The Heart of What Is True

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We brought out our Jesus Tree this morning, since it is Ash Wednesday and all- the beginning of Lent. I fed my boys breakfast and then the three of us sat together and read the first passage (Luke 2:22-38) and put the birds on our tree. We talked about what Lent means and how it is an important season of preparation just like Advent. How it is a time to reflect and fix our eyes and heart on Jesus. We had a really nice moment, me and my boys, and then we went about our day.
I would love to tell you that our day was perfect after having such a nice moment at breakfast. It wasn't a horrible day, but a pretty typical one. There was school and music class and lunch and an outing with some friends. Throw in some tantrums and whining and mommy losing her cool and it was your average day for us.

I wish I was a perfect mom. Well, at least a better one. I wish I was more patient and less prideful. I wish I was that mom who could smile 'til it hurt, even through constant whining and fits about toys and TV. I am not that mom. I get so frustrated, I feel manipulated, and I don't always deal with that well. I have big expectations for myself and most people in my path (including my two little guys). I SO wanted (and planned) to think of some new Lenten crafts to start today or plan some big family devotional or something. Instead, I yelled at Caden when he was over-tired and refused to get in the car seat (aka: kicking and screaming and whole nine yards).
I fall. Everyday. I wake up with the ambition that today I will be the mom of my expectations. And without fail, I fall. Sometimes later in the day than others (depending on how much sleep I got). And each evening, I sit by their sleeping beds and pray God's protection over their little hearts from my own faults and weakness. And today was no different. It started well and became average with a few shameful moments thrown in too. So tonight, this first night of Lent, I again sat close as they drifted to sleep, praying for God's help in teaching them and loving them and shaping them into the men they are meant to be. It is too easy to get down on myself for all the ways I am not who I should be or where I should be.

But in the quiet of their dark room tonight, God reached in to quiet my parade of guilt and replace it with what is True: I am not perfect. I am not meant to be perfect. I love those boys more than I can fathom and would give them the world. What I do is enough. I have endless worth in His eyes. When I fail them, He is there. Covering what I lack. And the places I fall, He covers those too.
Yes, I have things to repent of and areas to work on. But I am not at this alone.

My flesh is incapable, depraved and in need of my Savior. His grace covers my sin and theirs and yours. In my heart is what is true: I am loved by my God, despite my faults. My deep love for my boys is not changed by my shortcomings. I desire to give all of me to my Lord and let Him shape me. I know those things to be true even though I regularly fall short.
I only pray that as God continues to teach me the heart of what is true and show me grace for all the ways I let Him down, my boys will see Him at work.

I may not be truly prepared for Lent. I don't have any new crafts to do or exciting activities planned. I am positive that I will wake up tomorrow, hoping it will be the day I meet my own expectations for myself and yet I know I will fall. But He will be even there. Whispering again to me the truth that is in my heart. And helping me live and teach that truth to my precious boys a little more everyday. So that is what Lent will be for me this year: trying to reflect on what I know is True and fix my heart on Him so that my boys will hopefully learn to do the same.

(well... maybe one or two crafts! :) )

These ladies say it way better than I ever could:

Lenten Preparations

Why do Lent?

Lent {for the newcomer}

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