|Photo Credit: cohdra from morgueFile.com|
I love Christmas lights. I enjoy looking at all of the illuminated homes and yards during this time of year. I’ve always loved how magical it feels. I can’t recall a single year that my mom and dad didn’t put lights up around our home while growing up. So, it’s interesting that in the last fifteen Decembers of my marriage, we’ve only had lights up for one of those Decembers. Hmmm…
For some reason, I felt especially energetic this year and decided that it was indeed time to put up a few lights ‘round here. We don’t have a ton of traffic where we live, but I thought the kids would enjoy it anyway. I knew I would. I thought I’d start small this year, so I grabbed a couple of spools of lights at the store. I have to admit, I usually have wonderful “ideas” for ways to spruce up our yard and landscaping. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that I’m not the one who then typically tends to my beautiful outdoor accent ideas. So, we keep it simple…the hubby and me.
I told my husband that I would put the lights up and take them down as well. Pinky promise. I vowed not to leave the spools of lights sitting by (or on top of) his “to-do list,” hoping that a little elf would get it done. I kept my end of the deal and my daughter and I tackled the lights project last weekend while he was at work.
Let’s just say that I have a whole new appreciation for people who take the time to put up outside lights. We didn’t even hang any from our roof. Heck, we didn’t even use a ladder! We only put lights up where my daughter and I could reach. We put a few in the bushes and wrapped some around the front porch railings. We felt pretty good about it.
My daughter and I worked and worked and had a great time together. We couldn’t wait to see our finished product once the sun went down. We only had a few scratches to show for our labors from the palm tree that poked us as we went around and around its base in a tight corner.
I’ll share with you that when we started, we were so giddy with excitement that we took all the lights off of the spools and ended up with a tangled mess on the floor. However, we plugged them in and somehow; we didn’t notice the tangles anymore. All we did was ooh and aah about how radiant the lights did shine! Mess or no mess…the lights were stunning!
If you don’t put up lights, no worries. I absolutely do not want you adding that to your Christmas honey-dos. However, if you have decorated with outside lights or plan to; I thought you might appreciate this little tidbit.
Why do we put up lights anyway? Just to get frustrated by all the crazy tangled cords? Um…no, that’s not it. To get our lights put up just right only to find out that half the strand doesn’t work after all? Um…nope, that’s not it either.
When we have guests come over, we usually put a light on for them, right? We turn on our porch lights so that our friends can find our home in the dark. We put the lights on to let them know that we are expecting them. Well, putting up lights around our home at Christmastime is a great way to remember that we are doing the same thing in our hearts...for Jesus. We are letting Jesus know that we are keeping the lights on for Him. We are letting Him know that we are expecting Him. We are preparing for Him, the Christ Child, the amazing reason for this marvelous season of Christmas.
The thought that I enjoyed most was the fact that my kiddos and I were full of delight and joy when we plugged in our tangled mess of lights on the ground. The lights were more amazing than the mess. We overlooked the mess because the lights drew us in.
I think it can be the same for us. We’re not perfect. Actually, we’re far from it. Sometimes, we’re just a mess. However, in our mess, we can still shine a light for all to see as we prepare for Jesus’ birthday. In our mess, we can still be a source of joy for others. In our mess, we can still radiate hope to a world that desperately needs it. In our mess, we can still illuminate someone’s path by praying for them. In our tangled mess, we can still exude God’s love.
By golly, the lights are on! Jesus, we are preparing for You. We are expecting You. We welcome You…into our hearts!
Merry Christmas to all of my precious Sunshines! I have thoroughly enjoyed sipping sunshine with you in 2014 and look forward to our 2015 together. No Sips for a few weeks, but I’ll be back after the first of the year with some new Sips of Sunshine just for you!
Much love and many blessings to you and yours!
Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!