“I knew that God had sent me that little boy to remind me…what Christmas is all about.” ~ NewSong (“The Christmas Shoes,” 2006)
My word for 2017 is DECLUTTER. As the year comes to a close, I will be the first to admit that decluttering is not easy. When God works, life is never easy.
You see, when you are chosen, you get a big target on your back. No one likes to talk about the ugly parts of living the life you were called to live. We pretend that all of a sudden, pain goes away…replaced immediately by laughter and joy. We leave out where Satan will kill you and anyone around you if He can…to keep you from sharing…to keep you from doing what God has called you to do.
I am not writing for your sympathy. I am writing because writing is my ministry. Teaching is my ministry. Coaching is my ministry. And if I do not write, then all of 2017 was for nothing. So here I am. Still with more questions than answers. Writing because God asked me to write.
My son reminds me every day that I promised we could make a gingerbread house for Christmas. He makes us listen to Christmas music in the car. He harassed us every day after Thanksgiving to put up the tree. Then, when we finally put it up, he pulls out some of his favorite trains to hang on it as ornaments.
On the other hand, the closer Christmas draws near, the more frustrated I become. I am reminded of all the gifts I have not yet purchased with the extra money I do not have. All the decorating I have not done compared with this time last year. All of the Spirit lost somewhere in this mess we call happy holidays…
…Then I watch a video of Steven Furtik entitled “Don’t Waste Your Angel.” I do the typical, God, you choose what you want me to watch. I cry from start to finish, and just in case I needed a little affirmation that the video was specifically and intentionally chosen for me, Steven mentions that I am “blessed to be a blessing” – the exact words I blogged about less than 7 days ago. In the video Steven also says, “You’re ready now.” And I hear God repeat, “You’re ready now!”
Tear-stained eyes have no idea what He’s talking about. So God continues to repeat over and over, “Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep….No matter what life throws at you. I need you to promise me that you will feed my sheep. Things are about to change drastically, and I need you to feed my sheep. It is for this right now that I was born, and I need you to feed my sheep. THIS IS THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS!!! Right here. Right now. FEED MY SHEEP!!”
I think back over 2017…how I decluttered my time, and my budget, and my to-dos, and so many other things, and I start writing about ways to find the Christmas spirit. Then I stop, and I know when I stop, I will never publish it.
I wake up this morning, and I get to work immediately. I reread my list of items to help rid myself of my inner grinch. I brainstorm about the ways I will write about it. I prep my paperwork for the impending track tryouts, and there in the middle of regular life…life happens, before I can adjust, before I can prepare, before I can do anything about it.
My sister has been killed. She just turned 25. She was figuring out life just like the rest of us, and someone decided her life was not worth living. I reiterate that I am not here for sympathy or tears. I am here because someone needs to know what Christmas is.
Her son…my son…our son is only 5. Someone thought he was better off without a mother.
Her son…My son…Our son is coming back to live with us.
That’s what Christmas is…second chances…hope for a better tomorrow.
He was born so we could know her death was not in vain. Maybe she did figure out life, and God took her before she could change her mind.
I would like to say that He was born so that little families like mine can save little boys like Jimmie. Yet, that’s quite backwards.
He was born so that little boys like Jimmie can save little families like mine.
So you’ll excuse me as I run up my debt in celebration, as I blast my music so loudly it corrupts my eardrums, as I hang lights and stockings, read nativity stories, and make gingerbread houses.
I have spent the year decluttering my space. My schedule is completely open. Christmas is upon me. I will celebrate with or without you.
Christ was born…for this moment…for right now…for hope…for a future…and I AM READY!
What are some ways that you declutter your Christmas or any holidays?
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