I’ve found that decorating smaller spaces gets pretty interesting, especially when everything pretty much fits like a puzzle to begin with !
But here’s the deal …in our house, we LOVE Christmas — the whole nine yards of it — and we like to decorate and light up spaces all around the house with the excitement of it all. The problem this year is that our “less is bes’ ” lifestyle has created an interesting dilemma as to where the excitement of Christmas might actually fit !
I’ve done it in past years — you know what I’m talking about – I’ve chosen to crowd in the Christmas tree and decorations with the existing furniture and normal stuff of life and by the end of the season I was ready to pick it all up and throw it out the front door –literally!
My brain can only take so much of the cluttered view in my visual path before it hits overload and starts beeping loudly inciting a response to grab it all and throw it out or run for my life!
If we were going to enjoy having a Christmas tree with all the trimmings that go with it, something would have to go or that incessant beeping would be going off in my head the whole season — and we’re not talking ‘Jingle Bells‘ or “Fa-la-la-la-la” here ! Since I’m into life-giving choices, I made a choice that we would, in fact, bring Christmas in with all its glory. After all, the kids and grandkids will all be here (did I tell you how over-the-top excited I am about that !!!) and we have to be full of Christmas here !
The decision was made of what piece of furniture or beloved “thing” had to go away on vacation for a few weeks so we could enjoy the lights and sounds of the season and it went from this …
to this …
and from this…
There are more out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new pictures I could show but to spare you a virtual tour of the entire house, I think you get the picture !
There’s no beeping in my head anymore but there may be bells ringing out a thought or two over here …the miracle that God, with skin on just like me and you, came down to not only ‘visit’ us but actually move in and be with us is the whole reason we celebrate this time of year. We move things out so there’s space in our room for this baby Jesus-come-to-earth celebration! …and in the same sense, when baby Jesus moves in, certain things have to move out or it’s too crowded and we get all cluttered in our hearts and the beeping goes off to sound the alarm that the heart is flat-lining under the weight of self-indulgence !
The idea that we can have it ALL means that we can’t really have all that is offered here on this earth. Jesus is our all and that fills up the space just perfectly with satisfaction and peace! When His glory fills the room, it spills over until the whole earth is filled and can barely contain it all !
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
That’s what happens when we fill up with Jesus — there’s always an over-spill that lights up the lives and homes of others all around us! It’s like sharing your beautifully lit Christmas tree with every person around you and the shower of blessing just keeps flowing over and over.
I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26
And I don’t really miss the things that were moved out so much after all when the space if filled with such Light ! And the fact that I can barely see the light of my TV unless I sit on the far left side of the couch makes the Light even brighter ! ”The things of earth grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory and grace. “
After all, how can there be joy to the world if the light in my own heart isn’t shining and spilling over joy?
And sometimes bringing in the Christ – child means moving out other things that have taken up space …things that store up resentment or pain or anger …hurtful words spoken by a family member or friend that subconsciously get stored in my cedar chest making it void of the “hope” it was meant to carry …things that gather the dust of bitterness — the accumulation of the “why me’s” … things that crowd out relationship with God and others because that might make life too messy …things that bring significance or control — that position or financial security …things that clutter my thinking …thoughts of worry and anxiety — the “what if’s” of life …things that are just plain distracting!
They say there’s always room for improvement and I wonder if I have that room in my heart? Do I let anxious thoughts take up too much space so the Prince of Peace can’t find a good seat? Have I let the wisdom of others play through the house so loudly that I can’t hear the Wonderful Counselor’s voice?
When God moved into my neighborhood did He find a place to lay His head? or is He more at home under the bridge with my homeless friends who have a better understanding of traveling light ?
When too much stuff fills up the space in my life, people don’t fit! Relationships get squeezed out. Moving other things out makes room for what matters most and wouldn’t I rather have all the rooms in my house filled with kids and grandkids and people I love ? And wouldn’t I want to be more concerned about their heart breaking than the ornaments on my tree breaking?
The size of our house has “shown a great light” on our stuff and nothing can “move in” unless something existing “moves out” and something tells me that in order to truly “move Jesus in” to truly fill up the space in our heart, something else might just have to be “moved out” . If not, there’s a lot of shoving and pushing and crowding going on and a struggle internally that seems to be like that incessant beeping — irritating to the point of screaming, “I can’t take it any more!” And that’s exactly the point … I can’t take the “it” any more …all the stuff of life that makes up the “it” !
And these words I must have read somewhere came to mind …
“It’s Jesus or nothing and Jesus is everything !”
Sadly, our beautiful Douglas Fir will eventually have to be disrobed of its precious lights and ornaments and carried out much like you see in the earlier scenes of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. But throughout the house, the fragrance of that fir-tree will linger for a few days and I can only hope that as I’ve made room for Jesus in my heart and allowed His presence to fill up the spaces, His fragrance will linger on and on, spreading through the air to all those around and decorating our home with loving relationships that truly light up our home !
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.