These nights my neighbors' house looks like this.
(Not their actual house, but you get the idea.)
These nights my house looks like this:
If you peeked inside my house right now you'd see not one Christmas decoration. Well, only a few Christmas cards on the mantle, ones we've received in the mail. But that's all.
No, around our rooms you'd see labeled boxes in stacks and blue plastic bins and hutch shelves bare and dark.
But you know? The rebel in me is smiling. And I think I have more true Christmas spirit this year than in the last few years combined. I don't know. Perhaps some people just weren't meant to decorate for Christmas and bake scads of cookies and attend holiday parties or concerts or shop at crowded malls in December.
Perhaps I'm one of those people. But whatever, packing up the house where I've lived for fourteen years during this current Christmas season--and avoiding all the hoopla--well, it feels downright peaceful to me. Holy-baby-born-in-a-stable peaceful.
And too, I have no qualms about leaving this house where we've lived and laughed and loved (and occasionally fought like wild coyotes) for more than a decade. The house where I've lived longer than any other during my 48 years.
It's time to do that. To move away. Grace is so here to help me step out the door one final time. Grace-fully.
Oh, we'll have one more Christmas dinner here inside this house. Naomi and her boyfriend will come over on Christmas day and we will open gifts one last time inside these walls while listening to Christmas carols on the radio. And upon the table I'll set our Christmas plates and the holly tablecloth and red plaid napkins. And our gold grapevine Christmas tree will stand tall at the table's end, in front of the middle window where it's always stood before.
And in our hearts we'll say good-bye to this home which has sheltered us for fourteen good, very good, years. The years which took Naomi from junior high to age 25. The years which took me from a too-serious, complaining control-freak to a calm lover of Life and of God.
And then the following week we'll say hello to a whole new adventure... and thousands more good, grace-filled, happy days to come. Albeit in a different place. And that's ok--way more than ok--for I'm so ready for something new.
You'll find no pillar of salt here--for me, there will be no gazing back. I'll be following Grace, staring ahead at the back of her coat, and I can't afford to stand around all memory-eyed, missing where she leads me next.