Less is More in 2024

Happy New Year!  For the past few years as a New Year’s tradition, I have chosen a word for the year.  A theme.  A vision for how I would like to improve and live life in the new year.  

Past words have included: boldconfidencesavorhealthsurrender, and design.  This year my word is – Less.

No doubt we can all relate to the everyday frenetic pace of life.  The never-ending to-do lists.  We cram as much as possible into every day and still come up lacking.  Busyness is worn as a badge of honor.  By society’s standards a productive and meaningful life requires a crammed schedule.

Yet as Christian’s, we are called to be different:

”Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect. “

Romans 12:2 NIRV

We are called to be counter cultural.  Set apart.  And that takes intentionality.  It won’t happen by chance.

So this year I am looking to simplify.  I want to choose less.  Less busyness.  Less items on my to-do list.  Less rushing from one thing to the next.  Less items on my calendar.  Less of what feels forced and draining.  

We have probably all heard the phrase “Less is More,” but we may be less familiar with who said it.  So let me share, because at the very least we can sound smart at dinner parties.  This phrase came into popular use after a famous modern architect, Ludwig Meis Van Der Rohe, used it to describe modern architecture.  

In essence it explains modern architecture, where beauty is found in simplicity and the celebration of the construction materials themselves – wood, steel, brick, concrete, glass, etc.  Applied ornamentation is superfluous as the materials themselves become the focal point.  Modern Architecture was a radical departure from what had been done in the past and an entirely new mindset moving forward.

This is what I am hoping for in 2024, a radical departure from what I have been doing in the past that just isn’t working well and a new mindset moving forward.  I am naturally someone who strives to be productive.  The more I check off my to do list, the more productive I feel.  But I have noticed lately, especially as a mom and wife, my pace sets the pace for our entire house.  If I am rushed and hurried, so is everyone else.  

I don’t want our home to be a place of constant hustle and striving.  I want it to be a haven.  A place where everyone who walks in feels peace.  Lighter.  Like a burden has been lifted.  And I believe embracing –  Less is More in 2024 – will create this, not just me, but for our entire family.

The other day I was reading Psalm 23.  I was struck by verse two:

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

Psalm 23:2 ESV

These two phrases of the life Jesus has for us evokes such a sense of peace and quiet.  Calmness and stillness.  This is my hope for embracing Less.  Psalm 23 also reminded me of Psalm 66:12 when the psalmist declares God has brought them into a “spacious place.”  A place of abundance, peace, and restoration.  

My hope is that in embracing less, I make room for more.  Not more business, but more margin.  More rest.  More quality time with the people I love.  More being fully present in the moment.  

Less is More in 2024.

”A simple, humble life with peace and quiet is far better than an opulent lifestyle with nothing but quarrels and strife at home.“

Proverbs 17:1 TPT