Each spring, as the outdoor temperatures finally climb to comfortable levels, we can hardly resist opening wide the windows to allow fresh breezes and full sunshine into our homes.
We breathe deep the pure air and revel in the bright light–until we notice the smudges, dirt, and grime, undetected during the dim days of winter. Suddenly we’re overtaken by the urge to polish the windows, Swiffer baseboards, reorganize closets, and capture dust bunnies under the beds. We embark on spring cleaning, full sweep ahead!
Any concerns of how to clean in the fastest, easiest ways can be researched online. And even the APP Store can help. BrightNest offers organizing and cleaning tips, a personalized cleaning schedule, and reminders. Chore Monster will get the kids to help (so they say).
I can’t speak for you, but there’s another area in my life that needs cleaning. In addition to the dusting, scrubbing, and polishing throughout our home, a little spring-cleaning of my mind will be beneficial, to remove any melancholy, anxiety, fear, and other muck from my thoughts. There’s an A.P.P. for that, too:
A is for APPRECIATION. Nothing wipes away the grime of doldrums like gratitude, because gratitude leads to joy.
“What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks,
to sing an anthem to you, the High God!
You make me so happy, God.
I saw your work and I shouted for joy.
How magnificent your work, God!”
–Psalm 92:1, 4 MSG
P is for PRAYER. Sweet up the swirling dust bunnies of worry with statements of trust, based on God’s reliable promises:
- He will never leave us to struggle through trouble on our own (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- He will always provide what we need (Matthew 6:25-27).
- He is a God of infinite power and might, ruling over all people and all circumstances (Psalm 103:19)
- He is a God of goodness and righteousness, love and compassion, grace and mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).
P is also for PRAISE. Polish every day with worship, commending God for who he is and what he has done.
“To worship is to…purge the imagination by the beauty of God.”
–William Temple (1881-1944), Bishop of the Church of England
Notice this A.P.P. of Appreciation, Prayer, and Praise, is all about words that don’t even have to be spoken out loud. Is it really possible that mere words can cleanse away hurtful or disturbing thoughts?
Yes! Words are powerful (Proverbs 18:21). Even self-talk wields great influence, because thoughts produce emotions, emotions produce attitudes, and attitudes produce behavior.
- Thoughts of Appreciation, Prayer, and Praise create a clean, positive atmosphere in our spirits.
- That atmosphere allows the emotions of peace, joy, and contentment to shine.
- From a contented heart come the positive behaviors of cheerfulness, perseverance, faith, and strength—to name a few.
But just as some spring-cleaning tasks require extra effort, ridding our minds of negative self-talk often requires extra effort as well. Our thoughts too easily get mired in complaining, anxiety, and fear.
How do we redirect our thinking? We take our negative thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), trapping them like dust flecks in a Swiffer! Then we use our A.P.P (as described above) to add the luster of positivity.
There’s nothing like a good spring-cleaning to increase the pleasure we experience in our homes. And there’s nothing like a good cleansing of the mind to bring supreme pleasure to life.
“The Lord is a sun and shield;
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
No good thing does he withhold
From those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty,
Blessed is the man who trusts in you.”
–Psalm 84:11-12 NIV