I shoot out of bed like a cannon. It’s way brighter than it’s supposed to be. I stumble down the hall to what is–thankfully–a lit-up room, and see our eldest sitting on her bed. Surprisingly, she’s already dressed.

One fire out, I continue toward the kitchen, my eye on the prize. Grabbing a mug from the dishwasher, I curse the phone banging my thigh from the inside of my robe pocket. How did you not go off? I would ask, could I form a coherent question. All I manage is a cynical, Technology.

So much for quiet sipping and couch-sitting, silent prayers offered up alongside the steam from between my palms. I’ll do good to get out a simple Help!

Reluctantly, I launch into the usual drill. Forget ham and cheese or anything more creative. It’s peanut butter across the board. Somehow, I manage to string together three meals and get everyone to school on time, before plunking myself into the chair where deadlines await.

I spy our mail carrier, Donna, walking through the grass much earlier than expected. Lord, the stamps! Where are the stamps? I fumble around the desk drawers coming up empty-handed. She shoves the stack of mail through and, as the brass slot snaps shut, Lucy barks like her life depends on it. Intruder! Intruder! she’d be shouting, were it intelligible in English.

Through the melee, I keep asking God about the stamps like a child who’s lost a necessary toy. A singular thought rushes in: Ah, yes! The chest in the hall. I grab the sheet and rush out the door, pressing one of the stickers to the envelope. I run three houses down to catch up with Donna.

Heading back home, I relax my shoulders and raise my chin toward the sun. You care, don’t you, Lord? Even about the stamps. 

Back inside, instead of returning to my previous spot, I’m drawn to the burgundy chair like metal to magnet. The desk can wait. I lean my elbows onto the leather and press my shins to the hardwood. Bow my head and breathe in deep. At once, I’m aware of  the tension in my face, the squinting of my eyes, my fists tightly clutching today’s schedule. I unclench my jaw then set the rest of it down without moving a muscle.

I once heard that if you’re only hearing from God through your dreams or in the shower, you must not be spending enough time with Him. Days later, it still didn’t sit right with me. Had it been put differently, or in a different tone, perhaps I would have received it. There may be a grain of wisdom there. But instead of truth spoken in love, it came across like the speaker wanted to flush out the frauds.

The Bible says No one is righteous. Not even one.

Any time I hit my knees, I don’t deserve the credit. If I confuse the issue for one second, thinking my desire for the Lord is because I’m such a ‘good girl’ (which happens), I need to wake up.

Only what Jesus did on the cross makes me righteous. He buys us back then makes us whole. The Holy Spirit seeps into the nooks and crannies of our day  and continues to deliver good news. Day after day. Moment after stamp-searching moment.

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