BEING A LIGHT

BEING A LIGHT

A MOM SHARED – “I work in an emergency room, and one day a very patient and loving mother came in with her toddler. I asked if she was a teacher and commented on how patient and caring she was towards her toddler, as most people in the ER are not that full of grace with their children. She told me about LET THE CHILDREN FLY, so here I am, as she just really modeled the type of mother that I would like to be.”

INSTRUCTING VS. TEACHING

Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”

Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?

I DECLARE

I left my four-month-old twins at home and put my newly pregnant self together for my first moms night out in nearly a year. I was excited to join my mom’s group for a night of carefree laughs. Everything was going great until halfway through our meal when one mom mentioned co-sleeping. Nearly every single mom believed in co-sleeping, and the comments were becoming the law vs. an option. Things were being said like, “If you don’t co-sleep, you are harming their emotional well-being,” and “I feel sorry for the kids whose parents are too selfish to share their bed.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I felt shame, judged, and inadequate as a new mother. It did not take long for MY reality to sink back in. I had two four-month-old babies, a husband who woke up at 4:00 AM for work, I was pregnant again with a growing belly, and we had a queen-sized bed. NO! Co-sleeping was not for us. I had to intentionally draw a line in the sand, push back their ‘wisdom,’ and be at peace with what was best for our family. I wished that painful experience with my peers was a rare moment, but I have found in parenting that this is a normal occurrence. 

Picture a dad injecting his son with a shot every morning. When asked WHY he was doing it, he replied, “Oh, I was at the hospital the other day. I noticed other parents doing it, so I wanted to be a good dad and give it to my son too.” How absurd, right? What keeps one child alive would actually harm another. We have got to get a hold of this in our parenting in order to parent with their Creator and what He is doing in their lives. No two families are a cookie-cutter of God’s design. We are all unique expressions of what He is doing on earth. The mom raising a missionary does not have the same job as the mom raising the next President of the United States of America. We are all bringing children up in the way they should go according to His plan and the assignment He has for them. We need to break the agreement that our families should fit in, look like everyone else, and the pressure to mold them according to someone else’s expectations. 

I encourage you to pray this out loud, “Jesus, I confess that I have attempted to shape my child into someone else’s image. I ask for Your forgiveness for having my eyes on the fear and pressure of man instead of You. Do You forgive me?” Make sure you are not just asking for forgiveness but receiving it too. Make these declarations out loud over yourself: 

I DECLARE I am more than enough for my family. 

I DECLARE I do not need to parent like anyone else. 

I DECLARE my child does not need to conform to anyone else’s box. 

I DECLARE God knows what He is doing with my child. 

I DECLARE I will always know what to do because Christ lives inside of me. I DECLARE partnering with God in my parenting is the best way to raise my child.

TAKE THIS SHORT QUIZ

My children get along with each other most of the time. Yes/No

Honor and respect are evident in our home. Yes/No

I can hear what God is saying to me. Yes/No

I can discern what is going on with my child when they behave poorly. Yes/No

I am excited about the future and all that it holds for us. Yes/No

I live a life that is full of joy and peace. Yes/No

My family brings me an abundance of joy. Yes/No 

I enjoy being a parent. Yes/No

If you answered NO to any of the above, then it is time to join our online adventure of going deeper in your parenting journey.

Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

USE HIM

I knew my husband was dead wrong (I could even prove it in the Bible). But my responses to him were over the top (“above average,” as my pastor liked to say). I soon realized that if Jesus were married to my husband, HE would be able to respond in love and peace no matter what He was doing. This revelation didn’t make me feel condemned for not being perfect. Instead, it made me realize how UN-like Jesus I really was, and I hungered to be more like Him. A mentor friend so graciously told me, “Lisa, every time he sends you to the moon (in anger), use that to go after healing in your heart.” I did just that. He would trigger me, and I would sit with Jesus to find the root of why that was a sore spot for me. I would pull the root, if so to speak, and my reaction was less and less the next time he did the same behavior. Soon I began to see myself unaffected by his less-than-kind choices. There is such power in becoming healed, and we can use those trigger points in our favor to help usher us in greater healing and wholeness.

CLEANING UP OUR MESS

When the kids were really little, I would have them say, “I am sorry.” Once they understood that correction/discipline meant they did something to cause harm, I would have them ASK for forgiveness, such as, “I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?” And they had to wait for the reply of the other person. When they were around 4-8, I would have them say what they were sorry for, such as, “I am sorry for hitting your arm.” When they got older, I had them ask for forgiveness and state WHY what they did was not okay, such as, “I am sorry I hit your arm. It is not okay because I used my strength instead of my words.” Now that they are in their teen years, it is common for them to clean up their messes by asking forgiveness and releasing compassion and validation for how their choices have affected others. I am confident my grandchildren will reap the fruit of this because a successful marriage is not built upon perfection but on the ability to clean up one’s mess well.

SELF-PROMOTION

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!

PLANTING SEEDS

I hosted a mom’s group and decided we would celebrate a different mom each week by showering her with gifts, words, and extra encouragement. It was a powerful time each week. One week I sensed I was to have my children write a prophetic word. Ellie, who is a fabulous artist, drew a detailed picture and wrote, “God is planting a seed deep within you that will bring life.” I asked Ellie to tell me about the picture, and she said, “Jesus showed me a picture in my mind of a tree that looked like that.” Yet it looked like a perfectly drawn male body part. I was contemplating whether I should trust it and give it to the mom or toss it. I was convicted that Ellie had a strong history of hearing with clarity, so I privately handed it to the mom and said, “Maybe you can look at this one later.” She looked at it anyway and burst into tears. She began to share the heartbreak and pain of not getting pregnant again after years of hoping and trying. We had no idea she was carrying this burden, which became a very tender ministry time for her. Fast forward a year later, and she is about to give birth to her second child.

COMPASSION

God speaks, heals, and saves out of COMPASSION! Children need to be intentionally taught the character trait of compassion. When they see something ‘bad’ or ‘ugly,’ purposely talk to them about how you can seek to see underneath it and what God wants you to do to call out the GOOD and value in them. Compassion is the heart of the Father.

To that girl you called a slut in class today. She’s a virgin. The pregnant girl walking down the street. She got raped. The boy you called lame. He has to work every night to support his family. That girl you pushed down the other day. She’s already being abused at home. That girl you called fat. She’s starving herself. That old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars. He fought for our country. The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying. You think you know them. Guess what? You don’t! Your actions affect those around you.

WHO ARE THEY?

Mary and Joseph were the human vessels God worked THROUGH to accomplish HIS purpose and plan for HIS Kingdom! What if Joseph decided *HE* wanted Jesus to be a football player or a doctor? Just think of how the world would have missed what God was doing. God is smart. God is good and knows what He is doing with the world. He needs parents who will lay down their own agenda and partner with what He is doing SO THAT our children can do all that He has created them to do for His purpose and His plan. I encourage you to spend some quiet time before the Lord today and ask Him, “Father, will You please show me what YOU have put inside my child” or “Holy Spirit, will You please show me the destiny (purpose on earth) You have placed deep inside of them?”

THE BACK STORY

Here is the back story of our online Kingdom parenting class. It was evident God was doing a good work in us as He taught me how to partner with Him in my parenting. He was showing up in all sorts of messy places and encountering my children. I was working on my computer when I heard the Lord say to post on FB how He had just encountered my son to bring healing. I heard it again and obeyed, feeling a little vulnerable. Instantly people started liking the post, but it wasn’t my Christian friends who liked it. It was my non-Christian friends. One comment said, “Now, that is the God I want to follow.” A few days later, I heard Him say, “Now post this” (another example of Him showing up). It became a lifestyle for us, and I would often share how God was parenting with me. One day God told me to gather 12 moms and sow into them so that they, too, could learn how to partner with Him as a lifestyle and not just an event. I invited them, and they eagerly agreed. Since they were all over the nation, I decided I would write out some of my thoughts to teach them in an online classroom format. We were all set for a given date, and in the weeks building up to it, I could not seem to get anything down. Writer’s block is a real thing. I assumed He would show me on our upcoming vacation – nope. I thought He would show me if I went away to spend time with Him – nope. I assume He would show me if I got up extra early to be focused – nope. The night before the class started, I still had NOTHING. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to share; it was that I didn’t know how to organize it to share it clearly. I went to bed and soaked my pillow with tears. Apparently, I heard wrong about gathering these moms, and the only thing to do at this point was to come to them humbly in the morning and tell them I was wrong. I woke at 2 am, and it was like a computer download showed up in my brain. I could not turn my laptop on fast enough, and I typed for an hour straight, just releasing what was coming to my mind at record speed. I hit the send button (Lord have mercy, the spelling errors that were in that first draft) and sat there saying, “Jesus, I don’t ever want to feel that again. What do You have for Day Two of the class?” I labored ALL day long with nothing. I went to bed and cried again, assuming it was just going to be a one-day class and that I would have to wake early to tell the moms. At 2 in the morning, I woke up with my brain on fire again and raced to my computer to type as fast as possible. I told the Lord again, “I don’t ever want to feel that again. What is for Day Three?” and all day, I labored over the material, which produced nothing. I went to bed with tears… this went on for TWENTY-ONE days/nights. I never did catch on that He would be faithful to give me the message as He had done the day before. I walked those mamas through the material and assumed I would remain with them, but they had so much fruit in their parenting that their friends came to me and asked if I would mentor them, too. Easy enough now that the material was already written. And the following month, more people came again and again. Years later, God still keeps bringing people.

Here is the link to register for the class: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly