It was a gorgeous Spring weekend in Austin and we spent Saturday outside working in the yard. We weeded the flowerbeds, trimmed our bushes and put out a blanket of mulch. We pulled up freeze-dried annuals from last season and replaced them with vibrant new plants.
I’m more of a back patio girl but I’m so pleased with my gardening efforts that I’ve spent a little time every day this week enjoying the beauty of my fresh front porch.
White Begonia, red Salvia and fragrant Sweet Broom have made my front porch a place of beauty. Just in time too, because I am hosting an event at my house on Saturday. Imagine if my guests arrived to beds overgrown with weeds and planters filled with drooping, dead plants. They would double check the invite and make sure they were at the right address.
Spring-cleaning is not only good for flowerbeds; it’s good for closets too. Last week I spent a little time weeding my closet. I gave away items that I don’t love, tucked away winter weights for next year and cleared a space, front and center, for the brighter colors and lighter fabrics of warmer weather.
I believe that lasting life change happens from the inside out but it never ceases to amaze me how often God directs my attention from the outside in. As much as I need to spring clean my garden and my closet, I also need to spring-clean my soul.
- Pull the Weeds – Negative thoughts and habits can grow like weeds in the garden of our soul. Sometimes a tiny seed gets scattered and we don’t notice until we are facing a big ol’ stinky weed. Take some time to root out things like grudges and comparison. Forgiveness is the best tool for weeding your soul garden.
Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15 NLT
- Trim Back –We prune plants to direct and encourage new growth. Each cut stops growth in one direction and sends it in another. Pruning can increase the number of shoots produced by a plant, which increases its fruit.
Evaluate everything you do. Is it something you want to continue doing? Does it bring you closer to your dreams? Every “yes” takes up precious time so make sure you say yes to the most important things. Saying “no” is hard but it could be the very thing that makes your life more fruitful.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2 NTL
- Mulch – We spread mulch in flowerbeds for several reasons, but one of the primary reasons is to help the soil retain moisture. Mulch is that protective layer that keeps the ground soft which makes it easier for plants to take root. You need a protective layer over your soul to keep a soft heart. When your feelings get hurt, give people the benefit of the doubt. Keep short accounts and keep moving forward.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NTL
- Brighten Up –As much as I enjoy the rich colors of fall, I can’t wait for the lift of lighter springtime hues. The colors on my front porch tell every guest that I’ve anticipated their arrival and prepared my home to welcome them. The colors in my closet reflect the vibrancy of new life. It’s time to cast of the dull dreary colors of the past season and embrace hope for the future.
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 The Message
We want to hear about your Spring-cleaning. How are you refreshing your home’s curb appeal or weeding your closet or bringing a little Spring to your soul?