He is such a good Father. Sometimes what feels like rejection is actually protection. If your mind does not understand, declare, “Father, I trust You.”
GOD’S NO IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS BEST
When I would tell the four kids to do something, they would obey right away, but only partially. So, I would call them back, and they would obey right away again, but still not finish. I was asking them FOUR times to complete the dishwasher, FIVE times to clean the bathroom all the way, THREE times for the floor, and I was about to go mad! I realized it was an issue of taking responsibility, so I asked Holy Spirit for a creative teaching tool. Ha! Do you know one of the names of Holy Spirit? TEACHER! He rocks at teaching the kids and loves to do it in a fun way. I called all the kids back and gave them a piece of paper to wad up. I then told them they had to put the paper in the bathroom (the furthest room from the living room). They were all like, “Okay, easy peasy.” Then I said, “But… you can only drop it, stoop down to get it, stand up, drop it again, stoop down to get it, stand up, drop it…” It was super funny about four times, but after that, they wanted to cry. They were clueless about why they were doing this; it was NOT fun. I called them all back into the living room and explained that that is how I feel when I ask them to do something and then have to call them back again and again to finish it. When they are instructed to do something, they must stick with it until it is done fully and completely.
In four different parent coaching sessions, the theme was moms partnering with profound pressure to do things correctly and yet being in situations where they could not possibly achieve perfection. Jesus showed up in a similar way with each of them. When children are raised with the bar so high, they learn directly or indirectly that messes and mistakes are not acceptable. They develop a mindset that says, “God is only pleased with me when I do it right,” and while it profits them in life to be overachievers, they are missing out on HIS truth. Messes, weaknesses, and failures do not separate you from God. His truth is that when we come to Him, our weakness and lack bring intimacy and closeness. A loving parent knows that a 2-year-old will make messes, and they see it as an opportunity to offer comfort, reassurance, and help them grow in their capacity to do better next time. They do not see the child failing but rather as maturing and are honored to be a part of the process. If we only have closeness with Jesus when we are getting A’s and doing things perfectly, there will be a level of fear preventing deeper closeness because, deep down, you believe it is only because of your ‘good’ performance. There is a satisfying closeness with someone that only comes when they love you despite your failures and weakness, which is real vulnerability and closeness. If you experience this in your parenting, I encourage you to spend time with Him.
**Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the need to be perfect?”
**Forgive that person for directly or indirectly teaching you about perfectionism and pressure.
**Ask, “Jesus, what lies have I believed because of the pressure to be perfect?”
**Renounce/break up with the lie. “I renounce the lie that _____.”
**Ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Declare His truth over yourself daily!
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?
I encourage you to set an alarm on your phone, and every time it goes off, no matter where you are and what you are doing, ask yourself, “Jesus, how do You feel about me right now?” You will be surprised by what He has to say at that very moment.
Mamas, are you cursing your body? It is hard to raise daughters with healthy self-esteem when you model cursing your own body. My mom had four kids close in age and didn’t like the way it affected her body. I was secure and confident growing up with my body; however, the moment I had kids (also four close in age, including twins), I immediately turned against my body and felt like it was ‘ruined.’ I was intentional about building up my daughters and their self-image. God began to show me that what my mom taught me, by cursing her own body, is that motherhood ‘ruins’ your body. I was simply modeling that belief onto my children. I entered a season of greater self-love and acceptance for my body, which has miraculously produced life. I want my daughters to feel beautiful now AND after they become a mom. It isn’t about praising them but modeling acceptance for myself.
**This isn’t just for daughters. When moms curse their own bodies in front of their sons, they are teaching them that there is something wrong with a woman’s body, which we surely don’t want him to transfer to his wife someday.
…and then forgive AGAIN!
“I make the choice of my will to forgive _______ for _______ so that satan has no hooks in me that he can use to influence my mind, emotions, confidence, identity, calling, or blessings! I release the offense and turn it over to God to judge and deal with accordingly.”
Teach and practice in the time of peace so that they can use it in their time of need.
We were on the road, and I woke early like I usually do, so I snuck out to get some coffee. It was still dark out, and I enjoyed the quiet moment to myself. This profound wave of deep joy and gratefulness came over me (like you feel on Christmas morning), and I began to ponder what TODAY has meant in my life. Yesterday was BRUTAL. It was the day my Savior was beaten and whipped for my sins. As I tell the kids, He took their spanking. It is hard to picture my Jesus nailed to a cross with spikes piercing His hands and feet. Tomorrow is full of JOY. Death is defeated. He IS alive! But TODAY is the day Jesus was in hell. From death to resurrection, He spent His time in hell. Doing what? Gathering ALL of the keys that the enemy stole. He has a key for your relationships, finances, decisions, parenting, attitudes, transitions, desires, conflicts, dreams, problems, heartbreak, and destiny. There isn’t a single thing you are walking through that Christ doesn’t hold the key to. He died naked but rose with the keys – ALL of them.
Teach your children they are never without a solution to their problems. No matter how big or small, Jesus has a KEY for it! When your child is struggling with something together, ask, “Jesus, what is the name of the KEY You want me to use in this situation?” You might be surprised how easy yet powerful the keys unlock your situation. Matthew 16:19.
It is hard to know who you are when you spend the majority of the time staring at a lens with your own reflection. We only truly discover who we are when we gaze into the One who created us in His image. Selfies only reflect what you want to see. God’s image reflects who we were made to become.
Kingdom training in your home was never supposed to be a once-a-week event. It is about a lifestyle of little drips. When children start asking parents, “Has Lisa sent another lesson yet?” you know we are doing something right. Kids LOVE the connection time as a family and learning about Jesus in a way that promotes connections, not legalism.