Yes, you read that right.
(And yes, I’m even aware that I split the infinitive. I broke my own grammatical pet peeve and did it on purpose.)
Lent starts tomorrow, and I could not be less prepared. No resolution carved in stone, no discipline established, no good intentions for prayer or fasting or almsgiving.
Sure, I’ve got a zillion ideas. Sugar purge. Facebook fast. Daily writing with Scripture. Creative donations to important causes.
But I can’t commit to anything. Why?
BECAUSE I CAN’T SLEEP.
My darling, beautiful, bouncing baby boy decided a few months ago to regress from his long-sleeping ways. Since Christmas, we’ve been up every three hours. Four if we’re lucky. Two if we’re not.
And everyone in this house is losing their minds.
Some days we can laugh about it. Some days I can drink enough caffeine to overcome it. But some dark days I do nothing but wallow in the exhaustion.
We’ve tried it all. And then we tried it again. And - parenting epiphany! – this child refuses to submit to our schedule, our demands, our desires.
Lack of sleep has affected every part of our lives: our work, our home, our relationships. After too many breaking points, we’ve finally come up with a new plan that we hope will work. (So please send prayers for this weekend’s launch of Finally Getting the Baby to Break Bad Habits and Stop Nursing All Night Without Crying So Loud He Wakes Up His Brother Next Door And Then We All Go Insane.)
But in the meantime, Lent has crept up to the doorstep and is gently knocking to come in. And I can do nothing but laugh and shake my head. This house? This family? You seriously want to come in here?
I have no time or energy to prepare for Lent this year. I don’t even have time to feel guilty about it.
So for the next forty days, all I can do is invite Lent into the chaos of our lives. And pray that God’s grace forgives my stumblings. And remember that God’s invitation – and my response – was present there all along.
Going about my daily work even when I’m dragging? That’s prayer.
Giving up the glorious sleep I love to feed a hungry baby? That’s fasting.
Investing my last bit of energy in my needy children? That’s almsgiving.
So come on in, Lent. Pull up a chair (you’ll have to kick the toys aside) and a cup of tea (you’ll need to wash that dirty mug).
We’re completely unprepared. But you’re always welcome.