12/2/17

Cleaning Out the Christmas Clutter

I opened up box after box of Christmas decorations this year and sighed.

"When was the last time I used that?" I said. "And that. And that!"


Year after year, I have re-packed Christmas-y items that I never used. I just couldn't seem to part with them.

But this year, I changed my perspective and took action.

As I unloaded the "Christmas boxes" and put up the tree and all the decor around the house, whenever I came across a never- or seldom-used holiday item, I set it aside temporarily.  

Then I followed a plan.

I decided:

1. To throw out everything that was broken beyond repair.
2. To mend anything that was still usable and potentially "keep-able."
3. To ask my children and nieces if they wanted the things that are still nice, useful or heritage-based.
4. If they didn't want them, the items would be donated to a women's club who sells things—even Christmas things—in January. The women use the funds to contribute to college scholarships for high school seniors in their town.


Less stuff just makes more sense. 
Release it and let it go!

Releasing things makes sense spiritually too.
I'm asking the Lord to help me clear out the clutter in my life that obscures seeing and worshiping Him. 
What kind of clutter?

1. I need to examine the clutter in my CALENDAR.

Instead of taking time to be still and meditate on why Jesus came and what He is doing in my life, it's off to another concert... off to another party... off to whatever!

Busyness does not contribute to godliness at any time; and "crazy-busy" gets in the way of our celebration of the Lord's birth.

Pursue peace. And if you're not sure what that looks like, talk to the Lord. He is not a God of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33a). Plan time to sit down and be still before the Lord so you can rise up to praise Him! (Psalm 46:10)

2. I need to examine the clutter in my PRIORITIES.

I need to get back to the basics: God, family, ministry.

Other things may be good. But when life gets busy, we have to focus on the best!

We don't want to honor the Lord only with our lips at Christmas, but also with our hearts (Matthew 15:8). Focus not so much on fleeting things that eventually fall apart; focus on things that are "above"—the things that are worthy and eternal (Colossians 3:1). Focus on Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-2)

3. I need to examine the clutter in my CHECKBOOK.

Do I really need this thing or that? Does it truly contribute to Christmas joy, or will it simply be another thing to pay off later or even to regret purchasing.

Sometimes the things we think will be "treasures" end up being trinkets. And they steal away the focus of our hearts.

     "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

4. I need to examine the clutter in my ATTITUDES.

When stressful times come—and Christmas can be a stressful time—it's easy to get upset, "short" with family and friends, crabby and complaining.

I can let bad attitudes negatively color the environment and clutter what could be simple and beautiful. Or I can choose to respond in love and wisdom, giving people grace just as I would want grace too.

"Do all things without grumbling ... Let love be genuine..." (Philippians 2:14-15; Romans 12:9-10).

I encourage you to do what I'm doing—draw away from the busyness long enough to actually examine personal clutter.

Why?

We can get comfortable in our clutter and forget what life feels like without any clutter:

It feels like FREEDOM!

Is there some sort of "clutter" in your life? Can you "release it" and let it go so you can experience more freedom and joy?

I truly believe cleaning out the Christmas clutter will prepare our hearts for worshipful opportunities we might never imagine possible. 


Graphic adapted from a photo by Cheri Durbin at Morguefile.

4 comments:

PJ said...

Very nice blog post. Indeed I too must cut the clutter. I am all "wrapped" up in the doing and checking the list twice, that I then miss out on the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for sharing such a good message for us Christian women. Merry Christmas ♥

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks, PJ. That was encouraging! May the Lord give you great moments of wonder as you go through this Christmas season. ~ Dawn at http://heartchoicestoday.blogspot.com/ and http://www.upgradewithdawn.com/.

Nancy in Southern CA said...

One of my big goals for 2018 is to create an unclutter home. You have challenged me to enlarge my goal to include more than physical clutter. Thanks for your insights.

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Nancy in Southern CA. It's good to know someone else is thinking about the heart, not just the home.