EYES THAT SEE

EYES THAT SEE

My daughter was complaining about her eyesight, and something didn’t feel right about it (not sure why or what, but it didn’t sit right in my spirit). She came to me one day wearing my glasses, telling me how cool she looked in them. Hmmm. I asked her if any part of her wanted her eyes to be bad enough to need glasses, and she admitted she did because some of her friends have them, and they look ‘cool.’ I explained to her that when we WANT our bodies to be broken, we are actually inviting it in. We renounced the lie that she needed glasses to be cool and then prayed for her eyes to work the way they were created. It is one thing to need glasses to assist a physical condition. It is another thing to invite brokenness to feed a lie.

LOVE THAT COSTS SOMETHING

How would you handle it if your neighbor’s dog harmed your beloved pet? Look at how this family chose to handle their pain and hurt. Share it with your children as an example of love and connection over revenge and offense.

“Hi Lisa, please pray for our family. Yesterday a huge dog from our neighbor broke into our backyard and bit Candy really badly. We took her to the vet immediately, but she passed this morning. Josh (my son) is so heartbroken. There are no words to express how sad and sorry he feels that he lost his best friend. Our neighbors are Buddhist, and when my husband went to tell them about Candy’s passing, they kept saying that they needed to pay back for their fault and guilt. They were so ashamed and were crying for us. But we felt as a family that we were going to show them grace and God’s forgiveness. Joshi is still grieving and processing all of this, but he said he is ready to forgive our neighbors and the dog. Praise God for giving us the grace to share with our neighbor His love in the midst of great sorrow. We went to talk to our neighbor, and Joshi took Candy’s food and, with tears streaming down from his eyes, told him that he forgave him and his dog. The owner told us that in his 50+ years in this world, nobody had forgiven him like this. We were all in tears. We got to pray for him and his family, bless them, and plant a seed of love in his heart. He is a military guy, but his heart is so tender. He kept hugging Joshi and thanking Joshi for forgiving him. It was such a beautiful picture of God’s grace and forgiveness. Later, we biked to the lake, and for the first time in the past 24 hours, I saw Joshi’s smile and playful spirit reappear. He told me, ‘It was so good to talk to our neighbor and forgive him. I feel much better now.’ Wow! The power of forgiveness! Thank You, Jesus! And thank you for praying for us. The owner offered to buy a new dog for Joshi when his heart was ready. It’ll never be the same without Candy, but hopefully, Candy’s loss won a soul in the Kingdom and taught us the power of forgiveness in the midst of much pain and injustice.”

WHEN YOUR PEACE GETS TESTED

Some dear friends of ours said they had wanted to buy a home for a few years but were waiting for the Lord to show them who for. They approached us and said they would like to buy a home for us by paying cash. We enjoyed looking at houses together, and they were ready to sign on a new construction home. While I loved the idea for a variety of reasons, AND the home we picked out was gorgeous, I did not have peace. We waited and looked at a few more homes, but I couldn’t do it. When there is no peace, you have to lay down whatever it is – no matter how big or how wild or how big of a ‘blessing’ it is. Peace is my pillar, and I am anchored to it. The moment I asked if we could lay it down, peace returned, and within a short amount of time, God made it abundantly clear we were moving to North Carolina. Could you imagine if I said yes to the immediate blessing and forfeited what He had planned for us? It puts a chill in my spine to think I could have missed out on His goodness for us because I was tempted to grab the comfortable at the moment.

I share this to encourage you to hold onto your anchor of peace no matter what the weather report says. Peace is your pillar!

BROWNIE RECIPE

 A father of some teenage children had the family rule that they could not attend PG-13 or R-rated movies. His three teens wanted to see a particular popular movie that was playing at local theaters. It was rated PG-13. The teens interviewed friends and even some members of their family’s church to find out what was offensive in the movie. The teens made a list of pros and cons about the movie to convince their dad that they should be allowed to see it. The cons were that it contained ONLY 3 swear words, the ONLY violence was a building exploding (and you see that on TV all the time, they said), and you actually did not ‘see’ the couple in the movie having sex – it was just implied sex, off camera. The pros were that it was a popular movie – a blockbuster. Everyone was seeing it. If the teens saw the movie, they would not feel left out when their friends discussed it. The movie contained a good story and plot. It had some great adventure and suspense in it. There were some fantastic special effects in this movie. The movie’s stars were some of the most talented actors in Hollywood. It probably would be nominated for several awards. Many of their Christian church members had even seen the movie and said it wasn’t ‘very bad.’ Therefore, since there were more pros than cons, the teens said they were asking their father to reconsider his position on just this ONE movie and let them have permission to go see it. The father looked at the list and thought for a few minutes. He said he could tell his children had spent some time and thought on this request. He asked if he could have a day to think about it before making his decision. The teens were thrilled, thinking, “Now we’ve got him! Our argument is too good! Dad can’t turn us down!” So, they happily agreed to let him have a day to think about their request. The next evening the father called in his three teenagers, who were smiling smugly, into the living room. There on the coffee table, he had a plate of brownies. The teens were puzzled. The father told his children he had thought about their request and decided that if they ate a brownie, he would let them go to the movie. But just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons. The pros were that they were made with the finest chocolate and other good ingredients. They had the added special effect of yummy walnuts in them. The brownies were moist and fresh, with wonderful chocolate frosting on top. He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe. And best of all, the brownies had been made lovingly by the hand of their own father. The brownies only had one con. The father had included a little bit of a special ingredient. The brownies also contained just a little bit of dog poop. But he had mixed the dough well – they probably would not even be able to taste the dog poop, and he had baked it at 350 degrees, so any bacteria or germs from the dog poop had probably been destroyed. Therefore, if any of his children could stand to eat the brownies, which included just a ‘little bit of crap,’ and not be affected by it. Of course, none of the teens would eat the brownies, and the smug smiles had left their faces. Only Dad was smiling smugly as they left the room. Now when his teenagers ask permission to do something he is opposed to, the father just asks, “Would you like me to whip up a batch of my special brownies?”

TEACHING CHILDREN TO HEAR

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!”

THE FAITH OF A CHILD CHANGES THE WORLD AROUND THEM

I had four days to find a home, and on our last day, I had resolved in my heart that it was not going to happen on this trip. I often say that I am not shopping for a home, but peace shopping and nothing was bringing me peace. I arrived at a meeting a few minutes earlier and began to scroll through the pages of available houses while sitting in the parking lot. A brand-new home popped up, and I sent them a message, fully confident I would encounter the typical robot responses. Instead, the owner replied, saying we could come the following day, but I was flying out that morning. He said I could come right now, but I couldn’t get out of this important ministry meeting. I suggested after, but he was busy then. We settled on a time, and I went into my meeting. When we got into the car, I looked up the address, and it was another 30 minutes south of our hotel. I was tired and frankly done with looking at homes. I just wanted to go back to the hotel and rest. I mentioned to Ellie that I was going to cancel the showing, and she said, “No way. You can’t do that. God told me that we would get a house by the end of today, and this is our last showing before we go back home. Mom, you have to go.” In all honesty, I went simply to appease her faith.

I drove down, and the first thing I noticed was that the homes in this community did not look like Southern homes but Colorado homes, which was on my wish list. I love Colorado home builders as they just have a different style about them. We enjoyed our tour and visited with the owner, who was wonderful (another thing on my wish list). He let me know that another application was already from the people coming to see it the following day. I resolved to submit to the process even though we were flying out in the am. I got in the car and heard God say, “Do you want it?” I pondered for a moment and said, “Yeah, I think I do,” and heard Him reply, “Then fight for it.” I don’t have a competitive bone in my body and would never fight for a house if someone else had an application in, but at the Lord’s leading, I left the owner a message telling him our journey and asked if he would give me favor by allowing us to have the house. By that evening, we were under contract!

I would not have even gone to the appointment had it not been for what the Lord spoke to Ellie in the morning and her resilience to let Him move. Teach your child how to hear the voice of their Father. Encourage your child how to stand on His word. Train yourself on how to follow His leading through your children.

HE SEES ME

I love Monday mornings. I have the house to myself and crank out a ton of work! The Lord said to go to the prayer house and just sit with Him. It took me a moment to lay down my agenda, but here I am. Someone walked up to me and handed me a note containing a prophetic word so spot on, so big, so encouraging, and life-giving that all I can do is sit here in AWE. He sees me. The prophetic is a coffee date with Jesus. Take a risk today and ask Jesus what He wants to say to someone around you.

PARENTING WITH JESUS

A mom taking our class shares this precious story: “Just last night, as I was getting my girls ready for bed, my youngest was having a meltdown over something someone had said to her. With a new awareness since taking this class, I helped to walk her through forgiveness and ask Jesus what He thought of her. She went from crying inconsolably to laughing and at peace, ready to go to sleep and wondering what she would dream. It was beautiful.” 

If you want to embark on a JOURNEY of going deeper with Him in your parenting, we have room for you.

LOST & FOUND

Have you lost something dear to you? I was at a conference when my phone began to go off multiple times. It was Hudson messaging me frantically that he had lost his Fitbit. He wanted to go back inside his school to look for it again, but his ride was coming, and he had to go. I messaged him many times, and he was so upset. When I got home that night, he was still very upset, and as the days rolled on, he kept saying how mad he was at himself. This is not his normal response to material things. When I pressed in as to why it was such a big deal (bummer, yes, but not this big of a deal), he said, “It was from my dad, and I wear it every day as a reminder of him.” Ugh! I realized at that moment that I could not replace it as it was not about the item but the sentimental value attached to it. I posted about it on the school page and heard nothing. Hudson was grieving the loss of something very dear to his heart. I knew I needed to help him channel his emotions and asked him if he believed God knew where it was. He did. I asked if He believed God cared enough about his heart and the meaning it held in his heart to return it. He did. I told him that his position needed to move from sadness and disappointment to FAITH. He came home from school that day with the news IT WAS FOUND!!! We cannot shield our children from bumps and bruises and disappointments in life, but we CAN direct them to the One who finds that which is lost, cares about their hearts deeply, and is with them in the process.

FEAR KNOCKED

My son got an invitation to go on a friend’s boat. I had peace and said yes. However, several hours into it, I realized it was the same lake a sweet friend’s husband passed away at. We also had a recent story in the news of a nine-year-old that drowned in the same location. Fear was knocking loudly, and I began to rehearse all these different scenarios and thoughts in my mind. Suddenly I realized nothing had happened, and yet I was reacting with my emotions as if it had. I identified it as the spirit of fear, told it where it could go, and slammed the door. Just because fear knocks does not mean I need to answer the door!

“I AM BUILDING HER TESTIMONY”

God said, “I am building her testimony,” – My daughter wanted to try out for a sport that was important to her, but she called me asking if she could skip it and come home. Everything within my mama’s heart wanted to tell her no and make her do hard things (because I knew her heart wanted to do it). But I heard the Lord say, “Let her come home. I am building her testimony.” We went for a walk and talked about it. I began asking her questions about what had happened and what her heart was experiencing. We talked about risk and how there is a chance it may not end well. We talked about other things she attempted in life that did not end so well, which made her laugh. She realized she had the capacity to handle it if it didn’t turn out the way she hoped. I then asked her, “Is the fear of risk greater than the disappointment of not making the team because you were too afraid to try?” She began to see it as a risk but worth it. We created a plan to help empower her. While I could have ‘made’ her do it, her faith would not have been built. She will forever have a brick in her testimony wall of how God walked her through her fear of taking a risk.