I’m writing this morning with my tongue tucked slightly in my cheek. Since our family is beginning this week in recovery mode after a large graduation party, commencement ceremony and hosting out-of-town family, I have housecleaning on my mind. So just to keep things simple, I thought it might be funny to find a Bible verse on housecleaning. I figured there’d also be a lesson in it for me — and there was.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” MATTHEW 23:25-26

Um. Ouch? These verses challenge me to stay balanced today when I could easily focus entirely on party clean-up. There is plenty to tidy up and re-wash from the patio to the kitchen and I am certainly one to gain great calm when there is a sense of order around my home. Unfortunately, it’s tempting for me to get caught up chasing inner peace through the state of my external environment while, for a few days at least, neglecting the inner exercises that will cleanse, nourish and calm my soul.

Once again, God has nudged me towards a shift in priorities — making the inner work foremost and the external things secondary. I’ll make it a point first thing this morning to sit on the deck for a little while reading my Bible and prayer-writing in my journal. Whatever I have to do to keep Carly busy while I “clean the inside of the cup and dish,” I’ll do it! That’s the best way I can start a conversation with God that will continue throughout the day as I make my way from room to room, job to job, and joy to deeper joy.

The events of a glorious weekend celebrating with family and friends will be even sweeter in my memories because my restoration process was from the inside out.

Thank You once again, Jesus, for making something fun very practical. AMEN

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