Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spiritual Spring Cleaning...



It's that time of year, time when my thoughts turn to spring cleaning.  Today I woke up with the list of spring cleaning chores running through my mind;  wash the windows and clean all the blinds and curtains, clean out the pantry and kitchen cupboards, and the list goes on.

Out of curiosity I looked up the origin of spring cleaning.  As I expected, it has it roots in the fact that the Israelites cleaned their homes to remove anything with leaven in preparation for Passover.  They were relentless to remove every little leaven containing crumb that might be on the shelves or floors.

While I'm not Jewish, I've embraced the "tradition" of spring cleaning.  Deep cleaning in the fall before the holidays and in the spring after winter works well for me.  It helps me to go past just keeping things picked up for appearances sake.  It keeps me from collecting too much junk in the hidden places.

I'm neither Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist or Lutheran.  These are the Christian churches that traditionally observe Lent, forty days of fasting and repentance before Easter.
Just as I don't have to be Jewish to embrace the benefits of spring cleaning, I don't have to be a Presbyterian to see the benefits of having a Lenten attitude of fasting and repentance.  You see, it's not just my house that needs a good deep cleaning in the hidden places, it's me. 

I'm fifty six years old and I've loved Jesus since I was a little girl.  The spiritual junk I collect isn't readily observed by my outward behavior.  What I tend to collect are the things you'd only observe in a deep spring cleaning.  You'd need to move the furniture and open the closets and cupboards and drawers to see it.  You'd need to go into the basement with a good flashlight and take a look around.  It's hidden and deadly, like a toxic mold.  My spiritual junk is toxic attitudes such as selfishness, resentment, offense, criticalness and faultfinding.  I sometimes collect toxic attitudes like I do thrift store knick knacks.  If I don't submit to a deep cleaning regularly, they take over the place.

This year,  I'm calling in the spring cleaning big guns for some help.  I'm not asking for help with my house cleaning.  What I need help with is my heart cleaning.  I'm asking the Holy Spirit who dwells within me to move the furniture and open the closets and cupboards and drawers.  I'm asking Him to go into the basement with His light and take a look around.  I'm giving Him permission to expose all the places where I hide my junk.  I'm giving Him the tools He needs to give the place a good scrub down with the Word of God.  When He uncovers something ugly, I'm going to face the truth about my inward mess and ask Jesus to apply His sin killing blood to my toxic attitudes.  Then I'm going to ask Him to fill the whole place up with His Presence, with His love, with the glorious fresh spring scent of His fragrance.  When He's done I want Him to sit back, relax, put His feet up and abide in me.  I want Him to be able to rest in silent satisfaction at the good work He has done in me. 

 I know God loves me as is.  I know I am pre-approved by Him.  I also know He wants me to live free of things that are spiritually poisonous and deadly, the little hidden bits of leaven that eventually leaven the whole batch of dough.  When He searches them out and finds them, I don't feel condemned, I feel well loved.  He wants me to to live free and unhindered, and that's what I want too.
So it is with joy that I utter the words, "let the spring cleaning begin!"



I am joining Jennifer Lee in a journey to remove #LoveIdols from our lives. The book becomes available April 1st – Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. It is available now for pre-order. Come join the movement on Facebook too.



still following,

     




at 3-D Lessons for Life

37 comments:

  1. let His light shine!
    praying with you as You allow Him to clean up what ever might be trying to hide

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    1. I can definitely use your prayers as I ask God to do His deep cleansing work in me.

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  2. Love it! I can relate to those toxic attitudes.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. I appreciate your comment!

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  3. Elizabeth. This is so good. I do this at times & this is a very good time. Love Jennifer's new book coming out! Joined her FB. God I want more of you & less of me. Help me Jesus!
    Thank you Elizabeth you are such a blessing!

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    1. And you are a great big blessing to me too, Carol!

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  4. yes...making room ...more space for His love to fill instead of the idols!!!

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    1. Yes, Ro! More room for Him in me is my desire.

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  5. Free and unhindered...... yes. Not condemned, but loved... I'm ready for some spiritual spring cleaning too Elizabeth!

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    1. Rhonda, please pray for me as I let God do this necessary deep cleaning!

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  6. Lovely. I like that: heart-cleaning time! Love that God has sweet gracious detergents. :)

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    1. Kathy, I'm so thankful for the blood of Jesus that cleanses me from all unrighteousness and for the Word of God that washes my mind!

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  7. This is indeed a very thought provoking post....and a great analogy to help us look deep within. I think a little Spring Cleaning would be a great idea for me too....Spiritual cleaning.. yes! Thanks.. Be blessed for you boldness and heart of faith.. by the way, you look great at 56 years of age! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Patty! Oh, how I want to be clean and free of these attitudes! Thanks for you compliment about looking good for my age. :)

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  8. I have been thinking about Lent (I was raised Catholic). This was a great post. I love the idea of the Spiritual Spring Cleaning. I want to prepare for Easter the best way I can. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

    Debbi

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    1. Debbi, I could use your prayers as I let God do this work in me.

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  9. I'm doing some heavy duty heart-cleaning this Lenten season as well... taking Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess as my launch pad.

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    1. Jill, what a great book to read for Lent. I've not read it yet, but have heard much about it. I need to read it for myself.

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  10. I can certainly identify dear friend--great post with extreme depth yet presented in an upbeat manner that speaks to my spirit--thank you!

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    1. What you said is a blessing to me! I could use your prayers as I go through this process.

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  11. Love this post & thinking of it as spring cleaning of our hearts! So glad to be on this journey with you. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, I'm so glad to be on this journey with you as well! I need a couple of "vacation days" just to read everyone's posts!

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  12. Spot on Elizabeth.

    I don't belong to a church which focuses on Lent the way the churches you mentioned do, either, but I had much the same thought (though not so beautifully expressed, even in my head) as you yesterday as I acknowledged that the season of Lent was beginning. I wanted a very specific spiritual focus to renew my mind.

    I'll be joining you in that spring cleaning as I turn my face toward the most beautiful day on the calendar just forty days away.

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    1. I think God wants to take me another layer deeper in getting clean and free.

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  13. Replies
    1. Brit, I'm not able to link to your profile by clicking on your name. Are you the same Brit that sent me the walnuts?

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  14. I so relate to this:
    "It keeps me from collecting too much junk in the hidden places."
    and this:
    "What I tend to collect are the things you'd only observe in a deep spring cleaning."

    I agree with you that when we've been believers as long as we can remember, we've also learned how to keep our sins more hidden. But giving permission to the Holy Spirit to do heart-cleaning--perfect. I love this, Elizabeth. Yes, let the spring cleaning begin!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. You bless me so much. I appreciate how supportive you've been to me all of these years.

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  15. such awesome history, i love the connection to Passover. cleaning out my closet today!

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    1. Teresa, I actually spring cleaned my whole downstairs after this post...now to tackle the upstairs. If only cleaning up my toxic attitudes could be completed in only a day or two!

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  16. Great post, Elizabeth! Although we are called to be in the world, not of the world, it is impossible to avoid the dirt sometimes. The first step is admitting we need to be made clean! The scrubbing is sometimes painful, but His mercy and grace is a sweet balm. Have a blessed week!

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    1. In His mercy, He shows us the hidden mess in our hearts so we can be set free!

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  17. This is SO good! I'm praying for you as God cleans deep and bring a freshness to your spirit. This has given me much food for thought as I'm in a new place. I identify with what you've shared as I'm evaluating my own life in view of what my dear, little mother is going through. A new perspective has given me reason to look inward.
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. Oh friend, I feel I took two or three steps backwards after writing this post. I'm so grateful for God's forgiveness and mercy!

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  18. Oh yes and amen! We need to spring clean our hearts even more so than our homes.

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