This morning I'm blessed by Lent.
I've been trying to go through some readings on Lent this year, in preparation for the upcoming Easter holiday. Our church holds Sunday night Lent services too, (with a soup supper before hand, which is also a huge blessing to this busy mom). I realize that practicing Lent isn't something that I'm used to doing every year. Yes, I go to the Sunday services, but what do I do the rest of the week?
I have not given up anything for Lent this year, nor have I ever. I think next year I will, though. Many of the readings I'm going through talk about death to self, and making room in our cluttered lives for Christ to bring in light and life. It's really quite convincing reading words said by Jesus himself, and thinking about the cross on a daily basis.
Thinking about voluntary suffering, voluntary cross bearing...it's a lot to dwell on.
I have been so blessed by these thoughts, and this focus. This morning I woke up a bit stiff, and not wanting to leave the flannel sheets for the cold kitchen where kids were yelling at Knut, and he was trying to quiet them so he could talk on the phone before work. My day was so full of stuff: chores, school, training, teaching, disciplining, cooking, etc. My life is so full. I prayed as I carried the baby downstairs "Is there any room for you today, Lord? Oh, please, make some room."
I think the giving into the job, and the giving into the calling of motherhood, and not fighting it has been huge for me. To take it up, and bear it...I see the change in my children.
As I was dodging my kids on my way to the coffee mug, I was trying to prepare my heart for the day.
There are days when I dodge my kids, and I avoid them. It's impossible, so I end up just trying to get away from them for some moments of peace. It never happens.
But when I give into the calling. When I take a toddler in one arm as I'm nursing another in the other arm, and give encouragement to the one playing the piano, and look into the eyes of the preschooler, and hear what he is so desperate to tell me that morning about the helicopter he built out of Legos...when I just open up my life and let it take over...
there is peace.
When I let my wants die, and put others first, there is peace in my house. The kids see in my eyes that I can't wait to hear what they will say next. They don't feel cast aside. They respond to my instruction. They are eager to please.
It all begins with my attitude. I'm thankful that the preparation of Lent. I'm thankful for the calling God has given me as a mother. I am thankful for the work he is doing in my family. Some days it's unbearably hard, and forgive me for comparing myself to Jesus, but sometimes I approach the throne much like he did that night at Gethsemane. "God, really? Isn't there some way out of today? Do I really have to do it?"
Then you pass through...into life. This message of Lent is helping me today. It's helping my family.
Now to just do it again tomorrow.
How has God been blessing you?