C-19

C-19

Take authority over your home and USE THIS to empower your children of all ages. Let me walk you through HOW. The truth is there is sickness going around – always has been – always will be – as we live in a fallen world. Only heaven is sickness free. How you respond to this issue will shape your children when facing future crises. Are you modeling fear and worry or teaching them how to walk in authority full of faith? Either you are partnering with life or death.

Gather the children and talk about C-19. Trust me, if they go to school or own a computer, they have heard about it. We want to explain to them that what makes this virus (use the word ‘cold’ as they understand that better than ‘virus’) different is that it is new to doctors and scientists. Give them an explanation for the fear that is attached to the virus. Cancer, tooth pain, backaches, and tuberculosis all caused the same worry years ago because people were battling things in their bodies, and the doctors did not know how to help them. But over time, God gave the doctors and scientists wisdom in how to help the body through medicine.

Spend time praying as a family for God to give doctors and scientists strategies and solutions to help people! Make a list of how medicine, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and vitamins have already helped your family. Spend time thanking God for each one of them. Flip your worry to praise.

Declare over your home that the virus is not allowed! Declare that the virus is not welcome in your city! Declare that the virus is not welcome in your country! Pray for a wall of protection against you and any person who is sick! Declare, “Fear, you are a liar, and do not lead me. God does!”

Be wise in taking care of the body given to you by drinking an increased amount of water, consuming less sugar, and getting more rest. This helps your body to become stronger and fight off viruses. Take a family field trip down to the bathroom and practice what it means to wash your hands well (I am being serious). Talk about why it is important to keep hands away from their nose and mouth (and wash often). Talk about facts vs. truth.

FACTS: a virus is unknown to doctors, and they aren’t sure what to do, the virus is making people sick, and the virus feels scary.

TRUTH: God is not surprised by the virus, God is still in control, God can keep me safe, God has a plan, and God comforts me in my unrest.

We want to acknowledge facts but camp out in the TRUTH. Be sensitive to when fear is knocking – both for you and your child. When it comes, do not be chased by fear, but STOP, TURN and FACE the fear. First, identify what the fear is about. Afraid God isn’t in control? Can’t God keep your family safe? Something terrible is going to happen? You will suffer? You won’t be able to protect your children? Identify it and then ASK JESUS for His truth. Release what He told you like a bold statement of truth and hope to those around you. This is how we rise up and become the light in the midst of darkness. Open your mouth in the declaration and speak HIS TRUTH over the situation.

HEAL MY LAND!

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” One small two-letter word is the key to Him healing our land. **IF** What does He consider wicked? We would be wise to know what His heart is so that we can measure ourselves to His standard. Proverbs 6:16-19 (MSG) – “Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.”

It is easy to read this list and say, “Not me! Goodness, with all of the stories on the news today, I am surely not that bad.” But how about we ask Him?

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have walked in pride?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are things I have not been fully truthful about?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have partnered with anger rather than forgiveness?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have desired or acted on revenge?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have rushed to speak instead of seeking to understand?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have shared gossip or juicy stories not even knowing they were 100% true?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have caused my family – immediate or church family – hardship or harm by my words or actions?”

REPENT – “Jesus, I confess I have partnered with _____ by _____. I see that this is not Your will for Your children. Will You please forgive me?”

Now go teach your children about these verses, give examples, and teach them how to ask for forgiveness.

GET UP AND FIGHT – JOY

Finding pockets of joy is a deal-breaker in the midst of the battle because it increases a chemical in our brain that gives us the will to endure hard things. Laughing when you are heavy is hard, but it is one of the greatest muscles you can utilize in the midst of a battle. Make a list of 3-5 things that would bring your heart a smile – DO IT!

GOING AFTER LOVE

Going after the power of God alone leads to fear and intimidation. Going after the love of God is what makes you powerful.

CULTIVATING GRATITUDE

Gather the kids and talk about how incredible our bodies are. We have legs to run, ears to hear, eyes to see, and lungs to breathe. Each part is a gift. Ask them what part of their body they are the most thankful for. Take time to thank God for the way He created our bodies to move and our minds to work. He is so smart!

I AM A TEACHER

I homeschooled the kid’s elementary years, so I was used to being their ‘school teacher’ in the classroom setting, but it was years into homeschooling when I realized that one of my primary roles as a mother was to be a teacher. As they were getting older, the tones and attitudes in their speech started to really wear on me. It was not what they were saying but how they were saying it. As I was praying about it, Proverbs 16:24 came to mind, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” I suddenly got this idea to cash in on the science lesson I had just taught on senses. I told them to meet me in the kitchen and blindfolded them. I asked them to stick out their tongue and I put a small dab of horseradish on it. They yelped and moaned. We tried it again, but this time I put honey on their tongue. Yum. That was much better. I shared the verse with them and talked about how sometimes their words sounded like horseradish, but that God wants us to use words and tones that are like honey. We role-played what that sounded like when someone took their toy, when they wanted something, or were asked to do something. I pretended to be them and modeled what kind and sweet tones looked like, and then I molded what horseradish sounded like. They thought it was funny, and we all laughed.

Here is what I want you to see. I was good at teaching science and math, but when it came to teaching principles of the heart to train and equip them, I felt shy and ill-equipped. I was so tired of their tones and needed to do something, but honestly, after the teaching, I remember feeling like it was flat, not deep enough, and I doubted they would retain any of it. I felt awkward and so unsure of myself that it was making a difference. My delivery felt skinny and weak. As the days went on, I would come to them, get down on their level and say, “Remember when I put that stuff on your tongue? How do you think you just sounded?” They had to stop and think and redirect their choice of speech. I began to get the revelation that they were not mini adults and did not need the 12-week course or 2-hour lecture on a subject. They understood me fully, and I had their hearts because I was teaching them through connection and releasing joy through the science experiment. They got it, and I grew in understanding that if I just show up and teach them, they will respond. To this day, with tweens and teenagers, all I have to say is, “That doesn’t sound like honey to me,” and they know immediately their tone was off.

Like it or not, if you are a parent, you ARE a teacher. It might not be of other children or in the classroom, but you are, by God’s design, a teacher of your own children. The more you embrace this part of parenting, the easier life will be for both you and your child. I encourage you to say this out loud a couple of times until it really sinks deep. “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” Have you received the revelation that to be a parent means to be a TEACHER?

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!

THE GREAT SHAKING

Can you feel it? The tension with relationships, systems, church structures, and mindsets. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken.

Gather a strainer, powdered sugar, and small pebbles (or popcorn kernels). Invite the family to the kitchen and with the strainer resting on the counter throw in a pebble and call it ‘love.’ Toss in another and call it ‘kindness.’ Then dump a spoonful of sugar and call it ‘selfishness.’ Add another heaping called ‘jealousy.’ Continue to do this with the rocks representing the fruit of the Spirit and the sugar representing the things of the flesh. After a while, raise the strainer and begin to shake it back and forth over and over. As the sugar falls to the ground, explain that God is shaking things in our lives to remove the sin, mindsets, worry, fear, and flesh from us so that the only thing that remains is His Kingdom.

Read together Hebrews 12:25-27. Explain that the things that are of Him will endure the shaking and last forever, which is something we can align our lives with and celebrate. However, everything that is not of Him, or His Kingdom, will be shaken until it falls. Talk about the things in your world that God is shaking and the purpose of it. Allow the children to see that while we are enduring hard seasons, there is good behind it. How we respond to the shaking is crucial.

Hebrews 12:25-27 (MSG) – “So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time – he’s told us this quite plainly – he’ll also rock the heavens: ‘One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.’ The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.”

Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable Kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and He won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God Himself is Fire!

HIS KINGDOM

The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy, yet one of the biggest reasons why Sunday school leaders have a hard time finding volunteers is because adults are uncomfortable with JOY. Teach parents how to be restored to joy, and they will be drawn to those who carry child-like joy!

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.

PART OF THE FAMILY

When the kids were little, they always wanted to go to the park after nap time, but I was exhausted from cleaning, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. I felt like my day was a perpetual cycle of complete and repeat. The thought ran through my mind that if I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t have to do all of this work. I hated that thought because I loved being a mom and my children. I rebuked that thought and remember the Lord leading me to EMPOWER my children to be a part of the family, not just takers. I sat them down and told them that I wanted to take them to the park too, but that part of living in a family is running a family that includes picking up after ourselves, cleaning, and managing our home. We came up with four areas that needed attention every day – floors, dishes, laundry, and garbage. From that day on, I haven’t touched a single one in nearly ten years. Each week we rotate chores and run the family together. When they were tiny, they didn’t do it perfectly, nor did I expect them to. But I used it as a time to go after character, self-control, honor, and faithfulness. When one fails to take out the garbage, it affects the family. When we rush and put clothes where they don’t belong, it affects the family. When dishes don’t get done, it affects the family. When they had attitudes, I went after their heart. I wasn’t training them in the area of perfection but in having the CHARACTER behind a chore or task. This is one of the best choices I made as a mom years ago, and I am reaping the fruit of four children who own the wealth, health, and success of our family unit. They were taught from an early age how to care for their family, and it started with chores. What have you empowered your children to do to help run the family?