Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Cleaning....

Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. Judges 10:16a (NIV) Hubby and I have taken to updating our home. We're both in the mode to get our home a little more modern and to especially get rid of the clutter. I started last week with going through my closets and drawers. This is extra hard for me since I really don't like to throw anything away, especially when it comes to my carefully selected assortment of shoes and clothes that I don't typically wear. After all, in my book "if the price on the clearance rack is low enough, I will wear it one day"!! Well, my motto is not working too well as I was appalled at the number of items that still had tags on them and/or looked practically brand new. The ironic part is that I don't remember when I bought them, at least not in the last 2 years. So, these items were pulled from the closet, not put into active duty but placed in the consignment shop pile. I do have to confess, that same pile is in my spare bedroom. I haven't actually made the full commitment to take them to the shop. But I am working up to it. A redeeming quality is that the Goodwill bag is already in the trunk of my car. (I am making progress) Along the same lines, hubby and I are getting new flooring, which we have needed to do for an awfully long time. Ask anyone who has spent any time in our living room and they can attest the severe need of something new. My little fella and his daddy both have bad allergies so it also is a good reason from a health perspective to get our new wood floors. But the preparation for the new floors is also taking some giving on my part. I have a piece (a rather large piece) of furniture that came from my pre-hubby days in our living room. Ironically, you would think that as the female in the home I would want everything to match. Let me tell you that this entertainment center in no way matches (even remotely) anything we have in our living room. Yet, I have campaigned to keep it. I have had many reasons - the price that I paid for it, how nice it looks, the functionality of hiding all the clutter from unsuspecting house guests, etc. I made a big leap and posted the furniture for sale about a month ago. No one has bought this lovely piece of craftsmanship. So, I have now resigned myself to the fact that we may be donating this to Goodwill unless someone swoops in this week and wants to give it a good home. (any takers???) As I was going through the exercise of cleaning up and de-cluttering our home something hit me. This process required me to get rid of MY stuff and not hubby's or little man's, I came to realize that I was holding onto these things for what???? What good are clothes or shoes that I don't wear no matter how great of a deal they were or how nice the furniture is, if I can't use it. All this "stuff" only takes up valuable space and congests our living areas. I took the stance to keep what I had in case I needed it and to protect my "collection" became my focus. God commands us to throw off the things that hinder us or hold us back from growing (Hebrews 12:1). He tells us not to have anything that takes precedence to Him (Exodus 20:3). He asks that we devote ourselves to study of His word and teaching others about Him until He returns (1 Tim 4:13). I have not been able to find anywhere in scripture where He commands us to save all of stuff even when it crowds other things out and is of no use. Just as hubby and I are cleaning out our home, getting rid of the clutter and making it a healthier place for the family, God calls us to do the same in our spiritual life. We are told that our bodies are a "temple" to the Lord (1 Cor 6:19); we are known by our actions (Prov 20:11) and our heart is one of the most vulnerable places in our body- both physically and spiritually. We allow so many "things" including activities, people, places, busyness, etc to crowd out the relationship we have with Christ. Along with it, we begin to sacrifice our witness because of our actions and focus on trivial matters. Through that process, we tend to crowd the Spirit and keep Him confined. So, it would make sense to clear the clutter and the cobwebs from all these places and make it a welcoming and homey place for the Holy Spirit to dwell. Make sure to give Him lots of room to move around and lead you to do things you would never thought possible by yourself. So, go ahead -- get rid of the clutter in not only your physical life but in aspects of your spiritual life. Call it Spring cleaning, getting back to the basics, clearing the cobwebs, call it what you will, just do it!! And a long the way, if you find you have room for a nice entertainment center, let me know. Dear Heavenly Father- I thank you all the "things" you have blessed me with during my time on this Earth but more importantly I thank you for what you have done in my life by saving me from eternal suffering and condemnation. I thank you for dwelling within me and encouraging to purge all that is unnecessary and hurtful in my life. Thank you so much for being a God of compassion and love. AMEN Application:

  • Do you have any "spring cleaning" to do in any aspect of your life (spiritual and/or physical)?
  • Do you have a hard time letting things go and holding onto to "old" things versus living in the present?
  • Look around and take inventory of what you actually use and need around you. Pray that the Lord will help you with a spiritual inventory as well. Start cleaning accordingly. After all, everything seems a little better without the clutter!

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