It was now January second, 2011. With the holidays now over for another year, we began the task of cleaning up all the stuff, and packing it away for next year. But after what happened with the lights, (see previous post,) I did not want to even start, without praying first.
“Dear Jesus,” I said in my prayer place, “please let us know if there are other things we need to get rid of, besides not lighting the Christmas lights during the winter solstice. Is there something else that we would be better off not having? I don’t want anything unclean in my house. I don’t want anything that the demons could use to enter and attack us with! Please Lord! Gift us with a spiritually clean camp for us to live in!”
I paused for several moments, waiting for a response, but all was silent.
“Oh Lord, You know my heart. You know it is for You. You know that I desire to serve You with all that I am. I live for You. You alone are why I am still here. Please. LET ME KNOW.”
Silence still greeted me. I sensed that I should begin my work. So I rose and went out to begin disassembling the Christmas decorations.
I began by removing all the ornaments on the Christmas tree, and putting them back in the huge ornament storage box. I was half way done with the ornaments, when I noticed that my hands had begun to burn, as if I had touched a caustic chemical somehow, and was having a reaction to it.
I wondered if it was from the box of new unbreakable plastic bulbs that we had opened and added to our tree this year. There was probably some chemical on them that was irritating my skin. I set them aside in their original packing, and made a note to not use them next year, just in case.
I went to wash my hands, and I applied some hand cream that had always worked before to calm down a chemical reaction on my skin.
But this time, there was no difference. My hands still burned as before.
I went back to my work, figuring that the lotion just needed more time to do its job.
I switched from working on the tree, to packing up the advent wreath. But the burning on my hands just became worse.
Suddenly, one of my kids came up to me and exclaimed “Mom! What have you been touching?! Your hands are just COVERED with thick, black, smoke!”
So I told the child what I had been doing, and that my hands were very much in pain.
“Mom,” This child responded to me, “I can’t even SEE your own hands at all! All I see is a ball of thick black swirling smoke at the end of each of your arms!”
I stopped what I was doing. I realized then, that the pain in my hands must be spiritual, and not physical. But then my heart began to ache as well, for I had just begun to realize, what this now meant.
All those Christmas tree ornaments! The advent wreath! The Lord was letting us know, that they were tainted, unclean!
Our family then gathered to discuss what this meant, and what should now be done. Everyone agreed that we needed to get rid of the stuff that was spiritually tainted.
My husband agreed to get rid of the holiday lights, for if he could no longer use them during the days of winter solstice, (December 21st through the 26th,) then they were not worth all the trouble of putting them up and taking them down every year.
The kids felt that if they could not have the lights on the Christmas tree, then they no longer wanted to put up the Christmas tree. Too much work, for little reward. (I had to agree with them; the Christmas tree lights are what made it all so beautiful and special. Without the lights, it seemed like just another tree that was in our house.) The kids did not like having to get under the tree to water it, and hated the influx of creepy (and even dangerous) spiders that surfaced shortly after it was first brought in. Pine needles got into everything and were a daily mess to sweep up.
“We could get a fake tree, if you wanted to try that,” I said to them.
But no one wanted to go through the bother.
“It’s o.k.,” said one of my kids. “We don’t have to have a tree.”
Another one piped up, “As long as we can still have the presents!” Then the thought of the alternative must have come into this child’s mind, for the child then quickly added, “We can still have presents, right mom?”
“I’m not prepared to make that kind of a decision right now. I’m still trying to come to terms with having no tree!”
They seemed to understand this, (they could see that I was shaken and very upset,) so they left their present questions for a later time.
No one questioned the vision of this particular child; this child is the one that can see into that unseen world, like most people can see each other. This child sees the demons and casts them out in the name of Jesus. This child sees and converses with the angels, and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Often times, this child was the one to give us warnings of evil that was coming our way, and we were able to avoid and prevent great tragedy because of it. We have learned not to ignore this child’s visions.
But this! Surely there was some mistake! All those Christmas tree ornaments? Ugh! I simply could not face such a loss, so I went into denial.
“Maybe there are some Christmas ornaments that we CAN keep,” I said to the others. “Maybe we should see which ones are tainted, and which ones are not.”
The others nodded in agreement.
So the kids and I began to go through each item, to discern if it was clean enough to keep or not.
Some were easy for the kids to discern; they were quick to point out those right away. But by the end of the day, my hands throbbed with burning pain, and it began to be too painful to touch anything else.
So I called for a break, and asked this particular child (the one who has such strong visions,) to come and help me bless my hands.
I did not even bother to wash my hands this time with soap and water, for I knew it was spiritual and not physical. THE MOMENT THE BLESSED OLIVE OIL TOUCHED MY ACHING HANDS, THE BURNING AND PAIN SUBSIDED!
The child looked at my hands and said, “The black smoke is all gone now Mom.”
I gave a great sigh of relief.
I then looked back upon all the things that we had gone through, and realized with a sinking heart, that it made up quite a big pile of stuff. There was not even one Christmas tree ornament that was able to be saved.
I went back to my God in prayer, and told Him how sad I was, about all the tainted items. I then asked Him what He wanted us to do with it.
“Wait. Just set it aside and wait till you go though all the Christmas stuff.”
But I knew what the end of these things would be. I knew in my heart, that He wanted us to get rid of all of it. I just didn’t know if He would want us to pass it through the fire, and then break it all up into little pieces.
We had done such, (as Acts 19:19 describes,) to smaller amounts that were unclean and found to be tainted idols, but never to such a large amount of stuff. Even with the smaller items, we found that it left the ground a dangerous mess, with shards of broken pottery, glass, and metal pieces that were too hard to fully remove from the fire pit. The thought of smashing all those glass bulbs was a bit much for me to bear. I imagined the mess it would make and dreaded it.
“Don’t think of that right now,” He told me. “Just work on going through all the stuff.”
As usual, the Lord was right.
It took us almost two weeks, to go through all the Christmas stuff. It was heart wrenchingly painful, for we found that most of it too, was tainted.
Several times I broke down crying, when I’d realize that something precious to me was actually tainted and needed to be removed.
Anything that had a Christmas logo on it, was seen as having that thick, black smoke on it. Santa, reindeer, elves, holly, holly berries, bulbs, ornaments, a string of lights, the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’, red and green ribbons, presents, wreaths, anything with Yule Tide written on it; it was all tainted with the spirit of Christmas.
I think the most surprising of all the stuff, was the baby Jesus statues. The Roman Catholic ones that had the hands and arms molded into their odd positions, (reminding me of the hands and fingers of the Buddha god statue,) were the ones that had the darkest black smoke around them. The one that had a picture of a simple baby on it, only had a grayish fog surrounding it. Madonna and child statues and pictures, especially the ones with the halo in back of their heads, were among the worst.
I thought of all the money that these things were worth, (some of this stuff had yet to even be opened!,) and that perhaps we should just sell them to someone else, but I cringed at the thought of being responsible for giving such tainted items to another. I didn’t want that on my conscience, not at any price!
Oh but the things that were hardest for me to give up, were the priceless heirlooms that had been handed down to me from my family. At least three generations of stuff. The table cloth painted and embroidered with holly leaves and berries by the kids great grandmother, The placemat, kitchen appliance covers, and stuffed centerpiece, all patterned with a huge Christmas swan (or goose) that had been sewn up by my mother for our family, the ceramic creche my mother had formed for us in her ceramics class, complete with real gold highlights painted on the figurines. This alone had cost her several hundred dollars, just to add real gold to the statues. Even the Christmas ornament made by my great grandmother’s hands had to go. All was tainted with the spirit of Christmas. The hardest one of all to let go of, was a small little manger set that I had grown up with. It held so many memories for me. The pull to keep it was very great! But every time I would touch it, my hands would start to burn again. I knew in my heart that I had to let it go.
Numerous times during this cleansing, I would stop, and go into my private prayer place, and ask the Lord if there was some way I could still keep some of the items.
But He would usually tell me no.
“But Lord!” I pleaded with Him, “I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff already! Would it really hurt to just keep a few things to remember it all by?”
And He would often answer me with a question of His own.
“How many doorways for demons would you like to keep in your home?”
Or these ones that really got in to the heart of the matter.
“Will you not follow Me, ma petite? Can’t you trust Me? Are you not Mine?”
These last questions would cause me to fall at His feet in surrender, and then return to the sorting.
But I still cried. For days it was as if I was in mourning. It took me a while to say goodbye to all the stuff. I know this sounds silly. I am ashamed to admit that I mourned the loss of these things. But morn them I did. And the Lord, in all His mighty patience, remained there right beside me, as I cried, mourned their loss, and then continued on until the next great heirloom triggered that retaining emotion within me. Then the whole process would start up all over again.
He never forced me to give up any of it. I knew I had the choice to keep it. But I also knew my God, which meant that if He wanted me to give it up, then there was a very good reason for Him to do so, and I simply needed to let go and put my trust in Him.
Finally, all the items had been sorted. All that was left, was some rolls of Christmas paper and ribbons in solid colors (and with no holiday printings on it,) a few greeting cards that had only pictures of snow flakes on them, and some guest hand towels, that had been cut off at one end, where a holiday design had once been embroidered upon it. These towels would now be used as kitchen rags.
Both my hands and my heart were exhausted.
As I sealed up the last of the huge boxes of Christmas items, I felt the Lord tell me what we were to do with them.
“Throw them out.”
“You mean we don’t have to burn it all in our fire pit?” (I was greatly relieved to hear this!)
“But Lord,” I replied, “Our garbage can is already overflowing!” Then I thought of an alternative. “Can we bring the stuff down to the garbage dump?”
“Yes. Close the boxes up, and label their outsides as ‘GARBAGE’, and then take them down to the local dump.”
That Saturday morning, the stuff was tossed into the city dump. There, it would be added into a big pile of other people’s garbage, crushed into a very small block, and then finally burned in a huge furnace.
The remains of history totaling almost over one hundred years of family Christmases, (and at least a thousand dollars worth or more of stuff,) had just been removed from our house.
(And yes, in case you were wondering, our family still exchanges presents with each other. We now celebrate the Feast of Dedication. For eight nights, we each share a miracle or answered prayer from our own life, light the (7 candle) menorah, read scripture out loud, play board games with each other, and open up presents. Remembering God’s miracles in our lives has rekindled our faith in Him, and serves as a reminder to re-dedicate ourselves -a living temple,- back to Him. So far, no demonic attacks upon our family have taken place from celebrating this holy day, and great peace is experienced during this time, especially while the menorah is lit.)
To Jesus Christ goes all Glory! Thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth!!
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