Sometimes parenting with Holy Spirit is funny. I just praised my daughter for NOT sharing with her sibling (and meant it). Emma is my second twin, and her whole life, we have had to go after her using her voice, saying NO, and setting boundaries. She is my child who will freely give you the shirt off her back and socks, too! She is also the child who will have tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. Once, her twin sister asked if she could have one of her birthday presents that was still wrapped, and Emma said, “Sure!” It has been a long road of teaching her how to listen to her heart and respond accordingly. YES, I want my children to share, but not at the expense of becoming a doormat. YES, I want my children to obey, but not from a place of being double-minded. YES, I want my children to put others first, but not at the expense of losing her true self. So, one morning, when her sibling asked to borrow her phone for the day, she said, “No,” I pulled her aside and praised her. Where her twin has had to learn how to be more kind, thoughtful, and caring towards others, Emma has had to learn to be kinder to herself.
I was driving around with Ellie, and she began to ask who in the world would trash the Cross. I look over and see a large cross in front of a church that has white sheets haphazardly draped all over it. I laughed and said, “It is because Jesus is RISEN, sweetie,” and she said, “Oh phew. I thought Jesus got TP’D”
A while back, we went out to eat, and this man was cursing up a storm and yelling loudly. When we sat down, the kids wanted to call out the bad and do the whole, “Did you see that man…?” I stopped them and said, “Ask Jesus what He wants you to know about that man.” They started saying things like, “He was hurt as a boy,” “He doesn’t know who he is,” “He doesn’t know Jesus.” Hurt people do hurtful things. People act out what other people have spoken over them. When we ask Jesus to show us what’s going on inside of others, our perspective changes. One of the most powerful ways we can release the Kingdom as a family is to see stuff like that in our normal everyday life and ask Jesus to show us what He sees. We will shift how we view, judge, and see that person when we see through His eyes.
Right before we moved to California, someone gave me a word. She told me they could see a large body of water and a city below. The water was powerful and held back by a mighty dam. I could feel the dam in my spirit as she was telling me about it. It represented resistance and tension. I was so encouraged she was calling this out and was confident she was going to tell me that God was removing the dam standing in my way of flowing with greater ease. But she didn’t say that. She told me God built the dam to hold me back. That the water would flood the city below if it was released right now. It came with a warning, “Don’t seek to chisel away the dam that God has built.” It was a strange word to steward, but it has anchored me these past seven years. I have laid things down, submitted to the refining process, allowed Him to teach and stretch me, said no to opportunities, and felt numerous times like I could go farther on my own. BUT GOD knew what He was doing in and through me, and my job was to submit to the dam that was holding me back for a period of time. This was not about discipline, correction, or being timed out. This was about development for the release of what He has given me to carry. It takes time to cultivate things in a person, much like parenting. No matter what I have endured or gone through, I filtered it through, “God, I trust You. What do You want to teach me in this situation?” Not everything is to be an overnight success. He cares so much more about the journey and process than He does the end.
Matthew 10:8 – “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” I love how God allows you to hear an answer to an issue you haven’t had yet. Years ago, I heard Chris Gore share the story of driving down the road with his daughter, who asked from the back seat, “Dad, if you could have one wish from Jesus, what would it be?” She then interrupted to say, “Oh, I know. You would want Charlotte (sister) to be healed (she is in a wheelchair).” Chris said, “No. If I could have one wish, I would want to have the revelation of who Jesus is so that Charlotte would be healed when I prayed.” He was acknowledging that if Jesus was here in the flesh, she would be healed, and he longed to have the greater revelation of the Healer, not just the healing. I have never been able to shake or forget this testimony. One of the things I value the most about this community is that they anchor their feet on the Word of God and camp out there until it becomes a reality. Our thoughts, opinions, and experiences do not lead our lives – the Word and example of Jesus do. If God says, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons,” then that is the bar in which we live regardless of our sight, emotions, or thoughts. If we are not seeing or experiencing what is written or modeled by Jesus, we aren’t afraid to stand and stand again until it becomes our reality. We press into His standard, not ours. We worship until we become so like Him in our minds. We cry out for breakthrough, not just in healing and raising the dead, but so that our hearts are aligned with His. Either He is, or He is not who He says He is – we get to choose which camp we will live our lives from. At the end of our days, may we be found to say, “I believe.”
One of the greatest tools I have as a parent against the sex industry is to teach my children that it isn’t about laws, rules, or legalism but rather identity. People who do not know who they are will use their bodies for their worth and value. We aren’t just guarding our eyes but guarding the person who doesn’t know who they are. I often will say, “That is someone’s daughter,” or “No one taught him who he is,” and the kids have learned over time that sexual choices are rooted more in identity than in sexual behavior. Spiritual orphans use their flesh to feel worth and value. A Son and Daughter know their worth and value and can therefore manage their flesh accordingly. Don’t just read this and say AMEN. Go teach your children about it.
We wrapped up two glorious weeks in Colorado and were up early for our flight. There was so much joy and gratitude pouring out of each of us. That is until we were going through security. It was hectic and very chaotic. The crowd had a subtle push as everyone wanted to get through the security line without further delay. Hudson started getting agitated and was letting everyone around him know it. I would ask him to do something knowing there wasn’t much time to tinker around. He was obeying but with extreme exaggeration. It would have been almost comical if it wasn’t holding up the rest of the people. I became annoyed and upset with his attitude. I made a sharp comment about his attitude which only made things worse. On the train, I was able to take a breath and heard Jesus tell me that I needed to be a student of my son and to allow him to teach me what he needs in this new teen brain season. I apologized for my sharp words that focused more on his outward behavior than his heart. I told him what Jesus showed me because it is always important to me that my children know while I am their mother and to be respected, Jesus is their friend and cares about their hearts, too. I love it when Jesus shows me where I have misunderstood my child’s heart. He is their advocate and I want them to know it. While on the plane, he asked to sit by me which was his way of communicating he wanted to reconnect. I knew he wouldn’t value having a conversation in front of everyone so I wrote him a note. His reply caught me off guard. His frustration was not within himself, but rather stemming from my rushed and chaotic parenting. He is still a child at 14, while capable of much, still a child, and simply needed more time.
SELF-PROMOTION: Self-pro·mo·tion (noun) – the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way.
JESUS PROMOTION: Jesus-pro·mo·tion (noun) – the action of promoting or publicizing what Jesus has done in one’s life, especially in a bold and confident way.
You have permission to own, brag and share all that Jesus has done in your life!
Such a precious testimony of how this mom is training her son to hear God in a time of peace.
“My son wanted to take a toy to the kids’ club at the gym. Instead of saying yes or no, I had him ask Jesus. Right away, he heard no. We talked about how we always listen to Jesus and what He says about things. A few days later, he wanted to bring the same toy and told me that Jesus said it was ok. I was suspicious but decided not to be the middleman in the situation with God. He brought the toy and almost left it at the gym (my daughter remembered and got it for him). Later, I asked him if it was Jesus that said he could bring the toy to the gym or himself. Right away, he admitted it was his voice. It opened up a great conversation about why we need to listen to Jesus. Thanks for the encouragement that he really does hear at 3.5 years of age. I continue to ask the Lord for creative and fun ideas for teaching my kids to hear. I’m excited about what He has for us this year!”
Years ago, we attended weekly Kingdom classes in Denver. I would watch the leader grazing the stage speaking such profound and mighty things. I kept saying to myself, “I am going to do that someday, but BIGGER.” I wanted what they had. I felt pangs of deep longing as they walked in such authority and power. Oh, I wanted it so bad. However, I avoided all eye contact whenever the leader would walk by me for fear they would call on me. I was mortified at the thought of public speaking, the microphone, or being in front of people. I would leave the meetings craving it, yet I was upset with myself for feeling jealous of their gifts and success. I soon began to realize that it wasn’t jealousy that I was feeling but yearning and longing for MY destiny. They were modeling what was possible, and I was so hungry for it. It spoke to who I was created to be.
This is an exciting time of revelation and discovering one’s purpose on earth, yet the enemy comes and whispers in our ear that we are jealous, which turns it into a double-minded battle of the mind and heart. Our hearts scream, “I want that so bad,” and yet our minds say, “You shouldn’t be jealous of others.” We should steward the longing, not seeking to harness or shut it down.
This is a very delicate season for many. Will we walk in the discomfort of holy dissatisfaction (having the revelation there is more, but not yet there), or will we let the enemy snatch it away with his lies of jealousy and insecurity? Of course, jealousy could reveal the flesh or a wound, but more times than not, it is God allowing you to see a part of your destiny modeled, and it should increase your faith to what is possible.
Make a list of the things or people that stir up your jealousy. Do you see a pattern? Ask Jesus what He wants you to see.
There are few words to describe what this past season has been like for us as a family. Leaving our former home in California, where we were deeply connected in the midst of a worldwide crisis, is no joke. We spent the next five months living out of a suitcase in someone else’s space, attempting to find our footing. Not going to lie – it was swirly, confusing at times, and extremely heavy. I have struggled to share our news with people because the end result is a massive “WOW, GOD” story, but the journey was intense, raw, and real. It is sacred and feels inadequate to put it out there as news. Nonetheless, I know many of you were on the journey with us, and I want to share what God has done.
We were never looking for a house. We were looking for His peace. There is a massive difference. Any ole house would have met our basic needs for shelter. We were looking for the peace that falls when you know you are right where you need to be. We didn’t move – we transitioned our hearts, community, ministry, destiny, and family, which is no small undertaking, and it must must must be done with Him leading. Looking back at every house and city we contended for, every twist and turn in discovering our home. Every cycle of hoping and laying down was an accumulation of His process in transitioning us. We would stand our ground for a city, and while we did not land there, He positioned us to fight for it. Each house represented something of a larger picture that He was unfolding in us. It was a massively stretching time for all five of us as we did not know the big picture or end story in the process. We were invited to trust Him in ways that refined us all.
Years ago, someone gave me a word about a house and that very specific things would happen in this house. I knew in my spirit our past homes were not the home the prophetic word was speaking of, but I knew without a doubt that THIS next home would be where the promise was filled, and that is another reason why our intentionality of stewarding His leading was so vital. When we first arrived, four people offered us their rental homes in Northern Colorado, and I was adamant we were to land south. I woke August 17th to find a Facebook memory pop-up of God revealing our former house in Redding to us on this day years ago. I sat there soaking in a “Do it again, Lord” moment, and by sunset, we had found our next home.
It didn’t look the way I thought it would, it didn’t unfold the way I thought it would, and it didn’t appear the way I thought it would, but I can declare God is good. I am undone by the way He not only met our need for shelter but the oodles of ways He has provided for my heart, soul, and mama’s heart by His radical provision of a home, ministry hub, and safe space. I can declare – HE IS WORTH THE WAIT!!