Thursday, September 19, 2013

when your heart has a midlife crisis

Most days, I make my bed.

This sort of practice is not typical for me. I'm not a generally disciplined person. I like to live on the fly, unencumbered by routine, uninhibited by structure.

I probably went years without making my bed. I don't even know if I ever made my bed as a kid. In college, it was a rare occurrence. Once I had babies, it seemed an act of futility, because I climbed back in it every time the baby was asleep.

But now, straightening the covers, smoothing the quilt, placing the pillows, it all feels like an epiphany of the soul.

I once heard a woman say her midlife crisis ended with the act of putting on hand cream every night. Hand cream gave her a sense of control in a season of change.

I think making my bed is my version of hand cream.

I'm not old enough to blame a midlife crisis, but I am old enough to know that our hearts don't know anything about years or culturally appropriate crises.

And so every morning, when I stand back and view my beautiful bed, my heart thinks, "Crisis averted."

The sight of fluffed pillows, all in a row, give me a little more courage.

Maybe I will be able to make through the rest of the day.

Perhaps my patience will be adequate for juggling my roles as wife, writer, mom, and minister. The bed makes me think I won't simply juggle these roles, I will wear them like robes of glory, and I will not wonder if I am ruining everything by trying to do too much.

If I can make my bed, surely I can homeschool my kids, make soup for forty people, answer emails, clean the bathrooms, write a blog post, fold the laundry, organize a book, do the dishes, and greet our guests with gracious smiles and joyful love.

Small acts of faithfulness can remold your soul.

Doing one thing the right way births hope for the rest of the mess in the world. I pick up God's word and I read this:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." -Ephesians 4:22-24

Tears well up in my eyes as I think about how making my bed gives me hope that I can be remade, too.

I put on my new gospel self when I set those pillows just right.

Needing the gospel isn't a midlife crisis, after all. It's a whole life crisis.

With gratitude I reemerge from my bedroom and I take on the life He has graced me to live in His true righteousness and holiness.

Crisis seized, heart revolutionized, life embraced.

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