Lent in everyday language. Day Six.

Motherhood is not a full-time job. Please do not let anyone fool you.

Motherhood is overtime, all holidays, and weekends.

During the last few nights my 2 year old has been experiencing what I would dramatically call “night terrors”. Screaming out, night sweats, unable to be awakened. Several times a night. Poor buddy. So in the darkness of the morning when God was kind enough to rouse me, I was still holding my small little son in in just-the-right-way so that he would not wake up again. I laid there for what felt like hours… just holding him and wondering why he was so troubled during his sleeping hours. And I prayed quietly over his soul, that it would be well with his soul, that God would help him to lie down in green pastures, that he would have a sound mind.

It occurred to me in those moments how grateful I was for God’s words in me to pray over my small little son. I don’t have words all the time for what I need, for what my children need, for what other people need. I have words, but not for what people need. Make sense?

So an hour later when my (still) heartbroken middle daughter lamented again about her friendship woes… I had another word for her… from God.  I told her that she was the light of the world, she was a peacemaker and she would be blessed, that she was the apple of God’s eye and God was aware of her trouble.  God’s words for her needs, through me.

So in this way, we become for people what they need from God.. we become for people what we can never be without God’s great power to heal and bring reconciliation. This is our Lenten journey… to move our own desires aside for bits of days and weeks and to be for others what they cannot be for themselves. In Christ alone we have access to this.

Daily Examen

1. Where do you notice God’s grace through others? At church today I was aware of how many people in our congregation have become part of our life in the last few months. So many people have prayed, offered support and care, been amazing to our children, and invited us to share in a meal. We have also watched people get baptized, had people in our house for a meal, prayed for others, met them one-on-one for counseling, prayed for healing in marriages and invited neighbors to church. Our family has been the blessed recipients of heaps and heaps of gracious and generous gifts of time and resources and prayer from others. None of this would be possible if God had not designed His church this way… to care for one another like a good family should.

2. Where do you notice that you need God’s grace from others? In relationships with friends, misunderstanding can lead me to build protective walls around myself to keep those people from hurting me again. I know I am not alone in this. Some of these relationships can be avoided and the pain will diminish, but the walls of protection stay firmly built inside of me. I realize that I am unable to break these walls down by myself. I realize that they may be there for a good reason or a very bad one, but they are walls none the less. Walls keep out pain, sure, but they keep out light and can even lock us into a part of ourselves.  That is where I sit with past hurts from the recent ending of two important friendships.  I need God’s grace here… for myself… for others… for the human condition of imperfection.  I need God’s grace to build a bridge, a ladder, a wrecking ball against these protective walls that keep me from fully forgiving and moving out again in grace in these relationships.  I don’t know how, or I am unwilling. Either way, I need fresh grace in these season of reconciliation.

How do these questions help you to notice God today?

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2 thoughts on “Lent in everyday language. Day Six.

  1. Amy – I am so excited to dive into this with you. Thank you so much for the clarification on how to use the examen tool. That is super helpful for me and my brain. I will be diving in today! And I have shared this over at Mama Manifesto and Leaning In so that others can join in too. You have such a gift for nurturing our souls and walking alongside of us. You are a gift!

  2. Ali-
    I have a confession. Every time I practice the examen for longer than a couple of days, I have always done it in the evening. I was never a morning person. I would still debate that I am a morning person now. But looking back over my previous examen entries, I was truly attached to (or exhausted from) the events of my day. I had no ability to sort through the events because they were still all over me. This experience is so different. Space creates clarity.

    Thank you for always encouraging me to find my place at the well in this season of life. I think I am developing a very healthy soul practice through the discipline of writing here. It is like an assignment I have to finish but I won’t have to worry about the grade.

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