Spring cleanup takes a lot of forms, from cleaning inside the house to sprucing up the yard.
The other day I tackled some long overdue yard work, raking old leaves from fence line and flowerbeds. The sun shone brightly; the temperature was pleasant. It was a beautiful day—the kind of day that motivates you to be outside for spring cleanup.
Raking the fence line seemed easy enough. Small piles of leftover leaves from last fall dotted the yard as I worked my way to the back of our property where spindly forsythia bushes grow.
The bushes were lovely in early spring when the yellow blossoms danced in the breeze. Now the petals were gone; leaves sprouted on the lanky stems.
The cleanup continued with determination.
With clippers in hand, I trimmed the bush before raking under it. The project developed into an afternoon of pruning and raking.
The amount of residual leaves under the bushes surprised me, as the area had been raked last fall. Some leaves were crunchy, others were soggy, and several were leaf skeletons that had been there for a long time.
The new growth on the bushes had covered much of the brown leaves on the ground. Trimming them revealed the old leaves that I previously ignored. After raking, the area looks better.
Cleanup is part of the transformation process.
Yard cleanup has to happen before new shrubs can be added to the landscape. Rocks and debris has to be removed. Soon we’ll decide what kinds of plants to add to the corner.
The hours of yard work to improve our landscape reminded me not to neglect spring-cleanup of the soul. Some residual hurts within me needed cleared away, making way for a better outlook.
We don’t have to clean ourselves up for the Lord to accept us; Jesus loves us as we are. The Holy Spirit frees us of the debris from the past through confession. Spring cleanup of the soul prepares us for growth.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Spring-cleanup of the soul removes crusty bitterness, replacing it with forgiveness.
Raking out the old leaf skeletons from a previous season prepares room for more of God’s love in your heart.
Are you ready for spring cleanup for the soul?