ATMOSPHERES

ATMOSPHERES

Kids feel what is going on in the atmosphere even when they don’t have words for it. I actually think they feel it more because they have not yet built coping mechanisms and walls to shut it out like many adults. God doesn’t want us to manage it, nor does He want us to ignore it. He wants us to overcome it with the authority given to us through Jesus. If you feel an increase of unrest in your home, overcome it by pulling your family in closer. Home should be the safest place on earth. Have a family meeting and forgive hurts and offenses. Intentionally have a family night to connect and laugh together. Increase worship or soaking music. Pray about what is going on as a family. Remind your children how big God is by telling them stories of His incredible power in other challenging stories in the Bible. He always comes through and always knows what He is doing (always). Hug them and then hug them some more (yes, even teenagers who act like they don’t care). Remind them of who they are (not performance). Ask Jesus to show you what your children need today.

Your children need to know they are covered, safe and secure, and our job as parents is to be that verb!

LOVE COVERS

Whenever we endure something big such as a stressful season, a death, a move, etc., my main goal is to make sure I am filling their love tanks intentionally. I was really sick years ago with a ripped artery in my neck. I was on blood thinners and was at high risk for a stroke or aneurysm. It was not an easy season being a solo mom of four young, active children. I literally made myself a chart with each child’s name and the days of the week. I forced myself to speak their love language DAILY. I believe it is one of the biggest reasons we got through those rough waters together with our connection intact. Love covers a multitude of bumps and bruises! When in doubt, I fill the tank. Love languages matter!

TRUTH NOTES

 I love this one. I often get a fun package of sticky notes (fun shapes, cool colors, cute animals) and then write words of truth to each child and stick them in their underwear drawer, between their folded shirts, in their lunch box, on the mirror, in their shoes – the ideas are endless. If they have a test, I will write, “You can do this!” and place it in their book or “Remember, you are never alone” in their lunch bag. If my kids spend the night elsewhere or go to camp, they are armed with TRUTH notes from Mom!

HEARTWORK

Parents – you have homework! Love is a VERB. Grab some paper and begin to write notes to your child. So tuck them in their underwear drawer, by their toothbrush, in their favorite book. Let them find your nuggets of love!!!! You can do it for your children or have them do it for each other.

WILL YOU HELP ME?

How many of you have to do things in life that require a sacrifice for your child? Selling a house? Long car rides? Going grocery shopping? Look at what this real estate agent did to EMPOWER the kids to be on the team rather than set it up for conflict and chaos.

“At my listing appointment tonight, I had the smallest residents sign their own contracts promising to keep their rooms clean, and toys picked up while the house is on the market. If they hold up their end of the deal, they each get a gift card from a store of their choice.”

ATMOSPHERES

We spent a summer speaking on the road and continually came under new atmospheres and had to work through them. Honestly, it was exhausting. If it wasn’t me, one of the kids would be out of sorts. By the time the trip was over, I was not sure I would ever do that again. But here we are again, coming off of a five-week journey, and there is such a profound increase in not only discerning atmospheres but overcoming them. The first time it felt like we were being tossed around by powerful waves, yet this time it felt like we were body jumping, learning how to stay standing. Hotels carry some of the heaviest atmospheres because not all that happens inside of them is edifying. We can be fine in the car, walk into a hotel room and feel the anger, isolation, sexual spirits, strife, etc. God doesn’t allow us to encounter the atmosphere to harm or hinder us. Instead, He enables us to see and feel it so that we can bring the light and release the opposite. Learning to discern what is truly coming from within you vs. what is happening around you is a key to releasing heaven on earth and changing the world around you.

LOCAL MISSION TRIP

A few years back, we took a mini trip down to Sacramento to recharge as a family and do some shopping. I got the idea to stop at the $1 store and have the kids pick out a pack of sticky notes. They didn’t know why but when we got in the car, I told them to think of people they love (family, friends, teachers) and to think of things they might want to hear. Things like: “You are loved,” “You are powerful,” “You are seen,” “There is hope,” “It is going to be okay,” etc. For part of the drive down, they wrote those words on a sticky note. When we parked in the first parking lot, I told them to run around and put the sticky notes on the driver’s side window of the parked cars. They had a blast and giggled the entire time. When they were done, I assumed we would go shopping, but they asked to sit in the car and spy on the people coming out and seeing their notes. We saw smiles, sighs, and even tears as people read these TRUTH BOMBS!

Go on a mission to teach your children what it looks like to love others.

CLEARING THE AIR

I feel a strong stirring in my spirit that we all need to do our part to ‘clear the air’ in the spiritual realm. Who do you need to forgive? Make things right with? Let go of offense? Believe the best? Ask for forgiveness? Repent of judgments? Confess slander? Call a family meeting and walk this out together.

In doing this, we begin to clear the spiritual air and allow ourselves to get the fresh air our spirit needs to be healthy.

LET’S ASK JESUS

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. “Jesus, will You show me a picture of how much YOU love me?”

Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.

BIRTH ORDER

This is in response to the many questions I get about toddlers who are regressing or acting out when the new baby comes home. I had 14-month-old twins when their brother was born, so I went after making sure they felt secure. It is a big deal for a child to have their birth order changed. Think about it – they are the only ones who get Mom’s attention; she leaves for a few days and comes back with a new baby she is with all the time. Often, Mom is recovering physically, and others intentionally keep the older child away from Mom so she can rest. This is confusing to a child, and they can surely build up resentment toward their new sibling. One thing that was super helpful was the ‘5-minute dates’ with the twins when I knew Hudson would need me for feedings and such. I would bring them to the floor with me, and we would spend quality time together. If Hudson started to cry, I would say out loud, “Oh no, not now, Hudson. Lauren and Emma are very special to me, and I am spending time with them now. You will have to wait.” Of course, you don’t make a newborn wait long, but they have no concept of time. I was communicating to them that the baby has not replaced them, and they are still so valued and important to me. But then I would tell them it was Hudson’s turn and that they needed to play by my feet, watch a movie, read a book, etc. If they wanted juice or help when I was feeding Hudson, I reminded them it was his turn, and they had to wait. I intentionally filled them up like this for many days after we brought him home, and the transition was smooth for all.

HOW DO WE BREAK AGREEMENT WITH FEAR?

Face the fear and put it in its proper place. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what the fear is about?” Break agreement with the fear. “Fear, I see you, and you are a liar. I no longer partner with you and allow you to speak and influence me. Ask, “Jesus, what is your truth?” Declare His truth (write it down, put it on your mirror, on a sticky note, in your Bible, post it to your fridge, etc. and declare it until it becomes your truth). THEN when you go out in public and feel the heavy oppression around you, STOP and declare, “Fear, I see you. I do not partner with you. I declare (insert the truth Jesus showed up),” and release THAT into the atmosphere everywhere you go. If our hope, peace, and comfort come from anything else other than HIM, it will be sinking sand. He alone is our source, anchor, and rock.