Pray over your Marriage While You Spring Clean

It’s week two of Spring Cleaning for your heart and home here at Refocused Bible Study. Today we start the week cleaning our master bedroom and praying over our marriages.

It’s powerful to use the hours we clean our homes to pray as we go, thanking the Lord and asking His continued blessing on our families and homes.

Today’s Study

This week, we focus on this passage from Song of Solomon as we clean our bedrooms:

“The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”

‭‭The Song of Solomon‬ ‭

2:8-10, 12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today, we focus in on verse 8, when the young bride hears her man coming to her.

In the book, I focus in on hearing your husband & listening. The world grapples for our attention, focus, & time, drawing us apart in marriage and over time we can neglect to the person who means the most to us.

What’s on his heart?

How can I love him well this week?

When was the last time we sat face to face & chatted?

These are great places to start asking yourself if you are as connected to your man as you are perceive you are.

Start there and PRAY.

Pray for whatever is on your heart for your marriage.

Today’s Cleaning

The Master Bedroom

___ Dust the Headboard

___ Check the condition of your bedding

___ Clean out under your bed

Start there & the next few days, we will move on to the windows, walls, and light fixture.

I hope you’ll join us on this Spring Cleaning with Jesus Journey!

>>Want to join the Spring Cleaning with Jesus journey?  Buy the study here:  >>>

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460223096&sr=8-1&keywords=Spring+Cleaning+bible+study

OR

FREE scripture writing plan/cleaning schedule here.

Clothed in Strength and Dignity

Spring cleaning the master bedroom and praying over our marriages starts tomorrow! Let’s recap week one and center our focus tonight.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 NLT

“The strength and dignity of the Proverbs 31 woman is found in Jesus alone.  She doesn’t find it in the order and cleanliness of her drawers and closets…she laughs and lives freely and lightly because she trusts in Jesus to give her strength to serve her family and provide all their needs.”

If you have been spring cleaning along with us this week, great job!  Week one is coming to a close.  I was so blessed and encouraged to hear from some of you this week about your experience thus far.  I was able to see some pictures and walk through one of my friend’s homes and see the progress!  God is so good and I praise him for what he is doing through this bible study.

I would love for you to come through my home with me and see the transformations taking place in my spaces and hear about the renewing transformations God is doing in my heart through these focused times of prayer in my home.

I now have a hall closet where I prayed through a jumbled dream for this ministry to an organized vision and a tidy space:

My kids have been loving to play these board games they were once afraid to try to find and pull out!  It’s beautiful to see how organization spawns their creativity.  Here are my girls’ masterpieces created after they could easily access their acrylic paints:

And here is the before and after of the junk drawer featured in my last post:

I still have more to work on in my kids’ closets, which I am about to go finish after this blog post.  But I could not let the end of this first week go by without recapping the final day of study for the week.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Proverbs 31:25 NLT

I have studied the Proverbs 31 woman a lot over the years.  I mean a lot.  I have compared myself, and felt under-qualified beside her every. single. time.  Except for one quality.

She loves Jesus.  And  her identity is found in him alone. She doesn’t find her success in how organized her closets are, or how many things she has marked off her to-do list this week.  She is covered in a “splendid garment.”  It is the grace of her Jesus.

She laughs because she knows what her ultimate future holds.  A life forever seated with her Savior.  Contemplating his beauty, studying at his feet.  She will be sure to trust in his strength to care for the home He has given her, but she will laugh joyfully, with glee about the home she will live in one day:

Psalm 84:

1-2 What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!
3-4 Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!
5-7 And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!
8-9 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, listen:
O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.
10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies. MSG

So keep on moving through your earthly home sweet sister.  Make it a masterpiece for the present.  But keep your eyes and hearts fixed on your eternal home with your Jesus. Then you will be wearing his beautiful grace well.  ❤

>>>Want to join the Spring Cleaning with Jesus journey?  Buy the study here:  >>>

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460223096&sr=8-1&keywords=Spring+Cleaning+bible+study

OR

FREE scripture writing plan/cleaning schedule here.

Write a verse a day from the passage of the week, pray over it, and meditate on it as you clean!

Cleaning the Master bedroom and praying over our marriages starts tomorrow, I hope you’ll join us!!!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the email list in the menu.  Let’s stay connected!  ❤

Decluttering Your Heart, One Drawer at a Time

I pulled out the drawer in the middle of my kitchen, searching for a number 2 pencil WITH an eraser, with ten minutes to get into the minivan.  My hands began frantically rummaging to no avail; UNO cards, nail polish, hair clips, dozens of tiny rubber bands…no number 2 pencils, no pencils at all!  This is not good I thought.  The one thing that is supposed to be there isn’t, but every other thing under the sun is in there, taking up space and just junking up my drawer!

I know how this happened.  When I am tidying up I just toss things in there and close it up real quick instead of dealing with it and putting it

where it’s really supposed to go.

It works for the moment.  My counters are clear, and on the surface my kitchen looks really shiny and nice.  (Until a guest accidentally opens the drawer looking for a spoon to stir her coffee, right?) The same happens with our hearts.  We don’t put the real time or effort into prayer.  So we just toss up a general “Lord help me.”

Our outsides look great and tidy; but on the inside, we feel like our own junk drawer.

Cluttered.

This afternoon, I opened it up to clean it out.  I put my fingers in there and moved the junk all around, looking for things that were valuable enough to keep.  I set a few treasures on top of the counter that I deemed worthy.  There was still so much junk mixed in with the good stuff.  I spotted a handwoven necklace I had bought in Africa when we were there adopting my daughter that I definitely wanted to keep.

But I realized I only had a few minutes before I had to leave again to take my daughter to gymnastics!  (See why I wrote the “Why your house is messy” post?)  I shoved the UNO cards and other treasures back in and then took this picture:  (Your’e welcome, I try to keep it real here :))

I thought about how my heart felt all discombobulated like this messy drawer.  It had been such a busy morning with necessary activities that I could not cut out of our schedule.  I have been out of the habit of rising very early to pour my heart out to the Lord in prayer and so it felt just as cluttered as this drawer.  So many concerns were in there, nothing extremely heavy or pressing,  but just things I needed to talk to Jesus about, stuffed in there waiting to come out and set before him.

The only way to clear something so messy out is to dump it.  Let all the good things worth keeping and the clutter taking up space to come out, and be picked up and evaluated

one thing at a time.

It is the same with our prayer life.  We can’t feel light and free if we don’t sit at the feet of Jesus and lift up every concern separately

one care at a time.

He wants us to be specific, and ask.

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” James 4:2

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

So in the spirit of Spring Cleaning, go pick a drawer or a closet.  Open it up and dump the clutter out.  As you pick up each thing to evaluate it, voice your concerns to the Lord.  Don’t let your mind wander into daydreaming.  Talk out loud to Jesus if that helps.  Feel your heart become so light and free as you let all the cares and worries be set upon the One on whom they are supposed to fall.

Then organize all the things that are left.  See the beauty you have created where there was once a mess.  Know that the things you lifted up to the Lord are being turned into something beautiful for eternity as well!  If you doubt,  just open up that drawer or closet and thank Him for working on the requests you laid at his feet.

I would love to hear from you if you are working through “Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home!”  Comment below and tell me how it’s going!  Praying for you all. Enjoy journeying through your home with Jesus, and look forward to a clean home and heart!

>>>If you would like to purchase the study, it’s available here on Amazon: >>>

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460028829&sr=8-1&keywords=Spring+Cleaning+bible+study

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!