Suitcases lie on the bedroom floor, clothes drape over the zipper edges like prisoners trying to escape. An open hanging bag pilfered for the jacket he thought we left behind covers the chaise lounge. I move things from one surface to the next trying to find the shoes I need to wear.

In the family room, clean laundry from this week and the folded towels from last week, they stack neatly around the edges of the couch among the cords, headsets, and controllers.

I decide to call the crew.  Tell them that they can’t come and clean today because sometimes you have to clean up the mess you made before the real cleaning can take place. And that can take a while.

Living Lent recognizes the messiness of life, so He can do the deep soul cleaning.

The red chested finch, he swings on the empty feeder, bobbing his head sharp like robot pecking steel for food.  He pauses in the direction of my writing window and I wonder how long he will continue to make the journey back to an empty storehouse. How long it will take him to recognize when it is full again. How long it will take me to stop procrastinating.

Living Lent reminds me that my choices have consequences for others.

Because my storehouses can run tired empty in a parking lot conversation with a friend when opinions differ, when my child interrupts my thoughts for the third time in the same paragraph, when time runs a sprint and I am doing a marathon.

Grace extends like a scarf blowing long in breeze of wind when the heart is full of what feeds life.

I extract the brown crunchy flowers among the endurance runners in the vase.  A fragrant bouquet I held in wet paper towel under the glow of the dashboard last week. Because they were travelling the next day and why don’t you enjoy them for us they said, after serving us a dinner for kings.

Living Lent separates the dry and brittle places that winter the soul; exposes the vibrant summer, dancing barefoot in the rain places.  

The light fixture over my vanity holds four different glass shades. Each one is distinctly different in color, shape and design. We’re trying to decide. One falls off without warning, lands into the sink, shatters into tiny shards on the counter and around my feet.  One breaks, now all have to be replaced.

Living Lent reveals the broken places in preparation for renewal.

And when someone asks me how I hear God, what I do to observe Lent, I think about the pull of choices that determine how love and grace reveal themselves in the everyday. In the laundry and cleaning up, over random conversation and fixing  what is broken.

In the messy of the mundane, He reminds me of my own frailty, how much I need Him. How grateful I am that resurrection is coming.

Just whispering here – I filled the bird feeder and they are enjoying the riches.


How are you experiencing Lent? What are some of the ways you are seeing differently during this season of preparation? Join us here in community as we ponder the scriptures together  through daily readings. And if you haven’t done so already, add your email address to Follow Redemptions Beauty and “Like” my Facebook page (both in the right hand column).


 Linking with God Bumps & God Incidences, Painting ProseWord Filled Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday40 Days of Seeking Him.