BUT GOD…

BUT GOD…

I was in a really intense season – probably the most significant spiritual battle I have ever walked through. Sometimes you just get credit for staying in the game and not quitting. Yet here we are, sitting as a family, all on our laptops, writing out our testimonies to encourage others. I have tears in my eyes looking around the room at my kids typing away, eager to share their journey with others. The enemy may do his thing, but GOD is still on His throne, and as for this house, we serve the LORD!

GRIEVING HOLY SPIRIT DREAM

I have been stewarding this dream for years and believe it is the time to share it. God was teaching me about family and, ultimately, the church because leadership should reflect good parenting. In my dream, the kids and I arrived at our new housing. It was a unique round building with a gorgeous custom kitchen and living room in the middle. It was designed with the intention of people doing life together. Off of the living area were master suites with private bathrooms. We walked in, each carrying a different-sized suitcase, like the ones that were passed down from parents or grandparents. There was no check-in station as it was designed to be set up like a family with connection between the occupants, not run like a motel or business. We were aware there were people gathered in one of the rooms. I knew in my dream they were aware we had arrived and were waiting, but they didn’t come out to greet us or give us instructions. I didn’t want just to assume which room was ours, so despite traveling a long distance, we waited joyfully. The landlord walked in to greet us like a mother eager to see her child. I felt at home when she hugged me. She began to flow with tears. It wasn’t an anxious, wounded, or fearful cry. Just tears of genuine sadness. She said, “I want you here, but you can’t stay. You would be a model tenant, but they were here first and don’t want you here.” It didn’t feel like personal rejection as much as just the way things were done there. The sincere compassion I felt for the landlord for having renters who did not honor her desires for her own building made it easy to take my eyes off of myself and put them on her. I hugged her and assured her we would be okay, even though it meant we would be ‘homeless’ once we walked out the door. This tender moment morphed into me, saying firmly, “I will go (to honor her), but I will not leave until I have taken a shower first.” I was so aware in my dream it was 4 in the afternoon, and I was already clean. I went to take my shower and noticed a line that went all the way out the door. End of dream. I woke up at 4 with a deep pang in my heart over what I had just witnessed in my dream. I got out of bed and sat in the dark living room, where I began to unpack the dream with God. He said, “Ask me who the landlord was in the dream,” and it was revealed she was Holy Spirit. I immediately fell on my face and wept. To witness Holy Spirit being grieved grieves me. To this day, I still can’t talk about the dream without tears coming to my eyes. I will never forget the genuine sadness in her eyes. The round living area represented what should have been a family room (not an empty living room). The people in the bedrooms were the parents/leaders who had authority just by ‘being there first.’ The dream highlights the need for instruction and guidance from them. Their closed room door and unwillingness to come out represents a wall they have built to shut out what they don’t want to enter. God sends children into families and people into churches carrying certain things (suitcases) because He knows what they need is inside of them. It grieves Him when we reject the ones He has sent to us to BLESS US. When we begin to run our families/churches according to our own agenda, we miss out on what He is doing in them. The lack of concern from the parents/leaders felt unloving, prideful, and downright rude, but the Lord showed me later that they were protecting something. Oftentimes when a parent/leader has wounds, hurts, jealousy or insecurity will, they will shut out the very ones God brings to them to help them. Just by their presence, a child/person can trigger the parents/leaders wound and cause them to ‘shut the door.’ This is a greater reflection on the parent/leader but often feels to the child/person like something is wrong with them. Parents/leaders can argue that what they are doing is right because they are ‘protecting’ something, but God never called us to be self-protectors. That is His job. I was aware in my dream, due to the uniqueness of the circle building, that the people in the closed room were at the 11 o’clock position. 11 can represent imperfection, disorder, disintegration, and chaos, which is exactly what happens when parents/leaders are unwilling to open the door, communicate clearly or welcome what those under them carry by God’s design. My shower represented my awareness that this interaction slimmed me, and I needed to rid myself fully and completely of any hurts, offenses, judgments, or bitterness. I assumed the words “you would be a model tenant” meant we were faithful financially, which is important to a landlord, but the Lord showed me that the word ‘model’ meant we, as a family, carried a model. There are five people in my family, and we all just happen to represent a different part of the five-fold ministry. We have an anointing in the area of family, and God has given us an anointing on how to model our families after His. We came into the family room, bringing that model with us. This is super important because we ALL carry things and that God wants to release through us. The vintage suitcases represented what has been passed down from each generation. We never meet someone with an empty suitcase. God has been setting things in motion in each family line for centuries. We carry what our parents, grandparents, and on did or didn’t complete on earth but may have sowed into. Each person’s suitcase is filled with valuable keys, solutions, and tools to build His Kingdom. My shower was at four which confirmed to me that I was FOR them, even though it wasn’t received. Taking a shower was about me, but FOR them as not to carry the offense against them. God also woke me at 4 am. Children are born FOR their parents until they are taught otherwise. Ironically, God woke me up at 4:44 am to release this dream. The long line indicated this dream wasn’t just for me but a corporate one, as many were slimed in the process of being shut out. This is a key and strategy of the Lord. We must clean ourselves of hurts, offenses, and judgments before we are fully free to move on.

YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES

I want you to consider this: if you are a born-again believer, you have access to two essential things.

First, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. Teaching isn’t what He does; it is who He IS. His creativity is endless, and He always brings the right teaching tool at the right moment!

Second, you have a teacher’s anointing. It might not be for a classroom or with other children, but if you are a parent, you have God’s anointing, grace, and empowerment to teach your children.

Remembering and accessing these two realities will profit you greatly in your role as a parent!

“Dear Holy Spirit, thank You that as Sons and Daughters, we have You inside of us, and You are creative! Thank You that teaching isn’t what You do, but it is who You are. Thank You for placing inside of me the anointing to teach my children right-living with joy creatively. I break agreement with the spirit of fear – the fear of man and what others think of me and the fear of my children and their displeasure with me when I expect more of them. Fear is not my companion nor the tool I use in parenting. It is simply not welcome in our family. I break the agreement with perfectionism and performance-based parenting. I declare that I have the freedom to flow as the Spirit leads me with my children, and the only standard that I will hold myself to is what He has asked me to do. I break the agreement with the lie that ‘I am ruining my child if I am firm with them.’ I break the agreement with the lie that “It is my job to keep them comfortable.’ My God-given role is to teach, equip, and empower them so that they can go on to lead a successful and fruitful Kingdom-minded life. I break the agreement with excuses for my child, not walking in good character, and excuses that I have given myself for not going after this in our household. I declare that not only am I more than enough for my children, but I was hand-picked for the job to train them! God has entrusted me with much, and I will steward it well. Amen.”

LOUD VOICES

I believe in honoring my leaders and being part of the solution instead of just opening my mouth to tear people down. HOWEVER, there are some public people who are not making me feel very safe or relaxed. Their words are fear-producing. My go-to in this process has been whenever I read, see or hear something that ignites worry or fear to STOP, take that thought captive and begin to declare who God is over that person. I have a mental picture of certain public figures who feel big and scary, but they are like two-year-olds to God. I declare over this person that while they may be really LOUD right now, God is not moved by their need to control. 

Psalm 118:6 – “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” 

Psalm 146:3 – “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” 

Give it a try. Instead of picturing certain voices as BIG, picture them in relation to GOD!

YOU CAN TRUST HIM

Messages like this make me jump up in my seat and give God a massive high five. A little girl is learning to trust her Father.

“I am feeling so encouraged and equipped to help my kids more and more. I’ve been practicing myself, and though I stumble over the words, something is getting through. Yesterday, my daughter could not find her special puppy and blanket. Instead of calling me immediately, she said that she tried to push back fear and kept asking God to show her where it was. For a brief moment, I felt bad that she hadn’t come to me asking for help, but then I rejoiced seeing how BIG of a thing that was for her! She was not consumed and paralyzed (like usual); she drew strength from going to Jesus first and asking for Him to show her. She did find it, and this morning we celebrated her victory over fear and her growth in going to Jesus and hearing him!”

IT IS POSSIBLE!

Do you long to be the parent you dreamed of when you were younger? Do you desire a deeper connection with your children? Is peace in your home something you crave? I declare it is possible as I have seen it in the lives of parents across the globe!

PLAYING IN THE KINGDOM

I dare to say your child has a greater capacity to release the Kingdom more than most adults because it takes FAITH and childlike faith is a gift from the Father to partner with Him. I keep sensing God highlighting children ages 4-8 and how they will be the ones releasing the Kingdom in great measure, children who haven’t yet been taught about fearing man, legalism, or church politics. These are the children who simply hear their Father and marry it with childlike faith and reap a harvest of fruit.

JUST A LITTLE

A dad was struggling to get his teen daughters to understand why their choice of music wasn’t edifying. The girls argued that it was ‘just a little’ bit of bad language and that it wouldn’t hurt anything. The dad prayed for a creative solution to get into his daughters’ hearts on the subject. The next morning, he announced he was making a very special dessert with “a very special ingredient.” He made a big deal of the upcoming dessert all day, and after their dinner plates were cleaned, they were begging for the much-awaited sweet treat. They scarfed down the yummiest batch of brownies, and while smacking their lips, they inquired about the ‘special ingredient.’ The dad sat back and calmly announced, “Dog poop, but don’t worry, it was just a little bit.” They seemed to understand in that moment that ‘just a little bit’ can indeed be harmful. This glorious creative teachable moment can be used with music, swearing, drugs, disobedience, alcohol, lying, slander, etc. Sometimes kids need a visual to understand your point.

ACTS OF SERVICE

A mom mentioned: When I read about children with the language of acts of service wanting you to help them, I thought of my daughter. An example would be me fixing her hair. Sometimes I don’t have time to help her and ask her to do it herself, and she does get upset actually.”

My response: I know you love her and show it through providing breakfast, clean clothes, and getting her to school, but can you increase doing it in a way that she values and understands? What if sending her to school with her hair done by you filled her tank in a way that empowered and helped her throughout the day to feel safe and secure? Would you want to do it then? She is giving you the keys to her heart. The amazing thing about children is that their hearts are small and fill so fast. A five-minute hair session can literally change her day! How can you create the time to communicate love to her? Can you wake up five minutes earlier? Can you braid it the night before? When you honestly cannot do it, how then can you communicate that you still love her without being able to do her hair?

Let’s slow this down for a moment. A child is asking for help because that is how their tank gets filled, and the parent to whom they are offering their heart begins to get upset and frustrated with them for not doing it themselves. They now walk away with a tank even lower than when they first asked. I KNOW this is not the goal of many parents, but this is what happens when we fail to understand *their* language. We have miscommunication and a breakdown of deposits in their heart. Hear the difference: “No, I already taught you how to tie your shoes. You be a big boy and do it by yourself. Stop fussing and get it done now. No, I will not help you. You are going to make me late. Hurry up,” VS. “Oh, buddy. I love that you want me to help you, and my heart really wants to, but I cannot right now. I need you to tie your shoes. I am so proud of you for the way you have mastered tying your shoes.” Can you hear the difference? One sees the heart and affirms them, while the other only sees the task. It isn’t a yes/no, you do it/I do it response. It is seeing their heart and making sure you are communicating and affirming your love for them.

HEAVEN’S TOOLS

Some of you are battling things that are consuming you and causing you to be so weary. While we live in a fallen world with a real enemy, many of you are losing the battle simply because you are not armed with heaven’s tools. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, becoming equipped and empowered is not only available to every believer, but it is God’s mandate on your life. It is the honor and privilege as a Son/Daughter to walk in strength, radical love, and a clear mind. Whatever you are dealing with today does not need to defeat you. Heaven has tools and strategies to help you overcome, come out from under it, and bear fruit. There is hope!