Well, it’s December 30th and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Jill, our daughter who lives in Oklahoma, has been here the past two weeks and headed back home yesterday morning. It’s normally a two day trip and she arrived at their home late afternoon today. So yesterday, after Jill departed, Janet and I started to take down the Christmas decorations. We had several trees up this year and although we didn’t put up nearly all the stuff we have, it was enough to cause us a little angst about getting it all down.
Janet is a real believer in decorating for Christmas. It isn’t unusual for us to decorate the main floor, lower level and even the upstairs, although less than the other two floors. We have garland on the railing and this year, as we have done in years past, we had lights across the front of the house and everything on timers so it didn’t matter if we were home when it got dark out.
But we did take it a little easier than in the past. Several years ago, Janet had a fractured upper arm and shoulder – while I was dealing with a tendon injury this year. So, it was much more difficult to hike up and down the stairs with boxes and seasonal decorations. Yes, we are getting a little older but we aren’t letting that stop us from the trappings of the season, We start decorating a little earlier than we used to but that’s because when it’s over – it’s over. We enjoy the house during Christmastide but a day or two after Christmas and I am getting anxious for things to return to normal.
This all started many years ago. You see, Jill was born on New Year’s Day in 1978 and Janet was in labor on New Year’s Eve. As Jill got older, she was very specific that she didn’t want us taking down decorations on her birthday. Rather than wait until several days into the new year, we got in the habit of making sure things were all packed away by New Year’s Eve. That was contrary to the way that Janet and I were raised – our parents always took down their stuff on January 1st. Of course, neither of our families decorated the way we do so it only took a few hours to return the house to normal.
So tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, we will finish putting everything away. We are pretty tired tonight but we will enjoy the end of year celebration in a clean home that is ready for the start of 2019. Tomorrow will therefore signify the end of Christmas at our home as well as the end of 2018 – a tough year in our family.
We are looking forward to this year ending and having a fresh start for 2019. In fact, the past two years have been difficult and we are ready for one that could be a more positive experience for us.
God makes a promise to us that He can make everything new for us as well. The past is forgotten and we will move on with a clean slate. In Revelation 21:5, the apostle John, the author of Revelation, tells us, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Isn’t that great? We will experience things that we have never experienced before and our eternal life will move on. The ways of the past will be over… and as I said earlier, when it’s over, it’s over…
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be His people and wants us to always have a fresh start. My prayer is that 2019 will be a wonderful year for each of us – that we will forgive and forget the things of the past and will be able to move on with a new outlook – realizing that each year God gives us the chance to change everything. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…