Recently I've taken a little time to look carefully around our home at the areas which need to be re-organised, freshened, simplified and thoroughly scrubbed.
Spring is here in Australia and perhaps that was the prompt to step away from the busyness of business and blogging to refresh things at home, but more than likely it was the Lord's direction because He alone knows exactly what lifts my heart and draws it closer to Him. It may not be what draws you closer, but being a homemaker is number one in my heart and when I begin to drift away from routines and the delight of 'making home' I lose some of my natural joy and then subtle, but very real roots, of overwhelm and bitterness can begin to break through into my thoughts.
These past couple of weeks I've followed through on many overlooked tasks and stayed the course to complete bigger ones as well. As the days passed, it began to feel as though burdens were being lifted, light shone through the shadows, and my delight and personal sense of satisfaction increased.
I even went through years of Elefantz files one day, and though our living room looked like my office had exploded and cast documents in every direction, by later that night the paper shredder had earned its keep and the compost bin was loaded with the remnants of many years outdated work. Order had returned and a new spring came into my step in preparation for what comes next.
You know, it was pure joy to brighten and declutter our living space and I did so with gusto, but the more I gave my time to these home based tasks the more I began to ponder how much more important it is to give our spiritual lives a seasonal spring clean too.
Have we crowded our lives with so many 'extra' relationships, hobbies, media and social commitments that time in heartfelt prayer and meditation on God's word has been pushed aside or given only a cursory few minutes each day?
Write out all the things that fill your day to day life. Cross out the things you can (or should) drop, take note of which ones can be scaled back, and underline the things that deserve more focus and diligence. Organise your days to include special one on one time with your Heavenly Father.
What bores you about walking out your faith? It's okay to admit this because most of us at some time fall into a rut with our Bible reading and Scripture studies - even our prayer life can feel stale for a season or two. Have you forgotten what that first love with Jesus felt like and how you simply couldn't get enough of Him?
Buy yourself a fresh new Bible and a great book study, then make a regular time each day to light a candle, brew a cuppa, and settle in with Jesus for some inspirational "He and thee" companionship. Start with just 15 minutes if you're time poor and I assure you, your heart will soar and you'll feel His pleasure because He loves to spend time with you. Write out a verse that stood out to you and stick it on your fridge door. Read it every time you open the fridge door that day and ask Him to reveal deeper understanding of it to your own life.
Don't put off time with God because you falsely believe you need to get face down for hours and pray with heavy tears and angst whilst reciting all the Psalms. Okay, maybe that's an exaggerated example, but many people think if they can't give God an hour or three each and every day then they have failed Him and may as well not even try.
Jesus showed us simple love, simple faith, simple prayer. Often I go through a season of just reading His word and nothing else, and honestly, some days I can't get past two or three verses because there's so much to ponder in them, so much to consider in light of my own life and values. If you're overwhelmed by the thought of reading the whole Bible or doing a Christian book study, step back, open at the first Gospel and just read until you want or need to stop. Maybe you'll read a chapter, or perhaps a verse, but rest in the beautiful simplicity of Him speaking directly to you through pages written from Love.
This is the hard one. Have you pulled away from God because there's sin in your life that you just don't want to face or repent of? Maybe you wish His Word would miraculously change and 'update' for the 21st century so you can accept the ever increasing world view which runs in opposition to the Bible and it's clear and undiluted truths? Perhaps you believe you've committed sin that He just couldn't possibly forgive you of so you've veiled yourself with shame and cannot face Him again?
Only God knows the full scope of our sins so laying them before Him open-handed, open-hearted, contrite and repentant - even when we don't understand or agree with His ways - is the only option we have to be scrubbed clean and set free from the burdens that have weighed down our spirit and separated us from falling into His open arms and knowing the full measure of LOVE He will pour out on our lives. Sin is muddy and over time it distorts our view of who He really is. The longer we wait to stand under His heavenly shower of forgiveness, the heavier our heart and the weight of shame we carry. And He will forgive ALL your sins because He does not lie, so don't hide from Him anymore. Run. He will catch you, He will heal your sorrow and your shame with the blood of His Son and you will arise whiter than snow, scrubbed clean, redeemed and forgiven. And He will remember your sin no more.
Is it your time for some spiritual housekeeping?
May your day be blessed with every good thing the Father knows you need,