by Anna Lokensgard
Every fall, I go through the ritual of Fall Cleaning. Twenty-seven years ago, as a new mom, it was something of an expectation I put on myself: an obligation to provide for my family a healthy and clean environment.
Before long, I was a mother of three and my farming husband and I seemed to accumulate a good percentage of Nicollet County dirt and grime on the ceilings, walls, railings, furniture, windows, along with floors, in appliances, cupboards, and closets. Of course, my cleaning routine took a couple of weeks to accomplish. However, by the time I was done, I might not even have been able to see where I’d been with so many busy hands filling in behind my work. In my head, I knew I had put forth a good and necessary effort. In my heart, it felt good. Surely other moms weren’t doing what I had done. Now, as empty nesters, I still attack this fall ritual with the same sort of vigor, and at my age, it takes me a little longer and a little ibuprofen to get the job done.
Recently, I was thinking about how wonderful it would be if we (slash I) put this kind of effort into a spiritual cleaning. Certainly, there is enough filth that accumulates in a season, and a thorough cleaning of this sort must come from the inside out. Where does all of this dirt come from, accumulating little by little in every corner? We might think our souls are like closets we can cram everything into, to hide the clutter within. Just slam the door shut, and no one knows! But God sees. He is the light that shines brightly into every nook and cranny of our being.
Thankfully, He offers us forgiveness: a chance to dust off and sparkle. It feels gooood. But we should caution ourselves against false confidence. How quickly the busy little hands and whispers of the enemy fill in behind us.
Many years ago, I was challenged to pay for the meal of the car behind me in the drive through and I decided to do it. Man, it felt so good! I thought I was doing a good thing. When I got back to work after that experience, I shared it with a small group of co-workers in my office. I knew one was a non-believer. She said to me, “The problem with you Christians is that you do these kinds of things only to make yourself feel better.” Wow! With a gulp, I was silenced.
For many years I’ve reflected on her perspective and I’ve come to admit that to some degree, I am guilty of just that. Aren’t we all?
Fortunately, we have a God who is powerful enough to help us in our weaknesses. We have a God who gives us a chance to start fresh every day, each and every season. So, we rise to the challenge of getting our spiritual house ready with His help, for the day that the King will come and He will be here soon!
From Psalm 51: 10-12
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a right spirit.”
From 1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from our sin.”
Anna Lokensgard is Traffic Director and Bookkeeper at the Mankato Kinship Office. Please welcome her to the world of blog-writing.
Join the discussion 5 Comments
THANKS for sharing, Anna!! & WELCOME to KINSHIP!!
You spoke loudly to me as I read your article. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He sees the all the “dirt, pride, rebellion inside of us. So thankful for His truth that makes us free. John 8:32.
Thanks for sharing your struggles and for giving us the hope of Jesus.
Thank you Sue. I’m glad you found encouragement from this writing. There’s nothing like the change of seasons to set us on the path of self reflection and to reach out for redirection from our King!
Anna, it was nice seeing you today. Afterwards I was compelled to go to the website and came across your Spring Cleaning message. I have to admit…in the Spring all I want to do is be outside, certainly not in the house cleaning. Then in the Fall I would rather be helping with fall harvest. Maybe I’ll start with my Spiritual Cleaning first 😊
Thank you for your message, it was just what I needed today!
Thank you and Peace to you as Spring is upon us!