Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{Three Word Wednesday} Less is More

Our tree is smaller than those the last few years. I have less decorations out than usual – not that I decorate that much anyway. Instead of doing a photo card and newsletter, I just made a year-in-review newsletter for our friends and family. I don’t bake much under normal circumstances. I scaled back our gift-giving list this year, even though I love buying gifts. And I didn’t plan our annual Jesus Birthday Party that had become a staple activity on other family’s calendars.

Less is more.

I keep hearing those three in my soul and feel free when I embrace them.

I love the Christmas season. I love traditions and plans with friends. And I am certain doing less won’t mean I enjoy what matters – this Christmas or any other day.

That’s how God works. His Kingdom is nothing like the world. With God, the last shall be first and the poor made rich. He tells us all to come to Him like children. He becomes greater when I become less (John 3:30).

Less is more. I keep repeating the phrase in hopes it will sink into my heart.

In doing so, I feel free to chase what is holy – that which is not of this world. When I let go of burdens and expectations of this world, I’m yoking myself to Jesus, who promises a lighter burden and an easy yoke (Matt. 11:28-30).

Too often I yoke myself to feelings and tasks that don’t matter. I idolize productivity and things that aren’t going to bring peace. And yet I hear the Prince of Peace telling me less is more. I hear it when my kids play, when my family sits down around the table with friends, and when the UPS guy arrives with yet another box because I’ve been doing my Christmas shopping in the quieter moments at home.

The Christmas Story is the epitome of less is more.

“What kind of King would leave His throne in Heaven to make this earth His home? While men seek fame and great renown in lowliness our King comes down. … What kind of King would come so small, from glory to a humble stall? That dirty manger is my heart too. I'll make it a royal throne for You. Jesus, Jesus, precious one, how we thank You that You've come. Jesus, Jesus, precious one, a manger throne for God's own son.”
{From “Manger Throne” by Third Day, Julie Miller and Derri Daugherty}

God could have sent Jesus however he wanted to and he chose a young woman to give birth to the Savior of the world. The birth could have happened wherever God saw fit, yet newborn baby Jesus was laid in the manger – where animals come to eat.

The details matter because God orchestrated what seemed so ordinary to do something extraordinary. Yet wise men followed a star then and people continue seeking the One whose birth we still celebrate. Jesus feeds our soul with truths that don’t always make sense in this world.

Less is more. In a mighty kind of way.


I'm also linking up this post with Holley Gerth's Coffee For Your Heart and Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory. Just after I finished writing this post earlier this week, I read Jennifer's post on having a preapproved Christmas. Y'all want to go read that one too, if you haven't already. 

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  1. Kristin, so grateful to read this today. As I read, I realized you so beautifully expressed my desire this year --> to chase that which is holy. It is amazing how less becomes mighty! Thank you for writing & sharing these words today! Blessings!

  2. Yes this, "I idolize productivity and things that aren’t going to bring peace." Glad I am not the only one scaling back this year. I feel sad about it sometimes, but it is leaving room for more.:)

  3. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 7:40 AM

    I'm so glad you're encouraged, Joanne. It's one of those messages I keep hearing over and over. God knows I need repetition in my stubbornness. Have a great day!

  4. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 7:51 AM

    I'm glad I'm not alone too, Katie! Scaling back has freed me up to concentrate on my favorite things about the season, which has been nice. Thanks for being here.

  5. Bethany Boring12/10/2014 8:23 AM

    I love how the Christmas story is essentially Less Is More. That is such a simple yet deep thought. It has seriously got me thoughts rolling this morning! Thank you! This is my first time linking-up here! I know I've been here before and love your blog! Excited!

  6. I am so grateful for you and your message of turning towards Christ in Advent. I am finding I need words like yours, sisters around me, to keep my heart focused on what is real and simple and pure this Christmas. Bless you, friend. (And I'll have to link up later!) :)

  7. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 8:25 AM

    It's a message I keep hearing because I need it myself! I'm glad you can be encouraged too. Love seeing your pretty face here and would love for you to link up too! xoxo

  8. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 8:26 AM

    Hi, Bethany! I'm so glad you're here! I'm glad God used what he was telling me to get you thinking too. :)

  9. I'm in a season of having less and God is really teaching me that I really don't need all that much. Less gifts this year helps me to realize that The Greatest Gift, Jesus, is all that we need.

  10. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 8:32 AM

    Amen, Barbie! Thanks to coming by here!

  11. Love this, Kristin! Found you on #TellHisStory and I feel like He's whispering the same thread of that story in both our lives there. Linking up now to share my version and so grateful to find I'm not the only one slowing down my celebration of Jesus. xoxo

  12. Kristin, I have been saying "less is more" for months now. It is TRUTH! xo

  13. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 10:30 AM

    Oh, yes, it certainly applies to other seasons of life. I'm hearing it loud and clear these days! :) Thanks for being here, Susan!

  14. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 10:31 AM

    #TellHisStory is a favorite link-up of mine, so I'm glad we connected there! Thanks for coming here and joining in, Katie. I always like when God is telling me is reaffirmed in other posts.

  15. I can't help but to reflect on my time serving the homeless last night. There was a lady who came looking for a pair of boots. We only had one pair of boots in the recent donations and guess what? They fit her perfectly! Her reaction . . . gratitude. She is without a home, but still showed gratitude for a simple pair of boots.
    Serving with my husband last night was my Christmas present. Less is more. <3
    Love you friend, xoxo

  16. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 12:08 PM

    LOVE this story. God is in the details. I don't know how I too often forget that and try to control details myself. :) Love you, Beth!

  17. Less is More is such an important truth in many, many ways, indeed. But most of all, in the way Jesus allowed himself to become less to bring us more. What an amazing transaction!

  18. KristinHillTaylor12/10/2014 3:26 PM

    Yes, amen! Thanks for being here, Beth, and encouraging well.

  19. A big yes to these words and how we can hold them as our mantra this season. Turning to the story of Jesus' birth and the humble beginnings that surrounded the our king is enough reminder that God doesn't need the flashy-He just needs us! Blessings, Kristin!

  20. HappyAndBlessedHome12/10/2014 11:13 PM

    Beautifully written. Pinned.

  21. "In doing so, I feel free to chase what is holy..."

    I had such a strong reaction when I read those words, Kristen! Yes! I want to be chasing what is holy, not what is cultural or expected or traditional. Jesus is the One. Less is the most.

    Enjoying this song too. Thank you, friend! I love our King that brings so many sisters together.

  22. KristinHillTaylor12/11/2014 2:07 PM

    I'm glad you're here, Lisa! Hope you're enjoying the Christmas season.

  23. KristinHillTaylor12/11/2014 2:07 PM

    Thank you! :)

  24. KristinHillTaylor12/11/2014 2:07 PM

    Amen. Thanks for being here, Mary!

  25. Less is more. I think we all need that to sink into our souls, especially this time of year. There is such beauty and peace in simplicity!

  26. KristinHillTaylor12/12/2014 3:27 PM

    I know I do! :) Good to see you here, Sarah!