Back in February, I wrote a post called “Kids and Books”. It was about my amazing 6th graders and the book study project they instigated. (If you missed that one, you might want to go back and give it a read to truly understand how proud I am of these amazing students!)As lent rolled along they continued to read and discuss their faith based books. The project was completely student driven and it was my great pleasure to sit back and listen to them discuss what they were thinking and feeling in regards to their Catholic faith and the way they saw Jesus working in their life. As the final project, I assigned each student the task of taking one or two things they learned in their reading and discussion and write a blog entry for the Joyful Words Blog. They were asked to follow the same basic format that the posts typically take; scripture, story, lesson, conclusion and a seed to plant. I gave them a week to complete the task but most of them had finished their assignment by the next day. Over the next few weeks, it will be my great pleasure to introduce you to the “guest bloggers” from our classroom. They are truly an amazing class and the power in their posts are compliments of their simple, trusting, open hearted faith.
The first guest blogger is Landon. He is a kind, strong, funny, hard working young man. He loves animals, being outside and is currently very excited about his newborn goats. Landon’s post is a great reminder about the importance of God’s mercy and the grace found in a fresh start.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.”Matthew 7:7
Way back in first grade, we had a student traffic light chart. The traffic light was used to show how good we were being in class. I had a couple yellow lights, but never got a red. Every time I got a yellow light, my mind would freak out. The light would change back to green if my teacher saw me behaving, so I tried my best to make myself a fresh start. I started fresh because my teacher and I wanted me to start again and refresh my behavior.
It’s never too late for a fresh start even if you are falling apart from God, he will always love you and he will never leave you hanging. I have experienced many times of falling apart from God and getting myself back together like God would want me to. We all sin, that’s why God gives us a fresh start, we just need to use them.
Just like the traffic light in 1st grade we need to set a goal to keep it green. If we fall apart from God, we need to accept that he wants us to start over at the green light. All we need to do is knock at his door.
A seed to plant: Say a prayer that God will help you stay on track with a green light and think how you can be a better disciple of God. Search, and you will find.
Thanks Landon, you’re amazing!
Blessings on your day!
If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9
Last week my oldest son helped me power wash the front porch...a job the kids don’t usually line up and beg to help with! The combination of dust from our gravel road and lots of flies attracted by the cattle make it a necessary but undesirable task. As I was swirling my scrub brush along the siding and porch rail I figured I should pray for people who were knee-deep in things a whole lot worse than fly specks and road dust! Not long into the scrubbin' and prayin' I started thinking about how small dust and fly specks really are when you isolate just one. The problem is when they glob together…that’s when true scrubbing is required! Our porch is pretty good sized, so I had lots of time to think about how something that started out so tiny could cause such a big mess.
About a third of the way through the project, I looked down at my fingers that were getting shriveled from the scrub water and that’s when it hit me…the mess on my porch was kinda like sin. I realized through this humbling episode of porch scrubbing that I’m nothing but a big ‘ole sinner! Each little sin like impatience or judgmental thinking that plagues my days is like a speck on my porch…one at a time they may not seem like much, but when several glob together, I wind up with a mess that requires scrubbing! We only scrub our front porch once a year, not because it isn’t needed more often, but because it’s the minimum requirement…something we do only when we simply can’t stand it any longer. I began to wonder if there was any correlation between the frequency with which I scrubbed my porch and how often I sought a good “soul scrubbing” from my Heavenly Father.
I sweep the porch often, and I began to realize that was much like my nightly examination of conscience. I quickly ask God for forgiveness before I fall asleep but that’s like a quick sweep…it’s not a true scrubbing. I came to the conclusion that sunny afternoon last week that I needed to make some adjustments in my “soul scrubbing” schedule. We are so lucky to be the children of such a loving and mighty God. He knows keeping us from sin completely is as impossible as keeping the dust and fly specks off my porch, but that’s what keeps us running to His loving arms as we beg forgiveness for the mess that all our tiny little sins make when they glob together. His forgiveness is there for us. All He asks is that we come to Him with a spirit of repentance and a desire to change. If I approach Him with a TRUE repentant heart and work harder at avoiding those small sins maybe He wouldn’t have to scrub so hard when I got there!
My ambition was to have a clean porch; the outcome was a reminder of God’s great love and my ever-growing need for Him. Our God is the God of surprises and the God of the ordinary. I am continually amazed at the ways He sends me His messages when I approach things with prayer…He can even turn scrubbin' the porch into a lesson!
A seed to plant: Sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper. Make a list of all the tiny little sins that plague your day and "glob up" to make a mess on your soul. Lift that list up to the Father with a repentant heart asking for His loving forgiveness. Don’t forget to ask for His guidance on how to “keep your porch clean.”
Blessings on your day!
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