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Spring Cleaning the Inside {Our Hearts}

This week instead of  Spring Break, we are focusing on “Spring Cleaning-Inside and Out.” The inside refers to our hearts.  The outside is a new chore system we have in place.

Today we focused on the inside. It was by far, one of our best homeschooling days. So much was learned {not in a textbook} that was truly the important stuff.

What we did:
We began our morning sitting in our dead and lifeless garden. We read a devotion from Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids about keeping weeds out of the garden and how Jesus does that in our life, so that we can experience the true Peace that is only found in Him. Then we came inside and read from Matthew 21 about the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,  saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” (v. 2-3)
What amazes me is that 500 years prior, it was written in Zechariah 9:9 about this very event!  How the prophecy is so clearly fulfilled!
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! 
See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, 
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 
Zechariah 9:9

Another beautiful image is that a colt would be very volatile and wild since it was not tame.  Yet, he rode it into Jerusalem. Jesus-gives us calm. He calms the storm (Matthew 4:35-40), calms demons (Mark 5:1-9) , and here calms the colt, merely by His presence.  He does that for us too.

{An aside that I find fascinating-did you know all donkeys have a cross down their backs? God is always pointing to Himself if we just open our eyes!}

3) cross on donkey's back, 3) donkey showed us his back -- really bore the sign of a cross!!!

Then we continued in Matthew and read about Jesus’ anger at the money changers in the temple in Jerusalem. 
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”  (v.12-13)

We talked about how Jesus was angry when anything gets in the way of our worshipping God. Here the temple was being used for material and not worship.  How that applies to us today!  I talked to the kids about not letting the want of toys {for us its Legos!} to take precedence in our hearts. God must come first.  {more about how we are dealing this when I write about Spring Cleaning the Outside, later this week!}

He further illustrates this the next morning when he passes by a fig tree, and see it bears no fruit. He commands the tree to wither. This is a parable acted out. Just like the temple was beautiful on the outside, inside it was full of sin. A fig tree on the outside looked beautiful to a hungry Jesus, but it bore no fruit, and it withered.

The children and I discussed how this can happen to us. We may try to look good on the outside, and pleasing the Lord outwardly, but if our hearts are not beautiful, no fruit will be made and we will wither.

Tying it back to the devotion from earlier, we talked about getting rid of the sins of heart, so that our gardens may flourish. We want to be the biggest fruit-bearing plant in that garden, not because we want to look good, but because we want to grow to our full potential, and the higher we get, the closer we are to God.

Then the children made pictures to depict the weeds in their hearts that need to be taken out.  We hung them in the window, and it was beautiful how our real garden was in the background outside the window.

Then below we hung pictures they made of their gardens that will flourish, if we let Jesus weed out those sins.  We hung them up as a beautiful reminder this week that we are preparing our hearts for the Risen Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Oh what a beautiful morning. We really needed this lesson today as a family.

As I always say, the best lessons aren’t usually the ones in the plan book…

 Tomorrow, I will be posting more about our lessons learned today.  So be sure to check back!
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Also, Simply Homeschool has been on the top 5 on Amazon.com for Homeschooling books for almost a month!  I am humbled that so many people are be being blessed by it.
Simply Homeschool is now just $0.99 for download or for Kindle at Amazon.com Click here for more info
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And…I will be speaking at Heart of the Matter’s Online Conference April 12-14.  I am presenting, “Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool: Homeschooling as a Lifestyle:”  

Register now. It is only $9.95 for the entire conference and access to all mp3’s after the conference is over!

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