Feb 192013


Lenten photo-a-day for February 14: Return

We were going to get the chicken feed, stop for gas, and be a few minutes early for the game. We certainly had it together! Indoor soccer… here we come!

Then, about 20 minutes into our drive I heard the small scared voice from the back seat. “Mom? Mom. Don’t be mad. Please don’t be mad.”

I turned the radio down, “What’s the matter sweetie?”

Then in a tiny whisper, “I don’t have my shoes.”

“What did you just say?”

A little louder this time, “I don’t have my shoes. I forgot my shoes.”

“You don’t have ANY shoes. Seriously? What do you have on your feet right now?”



I could have insisted  that she show up unprepared and had her sit on the sidelines and watch while her team played. That certainly would have taught her a lesson.

But I didn’t.

She was sincerely sorry and my heart broke for her. Not one for publicly shaming my children, I returned. We didn’t end up getting the chicken feed, but we got her shoes and she arrived ready to fully participate.

She wasn’t off scot-free, though. Her punishment, as I’m sure that’s how she thought of it, was that she had to listen to me. I turned the radio off and I talked about being prepared. About the fact that the end result, whatever that may be — a soccer game, a science project, a meal, a celebration — could only be a successful one if the proper preparation preceded it. That she needed to own that preparation. That I won’t always be there. And a whole bunch of other advice which she probably heard as, “Wah wa wah, wha wah wha wa…”

We partake in the forty days of Lent. Why? Because we need to be prepared. We need to be intentional.

So on Easter morning we wake up with hearts that are ready to take it all in.

Hearts prepared.

And you know what? If you’ve forgotten your shoes it’s not too late to return.

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