NOTE – The ebook version of The Peaceful Wife is FREE today only – 4/2/18 – at GooglePlay!
Spring is one of my favorite seasons. A time when all that was dead – or appeared to be dead – begins to awaken. Temperatures grow warmer. Buds and flowers begin to burst forth. Beauty envelops the landscape and neighborhoods. The world seems to be adorned for a celebration! Spring seems to be a celebration of resurrection!
It’s also such a wonderful time to do a thorough house-cleaning. I’m probably weird – but I LOVE spring cleaning! Or, maybe I should say, I love the RESULTS of spring cleaning. The actual cleaning part is sometimes very tiring. But when those junky, hidden places have been thoroughly dealt with – everything else is so much easier to keep clean, neat, and organized.
To me, a clean, tidy house brings a sense of peace, beauty, and sanctuary.
SOMETIMES SPRING CLEANING BRINGS NASTY SURPRISES
I had noticed a few little oval shaped black bugs on the floor at the bottom of the fridge sometimes for a number of months. Greg and I looked on top of the fridge, behind the fridge, and in the cabinet above the fridge and didn’t see anything a few months ago. So, I didn’t think much about it. I just swept up the little bodies when I saw some on the floor each week. Last week, I was doing a huge purge of the kitchen cabinets and major organizing. As I pulled things out of that cabinet above the refrigerator, I began to see the scope of the real problem.
We had an infestation of tiny bugs – warehouse beetles – apparently. Thousands of them, I would guess. They had made a nest in some dry cat food bags up there! It wasn’t until I really slowed down and began to thoroughly examine things – in the hidden, dark places – that I saw how significant the issue was and where the hidden source was. I threw out every bag of cat food and thoroughly cleaned that cabinet.
Spring cleaning is also exactly what God wanted to do in my life over the past two months.
SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING IN MY LIFE
First, I had to really slow down. And, WOW, was that hard for me! I tend to want to go 100 mph. I tend to be awful at being still and resting. I felt like I was a freight train trying to come to a sudden stop. It took a good week or so into my break before I really could just be still before God. (Honestly, the Parkland, FL shooting happening on my first day of seeking to rest in the Lord caused me to have to do a lot of spiritual wrestling with fear before I could begin to do the other soul work God had for me.)
And for over a week, I sensed:
- Just be still, April.
- Don’t DO anything.
- Just be with Me and enjoy Me.
- Stop being Martha. Be Mary. (Luke 10:38-42)
So I just yielded to Him and tried to just rest. No spiritual warfare for anyone – not even myself. No relationship advice-giving. Just time to focus on the Lord. After a bout a week, as God helped me to finally slow way, way down – He gently, lovingly let me know it was time for some serious spring cleaning in my heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
He began to show me some yucky stuff that I didn’t realize were thriving in some hidden, dark places in my heart and mind. Maybe I had seen a few dead bugs at the bottom of the refrigerator, but I hadn’t seen the entire extent and source of the problems before. He showed me that I had been so busy online with ministry (especially comments on my sites) that I had developed:
- A sense of self-importance, self-effort, self-reliance – that is all pride.
- A spirit of hurry and chomping at the bit.
- A tendency to take on more than He was really calling me to carry.
- A habit of not having any Sabbath rest from ministry most of the time.
These things had to go.
I wanted to grow spiritually more than anything. I had asked God to show me what was blocking His Spirit from doing more in my life – which is when I saw that He wanted me to take some time away with Him. He showed me that my life had gotten out of balance. Oh, it was PAINFUL!!!! But good. Very necessary. I had much repenting to do.
- I focused on praise and thanking God much more, longing to yield fully to Him, however and wherever He may lead, holding everything in my life loosely in my hands.
- I studied more about His holiness in The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. I was convicted more than ever of just how holy God is and how I long to live a completely holy life.
- I focused on just receiving His love, provision, truth, healing, and blessing.
- I also found I had to replicate a number of steps I had taken early on in my journey as I prayerfully tried to discern the proper balance in various areas in my life. Thankfully, it was a bit easier this time around, but still, there is spiritual wrestling we all have to do at times as we face new challenges and as we grow.
- I focused on keeping a much slower pace.
- I took more walks.
- I spent more time with my family.
God has given me a deeper sense than I have ever experienced before of a number of things like: His peace, His leading, His holiness, His majesty. He has helped me humble myself as I begged him to break anything in me that was not of Him and as I begged Him to refine me and cleanse me to make me holy and pleasing in His sight. He is continuing to help me receive more of Himself, His love, His power, and His transformation in my life. I am making some permanent changes to help create more balance and rest in my life and in my spirit.
Please pray with me for God to give me (and Greg) the wisdom we need so that I can do things 100% God’s way and bring Him the most possible glory!
There is always so much to learn and so many blessings to be cherished from our amazing God. What a gift that we can share this road together with each other and the Lord.
- My new vision and mission here, along with changes you can expect going forward.
- My new commenting policy.
I have MISSED y’all!!! I’d love to hear what the Lord has been teaching you in the past month or two. Have you been undergoing any spiritual spring-cleaning yourself? I’m working extra today and tomorrow, but I can’t wait to hear all about what God has been doing in your life.