Sometimes when parents set the bar high for standards and kids don’t measure up, they partner with the lie that they aren’t good enough. This is not about parents doing it wrong for setting high standards, but about the wrong message sinking into their heart. Children need to be called to a high standard AND experience grace for missing it. This is called childhood, which is the training ground to becoming whole, healthy, fruitful adults. Children are a work in progress and grace must be a part of that process. When a child fails to meet expectations, it becomes a great opportunity to discuss ways they can grow in their capacity to achieve different results next time and become better.
It is your inheritance as a Son or Daughter to be FREE from the fear of man. The fear of man is taught. Children are born trusting and carefree. Through experiences and instruction from adults, children are taught to fear man.
“Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the fear of man? I chose to forgive _____ for teaching me (directly or indirectly) that man is to be feared. I break agreement with the fear of man and no longer give it space to influence my obedience, choices, and peace. I declare I am a child of the Creator of the universe, and He has my back. I am covered and protected. What can mere man do to me when God is on my side?”
Going up to someone and saying, “Will you mentor me?” is a little like telling the guy on the first date you are going to marry him. Mentoring someone requires connection and the freedom to speak honestly into someone’s life. Often, this means hard conversations and truth shared in love. They are mentoring you to empower and help you grow, which means growing pains. Not everyone is in a place where they can receive this type of conversation without being offended, wounded, or defensive. The best mentors, I have found, are those that happen organically by the move of God vs. someone searching for one. If you long for this type of relationship, tell God and have faith in His ability to orchestrate it on your behalf. When God gives you this connection with someone, don’t view it as a relationship to take, but as one to serve and give out of the gratefulness in which you have received from their wisdom, time, and investment in you. One of my mentors is a single lady, so we would always be on the lookout for ways we could stand in the gap and help her with things like changing the oil in her car, bringing her meals, or sending her flowers on Mother’s Day. We both are blessed by the connection for different reasons. I positioned my heart to look for opportunities to bless and serve her. Oftentimes people don’t really want a ‘mentor’ but a person who will give them the gifts that a mother or father give, such as a sense of belonging, to be seen, community, wisdom, etc. Identifying what needs you are specifically seeking to meet helps to go after that person who carries that gift. Our greatest connections with those who are older (and wiser) than ourselves have simply evolved from intentionally getting to church at least 30 minutes earlier and extending a warm greeting to those around us, whether it be sitting in church, standing in line for childcare check-in, or greeting those we haven’t met before. This isn’t scary, but it requires a heart that is open to seeing and loving people. We have a strong connection to every regular attender who sits in the same section as us every Sunday morning simply because we have made it a point to see and welcome them. We have gotten together for Sunday brunch, dinners, playing games, going to each other’s homes, and texting often. It was organic simply by being open and friendly to those God has put in front of us. My kids have profited profoundly from having multiple adopted grandmas and grandpas. Who will you sit by today? Reach out, introduce yourself, be excited to see them again next week, and see what God does with it!
A while back, we went out to eat, and this man was cursing up a storm and yelling loudly. When we sat down, the kids wanted to call out the bad and do the whole, “Did you see that man…?” I stopped them and said, “Ask Jesus what He wants you to know about that man.” They started saying things like, “He was hurt as a boy,” “He doesn’t know who he is,” “He doesn’t know Jesus.” Hurt people do hurtful things. People act out what other people have spoken over them. When we ask Jesus to show us what’s going on inside of others, our perspective changes. One of the most powerful ways we can release the Kingdom as a family is to see stuff like that in our normal everyday life and ask Jesus to show us what He sees. We will shift how we view, judge, and see that person when we see through His eyes.
We often talk about when others have spoken words of judgment over us. But what about the scores of words we have spoken over others, either directly or indirectly? God showed me a tangled-up ball of yarn. We often do not know someone’s journey or story and why they did what they did or said, and we shoot arrows of judgment from our heart and mouth. We directly or indirectly slander them to others (often in the form of ‘prayer requests’), and we hinder their growth with our idle words. We will be responsible for these words and have to give an account.
Matthew 12:36 – “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
May I encourage you, along with myself, to take a moment and pray this prayer?
“Jesus, I repent for any and all words spoken about or against Your creation. Forgive me for being careless in my speech and prideful in my assessment of their behavior. You alone hold the judgment seat. Do You forgive me? (Wait for His answer). I call forth every word spoken intentionally or unintentionally that has bound up another human being, judged them, or cursed them, and declare my words null and void. Holy Spirit, I ask that You fill that person up with Your power, love, and a clear mind. Jesus, give them Your mind so that they can interact with Your Father as You do. Embrace them, Father, so that they may know and experience Your truth and heart for them.”
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.
Guilt says what you did was wrong, and the enemy counterfeits by using the tool of shame that says who you are is wrong. We do want to feel the weight of conviction for our mistakes and choices so that it leads us to godly repentance, but we never want to partner with the enemy’s lies of shame over who we are. Shame is paralyzing and incredibly toxic to our systems. It is like drinking acid. God never designed our bodies to hold onto shame.
I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go, but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not require my energy or time. I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase. I finally met with my friend, a professional counselor, and asked her what the problem was that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom. She said, “Shame HAS to blame,” and began to introduce me to shame’s profound effects on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down, and robs us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words), it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all. Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.
When we create cultures of silence, it creates shame in people, and eventually, it will come up as BLAME. I think one of the most unhelpful things a leader can say when someone is processing pain is that they are slandering and gossiping when they are just trying to process their pain. Not everyone comes from healthy backgrounds where they know how to work through their heart splinters, but when someone is trying to heal, let’s not shoot them down with the law of religion.
I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider, and more passionately than you have been loved before. You will watch a video teaching, and I will provide activities and exercises based on the teachings for the rest of the days. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive, so they never have to find themselves again down the road.
You can register here: Moms & Dads – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
Seen, Heard & Valued
I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, or the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not be requiring my energy or time.
I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase.
I finally met with my friend who is a professional counselor and asked her what in the world was the problem that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom.
She said, “Shame HAS to blame” and began to introduce me to the profound effects that shame has on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down and robs of us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words) it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all.
Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.
I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider and more passionately than you have been loved before.
This is a self-guided class at your own convenience. You will watch a video teaching and for the rest of the days, I provide activities and exercises to do based on the video teaching. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive so they never have to find themselves again down the road.
As an ASCEND member you can enroll in this self-guided class at no additional charge.
In our online Kingdom parenting class, I share, “People act out what other people have spoken over them.” If this is something that you have struggled with in life and is now affecting your parenting, I encourage you break agreement with that and walk into the truth of who you are (so that you can parent from that place).
Picture a jail. Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 both talk about captives and prisoners, but what is the difference between the two? Both of them are in jail. One is a captive, meaning he was brought there against his will but is free to walk back out. The other one is a prisoner who has committed a crime and must have keys to walk out. The keys are in Matthew 18:23-35. When I first read these verses, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We cannot overlook this Scripture. I want to highlight verse 35. WHO? So shall WHO? It says, “So shall my Father in heaven do to you.” Guys, we have to grasp this. When hurts, lies, and offenses come our way, we have to get out of the jail they create around our lives as soon as possible, or else the unforgiveness we hold onto will hinder God’s best for us. If you are sincerely trying to get out of bondage but can’t seem to find freedom, chances are that you are a prisoner, and the name of the key to open the door is FORGIVENESS!
Here is a rough model to follow but let the Spirit lead you: “Jesus, who do I need to forgive?” Choose to forgive and pray to release them. “Jesus, what lie have I believed because of this hurt/offense done to me?” Choose to break agreement with the lie. “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Choose to receive what He has to say. I want to add that sometimes people have sincerely forgiven yet still are not experiencing full freedom. Sometimes we have to forgive not only the offense but the FRUIT of the offense. Say someone was abused as a child, and they have walked through forgiving their abuser. But there is fruit to the abuse, such as being unable to trust people, being self-protected, feeling isolated, not feeling safe at night, etc. Sometimes we have to walk through forgiving them for how their hurt/offense affected your life.
HeartWork – I encourage you not to be introspective about this but to ASK JESUS to show you. “Jesus, would You please show me if there is anyone I need to forgive?”
A mom recently asked me what to do when her child has to face hard things that are outside of her control to change. We talked for a moment about how to keep our children safe, but then I introduced her to what I have called ‘touchpoints.’ Touchpoints are those places where two places touch each other. The one end is our child’s need, lack, or hard circumstances; the other end is heaven’s tools and strategy. When the two of them touch, it no longer becomes just the hard or challenging circumstances but where our child gets strengthened, equipped, armed, and empowered to overcome, grow, conquer and become victorious. While I may not be able to prevent every negative thing that comes their way, I surely can give them the tools of heaven to win the battle. Where is your child enduring hardship, lack of pain? How can you, as their parent, equip them in that area with the tools of heaven?