In recent weeks, I’ve been involved in a big spring-cleaning project. Our daughter had moved out as she concluded a graduate program and left her storage area in the former playhouse, now studio needing a good clean out. We’d all thrown so much stuff back there, I even forgot what I had stored.
I carted off bags and boxes to recycle or give away. One corner of the building was showing promise. When we returned days later after an out-of-town trip, I went to pick up where I’d left off. When I opened the door, I saw that up on the top shelf of a bookcase I’d emptied, leaves, twigs, and small bits of moss mounded inside a formerly empty magazine holder. Someone else decided that area looked promising, too.
Probably one of the kids that grew up in a nest there a couple of years back. I named them--Louie, Lettie, Leonard, Latrelle, and Lois. And painted them. They’ve been seen at two art exhibitions and one rendition of the birds was auctioned off for an arts foundation a couple of years back when we were doing such things.
So, now, the cleanout is on pause for a few weeks until the birds fledge.
On the one hand foiled, but on the other, not that disappointed and a little excited for them to be back. Home sweet home, I guess for them, and I’m doing my part to help songbirds.
We’ve been doing something of a spiritual cleanout around here, as well. We’re using a study by Henry Blackaby entitled Fresh Encounters. And it’s all about getting the stuff we’ve piled up, overlooked, and ignored inside of us out in the light so God can come in a fresh way and bring revival to us—and then use us to bring renewal to those around us. Blackaby references this verse, "Repent, then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord and that he may send the Christ who has been appointed for you--even Jesus (Acts 3:19-20).
During the Lenten season and especially as we look toward Holy Week, it’s a good time to allow God to cleanse us of all that is holding us back from being clear vessels for Him. I know over this past year, I’ve let things creep into my spirit that I don’t like, and the Lord has gently pointed them out to me. In fact, I don’t usually talk about what I give up during Lent, but I wonder if others are having this same struggle--this year I’ve broken up with my phone for Lent. I was checking the news feed too much and allowing it to disturb my spirit. There’ve been times with so much going on that we needed to stay informed, but I was turning into a news junkie. Not pretty.
And amazingly, though I’ve not checked the news feed in weeks, the world has not imploded without my armchair analysis. Hopefully, after Easter, I'll have a new perspective.
So, for now, my studio cleanout is on hold.
However, until I see Jesus, my heart cleanout is certain to be ongoing.