Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:8-9

It’s about that time of year when the Fall decorations come down and the Christmas ones go up. My daughter gave me a handy hint that she had read in the book, Welcome Home, that made a lot of sense — “Edit out before you add in.” Clearing the space and living with it for a couple of days gives you room to breathe and get your creative juices ready to go for the next season’s decorations.

It reminded me of a refrain that I told myself when we were moving from our house to the apartment a couple of years ago. It was necessary to get rid of fifty years of collecting stuff. Good stuff. Nice stuff. Old stuff. Fill-my-closets-with stuff. I had no room in the place we were headed for all of this stuff. But it was hard to let go of all of it because most of it had wonderful memories attached or why would I have kept it? But I knew it was time to let it go. It was controlling me. That refrain? I had to lay down this stuff so my hands were empty in order to pick up something new. 

Christmas decorating stirs the memories of so many seasons past. It’s always been my favorite holiday and I had the collections to prove it. I saved my favorite and most treasured items and lovingly find just the right place for them now, remembering family times over the years.

I think I’m a little more reminiscent this year because of COVID. I know that God has filled my hands with new things He wants me to have — contentment, freedom, joy, peace, purpose. But this year has been hard, filled with disappointment and loss for all of us…grandgirlies special birthdays, graduation ceremony, trips, holidays. And for many it has been much worse.

I’m sure we will all look back at 2020 as a year to forget. However, since we have empty spaces in our lives, let’s look for what new things God wants to add. I’m not sure what God has in mind, both personally and as a nation, but I want to wake up each morning with the expectation that He is a good God and Heavenly Father and I’m going to be ready for the next chapter in my life.

So…take a breath and pull out those boxes. Christmas is coming!