MOVE YOUR GAZE

MOVE YOUR GAZE

How many of you were parented in a way you do not wish to repeat with your children? If that is you, please hear this!!! When you vow not to parent like your parents, you fix your eyes on them and what they did/didn’t do. We yoke ourselves to whatever our eyes are set upon. Guess what? You will not be able to enter the fullness of what God has for you as a parent because your eyes are on man, not Him. Dad was intimidating – “I will never make my child feel intimidated”, Mom was emotional – “I will never show my child out-of-control emotions”, Dad was absent – “I will never leave my child alone”, Mom was angry – “I will never get angry with my child”, Dad was dominating -“I will never control my child”. While all of these may be true to some extent #1. You are seeing your parents through the eyes of a child. #2. You are replacing their less-than-ideal parenting with another faulty parenting plan. #3. You will rob yourself of parenting skills and tools and may look and feel like your parents, but it isn’t. The heart and motive behind parenting tools make all the difference in the world. You are using your parents’ choices to guide you, which will not lead you where you need to go. We can only parent fully when our eyes and heart are on HIM. We need to break the vow, “I will not parent like my mom/dad did,” and need to release to them their choices so that we are free to make our own.

I encourage you to spend some time today and walk through the following. Forgive your parents for the ways they parented you outside of the way God parents us. Repent of making a vow not to be like them. “Jesus, I confess I have yoked myself to my parent’s choices. I repent of putting my eyes on anyone other than You. Will You please forgive me?” Don’t just ask for forgiveness, but truly receive His reply. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what was going on inside my mom/dad to partner with that parenting style?” Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees in their heart and what is going on for them. The true fruit of forgiveness is the ability to have compassion for one’s ill choices, not because you like or accept them, but because you have a greater understanding. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what lies I have believed regarding my parenting?” Ask, “Father, will You please show me a picture of how I can model my parenting after You and Your heart?” Invite Holy Spirit to be your teacher. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to show me how to parent after the Father’s heart. Please teach me what it looks like to parent as a Son/Daughter.” Thank Jesus for aligning you so that your children can reap the fruit of healthy parenting that reflects His heart.

DEALING WITH THE REAL ISSUE

I love testimonies from our Kingdom parenting online class: “This lesson is so timely! Today my daughter passionately refused to do her family contribution (chores), which is so out of character for her. I couldn’t put my finger on the real cause. As I was reading the lesson, Holy Spirit reminded me of the hurt she incurred at school today from her teacher. Wow! What a different night we would have had if I had dealt with the REAL issue – the heart splinter!”

TOUCHPOINTS

A mom recently asked me what to do when her child has to face hard things that are outside of her control to change. We talked for a moment about how to keep our children safe, but then I introduced her to what I have called ‘touchpoints.’ Touchpoints are those places where two places touch each other. The one end is our child’s need, lack, or hard circumstances; the other end is heaven’s tools and strategy. When the two of them touch, it no longer becomes just the hard or challenging circumstances but where our child gets strengthened, equipped, armed, and empowered to overcome, grow, conquer and become victorious. While I may not be able to prevent every negative thing that comes their way, I surely can give them the tools of heaven to win the battle. Where is your child enduring hardship, lack of pain? How can you, as their parent, equip them in that area with the tools of heaven?

STILL BELONG

There is an area my son lacks. As a mom, I have noticed this, and together we have gone after increasing his capacity for quite some time. However, he seems to be in a season where his faithfulness is less and less. It is frustrating (like UBER frustrating). As a leader/mom, God has spoken deeply to me about what he needs during this season. Is it to be harder on him? Greater consequences? Remind him often of his failure? Let it go and hope he grows out of it? It happened again one morning, despite talking about it the night before. He came to me and said, “Mom, I know I messed up again.” We talked about it for a moment but had to keep going to get ready. About five minutes later, I went to him while he was tying his shoes and sat at his feet. I put my hands on his knees, and the anointing flowed as I blessed his journey into manhood. I told him I was okay with the process because I knew where he was headed. I assured him I would sit with him for as long as it took because that is what mothers do. I told him there was still a spot for him in our family and that mistakes do not mean being sent to the end of the line. Tears began to flow. I blessed his brain trying to manage responsibility and hormones. I blessed his value and worth that are anchored in Him, not his performance. I blessed his messes because God is using them for his growth and refinement. 

I speak that over YOU today. There is still room for you at the table. Your messes are part of the growth process. There is still room for you. God has not weakened His gaze or affection over you. You have permission to be on your journey and learn as you grow! We live in a performance-based culture that values your A+ and rejects you for getting a C. God values your process and journey of becoming the full expression of who you were created to be. Break agreement with any voice telling you otherwise!

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). 

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.

WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO PARTNER WITH?

Ellie had a school fundraiser where she had to run a long course, and along the way, they throw colored powder on the runners. Super fun! The morning of the run, she said she was worried about running. I asked her why since she usually is quite fast and does well. She said, “I am so afraid I will come in last.” Together we asked Jesus to show her what she was so afraid of with coming in last, and she said, “People will think I am not good enough.” We talked about the truth that SOMEONE has to arrive first, and there is always someone at the end. That’s life. But we want to make sure that we aren’t carrying LIES about our worth and value if we come in first OR last. Jesus showed her that when she carries the weight of worry and anxiety, she is slowing herself down and not doing her best. I had her confess to Jesus that she was partnering with worry, and she asked Him to help her run HER best. Jesus is building her life story and had a lesson that she can choose to partner with worry and anxiety or trust Him to help her. A lesson that she will need to choose for the rest of her life.

CRAZY CYCLE

This is going to be a HUGE key for many parents! From a very early age, I could feel resistance with one of my daughters. I figured it was a generational thing and have intentionally gone after her heart. I would find myself saying YES to the others with ease, but my heart was hesitant, and I always wanted to say NO to her. It made no sense to me, but I could feel it. She agitated me in a way the others didn’t, yet she wasn’t really doing anything in the natural to warrant it. It was awful to admit because it felt like maybe I even liked her less than the others. I didn’t, but the resistance always made me feel like I was subtly rejecting my own child. God later revealed this to me through someone else, and I rushed home to share it with my daughter. She cried and began to tell me that she felt it, too, and even when we would go on dates, she felt like she couldn’t get close to me. We walked through what this looked like between us and have had such breakthrough.

It looks like this: When there is control-based parenting, the child responds in one of two ways. #1. They feel resistance, anger, and/or have hate or murder in their heart (which doesn’t mean death but can ‘kill’ you with their words). These children then partner with the spirit of REBELLION in their hearts. This can be outward or inward rebellion. #2. The other child feels hurt, isolated, withdrawn, unworthy, like a victim, and helpless when faced with a controlling parent, and they partner with a spirit of REJECTION. The problem is that when the parent feels the spirit of rebellion or rejection coming from the child, it makes them increase their control. A crazy cycle begins in which neither the parent nor the child is really seeing/responding to the other person, but rather the two spirits of control and rebellion/rejection are having a hay day! Connection, love, and unity go right out the window.

My daughter was partnering with a spirit of rejection, and I CAN’T STAND the spirit of rejection. My daughter wasn’t agitating me; the spirit was. Once she began to partner with that spirit, no matter what I would say, she would feel hurt and rejected, which drove me up a wall (in all honesty). I did use more control-based parenting until she was around five years old when I discovered Holy Spirit. But I think it has more to do with how opposite we are. She is my dancing, joyful, giddy, silly, talk a mile a minute, always wanting to create things, bake things, make a mess with paints, glitter and glue kid. I am busy, serious, don’t like messes, and have little appreciation for creative arts. Neither of us are wrong, but because I am the adult, she was feeling controlled by my repetitive ‘no’ answers and not giving her more freedom to be herself. The cycle had gone on for so long that it began to feel normal. It is easier to partner with control when they are younger, but once the spirit of rebellion and rejection are in motion, it is the tween and teen years where the ‘fruit’ of that parenting really begins to reveal itself in the child. Since the spirit of rebellion and rejection have a legal right to be there, they influence the child to behave and make choices that only further the parents’ drive for control. Obviously, rebellion and rejection are not what we want to introduce our children to. We are the ones to break the cycle!

Praise God for this incredible revelation and tool so that we can break free from the enemy’s tools of control, rebellion, and rejection, and we can walk in freedom and connection. If this sounds like something that you are experiencing with one of your children, I encourage you to spend time with Holy Spirit talking to Him about it. If you need to repent, do that first. Set a date with your child (mine was out on the driveway while the other kids were inside). Fill their love tank for a few minutes first, as a filled tank always lowers the walls and makes hard conversations easier. Explain to them that God loves them so much and has shown you an area that you need to change (this makes them feel secure that God has their back, too). I drew a figure 8 and showed her how the crazy cycle went around and around and how we both played our roles. I asked her to please forgive me for making her feel controlled. I also helped her walk through asking Jesus for forgiveness for partnering with the lie and spirit of rejection. We hugged and cried and allowed for Holy Spirit to heal without words for a while. We then tasted the new fruit in the days to come. I also called a family meeting and made sure everyone was aware of the cycle. We agreed that when they were feeling controlled, or I was seeing the rebellion/rejection, we could call out a special code to signal we were partnering with it again. I also want to add that children can control their parents, causing parents to partner with rebellion and rejection, too. This can also be a dynamic with siblings where one is controlling another. If you had a controlling parent, ask Holy Spirit if you are still allowing the spirit of rebellion or rejection to influence you today. Spirits don’t leave us just because we move out of the house. This is NOT a reflection of you being a bad parent, but rather a reflection of the enemy and what he does best – kill, steal and destroy – in this case, the connection with our children. Don’t allow him to put the blame back on you. It is okay to get mad that many of us come under this but use the anger to rise up in your authority and break the cycle. Ask Holy Spirit what keys He wants you to use with your child to repair the connection. Thank You, Father, for being a perfect parent and helping us along the way!

Crazy cycle between parent and child: Crazy Cycle Between Parent & Child – YouTube

DAD’S GROUP

I heard God say, “Go talk to the men.” I looked around in a room full of people and asked which one. I heard it again, “Go talk to the men.” I wasn’t sure which one I was supposed to go to. When I heard it again, I realized He didn’t say talk to a man, but MEN. I told Him I would but asked what I was supposed to say. He said, “I will tell you.” I waited… and waited… and waited. He finally revealed the message: I am talking to the men – the husbands, fathers, grandpas, leaders, uncles, and brothers.

Men, do not abdicate your mantle. – YouTube

INSTRUCTING VS. TEACHING

Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”

Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?

FATHER KNOWS BEST

Hudson likes to wear his sports pants every single day! He walked out of his room with them on AGAIN, and I told him he needed to dress nicer. As he walked away deflated, I heard God say, “Let it go!” I called him back and shared how his Father defended him and apologized. We hugged, and all was fine. He came to breakfast with a whole new outfit on. A tear rolled down my face as I realized that he was motivated by the Father’s love (not my expectations).