A Spiritual Spring Cleaning

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Spring has arrived! That means it is time for spring cleaning! Time to go through closets and get rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore, go through the pantry and discard any food past its expiration date, and generally freshen up my household.

I would like to suggest that spring, or early summer, might also be a good time for a kind of spiritual spring cleaning. Or at least a good time to make plans for it.

Before we moved to Central Asia, I used to set aside one weekend in the early summer each year to examine my devotional life. We had a big household and it took some planning, but with my husband’s support and God’s help, I was able to find a cabin in the woods that I could borrow or rent. Once they got out of school, I would pile the five kids (and the dog) into our minivan and drive up to the cabin for three days.

I still shopped and cooked and took the kids on outings during the days but the focus of the weekend, for me, was my early morning time with God. That was why I went to the woods. I would tiptoe around the little cabin, make a cup of tea in the early morning hours and sit down with my Bible and journal and read, pray, and just think about how these early morning times had been going lately.

Was my daily quiet time with the Lord lively? Was I getting enough time with the Lord each day? Did I feel like I was inspired or dry as a bone? I would be honest about my condition. And I would take into consideration the circumstances of my life. If I was grieving a recent loss, I didn’t expect much emotional sense of connection. If I was tired, I would think about how to get more sleep, or just give my lack of rest to the Lord as an offering. But I would also examine the condition of my heart. Was I approaching the Lord, day by day, with faith and expectation-or was I just going through the motions?