I am a firm believer in planting seeds. I have great confidence in God’s ability to water the seeds and grow them in His timing, but my job is to plant as many seeds as I can. I heard a powerful testimony from a pastor years ago about having a personal possession stolen, and he prayed, “I want my knife back,” and had a wild story of how he got it back. I told the kids about it to plant a seed of how to respond when you lose something that is rightfully yours. Months ago, Emma lost her two rings, including her purity ring. She took them off in Colorado to wash the dishes and never found them after that. We had seven pairs of eyes searching high and low and could not find them. When we moved to North Carolina, and they were not found, she realized she had lost them for good until she was reminded to pray, “I want my rings back!” Lauren was organizing her room and looked down by her bed and found two rings that she didn’t recognize as hers. She picked them up and yelled, “EMMA! You got your rings back!” Not even sure how that happened, but I have a daughter who is rejoicing over her prayers being answered.
- Playing in the Kingdom, Testimonies
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
This is going to be a HUGE key for many parents! From a very early age, I could feel resistance with one of my daughters. I figured it was a generational thing and have intentionally gone after her heart. I would find myself saying YES to the others with ease, but my heart was hesitant, and I always wanted to say NO to her. It made no sense to me, but I could feel it. She agitated me in a way the others didn’t, yet she wasn’t really doing anything in the natural to warrant it. It was awful to admit because it felt like maybe I even liked her less than the others. I didn’t, but the resistance always made me feel like I was subtly rejecting my own child. God later revealed this to me through someone else, and I rushed home to share it with my daughter. She cried and began to tell me that she felt it, too, and even when we would go on dates, she felt like she couldn’t get close to me. We walked through what this looked like between us and have had such breakthrough.
It looks like this: When there is control-based parenting, the child responds in one of two ways. #1. They feel resistance, anger, and/or have hate or murder in their heart (which doesn’t mean death but can ‘kill’ you with their words). These children then partner with the spirit of REBELLION in their hearts. This can be outward or inward rebellion. #2. The other child feels hurt, isolated, withdrawn, unworthy, like a victim, and helpless when faced with a controlling parent, and they partner with a spirit of REJECTION. The problem is that when the parent feels the spirit of rebellion or rejection coming from the child, it makes them increase their control. A crazy cycle begins in which neither the parent nor the child is really seeing/responding to the other person, but rather the two spirits of control and rebellion/rejection are having a hay day! Connection, love, and unity go right out the window.
My daughter was partnering with a spirit of rejection, and I CAN’T STAND the spirit of rejection. My daughter wasn’t agitating me; the spirit was. Once she began to partner with that spirit, no matter what I would say, she would feel hurt and rejected, which drove me up a wall (in all honesty). I did use more control-based parenting until she was around five years old when I discovered Holy Spirit. But I think it has more to do with how opposite we are. She is my dancing, joyful, giddy, silly, talk a mile a minute, always wanting to create things, bake things, make a mess with paints, glitter and glue kid. I am busy, serious, don’t like messes, and have little appreciation for creative arts. Neither of us are wrong, but because I am the adult, she was feeling controlled by my repetitive ‘no’ answers and not giving her more freedom to be herself. The cycle had gone on for so long that it began to feel normal. It is easier to partner with control when they are younger, but once the spirit of rebellion and rejection are in motion, it is the tween and teen years where the ‘fruit’ of that parenting really begins to reveal itself in the child. Since the spirit of rebellion and rejection have a legal right to be there, they influence the child to behave and make choices that only further the parents’ drive for control. Obviously, rebellion and rejection are not what we want to introduce our children to. We are the ones to break the cycle!
Praise God for this incredible revelation and tool so that we can break free from the enemy’s tools of control, rebellion, and rejection, and we can walk in freedom and connection. If this sounds like something that you are experiencing with one of your children, I encourage you to spend time with Holy Spirit talking to Him about it. If you need to repent, do that first. Set a date with your child (mine was out on the driveway while the other kids were inside). Fill their love tank for a few minutes first, as a filled tank always lowers the walls and makes hard conversations easier. Explain to them that God loves them so much and has shown you an area that you need to change (this makes them feel secure that God has their back, too). I drew a figure 8 and showed her how the crazy cycle went around and around and how we both played our roles. I asked her to please forgive me for making her feel controlled. I also helped her walk through asking Jesus for forgiveness for partnering with the lie and spirit of rejection. We hugged and cried and allowed for Holy Spirit to heal without words for a while. We then tasted the new fruit in the days to come. I also called a family meeting and made sure everyone was aware of the cycle. We agreed that when they were feeling controlled, or I was seeing the rebellion/rejection, we could call out a special code to signal we were partnering with it again. I also want to add that children can control their parents, causing parents to partner with rebellion and rejection, too. This can also be a dynamic with siblings where one is controlling another. If you had a controlling parent, ask Holy Spirit if you are still allowing the spirit of rebellion or rejection to influence you today. Spirits don’t leave us just because we move out of the house. This is NOT a reflection of you being a bad parent, but rather a reflection of the enemy and what he does best – kill, steal and destroy – in this case, the connection with our children. Don’t allow him to put the blame back on you. It is okay to get mad that many of us come under this but use the anger to rise up in your authority and break the cycle. Ask Holy Spirit what keys He wants you to use with your child to repair the connection. Thank You, Father, for being a perfect parent and helping us along the way!
Crazy cycle between parent and child: Crazy Cycle Between Parent & Child – YouTube
From 2018 when wildfires broke out in Redding, CA:
Friends, around noon today, a fire that could be seen all around broke out. It is fast-moving as we have high winds today. Our land is dry, and we need this fire to be out. They have already evacuated some and moved the previous evacuation center (which is down the road from us). Grab your kids, tell them there is a fire that needs to be blown out, and prophetically have them blow and declare that this fire will be stopped in Jesus’ name.
A mom taking our class shares this precious story: “Just last night, as I was getting my girls ready for bed, my youngest was having a meltdown over something someone had said to her. With a new awareness since taking this class, I helped to walk her through forgiveness and ask Jesus what He thought of her. She went from crying inconsolably to laughing and at peace, ready to go to sleep and wondering what she would dream. It was beautiful.”
If you want to embark on a JOURNEY of going deeper with Him in your parenting, we have room for you.
Years ago, I attended a church with a gal. She loved Jesus, but boy, was she messy. She had a lot of emotional issues that made it nearly impossible to have a connection with her. Years later, her name popped up on Facebook, and I immediately judged her as ‘that messy girl.’ The Lord stepped in and said, “Lisa, if you still hold her to that view, it is a judgment against Me and your lack of belief that I am capable of moving in someone’s life.” WHOA. Sure enough, I friended her, and God has done a brilliant work in her. She is a fabulous mother in a healthy marriage. I learned a lot that day about trusting God’s redemptive work in the messy places of others. Since then, when I encounter a messy person, I begin to pray for those God encounters and revelations knowing God is big enough to carry them into wholeness. I want to position myself on the life-giving side of the Cross in their life!
Have you ever said, “PEOPLE ARE SO BLIND”? Raise your hand. How many people have read something on social media and thought, “They are crazy. How can they be so blind?” How many of you have seen the war of words with people attempting to change someone by proving they are wrong? STOP this! It only furthers the insanity. Here’s why! The Bible says if someone cannot see the truth, pray that the scales of their eyes would be removed. They aren’t trying NOT to see in many cases. They simply have scales on their eyes, making them blind. Speaking to their intellect and getting into a debate is not how God tells us to respond. We are to pray for them to have eyes to see. Give it a try. Instead of being the social media police telling people why they are wrong, try praying for God to remove the scales from their eyes. Trust me, GOD bringing revelation to someone is where real transformation occurs. Psalm 119:18 – “If you have eyes to see, pray for their eyesight to be as clear as yours. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”
We should be praying this over ourselves often too. “Jesus, open my eyes so that I may see as You see.”
Your family’s prayers can change the world – literally! Revelations shares how the story ends. Pay attention to Revelations 8 – “The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God . . . Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth” (Rev. 8:4-5).
This is not to be taken lightly or flippant. When you pray, you are filling the prayer bowls of heaven. Gather your family and place a bowl with a little water in the center of the table. Give each person a glass filled with water and a spoon. Play a game to see how many spoonfuls of water they can get into the larger bowl to make it spill over (literally). It will simply take ONE more spoon full of water to tip the water over the edge. Have fun, and let joy break out. Then share the verse above and tell them that their prayers can change the world. I encourage you to use Philippians 4:6-7 as your prayer guide as a family. Talk about the verse, act it out, and then pray in response to each line. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
**Don’t worry about anything – make a list of the things you are worried about.
**Take that list and pray over each item.
**Tell God what you want and need.
**Thank Him for what He has done in the past.
**Thank Him for what He is going to do now.
How would you handle it if your neighbor’s dog harmed your beloved pet? Look at how this family chose to handle their pain and hurt. Share it with your children as an example of love and connection over revenge and offense.
“Hi Lisa, please pray for our family. Yesterday a huge dog from our neighbor broke into our backyard and bit Candy really badly. We took her to the vet immediately, but she passed this morning. Josh (my son) is so heartbroken. There are no words to express how sad and sorry he feels that he lost his best friend. Our neighbors are Buddhist, and when my husband went to tell them about Candy’s passing, they kept saying that they needed to pay back for their fault and guilt. They were so ashamed and were crying for us. But we felt as a family that we were going to show them grace and God’s forgiveness. Joshi is still grieving and processing all of this, but he said he is ready to forgive our neighbors and the dog. Praise God for giving us the grace to share with our neighbor His love in the midst of great sorrow. We went to talk to our neighbor, and Joshi took Candy’s food and, with tears streaming down from his eyes, told him that he forgave him and his dog. The owner told us that in his 50+ years in this world, nobody had forgiven him like this. We were all in tears. We got to pray for him and his family, bless them, and plant a seed of love in his heart. He is a military guy, but his heart is so tender. He kept hugging Joshi and thanking Joshi for forgiving him. It was such a beautiful picture of God’s grace and forgiveness. Later, we biked to the lake, and for the first time in the past 24 hours, I saw Joshi’s smile and playful spirit reappear. He told me, ‘It was so good to talk to our neighbor and forgive him. I feel much better now.’ Wow! The power of forgiveness! Thank You, Jesus! And thank you for praying for us. The owner offered to buy a new dog for Joshi when his heart was ready. It’ll never be the same without Candy, but hopefully, Candy’s loss won a soul in the Kingdom and taught us the power of forgiveness in the midst of much pain and injustice.”
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.”
From the mouths of babes. A mom was troubled by her daughter’s ongoing anxiety and worry. Every night she would declare how awful she is going to sleep, and it would put her into a bad cycle with so much angst and worry in her voice. I taught her how to teach her daughter to take authority over it and this is what her daughter said, “I like that, filling me with peace. I’m going to sleep well tonight.”