Wednesday, January 3, 2018

a little perspective

I've embraced this philosophy, of sorts, over the past twelve or thirteen years of my life.  I posted a little about this on social media yesterday, in the description of a picture I posted, but I thought I'd share a little more about that today.

*Disclaimer: this pertains to NOBODY except for me, and I am not judging anyone who does things differently than what this post is about.  This is what I have discovered works best for me.*

I started thinking about this on Thanksgiving night, as we were pulling out all the decorations and bringing them downstairs to decorate for Christmas.  I also read about this a few short days after I started thinking about this topic, and I will do things VERY differently this year, as far as decorations go, when it comes time to decorate again for the holidays.

It used to be that decorating my house was an all day event.  As each year passes, it takes less and less time.  Part of this could be because of my amazing go-getter sons, who are so great to help me and can fly through putting a tree together.  But really, it's because I have been putting out less and less each year.  I want it to look beautiful, but I've learned that I can do a few simple things to make it look that way to me.

I say this in part because I am over the flashy and glittery decorations that I've used for years.  Some of it I have bought, but most of it was given to me.  When we clean out our attic in a few weeks, I am going to get rid of a ton of stuff.  I want to use things that would look fine being out all year long, instead of just for a few weeks.  Nothing with glitter looks natural, either, and I want things to look more that way (natural, that is) this year.

(This is where you need to go Google Cozy Minimalist.)

The thing I love about Christmas is about how pretty things look with twinkling lights and warm lighting.  I can create that effect by using lights, maybe more white for this year, and turning on lamps.

(This whole lamp thing is the bane of my husband's existence, by the way.  He does not at all understand my need for pretty lighting, and why I even turn on one single light during the day when the sun is shining.  He has switched all of our bulbs over to the low efficiency type, to save on energy.  I'm fine with that, as long as it doesn't look neon or baby blue.  I like warm white lighting.)
I plan on scaling way back on Christmas decorations this coming December, because when it becomes a burden to do so, the joy goes away.  I don't want it to be stressful, or cluttered, and putting out less will help me to avoid those two terrible things.  I have learned that I like what I like, and even if it's not trendy, if I like it, then that is all that matters.

I have learned to have what I love and to love what I have.

And because everything is always a picture of the spiritual side of things for me, this somehow reminds me of what Paul writes about in being content in all circumstances in Philippians four.  I learned this a long time ago, but it's like the Lord brought it home for me again in the past few weeks.  (Yes, I know the situation in which Paul writes about is vastly different, but the Lord just used this illustration I write of to remind me of what is important.)

In prayerfully reflecting upon things I want to concentrate on in twenty eighteen, this is one area.  I mentioned how I want my goal to be to honor the Lord in every area of my life, and that includes in how I spend my time, money, and the things I think about.  Because of my stature in life right now, I could easily be swept up in keeping up with everyone around me, but that is not what the Lord wants for me.  He protects me in so many ways, and this is just one small way in which He does so.  He has given me a very different way of thinking so that I will not be bitter or full of envy.  That doesn't mean that I can't be that way sometimes, but for the most part, He keeps me in check by recalling a few passages of scripture to my mind.

He is teaching me more and more with every single day, to depend more upon His word and in prayer, than in anything else.  When I have a thought cross my mind that may be full of envy or bitterness, I confess it immediately and then ask for forgiveness.  When I become jealous of what someone's house may look like compared to mine, I start to praise Him for always being our Provider, and thanking Him for all that He has given us.  Everything we have is from Him, and I don't want to forget that.

He protects me by helping me stay away from a love of shopping and perusing through magazines, even though I love to flip through a good decorating magazine.  There are a million little ways in which He is so kind and loving toward me that I could write about all day, but I'll wrap this up.  If this is an area in which you struggle, pray!  I had to learn to do that a very long time ago.  I promise, He will help you.  His word says in Psalm 145 that He is our Helper.  He also lovingly guards us, and He will do that for you.  I pray this reaches someone who needs to be reassured in some way today. 

(This is how He works in my life, too~through a silly little illustration that has to do with Christmas decorations, but He is so good to do that for me.)

Thanks for reading.  Love to all.

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