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. 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:
- 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 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.
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.