happy friday | 12.9.11

i've been thinking more about emptying
rather than filling this Christmas.

we recently were able to replace our very disgusting carpet in our living room.
this room is in the very front of the house,
right next to the foyer and front door.

the stained-smells-like-dog carpet was easy to say goodbye to.
we tried to save money by pulling the carpet up ourselves. 
we moved all of the furniture out of the room,
found all sorts of toys and lost socks under the sofas,
and took that carpet out.

the room was empty.
it echoed.

and then this thing happened~
the kids came alive in this empty space.

and you wouldn't believe how they acted the next day when the actual carpet was put in.

the kids stayed in that empty, newly carpeted room all day.
wrestling, rolling around, playing, snuggling.

as i watched, i privately wished i could give them a big empty room.
in that, i also recognized my own longing for something quite similar.

to move, to breathe, to think.

an emptying.

in order to be filled with better things.

in the same way my children filled our empty living room
with play and laughter.

that's the type of emptying that i'm wanting.
not just space in our rooms or house or even calendar,
but space in my soul.

space for the one who entered into this very crowded world
on christmas morning

our church has been talking about the places of Christmas this advent season.
it's an interesting concept to me.
where our feet land and walk affects who we are in every way.

and where the Christmas story takes place is equally important.

last sunday during our service,
i flipped to the sermon section of our bulletin and saw this:

created by a talented young artist named MARY SNOW
(please check out her work! i particularly love her lettering work!!)

i was immediately struck by the simplicity of the image.
and just how empty it looked.
and how right along the lines it was with my empty living room,
my lack of holiday decor because we're leaving
and my desire for more space in my mind.

i looked down and noticed abigail decorating the illustration with her pen.
she drew a Christmas tree right in the middle.
with presents.
and garland all along the stair rail. 
(of course i immediately showed the artist after the service concluded.)

isn't that what we do though?
immediately fill an empty space?
i do. 
but i'm trying to quit.

and just to be clear that
i'm not talking about some sort of depressing type of empty,
i'll leave you with this for some friday cheer:
happy friday.

(a special shout out to my sweet friend maria who came over to help me do more emptying today~ 
i'm thankful for you.)

((and a special thanks to mary snow for allowing me to share her image with you!)