Spring Cleaning

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You are already made clean by the word that I have spoken to you. John 15:3 RSV

I don’t spring clean. My mother did, though. So did my mother-in-law. Both turned the house upside-down every spring to get to the ceilings, walls, floors, and giving everything on and in them—and I mean everything—a good scrub-down.

It’s not that I don’t like a clean house. It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s just that I can’t stand for things to be out of place. I’d wait until I couldn’t stand the dust anymore to get out my Swiffer duster. The floor was vacuumed more often once I bought a new, lightweight upright that swiveled and maneuvered around furniture like a sleek racecar and was easier on my back. Occasionally I gave the house a thorough cleaning, but not annually and not all at once. I couldn’t handle that.

But since DH retired, he’s taken over the cleaning duties so I could have the time to write. He’s much better at keeping the house clean than I was. He doesn’t let things go until he can’t stand it any longer.

Just as I need to give my house a thorough cleaning periodically, so must I do the same with my spirit, going through room by room, tossing the trash and clutter that’s accumulated, and sweeping away all the dust and dirt—the residue of everyday living.

My spiritual “Swiffer” is the Word of God; my vacuum cleaner, prayer. And what better time to do my spiritual spring cleaning than Lent? Beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter morning, Lent is a time to examine ourselves for anything that clutters and dirties our spirits, hindering our spiritual growth and thus our relationship with God.

That’s why I’m taking a“40-Day Challenge” to read through the Gospels by Easter. Two chapters a day will get me through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for Easter than to read through the accounts of the life and ministry of Christ written by His closest disciples.

I’m also keeping a SOAP journal, copying one verse of Scripture to meditate on (“S”); writing down in one or two sentences what I see (observe) in that verse (“O”) and how to apply it to my life (“A”); and finally a one or two sentence prayer (“P”) relating to the verse. I like the SOAP format because wordy me has to be concise, and it’s in that very conciseness that the meaning shines like a cleaned and polished room.

Prayer is also a vital aspect of the 40-day challenge. Prayer is simply talking to God. I keep a prayer journal at the back of my SOAP journal. I note personal prayers and requests for others. I pray for needs on my heart, folks and situations the Holy Spirit brings to mind as I pray. I also record when and how my prayers are answered.

My spiritual spring cleaning may turn things topsy-turvy. Although I like order and organization, I’ve got to give God room to work—and trust Him for the results.

Why not take the 40-day challenge with me?

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a new and right spirit within me. Search me and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen. (Based on Psalms 51:10 and 139:23, 24)

More “tea” for the 40-day challenge: 2 Timothy 3:16; Jeremiah 29:13; James 4:8; Psalms 51 and 139; Hebrews 4:12.

Read and reflect on Psalm 19:7-14

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

New Devotional Book Released

 

The words of the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof have long resonated within my soul. Indeed one season follows another in the story of our lives, bringing challenges, disappointments, and heartaches, but not without splashes of hope and sprinklings of happiness. This collection of devotional readings, an excellent resource for holiday programs and publications, gives fresh meaning to the seasons and holidays of the year. So pour yourself a cup of tea, grab your Bible, and head for your comfy chair to savor a cup of inspiration, a spoonful of encouragement, and a generous outpouring of the milk of God’s love. SELAH!

Available in Kindle edition ($2.99) and print book ($14.99) on Amazon. If you’d like a personally autographed copy, contact me at michelethuey@gmail.com

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Her devotions read like she is sitting across from you just sharing from her heart.” – Diana Pederson

“Michele Huey’s gift is to take God’s Word and translate it into deep-in-the-trenches, real-life solutions for our everyday problems. In this series of seasonal devotions, she takes us by the hand and shows us how to turn our stresses into joyful nuggets of wisdom that keep us going day after day. Michele helps us grow a rich tapestry of faith spring, summer, fall, and winter.” – Patricia Lorenz, inspirational, art-of-living writer and speaker, author of seven books and top contributing writer to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books

“What better way to enjoy the seasons than curled up in a comfortable chair with a steaming cup of tea and a spoonful of encouragement from one of Michele Huey’s delightful books!” –Cyndy Salzmann, Christian author and speaker

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