HEAL MY LAND!

HEAL MY LAND!

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” One small two-letter word is the key to Him healing our land. **IF** What does He consider wicked? We would be wise to know what His heart is so that we can measure ourselves to His standard. Proverbs 6:16-19 (MSG) – “Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.”

It is easy to read this list and say, “Not me! Goodness, with all of the stories on the news today, I am surely not that bad.” But how about we ask Him?

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have walked in pride?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are things I have not been fully truthful about?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have partnered with anger rather than forgiveness?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have desired or acted on revenge?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have rushed to speak instead of seeking to understand?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have shared gossip or juicy stories not even knowing they were 100% true?”

REPENT – “Jesus, will You please show me if there are areas I have caused my family – immediate or church family – hardship or harm by my words or actions?”

REPENT – “Jesus, I confess I have partnered with _____ by _____. I see that this is not Your will for Your children. Will You please forgive me?”

Now go teach your children about these verses, give examples, and teach them how to ask for forgiveness.

TRUTH NOTES

 I love this one. I often get a fun package of sticky notes (fun shapes, cool colors, cute animals) and then write words of truth to each child and stick them in their underwear drawer, between their folded shirts, in their lunch box, on the mirror, in their shoes – the ideas are endless. If they have a test, I will write, “You can do this!” and place it in their book or “Remember, you are never alone” in their lunch bag. If my kids spend the night elsewhere or go to camp, they are armed with TRUTH notes from Mom!

MORE LIKE JESUS

 If I were to ask moms if they wanted to be more like Jesus, most would eagerly raise their hand with a resounding, “Yes!” Yet few of us understand or enjoy the process of becoming more like Him. Let me explain how God gives us an opportunity to be more like Jesus the moment we become parents.

Every home we have lived in had an open floor plan and my four children (very close in age) would begin in one end of the house and zoom in and out of the kitchen, dining room, living room and then repeat over and over at record speed. I am a very fun mom and can handle noises and messes, but it was like they would hit a certain octave and my blood pressure would shoot up. I would cash in on my parental authority and command that everyone switch gears to something more peaceful. I couldn’t shut it down fast enough. This would go on for years and I could never really figure out why I was fine one minute and not the next. One day when I was barking orders for peace, I heard God say, “What are they doing wrong?” I replied, “I don’t know, but I don’t like it.” I began to see that maybe this was my issue and not theirs. For the next month, whenever the kids raced around the house, I would go in the back room and process my heart. I felt anxious, scared and uptight, yet my ears were hearing joy, laughter, and connection. Why was this so upsetting to me? God began to show me that when I was little and my siblings and I would get crazy, all hell would break loose and someone would get punished severely. You didn’t want to be on the receiving end, but worse yet was having to endure listening to your siblings get the wrath. He showed me that joy scared me because it meant someone was going to get hurt. He gave me four bundles of JOY to restore what was lost in my own journey. I began to cry at the reality of just how anxious joy made me feel.

Of all the things I have endured in life, the hardest to walk through has been the healing process of receiving the GOOD. And more times than not, it was something modeled through my children (joy, play, silliness, trust, lavish, loyalty, laughter). They are made in His image, not mine, and God knits them with gifts, talents, and a personality to redeem and restore what was lost in mine. God continues to parent us through our children. It’s like He gives us one set of parents to raise and train us and whatever area was neglected or shut down He continues the job when we become parents and uses our children to parent us (our kids don’t parent us, but He parents us through them). This is why family is so important to Him. He is building something in us and the generations are interconnected.

HeartWork – Get out your journal and recall the last time you had an above average reaction to something your child did. Ask Jesus some questions and allow Him to minister to your heart (do not be introspective, but rather ask and listen to what He has to share). “Jesus, was this their issue or mine?” If it was your issue, ask, “Jesus, what was my heart feeling at the time?” “What made my heart so uncomfortable at that moment?” “When was the first time I felt that emotion?” “What did my heart need?” If your reaction to something is on a scale of 1-5, chances are you are just feeling a response to the event, but if your reaction is a 6-10, there is a good chance you are being triggered from previous situations that brought pain. God wants to heal that place so that you can respond in love and walk in peace.

Use these questions the next time you are triggered with a higher than usual response to your child and allow those uncomfortable moments to be the times you are molded to be more like Jesus. We don’t want our wounds or lack parenting our children. We want to parent from a place of wholeness and freedom. Understanding this is so important because oftentimes we react to our children who aren’t doing anything wrong, yet our reaction (out of a wounded or hurt place) teaches them that it is not okay to be who God made them to be, such as joyful (in my case). Allow Him to parent you through your child!

P.S. I am proud of you for doing the hard things so that your child doesn’t need to reap the fruit.

“NEW” TOYS

Purchase 66-quart bins and fill them with items from their rooms. Put the bin in the basement and bring out a new bin each week. Refill the empty bin and keep rotating a ‘new’ bin each week. You can also get smaller bins and fill them with items like Playdough, coloring books, games, bouncy balls, bubbles, etc., and pull them out when you want them to play. This approach will minimize the constant clutter and make it feel like Christmas with the ‘new’ toys each week. Throw in a movie and some reading books to be re-discovered too.

FAMILY TIME

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.

YES, LORD

Parents often share that, deep down, they are afraid if they say YES to more of God, He will require something of them that they may not want to do (like sell everything and live overseas). I want to challenge this fear-based belief and say that it is more of a reflection of one’s belief about what kind of Father He is. The reality is saying YES to the deeper things of God means you are going to have to enter a training ground of learning how to receive His goodness, kindness, and blessings as a Son/Daughter. And that, for many, is the harder work!!!!

EQUIPPING THEM WITH SKILLS

Parenting is a verb that unfolds over time. We do not sit our children down when they are two and tell them everything there is to know about life. We grow and roll with them as they develop and mature. The same is true for safety. Children under five are mainly going to be with mom and dad, so their world is different than the child who is at the age of going to school, sleepovers, playing with neighbors alone, etc. Giving them the language and tools to be safe will open wider and wider over the years, eventually having them walk out your door prepared with tools to be successful, healthy, functioning adults. When new situations arise (playing alone outside, going to school, sleepovers), you first have to ask yourself, “What have I, as the parent, done to teach them about this in the time of peace?” When a child is begging to go play with the neighbors, that is not the time to teach. Your YES should be dependent upon: #1. Have you equipped them with how to handle that situation in the time of peace? #2. Do they have the skills and responsibility to be successful? Sending them out the door, to the neighbors, or even at school without first preparing and arming them with tools gambles with their success. 

SHALOM

Shalom isn’t the absence of conflict. It is peace in the midst of it. Declare it over your situation. “I speak shalom to ____.”

GOD IS FUN

I hear this all the time – “I believe God is good and loves people, but I don’t think of Him as this fun God. I grew up with a picture that God is always very serious. His Kingdom is serious in that it’s life-changing, but the idea of playing and engaging with Him seems foreign.”

If this is your view of God, I want to invite you to sit with Jesus, His Son. Ask Him, “Jesus, will You please give me a picture of the FUN side of Your Father?” You might want to set an alarm on your phone and ask Jesus to introduce you to this part of His Father every day until you can begin to see and experience this part of YOUR Father, too. Yes, God is Almighty and serious and powerful, but He is also the most fun-loving, tender, and engaged Father.

DEFENDER

Someone needs to ask this question. Ask, “Jesus, how are You defending me in this season?”

Psalm 62:5-8 – “I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector and shelter. So trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for He is our refuge.”

GET UP AND FIGHT – WRITE YOUR STORY

You can write two stories from your experiences. You can write the story based on facts (they rejected me, I am not understood, they do not see me, I am alone). OR you can write the story based on His Truth (I am loved, I am wanted, I have more than enough, He is for me, I am on a journey, I am teachable and usable, I am covered). Facts are not always true, but you can choose which one will become your story. You are not weak. You are not a wet noodle. You are not without hope. You are not done. You are not forgotten. You are not defeated. You are not what your circumstances tell you. You are, my friend, a Daughter/Son of THE God MOST High, and He is for you and has given His life so that you can walk in all victory, power, and strength. This is a CHAPTER, not the whole story. Rise up!