Maybe it’s the Lenten season that we are in – or maybe it’s because I’m pregnant; but I seem to be “prepping” quite a bit these days. This weekend, my husband and I had the entire day to get some baby things in order. We needed to clear out what once was the guest room in preparation for what will be the nursery. We had a basement full of hand-me-downs waiting for us at my Aunt’s house as well as a rug shampooer dying to be used this weekend.
When I was meticulously vacuuming our baby’s future bedroom, it reminded me of when we had first moved into our new house. I wanted to deep clean everything and have a clean foundation of rooms to settle into as our home. On my hands and knees, I would use the vacuum attachment to suck up every last bit of dust that belonged to the family before us so that our home would be our home.
It’s funny because I wouldn’t use the word perfectionist to describe me when it comes to most things in life. If you walked into our bedroom right now it would be far from perfect. If you looked at my drawers or my closet, it wouldn’t look organized. Don’t even get me started on our Tupperware cabinet in the kitchen. But when I’m preparing something, I tend to take a bit more care and attention.
I love to host events at my home. It’s when people are coming over that I want everything to be settled in it’s place. When I’m creating cupcakes or a side dish for a meal, I want it to look just right. My dad always said, “You eat with your eyes.” I’m learning that as I’m preparing my son’s room – I want every last detail to be thought through.
All these preparations as of late have brought me back to John 13 and 14. Before Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins , he spent time washing his disciples feet; such an incredible act of service. He was telling them that he had to leave but that he would come back for them. He goes on to say, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NIV)
This season of Lent as well as this season of pregnancy – feels like a time of preparation. As I committed to giving up my to-do list for the 40 days leading up to Easter, I’m realizing how often I fail at preparing for myself for my Savior. I have not practiced my commitment perfectly everyday, but it’s making me more aware of my heart towards the Father. I have a little less that 15 weeks until the due date of our baby boy. There is a long list of things to be done before he arrives. But the state of my heart feels like a more important thing to prepare than the details of a room.
As I write this, the Spirit is showing me more and more of the Father’s heart. It’s not a bad thing to have a nursery ready, or come to a party with a well designed dessert to share with your friends. These can be practical ways of displaying the gift of being a good host. But Jesus’ preparations were so that he could come back and take us to be with him. He will be ready, to have a space to simply spend time with us.
My prayer for myself and all those in a season of preparing – is that we would desire to make space for Jesus. He is preparing a place for us when He returns. And I believe that He will. So in this space of time, this interim as we wait for Him – let us prepare our hearts daily – to sit with Him; to enjoy His friendship, His love, and His incredible grace that we don’t deserve. As He prepares a place for us, let us prepare our hearts for Him.