Spring Cleaning

Window Washing

I’ve been thinking about some Spring cleaning around our house and this includes some hefty window washing, which isn’t my favorite cleaning activity.  Nevertheless, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me, as I look out the picture window by my morning quiet time chair, our windows desperately need some cleaning attention.

From my point of view, window washing is double work.  When I look at my smudged and dirty picture window, I see the smudges on the inside as well as the dirt and dust accumulated on the outside from the Winter weather.  This also reminds me about some windshield cleaning that I should work on in my car with the same principle.  I’m frequently using windshield washing fluid to clean the outside of my windshield.  But when I take a towel to wipe down the inside of my windshield, I’m often appalled at how dirty the inside can get, although I’m often unaware of the dirt.

This window cleaning necessity can be a parallel with my soul and how my interior can affect my perspective or point of view.  Jesus gives a perfect illustration of this challenge in John 8:1-12, when the Jewish leaders brought Him a woman caught in adultery.  They interrupted Jesus’ teaching in the temple by throwing this woman at Him, shaming and accusing her, demanding that Jesus answer the Mosaic Law, which required that she be stoned for her sinful behavior.  These Jewish leaders were publicly exposing the dirt on this woman (but not the man who had participated in her adultery).

Jesus’ quiet reply to these leaders was a loud depth charge, requiring them to assess their own souls. “He who is without sin can throw the first stone.”  With these few words, Jesus confronted the interior dirt in the souls of these leaders.  In essence, Jesus was requiring the accusing men to take an inventory of their souls before they could externally throw rocks at this “dirty” woman.  In Jesus’ reply to the woman, after the leaders had walked away from recognizing the dirt in their souls, He said that He didn’t accuse her and that she could go free and stop sinning.

This exchange between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, along with her accusers, has caused me to think about my soul and how I see people around me.  For example, I was playing pickleball at a public rec center and found myself thinking critical and judgmental thoughts about some of the players.  I was thinking about how some of them are mean, snooty, aggressive and even hostile.  Suddenly, I felt Holy Spirit confront me with the question:  Is your point of view distorted or dirty because of what’s in your soul, or are these players really as bad or evil as you think?  This question has been echoing in my soul and helping me question the clarity of my perspective.

It seems to me that Jesus is the only “human” who has lived with clear and truthful perspective and He sees us through the lens of genuine love, because Jesus is love.  So if I want my perspective to be clear, clean from the dirt of accusation, deception, condemnation and fear, I need Holy Spirit to help me walk together in truth (because Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth) and I can ask Holy Spirit to pour into my soul genuine love (Romans 5:5), so I can see people around me accurately through the lens of love.

Window cleaning is reminding me that my soul need love cleaning, to wash off the dirt that my humanity can accumulate, unknowingly from listening to the enemy whisper lies and accusations.  Here’s to window and soul washing!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 1 comment

Lessons in Resting

Springtime always seems to ramp up the activity level.  There’s fresh air outside that’s not too cold, the trees bloom with fragrant life, the hibernation of winter dissipates and of course there are all of the activities that go with school, Easter, graduations, weddings, showers, etc.

More often than not, Springtime wears me out with the hustle and bustle of demanding activities.  So this Sping, I’m endeavoring to strike a better balance, integrating some rest into the mix.  Here are some ideas that might help you with finding rest in a busy Spring:

  • be careful not to fall in the “value in achievement” trap – you’re valuable because God loves you, full stop
  • consider Spring cleaning your calendar / schedule and not just your house
  • be sure the way you use your time accurately reflects your priorities
  • don’t ditch church 🙂

Of course I’m always keen to recommend reading a good book as a form of relaxing & a great book to read in preparation for Pentecost in a few weeks is Heavenly Help

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, Pentecost, prayer, relationships, values, watch, 0 comments

Spring Cleaning and Soul Cleaning :)

We could probably all do a bit of extra cleaning in this season, especially with all of the kids’ school stuff that’s presently occupying far too much counter space 🙂

Here’s another idea for some Spring Cleaning that I’ve been thinking about lately:  perhaps we could all do some “soul cleaning” with some fresh work on the forgiveness front.  Here’s what got me thinking about this – yesterday, I ran across a person with whom I had a very unpleasant exchange in January & I found myself being very frosty with this person, noticeably LESS friendly with them than anyone else.  This was a nice wake up call that I probably need to freshen up my forgiveness maintenance.  Maybe you’re not like me, but I find that I’m really keen to make the forgiveness decision, but sometimes I neglect the followup maintenance that forgiveness can require.  When I make the forgiveness decision, for me this means that I chose to not “punish” the person for our altercation by being unpleasant in any future exchanges.  Furthermore, when I forgive a person, I make the decision not to discuss their failure with anyone else (outside of a normal healthy disclosure).  Additionally, when I chose to forgive, I find it helpful to bless person & to “let go” of the offense – not remind them of their failure by bringing up the past.  Like I said on my fb post, forgiveness is a decision that can require ongoing maintenance ,)

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, spiritual, 0 comments