Spring Cleaning

There’s something about this weather that puts me in the mood to deep clean and organize my house. Otherwise known as spring cleaning. This was a tradition instilled in me since I was a young child. Though, this practice has been around for hundreds of years and common in many cultures.

There are known health benefits to spring cleaning- both physically and psychologically.

I’ve always supposed my, or my family’s, physical health to be compromised by allergies or asthma during this time of the year. When, in fact, we have become victim to the effects of toxins and pollutants in our very home. “Even the Environmental Protection Agency admits that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoors. If the average person spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors, we are breathing in dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, bug skeletons, and toxins…”- The Huffington Post. Probably makes you want to stop reading this and go clean, right? Clearly, a deep-cleaning would benefit our physical health in a mighty way.

Organizing and de-cluttering create avenues for psychological benefits. To name a few, having less stress, gaining focus, and receiving a positive mindset are included. When relieving my home of unnecessary things by trashing or donating, I feel as if I’m embarking on a new beginning! Sounds cheesy, right? But, think about it… as they say, ‘out with the old and in with the new’. When we get rid of the old, we also rid ourselves of sometimes meaningless connections that come along with it. When we organize to make room for the new, we are preparing the way for creating more meaningful connections.

Now, imagine all the benefits that could come if we would do a little “spring cleaning” in our hearts.


Over time, some toxins and pollutants make their way into our hearts. Maybe as a result of lifestyle choices, relationships with certain individuals, or idolizing events or objects over God. Dirt and grime don’t necessarily come into our home in just one day. The same occurs with our hearts. Over time, these contaminants slowly take over. Clutter builds up and we become unorganized in our daily walk with God. It may be that we no longer give God control of our heart or designate Him as our first love.

Our hearts could use some deep cleaning, organizing, and de-cluttering. We will definitely receive both physical and psychological benefits in doing so.

First, we need to place God upon the throne of our heart. He should always be our number one. Giving Him precedence over everyone and everything with our utmost love. As 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT) proclaims, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”

Next, we should ask God to show us what toxins and pollutants need to be removed from our hearts. Allow God to conduct a deep-cleaning. “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”- Proverbs 14:30 (NLT). 

Finally, we will definitely have to choose to abandon some things. We must get rid of the meaningless old clutter, and allow God to replace it with His more meaningful connection to our hearts. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”- Proverbs 4:23 (NLT). 

I feel a good days worth of cleaning coordinates well with opening up my windows to let fresh air and sunshine in. Let’s choose to open up the windows of our hearts. Allow the very breath of God to rejuvenate you, and His Son to shine within you!

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”- Job 33:4 (NIV)

Begging in Prayer

I often compare the relationship of children with their caregivers and the relationship I have with my heavenly Father. How children communicate with their caregivers is quite indicative of how I’ve communicated with God.

One common communication behavior of a child is begging. Sometimes their desires are so intense they feel they have to beg. Children can be relentless, often demanding for an answer now! But, if a caregiver denied them what they wanted it was because they didn’t need it, it was unsafe for them, or they could benefit from it at a later time.

I have often exhibited these same relentless, demanding behaviors when praying or begging God! I want an answer now! But, am I truly opening up my heart to hear God’s response? Maybe God knows I don’t need what I’m asking from Him. Maybe God’s telling me that my desires are unsafe for myself or others. Maybe God has decided that I could benefit more from it at a later point in time.

As a little child matures, they learn to better accept (or at least tolerate) their caregiver’s response. As I mature more in Christ, I can better accept the response of my loving Father. No matter what His answer may be.

In scripture, Jesus instructs me to pray by simply asking. But God’s response will be in accordance with His will and His timing.

  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.- Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.– Mark 11:24 (NIV)
  • And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.- John 14:13-14 (NIV)

In all of these scriptural guidelines, ask translates to beg, call for, crave, desire, require. It’s human nature for us to beg. But, begging should not be mistaken for being demanding. It should not foster a selfish attitude if I do not get an answer immediately. It should not cause me to internalize negative feelings about my own worth or the value of my prayers.


I have taken some time to seek guidelines regarding the attitude of my heart when praying to my heavenly Father. I have no doubt that you, too, will benefit.

  1. Acknowledge His power. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.- Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)
  2. Understand He hears me. I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their
    prayers!- Isaiah 65:24 (NLT)
  3. Believe nothing is too big or too small. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.– Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
  4. Have faith the slightest probability becomes the greatest possibility. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”– Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
  5. Be confident (free and fearless)And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.- 1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)
  6. Be humble (submit self in a lowly spirit). So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.- 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)
  7. Never give up in prayer and gratitude. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.- 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NLT)

God’s word is our instruction manual. He has given us a clear guideline for how we should pray. Sure, we may feel the need to beg. As long as our attitudes are pure and our hearts dwell on these scriptures, we can more easily accept the response of our heavenly Father. Just like a matured child!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”- Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Darkness Is to Blame

It is inevitable that we will suffer from some hardship over the course of our lifetime. When I was just a young girl, I became a victim to sexual abuse. Statistics overwhelmingly prove that I am not alone in this. I never understood the capacity of what had happened until I became older. It wasn’t until I was college-age that I truly processed the events that occurred.

This began a vicious cycle- an entrapment- of really unwise decisions. I made myself even more of a target. I thought to myself that my purity was taken, my morals were useless, and my value was damaged. Thus, creating for myself a lifestyle of ruin.

I made careless choices. I had bad dating experiences. I had ill-feelings about my self-worth.

After six years of college, I went on to begin my career. I met my, now, husband. I pursued my faith, again. I became more mature with knowledge and with God’s truth. I learned to forgive my perpetrator. I saw the value in forgiving myself for the unwise decisions I made. I became free under Christ and by God’s grace.

One of the things I disliked hearing regarding what had happened in my life was when someone placed blame on God. “How could God let something like that happen to an innocent child”? I refuse to believe that our loving Father would purposely let that happen. Nor, is there any scripture to back up that claim.

What occurred, stemmed from a single person’s selfish desires. An alluring deception from their childhood abuse. Allowing (their) self to be overcome with the evil ways from the ruler of this world, Satan himself.

My question, then, is how could anyone blame God for evil when evil is from His adversary, the devil. “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”- Isaiah 5:20 (NLT). 


Simply put, evil is darkness. 1 John 1:5 expresses, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” If something hurts you, it is evil and it is not of God. Darkness is to blame.

I believe that God let my unfortunate circumstance be used for good, for His purposes and intentions (Romans 8:28). That’s truth. I believe that I am meant to share this message. Not for personal gain or for sympathy. Instead, to help someone overcome their vicious cycle- their entrapment.

Abuse comes in many forms. Pains, hurts, and bad experiences are not limited to these. If you are also a victim of darkness, I want to encourage you with hope for a better tomorrow.

God gives us the ability to sniff out and snuff out darkness. Let’s equip ourselves with scripture to identify the deceit of evil. Let’s extinguish evil with the light of Jesus that releases power to overcome it.

  • Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.- Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT)
  • Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.- Galatians 5:17-18 (NLT)
  • The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.- John 1:4-5 (NLT)
  • And I will rescue you… Yes, I am sending you… to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.- Acts 26:17-18 (NLT)

Yes, there is evil in this world. And it takes its form as darkness. We must not allow ourselves to continue to be entrapped by it. Be free. Follow God’s truth. Allow His light to guide you and to shine within you!

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”- Ephesians 5:8-9 (NLT)