I anxiously wait for the first hint of spring for three reasons: It marks the end to the dreary, rainy, cold, snowy, damp, and miserable winter here in the Pacific Northwest, it is the start to putting my plans for the beautiful gardens I will painstakingly create into action, and last but most miserably, my carefully orchestrated attack on my home.
Yes, I am talking about the dreaded spring cleaning ritual.
Each year I single handedly, perform the miracle that will transform my home and my garden. Not just for my delight, but for the family and friends that will gather for our first barbecue of the season. I linger around conversations, listening for their praises, and the, "how does she do it's?" Ever so modestly, I tell them how much I love and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
This year however, I cried out to my husband, "I don't wanna do it anymore!" I was sick and tired of cleaning and scrubbing only to have all the dirt and grime come back within weeks. I was tired of meticulously planning my gardens only to have the weeds take over in a month.
The results of my labor were never long lasting and truthfully, I really don't love or enjoy doing most of it. "No more," I told myself. "I quit!" There will be no planning, no to-do lists, no checklists, no supplies to buy, no scrubbing the walls or shoveling the garden.
Instead, I decide that I was going to put all my time and effort into spring-cleaning my spiritual house. I wanted to see what needed to be weeded out, cleaned up, and thrown away.
So, I dug into the Word and came up with a plan to read the entire Bible in a year.
I planted the seeds of forgiveness in my heart. I wrote or called those who offended me, hurt me, or just plain annoyed me and told them that I loved them and that I was sorry for being so insensitive.
I weeded out all the misconceptions I had of myself. I gave God my insecurities, my pride, and all my character flaws.
I trim back the branches of disobedience and pruned away those that not only had thorns poking in my side, but those that also pricked at the ones that were close to me.
I watered my soul with His promises. I wrote them down and carried one in my pocket at all times.
I dusted off the cobwebs of my prayer journal and began to write down all of my prayers and all of His answers.
I swept away the dust bunnies that collected in my heart. The ones that cowered in the corners, and proclaim myself, a true child of God. Bold, fearless, and Spirit filled.
I sprayed glass cleaner on the window of my soul and wiped away the streaks that past sins left behind.
I steamed cleaned the dirt and grime from the foundation of my faith. I threw Satan's filthy lies and soiled thoughts down the drain with all the polluted water that I collected in the tank of self-doubt.
When I was done, I got down on my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me for allowing so much dirt and grime to gather and come between us. When I got up, I felt lighter, I felt like I had been washed in His blood anew and as the days and weeks went on, I saw how the fruits of His labor were more joyful and everlasting, then any of mine could ever be.
Now, that's what I call spring cleaning!
Deborah Ann Belka
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
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