The gift of undressing…

GEORGE WITH TINY TIM

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive in me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
Ebenezer Scrooge

Over the years of Christmases past as an ever deepening love for my Lord developed, Christmas at Longings End has gotten simpler and by extension much more peaceful.

Dawning in the cold dark of a heart too busy, prideful, hurting and scared to let go came truth simple like the shining star that wise people still follow.

Christmas is a way of life that can be celebrated 365 days a year.

Not jam packed crazy into 12 days or so.

The gift in the manger came bearing the unsurpassed gift of love for all of us. And the stable and the baby that grew up to be a carpenter couldn’t exemplify simplicity more.

The heart of Christmas is love for God and others.

Yet I once decorated my home with Christmas everywhere and even had two trees.

Hallmark holiday perfect was only an illusion as if stuffing enough decorations in every nook and cranny would fill the hole in my heart and make it better.

And the more I decorated, the less I undressed the rooms inside my heart.

The inner sanctuary, the throne room of God where the kingdom of heaven resides inside me was garish with baubles and trinkets of self-protection and attempts to evade the truth.

Yet what my wish list really wailed for was wrapped up in a tiny baby swaddled, and Him crying upon a midnight clear to come to Him.

No need for me or you to make ourselves look better with tinsel covering the tears. And there could never be enough shiny paper and ribbons to make sin more acceptable.

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For unto you this day, in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.
Luke 2:11-14

So come home at Christmas to your Savior who waits.

Come to the stable and bend the knee.

Come as you are with open hands to receive the true gift of Christmas.

It took me a long time to let go of the merry trappings and pare down the decorations I had placed around my heart before the real Light could shine bright on Christmas morning and all through the year.

Not perfectly of course, yet willing to learn, surrender, keep going; getting better with every step as obedience muscles exercised grow stronger.

Trusting that the One who is our greatest gift would provide the blessedness and warmth of Christmas longed for.

And it’s not about the gifts I give even when I can’t afford them, but giving myself in love and service to all those God has placed in my life.

And the best Jesus birthday gift ever is me and you humbly making ourselves a gift to Him and y’all …

~sheila

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15 thoughts on “The gift of undressing…

  1. You know, I’m taking several days to decorate–mostly because I don’t have the time or energy to do it all in one day, Sheila! And I had this nagging feeling that I needed “more” than I had to work with, so my plan was to shop for more decor soon. But this is making me pause and rethink that notion! I love what you’ve said, “And the more I decorated, the less I undressed the rooms inside my heart.” There is an “undoing” of our hearts when we turn our focus from Christ to the trappings of Christmas, isn’t there, my friend? You are speaking encouragement and wisdom into my life in so many ways!

    • Sweet friend…so glad the words can help. Thanks! Less is definitely MORE!! And the more we simplify the less of us there is to contend with and the more time we can spend with Him and the closer we are to Him the more we become like Him and that blesses us and everyone else a whole lot more. And that’s a lot of more…So exhale Beth and let Him lead you in decor and such. Christmas is not about how many cookies we bake or having a picture perfect holiday home. It’s about Him finding a home ready and waiting for Him in our hearts and us being at home with Him on Christmas and every day…Love, peace and blessings…

    • Lisa, I think it probably makes our enemy gleeful when he sees all of us running crazy and cramming Christmas everywhere with the noise and the lights, the lines and the cranks. Jesus would say celebrate my birthday simply and celebrate me everyday, in every waking moment. Best to you for a simple and Jesus-real Christmas…

  2. I was watching Frosty the Snowman with my son and when Frosty comes to life and says, “Happy Birthday”, I thought- that’s right, “Happy Birthday, Jesus!”.

    I’ve been talking to my son about how we honor Jesus’ birthday with so many decorations, singing, giving of gifts and so on. Trying to help him understand the true meaning of Christmas.

    More of Christ, that’s what I need.

  3. Sorry Sheila
    What I wanted to say was how it hit me right between the eyes when I read the words how God wishes peace amongst men with whom He IS WELL PLEASED. It was as if our Pappa has revealed to my heart how totally dependent I am on Him to fill my heart with His love, actually Himself. To love all those with whom He is well pleased that I don’t particular like very much. Oh, how great is our God who doesn’t hold our sins against us any more, knowing full well that without Him living in us, that there is nothing else we are able to do but sin!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    • I love how God is teaching us every minute of every day whether through His word directly or through a blog post or nature or something a child says to us. He is good and faithful ever forming the character of His son in us. And you have a beautiful heart, Mia, and I am so glad we know each other, my friend…

  4. Thank you for sharing at “Tell Me a Story.” Your reminder is well received that it is not the glitter and decorations that bring the meaning of Christmas, but to enjoy the relationship of Jesus the living Savior in our hearts. Our simple tree will remind us of living things (even though it is plastic) as I am not a craft person so decorations is not my things.