Spring Cleaning!

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“I like power-washing. I like power, and I like washing. Win-win.”

Ruthanne VandenBosch

Hehe…I just quoted myself. *smile*

A couple of weeks ago my dad decided that the outside of my house needed to be cleaned. I had mold and dirt and stuff on my siding. He came down and brought his power washer along and showed me how to set it up. I find myself paying much closer attention to how things are done since we lost mom. I will forever regret not learning to make her potato salad or her cinnamon rolls. So when I catch myself thinking, “I don’t care about fertilizer or what kind of spray you use to kill weeds-but-not-your-grass,” I remind myself what a blessing it is to have dad here to show me these things that he’s good at, and I focus and try to learn.

Anyway, he showed me how to set things up, and off I went, cleaning my house on the outside. I loved it! I can’t believe how dirty my house was! It was an entirely different color underneath! As I gradually made my way around the house I was struck by the irony of how DIRTY it is on the inside. Sparkling clean on the outside and badly in need of a dusting and scrubbing on the inside. Life has been such a whirlwind of activity and change that spring cleaning was postponed…indefinitely.

Since power-washing a house is not a quick job, I had time to think about the similarities to life.

Jesus confronted the Pharisees about the issue of being clean on the outside and a big filthy mess on the inside in Matthew 23: 25-28~

“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. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

I think that it is really so tempting to try to live life to please people and to make them think you have it all together, but not think a thing about what God’s thoughts are. I fall into that all the time. I remember my friend and pastor, Paul, used to tell me that if, at the end of each day, I can stand before God with all of my thoughts and actions laid bare before him, and know that I did my best to honor Him and please Him- that it was a good day. Even if the people around me disagreed with my actions and decisions.

I like that. God knows my insides. All of the good and the bad and the downright ugly. He is gradually shaping me into his design and cleaning up the insides. You all don’t know my insides, but He does (and loves me anyway…wonder of wonders!)

A couple of falls ago, my sister-in-law Stephanie and I decided that we wanted to be able to hear God speak into our lives more clearly. We talked about how the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and about how much yucky junk we put inside of us with Him. The books we read, the movies and TV we watch, our music… We decided that we were probably crowding his still, small voice out. We decided to do an experiment. For an entire month we would not put anything IN us that wasn’t God-honoring.

Man. Almost nothing is God- honoring. Almost nothing. I left the TV off. I stopped reading a book I was in the middle of. I said no to several movies. Instead, I spent more time praying, more time in God’s word, and more time listening. Steph did the same.

God spoke. He spoke the seeds of what would be a trip to the Navajo Nation and ultimately this work with Josiah Venture. I learned so much during and after that time. With God’s help, we cleaned out the inside of our souls and in the absence of all that clutter of sin we found God waiting to talk with us.

We continued for several months after that (because it was AMAZING!!) and it was during that time that I offered myself up to do “whatever you want me to do with this life, God!”

It’s such an unnatural thing though- we gradually slipped back into the “normal” way of life. It’s just easier. I’ve often thought that I should set apart a month again to do this, but I procrastinate.

I’m convinced I’m missing out on hearing from God.photoI want to challenge you (and myself!) to examine what’s inside and do some spring soul-cleaning. I want to be able to hear that quiet voice of God clearly in my heart!

“How blessed are those who are pure in heart, because it is they who will see God!” Mathew 5:8

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Josiah Venture news: Please pray!!! This is GO time for our interns! We are only 2 weeks away from their departure (and only a little over 1 week away from mine!)

  • Pray that they will get the funds that they need in NOW. Several of them are praying and praying for God to provide. The absolute deadline for them is Friday. Pray for extraordinary provision!
  • Pray for logistics. Almost 90 interns will all be flying (from all over the US) overnight on May 26th and arriving in a 4 hour timeframe on the 27th.
  • Pray for me to learn all of the things that are coming at me fast. I’m headed to Chicago in the morning for one last work/training session with Brenda before we head to Europe. We have a HUGE list of things to tackle. Pray that I will retain all that I need to use in future years.
  • Pray for my support to come in. I’m at 68% (!!!!) of on-going support and I will have to take a break from meeting with people and churches now, until intern training is over in early June. But LOTS of people have been invited to join me– pray that God will work behind the scenes, and put it in their hearts to join my team.

Thank you so much for being the incredible support that you are. I know that all things are possible when we pray, and I’m so thankful to have people in my life that I know are praying- you are making an eternal difference!!!!! Hugs! ~r

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2 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning!

    Stephanie Ripple said:
    May 13, 2015 at 4:42 am

    This address won’t be good after today. Can you update my address to gal522-23@outlook.com?

    Thanks!

    Steph

      Ruthanne responded:
      May 13, 2015 at 5:36 am

      Thanks Stephanie! I will update your address in my info, but I can’t actually change it here- you’ll have to unsubscribe and then subscribe with your new address…sorry!!!

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