Addition by Subtraction

by | May 9, 2023 | Bold in Life, The SundayMonday Tuesday Archives

For the past four or so months, I’ve had this article about the value of addition by subtraction open in a tab on my phone. My dad sent it to me in December and I’ve been looking at it every few weeks or so because I felt like there was a deeper message. This week, it finally clicked.

I am an addition by addition kind of girl. Correction – I am an addition by exponential multiplication girl. I love adding things to my life: projects, friendships, events, trips, toys, books, commitments… you name it. Whenever I feel a sense of longing, I strive to fill it with more. I’ve always been this way. I’m hungry for a challenge, I get excited easily, and I love to say “yes.”

But right now, as I wrap up my MBA program and look towards a short summer of rest before beginning my full-time job in July, I am being drawn back to the article my dad sent me and the sentiment within. What if the most effective way to experience the fullness of my life is not actually found through reckless and wild addition – but instead through clearing out space, time, and resources to let God work?

It’s honestly kind of scary to think about. When I add things to my life, I experience a false (and convincingly comfy) sense of control. A full calendar makes me feel secure, needed, and useful. Space is a little terrifying.

But sometimes the scary thing is the right thing.

So this summer, instead of booking out every weekend with travel or announcing some wild book reading challenge or launching some new project, I’m committing to addition by subtraction. It’s going to take a lot of prayer and intention to fight the “jaws of human initiative” that I’ve relied upon for so long. It’s probably going to be uncomfortable. I’m likely going to get a bit bored. But the way I see it, this is an opportunity to lean back in the loving arms of the Father and to give Him permission to lead me. To show me the priorities He has for my life. To increase the intimacy in our relationship. To surprise me.

I know that it will be good because I’ve already started letting go of some things that I thought were going to be so painful to release, but instead of grief, I’ve felt freedom. By saying no to long and expensive trips this summer, I feel joy and excitement about hanging out with my family. By releasing expectations on myself to “do something important or useful,” I feel excited about how God will use that energy for His purposes. These little nudges help me feel more confident in this desire to subtract a little.

Have you ever experienced addition by subtraction? Hit reply and share your stories with me!

In Christ,

Jane

What we’re loving lately:

Podcast Episode 73: The Promises of God

  • We hear so often to remember and rest in the promises of God… but what exactly are those promises? In today’s episode, I’m sharing seven promises of God for us all to receive into our hearts. He is good, His plans are good, and He will never be outdone in generosity! You can listen here on Spotify or here on Apple Podcasts!

Restore the Glory Podcast

  • A friend recently introduced me to this podcast and it’s so good! Dr. Bob Schuchts (author of Be Healed, a book I love!) and Dr. Jake Khym speak at the intersection of mental and spiritual health. I especially love their series on hope and healing (here’s a link!) There’s so much goodness within, but my favorite takeaway is that when we’re desiring healing, we often receive intimacy and maturity (which is healing in itself), so even if we don’t see the “direct healing” we’re praying for, we can be confident that Jesus is always drawing us closer to Himself.

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Paint by Number

  • Y’all know I am obsessed with a good paint by number, and for my birthday a couple of weeks ago some of my friends got me the most gorgeous custom paint by number ever!! I love listening to podcasts and painting – it’s so relaxing and I’m super motivated by seeing a “finished product,” which is what a paint by number gets ya 🙂

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for two of my classmates who were killed on a trip to Puerto Rico this past weekend. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week‘s newsletter!

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