Spring is well upon us in California and it makes my heart happy. I truly do love every season, but as we turn the corner to each new season, I get so excited. The spring means warmth and flowers and blue skies and bright clothing. All of a sudden, I feel a burst of energy to go bike riding and hiking and picnic-ing (and also cleaning all the nooks and crannies in my apartment).
We do spring cleaning for our homes, so why not for our hearts? Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. This spring, I want to renew myself by building good habits and letting go of destructive ones. Like Jesus says in the parable, if you get rid of the bad stuff, you need to fill the space with good stuff. Out with the old, in with new.
To allow room for new, healthy habits, you need to get rid of some baggage. What is making you live in discontent? What is making you feel like you are not enough? Sometimes, our ugly habits pile so high that we don't have the energy to create good ones.
Here's some that I need to give the boot:
> Dwelling on what I do not have
> Checking facebook every five minutes
> Thinking only of my own needs
> Prioritizing in my marriage the things that I think need to be prioritized
> Jealousy (oh, how I wish I could rid my heart of this!)
> Turning every little thing into the "worst-case scenario"
Oh, how many times I have not appreciated what I have by comparing it to what I think other's have. Comparison really is the thief of joy. It's so easy for me to fall into the selfish, self-preserving trap. I feel that our marriage needs _______, so I force my husband to play along. Maybe what our marriage needs is for me to put him first. And, as Daniel must often remind me-- don't focus on the worst-case scenario! When I do, the anxiety wraps it's nasty claws around me and squeezes, hard. It won't let me go until I learn to be more faithful and less fearful.
Don't just let get rid of the bad. Let the new, the good, the holy take root and bloom.
Here are some that I want to grow:
> Appreciating the good in others
> Appreciating myself
> Taking time to hear what my husband, family, and friends NEED
> Being fearless with love
Appreciating the good in others and myself is a big one for me. This isn't about thinking about how great and wonderful I am or how much I deserve, because then I'm in trouble. It's about allowing myself to realize that I am who God made me to be and there are certain gifts I have (and others that I don't!). God doesn't ask us or want us to be self-deprecating, and sometimes I find that I am.
If you want to take some soul-cleansing steps, don't forget to pray that God will help you. He wants to, you know. But you need to ask. Ask Him to help you to put others in front of yourself and to open yourself up to loving others, unconditionally. I spend so much time fearing to do so. What will happen if I intentionally care for others, whether or not they will care for me back?
So, maybe if you're like me, the springtime makes you want to renew yourself. Here's to a good, hearty, love-your-life cleansing!