Ignore the mess.

posted in: homemaking 3

Organize your attitude #33

Christmas is almost here. Kids are off school, excited, and doing what kids do best: creating messes.

Add to that typical chaos all the extra stuff of Christmas – more sweets, new toys, wrapping paper, packaging – plus extra exuberance – and you have the makings of a real disaster.

But it’s only a disaster if you look at it with the attitude that your home should always be neat and tidy and life is all messed up if it isn’t. That attitude is a mental disaster in the making. Before you grab the mop, look to your mindset.

If, instead, you look at the Christmas chaos as a glorious real-life upset (like the incarnation was) then you can mentally deal with the overflow of stuff, the overflow of energy, the overflow of life with a more cheerful demeanor.

The children, the family, the guests – they are not obstacles to your peace and calm which should be yours this Christmas. They are your avenue of service, your people whom you can give Christmas to. They receive and give back in overflow – it’s messy, there’s extra friction, but it’s good work.

The extra food, the extra decorations, the extra stuff – these are not obstacles to your home’s perfection. These are the ways we love our people. We express care and love to them in tangible, visible, even delicious ways through the stuff.

Yes, there’s more work. It’s good work.

Yes, there’s more mess. There will be a time to tidy it up, but let yourself enjoy the hubbub and the chaos, ease up your expectations and let joy overflow.

The peace of the season comes from a heart focused on Christ. Christ came to save us, sacrificing Himself. He joined the hubbub and chaos of the real world and took part in parties, in meals, in crowds, in churches. Yes, He sometimes withdrew, but when He was teaching and serving others, he joined them where they were.

Instead of trying to grab the Christmas peace we want by shutting down the exuberance of our children, let’s join in it, meeting them where they are and letting the mess be part of the joyous experience.

Make food, wash dishes, wrap presents, see the paper and packaging fly and the pieces of new toys explode and marvel that God gives so generously and loves so freely. He loves us when we are messy, when we are silly, when we are petty. He cleans up after us, washes us, shows us a better way – in love and with care and joy.

We can partake of that joy this Christmas season by being generous, joyful makers of the Christmas spirit this week.

Keep a smile on your face. Ignore the mess. See the children. Enjoy the expressive, over-the-top, incarnational Christmas experience.

Keep a smile on your face. Ignore the mess. See the children. Enjoy the expressive, over-the-top, incarnational Christmas experience.

We’ll clear the decks again in January. For now, share the Christmas abundance and joy.

3 Responses

  1. Meghan Finch
    | Reply

    This was exactly what I needed to hear today, thank you so much!

  2. Melanie
    | Reply

    Great reminder to help me reset my attitude about the work and mess of the holidays.

  3. Kristin
    | Reply

    Thank you, Mystie! You always seem to write just what I need to hear, too.

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