Spring Cleaning - Inside and Out

It’s that time of year again. I am getting the itch to spring clean.

Bins are brimming with clothes that no longer fit my kids. The weather is getting warm and signaling the need to clean out the closets, remove the winter wear and replace with shorts, tank tops and summer dresses.

As I peer into my kid’s room I see the clutter accumulating on top of dressers and in bookcases. Ugh! While I prefer to keep horizontal surfaces clear but they have become home to many items collected over time. After several rounds of creative organizing my girls’ room is creeping close to the tipping point. Coffee stirrers, bouncy balls, scrapes of paper drawn on - the list goes on.

There are many things my children do not want to part with.

You know how us mammas give a 10-minute warning near the end of playtime? I find myself walking through the 2nd floor hallway giving a warning of mine own. I let the kids know that soon it will be time to do a "big" clean".  Start thinking about the things they don’t want anymore so we can lighten the load.

I confess that often times I go into their rooms while they are at school and toss the things I don’t think they will miss. But as they get older I think they will begin to notice. I am not sure how much longer I will be able to get away with it.

They will have to decide on their own what things to part with.

These things will include books they have outgrown, stuffed animals they don’t play with, and objects they have lost interest in.

My heart is in need of spring-cleaning as well.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

I occasionally pray for God to show me those things I need to let go of. I ask Him to let me know whom I need to forgive and what needs to be healed in my heart. Recently I have felt a nudge in the direction of my marriage.

Now is the perfect time.

When my husband and I were preparing to get married we were told how important frequent “check-ups” were. The pastor encouraged us to regularly touch base with one another to gauge how our relationship was going.  Ask questions like, “How am I doing?” “Am I meeting your needs?” Share with each other what’s go well and what areas need to be addressed.

My husband and I are overdue to reconnect and “clean house”. Life has been busy. Work and young children keep us going non-stop. Our neglect in this area has allowed simple annoyances to become sources of contention. Hurt feelings, swept under the carpet, have morphed into resentment.

Just like my kids resist parting with precious things they have collected I resist letting go of judgments that I feel entitled too. 

1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love “…keeps no record of wrongs.” I hate to admit this but I have a little list. It might not be on paper but it’s a list nonetheless. It’s time to Let. It. Go.

This verse isn’t saying that I should pretend everything is okay and go about business as usual. I will need to be open and honest about my feelings, willing to confront, then willing forgive. Even harder than that, I will need to listen to my husband share his hurts and frustrations with me.

Creating a habit of de-cluttering help spring-cleaning to not feel so overwhelming.

So as the tulips are blooming and the birds are chirping we will be tidying up things around here, both in our house and in our hearts.

Today I am linking up with Wifey Wednesday along with other blogger to talk about marriage. Have some time? Check it out. Our host Sheila is talking about How to Get a Healthy View of Sexuality When Your Past is All Messed Up.