Pray first – ask questions later

Pray first – ask questions later

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     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.     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...
Do you think of prayer as a sort of magic trick?

Do you think of prayer as a sort of magic trick?

Everyone’s got their own idea about this great big thing we cram into one word – Prayer. I pray. To me it’s simple.  Simple like a woman talking to a living-breathing person, closer than any flesh and blood has ever been.  But it is also cosmic and overwhelming at the soul-same time. Prayer. What a gift it is! And yet this talking and thinking and hearing from the God of all creation can be absolutely elusive for many people.  So we’re going to have a talk about it, right now, you and me.  Here on my couch we’re going to sit together, hands reaching across knees and taking hold of one another as we go deep.     You and me, right here – right now, because this stuff is more important that any simple how-to blog post you can read today!  I haven’t got three simple things you can do to have a better life, raise better kids, or communicate more lovingly with your spouse.  This is a discussion we’re having – talking together about prayer: I’m a praying woman. I have cried out to God for healing and help, I’ve prayerfully interceded for loved ones, and I have humbly asked Him to turn my sorrow into gladness.  I’ve lifted up my children, pleaded for wisdom and discernment, and talked intimately with the Lord as I’ve drifted off to sleep.  Last week I even prayed for our nation, smack-dab in the middle of a busy mothering day. In short: I’m a praying woman, and my motives, most often, are right pure. Some of you would say the same, but others of you would ask me to back it...
Praying for America – When a mom is already so busy doing everything else

Praying for America – When a mom is already so busy doing everything else

My hair was wet and cold, I should have dried it before I took the kids to school this morning, but my husband was on a conference call in our bedroom and I didn’t want to disturb him.  Then my children were all out of sorts about the way I scrambled their eggs, and one child looked sideways at his brother when they were supposed to be brushing their teeth, so that was a whole other something to focus on this morning. Now here I am with a cold scalp, praying against the cold that always threatens to creep into a mother’s heart.   Today is the National Day of Prayer   Every morning I wake up and thank God for the day.  I do, I truly do. I greet my children joyfully, with loving touches and warm food.  Every morning I actively choose to practice grace here in our home.  But, friends, this constant inner focus can take it out of a woman!  Loving and caring, correcting and praying for the hearts here in the girdle of these four walls is a full time job! Sometimes there’s nothing left over for anyone else.     Today is The National Day of Prayer   Driving to school we pass a flag raised high and I remember what day it is, halfway through a tongue twister at the time.  Working on tongue twisters on our way to school – tongue twisters to help my boys with their speech impediments.  Over and over again we practice: The girl hit the tiger with her purse… “Ouch,”said the tiger, “That hurt!” And then we go over our spelling words and a...
Teach us how to pray…

Teach us how to pray…

The Spit-Up Covered Glory of Each Day   Hormones swinging out, then chasing right back in; Each baby brings with him this offering. Emotions climb up high, then calm back down, Our newborn cries, we nurse, but dare not drown. But sometimes we do, and then wipe our eyes Blow our nose, and go turn off the house lights Succumb to sleep, two hours at a time Waking to sing one. more. time. “baby mine.” A new day starts, then twelve more pass at once Did I shower or ever stop for lunch? How can I be so elated and sad? Those hormones, sleep, and food would make me glad. But sometimes they don’t, ’cause sometimes they can’t. Today blends with tomorrow in a rant About the ugly and the true. But O! O, O, O! Let us breath and know, know, know, The spit up covered glory of each day. Sweet pea scented, baby powder dusted, glorious reflection of swaddled grace Turned up to receive our love, face to face. And sometimes we do stop, to smell the truth. The roses, posies, sweet pea scented truth Of love, tucked deep in the baby wrinkles Where tears of joy and exhaustion mingle.   How many times did I fall asleep nursing my newborn in the gliding chair there in the nursery?  Waking with a kink in my neck and a baby covered in milk.  It was all so messy and delicious.  And in the night, when I’d awake and nurse my child again, I often asked the Lord “How should I pray?”   “One day Jesus was praying in...
Yellow chairs, turning forty, and putting on my big girl panties

Yellow chairs, turning forty, and putting on my big girl panties

The photographer asked me to stand, but I saw this yellow chair and knew I just had to sit.   Yellow makes me happy, pure and simple.   So I sat, and she snapped the shutter and caught my happy.     There’s been a lot of happy since turning forty last April.  Not always happy circumstances, but amidst them all there’s been this comfortable, I belong here feeling – wrapping me up like I’m my own present.  Finally, after 40 years of trying to fit, I suddenly do, right inside the lovely wrapping paper of my own skin.   I must be a late bloomer.   Or maybe we all are late bloomers, and maybe it’s supposed to be that way.  Trial and error, figuring how to live a contented life this side of the veil.  If we came from the womb on the day of our birth with all this hard earned understanding, we wouldn’t have needed the gracious nearness of a God who cares for us in our weakness.   I’d been weak forty long years.   Weak, and so desperate to be loved.  I worked at it like an artist works her clay, molding and rolling and massaging the lump, till it finds it’s way into something beautiful.  That was me.  Working on being chosen, not knowing I’d already been.  But ignorance is a swelling sea, and the wave pushed me forward into adolescence, begging for approval.  Though I’d been approved by the King of Heaven Himself, I still looked around on the surface of this earth, hungry for the affirming smiles of this world.  Am I kind...
Finding Rest

Finding Rest

Out of my home, away from my people, to rest and refresh for four long days, but instead I feel the divide.  Divided, because my heart remains with them.  Torn with a child now sick at home and another behind in his schooling.  But Nana is doing her best to meet every need, so that I can come to the well for a few days and drink deeply.   Now here I am, two sleepless nights in, when I thought nine consecutive hours would repair all that’s been breaking down.  But it’s fitful and not healing at all, so I flip on the bedside lamp and turn to the One who is the refreshing.  How wrong I was to imagine it could be found in literal rest, between white bed sheets – True rest is spiritual rest, tucked between thin worn bible sheets.   Rest and stretch and find your being there. Renew your hope in His Salvation there… It’s not in how many hours you slept, but in how deep you went, propped up by pillows, resting in Truth.   I set down God’s Living, Waking, Get-up-and-live-it-today Word, and started to pray.  I prayed for the girl with three babies who texted me yesterday, “I feel like I’m going to lose it.”  I wrote back in a hurry, “don’t lose it, sweet girl… I’ve done that myself, and it feels worse than the volcanic pressure you feel mounting.  Get on your knees and I will too.”   And I prayed for my kid with the runny nose and bellyache, and the other brother who had hours of homework last night and two...