So, today was the day. We started removing the ornaments (the ones that survived!) taking down the garland, switching out the candles...just putting Christmas away. I decided that I needed to clean out the Christmas boxes because there were decorations we don't use and trash that we don't need, and we pull them out of the attic EVERY year! So, while Mike painfully removed hundreds of twisty wire things to release the broken lights from our pre-lit tree, I cleaned up, cleaned out and got things ready for the New Year.
Christmas seems dirty after the 25th. I'm not sure if it's just the weather around here, rainy and muggy, or if it's just the end of such an exciting time. The Santa's are deflated, the lights are dangling, the music has returned to the kind I don't love...it's over. You know what though, I get excited. I get so ready to pack Christmas up and get moving into the new year.
It bothers me, though, that I "put Christmas away." We "get it down" and then we "put it up" then we "enjoy it" then, at last, we "clean it up and put it away." Why? Because we have other decorations to enjoy, of course! No! I was thinking about this while I was sweeping and I thought, "I am so full of hope because of Christmas that I want to move forward. I want to take advantage of my new start, my clean slate. My heart is refreshed, my mind is focused, my desire is to move forward compelled by His love."
I want to celebrate Christ, yes, but I want to get out there and be joyfully contagious because of the Savior that I just celebrated. I want people to come to my home and not find it dripping with decorations that prove I celebrated, I want them to come to my home and find it dripping with grace and mercy. Sometimes you better call first! HA!
Christmas is the reminder that everything is dirty. Creation is not what it was before the fall, and we are in desperate need of a Savior. Not only do we need a Savior, we need the Counselor that Christ left us so that we wouldn't be alone down here.
Around October and November I start longing for Him. I am exhausted by the events of the year and I'm ready to celebrate the coming of the King. I'm ready to slow down, reflect, and enjoy the warm fuzzies of it all.
Not now. I want to enjoy the discipline that comes from knowing Him, the freedom that comes from being saved by Him and the life-change that happens as I follow Him. Yeah, I'm excited. He is definitely something to be excited about. Happy New Year.
"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thnaks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:56-58
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Those verses just caught my eye as I was flipping through the Bible. They may not "go" but God's word is all living and active. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is just flip through the Bible with a good friend and say, "Oooh, that's good." So, I invite you to flip with me...what's your favorite verse?