PROTECTION

PROTECTION

I love the way God loved my children during our Mexico trip. I saw His provision, faithfulness, and protection in real and tangible ways over and over.

Another team announced they had spots for us to join them on an outreach back to the dump. Everything within me wanted to go, but I felt the Lord tell me not to go. I honored it, and soon the team came back and began to tell us the stories of a large number of puppies that were left at the dump to die. They were infested with worms and flies and couldn’t be touched despite them crying at their ankles. They were starving and very sick. They said the sound of them begging for help was brutal. Lauren has been my dog lover since birth, and I instantly knew that God was protecting her. She burst into tears when they returned with stories and still talks about it. I instantly knew God was sparing her from seeing it in person, as it would have been too much for her.

I am so captivated by God’s love for us and the timing in which He allows us to go through things. He is so tender, kind, and wise in the way He meets us right where we are yet never lets us remain there. He is such a good Father. 

COMMUNION

Look at this precious testimony from a mom embracing taking communion together as a family.

“We had out-of-town company get to our house last night, and we didn’t do our normal evening family devotions and communion. My kids went to bed, and I was up talking with company when, an hour later, my 7-year-old daughter came out of her room, didn’t say a word but went to pour herself juice and break bread for Communion. She sat at the table like this and prayed while she partook. Then she came and hugged me and simply said, ‘I felt like I needed to do this.’ And went to bed. My mama’s heart burst.”

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.

CAN’T HEAR

The number one reason why people can’t hear God speaking to them isn’t because God isn’t speaking. It is that they don’t really believe God loves them enough to speak to them. It is a heart issue, not a listening issue.

APRIL SHOWERS

I heard the Lord say to me, “April showers bring May flowers,” and was reminded of the scene in The Shack where Sarayu (Holy Spirit) was collecting the tears of Mack, who was deeply grieving the devastating loss of his daughter. Later in the movie, Sarayu used those same tears to water the seeds that would become a massive tree. God is doing something profoundly deep within you in this season. Spiritual Daughters, I am so proud of you! I am proud of the one who stepped away and caught her breath. I am proud of the one who went outside to let the tears flow. I am proud of the one who chose faith over fear. I am proud of the one who showed her gorgeous vulnerability. I am proud of the one who sobbed in her closet. I am proud of the one who called a friend and shared her heart. I am so proud of the one who owned her heart and what she was feeling. I am so proud of the one who kept her eyes on Jesus. I am proud of the one who dropped to her knees, asking God for help. I am so proud of you for choosing to let God have His way with you and not medicating your heart with the novocain of the world. The only way to lessen the pain is to feel it. Let Jesus continue to have His way with you, and He will allow those tears to blossom into something so beautiful.

HOW MUCH OIL DO YOU HAVE?

Picture a Little House on the Prairie scene where a powerful Minnesota blizzard dumps mounds of snow covering everything in sight. Imagine the family huddled in bed, keeping warm in their mud roof home. How much oil would you want to keep the lamp going? While the storm is still present, how much oil has changed their experience? Sitting in the dark in the middle of a storm is not the same as sitting next to light in the middle of a storm. In Matthew 25:1-13, we are told of the story of the ten virgins who went out to wait for their groom. Five were wise, and five were foolish. When the groom appeared, the five that didn’t have oil in their lamps asked to borrow some from the five that were prepared, and they were told NO – GET YOUR OWN! Oil represents our own personal relationship with Him. You can’t borrow oil at this hour. Many have enjoyed the oil of other people’s lamps but are now realizing they have little to no oil of their own. You can’t stand on the oil of your pastor, worship leader, or neighbor. It has to be your own. There are some things no one can give you except God. We are in a season of intense squeezing, and it is revealing how much oil one has. While His love and grace are free for all, it is obtained by exercising it. Those who have received, embraced, lived from, leaned on, experienced, and acknowledged Him have oil in their lamps. We are not meant to live in darkness but to be consumed by the light that burns within us. 

We are in an hour where oil is essential, and there is still time to get your own. HOW?

**By receiving Him.

**Surrendering not just your life, but circumstances to Him.

**Reading the Word, not as a religious duty but sincerely embracing His daily food.

**Worshiping Him.

**Giving Him thanks.

**Confessing your sin.

**Getting alone with Him.

**Telling Him what you want, need, think and feel.

**Acknowledging Him in specific situations.

**Declaring His word out loud.

**Walking by faith, not sight.

**Crying out for help.

**Believing.

**Hearing Him.

**Being in an interactive relationship with Him.

**Embracing Him as your Father.

**Walking as a loved and covered child. 

This isn’t about doing more FOR Him. It is about having an interactive relationship WITH Him.

PLAYING IN THE KINGDOM

When my kids were little, I would drive 45 minutes south to attend a church in Denver that believed children could play in the Kingdom. I was so undone by the power they carried. They needed some coaching in the ‘how,’ but when it mixed with their childlike faith, INCREDIBLE things began to happen. I never wanted my children to feel like God was a religious burden or that walking out our faith meant putting them in uncomfortable situations. I wanted to teach them that it was a JOY to love those around us and that the Kingdom truly is FUN. I called it ‘Playing in the Kingdom,’ and they came to life. They are older now, and we all still look for ways to play in the Kingdom and love those around us in everyday situations.

GODHEAD PARENTING

Once you learn the incredible ways earthly relationships can impact or distort a child’s view of the godhead (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), it changes the way, you parent. I am constantly looking for ways to reveal to them the reality of who God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit really are. There have been times when I have not modeled it well and have responded harshly or with impatience. When I go back to make it right, I will say, “Holy Spirit is never harsh or impatient with you, and I am sorry that I treated you that way.” One of the most helpful things you can say to a child going through a divorce is, “Do you know God will never leave you?” or to the child being bullied, “Jesus would never treat you like that.” Humans fall short, but God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit do not.

YOUR JOURNEY MATTERS

If you are single and had a childhood that left you with more heart splinters than joy, JOURNEY is for you. If you are newly married without children yet and want to learn how to model your family after His, JOURNEY is for you. If you were raised with rules and performance expectations and want to break the cycle, JOURNEY is for you. If you are knee-deep in the toddler season and want to prevent having to undo some parenting down the road, JOURNEY is for you. If you are struggling in your parenting with children of any age, JOURNEY is for you. If you feel distance and space between you and one of your children, JOURNEY is for you. If you are a grandparent and want to sow into your adult children and grandchildren, JOURNEY is for you. If you came from a great family and are simply hungry for more, JOURNEY is for you. JOURNEY is a month-long adventure of going deeper with God as you align your heart and family after His. This is not a parenting method or 1, 2, 3 steps, but rather introducing you to a lifestyle of partnering with Him. NOW is a great time to sow into your family no matter what season you are in. 

Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

HUNGRY TOGETHER

I started out just offering the Kingdom parenting class to moms, and then He brought a slew of hungry dads to join us. Then grandmas started asking to join because they wanted to influence their grandchildren and have a better connection with their adult children. My heart leaped when grandmas and adult daughters wanted to take the class together. Then there was a season where He was bringing young married couples who had not yet become parents but wanted to align their hearts and mind with Him before they brought children into the world. I smiled when singles began to take the class, saying they wanted to heal from some of the parenting choices their parents made in raising them. Jesus is just so good. And in our relaunching of the class, He is unfolding a new theme – besties coming together to learn side by side. We have couples taking it with their best friends and small groups of girlfriends taking it simultaneously. They are learning together in the class and then intentionally connecting weekly to discuss and go deeper. 

LET HIM WALK WITH YOU

I just spent some time walking with a father who is dealing with the trauma (and horror) of his pre-teen daughter being groomed and seduced by an online predator. Seeing him take every step with Jesus in the process has been breathtaking. Jesus is not afraid to do the messy and hard things with you. He wants to carry the burden, the grief, and the fear and has so much to say and give you in exchange.