...Just look at my fingernails.
One of my big vices, much to the dismay of my husband, is picking away at my fingers. It's not a pretty thing and I keep telling myself that if I stop I will treat myself to a manicure. Needless to say I haven't had a manicure since the week before I got married - almost 5 years ago.
What do my fingernails have to do with the effect of sin in my life? Well, kind of a lot. Michael keeps asking me to kick this habit and I really do keep trying. But I am also the type of person that tries to understand the behavior behind an action. My kid is crying? Oh yeah, he's tired. I am super grumpy? Oh yeah, I'm hungry. I keep picking my fingernails? Oh yeah, it must be because there is sin on my soul and that sin is making me restless and aggitated. And my poor fingernails get the brunt of it.
I long for peace - peace in my home, peace amongst my family, peace in my soul. But when I can't sit still and can't leave my hands alone, I know there is something keeping me from this peace. And most of the time that something is sin.
So, what's a girl to do? Confession, of course. Confession brings an unmatched peace to my soul and enables me to (attempt to) conquer my sin and ultimately my restlessness. Lent, also, couldn't be at a better time. There are things in my life that are starting to take me over: desires that I am becoming enslaved to. Lent enables us to "cut off the hand that causes us to sin," to make a clean break from the things in our life that are pulling us away from the Lord or that we are becoming enslaved to. A couple years ago I had to give up TV for lent because it got to a point that I just couldn't turn it off. Granted Avila was a little baby and I didn't have much to keep me company, but, nevertheless, it was a desire I couldn't control. And now I have control over that desire - I can turn the TV on and off when I, not my desires, want to.
It is my hope and prayer that, this lent, I can conquer other areas in my life. I am genuinely excited to have a reason and a motivation to cut certain things out in order to build good habits to carry on with me. In humbling myself before the Lord and asking for forgiveness (once again) for the sins in my life, I hope that He will draw me back to Him and give me the peace I long for.
And maybe, just maybe, I will be able to get that manicure I have been promising myself.