April 14, 2005


There is much to be said for simplicity. Something that my life has been lacking lately. I find it so easy to get carried away with what is going on around me and forget to pause. Being an extrovert, I get energy being around people and I often go a long time before I realize that even I need a little time to myself. Which is interesting because there are times when I think it would be nice (or at least less exhausting) to move and enjoy the adventure of not having any demands on my time, but rather having the freedom to just be alone and quiet. But then I realize that from experience - I get tired of that very quickly. Still all the business of the last couple months - and lack of "Tamara Time" has taken its toll. While reading my homework one night I came across a comment made by J. Hudson Taylor
"I believe we are all in danger of accumulating - it may be from
thoughtlessness, or from pressure of occupation - things which would be useful to others, while not needed by ourselves, and the retention of which entails loss of blessing"
Which got me thinking - as I was already thinking of all the things I ought to probably get rid of. There are plenty of activities that I would like to eliminate as well. In fact, I think there are going to be real changes to be made in my life. I need to simplify. To what extent, God hasn't shown me yet, but I have the ambition of it being drastic. God may have to reign me in, but I'm fairly certain (and continuing to pray) that there is much in my life that needs to be altered. I may begin with things and activities, but it will also entail relationships.

This is really the issue I am praying the most about. It sounds very harsh to downsize my relationships, but that's where I'm at. A few years ago I felt pulled in too many directions. So my New Year's resolution was going to be "start being mean to people" My thought behind that was, if people didn't like me I wouldn't felt pulled me in quite so many directions. Okay so not the best idea ever - and I didn't go through with it - but still the easiest way to downsize the number of friends you have is to quit being nice to them.... Or so one might think :-)

At any rate, I certainly do need to rethink what I'm doing and as I posted before it's all a part of keeping my perspective out of the moment and being proactive. But I sometimes feel that there is a lot of relationship clutter in my life.

There are so very many people who have meant a great deal to me that I don't even know where they live now. Or if they ever think of me. Then there are those relationships that survive because on the rare occasion we talk it seems like there hasn't been any time at all between our last conversation... We pick up with the ease of long-time friends whose relationship was never based on our commonalities but rather our appreciation for our differences. Then there are those friends that I forget how much I love spending time with them and how much they encourage and challenge me spiritually. Those are the friendships I enjoy.

But then there are those that seem like lots of work. And I don't mean ones with people whom God has given me to love with the love of Christ so that they might know Him, but rather those who know Him as savior already and yet I feel the need to attempt to keep up relationships with. These one sided relationships that would die without the effort put forth on my part. These are the ones that drain me.

So as I've been considering downsizing the things in my life, I find a great temptation to eliminate these relationships as well. Not in a hostile way, but rather as clutter removal which will in turn free me up to focus on new people in my life and the people who God is bringing for me to share my life with and walk with as I share what God is doing in my life. But I'm just not sure that is what God would have me do. So with much prayer I consider carefully how I am spending my time and what God would have me do. This is a real struggle for me. I hate to let people go..... to let friendships become the casualty of time....

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