NO JUNIOR HOLY SPIRIT

NO JUNIOR HOLY SPIRIT

We attended a service, and they announced the little kids would be coming in and passing something out to the adults. I assumed it would be the youth group, but in walked the smallest of kids. They were adorable in every way! Suddenly the worship was ignited, and His sweet presence filled the room. It was like you couldn’t cuddle deep enough in His lap. It was so safe and secure. I asked God what He was doing, and He reminded me of a vision He gave me years ago about revival. He asked if I would enjoy a family reunion with the great and great greats. I agreed it would be so much fun to see those in my family line. He asked how I would feel if my own children weren’t there, and I would be sad if they missed out. It would bring me so much joy to have them there with me to experience what I was experiencing. He said, “That is how I feel when ALL of my family is together.”

Get this – adults are feeling uncomfortable, and He brings the little ones into the room, releasing His presence over the adults, and touching them deeply. The Father’s delight is released when the WHOLE family is present in His presence.

LAUGHING AT LIES

“My three-year-old daughter and I have been butting heads. She has been disobedient and extremely whiny. I tried various methods to learn what was going on with my daughter. Today, I finally sat her down with paper and colored pencils (an idea I learned from you). I asked her to draw Mommy a picture of how her heart was feeling. I left her quietly to herself. I returned shortly after, and all she had on the picture were black scribble lines. I asked her to describe to me what her picture meant. She said, “It means (pause) that things just aren’t working out for me.” WHAT?! That is a lie from the pit! I immediately asked her to ask Jesus if this was the truth. After asking Him, she said, “No, it’s not true.” I encouraged her that we can laugh at lies instead of partnering with them. Together we laughed at the lie. Finally, we declared the truth, and she was immediately all smiles again.”

ACTS OF SERVICE

A mom mentioned: When I read about children with the language of acts of service wanting you to help them, I thought of my daughter. An example would be me fixing her hair. Sometimes I don’t have time to help her and ask her to do it herself, and she does get upset actually.”

My response: I know you love her and show it through providing breakfast, clean clothes, and getting her to school, but can you increase doing it in a way that she values and understands? What if sending her to school with her hair done by you filled her tank in a way that empowered and helped her throughout the day to feel safe and secure? Would you want to do it then? She is giving you the keys to her heart. The amazing thing about children is that their hearts are small and fill so fast. A five-minute hair session can literally change her day! How can you create the time to communicate love to her? Can you wake up five minutes earlier? Can you braid it the night before? When you honestly cannot do it, how then can you communicate that you still love her without being able to do her hair?

Let’s slow this down for a moment. A child is asking for help because that is how their tank gets filled, and the parent to whom they are offering their heart begins to get upset and frustrated with them for not doing it themselves. They now walk away with a tank even lower than when they first asked. I KNOW this is not the goal of many parents, but this is what happens when we fail to understand *their* language. We have miscommunication and a breakdown of deposits in their heart. Hear the difference: “No, I already taught you how to tie your shoes. You be a big boy and do it by yourself. Stop fussing and get it done now. No, I will not help you. You are going to make me late. Hurry up,” VS. “Oh, buddy. I love that you want me to help you, and my heart really wants to, but I cannot right now. I need you to tie your shoes. I am so proud of you for the way you have mastered tying your shoes.” Can you hear the difference? One sees the heart and affirms them, while the other only sees the task. It isn’t a yes/no, you do it/I do it response. It is seeing their heart and making sure you are communicating and affirming your love for them.

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU DO

I shared a post about Ellie bombing a test and having to deal with the shame that was trying to come on her. She was able to identify it and not come under it, but it took her a bit to process. A week later, she put a note on my bed about how smart she was, and it struck me funny. While yes, I celebrate the amazing grades, I wanted to make sure she was staying in alignment with the truth. She came to me puzzled by my note and said, “Yes, I am a good student,” to which I said, “No, that is not who you are.” She was confused. I told her, “Your worth and value are no more in your great grades than when you bombed your test. Either way, you are good.”

We have got to help our children separate their identity from their successes, or else we are doing nothing more than praising them for being performance-driven.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THROUGH A BRUTAL SEASON?

I do not mean a bad day, but a season where you weren’t sure you would make it? A season where pain, words, betrayal, disappointment, and discouragement knocked you down so low, you weren’t sure you would ever rise again? Yeah, that season. We must must must forgive the people who are on their journey and say and do things out of an orphan place, but after true forgiveness comes a season of rebuilding what was lost or stolen in the previous season. Sometimes we get thrown into the pit and bound up. Not because of something we have done but what was done to us. It may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility to get back up. So many of you have walked through brutal chapters in your story, and your hearts have found peace again, but in the midst of the battle, you have lost your voice, confidence, and empowerment. There is nothing wrong with you being in this season, as long as you are owning your journey and not allowing it as an excuse to stay down or quiet. The world needs YOU at your fullest, and you owe it to yourself to keep fighting, climbing, believing, and clinging to Him. You will find your voice, confidence, and empowerment again, but with a renewed sense of resolve because you have overcome great odds!

EYES BACK ON HIM

I witnessed a healing miracle. Maybe you need one too. A girl was plagued with a fever that would not let up. As I gathered the kids to pray, we all sensed her joy would return, and I heard that it was from being super sensitive to what was happening in the world. I called the dad to share, and he said he just heard the Lord say she was “sick to her stomach” (emotionally). They dealt with her anxiety and focused her eyes back on Jesus, not the storm, and within MINUTES her fever broke. The next day a friend mentioned that her back was still hurting from mowing the lawn. I got a picture in my mind that she was carrying emotional weight around, so I asked her to ask, “Jesus, am I carrying something that You want to carry for me?” and AS SHE PRAYED, the pain reduced.

When we are not processing our emotions fully for whatever reason, it can affect our physical body. Disease is a breakdown of our physical bodies, but long before there is a disease, there is a lack of EASE (harmony). God made our mind, body, and spirit to be in perfect harmony, working together. When parts of our body are out of alignment, it will affect other areas. We speak healing and freedom to your whole mind, body, and spirit.

What about you? Have you noticed an increase in physical symptoms, aches, and pains? Ask Jesus if you need to release some emotional trauma or stress that your body is holding onto.

LOOK WHAT HE SAID

I believe this is what His original design for family was supposed to look and operate like.

From my sweet friend: “I taught my eldest son (14) how to soak and listen for the voice of God about four years ago, and in doing so, he has learned how to pray in the Spirit. He went to bed and got up an hour later and asked if we could talk. He proceeded to tell me he had been soaking and needed to share with me what he heard. All of a sudden he starts prophesying over me going after my heart splinters, my longing for a mother that was never fulfilled and how much that hurt and how I still long for it, and why I struggle with my stepmom is because I wanted that from her, too. It was never fulfilled… then he went on to speak about the hurt in her, and why she could not fulfill it. He started praying something along the lines of ‘You didn’t have anyone to mother you, but God was there, and He mothered you, which is why you can be the mother you are today.’ I have been processing ALL the things he spoke over me over the last few weeks as the Holy Spirit has shown me I have offense in my heart with my stepmom. God used my son to show me. God. Is. So. Faithful! Thank you for teaching us how to partner with the Holy Spirit in our parenting.”

LOST & FOUND

Have you lost something dear to you? I was at a conference when my phone began to go off multiple times. It was Hudson messaging me frantically that he had lost his Fitbit. He wanted to go back inside his school to look for it again, but his ride was coming, and he had to go. I messaged him many times, and he was so upset. When I got home that night, he was still very upset, and as the days rolled on, he kept saying how mad he was at himself. This is not his normal response to material things. When I pressed in as to why it was such a big deal (bummer, yes, but not this big of a deal), he said, “It was from my dad, and I wear it every day as a reminder of him.” Ugh! I realized at that moment that I could not replace it as it was not about the item but the sentimental value attached to it. I posted about it on the school page and heard nothing. Hudson was grieving the loss of something very dear to his heart. I knew I needed to help him channel his emotions and asked him if he believed God knew where it was. He did. I asked if He believed God cared enough about his heart and the meaning it held in his heart to return it. He did. I told him that his position needed to move from sadness and disappointment to FAITH. He came home from school that day with the news IT WAS FOUND!!! We cannot shield our children from bumps and bruises and disappointments in life, but we CAN direct them to the One who finds that which is lost, cares about their hearts deeply, and is with them in the process.

WORN OUT MOM

I was chatting with a mom the other night about her son getting out of bed 101 times. She went through the list and said, “Spanking doesn’t work,” “timeouts don’t work,” “withholding toys don’t work,” “getting mad doesn’t work,” and after the fifth example of what doesn’t work, I realized that SHE is the one who wasn’t working. I asked her why she thought it wasn’t working, and she said that her son kept doing the behavior despite her dealing with him. I asked how long she went after it, and she responded that she didn’t want to be the mean parent as she grew up with a lot of fear and intimidation. BAM! That was the key right there. She hasn’t yet fully reconciled her own experience, which was influencing her ability to parent her strong-willed son. She realized she didn’t want to use fear and intimidation, which is good, but she needed to keep going in her process. Does being firm mean intimidation? Is exercising parental authority going to induce fear over the child? If we don’t reconcile our parent’s parenting, we will swing so far to the other side, making both generations out of balance. We need to come into alignment with how God runs His family. No to fear and intimidation, yes to parental authority, and being firm.

FAITH IN MEN

When we first became a solo family, I asked God to show me how to restore my children’s faith and trust in males. I was concerned that they would project their hurts onto God, and that concerned me. At church one Sunday, I was mesmerized by a senior man being so affectionate with his bride of 60 years. It was like my eyes turned, and I was then drawn to the father who was tickling his giggling son. Then my eyes locked onto a man who faithfully came to church week after week to serve. I suddenly realized God was showing me examples of healthy males all around us. After church, I sat the kids down, and we began to talk about all of the men in our world and how each of them reveals a part of God’s design. We called these examples the Purple Heart Dad. Each one of them made up the whole picture of what God has designed for men. For years whenever the kids saw a male doing something that was a reflection of a good father, they would say, “That guy just _____. He has a purple heart.” God was building their view of a godly man. I want to thank ALL of you men who are loving your wife, protecting and shepherding your children, walking in your calling, leading people and walking in integrity. Others are watching more than you realize, and God is using your life in ways you cannot see.