Thursday, November 19, 2009

Closet Cleaning

The month of November is quickly passing. Next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. This year, our family, my in-laws and two of my husbands’ sisters and their families, will be getting together in Georgia for the traditional turkey with all the trimmings. An excellent time to give thanks.

Preparations for our family’s anticipated arrival can be a bit daunting. Because they haven’t visited in some time, we like to get the house and yard looking their best. Our ‘To-Do’ list reads something like this:

*clean out and organize the garage
*pressure wash the porch and deck
*finish planting the succulent garden
*complete repairs to the waterfall
*clean the screen room
*organize the closets
*clean the refrigerator and pantry
*touch up the scuff marks on the walls

And of course the normal cleaning, laundry and food preparation has to fit in there somewhere too! Can anyone relate? With only two days until our company arrives, I’m doubtful that all the items on our list will be checked off. The more important things have made it to the top of the list.

As I sorted through the coat closet, weeding out summer jackets and flip-flops, I got to thinking about the ‘closets’ in my life. I have a special ‘guest’ who occupies my heart – the Lord Jesus Christ. Am I diligent to keep my heart’s closets clean? Or are there those closets that I post a “Do Not Enter” sign upon?

Some of the closets may look like they’re neat and orderly. Just don’t look too closely or you may see the layer of dust. There’s the closet of ‘Good Intentions.’ All of those things I plan on doing one day. Going to visit the elderly shut-ins. Taking that counseling course. Writing that devotional series. I know they are things God wants me to do, yet I allow distractions to keep me from opening this closet door and getting busy.

Too often the “Do Not Enter” sign hangs above the closet that, should it be opened, would empty its contents onto the floor in an unorganized heap. Areas in my life that I need to yield to the Master. Things that I may not even realize I’m holding onto: anger, bitterness, envy, criticism, pride.

How appropriate to say with the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24; KJV). If we are still and listen closely, He will be faithful to reveal those things that are not pleasing to Him. After all, “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:1-6).

God is intimately acquainted with all of our ways, and loves us in spite of them! That is truly a reason to rejoice. He loves us enough to patiently point out those ‘closets’ in our lives that need to be opened and cleaned out.

Is there a ‘closet’ in your life that needs to be opened? Your Heavenly Father already knows what’s in there. Allow Him to help you begin the cleaning process today!


  1. I think sometimes for me, it isn't so much the closets as the clutter that builds up in the rooms when life gets busy and I don't keep things up the way I should....literally and spiritually. Good thoughts!

  2. Deborah - I can relate to clutter! When we get busy, it's easy to just move from one thing to the next and never take the time to take care of the things that God would have us deal with. Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed weekend!

  3. What a GREAT post...there's nothing like a "Spirit" cleaning. I too pray that God will find all the "dirty" spots...especially those I'm unaware of and are in need of some extra scrubbing!
    Bless you sister! Praying your Thanksgiving is FILLED with His presence and is overflowing with His love!

  4. Sounds like a wonderfully full household and a LOT of work! But I'm sure in the end you'll be so glad you took the time to clean it all up for everyone! And what a great way to look at our hearts and getting them cleaned up for our guest Jesus! Thank you!

  5. KEEP THE FLIP FLOPS!!!! :0)

    You're right--it's so important to allow Christ to reign in every area of our lives. Closets can be painful and can hold terrible secrets--but truth really does set free.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. This one really resonates with me today. I recently finished reading "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver, and she talks about creating a mental living room to invite Jesus into. It got me to thinking about the various rooms in a home and how different ones serve different purposes. I'd never considered the closet, though. You've got me thinking!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. I agree with Jill, this makes me think! Have been pondering lately the things that clog the spiritual 'pipes' in my life (from a recent sermon I heard), and this ties in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. What a beautiful post, Maria. I love the idea of letting Jesus into our hearts and keeping our "closets" cleaned out. Thank you for this.

    I hope you have a fun week with family!

  9. Cherie - It's amazing that we can be unaware of the sin in our lives until we pray for the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal those areas that are displeasing to Him! Have a fantastically blessed and family filled Thanksgiving! You're a blessing! :)

  10. Jody - Thank you for the words of encouragement! I actually got everything that needed to be accomplished completed! Our family got in safely and we're having a great time! Enjoy your weekend!!

  11. Kristen - You're absolutely right! Great insight - closets can be painful, but God's word promises us that the Truth will make us free! Thanks for sharing!

    *I kept the flip-flops!! Just rearranged them for winter storage!

  12. Jill - Joanna Weaver's two-book series is one of my favorites! Have you read, "Having a Mary Spirit?" I'm using it during my Bible study time and it's phenomenal!! Hope your weekend is extra special! Praying that your edits and re-writes come together quickly!

  13. Karen - Always appreciate your comments! I remember hearing an excellent sermon about 'What's clogging your well?' Sounds similar to the message you heard. Hope your weekend is fantastic! Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Heather - Thanks for stopping by!! I always appreciate your kind words!How is your writing coming along? I know it's crucial to set aside things that are less important and focus on the WIP's!! I'm toying around with an idea for a devotional series,yet my thoughts haven't made it to paper (MS Word!) yet!!

    Have a great weekend!!

  15. I'm a big fan of cleaning and decluttering. My daughter who has just had her last day of school is spring cleaning her room right now. Everything comes out and gets sorted on the landing. Only what is needed goes back in. Wouldn't it be good to have a visual of what the Lord Jesus would have us eliminate from our lives? Thanks for the lesson Maria. Your writing always seems to dovetail beautifully with my life - even though we are oceans away! :)

  16. We had a guest speaker at our church talking about the rooms of our heart that we lock from Jesus. Very compelling speach. I'm trying not to lock doors, but it does happen.

    Speaking of spacial rooms or closets in our house, though, I definitely need to get into my fruit cellar and clean it out. Good luck with your preparation for your family for Thanksgiving, and opening yourself up more to Jesus. I'll work on both too.

  17. Dorothy - Funny to think that you're heading into spring and we're heading into winter!! What a blessing that your daughter enjoys cleaning and organizing! It always helps me to get that visual picture of things so I can relate it to my life! I always love hearing from you and appreciate your insight! Have a GREAT weekend! :)

  18. Eileen - Welcome! I was excited to see your smiling face on my 'Friends' list! Thanks for stopping by! I didn't get to finish cleaning all of my 'closets' before my in-laws arrived -so I'll continue working on it a little at a time! Hope the fruit cellar cleaning goes well for you!I look forward to getting to know you!

  19. Psalm 139 is absolutely one my favorites! I enjoyed reading this post and how it spoke to my heart. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  20. I love this post. Maria, thanks for this. I never want to have any place where Jesus can't come in. It did get me to thinking. And I have A LOT of cleaning to do too. YIKES. I helped my sister yesterday with her house. All I could think of was, I need to clean MY house.

    Happy Thanksgiving friend. I hope you have a wonderful day. :)

  21. Excellent post:) Wishing you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving.