I SEE YOU

I SEE YOU

I got this really strong impression on my heart, and I believe it is for some of your children. We can be together 24/7 and still feel alone. I sensed there was a child in the family feeling lonely and really needing the gift of being seen.

Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me which family member needs to be seen today?” and then gather the rest of the family members and say something like, “Jesus told me that _____ really needs to know we see him/her today. Let’s ask Him what we can do to celebrate them,” and then listen together. Do not underestimate mission work in your own home.

EASTER

For those of you who do Easter eggs with the kids, hide one that is EMPTY. Make a big deal about it being the best one. When they open it, they will be confused. Explain to them that the BEST NEWS is that the tomb is EMPTY, and that is why we celebrate Easter. The Cross is part of the journey, but the EMPTY tomb is what we celebrate.

WORTHY IS THE LAMB

Worthy is the lamb is more than a good worship song – it is the position of our hearts. The elders and angels bow down and worship WORTHY IS THE LAMB over and over and over for all eternity. The Lord owes us nothing. Not comfort, morning coffee, electricity, toys, expensive vehicles, nice homes, or a paycheck. He gives these things because He is a good Father, but He owes us NOTHING and deserves it all. In this hour, it is so important to teach our children that He is worthy – all the time – of it all! 

Wor·thy – adjective – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way. Noun – a person notable or important in a particular sphere. 

Have the kids glue cotton balls around a drawn or printed lamb and talk about the countless things He is worthy of.

SEXUAL SAFETY

We teach our kids bike safety. We teach them not to answer the door for stranger safety. We teach them “Stop, Drop and Roll” for fire safety. We teach them to wear a life jacket for water safety. But do we teach them sexual safety? Predators are looking for one thing – a child who has no grid for what is happening and has never been taught about sexual safety. When a child encounters things that are sexually unsafe, their spirit knows something is wrong, but they freeze because they do not know how to handle what is happening. They have been taught to obey adults, not to talk back, to never hit, etc.

#1. Children need to know the proper names for body parts – all of them. 

#2. Children need to know what to do should they ever feel unsafe. 

#3. Children need to know that they are never alone and can ask Jesus for help in ALL circumstances.

LET IT OUT

I woke to the sound of my daughter throwing up. I had to manage my nose carefully, or the mere smell would cause me to join her. I couldn’t bear the thought of her enduring getting sick alone, so I covered my nose and put my hand on her back, assuring her she would be okay. As I prayed over her, I began to think how incredibly nasty throw-up is. Yet I was praying that whatever was inside of her would come out. I began to think of poop and how utterly gross that is, yet without that daily function, we would die. God designed our bodies to get rid of whatever is making us sick. I thought of how our minds sometimes get filled with toxic things and need a good throw-up! I am more concerned with the lies my child may pick up after enduring an unpleasant situation than I am about the actual situation. It isn’t the event that causes lasting trauma; it is the lie and trapped pain that wreaks havoc on their systems. I often ask, “Are you willing to ask Jesus to show you if you are believing any lies because of (whatever the event).” It isn’t a matter of IF your children will ever believe lies; it is a matter of WHEN. We can arm them with creative ways to break agreement with the lie. I used to keep colored markers by the toilet. When Jesus revealed a lie they believed, we would write/draw it on a piece of toilet paper, and then they would toss it in the toilet and watch the colors swirl as we flushed the lie. We have burned them in the backyard fire pit. We have put them in the shredder. We have written them on the bathroom mirror and then used a spray bottle to wash away the lie. We have wadded them up in a paper ball and thrown them out. We have put them on the ground and stomped on them. Either way, help your child vomit the lies they believe.

HEARING GOD

God speaks to us in various ways, but one powerful way He speaks to His children is through peace. 

Peace – a sense of liquid peace comes over you like a warm blanket. Do you know that God is peace? Pure, 100% peace that doesn’t match your physical, on-earth circumstances. When we sit quietly and invite His presence, we can often feel it in the form of peace washing over us. What does a loving Father do when His children are upset? Begin giving instruction? NO! A loving Father would scoop them up, hold them close to His chest, and embrace their tiny bodies. He is communicating love, protection, safety, and security in His embrace. Sometimes we want God to tell us this and that, and sometimes He just wants to wrap us in His presence, and out of that, He leads us where we need to be. This is truly ‘entering the place of rest’ that so few believers learn to enjoy. We want to squirm or ‘do’ instead of just resting while He holds us. 

Think about what life would be like if you went mute and had to try to teach, train, and love your children without words. Seriously, think about how many times a day you use your words to guide your children, teach and train them, encourage them, cheer them on, and help them. How often do you use your words to lavish love all over them and tell them how precious and beautiful they are to you? Now ponder how often you let your Father speak to you a day.

LET’S ASK JESUS

“Jesus, will You show me a picture of something You did for me yesterday?”

Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is empowering for children because it gives you a chance to model how you communicate with God, increase their faith, and encounter Him as a family. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened over time, such as worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.

SEXUAL SAFETY

I once told the kids I took a picture of their poop and posted it on Facebook. They were mortified. I asked them why and they said, “Because that is PRIVATE, Mom.” I put them out of their misery and told them I agreed and would never do that to them. I then explained that their God-given body parts are private too – just like boogers and poop – there is nothing shameful in going to the bathroom, but we keep it to ourselves. Children must be proactively taught by their PARENTS that #1. No one can LOOK at their private parts. #2. No one can TOUCH their private parts. #3. No one can take a PHOTO of their private parts.

PROPER AUTHORITY

We don’t want to use our parental authority to control our children to keep our childhood wounds comfortable. We want to use the way our children trigger us to get healed so that we can respond to them as a loving parent.

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 ____.”

USHERING CHILDREN INTO ENCOUNTERS

Do children need to be believers to play in the Kingdom or do they play in the Kingdom to choose Him? I think it is both. When did God speak the loudest to Saul (Paul)?  When He was Jesus’ enemy #1. When did Jesus invite Matthew?  When he was full of greed. When did Jesus welcome the man on the cross?  When he was destined to hell. God’s most profound act of love was a free gift to those who didn’t know Him. Oh, yes, He cares for those who do not yet know Him. God speaks and interacts with unbelievers. And in doing so, it provides an encounter with the One who is worthy of it all. Encounters become the gateway in which many realize He is the One and make the choice to follow Him. This is a glorious, beautiful event because it becomes their testimony which no man can argue or deny. Our goal as parents should be to seek to provide our children with encounters with Him and the joy of playing in His Kingdom so that they experience Him. Head knowledge is religion where encounters are relationship.

Some ways to usher our children into an encounter could include: showing them a Scripture of how much Jesus cares about them (not just to correct their behavior), asking Jesus questions that pertain to their world, heart and cares, inviting Jesus into their pain, taking them to church, allowing them to stay with you during worship, sharing with them what He showed you during your quiet time, telling your own God stories, letting them dance at home with worship music, soaking (simply sitting/lying quietly generally with music on to feel His peace), asking God to help them with something (and then helping them see how He responded).

When my children were little, I had a sign on the wall that said, “Dear Jesus, thank You for ______. Would You please help me with ______”. Each day they would pray filling in the blanks. I was modeling for them how to be thankful and come to Jesus with what was important to their heart. At the end of the day, we would play the High/Low game where they would share what was the high and low of their day. Their highs would almost always reflect the very thing they asked Jesus for. One day my daughter asked Jesus to help her get a sweet treat. It felt rather insignificant to me, but hours later we were at a store, and a clerk said she made one too many ice cream cones and offered it to my daughter. I immediately reminded her of her prayer that morning. I saw my role as a dot connector. Teaching them to pray, then helping them see the way God was responding and speaking to them. Their faith grew each time leaving them hungry for more. We were building their stories with Him long before any of them made a personal decision to follow Him.