While my contributions to this blog have been minimal, I do feel compelled to leave some parting thoughts as someday I may revisit this blog to see how I felt about the year, or find some words to make it through another year of getting rid of material clutter and making more room for the Lord.
Many times throughout the year I felt a sense that I was not living up to the spirit of poverty. I think both Missy and I agreed we could have done better; however, for a first attempt I came to understand better that less is more. I just took my last bag of clothes and "stuff" out of the hallway. After several iterations of thorough cleaning, I wondered how I had let things get to such a mess! But living month or so without these, I realized that I did not miss one single thing, or wish I had it back. This was a huge breakthrough, as I have always been a pack rat - every ticket stub, every knick nack someone had given me, kept away for the day I might need it. Now that I've finished, not only is my room clean, but I need less time to think about all the cleaning I need to keep doing and have more time to focus on other things.
Maybe this year I will pledge to keep a life of simplicity, free of clutter, and spend more time in prayer and reflection. They say it takes 40 days to break a habit, but I might argue it takes an entire year. People have many new year's resolutions, but why are they never kept? I think it is because, for some, we try to do everything on our own. This past year's resolution was not one of surface change, but of a radical transformation that was rooted in God - and only because of His grace were we able to continue and transform our lives and have faith that we can continue on a path of true poverty of spirit.