TOUGHER VS. STRONGER

TOUGHER VS. STRONGER

Going through a crisis in and of itself does not make one stronger. In fact, in the natural, tragedy has the recipe to make one hardened, full of fear, and erect walls around their heart to keep it safe. How does a crisis make you stronger, then? By allowing God to purify those areas that are coming up while you are enduring the crisis. If we don’t allow God access to those places (the fear, poverty mindsets, lack, smallness in thinking, lack of faith, feeling unsafe, etc.), we will gain endurance in the crisis, not strength. We will be able to say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death,” but you carry the same weight with you. Others allow God to purify them in their crisis, taking whatever is coming up to the surface to Him. They are the ones who say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death and am a stronger person for it.” The choice in a crisis is to either medicate your flesh with things that make you feel temporarily safe (food, shopping, porn, denial, social media, avoidance, anger outbursts, etc.) or to steward the uncomfortable emotions and give God room to purify you. You may not be able to stop the crisis, but you do have a choice in either partnering with God’s redemptive work in you in the midst or resisting it. Tough has to do with endurance and how much you can go through. Strong has to do with strength. We don’t just want to say we endured hard things. We want to allow it to build our faith, emotional, relational, and spiritual muscles, which makes us stronger. Whatever the weight that is in your heart/mind is the very thing that, when given to God, makes you stronger!

HELPING CHILDREN DISCERN THE ATMOSPHERE

A great tool for teaching children their authority is to take a spray bottle and catch them off guard by spraying them. Teach them that, like a sneeze, we are always releasing something into the atmosphere. When we throw a tantrum at the store, we aren’t just doing that to Mom but to everyone around us. When we hit our siblings, we are releasing that into the atmosphere. When you are kind, that gets released, too. As you teach, keep surprising them with sudden sprays that fall onto their skin. We release those things into the atmosphere when we release God’s love, respect, honor, kindness, joy, etc. Which one do they want to release? Since my kids have a grid for this now, all I have to say is, “Hey guys, what do you think just got released into the atmosphere?”

Now practice it in the days to come. Before going into a store, ask everyone how they are feeling. I call it “check your gut.” After being in the store for ten minutes, ask the kids how their gut feels now. Oftentimes a child will say, “uncomfortable,” “afraid,” or “not okay.” This is their way of saying something is going on in the atmosphere around them. Teach them it is not coming from IN them, but around them. Someone else ‘sprayed’ that into the atmosphere. We can grow in asking God what He wants us to do.

We can teach children to take the spiritual temperature of a room and then release the opposite. There is power in the name of Jesus that shifts things in the atmosphere everywhere we go!!

WHERE IS HE?

How many of you struggle to see, hear, or feel God in this hour? The enemy is shouting lies to you such as: “He doesn’t care,” “He doesn’t see you,” “He is too busy,” “He is overwhelmed by world affairs,” “He is mad at you,” “He is withholding from you,” “He isn’t very powerful,” “He doesn’t care,” “He isn’t worth it…” I have never felt a season before where hearing Him has been so challenging. My heart is to do whatever He says, but if I can’t hear Him, I don’t know what to do, and it has made me feel confused and lost at times. Isaiah 30:21. 

I called a mentor friend, and we began to pray hard. The more she prayed, the more this picture in my mind became clearer and clearer. I saw smoke fill the air. It was a dark smoke like you would see from burning tires. It was toxic and heavy. But as she prayed, I saw a speck of light, and it got bigger and bigger. Soon I saw a man on a horse in a serious warrior position. As it approached me, I barely came to the horse’s hoof. It was MASSIVE! I suddenly felt so safe and covered. I kept asking, “What do you want me to do? Tell me whatever it is, and I will do it. I trust you. I will follow. What shall I do?” But the warrior just stood there guarding over me. I wanted him to look at me and talk to me. I wanted verbal reassurance and direction. This is the deafness I have felt in this hour. I know you are HERE, but I can’t hear you. Suddenly I heard, “It isn’t about me telling you what I want you to do, but you telling me what you want me to do.” We are to partner with heaven, and there are angels on assignment to defeat the works of the devil in our land. Angels have the POWER, but we have the AUTHORITY! 

Psalms 103:20-21 says, “Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will.” I began to decree and declare that no weapons formed against me, including my intimacy with the Lord, would prosper. I asked the warrior angel to remove the heavy smoke from around me so I could hear again, and instantly I saw him moving into action. The smoke dissipated, and I could see and hear in the spiritual realm again. The issue was never my spiritual ears – they work just fine. The issue was not God ignoring me – He is always talking. The issue was that I needed help from heaven to break the smoke between us in the atmosphere over the land. 

HeartWork – If this is your experience, call a friend and pray together. Declare and decree no weapon formed against you will prosper. Invite the warrior angels of God to fight the battle. Watch and listen to whatever He wants to show you. 

P.S. Your spiritual ears work just fine, and He still radically and passionately loves you!

VICTIM VS. SON/DAUGHTER

At church, Hudson asked if I would buy him a muffin and began to tell me how he didn’t have any time to eat. It rubbed me the wrong way, so I stopped and asked if that was true. He had 45 minutes, and ‘all’ he did was get dressed, which provided enough time to eat. I needed him to see something. He was coming at me as a victim, trying to motivate me to meet his need. I want him to approach me as a son. I want him to see me as a mother who cares. Yes, I want him to take responsibility for managing his responsibilities and time, but this isn’t his norm or weakness. I helped him to see that he wasn’t a victim but instead chose not to eat and was now paying the price for it. I asked him to approach me like a son and humble himself with his need. It is risky asking someone for help when you have messed up, but I don’t want my children to partner with being a victim to motivate me (or others) to help them. If I had bought him a muffin without helping him to own his choice, I would have indirectly taught him that there is power in being a victim. He enjoyed his muffin and grew in learning how his Father deals with His children.

INTERRUPTED SLEEP

I posted this revelation and discovered 1,000’s of people have been affected. Praise God many have also experienced a sudden shift after praying.

How many of you, or those in your family, have had interrupted sleep patterns lately? Like can’t fall asleep, waking up many times throughout the night or just a foreign restlessness around sleep?

As a watchman in families, I am seeing something we must rise up in and take authority over. There is an attack on sleep right now. It comes in the form of oversleeping, a lack of falling asleep or waking up getting interrupted sleep. God has designed our bodies to NEED sleep – deep sleep – and has ordered the world according to work and rest. Even the fields work hard and need a season of rest.

Being sleep-deprived affects one’s mind, body, and spirit. It is like a numbing agent. Rest is part of what keeps us alert, clear-minded, and empowered.

Please discern this accurately and do not assume it is just your body being weird. This is in the spiritual realm and the way to solve it isn’t through natural means but with our authority.

Let’s PRAY – “I command every assignment of the enemy to disrupt my sleep and deep rest to be canceled in the name of Jesus. I declare my body will come into the order of heaven which includes cycles of alertness, productivity, and deep rest. I command the spirit of insomnia off my mind and body in Jesus’ name. I invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill my mind, heart, room, bed, home, and family with Your peace, power, and a clear mind that comes from rest.”

You do not need to put up with being bullied in your sleep. Take authority over the spirit and take back what is yours in the name of Jesus.

Now gather the children and invite them to pray over themselves. Explain that God has given us seasons like winter, spring, summer and fall. What would happen if it was winter all the time? We wouldn’t be able to enjoy swimming in the lake or planting food to eat. What if it was hot all year long? What if it rained 365 days? God, the Creator of the world and our bodies, has given us a rhythm and we are most alive when we follow His design. As a family, walk through each bedroom and pray for deep sleep and rest.

PARENT HEART WORK

Get out your journal and recall the last time you had an above-average reaction to something your child did. Ask Jesus some questions and allow Him to minister to your heart. Do not be introspective; instead, ask and listen to what He has to share. 

Ask, “Jesus, was this their issue or mine?”. If it was your issue, ask, “Jesus, what was my heart feeling at the time? What made my heart so uncomfortable at that moment? When was the first time I felt that emotion? What did my heart need?” 

Use these questions the next time your child triggers you and allow those uncomfortable moments to be the times you are molded to be more like Jesus. We don’t want our wounds or lack to parent our children. We want to parent from a place of wholeness and freedom. Understanding this is important because we often react to our children who aren’t doing anything wrong. Yet our reaction, out of a wounded or hurt place, teaches them that it is not okay to be who God made them to be. Allow Him to parent you through your child! I am proud of you for doing the hard things so that your child doesn’t reap the fruit of our wounds.

FEAR NO MORE

We all experience a flash of fear from time to time, but when fear controls our thoughts, choices, and emotions, it is time to address it head-on. If fear is something that has too big of a voice in your life, after it and deal with it on this side of heaven. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a clear mind. So, let’s go after this together.

WHAT SETS US FREE

A child grows up with parents who do not know who they are, so they aren’t able to teach the child who they are. There are heart splinters left to be resolved, and the child grows up bitter, judgemental, and blaming their parents for their failures and mistakes. Obviously, this is not a path we want to choose. But another group of people with the same experiences have concluded, “Well, they did the best they could.” It sounds mature and full of grace to say that, but the adult child is still struggling profoundly. Our minds need to have answers, and we begin to draw conclusions to help us feel empowered, even in hurt and pain. To say, “Well, they did the best they could,” is a coping mechanism to make us feel better about the hurt and lack we have endured. God says the truth sets us free, and I believe He wants us to walk in the middle of both of these responses. You can’t heal what you can’t acknowledge. Honor covers the offender, knowing that they are on their journey, but it doesn’t look like silence. You can’t change what you don’t want to see. Freedom doesn’t come from blaming your parents. Freedom comes from acknowledging that something was out of alignment and partnering with God to restore it.

NO REMORSE

Sometimes parents come to me really concerned over their child’s lack of compassion or remorse when they make a mess with others. While empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) is something to foster in our children, often, this is not the issue at hand. When a child has partnered with a spirit of rejection, they have a filter over their eyes and see everything through the lens of “they do not like me.” It is hard to accept responsibility for your reactions when you believe others are at fault for the mess.

Wondering if this is something your child is struggling with? Ask, “Holy Spirit, will You please show me the root of my child’s lack of compassion and remorse?”

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.

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.”