Winter has officially arrived in Chicago in the form of snow, freezing temps, and cravings for everything warm.

I decided I would make beef stew today. Beef stew isn’t too difficult to make but it does involve quite a bit of preparation. Lots of chopping: celery, onion, potatoes, carrots, beef. It can get a little bit messy if you aren’t careful As I was preparing the stew today, I couldn’t help but hear my mom’s voice saying “clean as you go, Lindsay”.

I am sure you have heard similar advice before too. Clean up is way easier if you toss stuff as you are cooking rather than waiting until the end. I actually used to hate that she would tell me to do that because I hate cleaning— during or after. For some reason, taking two seconds to throw away the ends of the carrot or tossing the onion I didn’t use felt like such a heavy lift. But today, I heeded the wise words of my mom. And I was amazed at how by the time I put the lid on the crock pot and set it on high to start cooking, my kitchen was no less messy than it was when I started. Everything was still in order.

Then I had the thought…

What if I lived my life like that? What if I took the “clean as you go” principle and applied it to my every day? 

Checking my sin and repenting. 

Checking my motives and adjusting.

Checking my relationships and growing. 

Checking my heart and healing.


Checking in before it gets to that point. You know the point- when the dishes are taking over the kitchen and you would rather just MOVE and get a new place than clean them? Checking in before the sin becomes a lifestyle, the motives become the norm, or the relationship...fails. 

Cleaning up my messes as I go, before they become monumental. Seems like my mom was on to something…

ALL throughout the Old Testament we see the people of Israel WARNED that their behavior was surely going to lead to their own ruin. All throughout the Bible there are countless stories of people having an opportunity to make a change or repent or go a different route. They had chance after chance to reel it back in before things went too far. Thankfully, God’s grace and mercy are deeper than we could ever imagine. But I can’t help but wonder…what would it look like if we paused, cleaned up, and went another way before things blew up in our face?

Every day His mercy is new. Every day we get a fresh shot at becoming more like Christ. Let’s not take it for granted. Let’s not coast. Let’s be diligent and intentional people who “clean as they go”.

If you want to try out this amazing beef stew recipe you can right here… just make sure you clean as you go.

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. - Job 36:11