Last summer, as I read about the seasons of Israel, I realized there are more than four. I decided to split my year into 7 sessions (since the week has 7 days) and assign one area to each session.
- January 1: Paperwork, Budget, Review Insurance, Income Taxes
- February 23: Writing Next Year’s Bible Reading Guide, eBooks, Books
- April 16: Spring Cleaning
- June 7: Painting, Maintenance, Improvements
- July 29: Organize Basement, Laundry Room, Storage Room
- September 19: Fall Cleaning
- November 10: Prepare for the Holidays
Today I finished the 3rd session – spring cleaning. I scrubbed the refrigerator, freezer, and oven. I emptied the cabinets under both sinks and wiped them out. I cleaned the windows and washed curtains, drapes, blinds, and valances. I got into corners and removed cobwebs. I wiped down the baseboards.
I tackled each closet and assigned 2 days for the linen closet and another 2 for the office closet. It was rewarding to toss or donate unused items, wipe down the shelves, and organize the remainder.
The office closet took 3 days. I pondered that as I spent an hour finishing up on Saturday. (I try to leave Saturday for fun projects.) I realized it took so long because I organized everything. I didn’t toss much or donate many items.
There is freedom in assigning tough tasks to a time with a deadline. I kept going because my 4th session starts tomorrow. I told myself anything that did not get cleaned could wait until fall cleaning. But I managed to finish everything assigned each day.
At Easter, I cleared the dining room and David’s “Man Cave.” I stacked the boxes in the storage room. I hung a curtain in front of it. (At Christmas, I hung the curtain in front of the “Man Cave.” No one bothered looking behind it, LOL!) 😉
Each time I went into the storeroom and dug through the boxes stacked to the ceiling, I reminded myself that this room will be decluttered, cleaned, and organized starting July 29th. When it is unbearably hot outside, I will be in the cool basement filling boxes to sell, donate, and toss!
The living room wall got scuffed at Easter by an office chair. Instead of adding it to my list of projects on Saturday, I remembered I could do it first on June 7th when I start painting and improving. I gave myself time to work on everything during the year instead of working on everything at once.
How is that like winnowing?
Winnowing is throwing the wheat into the air, allowing the chaff to blow away. We are winnowed every day as we become more like Jesus. We are “up in the air” about something and we don’t know where we will land! But we can trust Jesus because He is the one holding the winnowing fork.
Jeremiah 15:1, “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork…” New American Standard Bible
Anything lost was unnecessary and unfruitful. It was just dragging us down. Each time we let go of things it leads to more freedom. The things we no longer need are taking space that is needed for something new God has prepared.
Isaiah 43:18, 19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19) See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”New International Version
After the events in May, we question God just as Jeremiah did.
Jeremiah 12:1, “Righteous are You, Lord, that I would plead my case with You; indeed, I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why had the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?”New American Standard Bible
God answered Jeremiah saying to strengthen himself and prepare for battle. Wars were fought in the thickets of Jordan.
Jeremiah 12:5, “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?”New American Standard Bible
We are to wholeheartedly turn to God.
2 Kings 23:25, “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.”New American Standard Bible
Jeremiah 22:3, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.'”New American Standard Bible
And on Pentecost Sunday, when we started reading Acts, we were instructed further on how to live.
Acts 2:46, 47, “…taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47) praising God and having favor with all the people. …”New American Standard Bible
Acts 3:19, “Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”New American Standard Bible
Like a good spring cleaning, times of refreshing are coming!
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