Well, we put it all away.
All the stockings and garland and lights that twinkle like children’s eyes on Christmas morning. My husband brought box after box up from the crawl space and within each one we tucked away the memories and merriment from this Christmas with what was already there from years past. All of it hides within every ornament and toe of every stocking as well as it hides within our hearts. It made me sad to see it all go, to see it stuffed down inside plastic bins that sit in a dark corner underneath all of our living for the majority of the year.
I don’t usually get so sad when we put our Christmas decorations away, but something about it just broke my heart this year. Maybe it was because this year, for the first time, my kids were really into it. They caught the Christmas spirit like the flu and it coursed through every part of them. This season was just plain good, full of joy and all that you picture Christmas to be when you look at it through that frosted, yellow-glowing window in your mind’s eye. I didn’t want to see it end.
“It has to go. It can’t be here forever or it wouldn’t be special,” my husband told me. He was right, of course, so as we put it all away, I tried to look ahead to what’s next. I made a mental list; my birthday, my daughter’s birthday, Downton Abbey’s return, Valentine’s Day, spring… All the little promises that this new year holds, all of the petals that will fall open as it blossoms into newness and beauty.
And it helped, this thinking of newness. Looking forward to seeing a new year begin was the perfect cure to my Christmas-bin-blues. Maybe because it’s familiar in a Spiritual kind of way, because our God does this with us all of the time. He pushes out the old with new. He takes the barren branches and dresses them up with gorgeous green in the same way that He takes our hearts and transforms them from season to season.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 ESV
This is the start of a new year, a new season and God is waiting to do a new thing in your heart. He’s waiting for us to put away the stuff of the past, to tuck it neatly inside those bins in our hearts — the clear kind that we can see through — and reflect on but the kind that we can put away all the same and begin a new season with Him.
The question is, what will that season hold for you? I don’t know — but there’s someone who does know.
Let’s take the opportunity at the beginning of this year, right now, to seek the Lord for what He desires this New Year to look like for each of us. Maybe He’ll give you a picture of what it will be, maybe he’ll give you goals to work toward. Maybe He’ll give you peace or joy or contentment to juggle all of it or maybe He’ll give a realization of His presence in your life.
For me, it was a word. He dropped it into my heart like chocolate syrup on a Sunday during church this weekend; diligence. This year, I am to be more diligent in all that I do. That’s what this season is supposed to look like. The results that will come from that, that’s what I can look forward to.
It will be different for all of us, but the point is the awareness of it. The point is that we need to be seeking the Lord to find out what the “new thing” is that He’s doing and then follow after it with all of our hearts.
So, this week, put away the old like Christmas decorations in January and look ahead to all the newness that the Lord desires to bring into your life. Seek Him. Ask Him. Join Him in the changing of seasons and find joy in all that lies ahead.