LET’S CHOOSE LIFE

LET’S CHOOSE LIFE

Proverbs 18:21 (MSG) says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Parents, let’s CHOOSE LIFE over our children every morning. You can do it verbally, on the bathroom mirror, in a frame (and change it weekly/monthly), or in their lunch box. Each day speak a fresh organic declaration over them or sit down and write them out for your whole family. We each wrote our own and had them posted on our bathroom mirror. I like to do it every morning on the way to school. When I pass a specific building, that is my mental reminder to make sure I am intentionally calling out who they are. I want them to walk into school wrapped in the statement, “I love you. You are important to me. You matter. I am proud of you. You can do this. You are my favorite. You are smart. You have got this. I believe in you.” This is easy on good days but vital when peace seems to go out the window in the mornings.

Here are a few – · I love being your mom! · If I could choose out of all the kids in the world, I would choose YOU. · You have got this. · I loved that you _____ this morning. · Your best is enough. · Best day EVER! · Go shine your light BRIGHT. · You are God’s answer to those around you. · I am so glad God put you in our family. · Being your mom is my favorite job. · I love you, and Jesus loves you. · You made a mess this am, but I love you anyway. · I am so proud of you. · You are such a hard worker. · I believe in you. · You are a joy to be around. · Your siblings are so blessed to have you. · You matter. · I love you to the moon and back. · That was really kind of you to do that. · You make me smile. · There is no one like you. · I love to see how you are growing up. · You are so special. · You are awesome! · I love seeing you smile. · I appreciate you so much.

JEALOUSY

Years ago, we attended weekly Kingdom classes in Denver. I would watch the leader grazing the stage speaking such profound and mighty things. I kept saying to myself, “I am going to do that someday, but BIGGER.” I wanted what they had. I felt pangs of deep longing as they walked in such authority and power. Oh, I wanted it so bad. However, I avoided all eye contact whenever the leader would walk by me for fear they would call on me. I was mortified at the thought of public speaking, the microphone, or being in front of people. I would leave the meetings craving it, yet I was upset with myself for feeling jealous of their gifts and success. I soon began to realize that it wasn’t jealousy that I was feeling but yearning and longing for MY destiny. They were modeling what was possible, and I was so hungry for it. It spoke to who I was created to be. This is an exciting time of revelation and discovering one’s purpose on earth, yet the enemy comes and whispers in our ear that we are jealous, which turns it into a double-minded battle of the mind and heart. Our hearts scream, “I want that so bad,” and yet our minds say, “You shouldn’t be jealous of others.” We should steward the longing, not seeking to harness or shut it down. This is a very delicate season for many. Will we walk in the discomfort of holy dissatisfaction (having the revelation there is more, but not yet there), or will we let the enemy snatch it away with his lies of jealousy and insecurity? Of course, jealousy could reveal the flesh or a wound, but more times than not, it is God allowing you to see a part of your destiny modeled, and it should increase your faith to what is possible. Make a list of the things or people that stir up your jealousy. Do you see a pattern? Ask Jesus what He wants you to see.

ORIGINAL DESIGN

As parents, we get to blow on our child’s areas of strength and empower them in their areas of weakness. We have the privilege of helping them unpack what is inside of them by God’s intentional design to impact those around them. The more this is discovered in childhood, the easier adulthood will be because they already have a grid for who they are. You can’t operate successfully unless you know your original design and purpose.

FAMLY DETOX

Our bodies profit from an occasional detox from the build-up of toxins. It just helps make the rest of the body parts function better. Our family is a body, and it, too, could benefit from a spiritual detox from the hurts, lies, and offenses that have been built up among family members. It never ceases to amaze me when we do this as a family. Everyone is more helpful, joyful, and drawn to connection. Send them to school this year with the slate clean between family members. Have a listen!

Family Detox – YouTube

REJECTING LIES

My daughter woke up early with me, so we went on a date to grab drive-thru coffee and ended up at the bookstore. I noticed a book about the lies young girls believe and handed it to her. She spent a great deal of time browsing the contents and finally put the book down. I asked her why, and she said, “Because I don’t believe lies.” There was such an anointing on what she said. She was not saying she has never believed a lie, nor was she saying she is 100% lie-free, but she was right to say she doesn’t believe lies. I have taught my kids what lies feel like, and they have begun to self-govern when lies are being entertained in their minds. Lies always remove your peace, make your mind spin like crazy, and create feelings of anxiety, worry, and stress in your heart. When my children are feeling this, they know how to ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing?” and they know how to ask Him for His truth. Can you imagine what this generation would look like if they knew how to stomp on the lies that come to steal, kill and destroy?

UNBALANCED SCALES

I like to get away with God to give Him space to speak to me without an agenda. This is what He showed me during our recent time together. I saw a snake wrapped around me I assumed it meant some sort of deliverance (yikes), but He began to talk to me about being ‘joined at the hip’ and how the snake serves as fuzz in Velcro, preventing it from fully attaching and sticking together. I also saw a picture of slime, which by nature, is to be repulsive. Hmmm. As I inquired about the snake, He said the word, ‘scales’ three times. At first, I thought He meant the skin of a snake, but suddenly I saw a picture of a weight scale and instantly heard in my spirit, “God despises unbalanced scales.” This has to do with cheating on the true worth and value of something. I saw a line across a page, and He began to show me that when we are adopted, we are to live in that space. It includes our identity, worth, value, destiny, abilities, energy level, faith, etc. He showed me how people elevate themselves above the line with pride, idol worship (and allowing others to worship them), taking up space that isn’t theirs to take, self-promotion with an orphan heart, striving, building a platform over building His Kingdom, etc. This picture was easy for my mind to see and grasp. Then He said, “But there is another unbalanced scale that I hate,” and He showed me those who operate below the line by partnering with being disempowered, lack need for permission or approval, lacking godly confidence, being timid, shrinking back, not owning their voice, dismissing their gifts, comparison, etc. One elevates themselves above where God has them, and the other lowers themselves below God’s call on their lives. Both are out of balance of the true worth and value of a life called and adopted by God for His Kingdom and purposes. The only way to fully attach to others in the way God intended is to do so from the position He has called us. It is nearly impossible to connect in a healthy way to an idol, just as much as it is hard to thrive with someone who partners with lack. If you find yourself in either camp outside of the balanced God-given space, I encourage you to take some time to make this right with Him. Confess it and ask Him to bring you into His measurement of who you are!

HE IS ALIVE

We were on the road, and I woke early like I usually do, so I snuck out to get some coffee. It was still dark out, and I enjoyed the quiet moment to myself. This profound wave of deep joy and gratefulness came over me (like you feel on Christmas morning), and I began to ponder what TODAY has meant in my life. Yesterday was BRUTAL. It was the day my Savior was beaten and whipped for my sins. As I tell the kids, He took their spanking. It is hard to picture my Jesus nailed to a cross with spikes piercing His hands and feet. Tomorrow is full of JOY. Death is defeated. He IS alive! But TODAY is the day Jesus was in hell. From death to resurrection, He spent His time in hell. Doing what? Gathering ALL of the keys that the enemy stole. He has a key for your relationships, finances, decisions, parenting, attitudes, transitions, desires, conflicts, dreams, problems, heartbreak, and destiny. There isn’t a single thing you are walking through that Christ doesn’t hold the key to. He died naked but rose with the keys – ALL of them. Teach your children they are never without a solution to their problems. No matter how big or small, Jesus has a KEY for it! When your child is struggling with something together, ask, “Jesus, what is the name of the KEY You want me to use in this situation?” You might be surprised how easy yet powerful the keys unlock your situation. Matthew 16:19.

FEEDING YOUR SPIRIT DAILY

What did you eat last night for dinner? How about lunch yesterday? When was the last time you fed your spirit by: reading the Word, praying, declaring, worshiping, encouraging others, laughing, serving others, praising God, journaling, repenting/confessing?

Just like skipping meals and going without food, our spirit becomes weak if we do not feed it often. To be as sharp, aware, alert, and aligned as God desires, we must intentionally feed our spirits daily. Don’t feel like it? That is just a sign you are already spiritually fatigued and lethargic. The way to get out of your funk is to begin eating. I say every day to the kids, “Make sure you feed your spirit!” Teach your children this concept of feeding our bodies and how it relates to feeding our spirit.

GET UP AND FIGHT – WORSHIP

Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary. 

SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

I recently talked with a mom and her young adult daughter about sex and how she navigated through life, making solid choices in a world that screams otherwise. She credited it to this – she was taught sex isn’t something you *shouldn’t* do, but something you *should* protect and value. It wasn’t a ‘thou shall not,’ but rather an ‘I want to protect.’ It was a game changer for her. Sexual empowerment looks like choices and helping children see the value in making healthy choices to protect what is most sacred vs. dictating and demanding they follow a rule to govern themselves.

I’M NOT ASHAMED

One year I showed my children the movie I’m Not Ashamed. I wanted them to see an example of a young teen walking out her love for Jesus in the midst of challenges. Her life became a legacy all too early, but I had no idea how the movie would plant seeds so deep in one of my daughters. She talks about the movie often and how her heart longs to love Jesus with no shame, regret, or fear of man.

I recommend watching this movie together and having a conversation. I’m Not Ashamed – Trailer – YouTube. 

I’M NOT ASHAMED is the inspiring and powerful true story of Rachel Joy Scott – the first student killed in the Columbine high school shooting in 1999. Devout teen Rachel Joy Scott (Masey McLain) shows compassion and love for her fellow students until armed classmates enter Columbine High School on a fateful day that changed America forever.