Category Archives: Home-making

Spring Cleaning Step 4: Give Thanks

cleaning tip 4Finally, and perhaps most importantly, an effective Spring Cleaning in the home and the heart is not complete without…

Step 4: Give Thanks

I am priviledged to accumulate so much stuff in my home. I even stumble across things I never expected.

I found these old cards from the day I was born in a memory box. It gets me very excited for our babies to come!
I found these old cards from the day I was born in a memory box. It gets me very excited for our babies to come!

But it’s a lot of work-both physically and mentally- to sort through it all. I could complain about the work, and get irritated with the mess. In truth, I often envy societies who live simplistic lifestyles.

While I can aim toward minimalism, I must also acknowledge that I live in the society I live in: the one God has me in (for now at least). So I give thanks, give generously, and move on.

cleaning tip give thanksAnd before I know it, one room at a time is cleaned out, cleaned up, and in my current instance, packed and ready to move into the new place! The process is long and arduous, and as such it accurately represents God’s work in our hearts too.

Thank you Lord for continuing the work to make me look more like Jesus every day.

Now it’s your turn, dear friend:

  • What are you thankful for in your home today?
  • What is the one thing you wish God would just “be done” cleansing you of?
  • How can you persevere in surrender to His work, no matter how long He chooses to take?

Add your perspective by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for joining me for the Spring Cleaning!!!

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Spring Cleaning Step 3: Organize

spring tip 3 organize

Now that I’ve established a decent purge of my home and my sinful heart, I typically want to “call it good” for the day. But step 3 is JUST as important in my spiritual and domestic spring-cleaning as the first 2 steps:

Step 3: Organize

Step 3.a: Put away the piles!

If an item is necessary or valuable to our life, I pile it based on its role (hair/bathroom, clothes, office supplies, etc.). At the end of my cleaning time, I MUST put these piles away.

The other day, I made the mistake of leaving the piles in my studio for the next day of cleaning. My writing productivity decreased greatly that week and I didn’t want to even go in the room!

In the same way, I believe God wants to bring order in my heart. He has given me a desire to do good and glorify God. But these Christlike qualities must have their “time and place.”

For instance, I could pack my day with appointments to mentor young women in my life (definitely a “keeper quality,” see Titus 2). But by evening, I’m brain-dead and still don’t have dinner on the table. I’ve missed out on “being still” before The Lord (Psalm 46:10), being helpful to my husband (1 Peter 3), and being faithful in other tasks (Luke 16:10).

It is important to keep certain items in my house, and my heart. But each must find a “home”: a place where it serves its purpose without distracting from the overall goal of glorifying God in my whole home/heart.

Step 3.b: Set a time-limit

I must organize the way I organize by setting a timer. I’ve always been an all-in kind of gal, so this is hard. I just want to go-go-go till it is done or I crash. Being pregnant means I crash much sooner, and more dangerously (dehydration, forgetting to eat lunch, over working my body).

I do the same thing with my heart. I could soul-search all day, pouring over what I need to “fix” in myself. That’s when I go back and read my “Breakfast with Jesus” post and remember that, in Christ, it is finished.

Campfire Check-In:

What are some ways you maintain organization in your life and your home?

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Spring Cleaning Step 2: Purge

spring tip 2 purge
Welcome to Spring Cleaning Tips (for the Home and the Heart). Yesterday, I established how I prepare a room and my heart for a cleaning-spree. Today I will focus on the bulk of the work: the purge. The process to de-clutter the house and one’s heart of selfish desires can be exhausting work. So grab an energizing smoothie or a tall iced coffee and join me for...

Step 2: Purge.

Sort through each room: every wall, closet, drawer, box, and floor. Every item is subject to the following questions:

  • Does it add value to my life?
  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • Is it easily replaced?
  • Will it add value to someone else’s life?

If the item is not a “keeper,” it gets placed into one of the prepared bins: Garbage, Sell, Give Away.

As more items accumulate into the “give away” pile, I repeat John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

spring tip 2 purge verse

Also, I use the growing trash pile as a visual for the sin and selfishness that God is cleaning out of my heart:

  • I trash my pride in self-sufficiency.
  • I throw away the growing feeling of jealousy over other’s homes.
  • Let all rude talk be tossed out!

It can be difficult to let go of certain items in my home. Even though my blue sweater doesn’t fit anymore, I don’t want to lose it. I know certain books, magazines, and movies aren’t healthy to keep in our home, but I struggle to part with them.

I think we hang on to our sin nature in a similar way. This song is a huge encouragement to me when God purges me of relationships, habits, and desires that don’t belong in a daughter of God:

There you have it. Purge and repent… and see your life looking more like Christ’s and your home more like the simple sanctuary our families need.

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Spring Cleaning Step 1: Prepare

spring tip 1 prepareSpring is (finally) here and summer is fast on it’s heals. For those of us in the western states (like my gorgeous Wyoming), it has been a long hard winter. The cabin fever was definitely taking a toll on my husband and I by mid-Februrary. Now it is April, and I have taken on a much needed purging project of our home… if only I can stay inside long enough to conquer it!

Here’s my first step in cleaning my home, and my heart, to better glorify God.

Step 1: Prepare.

  • Light a candle: It instantly makes the room feel pleasant. It also reminds me of the presence of God working in my heart.
  • Set up 3 bins labeled:
    1. garbage
    2. give away
    3. sell.

If I can’t find a place for an item while I am cleaning, it goes into one of those bins.

  • Invite God to work: I prepare my heart for the Holy Spirit’s work by singing “Here For You” by Matt Redman.

Let our praise be Your welcome
Let our songs be a sign
We are here for You

We welcome You with praise
Almighty God of love
Be welcomed in this place

spring tip 1 prep verse

  • Start with a clean space (home)/Come as you are (heart): 

In my home, it is hard to sort, purge, then organize things if they are not ready to be put away (like dirty dishes and clothes). Starting with a clean space gives me a good baseline to work with.

The complete opposite is true in my spiritual life. So often I want to “clean up” before I meet with Jesus. For instance, if I have caught myself gossiping or talking rudely, I want to give myself a couple days to speak kind words, blog about the evils of gossip, and diligently guard my tongue. After I have “cleaned up my act,” then I will sit down and meet with God. I feel my repentance is genuine and proven, so there is no need to feel guilty anymore.
There are two major flaws in this approach to spiritual spring cleaning:
1. I am relying on my own perceived ability to wash myself clean.
I don’t want to turn to God for sanctification, I want to do it myself. It gives me a sense of pride and control. This good deed, of course, is covering sin with sin, and appears like further filth in Gods eyes (filthy rags). My spiritual tidy-up is not a true form of repentance.
2. My “cleaning up before coming to Jesus” isn’t needed.
On the cross, Jesus said “it is finished.” Past, present, and future sins have already been paid for through HIS work. My “work” to pay for it is just a joke, and perhaps slap in the face to the One who died for them.
spring clean prep quote
Instead, I should come to God wholly acknowledging my dirty cluttered selfish heart.I can do so with confidence and gratefulness because I know God already sees the finished product: a clean, organized, shining image of His Son. The Holy Spirit does the work to reconcile my perspective with God’s, and I remain humbly thanking Jesus for His payment for it all.

As you tidy up a room before deep cleaning, take a moment with me to acknowledge our helplessness before our God “who is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

Campfire Check In:

These simple ideas help me get into the groove for deep spiritual and domestic cleaning. How do you get ready for a cleaning-spree?

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Spring Cleaning Tips (for the Home and the Heart)

spring cleaningAnyone gearing up for Spring cleaning!?

As we prepare to move into a new home and welcome two new humans into our life, I have been compelled to conduct an epic pre-move purge.

I have also committed to opening my heart to the Holy Spirit’s Spring cleaning in preparation for the coming changes.

My anthem for this journey is this:

Psalm 139

 

As I search and “try” each aspect of our home, I am asking God to do the same in my heart. (My pup is less than interested in this adventure and will probably continue sleeping through it all.)

For the next few days, I’ll be posting my steps to empty both my home and heart of what doesn’t belong. I hope you join me for this time of sanctifying our homes and hearts, from the inside out.

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Campfire Check in:

What room needs the most attention in your home? How about your heart?

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