We were hanging with the littles one night in February, writing things on paper hearts and hanging them on a wire (see the Family Devo in our archives!).  We posed the question, “What makes our heart dirty?” The oldest answered, “When we are bullied or we bully others.” And the littlest one replied, “When our skin gets dooouuty (dirty).”  We smiled at their answers, and then I started thinking about cleanliness in all areas of our lives and how it promotes good health!

Make your bed – I know tons of people that don’t do this one.  However, I personally think there are so many healthy reasons to make your bed, and not just to make your room presentable.    Making your bed gives you a sense of pride about your room, another sense of accomplishment, and makes your bed inviting when you return to it at night.  It’s a healthy happy heart that it creates!

Cleanse your heart – It’s a good habit to daily think of things you thought, said or settled way deep in your heart that are making you sad or angry.  The only way to clean them out is to let Him take them from us and take care of what concerns us.  Imagine placing those frustrations in a big box and handing them to Him.  If we carry them, it only causes pain.

Throw away old junk – Still have a rotten apple in a fridge drawer? Makeup that’s caked and hard?  Pens that don’t work?  Shoes you haven’t worn in 10 years? 

Just start with one tiny place and toss the junk.  Seriously, when you’re done with all of the tossing you’ll feel 10 pounds lighter in heart, body and soul, and your house will smell nicer, too.

Cleanse your mind – Maybe you have these daily thoughts about yourself that are not nice.  You think you’re not good enough, you’re getting too old, you don’t matter to anyone, and you’re always overlooked.  Those thoughts make us walk in shame with a slouchy disposition, which is not attractive to anyone – or ourselves!  Think on things that are true about yourself – you are loved, you have a purpose, He is good enough, and He sees all and cares.  Replace those negative thoughts, one by one.

Wash your bedding – When is the last time you washed those comforters?  For me, I go way too long, because it’s a pain. But when I do, I’m so glad.  It’s like opening a window in the spring and letting fresh air blow across our rooms.  Splurge on a bedding scent if you wish, or even purchase a new set of sheets or a throw pillow. 

Cleanse your skin – Skin care is most important, more than the makeup we put on, over our skin.  Dirty skin doesn’t make a dirty heart, at least that’s what we told the 4-year old!  But dirty skin can cause a world of woes, from clogged pores to breakouts and more.  Establish a good face routine with a cleansing soap, toner and moisturizer, as well as a routine for your feet and hands.  Take the time to breathe and function clean…

Prepare the porch – It’s March and spring days are coming for sitting outside sipping and snacking.  Is your porch a huge mess from the winter neglect?  Start now and clean it from top to bottom.  Get some lavender spray to keep for your chair pillows (it seems to work to keep squirrels and cats at bay!).  Wash down the furniture, sweep and organize.  Consider a few new plants, maybe a succulent array!  Place a centerpiece in the middle of your table, make the porch clean AND inviting to you and your family and guests.

I suppose I could go on and on with ideas on places and hidden spaces to clean.  It gets quite overwhelming once the winter season is over, when we’ve sat by the fire, chilled, watched shows, and enjoyed not having to work hard in the yard and elsewhere.  But cleanliness, just one little space and place at a time, makes for a smile.  It really does.  I get these bursts of motivation to clean, and I have to act, because they come and go!  But after I’ve organized or cleaned even a small drawer, I feel like dancing.  And after I’ve laid down my heavy woes, the dancing also ensues.

Maybe next month, we’ll look at the health that comes from dancing…


by Marcy Lytle

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