Day 32 & 33…

Day 32- clean sheets and pork

Today when I woke up, I decided it was time to wash the sheets.  I started with the baby crib, because of course he would need to use it again before any of the rest of us.  Next, my sheets.  Why?  Because I am selfish.  There is nothing worse than looking forward to clean linens when you are headed to the bedroom, only to remember you left them in the washer all day soaking wet.  I wanted to avoid that happening to me at all cost, even if it meant someone else had to spend another night on dirty sheets.

As my sheets were in the dryer, I was preparing dinner. (Yes, you did the math correctly, there are a lot of missing hours in there…I may have gotten a little distracted.) We were making pizza and I was frying up some Italian sausage.  I love me some pork.  As I was browning the deliciousness, I thought about the Old Testament law that forbid eating pig.  What, dear Lord, were you thinking?

Then, I thought about how that all changed when Jesus came and Peter had that vision about eating unclean animals.  (It was really all about Jesus accepting all of us people, the Jew and the Gentile, but whatever….)  Oh, sweet Jesus came and gave us back “the other white meat!”  Ava has a shirt that says, “BACON…another reason I know Jesus loves me.”  Oh, yes. Yes, he does.

Pork is great.  Pork chops, bacon, tenderloin, pork roast, carnitas…even pork rinds…all good.  What is even better is that Jesus made the unclean clean.  The freedom acquired by His sacrifice on the cross allows us all kinds of good things, including forgiveness, a clean record,  and new life.  Just like my dirty sheets rolling in the dryer, we have all been given a fresh start, a clean slate.  There is nothing like it…well, except maybe sliding into a clean bed with a full belly.  AMEN.

“And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ ” 

Acts 11:7


 

 Day 33- Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff was in Houston this morning promoting his book, Do Over, and offering a short discussion and networking opportunity called “Do Over Club.”  The New York Times best-selling author really challenged me in his approach to opportunity and risk, and especially self-promotion.  He said when we do something awesome, we should tell people about it.

WHAT?!?!

That is really, really hard for me!  Out of fear of not being humble, I keep my mouth shut about most of what I do that turns out well, (even if it’s finally getting the right number of seconds on the microwave, finding that perfect medium between lukewarm hotdog and wiener explosion).  I am more inclined to talk about how I could improve, try harder, or just be different.  I was encouraged by his upbeat, fearless, and carefree attitude.

In the spirit of taking risks and jumping into opportunities, I gave him a copy of my book, A Girl and Her Warhorse.  I discovered that I wasn’t completely at a loss for words, which was surprising, but also that my deodorant is not meeting-best-selling-author-proof.  He may not read it, which I’m secretly praying for, because that means all risk is void and nothing is lost.  When I consider him actually opening it, I start to panic and freak.  What if he thinks it’s stupid?  Not well written?  Boring?

And then I remember, (again), that I’ve got to just trust Jesus.  I need to lean on what He has done for me through this process.  My relationship with Jesus is deeper due to writing this book. God may have done all of this–led me down this path–just for His pursuit of my heart.  I pray that He uses the book to foster the same intimacy for others, but if it’s just for me…I can be happy with that.

So thank you, Jon Acuff.  Unknown to you, I added you to Lent.  Thanks for encouraging us and softening the awkwardness of taking leaps of faith.  I will just keep walking through the doors in front of me, in fear, yes, but jumping through them.  I will apply lots of hustle and jump a little more.  I’ll just keep smiling and rejoicing at the awkwardness that ensues.  I’m feeling a flip in my heart when it comes to this journey.  Thank you.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:3

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