Lent: Day 13 & 14…

Day 13: Prayer

After a day of following your child back and forth from the bathroom to the bed, any and all efforts are made to not have to repeat the itinerary over the next few days with all your other children.  Today, as I washed laundry and wiped down surfaces with bleach, I added a lot of prayer.  I asked others to pray.  I pleaded with God to protect the rest of us from this yucky little bug.

Then my husband came down with it.

God was faithful in answering my prayers…none of the other kids have caught the illness…(yet).  And I start to wonder, “Did I leave him out of my requests to God for health?”  And in this question, I’m somehow trying to understand and make sense of why he got sick.  Perhaps, God’s answer to my prayer isn’t at all dependent on if I get my request right.  I don’t think He answers only according to the exact words I use.  I think He answers the way He does for reasons I just don’t understand.  And I’ve got to learn to be okay with that.  I have to learn to trust.

So I added prayer.  And I will keep adding prayers…and Lysol.

 “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”

Psalm 69:13

Day 14: Lysol

You thought I was joking… I added so much Lysol to the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen today, that I think my lungs are disinfected.  As I add to Lent, the whole point is to remind me of all I have gained because of all that Jesus gave on the cross.  This deep burning feeling in my chest, while caused by inhaling potent and probably harmful chemical vapors, reminds me of the deep spiritual cleansing I receive through Jesus.

It is His death on the cross that wipes away my sins and purifies my every inch of being.  This doesn’t mean that I am perfect.  I daily bring my germy, nasty self to the foot of the cross and He covers me in the Lysol-like grace of His forgiveness.  When God looks at me, He sees Jesus in my place.  It’s completely undeserved, but He sees someone who was perfect and spotless…in my place!  This free gift was given to me on the cross as Jesus willfully took on all that my sickness of depravity deserves.  Each day, His death works it’s wonders, canceling out my sin and shame, making me clean and new.  Unlike Lysol, His blood kills 100% of my grime, there is not 1/100th of a sin that His sacrifice doesn’t cover.

What freedom!  What health!  What grace!  What a way to live!

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Psalm 51:7

Lent: Day 11&12…

Day 11: Hotel Liquidation

Ahhh…Saturday.  Our oldest three were invited for a playdate/sleepover so most of the day we only had the little raccoon in tow.

My brother-in-law, Aaron, built a dining room table for us.  It’s a beast.  It sits 10.  And since it’s arrival, it’s only been able to accommodate one person, because we only have one dining room chair.  So on this Saturday, mostly free of kids, we added a Hotel Liquidation Warehouse to Lent.  It was a very fruitful trip.  We walked out the door with 6 more chairs, a desk chair, 5 mirrors, a little footstool, and more than enough chalk-paint projects to keep me busy.  For me, having this many creative/remodel home projects is like Christmas morning.  I can’t wait to start.

The purpose of these purchases is not just to appease my creative appetite, however.  The goal is to have a plethora of chairs around our gigantic table so that we can fill the seats with warm bodies.  We want to have friends over for dinner.  We want to share life with some people.  We just need somewhere for them to sit.

So while I anxiously await adding brushes, paint, and furniture wax to Lent in the next few days, I also look forward to adding friends at my table.  Acts 2 is my inspiration for these future gatherings…(no pressure.)

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”

Acts 2:42-47

Day 12: Blue Raspberry Pedialyte 

One kiddo didn’t make it all the way through the sleepover.  The tummy bug struck.  So on this twelfth day of Lent, we added blue raspberry Pedialyte.  Poor thing.  Such a little body having to go through such a tough day.  Praise Jesus for electrolytes.  Again, I am made thankful for the healing powers of Jesus and the medicine that He has provided through doctors.

So many fluids are lost during these unfortunate illnesses.  This little one was so thirsty, but couldn’t keep anything down.  I can’t help but think of spiritual thirst and my own failure to keep the living water in my system.  How many times have I gleaned from the Word, only to regurgitate it?

Sharing biblical wisdom is a great thing, but only after it has first permeated through our own souls.  I think more often than not, I take it in, only to spew it out moments later, avoiding deep mediation to have it’s way in me.  I think this often translates into feeling like I am always pouring into others, but never being filled myself.  Well, it’s not for a lack of the Spirit desiring to dwell in me.  It’s not due to a lack of service of those around me.  It’s because I’m rejecting the powerful work of Jesus from actually hydrating my parched soul.

What a humbling (and gross) reminder to spend time meditating and soaking in His word.

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.””

John 4:13-14

Lent: Day 8, 9, and 10…

Day 8: Sudafed, Tylenol PM, Mucinex

I woke up today congested, feeling a bit yucky.  So I added a lot of over-the-counter pills to my Lenten observance throughout the day.  I am thankful for modern medicine technology, for pharmaceuticals, and for relief they bring.

Thankful that one day will come when there will be no more sinus headaches, no more sneezing, and no more medicine-head.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

Day 9: sleep

After the Tylenol PM, I was blessed to have the opportunity to sleep in the next morning.  I added some extra hours of rest and night-time sleep, as well as a nap in the afternoon.  Sleep is good.  Thank you Jesus, for inventing sleep, for my comfy pillow, for a nice mattress, and a house to cover my head and drown out the outside noise.  I am also thankful that rest is commanded by God.  What a wise and wonderful God!  I am thankful that He allows us to rest guilt-free.

I am also thankful that after adding extra sleep, I’m starting to feel a little better.  I am thankful for the ultimate healing in Jesus.  He is the great physician.

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8

Day 10: Julia Child

Helen had a biography project/presentation due this morning at school.  The aspiring chef chose Julia Child as the subject of her assignment.  She dressed up as Child and presented a cooking show for her class of fellow 3rd graders.  I was so proud of her.

Julia Child’s once said, “I didn’t start cooking until I was 32, before that I just ate.”  How many areas of life am I just eating, missing out on an abundance of tastes and scents.  Helen also played a remix video of Julia Child, and in it she mentions, “never stop cooking.”  And to think that she didn’t start until she was 32.

As we pay tribute to Julia Child today, I pray that Jesus reveal to me what I have been merely consuming without producing.  I pray that He whisper into me a new desire to start something and never want to stop.  Trusting that He has something for me, I am excited to open my senses to whatever it is.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

Psalm 34:8

Lent: Day 6 and 7…

Day 6: Sweats

Yes, sweats…not sweat.  Sweat would imply that I did something.  Rather, I added (or just didn’t change out of) my sweats…


Sunday’s sermon encouraged slowing down this Lenten season.  So I took it real slow–in my sweats.

Refreshingly, there’s not a whole lot to report when you’re doing nothing in your pajamas.  I even allowed my mind to rest and do absolutely no thinking or trying somehow parable-ize my use of 100% thick grey cotton.

I rested.

Too bad tomorrow is Day 7, because that would really make the use of this bible verse awesome… oh, well.  The principle still applies. 🙂

“So the people rested on the seventh day.”

Exodus 16:30

Day 7: ukelele

Today I added a ukelele.  I spent some good quality time with the instrument.  Just her and I…(I don’t know, seems like an effeminate member of the string family).  I feel like she should have an Austin-y hipster name as well, but I’m still working on that. We spoke gently to each other and solved some of the world’s problems.  Creativity and music go hand in hand for me, as well as communion with God.  Time spent lost in strange chords and augmented 7th’s creates intimate space with the Father.  Letting the Spirit speak through my attempts to lilt odd melodies over dissonant chords is freeing for my mind and my soul.  I am thankful that God and I speak this unique, yet common, language. I am grateful that my heart can connect with Him with the use of a ‘uke’.

“I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.”

Psalm 49:4

Lent: Day 4 and 5…

Day 4: Order

I’ve been saying for some time now, that I need to get rid of the clothes that are too small for the kids or that they just refuse to wear.  The excess in their drawers and closets makes it nearly impossible to keep any of their rooms clean and clutter-free.  So, Saturday morning, we added some order.  We sorted and folded, packed and placed.

It’s good for me to be reminded that sometimes the tasks that seem insurmountable in all actuality take little to no time to accomplish.  We were rewarded for not fretting the job and just tackling it head on.  Now we can see the floor and actually walk into the walk-in closets.  It’s actually safe to enter now.

 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

Proverbs 29:25

Day 5: A Child

Before you gasp, throwing your hands over your mouth to contain a squeal, let me explain.  I invited a child over for the afternoon to play with the kids.  We are NOT expecting another baby. 🙂 This is a really rare thing, (yes, not expecting…AND inviting over other children) and I know many, many parents out there have other kids over all the time for playdates, especially on the weekends.  However, Sundays for us are very full and usually very exhausting, so to add another child to the mix was a big deal for this momma…and my kids.

Jesus blessed our family through this little girl.  My kids didn’t bicker or fight as much with another person in the mix.  The whole group dynamic changed and it was wonderful.  So, Sunday, I added a kid, and learned that my fear of the world imploding due to under-aged domination and tyranny was unfounded…well, at least with this particular group of kids. 🙂

 “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man [or child] do to me?”

Psalm 118:6