The sun is never yet up. My eyes have not yet opened. There has been no coffee.
There is fresh destruction and tattle-telling waiting. There is no child-proofing against some children.
There are whining voices that shake me by the spine and questions for permission for things that are slyly, gently asked to a half-asleep woman whose main desire is simply for them to get out and stay out until a decent hour.
But really?… Mornings are my nemesis.
No matter how early I wake up — the tiny humans are up first, or their “mom-is-moving-radar” intuitively goes off because the devil wants to use me to destroy them and they are always needy and “starving” even if it is 5:30 in the morning.
I have given up on attempting a morning “quiet time”. There is no such thing in my home.
I understand, and also typically have the perspective that “surely, there must be a solution… have you tried?…”
And until you are that person who lives in circumstances that somehow have no “solution”, only acceptance and response to the ever-evolving-process, it can be confusing.
For the past nine years I have started my days to varying levels of mayhem I can hardly even believe, though I live it.
And if we are going to be any help to each other — we’ve got to be real.
Here is my realness: I have prayed more about my internal-rage felt towards my beloved children (and then about myself for said-rage) than nearly anything else.
I have said straight into my Mom’s face (because she had nine children and — praise Jesus — understands what a two-foot-tall-human can draw to the surface of a grown woman): “I understand why people harm children. If I didn’t have Jesus, I would probably be one of them.”
I have killed a child before. I’m not often shocked about what evil is in other people — because I own that that same potential is in me.
But — I have Emmanuel in me now, too.
No imaginary god can do what God Almighty has done in me.
Only a very alive and active Jesus can restrain and retrain me. Only a very real Jesus can make me new. Only an incomparably powerful Jesus can carry/drag/encourage me through crucifixion to resurrected life.
And that’s why mornings are so tough.
Because I’m never far into the day, and often not even out of bed yet, before I have to choose.
The hardest part of my day is the first time I choose — this day — to serve Life.
The hardest part of my day is the first time I am confronted with the option to fully submit to His Lordship over my day, my body, my plans, my hopes, my wants — or not.
So many days I initially choose not.
But — I’ve rediscovered something that has been like parting-the-Red-Sea-helping me. Something I did for a long time, and then life shook everything up and I forgot this rhythm that helped me breathe deeply through the craziest of days.
Thank God for new mercies and the always-option to begin again.
Here it is: I dedicate the day to God, out loud, with all my children.
This has re-become my first goal for every. single. day.
It’s about a 45 second prayer that usually takes about 9 disciplinary actions and 4 minutes to get through, but it’s worth it.
Committing your day to the Lord is a fight worth having.
Consider these verses:
“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” ~Proverbs 16:3
“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” ~Psalm 5:3
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” ~Psalm 37:5-6
I want my day to be whatever God has ordained for my day — before one of them ever came to be.
He has prepared plans for my day. I want to embrace those and live them out.
So I pre-commit, before even knowing what I will need and what will happen. He knows.
And these 9 powerful words ring in my spirit like a promise and a warning:
“You do not have, because you do not ask.” ~James 4:2
And I know that Jesus promised “Ask and it will be given to you… For everyone who asks receives.”
And there is this Rock-solid comfort backed up by the fact that I’ve experienced this over and over and over: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” ~1 John 5:14-15
So I’ve been praying something like this with my girls each morning:
“Lord Jesus — thank You for sustaining us to wake up this morning. This is Your day. We acknowledge You and give this day back to You. We want to live what You have planned for us today — even if Your plans aren’t what we had in mind, or prefer, at all. Fill us with Your Spirit so we can overflow the fruit of Your Spirit on each other and anyone else we meet. We need You. Please provide any “bread” we need today and please deliver us from every kind of evil. We commit and dedicate this day to You, for Your glory and our joy. Amen.”
Thank You. It’s Your day. Full of Spirit. Provide and deliver.
There is Life in these words.
He is miraculously faithful.
What is the hardest part of your day?
What is a way God helps you through it?