I am intentional to guard against idle busyness. I have no problems saying NO to something when I am in the midst of a battle. I try to lie down at least once daily, even for five minutes. Some days I have to focus on my breathing and be intentional about breathing in peace, breathing out stress and worry.
GET UP AND FIGHT – REST
Do you have kids who like to interrupt you? I taught the kids in the time of peace what I expected, and then we role-played, practiced, and got good at the technique before we were in ‘need’ of it. I explained that they are SOOO important, but so am I. When I am in the middle of something with someone ELSE, I need the respect of not having someone demanding my attention elsewhere. We had FUN role-playing what a demanding child looks like when Mama is talking to someone else or on the phone. We talked about WHY interrupting wasn’t okay and how it made others feel. The bottom line it is a self-control issue. I instructed them to put their hand on my arm, which signaled, “Mom, I need you.” It is important then for the adult to put their hand over their hand, which means, “I see you.” Then, when the timing was appropriate, I would say, “Excuse me, Mrs. Smith, could you hold for a moment?” and would direct my attention to them. If they came barging into the room or demanding my attention, I would simply say, “Excuse me, Mrs. Smith, could you hold on for a moment?” And then I would say out loud to my child, “You are so important, but so is Mrs. Smith. I need you to wait until I am done,” and then when I got off the phone, we would role-play and practice again. My kids use this tool to this day, and it is golden to have respectful kids who know how to wait their turn.
The next generation is screaming for moms and dads who truly see them and have the tools to help them. If you have been feeling a stir that there is MORE for your family than what you are experiencing, I invite you to join our JOURNEY class. You will learn new parenting tools, how to resolve (and dissolve) sibling conflict, increase peace in your homes and go deep with your connection with God.
You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
Ponder for a moment why God would say there is incredible power in blessings and kindness. The reality is it has the ability to transform the worst of situations. So how can you be an agent of ‘doing good’ today?
For those of you who do Easter eggs with the kids, hide one that is EMPTY. Make a big deal about it being the best one. When they open it, they will be confused. Explain to them that the BEST NEWS is that the tomb is EMPTY, and that is why we celebrate Easter. The Cross is part of the journey, but the EMPTY tomb is what we celebrate.
I see so many precious first-generation believers feel insane pressure that they should be further along. I want to break that off of you. You have permission to be faithful to your season. God is using you to turn the ship around in your family line, and that is not supposed to look like someone who is a 3rd, 4th, 5th generation Christian. You are learning about your Father, building a foundation, AND training your children simultaneously. So, give yourself a break, and do not come under the pressure that you should be anywhere other than right where God has you.
Picture a Little House on the Prairie scene where a powerful Minnesota blizzard dumps mounds of snow covering everything in sight. Imagine the family huddled in bed, keeping warm in their mud roof home. How much oil would you want to keep the lamp going? While the storm is still present, how much oil has changed their experience? Sitting in the dark in the middle of a storm is not the same as sitting next to light in the middle of a storm. In Matthew 25:1-13, we are told of the story of the ten virgins who went out to wait for their groom. Five were wise, and five were foolish. When the groom appeared, the five that didn’t have oil in their lamps asked to borrow some from the five that were prepared, and they were told NO – GET YOUR OWN! Oil represents our own personal relationship with Him. You can’t borrow oil at this hour. Many have enjoyed the oil of other people’s lamps but are now realizing they have little to no oil of their own. You can’t stand on the oil of your pastor, worship leader, or neighbor. It has to be your own. There are some things no one can give you except God. We are in a season of intense squeezing, and it is revealing how much oil one has. While His love and grace are free for all, it is obtained by exercising it. Those who have received, embraced, lived from, leaned on, experienced, and acknowledged Him have oil in their lamps. We are not meant to live in darkness but to be consumed by the light that burns within us.
We are in an hour where oil is essential, and there is still time to get your own. HOW?
**By receiving Him.
**Surrendering not just your life, but circumstances to Him.
**Reading the Word, not as a religious duty but sincerely embracing His daily food.
**Giving Him thanks.
**Confessing your sin.
**Getting alone with Him.
**Telling Him what you want, need, think and feel.
**Acknowledging Him in specific situations.
**Declaring His word out loud.
**Walking by faith, not sight.
**Crying out for help.
**Being in an interactive relationship with Him.
**Embracing Him as your Father.
**Walking as a loved and covered child.
This isn’t about doing more FOR Him. It is about having an interactive relationship WITH Him.
How many of us get annoyed when we speak to our children, and they don’t listen because they are engaged elsewhere (book, TV, homework, screen time, etc.)? How many of you get annoyed when you are in the middle of something (book, TV, housework, screen time, etc.), and your kids interrupt you as if you aren’t doing anything? Hmmm… maybe we are actually teaching our children to interrupt by what we are modeling for them. We think just because we are adults, we can crash into their world at any time and expect them to instantly stop what they are doing and give us their full attention. While that would be awesome, that isn’t reality. Perhaps we should be modeling for our children how we would appreciate and value them interrupting us when we are in the middle of something, and they need our attention. I have taught my kids that when they need me, but see I am in the middle of something, to come and place their hand on my arm. I place my other hand on top of theirs to say, “I see you,” and they need to wait until I can switch my attention to them. When they got older, I showed them how to say, “Excuse me, Mom, is this a good time to interrupt you?” If I am engaged with another person (on the phone or in person), and the kids would not show honor, I would say, “Excuse me for a moment,” to the person and then say to my children, “You are so important, but I am important too, and right now Mama is talking to Ms. Smith.” This is a people skill that children need to be taught, trained, and equipped in with intentional parenting. Nothing welcomes favor more than honor and respect!
It is very difficult for a child to release the Kingdom at the store if they are on the floor pitching a fit because you did not buy them a toy. They will have a harder time hearing God’s voice if they haven’t been taught to listen to yours first. You will have a greater challenge getting them to be ‘others’ focused if they have been taught that they are the only ones that matter. Character matters!
Something that always brings a shift for me is when I hold my hand palms up and say, “Lord, I let go. You can have this one. I will not carry it, hold onto it or worry about it. This one is on You.” It removes the tension I feel from operating outside of my control.
I hate that many people have been duped! They think that the fear they feel is real. If only they could see it for what it is – a smoke screen from the enemy to get you to partner with letting go of the goodness of God. Satan can’t alter the finished work of the Cross, nor can he change God’s love for you, so he strives to make YOU believe something else which diminishes your experience with the Cross and His love. But it is just all a big lie! “I can’t trust God,” “I am afraid of the unknown,” “What if I can’t handle what He tells me,” “I will be out of control,” “I am afraid I won’t hear right,” “I am afraid that I will lose my family,” “I am afraid that…” on and on!