Sometimes that phrase is so overused that you forget it’s really true.

Yesterday was the day that the Christmas tree finally came down. I’d already put away everything else over the weekend, but the tree stayed through New Year’s Eve. As the light came streaming in the windows on the first day of 2014, I carried in my ornament boxes, and Kevin brought in the big ol’ tree box and the dismantling began. By noon, it was all back in the garage, and I’d vacuumed and put the chairs back that had been waiting out the season where the Christmas decorations normally live.

It’s funny how everything feels lighter when the tree’s gone. It felt good. I moved everything off shelves and dusted. Took the leaves out of the dining room table and returned it to normal. I vacuumed the whole house, then I stepped into my pantry to retrieve something for lunch.

It was horrific.

I got a step stool and, starting from the top, I went through everything in there, culled out expired stuff, threw away crazy things that had me scratching my head on how they’d ended up there in the first place. Several trash bags later, I could see everything in that pantry and it was all organized.

While I was doing that, Kevin was out in the garage, clearing out all the shipping boxes that we’ve been collecting all season and getting stuff up in the attic. He, too, pulled out mountains of trash, organized his work bench and swept out the leaves and mess on the floor.

When it was all done, we were both really tired. But it was a good tired. An accomplished tired. We felt free of the junk encroaching on us and like we’d just let go of a big burden.

Everything is pretty wonderful during the holidays for most of us, I think. It’s basically a time of gathering, whether it be people or gifts or food. Sometimes, though, we’re left with more than we bargained for, extra that we don’t want or need, but for some reason we tend to still hang onto it. It’s the same way with our lives in general. We have a way of gathering up so much junk in our hearts, it’s a wonder our blood can even pump through.

Here’s the thing: We can take the not-so-great with the good, but we don’t have to keep it.

So, less really IS more because it makes extra room for God.

Which means that, once you’re packed up with Him, MORE is more.

Hmmm. Well, let’s just work on first things first, yes?


“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 ESV