Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Winter has flown. Spring has sprung. And, with it, the deep and compelling call for that dreaded, but much needed, spring cleaning.
I'll be the first to confess. I hate housecleaning! But, I love a neat and tidy home, so I do what needs to get done. Some chores, like wiping down the stove and counters after dinner, keeping up with dishes, pots and pans, making the bed, and sweeping the floors, I do daily.
Dusting? Sadly, not until I actually see those infintesimal varmints coating the surface of furniture.
Vacuuming? Always after I dust. The two go hand-in-hand.
Bathrooms? Once a week, with touch-ups in between.
Windows? When I see a smudge.
It's cursory cleaning at best. Spring cleaning means more. Much more!
It's time to get down on hands and knees, wiping every baseboard, vanquishing every spot marring the wood floors.
It's time to haul everything out of closets. Sort through the clothes and pack up for donations what is still in good shape, but needs to be purged. Dust and vacuum closet shelves and floors.
It's time to grab my step stool and scrub down every surface I can only reach when using it. This includes emptying out the kitchen cabinets so I can 409 to my heart's content.
And, it's time . . . time to wipe down the blinds. This wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have 14 sets of blinds in our house. I'd rather take down 14 sets of curtains and wash them any day than have to face this painstaking and tedious chore. But, face it, I must.
Because, just as the rigorous, sacrificial practices we take on during the Lenten season help create within us a clean heart, one prepared and pure to meet the risen Lord on Easter Sunday, the discipline of spring cleaning rejuvenates and enlivens the home I share with those I love. A house which shines with peace and joy and comfort. A house which says, "Welcome home."
So, I'll don my I-pod, crank up the tunes, gather my cleaning supplies, and plunge in. With some stick-to-it-ness and elbow grease, my spring cleaning will be done by Easter.
Is spring cleaning a ritual you perform every year?
Will you pray with me?
Dear Father, as this Lenten season draws to a close, let us reflect upon how the practices and disciplines we have taken on have helped prepare our hearts and minds for the glory that is Easter. Help us to examine ourselves prayerfully and honestly. Renew a steadfast spirit within us. Amen.