If you are having waves of stress from all the uncertainties in the world, can you imagine how children feel? JOY is essential in this hour!!!!!
JOY IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS HOUR
I have been trying to put my finger on what I am sensing and seeing in families. I read this line from a book, and my spirit screamed, “That is what is happening NOW.” The author described a powerful vision of standing under a waterfall of love, peace, joy, and strength. He heard the Lord say that the generational blessings would empower the last generation to complete the race. Then he saw another portal access that was thick tar oozing out. He heard the Lord tell him that the generational iniquity would empower the last generation of wickedness.
So many of you are digging deep and refusing to settle for the ongoing battle over what is yours. You are declaring enough is enough. You are on your face repenting. You are aligning so much from your family line, closing the open doors, and standing bare before the Lord. It is costing you something, but the oil is beautiful. Trust Him that He knows what He is doing in this hour. Your job isn’t to understand it all. Your job is to have your palms up and say, “Yes, Lord.”
Ever have those days where you feel hit from all sides and yet do not know why? Ever feel like a python squeezes you to the point you can’t breathe? Or feel like you are in a war without a name? There is the natural realm with our flesh – all things on earth. There is the heavenly realm which is all things in heaven. But there is the spiritual realm that operates between the two. Satan is the ruler of the spiritual realm. (Adam was, but he gave the keys to Satan in the garden). There is more to what we see and hear. There is an atmosphere of things unseen all around us. Have you ever felt so much love in a room or house? Someone is releasing that into the atmosphere, and you are coming into that presence. Have you ever gone somewhere and fear met you at the door? Again, it is an atmosphere that has been released. Jesus has authority over everything (Matt 28:18), and we can change the atmosphere in His name. How do we do this? By discerning what is being released (and not assuming it is just you) and releasing the opposite spirit. Let me say it this way: tell hell to go in Jesus’ name. Invite heaven to come. In today’s age, much fear and doom are being released by people’s words, the news, social media, etc. I have been on active alert to loosen the spirit of fear that is behind it and command it to go. I have been aware that my declarations of hope, life, and peace are crucial in this hour for my own spiritual health and those around me.
Years ago, I felt attacked relentlessly, and it was intense. All I could do was lie on my bed feeling all alone, completely consumed, and like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit. Ever been there? I eventually reached a dangerously low place in the pit and realized if I did not fight my way out, I might not get out. I knew from experience that this was never a good place to be. I texted a handful of prayer warriors who I knew would bombard the heavenlies on my behalf. I called a friend with whom I could be real and messy. I talked to my mentor and bared all with her. Then, the revelation breakthrough came: I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER THIS! A few days later, I was watching the news and heard of a major story that confirmed what I was feeling/sensing that day. I realized at that moment that I was feeling it for a reason. I became hungry not only to discern what I was sensing in the atmosphere but to be an active participant in releasing heaven in those situations. What you speak, declare, and pray is powerful and has the power to change situations, circumstances, and outcomes. Proverbs 18:21, James 5:16, Matthew 28:18.
HeartWork – Let’s walk this out. Sit quietly for a moment and take a few breaths. What are you feeling/sensing? Fear? Peace? Joy? Strife? Confusion? Comfort? Love? Discern whether what you are feeling is in heaven. Will we experience that in heaven? If not, then you have authority over it. Searching for a Scripture that backs up His truth can be helpful. Say you were feeling anxious and are led to Philippians 4:6. You can declare, “Anxiety, I loosen you to go now in Jesus’ name. You may not speak to my emotions. I invite Holy Spirit to fill me with His power and love.”
Picture a funnel. Do you give your child so much freedom at an early age and then, as the year’s progress, begin to take away their freedom? Or do you start with smaller freedoms and gradually increase it as they display self-control to be able to use freedom wisely? Oftentimes, parents have this mentality that if they put restrictions on their small child, they are breaking their spirit, harnessing them, and controlling them. I beg to differ. When we allow our children to do whatever they want whenever they want, we are teaching them that the world is open and free. While that may be a perfect world, it is not the reality in which they live. The truth is if they steal, they will go to jail. If they speed, they will pay a fine. If they do not pay taxes, the IRS will knock on their door. The world is full of consequences and models God’s principle of reaping and sowing. There will be a time when you will have to say NO to your child, yet the more you teach them they can have whatever they want whenever they want it, the harder the battle will be for them when reality hits. Let’s flip the funnel upside down and limit their freedom as they have the self-control to manage themselves. We do not allow a one-year-old to climb the stairs because their little legs are not strong enough to carry them. We do not allow a ten-year-old to drive a car because it will create greater harm. The same applies to our parenting. You are not stifling them; you are building them up for success for the long haul.
P.S. Teenagers do not like their freedoms taken away! You will have fewer battles down the road if you start out small and build upon them. Entitlement is a tricky thing to break.
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.
A MOM SHARED – “I work in an emergency room, and one day a very patient and loving mother came in with her toddler. I asked if she was a teacher and commented on how patient and caring she was towards her toddler, as most people in the ER are not that full of grace with their children. She told me about LET THE CHILDREN FLY, so here I am, as she just really modeled the type of mother that I would like to be.”
If we focus on being a perfect parent and handling everything just right, we will surely fail because Jesus is the only perfect human. However, our weaknesses, failures, wounds, and mistakes do not disqualify us from equipping our children with the truth that while we may have blown it, Holy Spirit is never impatient or annoyed with us. While Dad might be distracted or absent, Papa God is always eager for our attention and company. Where Mom may lack, He always provides. Where we stumble, He is able. How will children know this unless we actively teach them about the faithfulness of God? So, the next time you blow it, use it as an opportunity to teach your child how awesome and good Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit really are and that while we try, we are not always like Him, but praise God, He isn’t like us either!
I was talking about JOY and CONNECTION in class one day, and this is what one mom shared.
“The Lord told me that I was made for JOY, and I need to experience that with my kids. I am always the ‘get things done’ one, and my husband is more the ‘fun’ one. So the Lord told me to do something with my kids they would never expect from me – something that would make the biggest mess and bring so much laughter. This is with a vision of a chocolate syrup fight with my kids in the backyard. (EEEEEEKKKKK! The mess! The stains! The waste! Sticky chocolate fingerprints everywhere… ahhhhh! Hahaha.) We haven’t done it yet, but five bottles of chocolate syrup are on the grocery list. Lord have mercy!”
I had the privilege of ministering to a group of moms in an 18-month rehab program for drugs and alcohol. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go when I said yes, but I have to say these mamas have stolen my heart, and I have fallen in love with them. They are so hungry for change and transformation. One precious mom sobbed the week before telling me of her daughter’s outbursts and anger. She would get so triggered by her daughter she would have to leave the room. I gave her tools and taught her how to partner with Holy Spirit in her parenting. The next week, she was so excited to tell me that her daughter had another meltdown, and while she was leaving the room, she could see her daughter NEEDING her (before all she could see was the anger), so she went back to her and just held her. She said out loud, “Spirit of rejection, I command you to leave my daughter,” and her daughter went limp and said, “Mommy, what did you just do to me?” OH my goodness! She walked in her God-given authority over the spirit tormenting her daughter and got free. Jesus!
Teaching children about God-designed authority – both under their parents and over the enemy.
On the second day of our online Kingdom parenting class, we talk about CONNECTION. I asked if their parents saw the value in them. There are always two camps. Those who were raised in dysfunctional homes and those whose parents tucked them in at night, took them to Disney, showered them with love and attention, provided for them, and enjoyed them. But there was always a BUT… Since I was in the first camp, this bothered me. Whenever day two would come around, I KNEW what the answers would be, and I would brace myself. Seriously, how can you have a “BUT…” when your parents were there for you, loved you, and were involved in your world? That is until Jesus spoke. He told me that I was becoming judgmental of those who claimed to have a great childhood and still confessed something was missing. Because it was HIM who put that void there. NO child is wired to be 100% filled by their mom and dad. There are some places in our hearts that are reserved for Him. This is great news. If Jesus is ultimately who our children need to be connected with in order to be whole, then maybe 18 years of parenting is less about us and should be more about Him! Even if you were perfect, it would not be enough, so let’s stop trying (and feeling guilty about it when we are not) and usher our children to the only perfect Parent.