And then I remembered that even though I didn't make it for ashing, that I was late with the kids' materials, I've cancelled my attendance at ecumenical Lent group and I'm re-reading a Lent book of poetry from a couple of years back, then I shouldn't be surprised when God grabs me by the ankles, dangles me from a great height and says
Look at this! Look at all this is happening! Because you made it so! Because you allow it to be!
Last week someone mentioned to me that having a 'whatever will be, will be' attitude only works if you're a willing partner in the exchange and do some of the work. I agree to an extent, but what we didn't discuss is that God only needs a
tiny glimmer of interest and willingness and then suddenly, boom! it all starts to happen.From the moment I sat in a 10am service, having been slack and left all 4Sisters at home with FabDad, I realised how much I needed Lent. To be topsy turvy for a while. To think about what we don't have, and what we do have.To realise how the slightest Bible reading and the deepest prayer can call us to arms, and remind us who we are, who God is, and why we take this time 'out', liminally, to rediscover this.
We didn't collectively give up confectionery this year - it's generally restricted to weekends anyway - although I have been trying, mainly unsuccessfully, to cut down on sugar. We haven't really given anything up at all, although we're using Christian Aid resources again to think and reflect. But thankfully, when the sun came out on Sunday, suddenly we had the gift of fresh air, exercise, running children!
1stSister reluctantly came off Minecraft and an hour later was refusing to come in because she was enjoying riding her bike around the block too much.
I took 2ndSister to the park to practice riding without stabilisers and had some close time with her.
3rdSister wanted to scoot, skate and cycle all at once although all of these things elude her but she's just happy being out with the others. As is 4th Sister.
Tuesday, they begged to go out after school again and homework was done in record time.
Thank you God, for moving our asses away from difficult neighbours and a road busy with traffic, to a new estate where our privileged kids can get out and play like I used to when I was a kid. With some of the local under privileged kids, sometimes.
And as for me? I spend 45 minutes at a new aquaaerobics class which was perhaps the best euphoria I've had since clubbing on MDMA.
And these small, few things remind me I am restored, renewed, in Him. It can only take a small tweak, a little effort, to engender great change. We just need to reach out and trust. Say that prayer. Feel that prayer. Ask. Do.
A little like a Bible verse we had at hospital prayer this week, you think?
...your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6: 8, part.)
And if anyone needs an earworm, I remember this from Sunday School, and it's taken from the same chapter:
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
and his righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you.
Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by ev’ry word
That proceeds from the mouth of God.
Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
Seek, and ye shall find.
Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.
Okay - 4th Sister needs getting up from her nap...