Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Making Room

My house has been in complete disarray the past few days.  What I thought would be a quick and easy project turned into days of barely being able to walk through the house.

You see, I told the kids they needed to clean out closets and toy boxes and dressers to make room for all the new stuff they’ll be getting for Christmas.

Truth is, we do this pretty regularly to keep things manageable with 4 kids.

But what doesn’t get done is our room.  Our closet.  Our dressers.

And when everything was pulled out, it was a mess.

I had bags and bags of clothes.  We were carrying out trash bags of stuff I’d kept but now thought “why did I keep that”?

Making piles of stuff we could donate.  Piles we could sale.  Piles that were trash.  And yes, even piles of stuff to keep.

There was so much that there was very little room for anything else.

All this abundance.  Piles and piles of junk in the garage to haul to Abilities Unlimited or that will sit there and wait until Spring when we can have a yard sale.

No room for anything else… at least very little room.

And the reality is that just how my house has felt is how my heart has been feeling.

I have so struggled here lately.  Struggled with myself and been overwhelmed with the demands of everyday life.  With all the ‘stuff’ that goes with Christmas.  And even with things that have nothing to do with Christmas, although that’s certainly added to it.

I’ve been so consumed with letting all the kids put up their trees and decorate them.  With taking Christmas pictures.  With getting said pictures printed to go in all the Christmas cards that I personally handwrite in.  All the questions of “Now what did we get for Aunt Betty and Mema”?  “Did I get the costumes for the Christmas play”?  “When can we fit in dress rehearsal”?  “Do we have the same amount of presents for each kid?”  Going to this party and that.  Wait, I need my hair cut.  Maybe I can paint my toenails a festive red with gold glitter.  Oh, and I need to pluck my eyebrows.  And now all these presents need wrapped.  What do we need to bring to Christmas at Mom and Dad’s?  To Christmas at his parents’?  Oh and we need to schedule a night to go look at Christmas lights.

And I’m pretty sure at just 3 days until Christmas that my husband and oldest kiddo are out getting parts for the van and making a side stop at Burlington for some last minute stocking stuffers that I’ll act surprised about when I open.  You know, since Anna asked me if I wanted some earrings, what kind I might like.

You know the drill.

The hustle and bustle.  Fighting the crowds and traffic trying to fill all that space under the tree.

But….What if we spent that much time trying to fill our hearts instead?

Would we have a home full of gifts and stockings busting at the seams and still feel empty?  Would we sit there among masses of wrapping paper and wonder why we still feel there’s more?

We wonder because we know.

There is More.

Yet we’re just like the innkeeper saying “There’s no room for You.”

We’d rather have our gifts and gadgets. Our new pj’s and jewelry.  Our ipads and iwatches.  Our new phones.  Gift cards and goodies.

We’d rather run ourselves ragged trying to attend every party, gathering, family event, and buying presents for every possible person than to take a step back and see that the Greatest Present we could ever have has been and always will be waiting right in front of us.

I’ve had to ask myself: have you made room for Him?

Have you been intentional about keeping Christ in Christmas?

Have you relayed to the kids the true meaning of Christmas or made it about gifts (or Santa, or an elf, or whatever else you may do)?

Have I spent just as much time worshipping the One who  came for us as I have buying presents, shopping on Amazon, or making candy and gingerbread houses?

Have I cleaned out all the toy chests, and closets, and dressers of my heart to make room for the only One that matters?

Or am I still just like the innkeeper?

What if instead of buying into all the commercialization we instead set aside nights to read books that revolve around The Baby who came to save us all?

What if we baked Jesus a birthday cake?

What if we served others?  Gave to those who truly need?

What if we worshipped the One who came so that we could know what true peace is?

Would we still feel that longing that there’s more?  And would we still be trying to fill it with stuff that was never meant to fill that longing?  Would we still be cramming Jesus into a barn in our hearts, telling him there’s no room for Him?

When will we realize that Christmas was never about material possessions or a jolly fat man or a mischievous elf but rather about God Himself bending down to Earth, holding out his hands offering us the Lamb that would take away all our sins?  The Gift that always fills and lasts and sustains.

And when will we realize that our only hope is in making room for the tiny infant Who came to make us fully whole and complete and content in and through Him?

Making room isn’t for His benefit.  He’s wholly God regardless of the amount of our lives we choose to give Him.

It’s for our benefit.  Our peace.  Our hope.

I don’t know about you, but that’s more than worth making room for.

May you find the true spirit of Christmas this year, making room for what's Who's truly important and lasting.

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