet 80% of the time. This is definitely true for me. Yes, I like to have options, don’t most people? But I have noticed that the more I clear out my closet (and I’m still working on my closet and drawers) the more options I feel I have. That may seem strange, but it’s true. The process has been more peaceful than stressful, and I thank my team for that! Without their encouragement this project I probably would not have even begun to think of spring cleaning, let alone cleaning for peace.

I have shared that this year I am seeking more balance in my life and in my ministry. Making space in my life for peace has been a refreshing was to tackle this project, and I am becoming more mindful of the things that are most important to me.

I hope to set myself up for success both in my goal setting and in making space for peace in my home. So far I think I’m off to a pretty good start.

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