Pray first - ask questions later

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Welcome to part three of the series, "You Are Not a Victim, You're a Mom." Today we're confessing together that at some point, here in the span of these 24 hours, we're going to hit our knees - I'm simply suggesting that we learn to do it first.

Make sure to read this post all the way to the end because I'm offering a special challenge to help you grow into a woman whose mantra is simply:

pray first - ask questions later

 

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My posture these days has been running, standing, and demanding. My posture is muscular and active - throwing people and priorities out of the way and out of my day. Though I love my little people dearly, the school bell is set to ring. "Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go!" There's very little slowing down and kneeling down and falling down prostrate on the floor in quiet surrender because... well... life.

 

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Beauty within and beauty flowing out into the lives of our little people. We throw make-up on our faces at stoplights, but we can't cake it on thick enough that it eeks its way down through our pores and into our souls. True beauty doesn't work that way. It's got to start deep within, and work it's way up and out. But we're living lives that are much too busy for such things.

Hurried, harried, and horrible: they go together. But hurried and holy rarely co-exist.

Holy and hallowed and hushed, now those are true companions. They meet together in the morning hours before the sun steals past the beauty of dawn. That's when we need to join Him.

We need to fellowship with the Holy One before the day spins out of control - slowing down, sitting down, and coming down off our cram-packed agendas to seek Him on the floor.

On the floor.

Because that's where every person is going to end up, eventually. Either on purpose, intentionally in the morning hours; or at night in a tearful puddle; or, and this is a frightening thought, they're going to find themselves on the ground like the discarded branch that's not bearing fruit - cut off and cast down.  (John 15:4-6)

We're going to end up on the ground, on our knees, on our bellies, forehead indented by dusty carpet strands or pressed against cool linoleum. Prostrate.

Eventually.

And the choice of how we get there is what we call freewill.

[Tweet "You're either going to choose to start the day praying for His help, or end it, asking for His forgiveness."]

But here's something else to consider when you're tempted to rush past the quiet morning moments and into demanding days: we aren't the only ones who suffer.

The precious people in our lives bear the stretch marks of our stretched out hectic days. Hollering isn't Holy. But what else can we expect if we're not abiding, remaining, living in Him? And so, we throw retroactive prayers up after unholy mornings that whirl past us in a haze. "Lord, forgive me. Lord, don't let me screw this family up. Lord, transform me!"

We forget that transformation isn't a retroactive wave of a magic wand - transformation takes place preemptively and prostrate - first place and foremost. Transformation into a thing of beauty starts with this sort of proactive surrender to the God who promises to make all things beautiful in his time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But it takes our time too, on our knees and on the floor and on the offense... daily before dawn.

Because life... life is full of fragile beauty, cased in the soft skin of relationships. Our love relationship with the vine, and our love relationship with our people. We need to prostrate ourselves, therefore, in the hushed and hallowed hallways of our predawn homes, or we will end up flat on the floor in tearful confession for lacking beauty come nighttime.

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We try everything else first, don't we? Staying calm in our own strength. Arm-wrestling our way to patience and self-control. We are well-intentioned women. But the truth is simply this: Good intentions won't do a thing without Holy Spirit power backing them up. We simply can't push ourselves through to transformation unless we hit the floor and hit our knees first.

Because we're going to end up there, one way or another.

If you get tired of turning to God after you fail; if you're weary from confessing your sins at the end of another long and losing mothering day, tired of the sameness of defeat... join me for a five day challenge.

 

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My writing partner Amber Lia and I have put this short series together, in conjunction with The MOB Society, especially for women who struggle with anger and exasperation in their hurried home lives. You'll receive five short emails, one each day, focusing on a specific trigger that makes moms explode. Each one includes a specific prayer to pray before you get angry.

[Tweet "Let's be women who pray first and ask questions later ... "]

 

Sign up here to join "The No More Angry Mom Challenge."

To start at the beginning of this series, "You are not a victim, you're a mom," go here.


 

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If you struggle with anger in your home from the sheer effort of it all, if you find yourself yelling at your little ones, feeling like a victim, and weighed down by shame, you’re not alone. Authors Wendy Speake and Amber Lia have written a book just for you. TRIGGERS: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions For Gentle Biblical Responses addresses the things our children do, along with the internal pressures of motherhood, that trigger in us angry reactions rather than gentle Biblical responses. Order your copy of Triggers here. Triggers is published by BRU Press.