Spring! That time of year when the leaves burst from the trees, birds busily build their nests, and rains cleanse the dirt from the streets. The sun feels warmer and brighter and seems to cast a new light….right onto the dirt and fingerprints that have collected on the windows, walls, nooks and crannies of my home. Yes, along with spring comes the feverish desire to purge and deep clean my home! A friend recently recommended the book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In the book, Kondo describes her method for simplifying your life by choosing to keep items in your home that spark joy. The thought of keeping only the things that make me happy as I tidy and de-clutter my home did indeed “spark my joy”! Of course, this can’t apply to every item in your household. Some necessary objects, like cleaning supplies or Tupperware containers, are kept just because we need them. As I read the first few chapters of the book and prepared to begin my spring cleaning, I thought about spiritual spring cleaning. I wasn’t sure what spiritual spring cleaning looked like and so I began researching to see what I could find. There were several sources that offered checklists, scriptures, and step-by-step methods to take stock and clean out our spiritual selves. In an article by Golden Keyes Parsons, she shared how each spring she, her husband, and the staff at the conference centre they run, work tirelessly to thoroughly clean each building. Parsons noticed that some stains and marks were more difficult to remove the longer they were left. The same can be said for our hearts and minds, the longer we let things clutter our thoughts or fester in our hearts, the harder it is to let them go. So, after reading numerous ideas on how we can achieve spiritual cleanliness, I’ve narrowed my findings down to four simple ways to give our spiritual selves a good once-over. First we must cleanse our hearts. Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.” (NIV). It is hard to do this alone, therefore we need to draw close and ask God to clean our hearts. Secondly, eliminate clutter. Get rid of the things that distract you from your relationship with God. The bible warns that it’s the “little foxes that ruin the vineyards” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NIV). Thirdly, release bitterness. Any sin can weigh us down, but long kept bitterness and an unforgiving spirit is like holding onto old luggage that you can’t seem to part with. You are so familiar with it that you can’t see how it’s hindering your life. God commands us to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32, NIV). Lastly, involve Jesus in your daily life. God longs for a relationship with us. He wants to be involved in every moment of your life, no matter how big or small. He has chosen you. He cares for you. He loves you! Why wouldn’t we want to spend time with Him? So I encourage you today to do a little spring cleaning in your spiritual lives as well as the physical. Dust off your bibles and renew your commitment to God. He will show you the areas of your heart that might need a little extra elbow grease. He will make our hearts whiter than snow! What better way to begin a new season!