Lent in everyday language. Day Nine

I cannot put too fine a point on this.

Spiritual disciples require something of us.

Whether it is a new intention or carving out a new place in our day or giving up something we desire for the God we desire more…. Spiritual disciplines are meant to cause a bit of tension.

I noticed this yesterday when I woke up early and noticed that my husband was also awake and getting ready for work. He left before the kids were even awake and so my morning for examen was neglected. After dropping three kids at school with their lunches and backpacks and gear and homework, I had to grab a few things from the store and take something to my husband’s work. Time is passing by and now the morning is halfway over. The more I engage with people and problems and conversations and plans, it is harder and harder for me to remember the gifts from the last 24 hours. I try to formulate my examen as I am driving but the interruptions of my toddler and all the stops I have to make are too distracting. I can’t get to a quiet mind space in order to review the last 24 hours.

I cannot put too fine a point on this.

Spiritual Disciplines give back to us more than they require from us.

So the question I am asking here is, am I willing to be disciplined in the little things in order to receive to everything from God? Or will I allow the tyranny of distractions and demands and even responsibilities become what masters me?

This is my Lenten journey.

Questions of Examen

1. Where am I trusting God today?
A simple trip through the grocery store is a whole new experience now that our groceries are being purchased mostly through gift cards that generous friends have put into our hands. I feel a deeper responsibility as I am making choices to purchase items that I never would have questioned in the past. Is syrup a luxury or necessity? What about cleaning products? Tea? I stood in the syrup section for a long long time until I finally chose a middle range priced syrup bottle and put it in my cart. Mindfulness, I heard God say. Just. Be. Mindful. Somewhere in this store, simple shopping became a conversation, a place where I saw that God was telling me we could trust each other, that I could be honest with God about how much it meant to me that my kids could open up the pantry and have syrup on their waffles. That is was hard for me to have to ask for help for food. That I never imagined myself landing here. I am trusting Gods provision, certainly, but more than that I am trusting that God will provide a place for me to be honest.

2. Where do I need to trust God today?
Today I walked through some awkward financial conversations with my husband. Awkward is my nice way of saying tense. We were not mad at each other, rather frustrated with our present situation regarding finances. As carefully as we are living and planning for each dollar to be spent, things fall through the cracks. How easy it is for me to see these shortcomings in us and feel such condemnation! It is as if Satan himself is writing down a list of financial failures and handing a copy to my husband and I. I must trust God in this process of transforming our identity. There is nothing we can do in this moment to erase our past shortcomings. Nothing. And during this season of Lent, I wonder if I can see that the cross was for this day, the day that I would need Jesus to go to His Father and intercede for me. I need to see this picture today. I need to see that my identity in Christ is one of a highly favored daughter, not the daughter who can’t get it right.

How do these questions about trusting God help you enter into a different relationship with God?