40 DAYS

Hey Friends!

If you’re a Christian you have probably heard about Lent, and you might have even given up chocolate or soda or cussing or something when you were younger. If you’re anything like me you probably made it three days then gave up because you honestly forgot.

But what is Lent anyway? Well I did some research this year and discovered the simple truth that I should have known a long time ago: Lent is like advent but instead of preparing for the birth of Christ, you’re preparing for the death and resurrection of Christ!

Pretty simple. Now-what to give up? And why give up anything anyway? Well.. it’s kind of like fasting. When you fast from food, you’re making room for God. You’re replacing physical substance for spiritual substance. Fasting has brought me into deeper communion with God than ever before. In fact – today, March 1, my baby girl is three months old. Last year at exactly this time I was fasting and praying that God would grant us a child either through birth or adoption. Little did I know I was actually a few days pregnant – God knew what I was going to ask and He gave before I ever prayed a word. More on that later!

Giving up something for Lent is for the distinct purpose of replacing that thing with your mind, eyes, and heart fixed on Jesus coming to Jerusalem and sacrificing himself for your sin. Giving up chocolate works only if you really want chocolate multiple times a day, deny yourself that chocolate, then replace that chocolate-eating time with Jesus-seeking time. If you’re giving it up to lose weight and calling it Lent that’s pointless, people.

I woke up this morning and it felt like SPRING and I knew I wanted to clean out some nasty places in my home.. you know, the laundry room where three half-filled IKEA bags are sprawled out all over the floor, the extra bedroom closets (why are there two?! just more places to collect junk) where extra frames for someday art projects are, and the baby closet… oh my, the baby closet.

So I did what any Millenial would do: took to the interwebs to find a CHALLENGE. Because we type-A, INTJ, 20-somethings can’t do anything without posting about it and checking off a list -amen? I came across this post on http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com about decluttering for 40 days and a LIGHTBULB went off. I can declutter – check. AND I can use that time to meditate on scripture to prepare my heart for Easter – check. AND I can give back to my community by donating all my stuff to different ministries around here- CHECK CHECK CHECK! The trifecta of 40-day awesomeness.

So that’s what this girl is going to be up to for the next 40 days. That plus planning a Purity Retreat for youth girls, planning a 30th birthday/graduation bash for my sweet hubby, taking care of little babe, volunteering at my local crisis pregnancy center, and fixing my EYES on Jesus.

JOIN ME 😀

Here’s a printable with room for you to write out what areas you’re decluttering, the date, the scripture you’re meditating on (completely fine to repeat scriptures so you memorize them), and where you could donate your decluttered items in your community!

40-bags-in-40-days-for-lent <<<<<< Download Here

16788587_1286477058107344_5117019900400893952_n

Advertisements

Halfway

Woke up
Coffee
Dogs in lap
Short drive to work
Job I absolutely love
Bills paid
Food to eat
Chai tea latte
Man to love who loves back fiercely
Community of believing friends
Justified before God through Christ

I am so blessed. 


Writing out today’s blessings makes the sorrow a little less severe. Today I was putting away new client files at work – the very same pregnancy clinic that I came to just a few months ago pregnant for the first time, scared and excited – worried yet hopeful.

 
Then there it was: the file containing the only earthly documents that my body ever carried life. A thin manila folder with my name typed vertically on the edge of a blue label. I sat on the stool in front of the revolving filing cabinet reading every detail of my file – all the nurse’s notes. The wonderful, kind nurse who saw my ultrasound as inconclusive but tried to explain it away. Too early. Not the right angle. Just come back in a few weeks. I didn’t have to – I knew. Somehow I already knew.

 
I poured over my file, all the time knowing I should stop.. but I just couldn’t. It felt like I was on a treasure hunt that somehow ended with my baby but instead I was forced to settle for my estimated due date: March 1, 2016. The most perfect date for a baby. If I could hand pick a date that would be it. Spring. New life.

 
Empty womb and heavy heart, I counted backwards and realized that today I would have been halfway to meeting the child we prematurely named Andi: a name given before heartbeat heard and face seen.

 
Happiness is far away today – today I just wanted to be halfway to you. Each second that slips quietly by feels like a moment further from your short earthly reality, but I know that it’s also a moment closer to an eternal forever. Instead of waiting 20 more weeks to meet you, I’ll have wait a lifetime. But I’m sure of what I hope for, and I am certain of what I can’t see. I’m blessed when I look at the past, and I have hope when I look to the future, so today I’m working on counting it all joy.

 

I miss what could have been.

Thank God for what will be.