I MISS MY DAD

I MISS MY DAD

Years ago, Hudson was playing with his Legos in his room, and one by one, his sisters joined in the fun. There was so much joy breaking out in his room that I stopped doing my work to join them. I laid on his bed while they all played together, and it was heaven. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Hudson began kicking everyone out of his room. I called him up on the bed and asked what was going on. He wasn’t sure but felt overwhelmed that he had had a sudden flip-of-the-switch in his emotions. I asked if he wanted Jesus to shine His flashlight in his heart to show him what was going on, and he did. The tears began to flow, and he said, “I miss my dad.” All of the fun with Legos with not just one but four other girls triggered that he missed his dad. We were able to walk through forgiving his dad for not being there and asked Jesus how He felt about him. The saddest part of the story is that in the past, I would have normally disciplined him for his outburst against his sisters because he WAS rude, mean, and disrespectful! But his outward outburst was NOT the real issue. His heart was hurting. Do we really want to shut down, spank, time out, and discipline our children when they are grieving their dad? Do they need to grow in maturity with how to handle the hurt? YES! That is called growing up. But we are missing the mark when we place obeying perfectly over connecting with their hearts!

I am asked often with this testimony if I went back and disciplined him for being so rude. NO, not at all. His flesh was immature in getting his hurt out, but once the real issue was resolved, there was no need for discipline. AS discipline isn’t punishment (an eye for an eye) but TO GET to the heart, which God so clearly did. I did ask him to go back and apologize to his sisters for being rude, and it was easy for him to do as he KNEW he was wrong and could do it with ease since his heart was fully seen and heard. Then as a family, we talked about what just happened. Everyone was filled with compassion and kindness for him, and connection was deepened. There is a time for discipline, of course, but the goal should always be to get their heart (otherwise, it is nothing more than legalism, which focuses on outward performance). 

MISTAKES WITHOUT SHAME

I remember the day I made a big parenting mess. My reaction was strong, and the child’s crime did not justify the response. I was triggered and knew it. Normally situations like that would take me days to overcome all of the shame and profound guilt. My mind would spin about being a terrible mom and how sorry I felt for my children. I felt so inadequate raising them, knowing I was on my own journey. Nothing cripples a mama more than feeling like she is negatively affecting her own babies. But I remember the day well. I made a mess, and this time I could give myself compassion and grace. Yes, I needed to confess my behavior to God and ask my child for forgiveness, but this time I did not go down the rapid river of shame. Instead, I stood my ground in being repentant – admitting wrongdoing – but not condemning myself. I was able to speak to my heart gently and not full of accusations. I could be humble that I was wrong without beating myself up. It was glorious. It was the day I experienced making a mistake without shame.

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

There is a real war in the spirit realm to bring about chaos, isolation, hurt, lawlessness, and offense. How do we counter this? By going after the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.

SUMMER

Words are important. God said let there be light and there was light.

Stop for a moment and dream about your ideal summer. What does it look like with connection and activities? How do you want to feel at the end of every day?

This is not a “name it -claim it” teaching, but a model of following our Father and speaking into existence that which is already available into the spirit realm.

Have a family meeting and together make declarations about what you want your summer to be about. Such as, “We will release joy everywhere we go.” “Our summer will be filled with joy.” “We will connect deeply as a family.” “We will love ourselves and others well.” “We will laugh daily.” “We will take responsibility for what is ours.” “We will grow as a family this summer.”

What we are declaring over our families becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When our children hear us communicating that we are dreading the summer or we are so glad school is starting again, it communicates to them the wrong worth and value. Ask Holy Spirit to highlight any false declarations that you have been declaring over yourself, your parenting or your children for the summer months. Ask for forgiveness, if needed.

Flipping Mindsets – Summer is when you get to regroup and get a new vision for your family. You get to shake off all of the events of last year, re-calibrate as a family, go after character growth, learn new skills for life, grow deeper in your connections, and build memories.

Family Rules – 3 big things were lost in the Garden; our sense of BELONGING, our WORTH and our SECURITY. Whatever our household rules, boundaries, limits, or ‘no’s are with children, it must be done in a loving way that still intentionally communicates that they have a place where they belong, that they are incredibly valuable and important and that they are secure and safe. Things like disunity, arguments between parents, ongoing sibling conflict, atmosphere of worry and stress, anger, belittling, disrespect, and lack of intentional family time can all inflict the orphan spirit. I am not talking about a one-time deal like you had a bad day and yelled once. I am talking about lifestyles and norms. Our goal in parenting should be to model heaven.

Rules – Review your household core values and rules as a family. If your children cannot tell you what the rules are, then it will be hard to expect them to govern themselves by them. Play a round of charades acting out what honor, respect, kindness, etc. looks like.

Vision – What is the vision you have for your family? If you do not know what you are aiming for then you will parent inconsistently, which will produce inconsistent and frustrating results for the whole family.

OFFENSE

Offense is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles. John Bevere wrote an incredible book, The Bait of Satan, where he talks about how the enemy uses offense to bait you. Do not fall for it. When you encounter a post, person, or circumstances chomp away at your peace, it is worth exploring if the enemy is baiting you. Do not bite! Nothing gets you off track, out of peace, and listening to the wrong voice than OFFENSE! Matthew 24:10-13 (NKJV) – “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” No, thank you! 

Bait Of Satan – John Bevere – 11/29/15 – YouTube

JOHN 10:10

I have a friend whose teen daughter is fighting for her life after harming herself. I have another friend whose teen daughter ran away, and they don’t know where she is. I have another friend with a teen son addicted to porn. Another friend has a daughter in a psych ward. The one thing they all have in common is that they all passionately love Jesus. The battle for our children is real. We MUST equip our children with heaven’s tools to deal with hurts, lies, and offenses. As believers, we may experience the beginning of John 10:10, but we get to camp out in the last part! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

HUMILITY

Teaching your child to confess their sin robs the enemy of his desire to wrap them in shame. Humility is taught, not to condemn but to FREE us from the sins of our flesh. It looks like this: There is conflict, and you ask, “Sweetie, what did you do wrong?” They tell you their part (confession), and then you help them ask for forgiveness. “Jesus, I hurt my brother. Would You please forgive me?” If they honestly can’t tell you what they did wrong, then YOU haven’t done your part as a parent to teach them what right living (righteousness) looks like in that situation. Teach and empower them in times of peace what right living looks like. Forgiveness isn’t a blank credit card for our sins. It is a GIFT that needs to be acknowledged, honored, and intentionally received. When children mess up, they carry the guilt, which can easily become shameful if not dealt with. Helping them confess brings peace to their heart.

OVER/UNDER PARENTING

We can parent our children by standing OVER them and using our authority in a way that dominates and uses fear (of your disapproval, punishment or lack) as a motivator to control. We do this through scolding, yelling, harsh punishments, disconnection, ill words, anger, and withholding. OR we can use our authority to get UNDER our children and see their weakness as an area we get to empower them and help them grow and learn. We do this through teaching in the time of peace, connection, kindness, encouraging words, tangible skills and solutions, believing in them, cheering them on and expecting more of them.

JOURNEY NOT DESTINATION

The goal is not to be airlifted and dropped in the middle of the ocean just to say you have arrived in the depths. The goal is to do the journey with Him every step of the way. He is much more interested in your JOURNEY with Him than He is with your destination. So, what do you have going on today? Do it WITH Him.

BRING JESUS

Sometimes we bring our children to Jesus, and other times we bring Jesus to our children.