Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….
We are in Christmas count down mode at our house for the next 6 days. In case you have been living under a rock let me be the first to tell you that Christmas is only 1 week away. I don’t know about you but for the last week I have walked around beliving that I had 2 weeks left. I think that my brain is in overload with all that I still need to do. Where to start is the major question to the point that I spend more time trying to figure out where to start and what to do than getting anything done. I feel like I am spinning my wheels.
Of course as your shopping list is whirling around in your head, the list of with all the places to clean and organize starts to join in on the stress that is now swirling at the speed of light.
It’s time to give yourself permission to let some of it go. Make a list of the items that need to be done by Christmas Eve putting the most important jobs first then write down the things you would like to get finished up just in case the cleaning fairies come in the middle of the night. (If they show up and have some extra time please send them my way).
I know there are guest that will be staying with some of you that you feel like you need to clean every corner and closet in the entire house or you will hear about it for the next 10 years and just thinking about it stresses you out. To tell you the truth, those special guest will find the only crumb on the floor no matter how many times you sweep the floor, so stop worrying. If they are there to give your home the “white glove” test, next year when plans are being made to visit, forward them a list of all the hotels in your area.
Make cleaning a family affair, get everyone involved. Start with the most important job, maybe getting the kitchen in order for the big cooking day. Clean top to bottom, save the mopping until after you have finished all of the Christmas cooking. Make sure you have someone on dish duty so dishes are washed when you are finished with them that way they won’t build up and take forever to get cleaned up. Nothing is worse is to be stuck in the kitchen washing dishes while ever one else is getting to visit and play games.
Set a time a time limit for all the jobs that need to be done and stick to it. You will be surprised how fast you can get a project finished when you are on a tight schedule.
Be careful not to get carried away with the cleaning, this is not the time of year for a deep cleaning. Just make sure your home is clean and inviting for family and friends. Don’t forget to make sure you pay attention to the smells in your home. Keep seasonal candles lit or a tart warmer going to keep you house smelling like you are expecting someone important to arrive any minute. There are several studies that have been done on the importance of smell and the moods of the people with in that area. Anything that gives your home the smell of something baking will be warm and inviting anytime of the day or night.
Now that you have set the tone for your home, is your heart prepared to welcome those that pass your way during this Christmas season. I think we get so caught up in the gifts and the baking and cleaning that we forget that the condition of our heart is the real meaning of Christmas. It doesn’t matter how much we spend or what we place under the tree if we don’t really love and care for those around us we are wasting our time and money. Gifts are given as an expression of how much we care and value each person on our list. You know how careful you are to pick just the right gift for those that we love and how different our attitude is about the people we are buying for out of obligation. (That’s why we have so many “as seen on TV” items)
I would rather receive a gift given because of love instead of anything in the world. It will always mean more to me if I know that the giver loves me enough to go to all the trouble to get me a gift instead of a gift to fill the void where a relationship should be.
Could this be how God looks at the parts of our life that we offer Him? He doesn’t want only the parts of our lives we have messed up and now we need Him to fix it. He wants to be loved by us, in the same way He loves us.
He wants to be loved unconditionally. To be loved by His children because of whom He is and not what He can do for them. He is not the great sugar daddy in the sky that we bring our broken dreams and problems and leave them expecting them to be fixed and return in perfect condition by morning.
Did the God of the universe cry from a broken heart the day He sent his son to this earth, knowing what was ahead for Him? The son of God stepped out of heaven and came to earth to be the sacrifice for my sins and yours. He wasn’t received as the King of Kings that came to save the world. He was received as a poor carpenter, a servant’s job, someone to due others bidding. It didn’t matter about His role on this earth, people just wanted to know what He could do for them. Little did they know He came to save the world!
It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have, He came to change our hearts and in the process change our lives. Don’t let this Christmas get by without doing a little house keeping on your heart. Let go of the stuff that is keeping the Son from shining through. Let others see Christ in you, that’s the stuff that will change the world one heart at a time.
May you and your families have a most blessed Christmas. Take the time to love on each other and let the Son shine in on all you do, because when the presents are unwrapped and the food is all gone, what is left in your heart is all that will matter. Really what else matters?
Merry Christmas!! Love you to Jesus.