In Need of Deep Cleaning? Guest Post by Jessica Patch

Today’s post comes from my dear friend, Jessica Patch. I visit her blog frequently, and always leave challenged and refreshed. Jessica lives in the mid-south where the heat rises much like her contemporary suspenseful romances. Her novels are relevant, provocative stories of inspiration. Readers will identify with characters that are flawed but redeemable. Using witty humor and unusual twists, she brings characters through trials and triumphs while drawing out biblical truths. Visit her blog to find out more about her and her writing.

Time For Deep-Cleaning by Jessica Patch

I’ve been watching the hoarding shows on TV the last couple of weeks.

The minute the show comes on, my jaw drops. It’s hard to imagine someone living like that. You could laugh or poke fun, even I’ve said a few sarcastic things, but the truth is, it’s rather tragic. One episode, they cleaned up the woman’s house, and six months later, it was even worse than before. In six months!

Another woman had hundreds of jars. Glass jars for soup. Plastic jars for paint. The therapist asked her why she kept them, and she said because she might want to make soup, and if she threw away the jars then she’d never make it. When asked, “Have you made soup?” She sniffed and wiped a few tears away. “No.”

These people are filling up their homes, their sanctuaries, with things they think they need, will use, or can’t part with. I’m not a hoarder. I throw everything away. My poor kids will have no tangible childhood memories. (Sadly, I’m not feelin’ real guilty here.)

But…

It made me think of little things we keep in our “sanctuaries” that we think we need or can’t part with. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 

1 Corinthians 6:19

In 1 Samuel Chapter 15, Saul spares King Agag’s life after being specifically instructed to “utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them…” (verse 3)

In verse 9, Saul kept everything that he thought was best and got rid of what he considered worthless. It cost him his kingdom.

I know in my life, there have been times God has asked me to clean house. I got rid of some things, but hoarded others. Like Saul. And I’ve paid a price. 

Matthew 12:43-45

 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Cleaning out the mess that doesn’t belong isn’t enough. If left empty, it will just pile up again, more so. Just like the woman in the hoarding show.

I like the feeling of a clean house. But, I don’t like it empty. I want it filled with good things. My family, friends, and even my annoying dog. I want to burn my apple cinnamon candle, turn satellite radio on low, and listen to the laughter of a happy home. Put in order. And productive.

I want my inside the same the way. Filled with my family-God the Father, His Son the Bridegroom, and the Holy Sprit my Friend and Teacher. I want the warm glow from His light to shine softly, while His fragrance fills every chamber of my heart…drawing others to come in and cozy up. I want my inside to be a joyful, happy place. Put in order. And productive.

What do you want your inside home to look like?

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9 thoughts on “In Need of Deep Cleaning? Guest Post by Jessica Patch

  1. Jen, thanks so much for having me and the kind words! It’s an honor to be over here blogging today! I’ll be popping in and out to chat with readers. 🙂

  2. I sometimes catch those shows too. My heart goes out to those people who have a hoarding problem and how it affects the family.

    I like a cheery, welcoming, and calm house. Not cluttered but not sterile either. The smell of cookies baking is nice touch too.

  3. Jessica, it was my pleasure! I know my readers will be blessed by your words today.

    Jennifer (great name!), thanks for stopping by! I think that’d fit my house, too…after one. From am to about then, I don’t do ANY cleaning, and dishes, laundry, left-over debris from the family the night before, accumulate until I set my keyboard aside. Then I make a mad scramble to get all my chores done before my honey gets home. (Hate having him come home to a mess, not that he’d mind.)

  4. OH – what a great post, Jessica! I SO need that reminder. I am NOT a neat person by nature – but I’m also not a hoarder. My house could always use some cleaning – just like my “inner home.” But the important stuff is there.

  5. Jennifer (Shirk!) Thanks for coming over! So nice to see you back in blogosphere. 🙂

    Joanne: Thanks so much. I’m always cleaning, too. Inside and out.

  6. Great post, Jessica! Must say I’ve watched those hoarding shows with mouth agape, too! Having a ‘clean’ house sure IS important! Just like my physical house gets dusty without me really noticing, it’s easy to let my spiritual house get dirty too. Love the passages you cited. Time for some deep cleaning!

    Always appreciate your comments over @ Life Lessons! I’m sure we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought we were following through on every commitment we’ve made. It made a big impact on me when I read that the Lord would rather that we didn’t make a commitment, than to break our word. I know I need to be more careful with my words. And follow through when I DO make a commitment!

    Love your insight: “I’m thankful for His mercy that puts me back on the path, His grace that forgives me, and His strength to help me re-commit.” Great to hear that you’re modeling this quality before your kids! I know God will bless you for your efforts!

  7. Thanks so much for a wonderful post, Jessica! I love your tie-in to hoarding when it comes to deep cleaning. Ahhhh, I feel less cluttered already! 🙂 Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing her with us today!

  8. Maria! Glad you came by and thanks for the kind words, as always. You’re awesome.

    Donna: Thanks for popping over. That show is addictive, much like clutter. 🙂

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