Teach and practice in the time of peace so that they can use it in their time of need.
Do you feel depressed? Years ago, I plopped down on the chair and began to tell my mentor that I was depressed. I felt heavy. My mind was like a thick fog, and my heart felt like it was carrying around a bag of rocks. Little brought me joy and being motivated to do basic daily chores was hard. We began to ask Jesus about what was going on in my heart, and within a few minutes, I said, “Oh, the depression is gone.” She replied, “That is because you weren’t depressed.” Confused by her reply, I asked for understanding. She began to tell me that depression is rooted in our body and has to do with a chemical imbalance. Depression is real and affects many. But she went on to say that OPPRESSION is the pressure the enemy puts on us that feels, looks, and sounds like depression but is rooted in the spiritual realm. Oppression feels like a python snake squeezing you. True chemical imbalance depression is cured by medication to regulate the hormones in the brain. But oppression is cured by taking authority in the spiritual realm, aligning our thoughts with His, and declaring truth. When we do those things, the oppression flees. If you are feeling a heavy weight of ‘depression,’ try moving into a place of intentional worship, declaring out loud, commanding it to leave in Jesus’ name, and worshiping! If you feel a shift, it was oppression. This goes for adults and children!
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!”
Ponder for a moment why God would say there is incredible power in blessings and kindness. The reality is it has the ability to transform the worst of situations. So how can you be an agent of ‘doing good’ today?
When the kids were really little, I would have them say, “I am sorry.” Once they understood that correction/discipline meant they did something to cause harm, I would have them ASK for forgiveness, such as, “I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?” And they had to wait for the reply of the other person. When they were around 4-8, I would have them say what they were sorry for, such as, “I am sorry for hitting your arm.” When they got older, I had them ask for forgiveness and state WHY what they did was not okay, such as, “I am sorry I hit your arm. It is not okay because I used my strength instead of my words.” Now that they are in their teen years, it is common for them to clean up their messes by asking forgiveness and releasing compassion and validation for how their choices have affected others. I am confident my grandchildren will reap the fruit of this because a successful marriage is not built upon perfection but on the ability to clean up one’s mess well.
“It’s been a crazier kind of day. I didn’t play with my daughter 1:1 for very long before I had to get to an apt. After I returned, my son needed my full attention. Then my husband came home for lunch, and I was finally able to leave to pick up my car from the shop. So much happened, and I didn’t realize that my daughter was upset with me when I got home – and trying to get my attention. But I could see it was nap time, and physically she was beyond tired. I gave her a verbal heads up that nap time was happening, and she had a full-blown toddler tantrum for the first time ever. She’s had many, but never running into the room screaming NOO so gutturally. It was so loud and all of a sudden I was shocked! It could have sounded like defiance. But I heard so clearly, she needs more connection. And even though she resisted for a good 5 mins, I got her back, calmed, and apologized. I was able to play with her before she went to sleep, reassuring her I’d be here when she woke up and that we’d play together. She went from screaming “NO, MOMMA GO!” when I tried to get ready for the nap to sound asleep as I left her room. I could feel how easily I could have missed her needs cause it was a busy day. To encourage you mamas in the thick of tantrums. Just sitting here so thankful for Holy Spirit, your mentoring, Lisa, and our babies that help teach us and make us better.”
Have you ever had those days when you feel like you are constantly butting heads with a child, or they seem to be going out of their way to be a bully to their siblings, yet nothing you do seems to work? Try intentionally meeting their love language, and I bet you will see a sudden change. Children with empty tanks, even with siblings, will often fight to get it filled (obviously, in the wrong way), Love languages matter!
Sometimes we bring our children to Jesus, and other times we bring Jesus to our children.
The thing I value the most about being in ministry is that I am doing it WITH my children, not for them. Years ago, I struggled with balancing full-time ministry, young children, and flying solo. I always felt like something had to give, yet I didn’t want to choose between my passion and my children. Then, I was at church one morning when a gal who did not know my story began to prophesy. She said I was struggling with not being the one to play the instrument, but that God wants me to become the conductor of the orchestra, and I knew immediately that meant don’t do it FOR my children but learn how to do it WITH them. Years later, I am so so so blessed by the way our ministry has operated as a family. It is so fun to see the kids step out more and more and use their voices. I love ministering, traveling, and speaking together.
One word from God can flip an entire situation. Ask Him to lead you to Scripture and meditate on it. Sometimes I get one line or even one word and chew on it all day. It may not feel true. It may not look true. It may not look possible. But it IS true! Camp out on HIS truth until it becomes your truth.
Of all the things I have endured in life, the hardest part has been the healing process of receiving the good. More often than not, things like joy, play, silliness, trust, lavishing, loyalty, and laughter have been taught to me through my children. They are made in His image, not mine, and God knit them with gifts, talents, and personalities to redeem and restore what was lost in my childhood. God continues to parent us through our children. It’s like He first gives us one set of parents to raise and train us. Then He addresses the neglected or shut down areas by using our children to parent us (our kids don’t parent us, but He parents us through them). This is why family is so important to Him. He is building something in us, and the generations are interconnected.