Moving into a new house a few weeks before Christmas isn’t the best timing.

Especially when your husband is a pastor and Christmas is his most busy season.

Especially when you’ve just moved to a new church and community and you’re trying to learn how things work, where things go, and how’s done here.

That’s okay, though.

Our family doesn’t always do things the best way. Sometimes life doesn’t work like that.

We do things our way and we make it work.When Christmas is in Boxes|The Holy Mess

If you haven’t moved for awhile, you might forget just how completely insane the process is, or how much work is involved. (I swear it’s like childbirth. God makes you forget so you have the strength to go through it again.)

Moving involves everything from ironing curtains to time on the phone with the post office convincing them that yes, really — people do live in this house so please bring mail here.Moving Boxes

Even though we only moved 5 minutes away, from the temporary apartment we’ve lived in for the last six months into a beautifully remodeled 100 year old house, we changed counties and school districts, which means a slew of changes in services for our children with special needs.When Christmas is in Boxes

When Christmas is in Boxes

The Christmas decorations sit amidst huge piles of boxes in the basement.

“Where is Twinkie (our elf)?” Zack asks me.

“Oh, somewhere inside one of the boxes,” I tell him. This is the standard ANSWER TO ALL THINGS these last weeks.

“But he is magic and can move!” Zack says.

This is true.

“He must be really, really buried,” I respond. (I’ve long since passed the point of creative answering.)

There is no Christmas baking, no garland, and no stockings hung on the mantel with care.

I have not found the stocking yet, and I’m mourning because our new house does not have a fireplace. Facebook friends have given me wonderful decorating ideas for what to do without a mantel. (Click here to read the responses.)

Late one evening, Mike stayed up late to put together the tree for us. I came downstairs early to head to the gym and this was the sweetest thing to see. I’m not sure if the tree or the cleared away corner cheered me more.When Christmas is in Boxes|The Holy Mess

Simple is Beautiful

I’m discovering new joy in this simplicity.

This will be one of the years our kids remember.

“I remember the year we had just moved into the new old house, and we didn’t even put any ornaments on the tree.”


That’s how we remember Christmases, isn’t it?


“That was the year when Zack had to go to the hospital during the huge snowstorm and the kids slept over with Grandma and Grandpa.”


“That was the year right after your dad died, and I didn’t have the heart to put up any of the decorations.”


“That was the first year we were married. We couldn’t afford to buy many presents, but we were so happy.”


“We never did eat that $%^& turkey, but the sides sure tasted good.”


The first Christmas was simple. Jesus was born in a stable, to a young couple who were willing to do God’s will. The God of the universe humbled himself to became human in order to be the Savior of the world.

How often I take for granted this amazing gift!

Is this Christmas season bringing you stress?

  • Do you need to slow down and find simplicity?
  • Are you aching over the loss of past Christmases or what you think your Christmas should be?
  • Are your decorations in boxes because of a move, a life change, or an illness?

Talk to Jesus about it right now. He is waiting to meet you.

What will your Christmas look like this year?

When Your Christmas is in Boxes|The Holy Mess