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A Season of Spring Cleaning

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

mohammad-amiri-239522-unsplashNOTE – 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. Spring seems to be a celebration of resurrection!

It’s also such a wonderful time to do a thorough house-cleaning. When those junky, hidden places have been thoroughly dealt with – everything else is infinitely 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. YUCK!

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, probably like a lot of moms of children in public high schools, before I could begin to do the other soul work God had for me.)

For over a week, I sensed:

So I yielded to Him and tried to just rest. No spiritual warfare for anyone – not even myself. No relationship advice-giving to anyone. 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 was thriving in some hidden, dark places in my heart and mind behind closed cabinet doors. 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 I had developed a:

  • Sense of self-importance, self-effort, and self-reliance – that’s nasty pride.
  • Spirit of hurry and rushing ahead.
  • Tendency to take on more than He was really calling me to carry rather than letting Him do all the heavy lifting.
  • Habit of not having a Sabbath rest from ministry – too much doing and not enough resting.
  • Lack of healthy balance in my priorities.

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 – and He did! Thank You, Lord! Whew, some parts of the past 7 weeks have been PAINFUL!!!! Like – really painful. But good. And necessary. The kind of pain that leads to healing.

  • I began to praise and thank Him 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 of just how holy God is and how much I want to share in His holiness.
  • I focused on receiving His love, provision, truth, healing, and blessing.
  • I focused on keeping a much slower pace.
  • I spent a lot more time with my family.
  • I went on more walks.
  • I spent more time with God, in prayer, in His Word, and reading/listening to books to feed my soul.
  • 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, they are coming a bit easier this time. But it still takes some spiritual wrestling, at times, as we are in a spiritual growth spurt and facing new challenges.

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 plan to make some lasting changes to help me keep my own life and spirit more rested and balanced.

I plan to take things slowly and make sure I am following the Lord’s leading and Greg’s leading. I’m excited about what I believe God wants to do here and on my other sites. 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.

CHANGES

My new vision and mission here, along with changes you can expect going forward.

My new commenting policy.

SHARE

I have MISSED y’all!!! Thank you for your patience. 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.

<3

Much love!

35 thoughts on “A Season of Spring Cleaning

  1. Hello April,So good to hear all that our Father has revealed to you…and even more so that you were able to hear! HallaluYah! The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.(1 Cor. 15:46) What you have described here is what Exodus 12 is all about, however, it’s the natural. Today all across the world, Abraham’s descendants, inheritors of the Promise, still do the physical act of removing leaven, looking high and low, in order that none remains. May we also do this in our spiritual lives as you have described. All that to say, it was God who ‘begat’ Spring Cleaning! 😉

  2. I would like to download the free ebook for the oeacegul.mom buy it still come up.with the price on both Amazon and kregel

  3. Thank you so much for sharing so thoroughly! I LOVE that about your posts. So many other bloggers gloss over their thought processes. We never know how they got there!
    Thanks for putting the ebook for fre today. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be free if you don’t have a US account 🙁 I’m in Australia.

    1. Lisa,

      I want to try to be vulnerable and authentic. Otherwise – what’s the point?

      I appreciate everyone letting me know about that the ebook promotion is not available yet. Sure hope we can get that resolved ASAP!

  4. Yikes! Well, I made a mistake. It is The Peaceful WIFE that is supposed to be free on ebook today. However, it doesn’t look like it is free yet. So I hope to check on that as soon as my publisher is open. My apologies!

  5. This is exactly what God has been speaking to me. He has brought me to a sick of self place where I see the yuk and desire more of him and his way. I tend to start and stop too much on there journies. I don’t live in a Godly household or environment husband/family. I am absolutely saved and walk daily with my Lord, but it can be like climbing up a mud slide staying grounded as the things around me, along with a too busy schedule tend to suck the life out and the days just go by… If not grounded I operate in my own strength/way which is exhausting and fails to reach the mark. I don’t know where this will take me but I know I can’t stand still and stay as is. Thank God for that and also this timely article.

    1. Cyndi,
      I read one wise pastor’s advice to a young pastor who had children in all kinds of activities and whose family life was going so fast it was a blur. The young pastor asked what he should do to grow in Christ. The older, more experienced pastor said, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” The younger pastor said, “Okay, I wrote that down. What else?” The older pastor said, “There is nothing else. Just do whatever you have to do to completely eliminate hurry from your life.”

      That is pretty profound. HARD to do! But wise.

      I can relate to trying to climb up a mud slide!

      Praying for us all to go deeper with the Lord and for us to be open to all that He wants to do in our lives to help us grow.

      1. Thank you for that. It’s amazing how one nugget of Truth can be chewed on for a good while. I think I will chew on this one, for when I have practiced not hurrying, piece has been there.

        1. Cyndi,

          Waiting on the Lord is a beautiful discipline believers practice. I’m excited to continue on this road to cut out hurry. It has made such an enormous difference already.

          Glad this was a blessing to you, too.

          Much love!

  6. Hi April, welcome back! I wont divulge too much, but i will say your new book arrived in the mail at a very importamt lightbulb moment in my life. And even though ive only read the first 4 chapters its an awesome book! I feel like God wants me to do a spring clean too. All i want to do is write down my thoughts and feelings as they are coming at me thick and fast. So i kind of understand what you meant at the start of your post. Its really hard to slow down, especially when you want to run ahead. But thats when we tend to miss some vital information. Thankyou for your wisdom.
    God bless

    1. AnonM,

      I am SO prone to want to run ahead. And to have a hard time just being and just resting. But – wow! What a difference it has made over these past few weeks. I know I can’t go back to the pace I was taking before.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and His healing and spring cleaning! 🙂

  7. April!! Thank you SO much for the eBook! I have felt strongly convicted to spend more time in His word and relaxing from the world around. It’s hard to do being pregnant in this day, exactly what you said about Parkland. I live in Florida, and it forces me to think about our baby girl we’re going to bringing in this fallen world… thank you for reminding me I can still live in peace and not fear.

    1. Ashleigh J,

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! It is so easy to succumb to fear. But – that is NOT how I want to live! Praise God we can trust Him and rest in Him – even in these crazy times. He is still sovereign. His purposes will still be accomplished. We can fight with our spiritual weapons and the power of His Spirit and pray for a Great Awakening!!!

      Yes, we can absolutely still live in peace, not fear. Praise God!

  8. Hi April, thank you so much for this post. We are always a work in progress, always learning no matter how much we think we know. I’m glad to hear how God is working in your life. A big thank you for the free e-book The Peaceful Wife!! I downloaded it today from Google Play Store. They do ask for your payment details but do not charge you for it.

    1. Judy,

      Yes, we always have so much more to learn. It’s exciting to continue to learn from the Master. Thank you for the encouragement and love. I can’t take credit for the free ebook. That is something my publisher and the various outlets worked out. But I am sure excited to promote it! I pray it will be a blessing to your walk with the Lord and your marriage and family.

      Much love!

  9. It’s interesting that you would post this today, as yesterday my husband and I were agreeing with each other that the Christian walk is a 24/7 commitment. We are not supposed to feel we can behave any way we want when we are alone and another way when we are around others. It really convicted our hearts and we have covenanted to live our live wholeheartedly for the Lord, via the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    We may end up standing out like a sore thumb, but we’d rather be “freaks for Jesus” than to walk in the flesh.

  10. April! Welcome back!! I’m so glad you had such a restful time and I hope it was spiritually refreshing.

    So much has gone on here! Oh I’ve missed you. You might want to smack me, but I think I finally got it through my thick head that it’s okay for me to accept love and kindness. (Especially from my husband). I don’t “deserve” to be treated badly just because things were the way they were growing up. I was surrounded by hurting people who just didn’t know any better. I know I seem like I’m always at square one, but I am finally starting to realize just what it means to be a daughter of God and that it’s okay to be loved by God. He loves me no matter what. For someone like me that is hard to understand. But it’s finally getting through! It was so easy for me to realize I was a sinner in great need of a Savior. It was much harder for me to comprehend His great love for me, and that I am in deep need of that love, too.

    I’m also understanding that I HAVE grown. Slowly, but yes. I always feel like I’m failing and starting over. But it’s not failure, it’s just slow growth.

    Your post “Secret Sin Does Not Stay Secret” spoke VOLUMES to me. There’s so much I personally need to deal with that I had such a hard time seeing as sin because not all of my sins are obvious on the surface.

    On a sad note, my brother-in-law passed away suddenly (heart attack) in February at just 40 years old. It’s been a stressful six weeks. Please say a prayer for my husband and his mother and sister. Also my BILs children. Sadly a messy situation was left behind with several children and mothers. It’s been hard on everyone with no quick end in sight. We are praying God uses this situation to draw family members to Him.

    I’ve missed you!

    1. Becca,
      I don’t want to smack you! I’m ecstatic to hear what God is doing in your life! I want to give you a huge hug!

      PRAISE GOD that you are learning to accept love and kindness from God and from your husband. You had some extremely deep scars. I understand why you thought the way you did. But I am so thankful you are allowing the Lord and your husband and others who love you to begin to pour good things into your life and that you are receiving those good things and emotional and spiritual intimacy. THAT IS AWESOME! The only one who wants you to stay where you used to be is Satan. He loves when we are paralyzed and crushed by his lies. He loves to keep us ensnared in his prison.

      But Jesus came to set us free! WOOHOO!

      Yes, slow growth. That is wonderful!

      I’m so glad that post was a blessing to you. <3

      Oh, wow! Forty years old!?!?! That is so very young. Whew! I send you and your precious family much love and I am praying for you all. I can't imagine how painful and what a shock this must all be to everyone. Yes, I join with you in praying that God might use this tragedy to draw family members to Himself and to bring healing and good from it in miraculous ways.

      Much love to you! I've missed you and all of the camaraderie here so much, too.

      It's such a treat to hear from you!

      Much love!
      April

  11. It is so wonderful to read this and know that I am not the only one! I have been trying so hard to take control and sort out all of our issues, and finally, I heard “Just breathe. Stop what you are doing, give it here, and just breathe.” I have now really been focused on making sure God is first in all I say, think, and do and what a change it has made! This post has really fired up my spirit to keep going with it. Sometimes it is tiring trying to do everything perfectly according to his plan. But no fatigue can compare to what Jesus felt when he gave it all for us, so I keep going to give it all to him! Thank you for what you do. I hope you realize the number of lives you touch by it!

    1. Kristina,

      It is NOT my natural tendency to just sit, be still, breathe, and rest. I am a DO-ER! I like to get things done. BUT, it has to be God really who does the work. Not me. It can take some time, maybe a life time, to grow in spiritual maturity enough to really learn this stuff. But I am excited to learn and absorb all I can at every stage.

      When we are feeling exhausted, stressed out, and spent – it often means we are operating in our own strength. Or, at least, I know that is true for me. He can give us His power to do things – to give us the ability to soar on wings like eagles. I pray for us all that He will help us understand how to receive all He wants to do in us, through us, and for us – and that we will receive His Sabbath rest for our souls as believers. That we might understand what part we play and what our responsibilities are and what part He plays and His responsibilities and not be confused about the difference.

      I’m so glad that this was a blessing to you. And to hear all that God is doing in your life! WOOHOO! Praise God!

      Much love and a huge hug!

      May the Lord be greatly exalted in all of our lives! <3

  12. Welcome back April! I trust you had a wonderful Easter. I agree that it is much better to have a Mary heart instead of Martha. I recently wrote a post on my blog called Being Martha When You Want to Mary. I’m still a work in progress though. I appreciate your post and hopefully you won’t see those nasty bugs again!

    1. Regina,

      We did – and I hope you and your family did, as well. 🙂

      That sounds like an amazing post. And yes, I believe we are all works in progress. So thankful we can share the journey together.

      Our cat doesn’t even eat dry food anymore – so we just won’t have any in the house. That should help!

      Much love!

  13. Hi April ,
    So I am a wife and a momma who really wants to serve the Lord Jesus but I feel like i have hit a stumbling block…. see I am a believe in Christ but my husband isn’t and I feel as if I am early move to argue with him on many different topics many Jesus so what my question is could you please pray for us and could you point me to so verse to read to help me though this time…. my god bless you….

    1. I also have been married to a nonbeliever for many many years. It is the single hardest thing I have ever endured outside an issue with my son that the Lord has since resolved. Relationships are hard enough but mix oil and water and it can be really tough. I will pray for you because I can relate. I will also give you a piece of advice, don’t pray “God change him” but pray “God change me” you are not the holy Spirit and you can not do his work, but through his power you have got to be the truth of Jesus that your husband see’s….so if you fight, humble yourself and ask forgiveness for what Jesus shows you that you did..the struggle is real my friend, but it is our commission now to die to self and love these men and stay on our knees for them. I will be lifting you up♡

    2. Women in Christ,

      I’m so glad you are seeking the Lord! That is awesome. ❤️

      Ephesians 5:22-33,1 Peter 3:1-6, and 1 Corinthians 7, as well as Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 would all be helpful.

      I also have many posts on tyis issue.

      You are welcome to look at the category section on the right side of my blog. And you may search:

      – my secret idol
      – unbelieving husband
      – why do I have to change first
      – submit to His Lordship
      – 25 ways to reverence God
      – 25 ways to respect myself
      – 25 ways to respect my husband

      Your greatest power to pour life into your marriage is to live in the Spirit and live our a godly, respectful, honorable example. Men don’t respond well to words or bagging or contention. They respond to a wife who lives in the will of God and who is full of the fruit of the Spirit.

      Much love!

    3. Hi “Women in Christ”,
      My husband is also an unbeliever and so are many of my relatives.

      I don’t believe that arguing or debating or preaching is necessary. Only by the Holy Spirit, will your husband say “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor 12:3).

      Don’t talk about your faith at all and don’t engage in any arguments about it. Just work on building yourself up in Christ and following him faithfully. Pray for your husband every day but let your primary focus be on repenting of your sin and walking with Christ. Ask God to show you if there is any pride, anger, resentment, bitterness or judgement in your heart and repent of it all. We can only draw others to Christ is He is shining brightly in our hearts.

      For many years, I focused so much on being a good example and preaching to others, that I allowed pride, judgementalism and other ugly sins to grow in my heart that no one could see Christ in me at all. I actually repelled people from Christ because of that and I was completely blind to it.

      Now, my primary focus is on repenting and trying to become holy so that I can please Christ and as a secondary benefit, perhaps also draw others to Him.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Much love,
      Nikki

  14. Hi April,
    I’m very happy about your new direction, especially about not giving specific relationship advice in the comments and only leaving the comments section open for a few days.

    I’ve always wondered how you find the time to respond to each comment and give advice on each person’s specific issues. You already have so many responsibilities, given your job, your family and your personal walk with Christ. I was worried that you will burn yourself out. I’m really happy that you took a break for Lent.

    I also realized that I was getting too dependent and needy for your advice, support and attention, instead of depending fully on Christ for guidance, wisdom and love. It’s not healthy for me to depend on any human beingmore than I depend on Christ.

    I pray that we will all learn to rest in God’s love and pursue holiness by having our eyes fixed on Christ and Christ alone.

    By the way…I ordered your “Peaceful Mom” book! I should receive it by Friday. I can’t wait to dig into it 🙂

    Much love,
    Nikki

    1. Nikki,
      Aw! Thank you for sharing these insights with me. What a blessing!

      I love what God is doing in you. Thank you for sharing with our sister, too.

      💜❤️💜

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