This is going to be fun and encourage many. A friend told me that when she was younger, she damaged the family vehicle. The dad made her get a job to pay it back, which she did at Taco Bell. It was there that she met a couple who introduced her to Jesus. I love these stories of how God uses things to bring us to Him.
HE USES ALL THINGS
My voice is a broken record as I state over and over and over that if the Father looks at the heart, so should we in our parenting. God told me years ago, “Stop denying my daughter her dog,” and with that, I moved into another home just to get her a dog. I am not a dog lover, and it was a hard thing for me to obey. God has surely been good on His word, and Boo has brought so much healing to her heart over the years.
God wants you walking in wholeness because you will naturally parent out of that place of hurt or freedom. God is not mad at your anger. God understands why you need to use control to feel safe. He understands the frustration you feel. Jesus has not left you in your mess. You have not ruined your children. You are a on JOURNEY! Your triggers are your road signs revealing what is going on inside of you.
Having a hard time believing that? Read Hebrews 12:2 and position yourself on His truth that it is HIS job to write your story and finish it.
How many of you could say in this hour, “I feel like I am doing everything right yet not producing the fruit that I desire”? Your A plus B is not equaling C! I confronted Hudson on his attitude towards his family after he came home from a friend’s house. I fully understand that his friends meet a profound need in this season of life, but that doesn’t mean he gets to be rude or disrespectful to us when he returns. A few hours later, he bounced back inside the house from being with his friend, full of joy and kindness. He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. I thought he got it and was proud of him for receiving my correction. But two minutes later, he asked for a big favor. I felt slimed. He did what I told him to do and even did it ‘right,’ but his motives were for what he could get out of me, not out of genuine affection. A dispensary is a room where medicines are prepared and provided. No one ever lives there but stops by when they need something, generally to put them out of their physical or emotional misery. Dependency is the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or help. God invites us to depend upon Him through confidence and trust in who He is. We are called to live in this continued posture with Him. Are we doing all of the ‘right’ things in the ‘right’ way but coming to Him like a dispensary attempting to get something from Him to alleviate our pain and discomfort, or are we coming to Him out of the confidence we need Him? I am confident in this hour that God is removing the dispensary from the church and body. He is calling us into a deeper dependency upon His nature, character, and heart for us. The question is, do we really want Him or just what He can do for us?
My son was invited to play airsoft guns with a friend’s husband. He was super excited and talked about it non-stop. Yet the morning of, he was really unkind to his sisters, wasn’t listening, or following through on things I had asked of him. It was a continued battle all morning. Finally, I told him he could not go. The moment I shut it down I heard God say, “Removing his heart’s desire is not the key to his heart.” I instantly took back my words and have pondered this a great deal since. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance, not withholding, punishing, or communicating we have to be ‘good enough’ to have our desires met. The key to the testimony was discovering what was really going on and not just seeing his bad behavior. While my son’s choices that morning could have been from some form of rebellion in his heart, I believe it stemmed from his profound excitement to bond with an adult male over the activity that he loves the most. He lives with 3 girls and a mom 24/7 and has a natural longing/desire in his heart for male connection. He talked about it non-stop all week long. The morning of he was growing impatient for the big moment to arrive. He was like a child the night before Christmas. He is still a child and lacked the maturity to steward his impatience well. I am all for discipline, correction, and training, and yet there are times we care so much about righting their wrong and fail to see the bigger picture of their heart. The Kingdom of God does not ‘punish’ for age-appropriate immaturity. When I first said he couldn’t go his entire body sunk and it pierced his heart. If my goal was ‘punishment’ I did it. But the moment I said, “God just told me that I was wrong to take away your deep desire to go,” he broke down in tears. We talked about his excitement and impatience and how he behaved that morning. He was fully repentant and said he was sorry to his sisters and me.
Here is the glorious part – then I got to connect the dots for him that Father God sees his heart and wants to fulfill those desires. Do I REALLY want to shut my son down for not being able to control his utter excitement over getting this deepest desire fulfilled? That is where partnering with my son’s Creator is so key – we don’t always know what is going on in their hearts, but He does. There is a time to discipline, a time to say ‘no’ and there is a time to look deeper at the bigger picture!
Oftentimes we teach our children to pray, “Jesus, help me not be scared,” but sometimes we feel afraid or alone as humans. Perhaps the greater lesson is teaching them that Jesus is with them IN the storm. Do you know that Jesus walked through storms, too? Do you know that Jesus went through scary things, too? Do you want to ask Jesus to walk you through this? Do you know that Jesus is always with you? Do you know that we have power when we use His name and speak to the storm?
I will be honest with you and say that two of my children’s love languages are easy for me; I speak their language with ease and fluency. Yet two of them have unnatural languages, even a little annoying to me at times. I started learning more about love languages when I became a single mom, and I assure you the LAST, the very last thing this mama wanted to do was to be childlike and play a game to get that quality time in. Ugh! It was almost painful for me to speak their language of quality time, especially since I was already with them 24/7, non-stop. But my children mattered to me, and God has entrusted me to steward them well. I was learning to lay ME down to fill THEM up. I am a good representative of A SIDE of Jesus, but Jesus has many sides, and my children allow me to become more like Him and walk in greater love as I let their NEEDS grow me into being more like Jesus. John 15:13-14 (TPT) – “For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.”
A parent’s job description includes PLAYING!
I believe in honoring my leaders and being part of the solution instead of just opening my mouth to tear people down. HOWEVER, there are some public people who are not making me feel very safe or relaxed. Their words are fear-producing. My go-to in this process has been whenever I read, see or hear something that ignites worry or fear to STOP, take that thought captive and begin to declare who God is over that person. I have a mental picture of certain public figures who feel big and scary, but they are like two-year-olds to God. I declare over this person that while they may be really LOUD right now, God is not moved by their need to control.
Psalm 118:6 – “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
Psalm 146:3 – “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”
Give it a try. Instead of picturing certain voices as BIG, picture them in relation to GOD!
Has anyone told you how proud they are of you for how you have walked through this intense season while caring for little ones? You are doing it one step at a time, and I am so proud of you! Be kind to your heart.
1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me!
Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey.