Spring is in the air and I am itching to do all the things: wash the windows, declutter the house, plant the garden, mulch.

I am pondering where to start. Is it my cabinets? They certainly have platters and mixers and crock pots and bowls all ever so neatly and gently (I’m sure) placed by children’s hands after meals. What about the drawers of utensils and cooking tools? I haven’t been able to find the apple peeler in months! Or the windows. The dog’s nose has left a lovely little impressionist painting of drool on the living room window.

It all can be so overwhelming! Perhaps the spring cleaning needs to start a bit deeper than cabinets, gardens or even to-do lists.

I wrote a love letter to Jesus the other day telling him what I wanted these next few months to look like. How I wanted to know him better, how I wanted to meet him in different places and spaces of my life, and as I put that all on the page, I felt compelled to go back and pray over it. I asked the Lord where do you want to meet me? What do you have in store for me these next few months? Can we walk together? How can we be prepared?

And then it struck me. The “we” is where it’s at. Turning to the Lord reminds me of where to begin and how to look forward. It keeps Him involved in every conversation. When feelings of being overwhelmed either by circumstance or tasks overtake me, I need to go back to my roots. So I start my day in prayer. For me, that means going to my office, lighting a candle, brewing my tea, opening my devotional and bible and saying good morning to the Lord.

As a wife, mother, teacher, writer, I always have 10,000 thoughts going on in my mind, so I begin by giving them to the Lord. I write down all the people on my heart and give them to the Lord. I might journal a situation or two that I’m struggling with and place it at His feet. You take care of it, Jesus, please. It is then that my mind is clear to just sit with Him.

Sometimes I hit play on a quiet praise song as a way of pouring out my love for Him. I might doodle some of the lyrics in my journal that touch my heart that day. Then I have a going forward; Lord this day is yours. You know how I would go about it, but please let me do it your way. Steady my thoughts, calm my words. Keep my eyes on you. Those are my roots.

From there, I can look ahead and plan. Again, the conversation is with the Lord. Lord, I have these tasks, these opportunities, and yet I know You have more. I want to keep enough oil in my lamp that I am ready for the bridegroom at all times. Show me how to be prepared. Return to your roots, he says. Can it be that simple? I wonder.

I think the answer is “Yes” if our roots are planted in Him. Words like surrender, trust, praise, and worship are not just words. They have meaning and purpose that gives our life the richness the Lord designed it for. I am a visual person, so I imagine times in my life when I have surrendered, fully placed my trust in the Lord, and also when I have worshipped and praised Him with all my heart. These moments are private to me and incredibly beautiful in their transformative power into my life.

Perhaps those are the keys to the questions I posed to the Lord. How can I be prepared, Lord? What do You have in store for me? Water our roots. Feed them in the sacraments, prayer and worship and our earthly worries will not be carried alone.

This article first appeared in the Catholic Times.