BAIT OF SATAN

BAIT OF SATAN

John Bevere has an outstanding book called, The Bait of Satan, which talks about how Satan baits every believer with offense and how, once we bite the bait, he has a legal right to influence that situation. This is a serious issue that believers need to gain control over, as offense has the power to destroy much when we open the door. For example, I had a mental argument with someone (and winning, I might add), and the moment I stopped that argument, I began arguing with someone else in my mind. I realized that the spirit of offense was present and was attempting to cause me to become offended. So I renounced it and regained my mental peace.

TEEN BOYS

Moms of teen boys – this is for YOU! I have been crying out for keys with my son in this new season, and I believe the Lord was showing me some new strategies. I could not believe my ears when my friend began to share the same keys God showed her. I asked her to share in her own words. I believe this is a massive KEY for moms with teen boys. 

“I am learning that my perception of connection with my fourteen-year-old son is not my son’s idea of connection. As a mom who parallels the earthly role of the Holy Spirit, I often emulate my role to that of the Holy Spirit – to teach and impart wisdom. And because I love communication and heart processes, I would frequently suggest to my Justin that we can read a book or listen to a podcast together and talk about them. On my end, I can see such meaningful fruit and growth for both of us and bring us closer at the same time. But to my son, that was not connection; I picked that up from his uninterested body language and the frustrated sigh. In fact, I think it made us more distant because I missed the mark in connecting what he desired in our relationship. One day I asked him how he feels connected in our relationship, and he shared that he loves quality time with me, like going out on a date for sweet treats. I cringe as I write this because I am a crunchy mama who loves to feed my kids healthy food. So going out for sweet treats is the last thing I would want to do with my son as a form of connection. But since understanding how my son feels connected to me, we have gone on several dessert dates, and every time his love tank gets filled, we have deeper heart-to-heart conversations. I am learning to meet my son where he is at – to talk/teach less and listen and ‘be’ with him more. Thankfully, he still enjoys snuggling with me, and often when I am on the couch, he sits next to me and puts his head on my shoulder. And we just sit there together. Sometimes we say nothing to each other, and I caress his hair and give him a quick massage. Also, learning to be a learner of things that excite my son has brought us closer. For example, he is a basketball player, so watching a basketball game with him, asking questions about the players/plays, and allowing him to ‘teach’ me and reposition our roles is so healthy as he individuates and develops into his independent self at this age. The process of adjusting to this transition has been so hard at times as I learn to let go and readjust my parenting style to meet him in his teenage development stage.”

DUPED!

I hate that many people have been duped! They think that the fear they feel is real. If only they could see it for what it is – a smoke screen from the enemy to get you to partner with letting go of the goodness of God. Satan can’t alter the finished work of the Cross, nor can he change God’s love for you, so he strives to make YOU believe something else which diminishes your experience with the Cross and His love. But it is just all a big lie! “I can’t trust God,” “I am afraid of the unknown,” “What if I can’t handle what He tells me,” “I will be out of control,” “I am afraid I won’t hear right,” “I am afraid that I will lose my family,” “I am afraid that…” on and on!

DO WHAT IT TAKES

Parents, do what it takes so your children don’t reap the fruit of your wounds and hurts.

QUALITY TIME

The child with the love language of quality time is filled up the most when they get your undivided attention. Nothing makes them come more alive than having you all to themselves. 

Here are some creative ways to speak their language: **Cook together (meals have to be done either way, why not do it together). **Try a new hobby together. **Go on a walk together. **Set up a movie (theater or home) for just you two. **Schedule a weekly date. **Play a game with them. **Take them on a lunch date without any other siblings. **Bake cookies together. **Play catch in the yard together. **Have an overnight trip together. 

These are the children who like to follow you around. They don’t really care what you are doing as long as you are together. As they get older, they are the ones who volunteer to go on errands with you just to be together. For a parent, this can be challenging to steward because, no matter how much time you spent with them yesterday, they will want to be with you again today. Because being together is so important to them, if they do not get their needs met, they are generally the ones who act out or toe the line just to wave a flag so that you see them. When you see them agitating siblings, do not separate them. Help them connect by spending quality time together. A great way to be proactive is to make sure every day you are carving out intentional time to spend alone with this child. It does not have to be hours, but a calculated five-minute date can water their heart deeply. While it may be a challenge, I strongly encourage you to fit this into your morning routine on school days. It has the power to radically change their ability to learn, pay attention, and connect well with teachers and friends.

One of the worst things you can do to this person is create an expectation of alone time with you but then be distracted by your phone. It is super isolating for this person to be with you but not with you. Remember, it is okay if our child’s needs stretch and grow us to become more like Jesus. The goal is not to see how little you can water their hearts; the goal is to allow their needs to refine, align, and heal the things in us that were lost or stolen. Spending quality time with a child has the power to ignite joy, enter rest, learn how to play, and increase our childlike faith.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS

People often ask me what I do for family devotions. I have done a variety of things over the years. My goal is to water their spirits every day just like I do their minds and tummies. I haven’t focused on the HOW as much as I have the WHAT. I felt led to buy each of them a personal devotion and a new journal for Christmas. I coached them on how to read, process, and journal. I felt like God was highlighting that my children are very comfortable with getting prophetic words for people, which I love, but sometimes we need to speak truth and life over people. It will only transform those around us if our words are anchored in HIS truth (the Word). I am having them read and process the following questions each day. 

What did this reveal to me about who God is? 

How can I relate to the story/Scripture? 

What can I be thankful for because of it? 

Who needs to hear this truth today? 

And then they are crossing their chicken lines and growing in their capacity to ask God to highlight one person who needs to hear the truth they now carry, and they are speaking it over them through text, phone call, or email. I feel like parents need to hear this. Were my kids jumping up and down at the thought of a new journal and devotions? No. Did they fully understand the heart behind the concept of journaling? No. Did they do it on their own? No. Did they thank me profusely for caring about their spiritual growth? No. Did I do it anyway? YES!!!!! Because in this house, we serve the Lord, and this is what He has led me to do with them.

DO NOT LET THE SUN GO DOWN

Ephesians 4:6 clearly tells us to get rid of all anger before a certain time of day, but why? I do not think something magical happens at midnight to all those with anger in their hearts; however, I DO believe that when we sleep, we are without natural defense and unable to put on our armor, as Ephesians 6 talks about. Our spirit and mind are very much alive when we sleep, but our active thinking is not. When a child goes to bed with hurts, lies, anger, or offense in their heart, it can open the door to the enemy to produce nightmares, imbed lies, and increases fear and anxiety. If these issues are present, it is better to lose sleep and address it than end the day with it being unresolved. A fantastic way to help a child be at peace before bedtime is by filling up their love tanks, even just for a few minutes, praying together, or playing worship music which calms their heart. Another great way is to play the High/Low game.

High/Low game – When our family endured trauma, it was so important to me to know what was going on inside my children’s minds and hearts. Each evening when I would tuck them in, we would play the High/Low game. I would ask what the high of their day was and then what the low was. Sometimes they would say the most amazing things; the simplest of events was what touched them the most, yet things I totally missed caused the lowest. It helped me get a pulse on their hearts to see what was important to them, but also if they believed any lies or had unforgiveness that needed to be resolved. I would often get another child out of bed to resolve something between their siblings. As the kids enter school, this is an incredible game to play to see what they are carrying around in their hearts.

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!

HE IS ALIVE

We were on the road, and I woke early like I usually do, so I snuck out to get some coffee. It was still dark out, and I enjoyed the quiet moment to myself. This profound wave of deep joy and gratefulness came over me (like you feel on Christmas morning), and I began to ponder what TODAY has meant in my life. Yesterday was BRUTAL. It was the day my Savior was beaten and whipped for my sins. As I tell the kids, He took their spanking. It is hard to picture my Jesus nailed to a cross with spikes piercing His hands and feet. Tomorrow is full of JOY. Death is defeated. He IS alive! But TODAY is the day Jesus was in hell. From death to resurrection, He spent His time in hell. Doing what? Gathering ALL of the keys that the enemy stole. He has a key for your relationships, finances, decisions, parenting, attitudes, transitions, desires, conflicts, dreams, problems, heartbreak, and destiny. There isn’t a single thing you are walking through that Christ doesn’t hold the key to. He died naked but rose with the keys – ALL of them. Teach your children they are never without a solution to their problems. No matter how big or small, Jesus has a KEY for it! When your child is struggling with something together, ask, “Jesus, what is the name of the KEY You want me to use in this situation?” You might be surprised how easy yet powerful the keys unlock your situation. Matthew 16:19.

WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO PARTNER WITH?

Ellie had a school fundraiser where she had to run a long course, and along the way, they throw colored powder on the runners. Super fun! The morning of the run, she said she was worried about running. I asked her why since she usually is quite fast and does well. She said, “I am so afraid I will come in last.” Together we asked Jesus to show her what she was so afraid of with coming in last, and she said, “People will think I am not good enough.” We talked about the truth that SOMEONE has to arrive first, and there is always someone at the end. That’s life. But we want to make sure that we aren’t carrying LIES about our worth and value if we come in first OR last. Jesus showed her that when she carries the weight of worry and anxiety, she is slowing herself down and not doing her best. I had her confess to Jesus that she was partnering with worry, and she asked Him to help her run HER best. Jesus is building her life story and had a lesson that she can choose to partner with worry and anxiety or trust Him to help her. A lesson that she will need to choose for the rest of her life.

ANGRY PARENTING

Go beneath the yelling. What is happening inside of you at the time? Anger is a BIG emotion to cover up a softer emotion like being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to identify the softer emotion, it will help you with being able to address the true heart need. Anger is just a mask that protects your heart and afterward leaves you feeling worse. The sad part is that your real heart and need never get heard because of the mess anger creates. Your heart matters! Give it a voice (not a scream).