Fourth Sunday of Lent

I recently read this book that changed my life.  Seriously. I’ve had those moments where I read a book and I thought “I want this to change my life.” This was not like that. I read this book quick. It was like water to my thirsty soul. And even though I didn’t read it slowly, I felt it make me slower.

And it was a few days after I read it, while I was sitting on the floor looking at my husband over our wobbly coffee table that I said, “I think this book changed my life.” And I felt an excited grin creep across my face. I love the way Jesus is always making us new.

I don’t think it was this book alone. I think this book was the last read in a long line of reads that actually started to make changes in my actual diaper-changing, laundry-folding, pastor-wifing life.  And at the same time, I think it’s the first read in a long line of new reads that will change my heart and my life in other ways. I love the way Jesus is always making us new.

There have been so many times in the last two weeks where I’ve found myself sitting and thinking and I realize that my mind isn’t working like it used to. And it’s shocking and unfamiliar, but my friends, I’ve been rejoicing about it the way that I rejoice when morning sickness reminds me I am pregnant.  When the hard and the unfamiliar and the difficult remind me that new life is coming. I love the way Jesus is always making us new.

Friends, can I tell you something? I started seeing Him. All over the place. Jesus giving himself to me. Over and over again. When I’m tired and I’m feeling empty and I can’t fight for words anymore and he turns what I have into prayer.  When that bell chime sounds on my phone and there’s an email that stops me right there in my tracks because someone understands.  When my daughter spills so much milk that it starts dripping down the table onto the floor, making a noise so loud that she says “it’s starting to raaaain.” When that same toddler presses her cheek to my chest so I inhale the scent of roses (ROSES? I haven’t washed her hair in 3 days!) and wraps her arms around me and pats my back, just when I’m feeling like no one sees me. 

Over and over again. Jesus is there. In my living room. On my creaky porch. Giving himself to me. Inviting me. Making me new. 

And in that book. In one little chapter, one little sentence, she mentions this prayer that monks pray twice in their day to help them see God in it.  To help them see God a little better tomorrow. To help them choose to put themselves in the way of God’s grace. It’s called The Daily Examen. And it has five parts.  And this week I’m going to try praying it every night before I go to bed. Not because I think I have to, or because I think it will make me a better Christian. Not because I want a new experience or am looking for another thing to add to my to-do list. I’m doing this because I’m hungry to see more of Jesus, and I think it will help me learn how. Because I’ve said before how I don’t want to miss out on the fullness of my life because of the business of my life.

I love the way Jesus is always making us new.

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