THEIR ISSUE OR MINE?

THEIR ISSUE OR MINE?

How many of you have anxiety about sending the kids to school? Ask Him, “Jesus, is this anxiety about their journey or mine?” We do not want to pass on our fears, anxiety, and worry to our children based on our own undealt with experiences. Your journey matters because you will automatically parent out of that place. 

LOOK AT THE HEART

Oh, that we would grasp this revelation and run our homes and churches to reflect the Father’s heart.

Hudson has been a bear – like the mean grizzly kind. He would not heed the multiple warnings and continued to operate out of disrespect for all of those around him. Finally, in frustration, someone walked away and said they could no longer be around him. He found himself disconnected from the group. The next morning as he was cleaning up his mess, he created another one, but this one had serious consequences. I was so frustrated as I felt like we kept putting out fires but never getting to the source. I  knew I had to go deeper into getting the Lord’s heart and strategy for him, as he was clearly stuck in a cycle. As we asked Jesus, he said he wanted revenge (which is exactly how he was acting). We asked Jesus to show us what he wanted revenge for, and he started crying. He said the girls kept ignoring him. I called a family meeting, and we began to realize that we thought the girls were responding because Hudson was being unkind, but in reality, the girls were the ones not being loving, and it was causing him to feel rejected and like he didn’t belong in his own family (which was the root of his behavior).

All the discipline in the world would not have addressed the real issue – the girl’s hearts. He was not the ISSUE. His behavior was simply waving a FLAG that there was an issue. I went from being so frustrated with him to being so thankful for his reaction because it alerted me to something greater for the girls.

BELONGING

I love this testimony from my friend: “Last week one of my kiddos came home from an after-school class very distraught. He had experienced some relational pain with his peers and did not ever want to go back to this class. While I know I didn’t handle the situation perfectly; I tried to ask questions, listen and empathize. Then I shared some stories where I had had similar experiences as a kid, and I chose to quit almost every time. I told him I always wished I had the emotional capacity and support I needed to stick those hard situations out and see them through. He seemed responsive and willing to keep trying. But when that class came again this week, the panic alarm sounded, and he told me he would not go. I ended up getting him to class, honestly not knowing if I was making the right call. I got into my car to drive away with a plan to reach out to his class teachers, and then I also fervently prayed for him with two of my other kids. We asked God to intervene and show up in class today miraculously. When I went to pick him up, I saw that the teachers had called him after class, so I walked up to see what was going on. They had been seeing that he was struggling and were able to recognize and validate the issue he was having with one of his peers. Then they shared how much they valued him and how sad they would be if he left the class. They gave him a place of belonging and showed him how wanted he was. I almost burst into tears on the spot. God had heard my prayers and cared for my boy as only He could. My son left encouraged, seen, and more committed than ever to his class. Thank you, Jesus, that you hear when we cry out to you. You are our provider! And thank you for providing a beautiful school with a loving staff. My heart is full and oh so grateful.”

SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP

What would our schools look like if every parent sat humbly with their child’s teacher, asked for an honest review of their child, and then spent the summer months empowering and equipping them to grow in character? Teachers have a great view of how your child treats others, responds to authority, and interacts with peers. Simply put, they see how your child behaves when you aren’t watching. Every child has areas to grow in; it is the nature of a child. Childhood isn’t the time to expect perfection but rather the time to empower them with tools to be successful in life. Areas of growth in the classroom include listening well, respecting authority, serving others, being kind, being able to control their body and mouth, stewarding what they are responsible for (homework, gym clothes, library books), and being a blessing vs. distraction in class.

HELPING CHILDREN OVERCOME TRAUMA

Trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Think for a moment about your child’s life back in 2020. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but within a short time, your child was thrown into a whirlwind of being home 24/7. Not being able to see friends or go out to the park, learning without peers, sitting in front of a computer, many faced hours alone as their mom and dad still worked. Some went without food, increased sibling conflict, missed birthday parties, felt fear all around them, not being able to go to church or their favorite store, and then the anger and violence that was unleashed in nearly every city. Most adults can’t comprehend all that is going on, much less a child whose brain isn’t fully developed. Folks, this is trauma. Add another layer of what was released in the atmosphere and the paralyzing fear, worry, and anger that slimed people without notice or warning. Kids feel it too.

While I am not trying to create a doomsday post, there is a reality that this past season has been brutal for some children. The events themselves do not bring damage to children. How adults respond to trauma can make a challenging event a lifelong wound. Your role is KEY! #1. Know your child’s love language and fill it DAILY! Five minutes of intentional “I see you” can fill their heart. #2. Connection – Talking, engaging, asking questions, hugging, smiling, listening, etc. Merely hanging out 24/7 is not the same as actually connecting to their hearts. #3. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that increases our will to fight and endure hard things. Dance parties, giggles, wrestling matches, dinner in the living room, tickling, being silly, special treats, dancing on the bed, or splashing in the rain. Your child NEEDS joy!

I know it is hard to give when you are enduring the same battle, but your response in this hour matters. Help children overcome by filling them up with love, connection, and joy, which are heaven’s tools to overcome. 

Validation – recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile. Validation is not trying to move someone out of their space but giving them permission to be where they are at.

It is saying things like: I am sorry that _____.” “It is not okay that _____.” “It makes me mad that_____.” “You didn’t deserve that.” “That must have been so hard when_____.” “Man, that stinks!” “You are so much more than that.”

LIFE WITH LITTLES

I often hear moms of little ones lamenting that all they do is change diapers, feed, clean, do laundry, and repeat. They feel insignificant as their world revolves around caring for their demanding and helpless child. To which I reply, “YOU ARE KIDDING YOURSELF. You are in the biggest season of your life. You get to be the gateway between the generations deciding what you do and do not want to pass on to the next generation who will carry the baton of your family line. You are deciding what parenting style is best for raising healthy whole children. You are deciding what holiday traditions are worthy of introducing your children to. You are discerning what triggers you and what needs to be brought into wholeness. You are building a foundation with their Father that will be the foundation in which they are raised. You are the one who gets to gaze in their eyes and communicate love to their souls. You are teaching them that they are safe and wanted. Oh, Mama, you are in the most incredible season of your life as you take the helm and sail the next generation into the Father’s arms.”

ANGRY OUTBURSTS – SAD, SCARED, LONELY

Has your child had increased outbursts of anger? This can be a very challenging thing to parent because of the mess anger can make emotionally and with connection. However, I encourage you to ask Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see what is UNDER the anger. Typically, under anger are the emotions of being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to show you, you will be able to minister to their real heart instead of just managing their behavior. 

P.S. This isn’t just for kids!

LYING LIES

My daughter was in a funk for a few days and finally asked if we could talk. I took her to my room, and she had my full attention. She told me that she had been struggling and began to tell me with tears that she didn’t think I loved her. I asked her when this started, and she said Saturday. HELLO! Saturday was the day I took her out to get three pairs of new shoes and five new outfits; we talked and connected ALL day. In all honesty, my heart was feeling a little bit defensive, and the offense was creeping up. I kept asking her questions, and she would respond by saying, “I know this isn’t true, but…” Finally, I asked her, “If you KNOW it isn’t true, then why are you giving it room to speak to you?” She believed a LIE, and it needed to be exposed, dealt with, and replaced with HIS truth, which we did. But I began to see something. #1. When our kids are partnering with a lie, it is so easy for us, as parents, to come UNDER it too. My heart was hurt and offended she would even entertain the thought I didn’t love her, which made me feel bad about myself. “I am not doing it good enough,” “I am harming my daughter,” “I am not enough.” These thoughts are shame-based from the pit of hell that sidelines us as powerful, loving, intentional parents. #2. When parents feel guilty, they go overboard to ‘prove’ the truth to make everyone feel better about themselves. I wanted to make a grand gesture to prove my love for her, but then I got the revelation that if I did that, I would be teaching her she could only believe the truth if she saw, heard, felt it (obviously, children need our love to be tangible, but that wasn’t the case here). She needed to reject the lie and embrace the truth that she already knew, not have me PROVE the truth so that she could believe it. We don’t respond to lies; we remove them. She was deceived in her thinking and needed help coming back into TRUTH.

JUDGEMENTS

Let’s talk about JUDGEMENTS. Judgments are when we jump in the judge’s seat and determine the verdict about someone. When we say, “They are controlling,” we are judging them. While being discerning and aware of how people’s choices affect us is good, we are never called to act as judges. Maybe that person is ‘controlling’ because they were orphaned as a child and have never learned to depend upon someone else. Perhaps they are controlling because they are rooted in fear and need to be delivered. God judges us based on our heart and story, not our outward appearance. Here is the issue with judgments. When we judge someone, we condemn them with our words (think of how prophecy unlocks and frees a person – judgments bind and lock a person up). The Bible says when we walk around as judges, we are binding OURSELVES to the very thing we are judging. That is why children who judge their father for being an alcoholic grow up to marry one. Or the girl who judges her grandma for being overweight and struggles with her issues. 

HeartWork – Get a piece of paper and write down your JUDGEMENTS against your dad, mom, siblings, and even your children and friends. Go deep and allow Jesus to show you where you are holding onto judgments against someone. Ask Jesus to forgive you for holding them in judgment. Break agreement with the judgment over that person. Rip up the paper and declare God’s truth over their lives. Children can do this with their parents and siblings, too. 

Hebrews 12:15 – “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” 

TRIGGERS

Your spouse was only half of the problem. Your response to their unloving ways is what God wants to reveal and heal so that you do not take it with you in your future. Please read that sentence again.

You might not like hearing this; neither did I. But it ended up being one of the greatest GIFTS and I want to give that gift to you.

Your triggers are your friends!

I knew my husband was dead wrong (I could even prove it in the Bible). But my responses to him were over the top (“above average,” as my pastor liked to say). I soon realized that if Jesus were married to my husband, HE would be able to respond in love and peace no matter what He was doing. This revelation didn’t make me feel condemned for not being perfect. Instead, it made me realize how UN-like Jesus I really was, and I hungered to be more like Him.

A mentor friend so graciously told me, “Lisa, every time he sends you to the moon (in anger), use that to go after healing in your heart.” I did just that. He would trigger me, and I would sit with Jesus to find the root of why that was a sore spot for me. I would pull the root, if so to speak, and my reaction was less and less the next time he did the same behavior. Soon I began to see myself unaffected by his less-than-kind choices. There is such power in becoming healed, and we can use those trigger points in our favor to help usher us in greater healing and wholeness.