Lent: Day 37, 38 and 39…

37: garage sale 

Our neighborhood held its annual garage sale this morning.  The streets were packed with cars and bargain hunters.  We were on the lookout for two armed chairs to complete our dining room table set.  We never found any, but we did come across something we didn’t even know we needed…an old school desk.  Once we brought it home, it was immediately put to use by the kids.  Who knew we needed this desk?  I guarantee that this buy has already been used more in one day than the chairs we were looking for would have been used in an entire year.

I think of all the times I am searching and praying to find particular objects, circumstances, or opportunities, and God has something completely different in mind for me.  Sometimes I wonder why I even look to begin with if I’ve got the wrong shopping list in hand!  But if I had never gone perusing down the block for dining chairs, I’d never noticed the desk.  I think God gives us desires to get us simply out of the house.  He places things on our hearts to just get us off the stinkin’ couch, only to lead us to the things we really need and can truly benefit from.  I don’t know if I’d gone through all the trouble of navigating the busy and congested streets of our neighborhood for one old schoolhouse chair.

I wonder what other special finds God has sitting in someone’s driveway for me…and you?  We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled.

 “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.”

Psalm 146:8

38: celebration

Today we celebrated my niece’s First Communion and the wedding of a dear friend.  It was a day full of celebration.  What a wonderful thing to add to Lent.  It’s not too often that we associate celebration with Lent.  However, today was also Palm Sunday, a day marked with joyous celebration.

When the people waved their palm branches as Jesus entered the city, they had no idea how their hearts and cheers were going to shift in a week’s time.  Did that lessen their praise?  Did Jesus hear, “hosanna!” and think to himself, “yeah, right, just wait and hear what you’ll say to me on Friday…”?  I don’t think so.  I think Jesus lived in the moment.  I think He received the praise and honor from the people.  I think He knew what was coming, but He also was riding on that donkey fully taking in every face He saw, every song He heard.

I tend to worry through even the good times–worrying about what’s to come, never fully taking in the moment. Even at this wedding full of good friends, beautiful weather, and yummy cake, every time I paused to consider what a great time I was having, I immediately thought of the 3-hour drive home and the early morning battle to get to school on time.  It was such a joy-kill.

I pray that I learn to live in the moment with joy and celebration.

 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalm 16:11

39: bad math

So I realized today that somehow my Lenten math is off.  I thought today, Monday, was the 39th day of Lent.  Then a google search revealed that the official 40th day of Lent is Thursday, April 2nd.  I’m totally boggled about where I went wrong!  Oh, well!  I will take this as a gift from God.  Now, I’ve got till Thursday to write the my last Lenten post.  Thank you, Jesus!  Because honestly, I’m tired and have a cold, and all I want to do is sleep. There’s really no point in hiding it.  We all feel apathetic and tired at some point.  His grace covers even those emotions, and it it sufficient for them.  There’s no need to feel guilty or to bear shame because I’m not feelin’ it today.

Thank you, Jesus, for releasing me from guilt and bad math.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

John 1:16 

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