Cleaning Out the Debris

Temperatures have risen.  Birds are chirping, the clocks have sprung forward.  The sun is shining, warm air is flowing throw the windows. 

Driving through town, I roll down the windows and feel the warm wind in my hair.  It smells faintly of burning grass and flowers. 

This spring breeze is powerful, it ignites a soul, it blows away the dust, and darkness from a long cold winter.

He uses the seasons to show us his faithfulness, his joy, his love, and his presence.

Today I feel it.  

This last week I turned 29.  (29 years old….. I know I can’t believe it either!)

There was a time in my life that I desperately prayed that Jesus wouldn’t return until I went to high school, got a boyfriend, and had my first kiss.  (I sure had my priorities in order.) I had a list of things that I thought I was supposed to accomplish in my life, and I was certainly going to be very upset if God got in the way of that. 

What is astounding is that God has faithfully shown me so much in these last 29 years.  Just as the sun has come out and has perhaps indicated that winter is over, I feel that my recent birthday, is metaphorically the spring of my life. 

I have been in a winter.  Probably not my last one, but one that was dark and dreary and so bleak at moments.  

In those moments, God didn’t leave me, but it felt like it.  I felt as if all that I had hoped and planned had been put on hold.  During that time,  God was planting things in my heart that I have yet to understand.

Now after my 29th birthday, the sun is shining on the earth, warming up those seeds, causing them to grow.  Do I know what those seeds are?? Not really sure yet, but I know something is growing and manifesting itself, and I can’t wait to see what it is.

The most frustrating thing is the process of pulling out the weeds and the overgrown plants in my heart.  He is continuing to prune and shape me.  It is hard, but necessary, as I see hope in what he has planted.

We need that, we need the pruning and the cleaning up.  We need to throw away the old junk, the broken garden statues we thought were cute, the leaking hose that broke several years ago, the weeds of plants that aren’t productive.

Most of all we need to make room for God to grow us in ways that we can’t even imagine.

We need to clear away clutter of the world.

We need to remove the debris of the destruction.

We need to clean mess of our own sin.

Perhaps when we do that, we can see his faithfulness and make room for his works, for his fruit, for his glory through us. But this isn’t to make us right with him, but to see what God is doing in our hearts.

Let me tell you friends, the longer I am on this earth, which compared to some isn’t quite as long, I know that my life is only as good as how much I am living for His glory, for His name.  Only through Him can I have anything that I have.  Only because of His life can I live in freedom and joy. 

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2

He doesn’t leave us alone to clean up the mess, he actually does it with us.  He longs for all of us to bear fruit, so he is going take care and prune away the parts of us that prevent us from bearing fruit.

Even more so, those winters that we experience aren’t a surprise to him, and in that we aren’t left there.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

In that, let us rejoice, that He longs for us to have genuine faith.  He longs for us to be confident and strong in Him. Even more so, he doesn’t leave us alone or here forever.  

Friends, so let us rejoice as we begin to spring clean, clearing out the junk so He can go to work.    

**photo credit: 

Spring has Sprung

I opened my windows in my room last night before I went to sleep.  I had checked the weather, I knew it was going to rain.  I love rain.

Rain is the weather of my soul.  It is the type of weather that gives me butterflies.

In college, I loved to walk to class in the rain.  Of course, not the pouring down rain, but the light and steady rain.  I would pick my favorite music on my iPod and get out my umbrella. For a little while, under my umbrella, I felt like the only person in the world. 

Some of my favorite runs have been ones have been in the rain, like the time I realized I was a runner.  (I know that seems pretty crazy!)

Falling asleep to the rain is another favorite.  That’s why I opened my windows last night.  I wanted to hear the rhythm of rain when I woke up.  I wanted it to be the lullaby that put me to sleep.  A lullaby sung by my heavenly Father, with lyrics like this:

brings spring to life
is hope for new life.  

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 
he saved us, 
not because of  works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, 
by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 
whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to 
the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7

Right now, rain is something I long for metaphorically in my life.  I long for refreshing, renewal, cleansing, and something to bring me to life. To fully grasp that I have hope of eternal life and do not have to cling to life on this earth. 

This morning, when I left my house, I noticed everything looked greener.  The weeds in my rock garden of a front yard were a little taller than yesterday. The blossoms on the trees where a little bit bigger. The brown of winter is beginning to fade away into a bright, lush green.

I have gone through a really tough season, perhaps I could say a winter, and I know it isn’t entirely over, but I am seeing glimpses of spring in my heart.

Those moments when I choose to be happy despite my to do list.
The smile on my face at the beginning of the day.
The ability to get out of bed even if I am exhausted.
Looking at the future with hope and not total despair. (I am prone to dramatics.)

Spring every year is a reminder of the renewal that God gives us in his spirit.  It is a reminder that we have hope in a better future, an eternal life. 

What does spring mean for you? What is something you find refreshing? Rain, sunny days?