Christmas is Over

Christmas is over. Obviously.

This year we had a bit of an extended season though, as we had a few Christmas celebrations with my family, before going up north to visit my wife's family, and then came home to an awesome and unexpected snow storm that gave my wife an extra week off of work. The whole thing was really amazing and a great way to end one year and start another.

However, as we took down Christmas decorations, Ellie had a little trouble saying goodbye to the holidays. I totally understand, as I have vivid memories of the day after Christmas (Boxing Day to our northern neighbors) being solemn and feeling a bit empty. Sure, I probably just came off of an awesome Christmas and had tons of new toys and video games to play with, but the whole expectation of the big day is really what makes the season magical. The older I get, the easier it becomes to let go and move on, looking forward to new adventures in the new year; but I can certainly sympathize with my three year-old.

Her experience this year speaks to me though, as I still struggle with letting go of other things -- some physical and others internal -- and move on. With the extra week of time together, for instance, we spent quite a bit of it cleaning house and getting rid of things. I went through my box of "keepsake" items: things more sentimental than practical. These are items I've carried over the years, but rarely do more with than occasionally take a gander at, reminisce, and then place back in the box or a bedside drawer. It begs the question: why do I keep these things? I'm not saying that keepsakes are terrible, but they can certainly add up.

The longer Katie and I have been married, the more simplistic we have become with our lifestyle. We moved our whole life across the country in two cars and a 5x8 U-haul trailer, but I think we desire to cut back even more. With these cuts, however, must come the release of some items that take up space in the closet. And with that release, as difficult as it may be, comes freedom.

A poignant fortune cookie from a trip to Mojo during the holidays.
As I mentioned in the last post, nature beckons us to move on and change with the seasons. The bible supports it too: 
...I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12b-14)
And so as we head into 2018, I pray that this year is filled with new adventures and experiences, part of which will inevitably involve moving on from what is behind -- be it clothes, toys, keepsakes, holidays, addictions, shame, relationships -- whatever may be hindering you from moving forward into all that God has for you.