At the Inn I am simplifying Christmas decorating. I was reminded of the three wise men (well technically we do not know if that is an accurate number) but my challenge as the keeper of the Inn: my Christmas decor has to fit into three tubs.
I choose only a few places to craft my decor, to capture the imaginations of all who enter (think nine little grands.) The Winter Zebra presiding over the little white house with 43 windows and a bright red roof on our fireside mantel. The island that magically transports you to snowy winter as a chubby sweet bird pulls a little red wagon filled with ice.. The peek to our wooded land through our merry windowscape.
And then there is our tree.
Our previous tree was weary and chose to retire before our move. So last year we shopped around until we found the perfect tree. Rather, the tree with twinkly hundreds of tiny lights found us. The sweet meet-up moment happened at Walmart aisle T-138.
We put Tree up and the hundreds of tiny lights twinkled. Tree felt at home in the Inn.
I pulled out several old bins and began decorating. Red and white ornaments. I stood afar. The hundreds of tiny lights dimmed.
I switched Tree to another color theme. I stood afar. The hundreds of tiny lights dimmed. A third try was made. “Oi,” said the Innkeeper. The tiny lights had dimmed once again. Hmmm…
Tree got un-decorated and the hundreds of tiny lights once again twinkled.
“Aahhh,” said the Innkeeper, with her own twinkle in her eye. The tiny twinkle lights ARE the decoration.
It is one of the glories of the Innkeeper to create a home that offers a warm welcome, a place that says, “Come, take a break from the storms of life.” Candlelight, books to browse, laughter in the cozy, and shared notes of blessings.
And the Tree, standing tall and erect, doing its main job – to shine bright. Reminding the Innkeeper of her main job – to shine bright.
How easily my light can be dimmed. By too much, just like Tree.
Distractions, fear, loss-of-focus, forgetting, willful neglect. And my light dims. So what’s an Innkeeper to do?
As it happens, a long and far away ago these words were written, just for the Innkeeper’s heart.
Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12) Forgive my casual speech, but hangin’ with Jesus is exactly what keeps a light bright.
The Innkeeper’s habit. Stay close to the Light by opening God’s Love Letter, the Bible, each morning. What we invest in becomes most precious to us.
It is a simple prayer often whispered at the Inn. “May I reflect the beauty of Jesus.”
I think all my simplified decor will fit into my three new red bins. What won’t fit because it can’t be binned: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Come, just as you are.
PS – What was baking at the Inn this week? Brother Dave came in out-of-state to help us in mom-care. His Christmas favorite of mom’s hopped onto my island – Nut Horns, oven-ready.