by Emily Conrad
I’m not ready to give up my Christmas tree, so I took down the collection of colorful ornaments I’ve amassed through the years and replaced them with the classy and pretty ornaments my husband gave me for Christmas this year. I also set aside some old ornaments that don’t have meaning to donate or toss as appropriate.
I’ll probably take down the tree this weekend, but in the meantime, the tree is a little less cluttered and more golden.
This unwillingness to take down the decorations when I’m normally ready by this time could be related to going from no kids to one exchange student in November, or perhaps to other situations that have been weighing on me. Regardless, the holiday season went quickly, and though it has passed, I continue to crave the lights, the beauty, and the peace of Christmas.
Whether the tree is still up or not, we always have access to these things in Christ. He is the source of life and beauty, the light shining in the darkness, the peace of Christmas come to stay.
I haven’t made resolutions, and I don’t intend to, but with Jesus, I intend to do to my life what I did to the Christmas tree.
I am considering what to cycle off the boughs of my life, what to keep right where it is, and what to put up in newly created empty spaces.
Things I’m considering range from the practical—clean out some sugar and reconnect with the holistic treatment that helped reduce my food sensitivities—to the spiritual—prayer and reading in a chronological Bible for new understanding.
Mostly, though, I want to drape the gold of a closer relationship with Jesus on every twig I can reach. I have so much that I’ve always wanted—the opportunity to write, a debut novel slated to come out in a few short months, a home to host family (and a student), and good relationships—but my purpose isn’t there.
When I try to base the meaning of my life in transient things, disappointment and discontentment stick to everything, as persistent as stray glitter but no where near as pretty. My purpose is in Jesus. Acknowledging that again leaves me more intent as I read my Bible and renders the words more relevant. It leaves me journaling prayers instead of distractedly thinking them in fits and spurts.
In this way, by pursuing Jesus and the purpose we only find in Him, our lives will be transformed into something less cluttered and more golden. After all, He’s in the business of making all things new.
Emily, I needed to read this this morning. I’m with you on decluttering, and the word “purpose” jumped off the page at me. That’s my word to start the new year. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.
It sounds like God has us pondering some of the same things. So glad to walk this road with you, friend!
I feel the same way, Emily–I don't want to take down the tree or the decorations or have the festivities end. But I'm this way every year. 🙂 Thankfully, we're covered because this is only the 10th Day (out of 12) of Christmas! So technically, Christmas isn't over yet! 🙂
I need to look more into this 12 Days of Christmas–I've heard the song, but I'm sure there's a lot more to it! Thanks for stopping by, Jerusha!