MY MAMA JOURNEY

MY MAMA JOURNEY

I survived a near-death experience and was told I would never be able to have any biological children due to the surgeries. I married with that understanding, and we were approved and waiting for our first foster child when we discovered we were pregnant. Two months later, we lost our child, and it was devastating. I sat in our sunlit living room and cried for 8 hours, not only mourning the events that will never happen but wondering why God allowed me to get pregnant if we were content from the beginning not to have our own. That loss shifted something so deep within me to reject the words spoken over my body. While I never got to hold this child, their life taught me that it is okay to believe in God’s ability over reality. We got pregnant again the following month but lost that child too. The thing that brought my mama’s heart so much comfort was this mental picture of Jesus holding both of my babies in each of His arms, like twins. However, I could feel something was off inside of me, yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. I went to someone in the church trained in inner healing ministry, and while I no longer struggled with suicide as I did in my earlier years, we felt led to deal with the spirit of death. While I never got to hold this child either, I was set free from a spirit of death throughout their life.

A month later, we got pregnant with TWINS. God was aligning my heart with His and showing me the mighty redemption of things lost and stolen in the family. Through my full-term twin pregnancy, I was learning to experience the goodness of God’s love and joy on a whole new level. I was becoming a mom and had the power to change the life of another human being.

When Lauren and Emma were four months old, we got pregnant with Hudson (named after Hudson Taylor). My pregnancy was challenging, and I knew something wasn’t right. Due to random events, we scheduled my C-section earlier than his due date, and it ended up being a 2.5-hour procedure because the OB who delivered my twins failed to sew me back up inside, wreaking havoc inside my body. Had I not gotten pregnant again so soon and needed a C-section, I would have ruptured on the inside, leaving my twins without a mother. Hudson’s birth literally saved my life. This has been such a prophetic statement on how God uses our children to heal, redeem, and restore things in our lives. Where I was to give life and birth to my son, in reality, he gave it to me.

I was asked many times if we were done having kids knowing how full my hands were with three children under 14 months. While everything in me screamed YES, I didn’t have peace about it. Three years later, Ellie Rose entered this world and completed our family. Waiting for her taught me that whatever is ‘right,’ logical, or even considered wise, does not matter if it does not bring peace. I have been reminded of this many times over the years as I have chosen not to follow the norm, popular vote, or what I ‘should’ do, but rather be led by peace for my unique family. And so, my journey into motherhood began. 

RELEASE & REST

Rest is not being inactive. Rest is the position of our heart after we have released something over to God and left it in His care. We cease taking matters into our own hands and operating in self-sufficiency. We hand over the transaction to Him, and at that moment, we are in restful confidence He can act on our behalf. We rest in the assurance that He is able, capable, mighty, willing, powerful, and active in our lives. Simply put, spiritual orphans can NOT find rest because the world’s weight is on them to self-provide, self-protect, self-defend, and self-secure. But as Sons and Daughters, we have a Father who is alive and well and wants to help us. Have you ever sat on an aircraft and watched people attempt to put their luggage in the overhead compartment? They struggle to lift the weight of their carry-on above their head while juggling their coffee, trying hard not to hit the person in front of them. Along comes a flight attendant in full confidence in their ability to help lighten the load and get them situated. Have you ever watched a child struggle to tie their shoes or fasten their pant button? They get frustrated easily with their lack of ability. A loving parent comes alongside them and, with ease, eagerly helps them. The Father is like the flight attendant wanting to carry your load. The Father is like a loving parent wanting to help in your time of need. Rest is not simply doing nothing. Rest is releasing your burdens for Him to do something. 

HeartWork – “Jesus, I surrender and hand to You my burden of _____.”

RESISTANCE

We had a Let the Children Fly team meeting and I could sense many people were dealing with spiritual resistance (the refusal to accept or comply with something, the attempt to prevent something by action or argument). As I was sharing my experience, I saw this picture of workout resistance bands wrapped around one’s legs. They can still walk, but every step requires more effort because resistance is set up to oppose their steps. I got the idea to grab rubber bands and put them between our fingers to feel the resistance. I put on some worship music, and we just spent time aligning our hearts with His.

During worship, God reminded me of a story where a man came up against great resistance, but God put up the block for his training and development. When the challenging season was over, he knew his anointing had doubled. I began to process that some resistance is good and from the Father’s hand to develop us more like Jesus. But then I saw this picture of the enemy using resistance and disguising it as being from Him. And that is when God showed me the strategy. Many people are experiencing resistance and simply accepting it, going low, and submitting to the Father when in reality, it needs to be dealt with in the spiritual realm. The more they partnered with the resistance saying, “Well, it is just for my development,” or “It comes with the territory of breakthrough,” they were actually partnering with the enemy who was bringing the wrong kind of resistance against them, their minds, calling, assignments and relationships. What’s the difference? Your level of peace! God’s training, character development, increasing our capacity, and seasons of refinement are not always pleasant, but they come with a layer of peace. Only God can discipline you in a way that still somehow feels loving and protective. If the resistance you are experiencing makes you feel uneasy, unsettled, full of lack, discouragement, or hopelessness, then perhaps it is not more patience that you need but a revelation of your authority to resist the resistance and watch it flee. I gave each team member scissors, and we stretched the rubber bands between our fingers to feel the resistance and then cut it. The bands went flying everywhere, and joy broke out. We all felt lighter and restored to hope and confidence that He will complete the work in us and fulfill the promises over us in His way and in His timing.

I CARE

Ah, we did it – FINALLY. FB removed 2,000 families from my group for not engaging a while back. I never set out to grow a name or platform for myself. I just want families aligned with Him. I want to give parents the keys and tools that my mom needed for me (but never found). I want children to know they are loved, powerful, and wanted. Those 2,000 families mattered to me because they mattered to Him. I cried when I got the message from F B telling me they ‘helped me clean my group’ not because MY numbers changed, but because they are HIS children. While I may never be able to get them back (and pray they do not think *I* am the one who removed them), I have been praying for repayment. We gained the 2,000th family back, and I cried again. Jesus, have Your way with Let the Children Fly reaching more families! They matter to me because they matter to YOU.

ME, ME, ME FIRST!

We had a situation when the twins were four years old down at the park – they both wanted to go up the ladder first and stood there arguing about it. Finally, I explained that someone had to give in and let the other person go. Every time they went down the slide, they would come back and repeat their argument. Finally, I declared “park over,” and we came home. I sat them down and had an intentional teaching time. Jesus says those who are last are first in the Kingdom. We practiced someone being first and someone being last. We instilled a phrase in them: “Ah, no, YOU go first!” It works because they see the heart of being last, which means you are blessed, and there is no lack. Years later, we are still using that phrase as a reminder. 

**My twins are now adults, and they often talk about this day. It has reaped so much good fruit in them. If you need to teach your children about character, check out our Character Counts digital resource: Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly

GOD WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU!

Too many believers have limited their relationship with God with the written Word (which is very important and must be our anchor of truth), but He wants us to relate to Him, hear Him, feel His love, and experience Him. I liken the difference to wives whose husbands are overseas; while they may exchange beautiful love letters, it is not the same as the wife whose husband is there every night holding her, kissing her, and protecting her. The latter is the kind of love Jesus wants to have with us. We all know no marriage would be healthy or survive without communication. That is how personal God wants our relationship with Him to be. How could anyone find that level of intimacy with someone without talking, listening, and responding to each other? I have often heard people say that they believed God loved them in the “He loves the world” sense but had never fully understood how much He loved THEM personally until they heard Him speaking to them. 

Let’s invite Holy Spirit to do what He does best. Pray out loud: “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and remove everything and anything acting as earmuffs. I want to hear my Father’s voice more and more. I grant You permission to teach me anything You want about my Father’s voice. Come and have Your way with me.” Do we think that after all He went through to get us to come to Him, He suddenly has nothing more to say to us? God wants to speak to YOU!

YOUR JOURNEY BECOMES THEIR JOURNEY

Parents can’t help but parent out of their own journey, which often includes their own hurts, lies, and offenses. Parents who don’t know who they are can’t empower their children with who God called them to be, and this creates things that are out of alignment with His Kingdom. We don’t want to shut down in our children what needs to be awakened in us. Often, God allows our children to carry something that rubs us the wrong way. It isn’t that they are doing something wrong. It is that something needs to be healed, aligned, or brought to life in us, and God is parenting us through them. God often takes that adult child on a journey of healing, not just for their own heart, but for the family KEYS that their parents needed. It is never too late to bring healing to your family line, and sometimes it flows up the generations. Let the healing in your heart not only impact your children but your parents and grandparents too.

MENTAL ADJUSTMENT

I am being stretched in the area of patience, and for someone who is normally wired for fast-paced, productive movement, it hit me hard. I could feel myself sinking by the hour; it isn’t healthy to be in that place very long. I got the kids through dinner and took off by myself. I just stood soaking in the view and breathing in the air. I realized my MIND needed an adjustment similar to my back needing a chiropractor. I was aware I was out of alignment but could not pop it back in myself. I needed the GREAT PHYSICIAN to help align me. I confessed my attitude and weariness and cried out for help. I was tired, sad, and frustrated and needed the strength to endure more but from a place of rising above, not sinking lower. I needed Psalms 40:1-3 to be my reality: “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” 

Sometimes God aligns us through revelation, correction, or inner healing, yet sometimes He does it in a way that is so gentle and light we can’t even pinpoint how or when He changed us. Like a Father who gently guides a child’s chin to look into His eyes, all becomes well again. God does not want us to endure hard things; He wants us to find HIM in the midst of it.

PREPARING FOR BATTLE

I am confident of God’s leading me as my Husband, and He has been so faithful over the years. We entered the home stretch of the election war and really wanted to hear His heart and strategy for our family. We spent time just being quiet and enjoying His presence while listening to a worship song. Then I asked the question, “Jesus, is there anything specifically You want us to do to prepare for the season we are in?” The children each heard similar things regarding strategy, and it was very confirming, but Emma said, “I heard Him say that we are to stock up in our hearts, especially with JOY, because joy gives us the will to fight hard things.”

It would be impossible to be fully prepared for whatever could come our way. But stocking up on the ingredients that will help us weather any storm is essential right now. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that gives us the will to fight and endure hard things. Joy is your weapon – stock up on an arsenal of it.

LOOK BEYOND THEIR FLESH

Picture a toddler screaming and crying in the middle of the grocery store. No matter what you say, he turns a deaf ear to you. He is kicking and flapping his arms hysterically – a total and complete meltdown. Everyone is looking at you in the checkout lane, wondering why you can’t control your child. You feel the piercing stares of judgment. How would you respond? 

How about this scene? Picture sitting in a country club – the kind where they eat lunch in diamonds and pearls – and in walks an elderly man and four children. The children are all nicely dressed but unruly, bouncing all over the chairs and disrupting the people around them. The youngest won’t stop crying and the eldest are bickering. The guests are getting more and more agitated at this appalling site. Judgment and stern looks are being thrown towards the man allowing such disgrace to intrude on their well-to-do luncheon. 

What would you say if I told you the young toddler above was dealing with a double ear infection, and his eardrum just popped? Is the issue the meltdown or bacteria in his eustachian tubes? I am sure the words ‘eustachian tube’ were the last thing on your mind, but that area of his body is raging with pain, and nothing else matters to him at that moment. What would you say if I told you the rest of the story of the kids at the country club? Finally, the affluent guests couldn’t take it any longer and called the manager over to request the immediate removal of such nonsense. The manager replies, “Oh, I am so sorry. That is their grandfather, and they just came from their parent’s funeral. They both died in a car accident last week.” 

I share this to make a strong point – we have to look beyond their flesh and have to discover what is REALLY going on inside of them. Spanking, time outs, discipline, removing toys, withholding dessert, doubling chores, yelling, ignoring, giving them an electronic or bribing them with a sugary treat is as foolish at that moment as treating a broken leg by doing laundry. When we are empowered with the truth of what we are dealing with, we will be so much better and help them overcome and win the battle.