RELEASE & REST

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 _____.”

SEXUAL SAFETY

We teach our kids bike safety. We teach them not to answer the door for stranger safety. We teach them “Stop, Drop and Roll” for fire safety. We teach them to wear a life jacket for water safety. But do we teach them sexual safety? Predators are looking for one thing – a child who has no grid for what is happening and has never been taught about sexual safety. When a child encounters things that are sexually unsafe, their spirit knows something is wrong, but they freeze because they do not know how to handle what is happening. They have been taught to obey adults, not to talk back, to never hit, etc.

#1. Children need to know the proper names for body parts – all of them. 

#2. Children need to know what to do should they ever feel unsafe. 

#3. Children need to know that they are never alone and can ask Jesus for help in ALL circumstances.

CONTROL-BASED PARENTING

I was talking with a mom about others using the tools of control and disempowerment in parenting, and she burst into tears. She realized she was guilty of using them with one of her children and her heart ached, realizing how she had been negatively affecting her child. This is my WHOLE point in doing these posts on disempowerment. The issue rarely lies with the one being disempowered but the one doing it. Parents/leaders use these tools because something else is going on inside of them that makes them feel like they need to protect themselves. Nothing controls and pushes back someone further than disempowering them because it renders them powerless. It is a faulty coping mechanism for something greater going on. Here is the deal – God isn’t mad at the parent/leader who uses these tools because He understands WHY they do it. He sees their fear, anxiety, and insecurity that causes them to feel the need to self-protect. God doesn’t want them to stay that way, but He isn’t mad at them.

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 DO WE BREAK AGREEMENT WITH FEAR?

Face the fear and put it in its proper place. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what the fear is about?” Break agreement with the fear. “Fear, I see you, and you are a liar. I no longer partner with you and allow you to speak and influence me. Ask, “Jesus, what is your truth?” Declare His truth (write it down, put it on your mirror, on a sticky note, in your Bible, post it to your fridge, etc. and declare it until it becomes your truth). THEN when you go out in public and feel the heavy oppression around you, STOP and declare, “Fear, I see you. I do not partner with you. I declare (insert the truth Jesus showed up),” and release THAT into the atmosphere everywhere you go. If our hope, peace, and comfort come from anything else other than HIM, it will be sinking sand. He alone is our source, anchor, and rock. 

FAMILY COMMUNION

I love Communion Sunday. I take the forgiveness of my sins seriously and believe with my whole heart that Jesus is not only the Savior of the world but MY Friend. The price He paid for me to know Him and walk in that friendship is no small thing. While my children took communion on Sunday, I wanted to go deeper with them. I went to the store to buy gluten-free rice crackers and a bottle of grape juice. I already had communion cups (at any party store) and gathered the kids. We spent time going around telling Jesus what we were thankful for (because of Him). We broke the cracker and sat quietly as we each focused on His body being beaten, ripped, and torn for US! We recalled the countless times He has washed us clean from our messes and mistakes and never once turned His back on us. We thanked Him for ‘taking the spanking on our behalf’ and quietly consumed the juice. What struck me so profoundly about our pastor’s message is that communion is so much more than just eating and drinking over a history lesson. Just as being baptized is more than taking a swim, there is something more significant going on when we take communion. We take communion to RECEIVE His forgiveness and healing TODAY. We are committed as a family to taking communion every morning. We recall who needs the blood of Jesus in their life or circumstances, and we take it on their behalf. We focus on what Jesus has done for us TODAY and fill our hearts and minds with His goodness. Gather your kids and partake in one of the greatest gifts ever given to man!

CULTIVATING GRATITUDE

Gather the kids and talk about how incredible our bodies are. We have legs to run, ears to hear, eyes to see, and lungs to breathe. Each part is a gift. Ask them what part of their body they are the most thankful for. Take time to thank God for the way He created our bodies to move and our minds to work. He is so smart!

COVER THEM IN PEACE

Give them the gift of peace. Soaking means to be saturated in His presence and nothing else (that means no to-do list, worrying, striving, or doing – just being).  

TEACH ME

What is your number one parenting question right now? Ask Jesus and learn how to partner with Him in parenting your child – together! He alone knows what they need more than 100 earthly wise men. So give it a try, and then spend the next 18 years strengthening your partnership with their Creator.

BAIT OF SATAN

John Bevere has an outstanding book called, The Bait of Satan, which talks about how Satan baits every believer with offense and how, once we bite the bait, he has a legal right to influence that situation. This is a serious issue that believers need to gain control over, as offense has the power to destroy much when we open the door. For example, I had a mental argument with someone (and winning, I might add), and the moment I stopped that argument, I began arguing with someone else in my mind. I realized that the spirit of offense was present and was attempting to cause me to become offended. So I renounced it and regained my mental peace.

I LOVE HOLY SPIRIT

I love Holy Spirit – like crazy, crazy love Him. But we didn’t start out that way. In fact, we have come a long way to get here. I was raised in the church and loved Jesus, but I was never introduced to Holy Spirit as a person. Years later, my mom was dying of cancer and went to a known faith healer. She came back glowing from her experience. She was so convinced of her experience that she stopped taking medication. I later woke up from being in a coma for three months to the news that she had died. A deep-seated judgment came over me against faith healers and the charismatic movement. I seethed in anger, blaming Him for taking my mom. I once found a worship tape from this man and ripped out the ribbon in disgust. I spent 15 years pursuing God passionately while rejecting Holy Spirit. It wasn’t really that I didn’t like the Spirit of God. It was that I adamantly did not like the people who fell into the charismatic camp and ‘went after’ the things of the Spirit. It bothered me. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it. And more so, I concluded it didn’t work because my mom still died. Underneath my resentment was a deep sadness that, despite her attempts to get healed, it didn’t work, and I was left motherless. God, in His mercy, brought me into a season of such deep hunger. I was consumed with the need for more of Him. It is impossible to embrace all the Father has for us without also embracing Holy Spirit. I had to forgive this man for my judgments against him, and suddenly the Lord started showing me how precious and sweet it was that my mom pioneered with Holy Spirit and had a massive encounter with Him before she passed. Judgments towards the things we don’t yet understand blind our ability to receive!