“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.”
Clean. The sticky note attached to the dishwasher read: Clean. That one word pierced my heart.
At 8:30pm Rachel asked “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “We ate dinner already remember?” I respond. “We went to Subway at 4:30 before Andrew’s soccer practice.” She continues “Oh, I thought that was lunch. Mom, we didn’t eat lunch today. Can I have lunch now?” pleads my rising 4th grader. The loving mother that I am said “Do you have to eat?” Seeing the shocked expression on her face, I quickly answer, “Of course you may eat. I’ll fix lunch while you go get a shower.”
Before you judge my mothering skills let me tell you it had been one of those days. One of those days were the kids fussed and argued all day long. One of those days where the kids plucked what was left of my single frayed nerve. One of those days where I put myself in “time-out.” I can’t quite point to a single solitary reason, but I can say with certainty that five straight days of rain, plus a full moon, plus the fact that school starts Monday equals grouchy kids and a worn down Mom.
Standing in the kitchen at 8:30 at night making a Fluffer Nutter Nutella sandwich, I thought about the word clean. I need a clean heart. Without realizing it I said aloud “Create in me a clean heart O Lord and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.” I continued to repeat Psalms 51:10 as I finished up lunch and poured Rae a glass of milk. With Nutella in one hand and peanut butter in the other I pray. “Lord, you have to be the one to create this clean heart I desperately need. Only you can give me a willing steadfast spirit to keep going today.”
The next morning I was still harboring parental guilt over my previous day. In my journal I wrote out Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a new clean heart, O Lord and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.” I circled the word create and noted that is something only our Creator can do. I underlined the words new and clean and scribbled that only God can remove my sin and flaws making me new and untarnished. And finally I circled steadfast and wrote out the synonyms: resolute, loyal, faithful, unwavering, devoted, reliable, dedicated, true, solid, dependable, determined, unyielding, unfaltering, and single-minded.
Last week I wrote about the “Gears of Grace.” This week, even when I felt I was operating in low gear, God’s grace was sufficient. His grace didn’t show up with glitter and flashy lights. His grace showed up on a small yellow sticky note with one word: Clean.
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12