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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Swept Clean
Date Posted: October 23, 2004

(Due to birthday parties, Scouts and life in its usual general chaos, this week has been hectic and this week's column is a rerun of one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy it whether it's old or new to you!)

As you may already know from previous writings, I am a fan of home makeover shows. My favorite is "Clean Sweep". The main reason I like this show is because they go into homes that are more piled and cluttered than mine has ever been and it makes me feel like the "Queen of all Organizers". (I used to be before I had kids, but that's another column.)

Anyway, the formula for the show requires that they go into a home, clear out everything completely in the rooms they are making over, and carry them onto the lawn where they are sorted into piles of "Keep", "Sell" and "Toss".

The fun part is that once the homeowners have finished sorting and think they're keeping most of what they brought out, the "heavyweight" organizer comes out and makes them purge the whole "Keep" pile and cut it by about half.

Sometimes they even have to refine the second pile as "homework" that evening, getting rid of extra files or organizing music or photos. It seems to never end.

But once the rooms are completed, decorated and all their personal items labeled and tucked away neatly, the homeowners are overjoyed and forget about the things the had to throw away, which at the time they were sure they couldn't live without.

I can really relate to this process, even when my home is not a mess! Just as the "keep" pile has to be purged and refined until it is reasonable and will fit into the existing space, our lives and behaviors have to constantly be refined and sometimes even purged to fit the space God wants us in.

Most of us can probably think of things we did on a regular basis or desired to do before we had a relationship with Christ. We may not even notice those things missing in our lives, or we may see how great our lives and our effect on others since we have purged those things.

God wants to refine us into something more pure and holy. If we are seeking His will and willing to be changed, He will continue to sweep our lives clean of impurities.

"This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The Lord is our God.'" -- Zechariah 13:9

Reflect for a few minutes this week on what needs to be swept clean in your life, and ask God to refine you for His glory.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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