Hudson likes to wear his sports pants every single day! He walked out of his room with them on AGAIN, and I told him he needed to dress nicer. As he walked away deflated, I heard God say, “Let it go!” I called him back and shared how his Father defended him and apologized. We hugged, and all was fine. He came to breakfast with a whole new outfit on. A tear rolled down my face as I realized that he was motivated by the Father’s love (not my expectations).
FATHER KNOWS BEST
Picture a toddler screaming and crying in the middle of the grocery store. No matter what you say, he turns a deaf ear to you. He is kicking and flapping his arms hysterically – a total and complete meltdown. Everyone is looking at you in the checkout lane, wondering why you can’t control your child. You feel the piercing stares of judgment. How would you respond?
How about this scene? Picture sitting in a country club – the kind where they eat lunch in diamonds and pearls – and in walks an elderly man and four children. The children are all nicely dressed but unruly, bouncing all over the chairs and disrupting the people around them. The youngest won’t stop crying and the eldest are bickering. The guests are getting more and more agitated at this appalling site. Judgment and stern looks are being thrown towards the man allowing such disgrace to intrude on their well-to-do luncheon.
What would you say if I told you the young toddler above was dealing with a double ear infection, and his eardrum just popped? Is the issue the meltdown or bacteria in his eustachian tubes? I am sure the words ‘eustachian tube’ were the last thing on your mind, but that area of his body is raging with pain, and nothing else matters to him at that moment. What would you say if I told you the rest of the story of the kids at the country club? Finally, the affluent guests couldn’t take it any longer and called the manager over to request the immediate removal of such nonsense. The manager replies, “Oh, I am so sorry. That is their grandfather, and they just came from their parent’s funeral. They both died in a car accident last week.”
I share this to make a strong point – we have to look beyond their flesh and have to discover what is REALLY going on inside of them. Spanking, time outs, discipline, removing toys, withholding dessert, doubling chores, yelling, ignoring, giving them an electronic or bribing them with a sugary treat is as foolish at that moment as treating a broken leg by doing laundry. When we are empowered with the truth of what we are dealing with, we will be so much better and help them overcome and win the battle.
Empowering children to obey fully and completely the first time (Deuteronomy 28:1). Expose your child to horses, whether that be taking a field trip to a horse farm, simply pulling off the side of the road near one, getting a video from the library, or finding them on the Internet. They are so beautiful and powerful. Talk about how a horse is powerful on their own, but when the bridle is in its mouth, they are trained to obey the rider right away. All the rider needs to do is gently move the reigns to the left or right, and the horse automatically goes in that direction. They are not stubborn or demanding of their own way; they simply follow the rider’s commands. Explain to your child that God wants us to respond this way to His instructions. He doesn’t just want us to obey in the end but wants us to do so fully and completely right away.
In the days ahead, when you need your child to follow your instructions, remind them of the character of a horse. Often when my children were younger and not following the instructions I had given them, I would simply say, “Mama needs you to be a horse right now,” and they all knew that meant they were behaving in a way that was the opposite of what I had instructed. It was an excellent tool for when we were in public as it spared them the embarrassment of being called out in front of others.
“My son turned five last week. His primary love language is words of affirmation. So, I had an idea to make a little ‘guest’ book for everyone coming to his birthday party. I had everyone write something to him – one thing they love about him. After his party, we sat and read everyone’s words to him – he loved it! No birthday meltdowns. Just told me at the end of the night, ‘My love tank is overflowing!'”
This is how things got activated for me, too. I cried out, hungry for His help, and He showed up – BIG TIME. This mom shares the same thing.
“Religion is hard and forced. There is ease in our relationship with our Father as we parent His children together. I didn’t sit down and think or honestly even pray about what we needed to do; HE just started doing it through me in the moment!!! Makes parenting so much more fun!!!”
Years ago, God gave me this picture of a spiritually healthy child with two solid legs to stand on. One leg represents the releasing of the Kingdom (identity, destiny, hearing His voice, healing the sick, Bible knowledge, prophesying, etc.). The other leg represents the tools needed to deal effectively with the things from the enemy that cut off the other leg! One without the other makes for an imbalanced and frustrating walk with Jesus. That vision is one of the founding motives for this and is in alignment with John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
Every month my daughter laments about how bad her cramps are. She asks to stay at home rather than go out with us for dinner or join in any fun. I finally told her, “Sweetie, I know this isn’t fun, but your period is a BLESSING and not a curse. Why don’t you start blessing your body and how it was designed.” She took it to heart and the next day said this was her first month ever where the pain went away. Honestly, I am not surprised. We call it a curse and then wonder why we are racked in pain. Your words are powerful and carry life and death. Be careful what you are speaking out over your own body.
“One night a boy came to the group for the first time. He had some special needs but was accepted instantly. We were talking about our hearts and had a gift bag that symbolized each child’s heart. We talked about how our hearts can become hurt when others don’t speak life to us, or we accept lies from the enemy. We gave examples of things that may have been said to us, hurtful things, and ripped off some black construction paper to fill our bags. Holding the white gift bags up, you could see a lot of dark inside since they were filled. I explained God created us ALL with treasures in our hearts, and when all of those hurts remain, we need to let Him heal our hearts. Each student threw out all of the ‘hurt’ and found a wrapped present at the bottom (they had no idea it was even there!). They ripped open their presents and were thrilled to find some sweet treats, as well as a bunch of notecards with special messages inside of what GOD says of them! Mason’s face grew hopeful, and He collected all of his notecards, shoving them back in his bag. He didn’t want to lose any of them as he said they were his treasures. I asked Mason if he thought there were any hurts in his heart that he needed God to take out, to which he quickly responded, ‘Oh yes! Definitely!’ I asked him if we could pray for him, and he agreed. God’s power was so overwhelming as we all laid hands on Mason and agreed for a healed heart. His countenance was so encouraged when we were finished. He told each student & helper he loved them as he left and asked if he could hug everyone. This is what it’s all about!”
Over the years, many business/ministry mentors have told me that I need to have a clear identity statement for my business. I would work on it and get so frustrated that I would conclude it was insignificant. Over and over, this issue came up, yet it left me with the same feelings and frustration and dread. I would get a clear statement only to doubt myself and start over. I was told we could take as long as needed, but this part had to be done before moving forward. Ugh! I asked the Lord the following morning why it was so hard for me, and He so clearly and tenderly responded by saying, “Lisa, your dad never told you who you were, so you are having a hard time declaring who you are.” Knowing that I am a full-grown adult, and my dad is deceased, I asked what I was supposed to do with the lack, and He said, “Let Me parent you in this area.” The next morning, I scheduled a couple of hours in the Prayer House, where He began to unpack, reveal, and declare my business/ministry identity over me. From that moment on, there has been such rich and vibrant clarity of my mission. We have to know who we are in order to do what we are called to do.
Veterans are very dear to my heart. One day we were in the frozen foods aisle, and an elderly man was walking towards us in a brand-new shiny Veterans hat. I stopped and asked him if he was a Veteran. He was taken aback, and I quickly mentioned that his hat was so crisp and new. He got tears in his eyes and said he was a Veteran but too ashamed to wear his hat. A week earlier, his buddy had chewed him out for never wearing it and told him he needed to wear it with pride. That was his first outing wearing it. He pulled out his worn wallet and showed me a photo of all the medals he had earned, including the Purple Heart. He was injured as a Medevac but went to sign on for another term. I can’t fully describe to you what happened, but tears came pouring out of my eyes. I stood up straight, grabbed my son, and said, “Hudson, THIS is what a real hero is,” Tears began to fall from the man’s eyes. Another shopper stopped, I introduced them, and they stopped to shake his hand. Then another shopper came to salute him. This went on for a while, and we had a small gathering of people in the frozen food aisle honoring this hero. That man was full of shame but walked out of the frozen food aisle the hero he really was!
How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the good in you? BE THAT KIND OF PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN TODAY!