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Gentle country music caresses my kitchen walls, wrapping around my recently-cleared table and fast-emptying mug of coffee. There is something sacred about Saturday mornings. Something sacred about the more leisurely pace of life.

Blinking wide-eyed at a nonexistent alarm clock…

Watching my husband move in his sleep… 

Reading my Bible while still snuggled under paisley covers…

Lingering over homemade pancakes…

Planning a long run in the crisp winter sun…

All good things. All good gifts. All seemingly insignificant details that create the tapestry of a day of rest. IMG_0232IMG_0231

Many seemingly-insignificant details have been changing me from the inside-out. More than cooking experiments. More than lazy morning. More than relishing a cup of decaf coffee with steamed milk after the conclusion of my Daniel FastIMG_0230

Revolutionary details. Seemingly insignificant. But, rather, sacred.

I will be very honest. This year began with much conviction and repentance. God has been so good to place people, churches, books, and opportunities in my life over the recent months to expose ugliness in my soul. True ugliness. In the wake of heart-examination and soul-cleaning, I feel like a prisoner stepping free.

Free from obsessive control…

Free from shameful self-centeredness…

Free from pride and ingratitude…

I’ve been asked quite often over the past week or so whether or not the Daniel Fast experience was “worth it.” Was avoiding dairy, animal products, sweeteners of all kind, leavening agents of all kind, and beverages other than water worth the outcome? Good question.

Yes. Yes, from the deepest places of my renovated soul. The minor inconveniences of the dietary sacrifices (only Americans would truly consider this a “fast”) produced a heightened awareness…of my dependence on self, of my focus on my own needs/wants, and of my deplorable lack of intentional prayer times.

I’m stepping into joy. Joy born of repentance. Joy born of praying for others. Joy born of slowly trusting that God hears and answers. Joy born of loving. Joy born of teaching. Joy born of hoping. Joy born of surrender.

Joy that asks the question: “If I viewed this single day as my one and only single gift from God, then how would I spend it and who would I spend it with?”

This questions ignores the fact that I still desperately desire to get pregnant. This question ignores the fact that my broken family is breaking once again over the situation with my grandfather. Yes, I found out last night that doctors are only giving my beloved grandpa months to live after his recent cancer diagnosis. This question ignores the fact that this world is full of hurt.

Rather, this question begs several more: “What will we make of today? Who will we bless with the time we’ve been given? What moment of sacredness will we hallow with our hearts of gratitude?

In a few minutes, I’m going to pull on my tennis shoes and gear up for a trail run. As the Olympic runner and famous missionary to China, Eric Liddell, said, “When I run, I feel the pleasure of God.”

Let’s go about our days reveling in the pleasure of God. 

*For the yummy recipe to these Gluten-Free Blueberry Lemon pancakes, visit Cookie & Kate’s blog at http://cookieandkate.com/2012/blueberry-lemon-yogurt-pancakes/.

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