Divorce, My Life with God

This Year’s Decorations

photo-1514193880418-896682417f97I wasn’t planning on decorating for Christmas.

Last year was the first year I was on my own. I left the Christmas tree with my ex, so I got creative with decorations. I had used three small trees on the front porch at the old house, so I covered a small table with a blanket, then put the trees on top. It was simple but nice. I put a few other favorite decorations around the house, especially since my girls and I were celebrating at the house I was renting. After I had already put up the trees, I found a tree on sale, and I stored it in the basement for this year.

But this year, my girls and I are celebrating somewhere else. I’m still in the rental house, and I decided to wait until next year to put up the new tree, perhaps when I’ll have a house of my own.

A few days ago, I decided to put out a few decorations. I like Christmas, and the familiar decorations I’ve put out through the years are cozy to me. Even if I don’t have my own house, I have a home. It’s my safe, comfortable place.

Why not put up the tree? So, I decorated my home for Christmas yesterday. I turned on Christmas music, hauled totes and boxes from the basement, and smiled as I sorted and decided what to put where.

I sighed at the familiar.

Sure, it was a bit different. My ex always put up the tree and covered it with lights, then I (and often the girls) would finalize it with ornaments. But I opened the Christmas tree box for the first time. I broke the seal. I sorted the branches, and I followed the color-coded layers and shaped each branch. I wrapped each branch with lights I’d also bought on sale last year. I went through all the blinking options and chose a calming setting. I added favorite ornaments and set aside the ones with less-favorite memories. I decided on a creative, different tree topper.

I stood back and looked at the tree…and smiled. I finished choosing the rest of the decorations I most wanted around the house, then I put all the boxes and totes away and cleaned the house.

I was content. I brought pieces of the past into the present, and I incorporated newness of my future. And I was content.

Living on my own is new. Sure it’s been almost a couple years since my ex decided our marriage was over, but the suddenness of it all after so many years of marriage has taken a while to adjust. And I’m sure I still have much room to grow and heal.

But for now, I can look around and sigh, appreciating where I am, the many friends and family I love and do life with, and hope for the future.

Life is good. Because God is good. Life is always hard, but in the context of God’s goodness, I find peace and contentment.

2 thoughts on “This Year’s Decorations”

  1. So glad you put up your new tree. Experiencing “new” helps as you adjust to a “new” life as a single. In God’s goodness, the “first” time for me found many new & forgotten designer style ornaments in my totes. He knew when I found them on sale the previous year that I would have this need. They were purchased just days before I received the “I no longer want to be married speech”. Now fast forward almost 5 years later. In my new personal space I still use those ornaments but finally feel healthy enough to add special ones from an over 30 year marriage. And, God has been working in me to have energy to purge anything less than the very special ones from those many years.
    Yes, I’m happy & proud you rescued totes, set up a tree, strung lights & made your nest a haven. God is using those activities to make you stronger & the you who He is now using for His purposes. His grace & love seems never stronger than during this season when we find ourselves supported by Immanuel, Counselor, Mighty God!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my. Thank you for your encouragement! My eyes filled with tears as I read your comment this morning, and I’m just now taking time to reply. Your words are powerful and speak truth through your transparency. Thank you for sharing. May God’s presence and peace fill your Christmas season!


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