How Would Jesus Spring Clean?

WEEK 1 PRAYER PODCAST: Spring Cleaning Week 1 Prayer Podcast

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

In the breath before this one, Jesus had just been explaining to the disciples how exactly to live this free life- in intimacy with the Father.  He is telling the disciples to watch him, and promising that he will teach them how to live life in this free and light way.

So we can’t literally see Jesus at the moment,  but as I have encouraged us in the book, we have invited him with us on the journey to a clean home and a clean heart.  If we haven’t done this, then we might as well forget this bible study and just grab our trash bags and our cleaning supplies and get the work done.

So, I sat down to write some quick tips to motivate us to get started.  And as he often does, Jesus rushed in as I called on him and he told me to encourage you with this:

Spring Clean the way Jesus would.  

Can’t you just see him now?  Like he did when he washed the disciples’ feet… wrapping a towel around his waist, eager to serve, a heart full of love; perfect love for the recipient of this work.

And sisters, this is EXACTLY what I encourage us to do in our homes in the month of April.  I am not a cleaning expert.  I am a girl wildly and madly in love with Jesus who has been given a home to make into his masterpiece.

I want you talking with Jesus the entire time you are on this journey,

thanking him for your clutter and excess,

asking him who to pass clothes on to,  

inviting your children to join in the work, and

praying for the people you are cleaning for.  

>>>Now a FREEBIE!  For those of you who are not going to buy the book, here is a passage reading/cleaning schedule so you can join in too!  >>>Click below to print, or screenshot the image to refer to on your phone! 🙂

Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home Reading_Cleaning Schedule

Write out one verse a day Monday- Friday, and focus on the areas in the “cleaning tasks” column that week. Think about and pray through the verses as you clean.

I’ll be sending out a few blogposts each week that coincide with the plan!

Want the full Spring Cleaning Bible Study Experience?  Buy the book at Amazon below:

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459774780&sr=8-1&keywords=Spring+Cleaning+bible+study

I will mostly be using this blog to communicate during this study so make sure you are signed up! If not, click below and receive emails when I post!

Praying for you,

Amy

Less Stuff, More Life! An honest story of moving into Minimalism

I’m so happy to host a guest blogger, Tabbie, from BohoMinimism.com! She is sharing her journey to minimalism beautifully on her blog and I asked her to share her “why” and “how” with us.

There is power in “why.” Our motivation always needs to be deeply rooted in something strong. For me, a move to minimalism is sparked by the desire for “less stuff, more Jesus.” Less stuff to work for + manage = More time + Mind energy at Jesus’ feet undistracted.

I’m working on my “how!” I think doing the spring cleaning bible study again will truly help me keep my “why” in place through His Word in the study, (see below) while I use the cleaning schedule that also weaves through the book to declutter and organize.

Don’t forget, our journey together starts Monday!

Whether you just want to do a bible study online, spring clean, or minimize; we want you to join us!

Here’s a FREE Verse Writing Plan/Cleaning Schedule

Or there’s still time to use Prime 2 day shipping! Get the book on Amazon: Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home

Here’s Tabbie’s story of a movement towards minimalism.

Hello new friends! First, I’d like to thank Amy, who is so graciously allowing me to share my personal perspective of the minimalist lifestyle.

I’ve never had it all together, although I’m sometimes too good at pretending to. With the realization that my 30th birthday was quickly approaching, I started to take a hard look at myself and who I really am. You know what I realized? I had NO clue. I started to dig around, hoping to find something…anything to help me figure out how to get to know myself. With that, I stumbled upon “minimalism”.

The official definition of minimalism is “a style or technique that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) For me, I already thought of myself as somewhat of a minimalist. I am not very sentimental. I do find joy in items, but usually have no problem purging or selling if I need the money or to make space for new, trendy stuff. However, I pictured true minimalists as people who sell just about everything they own, build a tiny house, and live off the land. I also assumed that true minimalists were already millionaires and could afford this drastic lifestyle change.

As a mama of 4, I knew that my initial idea of true minimalism wasn’t going to be achievable. While I’m sure it can and is being done, I knew it wouldn’t work for me and my family.

It wasn’t until I came across the documentary Minimalism – A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix that my idea of minimalism started to change. I made notes of some of the people featured in the film and started to further my research thinking “maybe I can make this work for me.”

I listened to audio-books like Minimalism for Living, Family & Budgeting

by K. L. Hammond and Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

by Courtney Carver. I learned that there were many levels of minimalism and that I didn’t have to sell everything I own and live in a tiny house to live minimally. (Although that is a very respected level of minimalism!) Both books inspired me to create my own version of minimalism that works for my unique life.

And with that, my new, personal definition of minimalism was born. It is “Making room for joy, love and experiences by getting rid of everything that doesn’t help us achieve these.”

There is so much more to minimalism than just getting rid of clutter, but a laid-out purging plan is a great way to start the process.

Decluttering is also a great time to pray, meditate and practice gratefulness.

As I work through this journey, I’m discovering new things about myself every day. I’m starting to truly enjoy my family and my life again. I can give back to my community and am gaining a new appreciation for everything I have been blessed with. And you know the BEST part? This way of simple living can totally be tailor-made to YOU. That is what I love about minimalism! I’m learning how to make the minimalist life work for me and you can too!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9, I will be blogging through this journey to a clean heart and home!  

I wrote a 4 week bible study available on amazon, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here:>>>>>>>>

<<<<(Click pic to go to amazon and check it out!)>>>>

Click here:>>> Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home

The study is based on the this amazing passage:

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Jesus Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

We will be walking with Jesus through our homes, cleansing our spirits and our houses.  We will be praying powerful faith-filled prayers for our families as we clean their spaces.  We are going to feel so free and light and our houses will look so wonderful we are done!

I’ll be posting prayer podcasts every week to listen to as we work.

I can’t wait to walk through our houses with Freedom Himself together on this journey!

Your First Step to Success in Spring Cleaning

Ok sister friend, I’m going to pass some wisdom on to you.  I do it with the upmost love & concern for your sanity, your marriage, and your family. If your house is in a perpetual mess and you can’t ever get around to cleaning, it may be because

you are too BUSY.

Yes, I said the “B” word. I used to be the queen of busy. Always on the go, doing good, beneficial, fun things for my kids and myself. But last December, I finally decided I couldn’t have  it ALL.

Through a lot of prayer and studying God’s word, Jesus confirmed:

There are not enough hours in each week to run around to all these activities AND make my home the haven I want it to be.

He especially used this passage to gently convict and encourage me to cut BUSY out of my life:

“Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:5 NIV

How fitting is it that  the NIV translation reads to be “BUSY at home.” It’s the only place I used to not be busy at, because I was so busy running around everywhere else. To dig deeper, let’s check the concordance to see what the author, Paul, was really trying to convey to this group of believers.

Strong’s definition of the original Greek word used by Paul for “to be busy at home” is:  a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”):—keeper at home.

Ouch.  All spelled out for us, now in plain English; a  stayer at home.  Now, I want to be clear, I do not not think this means women should not work.  If working outside the home is what the Lord has planned for you, you are contributing to your home by doing so.  I think it is safe to say what Paul was trying to get across here is for women to make their homes one of their top priorities.

The world has twisted this high calling and made it seem more like a restrictive burden.

The enemy has tried to take beauty out of homemaking and leave an ugly, quick to-do list  where a masterpiece was supposed to hang.


Instead of focusing on the never-ending ugly to do list, I started focusing on the beautiful masterpiece I knew God meant for me to create at home. My thoughts shifted from all that HAD to get done to all the goodness waiting to be cultivated.  I decided it was time to carve out time for my home first, and see if there was room left for the rest later.

Here are the activities I ended up cutting out:

~Spontaneous weekly playdates became more like monthly playdates. (Except for my sister who keeps her weekly spot 🙂

~My Wednesday morning zumba/bible study at the YMCA had to stop.  I miss it but I am so happy with the peace being at home has created!

~Trips to Target had to be cut back to about once a month.  (I do live 3o minutes from the nearest Target, keep in mind).

Do I miss these fun social activities? Yes, at times, but the peace in my home has far out-weighed the benefits these outings used to bring.

When I look back on my life, I want the most abundant, beautiful fruit to be the fruit that grew at home.  It takes time to till, sow good seed, pull weeds, fertilize, and prune.  But in the end, I know I will look back and see it was worth all the eternal beauty that will be harvested.

Spring cleaning challenge:  Look at your schedule for the month of April.  Consider what you could take off for the sake of working on a masterpiece–your home.  I will be here to cheer you on, leading you to the feet of Jesus at the turn of every corner in your house.

I had my sister join in on the fun and make this funny video for us. Dead bugs on your windows? Toy boxes that won’t close all the way?  Dust on your ceiling fan?  Join the club ladies.  Don’t keep throwing your hands up in defeat.  Just stay home and join us in spring cleaning.  PLUS- Pray over your entire family and submerse yourself in God’s cleansing word.  It’s going to be a very refreshing journey!!!

I have still not “arrived” in keeping house!  That is why I am dedicating the month of April to SPRING CLEANING!  I hope you will consider joining us here at Refocused Bible Study.  The link to the bible study is below.  I start blogging through it Monday April 9th!

Click Here>>> http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459376468&sr=8-1&keywords=spring+cleaning+bible+study >>>

LESS is MORE – Spring Clean to Minimize & Refocus


This year, I’ll be blogging through my Spring Cleaning Bible Study with a focus on MINIMALISM! If you are interested in finding more freedom from STUFF and more LIFE in JESUS, we would love for you to join us!

God is so good, in His sovereignty He led me to this verse this morning:

“Less is more, and more is less.” Psalm 37:16 MSG

I’m thrilled to encourage us through some amazing bloggers who will bring the practical and biblical goodness of minimalism to our spring Cleaning journey this year!

I hope you’re in!!!!!!!!

Spring has sprung, and not only are there bunnies hopping around in the green grass, there are dust bunnies on my furniture. The animals are popping their heads back up from their underground burrows and living life again, but the piles of stuff under the beds in my house haven’t seen the light of day since long before winter started. My heart sinks when I think about all that needs to get done in my house. It’s time for a

~~Spring Cleaning!~~

But why spend so many hours mindlessly going through our houses when we can pray scripture that will bring a powerful cleansing of our Spirit and our family’s spirits as we bag up, scrub, and shine our way to a clean house and clean hearts!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9th, I will be blogging bi-weekly through this journey to a clean heart and home!  I wrote a 4 week bible study available on amazon, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here:>>>>>>>>

<<<<(Click pic to go to amazon and check it out!)>>>>

Click here:>>> http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458414920&sr=8-1&keywords=spring+cleaning+your+heart+and+home<<&lt;

The study is based on the this amazing passage:

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Jesus Matthew 11:29-30 MSG

We will be walking with Jesus through our homes, cleansing our spirits and our houses.  We will be praying powerful faith-filled prayers for our families as we clean their spaces.  We are going to feel so free and light and our houses will look so wonderful we are done!

I’ll be posting prayer podcasts every week to listen to as we work.

I’ll also post a free passage reading plan/cleaning schedule for anyone who does not buy the study.

I can’t wait to walk through our houses with Freedom Himself together on this journey!

He has risen!

“And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”‭‭Mark‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s the last day, day sixteen of “Mark, one chapter a day for Easter.” here at Refocused Bible Study. If you missed the details of the study, you can find them here. If you missed out, you can scroll through all my previous posts while le you study on your own.

Today we are reading in chapter sixteen.  and I was mostly drawn to verses 1-8, focusing on verse six. I’m sharing today following the quiet time pattern below. Try it or something similar in your own personal study and see if it helps you find focus and structure to help His Word come alive in your life! See the image here:

My verse: “And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”‭‭Mark‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Application: Live like He’s ALIVE and like you’re ALIVE in Him. Don’t live so temporarily. I needed this reminder. I get caught up in today, this week, month, and year. I forget that God has conquered death. But if I keep my  eyes fixed on Jesus, and the truth that he is alive, my heart and priorities are going to be set on things that are lasting.

Review: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome went with burial spices to Jesus’ tomb. It was open! The stone was rolled away! An angel was on the right side inside the tomb. He told them not to be alarmed, that Jesus had risen!

Kneel in prayer: Almighty Jesus, we praise you for your power that raised you from the dead. Thank you for giving us the same resurrection power (Romans 8:11). Resurrect dead, locked up parts of our souls and lives that need new life and hope in you. Help us continue to spread your message in love and power. Make us women of your Word, filled with truth and strength from you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

That’s the end of Mark! What did God show you through this book?

What’s next at Refocused Bible Study for the month of April?!

*Starting Monday, April 9th*

Spring has sprung, and not only are there bunnies hopping around in the green grass, there are dust bunnies on my furniture. The animals are popping their heads back up from their underground burrows and living life again, but the piles of stuff under the beds in my house haven’t seen the light of day since long before winter started. My heart sinks when I think about all that needs to get done in my house. It’s time for a

~~Spring Cleaning!~~

But why spend so many hours mindlessly going through our houses when we can pray scripture that will bring a powerful cleansing of our Spirit and our family’s spirits as we bag up, scrub, and shine our way to a clean house and clean hearts!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9th, I will be blogging through this journey to a clean heart and home!  I wrote a 4 week bible study available HERE, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here and let’s get ready for a heart & home cleansing!

To Know Him More

“And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”‭‭

Mark‬ ‭15:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s day fifteen of “Mark, one chapter a day for Easter.” here at Refocused Bible Study. If you missed the details of the study, you can find them here. We’d love for you to join us! Tomorrow is the last day of the study!!!

Today we are reading in chapter fifteen and I was mostly drawn to verses 33-41. I’m sharing today following the quiet time pattern below. Try it in your own personal study and see if it helps you find focus and structure to help His Word come alive in your life! See the image here:
My verse: “And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”‭‭Mark‬ ‭15:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Application: Enter into the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary) into the presence of God, because of what Jesus has done.

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”  Ephesians 3:12

Are we taking full advantage of the intimacy with Christ which he died to give us? There’s no way. We can always, always, go deeper into the inner sanctuary because of what Christ has done. Because of who he is, we can always keep asking him to take us into deeper intimacy with him. Let’s take the opportunity he died to give us seriously. Ask him to help you keep walking further into the Holy of Holies with him. There is no end to him. We can’t know him enough.

Review: When Jesus died, the curtain separating us from his presence was ripped open. We can now boldly approach the throne of God.

Kneel in prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the high price you paid to give us open access to our Creator. We can intimately know the One who knows how many hairs are on our head, how many days we have left on this earth, and who counts all of our tears. Thank you for going ahead of us to prepare our eternal home. Thank you for dying for us. We praise you, Jesus. Amen.

What did the Lord speak to you today? Only one day to go!

What’s next at Refocused Bible Study for the month of April?!

*Starting Monday, April 9th*

Spring has sprung, and not only are there bunnies hopping around in the green grass, there are dust bunnies on my furniture. The animals are popping their heads back up from their underground burrows and living life again, but the piles of stuff under the beds in my house haven’t seen the light of day since long before winter started. My heart sinks when I think about all that needs to get done in my house. It’s time for a

~~Spring Cleaning!~~

But why spend so many hours mindlessly going through our houses when we can pray scripture that will bring a powerful cleansing of our Spirit and our family’s spirits as we bag up, scrub, and shine our way to a clean house and clean hearts!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9th, I will be blogging through this journey to a clean heart and home!  I wrote a 4 week bible study available HERE, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here and let’s get ready for a heart & home cleansing!

The Freedom of Forgiveness

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Mark 14:36

It’s day fourteen of “Mark, one chapter a day for Easter.” here at Refocused Bible Study. If you missed the details of the study, you can find them here. We’d love for you to join us!

Today we are reading in chapter fourteen and I was mostly drawn to verses 32-36. I’m sharing today following the quiet time pattern below. Try it in your own personal study and see if it helps you find focus and structure to help His Word come alive in your life! See the image here:

My verse: “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36


Application: Take time right now to worship Jesus for his deep obedience through suffering. As we come before him on Good Friday, let us just sit in awe of him for taking the pain and torture he went through that day in history. Don’t try and make yourself better. Don’t try and think of ways to apply this verse and want his will in your life instead of your own. Just sit. close your eyes, and think about what he really endured for you.

This is what I heard in my spirit today as I read: Forgive yourself and others.  Don’t just say you’re forgiven and that you forgive. LIVE IN FORGIVENESS.  Think all day about how he took the punishment for every sin I have ever committed or will commit. Further, to meditate on and search my heart for any feelings of contempt I may have for anyone else. The blows he took were for their forgiveness, too. I can’t hold anything against myself or anyone else, or Jesus took all of that in vain.

Spend some quiet moments right now worshipping Jesus for the  moment in history- where he fell face down in anguish in the garden.

Review: Though Jesus knew the Father had power to do anything, he accepted the Father’s plan and chose to follow it through to suffering and death.  Thank you, Jesus.

Kneel in prayer: Lord Jesus, we sit in awe of you. They blindfolded you, hit you in the face with their fists, and then continued to attack you, and you took it all for us. Please help us all to walk in the freedom of forgiveness for ourselves and all others, remembering Good Friday as a day that wasn’t good for you at all. Today, it is good. We can see your smile as we remember you today. We can see your smile as we walk in the freedom of forgiveness today. As we sing and dance and have new beginnings because you became our Passover Lamb. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

What’s next at Refocused Bible Study for the month of April?!

Spring has sprung, and not only are there bunnies hopping around in the green grass, there are dust bunnies on my furniture. The animals are popping their heads back up from their underground burrows and living life again, but the piles of stuff under the beds in my house haven’t seen the light of day since long before winter started. My heart sinks when I think about all that needs to get done in my house. It’s time for a

~~Spring Cleaning!~~

But why spend so many hours mindlessly going through our houses when we can pray scripture that will bring a powerful cleansing of our Spirit and our family’s spirits as we bag up, scrub, and shine our way to a clean house and clean hearts!

Here at Refocused Bible Study, starting April 9th, I will be blogging through this journey to a clean heart and home!  I wrote a 4 week bible study available HERE, titled, “Spring Cleaning for your heart and home: Praying your way to a clean house.” Get it here and let’s get ready for a heart & home cleansing!