How to Spring Clean Your Heart and Mind
Yesterday was the first day of spring, and I'm so glad it's here. With it comes longer warmer days making everything bloom almost while we watch. Everything begins to be reborn and renewed.
It’s the perfect time to clear away the rubbish and make everything new.
With all this newness popping up, it means lots of yard work and spring cleaning for me. My “to do” list triples. After months of cold, dreary weather and right before the full-blown blossoming of the grass and trees, is the perfect time to clean out the dust and clutter that accumulated over the cold winter.
It’s time for spring cleaning
Spring cleaning is always a big project. The past few days in my part of the state turned warm and sunny. The better weather is my invitation to get outside. With the help of my son, we cleaned out debris collected in corners of the yard through the fall and winter. There were more than enough piles of leaves to rake and burn, shrubs and trees to trim, repairs to the fence and general cleaning out and getting rid of things. It’s been a big project. The yard looks so good after all the work is done, plus it’s rewarding to see my “to do” list shortened.
My heart often needs a little spring cleaning as well. Sometimes dusty worn out thoughts get stuck in the corners. Words like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t.”
Once these negative thoughts lay around for a while, they take up residence occupying the space where truth should live.
Other debris gathers as well; words like, “I can’t trust anyone,” or “I’m so disappointed.” Unfortunately, life can throw us storms that leave debris laying around that if not cleaned up and repaired, become a messy, dusty, dirty thought that eventually migrates to our hearts. These untended thoughts in our hearts turn into anxiety, bitterness and sometimes anger. That's why our hearts need a little spring cleaning.
How can we clean up and declutter our hearts and minds? Here are some steps to help you spring clean:
You can’t do it alone. There was no way I could have managed to spring clean my yard alone. The work required someone stronger and with more skills than myself. In the same way, the work of decluttering our hearts and minds also requires the help of our Creator who is faithful and able to do the hard work. We must ask God for help. Inviting God into our hearts to help us renew our minds makes the work so much easier and eternal. Will you let God create a new heart for you?
Recognize negative and hurtful thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard to see what needs to be done until you focus on the project. Once I started cleaning the yard, I found all kinds of little things that needed attention. The same is true for the thoughts that seep into our hearts. Recognizing the problem is the first step to cleaning out the clutter. Consider what you tell yourself about yourself. Do you compare your life to others then think, “I’ll never measure up,” or “Why can’t I be like her?” If so, you may need to start replacing and repairing what you tell yourself. What does God say about you and about who
you are? His are the words of truth we need to repeat to ourselves.
Replace and repair with truth. Scripture is resplendent with the truth about how God loves His children. The truth of God's Word is always stronger than the lies of the enemy, and it mends broken places. Make a list of scripture that reminds you of God love you, and every time you think you are not enough, or can’t do something or bitterness rises above offering grace and forgiveness, read these words of truth God offers instead. Check out this list I made for myself, and add yours. Keep it handy. Any time a negative thought about who you are pops into your head, repeat your list as many times as it takes to push out the clutter.
Upkeep is a must. Once my son and I finished our work, the yard was pristine and ready for the heat of the summer. To keep it that way, I must keep an eye out for weeds and unwanted critters and water when things get dry. In the same way, our relationship with Jesus must receive our undivided attention. We must keep watch for cluttering thoughts that do not align with God’s truth. We must focus on to whom we belong and sweep away any thought that tries to tell us otherwise.
The warmth spring renews the earth and my enthusiasm for yard work. The longer days and more light is a great time to clean out and ridout the broken and dirty rubbish and the things that hinder instead of help. The same is true from our hearts and minds. Take some quiet time with our Creator and allow Him to create in you a clean heart.
Our Father Creator, thank you for the changing seasons that signal renewal and revival. Create in us a clean heart and a renewed mind filled with the truth of your love for us. Help us to get rid of the debris thinking that hinders our focus on You.
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