Simplify Sunday 12-4

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….

As I am writing  this article I am sitting in the middle of our Christmas decorations. I can easily get overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done to finish the decorating. Just getting ready to decorate can take the biggest part of our day.

Not that the house is that messy (until you start dragging all of the decorations into the middle of the living room) but I am a firm believer you might as well clean really good while you have everything in total chaos anyway .Unless you have a permanent spot for your Christmas tree and keep it cleaned and clutter free, you probably are like me and spend time dusting, mopping getting the perfect spot ready. Once we decide on the perfect spot (which could take a while) then begins the whole cleaning process which could also mean relocating some of the furniture.

I like to move furniture around several times a year so this is a perfect time to do this so, that means extra dusting and mopping, now you see how decorating can take a bit of time at my house. I also change the drapes mainly because my winter drapes (a plum colored and a thicker drape) do not match my decorations. So begins the ironing of the white sheers and packing away the winter ones (some place that I will remember where I put them so they can go back up after the holidays).  Yes, I know it sounds like a lot work but it will drive me crazy looking at all the red, silver and white items near the plum drapes (sometimes it is just easier to go over the edge when you decorate than stressing your brain out).

This year it has taken a lot of extra time to put away my fall decorations, I am not sure why but I really enjoyed having the house decorated for fall. I love the colors, the feel of change in the air and the way life slows a bit before the Christmas rush. I am pleased to say they are packed, labeled and headed to the shed. A few years ago I purchased plastic pockets the stick on the side of our plastic totes. Then we as we pack items away we label the contents on an index card and place it in the plastic sleeve. This has really helped with


knowing what is in each box and makes it a lot easier to find items for each season. Of course, I would love to have the pretty color code totes for each season, but I need to use the totes that I have acquired through the years (yep, the ones that held all of my kid’s baby clothes and every picture they ever colored). I hope the stores will still be selling those in a few years when the ones I have start to fall apart and duct tape just won’t fix them again.

Every year about this time my mind starts to wander to the land where lovely ladies call their favorite decorator and have them arrive one morning and wave their magic wand and by five that same afternoon the house is decorated top to bottom in the newest Christmas colors and not a mess in sight. Then reality sets in and I realize that number one I do not have the money to have this done, number two on some strange level I might miss the fun of decorating (notice I wouldn’t miss the mess) and number 3 what would I do with all the extra time that I would normally spend dusting, mopping, and packing everything away. I am trying not to stress myself by hiring someone else to do the job (go figure out that reasoning).

The truth is I really like watching all the Christmas movies while we decorate and remember the stories behind each ornament as it is hung on the tree.  Those are the things that make Christmas so much fun, the sweet memories, the house filled with laughter and the stories told again of days gone by. I really wouldn’t trade a moment (well, maybe the mess and clean up part) of it all.

It is so easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” of the holidays, trying to make it to all of the activities and get just the right cards signed, sealed and delivered and then to top it all off by making others happy with just the perfect present.  It is so easy to lose focus on what’s important and what really matters.

Last night while coming home from a wonderful dinner with special friends, Christmas music was playing on the radio and as I was looking out the window I saw a single shiny star and I wondered how Mary must have felt on that special night. Did she really understand what was ahead for her?  Did she


understand the reality of what was about to happen and that every time she touched her growing belly that she was carrying the King of Kings? I remember wondering if I was ready for the job of being a mom or if I was really going to do a good job with my little gift from God.  Did she ever feel that same panic in the pit of your stomach as that first pain comes and you wonder if it’s too late to change your mind?  Then one day to realize as He starts to grow up that the message the angels gave her was coming true, she did give birth to the one that came to save the world, how overwhelming that must have been but humbling and honoring at the same time.

How easy this simple message can get lost in all of the “brightness” of the holiday. What would it take for us to slow down and look for that shiny star in the sky, to remember the King of Kings came to this earth for the direct purpose to save you and me from the pit of hell? Maybe it’s time to make sure we share the message of a tiny little baby boy sent so long ago to provide a way so that no matter who we are or what we have done we can spend eternity in the presence of my Jesus. The best present in all of history was the gift of eternal life through Him. How would this time of year look if we spent as much time sharing and caring as we do shopping and dropping?

Make this the year to make a difference!!

Love you to Jesus,





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