I am just going to go ahead and say it. Not all of you will have worldwide platforms. It wasn’t that long ago when few people even dreamed about it, much less achieved it. Social media has made the world seem smaller. One YouTube video can reach the globe overnight. We have 1000’s of ‘famous’ people. We no longer live in the era of Hollywood celebrities being the only famous ones. You can be famous today without any talent. People can be famous for a single act, rebellion, or even for doing something stupid! Heck, churches can literally buy social media followers to make their churches seem bigger. Ugh! This has shaped so many in the body of Christ and rendered them silent. God has given you internal wiring to be seen and known and to offer the world something significant. If there are unrefined places in your heart, that God-given seed will be drawn to the world’s ‘success,’ and it can create the most DISCOURAGING view that there will never be a spot for you, that your voice isn’t needed and that there is no way you could become what is inside of you. The world is NOT your stage – your home and local community are. God has put something inside of you for the world AROUND YOU, not always for you to go around the world. Your voice, destiny, love, care, concern, mission, talent, and story IS needed, wanted, and valued, but if you think it has to be on the world platform, you will disqualify yourself before God even has a chance to develop you. He is looking for those who are faithful to what He has put inside of them, not looking for someone who is ready to be discovered. His Kingdom doesn’t work that way. This isn’t Hollywood, this is God’s Kingdom on earth, and you play a major role. Your calling was never supposed to put YOU on the stage but to use your gifting to point to the only One worthy of the stage, Jesus. Break up with the lie that “Someone else is already saying what I want to say,” “There isn’t enough room for me,” or “There is no way I could step out when others do it so much better.” This is an orphan speaking, not a Son/Daughter. Chicken lines are your friends because you increase your capacity every time you deliberately choose to cross one. If you want to change the world around you, be faithful to steward what He has given you well. The Kingdom of God does not have talent scouts looking for someone to discover. You are already found and have been given the role of modeling Him to those around you through your calling. What is ONE thing you are going to do to cross your chicken line and own what God has given YOU to do to impact the world around you?
THIS ISN’T HOLLYWOOD
The thing about fear is that we can strongly dislike something so much that we actually open the door to a spirit of fear. Think about that for a moment – we don’t want something to happen, but in the process, we are welcoming it in. When we allow the spirit of fear in, it will wreak havoc on our thoughts and emotions, making us partner with it more. A silly cycle that ends up producing the very thing we didn’t want. 2 Timothy 1:7 is our weapon. “For GOD did NOT give me a spirit of fear (plug in what you fear), but of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND (meaning your heart and mind are both in unity and at peace).” If God didn’t give you that fear/worry, then who did? Is that who you want to partner with?
Pray: “Fear, I see you and no longer partner with you. I declare that my GOD has equipped me with power, love, and a sound mind, and I will no longer bite the bait to open the door. In Jesus’ name.”
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.
The Cross is the solution for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Spend a few minutes and ask Jesus if there is any unforgiveness between you and your child. I encourage you not to be introspective and mentally feast on every mistake, but rather ASK JESUS to show you if there is a hook of unforgiveness in their heart. If God shows you something, make it right TODAY! Perhaps you will want to spend some 1:1 time with them after school, take them out for a treat, or write a note and put it on their bed.
Parents do not lose respect by admitting their mistakes, they gain it. When you go low with your children, it makes them feel seen and heard. It validates their pain and this is the ministry of Jesus! When parents go to their children and say, “Jesus, showed me I was wrong when I _____. Will you please forgive me?” it is teaching your child that Jesus has their back, cares about their pain and sees their heart. Actually seeing the Cross applied is one of the most powerful experiences for a child in a Christian home. Moms, it could be YOU are the one who needs to forgive your child. Perhaps you are holding onto offense for being stretched too thin, getting your heart hurt or that life doesn’t look the way you thought it would. It is okay to need to forgive our children – we are all human beings in a fallen world. I would release the offense privately and not share this with your child. “Jesus, I confess my heart feels _____ because _____. I chose to let go of this offense towards (child’s name). I hand over my offense/pain/disappointment to you (In your mind picture handing it over to Jesus). What do You have in exchange for me?” (Wait until you see/hear what He has in exchange for you). Clean the spiritual pipes between you by applying the Cross today!
WISE & EMPTY WISDOM (Excerpt from my book)
I was ticked. Okay, more like mad at hell that these wise men in front of me were clueless about suicide and the hopelessness that consumed me. Their only solution was to have me be babysat by one of my friends for the night and make her promise not to leave me out of her sight. Suicide is a lie. A demonic lie, and they had little to no awareness of how to help me get free. Instead, I was left alone to face the demonic spirit with a babysitter. Did they never consider that I would wake up with the lie the next morning? Would anyone ever understand what was swirling around my mind and heart? Ever??? Suicide is not an emotional issue; it is not solved in the natural. It is not about death; it is a self-hatred issue. A demonic lie has a legal right to speak to your mind because of unresolved emotional issues that have convinced you to turn on yourself. The enemy has a legal right to influence you and get you to do his dirty work in the first part of John 10:10. He wants you dead and is cashing in on your trauma, shame, and hopelessness that has caused you to turn against yourself. You cannot reason with this lie through the mind or emotions. Giving them a list of reasons why their life is worth living is like handing an anorexic a mirror to convince her that she is not fat. While the emotions and mind were a part of ushering in the demonic spirit, it is a spiritual issue and must be fought with spiritual tools. When the church fails to recognize this, it only pushes the despair that there truly is no hope for freedom. Instead of people being fully free, they learn to manage it. That is, until life circumstances create enough pressure to crumble the inferior operating system. If the second part of John 10:10 declares Jesus’ victory over death, then the church needs to be equipped and empowered to help set people free – fully free!
I am going to give you some great exercises to do with your children to go after IDENTITY.
Truth Notes – I often get a fun package of sticky notes (fun shapes, cool colors, cute animals) and then write words of truth to each child and stick them in their underwear drawer, between their folded shirts, in their lunch box, on the mirror, in their shoes – the ideas are endless. If they have a test, I will write, “You can do this!” and place it in their book or “Remember, you are never alone,” in their lunch bag. If my kids spend the night elsewhere or when they go to camp, they are armed with TRUTH notes from mom!
The Real You – When your child is feeling bad, believing a lie about themselves or just need some love, ask them, “What does Jesus say about you?” We cannot teach our children enough about the truth of their identity and what God says about them. The rest of their lives, they will get messages from others – their boss, friends, magazines, movies, and even unintentionally from us as parents – that communicate that they aren’t good enough or worthy. Taking the time in moments of peace to speak the truth will profit your child’s ability to become spiritually strong and fit for the long haul.
Who Am I? – Take an index card and write words that fit your child: “smart”, “loving”, “kind”, “secure”, “special”, etc. Wrap up that card inside tissue paper and place it deep within a gift bag (or brown paper bag). Do this before you bring it to the children. Now have a stack of Kleenex or tissue paper, and one by one as you wad it up call out lies: “stupid”, “mean”, “ugly”, “useless”, etc. As you call out each lie, place the wad in the bag. Do 8-10 lies/wads of paper. It’s okay to get crazy and have fun with this (they don’t know what’s coming, and the more they participate, the better the ah-ha moment will be). One mom taped a chocolate kiss to the index card to give them a visual of how sweet the treasure is inside of us. Explain to the child that the gift bag represents the heart that is in each person on earth. Remind them of the mean lies that were deposited into that heart. If a person hears that they are ugly, mean, unwanted, gross, etc., ask them how they think that person will act. Keep going until they take out each lie one-by-one until they get to the truth card. Ask them to open it up and read the card. Explain that each person on earth has something of value written on their heart FROM GOD, who made them. We are to go around FINDING that nugget of gold in each person. When they walk by someone at Wal-Mart and say, “You have beautiful eyes,” they are calling out the TRUTH about that person. When they speak life over someone, they are calling out the good!
Celebrate – I look for ways I celebrate their identity. My son was going through the highs and lows of being a teenager and frankly some days he baffles my mind. Since I am aware the changes are actually about him becoming a man, I will often go to him and put my hand on his heart and just say, “I bless your journey into manhood.” I am always calling out WHO my children are. We can’t put the entire focus on WHAT they do, or we will be teaching them that approval is attached to performance, but we can call out WHO they are despite what they do.
Tiny Baby – Go to a craft store and in the baby shower section, you will find a package of really tiny babies (to be used for games and on cupcakes). Place the baby in the palm of your hand and just focus on it for a moment. This is a great visual for children (and you!) of how big the Father’s hands are. No matter what we are going through, Papa is always bigger. He’s got us and we are safe and secure.
White Heart – Take a piece of paper and draw a huge heart. Spend some time being quiet before the Lord and then ask Him to show you what HE has written on the heart of your child (do this separately for each child). What are the passions, dreams, desires, and strengths HE has put deep inside of them? Write down whatever you hear and then deliberately partner with God to call that out in them.
Hello, My Name Is… – Go to the store and get a label/sticker and write things like “loving”, “kind”, “helpful”, “worthy”, etc. on it. Throughout the day, call out your child’s identity and remind them who they are. Ask Holy Spirit to make your ears sensitive to hear when your children call out a lie about themselves. Things like, “I am not good at this”, “I can’t”, “I am not smart”, “I am stupid”, “No one cares”, and show them their name tag and ask, “Is that who you are?” Show them it is a LIE from the enemy, and they can easily toss that lie out. It is so important that children get practice in hearing GOD’S words about them and learn how to toss out the lies. They will use this tool for the rest of their lives!
Treasure Box – Get a small box or wooden treasure box and place a mirror on the inside. Really build it up and tell them that inside this box is what God treasures the most, what He sent His son to die for, what makes Him smile the biggest, and what He is most passionate about – then have them slowly open the box and see for themselves. For Christmas one year, I did this and wrapped the kids a mirror with a ribbon super glued for the hook. We hang them on the tree every year as a reminder that we are the gifts God enjoys the most.
“Identity” is a very big word rich in meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy whispers. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door. Don’t feel pressured to do these exercises all at once. Instead, be committed to being intentional about teaching your kids what God says about them throughout your journey.
HeartWork – Did you have a mom/dad who saw the treasure in you? How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the truth about who you are? What kind of parent do you want your children to have?
Parents often share that, deep down, they are afraid if they say YES to more of God, He will require something of them that they may not want to do (like sell everything and live overseas). I want to challenge this fear-based belief and say that it is more of a reflection of one’s belief about what kind of Father He is. The reality is saying YES to the deeper things of God means you are going to have to enter a training ground of learning how to receive His goodness, kindness, and blessings as a Son/Daughter. And that, for many, is the harder work!!!!
In the JOURNEY online class, you will gain insight, revelation, keys, and activities along the way to empower you as a parent while equipping your children. This is not an intellectual course, but rather a month filled with transformation for your family.
You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
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).
Ephesians 4:6 clearly tells us to get rid of all anger before a certain time of day, but why? I do not think something magical happens at midnight to all those with anger in their hearts; however, I DO believe that when we sleep, we are without natural defense and unable to put on our armor, as Ephesians 6 talks about. Our spirit and mind are very much alive when we sleep, but our active thinking is not. When a child goes to bed with hurts, lies, anger, or offense in their heart, it can open the door to the enemy to produce nightmares, imbed lies, and increases fear and anxiety. If these issues are present, it is better to lose sleep and address it than end the day with it being unresolved. A fantastic way to help a child be at peace before bedtime is by filling up their love tanks, even just for a few minutes, praying together, or playing worship music which calms their heart. Another great way is to play the High/Low game.
High/Low game – When our family endured trauma, it was so important to me to know what was going on inside my children’s minds and hearts. Each evening when I would tuck them in, we would play the High/Low game. I would ask what the high of their day was and then what the low was. Sometimes they would say the most amazing things; the simplest of events was what touched them the most, yet things I totally missed caused the lowest. It helped me get a pulse on their hearts to see what was important to them, but also if they believed any lies or had unforgiveness that needed to be resolved. I would often get another child out of bed to resolve something between their siblings. As the kids enter school, this is an incredible game to play to see what they are carrying around in their hearts.
Children might be world changers in training, but they still have childlike immaturity that needs to be cultivated so that they can endure the assignments God wants to give them to change the world around them for a lifetime. Character is a stone in their foundation that must be laid in childhood.
Character Counts is a downloadable digital resource that we created to give parents the How-To in equipping their children with godly character. We provide you with fun and engaging activities to do with your child to empower good character.