Monday, March 5, 2012

Messy Lent

Two weeks into Lent and it is already messy.   Fasting is hard when you have a family.  My fast this year is to give up watching TV after the girls go to bed.  I am supposed to use that time to read, prepare for Bible Study, pray and write. 

So far that has happened twice.  What usually happens is after a long day, I have no energy to crawl off the couch.  Instead of TV, I end up with my laptop surfing the internet or dreaming of a kitchen redo with the help of Pinterest

I have also had two sick girls.  One of the graciously stayed up all night vomiting in my bathroom.   You can't really sit back and read your bible when your child is puking.  

Then there have been Daniel's interruptions.  Our marriage is always a reason for prayer and grace.  When I have settled down at the kitchen table and am surrounded by books, pen and paper I just want to be left alone, Me time, alone time.  Time to focus on one thing and not multi-task.  However, when my husband wants to watch a video on marital communication or discuss some changes at work that have been causing him stress, I can't really say no.

In the nano second that I have to choose my words and my brain is screaming "I just want to be alone with my books!  Can't you see I am trying to do Lent?" the Spirit comes and whispers, "Relationship over Religion".

"Relationship over Religion" means choosing the person instead of checking the box.  It is surrendering my ideal life to the life around me that is full of God if I just open my eyes.  

"Relationship over Religion" means holding loosely to my plans and laying down my agenda to care for my family. 

"Relationship over Religion" means Lent is going to be messy.  Messy because life is messy. Even though Lent is creating space for God, it doesn't mean stepping away from everyday life.  It means laying day my everyday, ordinary life so that I can be renewed in the middle of it.  

Lent is messy because the best way to prepare for Joy is to search for it in the mundane.    

I  always find it right there, in front of me. 

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