Marie Kondo, Burnt Offerings, Sparks of Joy

There is a tornado blowing through social media and tearing down all the strongholds of clutter. Yep, I am talking about Marie Kondo. I have seen some of the funniest memes, videos, pics, and comments that all “spark joy” in my heart. Of course, I have not tried the method beyond a bottom cabinet. Let’s just say it really didn’t go that well.

I am pretty sure I am not cut out for this kind of organizational therapy. I have a keen desire to take all of my stuff that doesn’t spark joy, pile it in the front yard and, well, set it on fire. You know, like a burnt offering. Pretty sure that’s not covered in our insurance policy, but that’s my original idea.

My husband has encouraged me to really work on a newer idea. Basically, a plan that doesn’t involve the fire department. So, as of now, just about nothing is sparking much joy in my house. So, there’s that.

As we are now in the Lenten season, I am drawn back to the God who is King of all that sparks joy in the hearts of His saints.

As believers, the season of Lent is our jam. This is the season when we solely focus on Jesus, His ministry, His betrayal, His sacrifice on the Cross and His amazing resurrection.

The 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday comprise the Lenten season. It is during this time we give up things, namely food items. Not just to discipline ourselves but, rather, to center our hearts back on the eternal. It truly can become an act of worship that is very beneficial to the soul.

As with all good things, we have the capacity to turn Lent into something that was never intended. But I see it as a time to take all that is present in my life that I know doesn’t spark joy in the heart of God, pile it up, and set it on fire.

You see, the Lenten season is not just about what we will choose to give up; it is a season where we evaluate what has kept our hearts captive.

What has impeded our way to the heart of Jesus? What has laid itself upon us and captured our attention above the voice of God?

I look at the things in my life that I might weep over as I lay them down, but I then think of what I am freeing up. The space I am making in my heart, mind, and soul for the things of God. And that, my sweet sisters, sparks much joy in my heart.

How often do we wish for more time, more energy, more effort on our part to truly seek God? I would measure a guess it’s often; we often desire more.

When considering what to lay aside, remember we lay aside so we can pick up.

Your arms will still be full, but with the things of God. The Lenten season is supposed to be uncomfortable. We should feel the loss of what we are giving up. It is to remind us of what we are gaining.

When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for 40 days, His body was weakened but His spirit was strengthened. When you read the biblical account, you will see that with every temptation the enemy offered, Jesus met it with the strength and power of the Word!

That’s what happens in the wilderness–we lay it all down to free our hands to pick up all that Jesus has set aside for us.

I encourage you to read through the gospels with me over the next 40 days. I will be posting on my page to keep myself accountable. This is not a challenge, but rather an invitation. I’m laying down my time. I am trusting the Holy Spirit to remind me often when my time is not being used in pursuit of a deeper faith in Christ.

I am looking forward to this season of giving, sacrifice, and laying it all down. My prayer is that in this season we will all gain a better footing as we advance forward into our individual walks with the Lord.

In His grip!

<>< Claudia Duff