I always wonder why we wake up so early on Saturday mornings. It was 5:30 am for me this morning. A Safety Meeting at work, took my car to get washed, now I’m enjoying my coffee inside a Starbucks while watching a toddler interact with his father. This particular Starbucks has a drive-thru so I don’t know why I went inside this time. To start this writing journey God has placed on my heart over a year ago, I have come to realize!
He first caught my attention as daddy opened the snack platter and the toddler yelled, “Basketball”. He was referring to the hard boiled egg his daddy was holding. I had to laugh inside, but I’m quite sure the smile on my face told the story of the joy I was feeling on the inside.
It brought me back to a time and place when my kids were that age. It seems so long ago. But as I sat and listened to the two of them go back and forth……..” what does a dog say”, and “what does a chicken say”……..listening to the little boys cute sounds of each animal he was imitating, it suddenly didn’t seem so long ago anymore, it was yesterday for me.
It reminded me of the term “Spring Cleaning”. Let me explain:
For this little boy, everything is a new experience. For him, experiences are fresh and new as he experiences things for the first time. As we get older, we get so caught up in the same old, same old that we seldom make the time for new experiences anymore. We don’t get so excited to see hard boiled eggs like the little boy did. Maybe we’re afraid to make changes or decisions we KNOW we should, like starting an exercise routine, having a garage sale, or cleaning out our closets, things like that. We’re comfortable the way we are, even if it means we are miserable or unhappy. Why do we CHOOSE to stay in this rut, instead of making changes that we KNOW are good for us? It seems so easy to understand, it’s actually pretty simple.
Ladies, be honest, we wouldn’t hesitate to give our girlfriends this advice. And these days, we don’t even need to talk to do it. One cell phone and a few fingers and your text advice is on its way. So why is it so hard for us to implement this for ourselves? If it had something to do with our career or our kids, we’d be all over it. Making changes at the snap of a finger, making things ‘happen’ like we always do.
That’s what made me think of Spring Cleaning. It signifies a time to get our households in order, to get that fresh and new feeling again. We get those baseboards white again, add a fresh coat of paint to an office, open up the windows and let the fresh air in, and maybe get around to that garage sale we’ve been procrastinating about for over a year now?
But what about ‘Spiritual’ Spring Cleaning? What if once a year we took a step back to look at our own ‘inner’ closet? Is there something in your ‘inner’ closet that needs some cleaning this Spring Season? Is there someone that needs forgiveness? Could you be holding a grudge?
Spring time is a season of birth……..cherry blossoms appear, flowers come alive and the bears wake up from a long winters nap. Why not start your Spring time fresh and new? Make a CHOICE to experience something fresh and new today. Start your own tradition and implement your own ‘Spiritual’ Spring cleaning campaign this year.
I found a verse I thought fit perfectly with ‘Spiritual’ Spring cleaning.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)
Start your ‘Spiritual’ Spring cleaning this weekend. Don’t wait!
Good Luck and Happy Cleaning!
Written by: Andrea J. Tomassi - April 9, 2011
So many times we just want to "pray it away" don't we? We put our prayer requests out to our tribe with hopes that God will change our situation without first doing the work ourselves. Did you know we have a responsibility to "do the work" FIRST and do what we KNOW we should?
We shouldn't ask God to bail us out every time we ask while we sit back and think, "God will fix this." Sometimes, we are faced with the uncomfortable consequences of our actions and choices for a reason. Maybe God is trying to show us our character defects?
Do the work people! Be responsible and accountable at work, at home and with your circle of friends or family, then watch God do what you can't!
In Colossians 3:23 it says, "Whatever you do, work at it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."
Are there prayers that have gone unanswered? Has God been silent lately? Maybe he's waiting for you to make the first move?
How would you behave if Jesus followed you around today? How would you clean your house if you knew he would be dining with you tonight? How productive would you be at work if he was the one who actually signed your paycheck?
This has been a real struggle for me lately........to stay "on task." Sometimes I need to stop and take a moment to renew my mind and allow my actions to evolve from making the choice to serve the Lord FIRST and foremost! That means before my husband, before my children and before the things that I want to do. When I do this, it truly changes my attitude and gives me a sense of peace, while removing the frustration and stress from my day!
My prayer for you my friends, is that you will strive to work for Lord in all you do........today and always! Remember he IS observing!
When I am struggling in a situation or a relationship with others, I call on "My Tribe", my Princess Sisters, my go-to girls to fight alongside me. Please don't get me wrong, my Prayer Warrior Girls mean the world to me, and they are so crucial to have in my life, but I've realized they have become my "go to" girls first and God wants to be the first one I go to.
When I saw this quote this morning (above) on a friends Facebook page (Thanks D.M.), it reminded me that I should go to God and ask him to search my own heart FIRST! I need to ask him, "Is there something I need to change in me?"
So I went before God this morning with these:
1) God, do I need to change the way I am viewing this situation or this person? Please give me wisdom and discernment to see this situation through your eyes. Please help me be patient and wait! (James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom; let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.")
2) God, do I need to change my behavior and the way I act towards other people? I know others will always be watching to see how I behave, while some will be waiting for me to react out of character to quickly point the finger and cast blame for their behavior. Please help me not react to their negative behavior. Remind me that the truth needs no defense. (Romans 12:19 - Don't take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God's anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, "I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.")
3) God, do I need to change my heart and the compassion I have for others? I may not know what others are going through and only you know their true heart Lord. Please give me a heart like yours. ( 1 Peter 3:8 - "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.")
4) God, help me to change my expectations of the outcome. I get in my head the way I think things should be, the way I think it should all play out. I have the manuscript already written and everybody should play their part, as I see it. Please help me to understand that things happen according to your purpose and your will and not my own. When relationships and situations don't turn out the way I want them to, help me to see the lesson I am supposed to be learning. Give me the hope to believe you have something better for me when things turn out differently than expected. (Isaiah 55:8-9 - "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways," declares the Lord. "Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways; and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.")
So before we think we need to bring in our prayer warriors, include our friends and tell them all of our problems. Before we rally in the troops and think we need an army circled around us to help us fight the battle.......May we FIRST be reminded to fight alone by looking at ourselves.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What positive changes can I bring to a current situation or relationship by changing myself first?
If you have a "Tribe of Friends" like I do, you know they will always be there for you.
You can always call for back up later if you need it..........But we must FIRST learn how to "Fight Alone!"
Andrea (Andi), is an Author, musician, speaker and Founder of Transcended Ministries. She encourages women to rise above their circumstances and to trust in God's timing. She is involved in Celebrate Recovery and sings on the worship team at her church. Andi believes no hurt is ever wasted and she longs to bring a message of hope and healing as she shares her story of bold faith. Her story includes her struggle with control issues and co-dependency followed by a separation from her husband of twenty-five years. After a year of isolation and being on her own, she watched God bring transformation, healing, and reconciliation.