Cracks and caulk

brick-215779_1280Our house was built in the 80’s. It’s a nice little tri-level with three unremarkable bedrooms, one full, one 3/4 and one 1/2 bath and plenty of “comfy” everywhere.

My grandma’s robin’s nest table just fits in the dining area and the hutch Bill Burton II made sits centered under the peak of the lofted ceiling between the living and dining rooms.

We remodeled the kitchen a few years ago, but the family room could use a refresh. Tim’s office serves as our “basement” and the laundry room could use a few more shelves for what-not. Asher and Audrey each have a room of their own, although Asher shares some of his for my studio.

Yes, our house is just right.

But, good golly, Miss Molly, even after all of these years, we occasionally see a new crack in one of the walls.

Tim, of course, is much more concerned about cracks than I am. I don’t think he fears serious foundation issues, but these shifts do create new little gaps between window frames and walls, leaving tiny entrances for tiny creatures. Ugh.

We keep a close eye on those cracks, and do the necessary caulking as needs be. No reason to let those gaps turn into holes – not when we have perfectly good solutions.

I was a wife, mom and step-mom in the 80’s. I substituted at our local schools and worked for a while at a little coffee bean store. I lived a beautifully unremarkable life. It wasn’t fancy. I wasn’t famous… And we were completely happy. We had enough and occasionally some extra. I enjoyed a close church family and always knew Jesus, who I met as a child, was close by.

My life has been remodeled in many ways. My family of the 80’s changed quite a bit: Bill died and grandchildren were born. I met and married Tim, started new careers (which needed constant refreshing) and still can’t always find time to fit in all of the what-nots I have to do. But I live close to those I love and have plenty of room for what’s really important.

Yes, my life is just right.

But good golly, Miss Molly, even after all of these years of walking with the Lord, I occasionally see a new crack in my soul.

They are not big or alarming cracks. I have no reason to question my spiritual foundation. But these shifts in thoughts or understanding sometimes lead to tiny gaps, leaving tiny entrances for tiny creatures of darkness. Ugh.

I don’t want those gaps to turn into holes either. I don’t want to give the darkness any opportunity to invade my soul.

So, I found a new way to caulk.

It’s called the Examen, “a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.” It was recommended to me by Ed Cyzewski, a Believer and author I admire. He recommends a more contemplative life for those of us caught up in frenzy and rushing. I like his style.

As I researched the Examen, I found quite a few suggestions, like doing it twice a day (noon and bedtime). There are also variations in the questions or prompts. I use this one.

It started out a little bumpy for me. I just can’t do it at night. And I’m not ready for twice a day. But I got it figured out.examen

First thing in the morning, with a cup of coffee and lavender candle, I journal my prayer. Watching the words appear on the page, as they spill out of my soul, helps me focus and reflect.

I will at times go back and reread them… and thank Jesus for answered prayer or new insight. And I realize He put a bit of caulk in one of those tiny cracks.

As I practice this daily prayer and reflection, I am reminded of who I am in Jesus. I’m assured that, by His love, my foundation will never fail. My tiny cracks may not disappear, but they won’t get any more serious.

Not if I continue to pray for some holy caulk.


As I practice daily prayer and reflection, I am reminded of who I am in Jesus. Click to Tweet.


    1. Oh, my dear Holy Vacation Queen – I didn’t even see this until today! So sorry for not replying. And thank you just about a million for your kind words. Yes, this practice has really changed my way of connecting with God and reminding me of just what a rich life I’ve been given. All the best… Nancy


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