For Christmas one year, I gave Hudson a little book called “What Every Man Needs to Know” that listed things like how to build a fire, ask a girl out, how to fart, etc. It was supposed to be a joke, and I thought he would laugh. Instead, he read it cover to cover and earmarked all of the things listed in the book that he didn’t yet know how to do. My heart was gripped by the way he saw the need to be instructed in the areas of becoming a man. I knew I needed to respond, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking a single man to take on that role. I asked Hudson to make a list of the top 20 things he wanted to learn, and I asked God for a solution. I knew I couldn’t just step in and teach him as it was something that needed to come from a man, not his mother. My mind began to flip through the countless incredible men in our lives who I, as a mother, honor, respect, and trust. I began to reach out to each of them and told them the story of the book and Hudson’s list. I asked them if they would be willing to pick one thing on the list and teach and empower Hudson in that area. Oh, let me tell you how these men have risen to the occasion. Hudson has learned how to tie a tie, build a fire, change a tie, drive a car (yes, he took him out and let him drive his car!), cut down trees, burn a massive bonfire, drive a tractor, build things, change the oil in a car, replace wipers, roast hot dogs (without burning them), run a business, make money, throw knives, shoot a gun, sail a boat, go fishing, fix a bike tire, dress like a man (I loved this lesson), one man even gave him a talk about how to treat girls with respect. I am in awe over the rich men in our community who are willing to take time out of their busy lives and families to help a boy become a man.
WHAT EVERY MAN NEEDS TO KNOW
I was doing a Parent Coaching session with a mom and had all I could do to keep it together (I know, I am not supposed to be crying, but I couldn’t help it). She received some deliverance stemming from a horrific experience at a very young age. Afterward, Jesus handed her a permission slip that was dipped in blood. She said she wasn’t sure what it meant, and I began to prophesy over her. Daughters were never meant to ask for permission to be themselves. God is giving you back your permission to be YOU. And it is dripped in the blood of Jesus because He thought of you and what you experienced at such a tender age and bought it back with His blood. The redemption of having permission to be YOU is now complete.
“I really wanted to start teaching my 3-year-old daughter to give based on hearing the Lord’s voice. We went out to dinner, and the Lord gave me a vision of a Rice Krispie treat. I told my daughter that Jesus wanted us to buy a Rice Krispie treat for someone in the restaurant. Once purchased, I asked her to ask Jesus who He wanted to give this treat to. She repeated after me and asked Jesus who it was for. She then pointed to a young woman and said, ‘her.’ So we went up to the gal who had a book out and was clearly studying/taking notes, and my daughter said, ‘Jesus wants you to have this Rice Krispie treat.’ The woman said thank you, and we went to our table to eat. While sitting, The Lord kept telling me the woman needed to know He loves her, that He likes her and that she is beautiful. We finished our dinner, and as we were heading out the door, I stopped and explained why Jesus wanted her to have the treat, that He loved her, liked her, and that she was beautiful to Him. She then replied, ‘You don’t understand, I just bought this book (turning it over so I could read the cover – it was a study on all religions… Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc… She currently was taking very detailed notes on Judaism). I’m at a very spiritual place in my life. I was raised Lutheran, baptized Lutheran, converted to Catholicism, married a Morman, and have several Muslim friends. I bought this so I can study and choose what religion I’m going to become.’ She was in complete awe of what just had happened. I know the Lord will water this seed. Even if I didn’t go back to tell her that Jesus loves her, Jesus still gave her a Rice Krispie treat at the very moment she was studying which religion to become. I love our God! All this was possible because of your ministry, encouragement, and example, and my daughter learning to hear the voice of the Lord. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Thank You, Jesus!!”
I have shared about my powerful time ministering to the moms at the rescue mission in California. A friend messaged me saying she wished I could come minister to her girls in Colorado. I just happened to have had a trip planned and an evening free so I took Lauren and Emma to minister with me. What a glorious night of freedom for these sweet mamas. I honor them for the hell they have been through and for the ways God is redeeming, restoring, healing and repaying for all that has been stolen. If you want to see God move, sit with those who truly need Him.
When I picked Ellie up from youth camp, I could tell she was exhausted but also that her heart was heavy. I sensed the Lord saying to minister to her physically and to make sure she was showered, fed, and rested. I took her out for coffee early the next morning, and the tears poured out of her. She said everything about camp was amazing and her love tank was overflowing, but on the last session during worship, someone commented about God’s love, and she began to question, “If God loves me so much, why have I endured so much pain?” And the thought was tormenting her, as it was evident by her flood of painful tears. I had her ask Jesus to show her if this was pain that was seeping out that needed to be healed or if the enemy was whispering to her with an agreement against God. She heard the latter (so did I). She was in receiving mode during the youth camp, and it was incredible, but the enemy thought he could chime in with a lie about God’s love for her, and she embraced it. The more she thought about the ‘evidence,’ the more tormented her heart began. She needed help seeing it was a LIE, and she had to break agreement with the LIE. The moment we did, her entire countenance changed, and her joy returned. A week later, she stood up in front of others, declaring that she experienced revival in her life when she made a massive mess, and in her brokenness, she experienced God’s love for her. Out of that love, she rose up with a conviction over the thing she made a mess in, and God has used her mightily in that area – not because she is bold, but because she encountered His love IN that place. This wasn’t an attack on God’s love for her – it was an attack on the conviction as the fruit of that love. Heart splinters (hurts, lies, and offenses) always come with a lack of peace, yet Jesus always comes to restore our peace as we defeat the enemy.
There is a move of God through the younger ones.
A mom shares: “Our sweet little man jumped into the car the other day and declared he wanted to be ‘bathtized.’ When I asked him why he wanted to be baptized, he said because he was called to do it and wanted to be washed clean. He was not going to wait and had an urgency to be baptized. I love his heart to obey. Jesus, help me to be obedient to Your call like that. I am so proud of the young man he is. He is a truth-teller and proclaims it for all to hear!! Keep it up, preacher man!! ‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ – Matthew 28:19.”
One of the most vulnerable households for child sexual assault is the house that is run by ‘because I said so,’ and a legalistic one because they operate out of a list of rules and total parental authority and often fail to listen to the child. Children cannot hold in such a horrendous lie and/or the worry that abuse causes. They might not come right out and say that XYZ happened, but they will let it leak out, and we need ears to LISTEN TO THEM!
Here is a sad but true example: A little 4th grader came home from his youth group in a foul mood. The mom repeatedly disciplined him for his attitude, but he would not shake it. Finally, she asked him how youth group went, and he said, “I hated it.” She replied that he must go anyway because it was expected of him. He yelled out that his teacher was gay, and the mother swooshed him to his bedroom for talking inappropriately about someone. Had the mother listened to the child, she would have seen that he used to love youth group, and the sudden change warranted investigation. When a young child talks about an adult being gay, it should warrant you to find out why the child thinks that way, how he knows that of the youth leader, etc. If she had only asked and inquired deeper, she would have learned that her son was molested that night, only to come home and be disciplined for not wanting to return. I call it ‘pulling on the rope.’ When a child makes a harsh comment, pull on the rope by asking WHY questions. Not all ill words are a character issue; sometimes, they are flags waving to get our attention.
I am often asked at what age a girl should begin to wear makeup. In response, I share our journey. Lauren and Emma were 12 years old when they asked me if they could start wearing makeup. For one, I said yes, and for the other, I said no. I asked each of them, “Are you walking as a Daughter and want to put on mascara because it is fun and you want to enjoy it? Or are you walking as an orphan who needs mascara to feel beautiful?” There is a world of difference! If it is the latter, I am not helping my daughter’s beauty by encouraging her to use makeup (or anything else) to become her false identity. I took the one shopping to buy her first cosmetic product while I worked with the other one to know the beauty of her worth and value FIRST, and then we went shopping. Both girls know who they are today and do not need makeup to feel beautiful. They are able to enjoy it as a Daughter and feel secure with or without it.
When Hudson was six years old, he came to me after we were all in bed and said there was fear in his room. I asked what he wanted to do, and he said, “Mom, we need to go up and tell it to leave.” YES! He gets it. Fear doesn’t chase him out of his room. That is HIS room, and fear is the one that has to leave. When we KNOW fear, we need to say NO to fear. If they do not have a junior Holy Spirit, they don’t have junior authority. When my children saw ‘bad’ stuff, I asked if they wanted it to be there because respecting free will is how the Kingdom of God is established. I would then help them to pray using this outline.
The Bible instructs us to command whatever is NOT in heaven to go in Jesus’ name and to invite in whatever IS in heaven in the name of Jesus. COMMAND THE BAD TO GO: “Fear/anger/strife/chaos/, I see you, and you need to leave in Jesus’ name.” INVITE THE GOOD TO COME: “Peace/love/joy/comfort/, I invite and welcome you in Jesus’ name.” There is no rule on how to do it, but this outline helps to teach them. I love the expression, “I see you,” when speaking to the fear/anger because it helps us to FACE the issue head-on rather than ignore it or feel paralyzed by it. The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… Always!
We became a solo family two weeks before Christmas. I went to bed Christmas Eve but woke around 2am thirsty. I don’t need much sleep but getting out of bed for a glass of water was out of the question. The thirst persisted. I finally got up and stumbled to the kitchen, where my feet hit the standing water from the dishwasher that had leaked. I was so thankful to have found it then, as it would have ruined our hardwood flooring and seeped into the basement had it been left for Christmas morning. I cleaned it up in the dark, sat on the kitchen floor, and wept. There was no way I had an ounce of energy left in me to wash dishes three times a day for five people. I felt so alone and overwhelmed. I told God I wasn’t stupid but honestly didn’t know who to call to repair it. An electrician? A plumber? Another wave of tears came as I embraced my hopelessness. I wasn’t even sure I knew where to buy a new one. Home Depot? Did Sears carry them? My husband would have known with ease how to handle this situation, but he wasn’t there, and my cluelessness was reducing me to another wet pile of tears on the kitchen floor. I suddenly remembered the verse that talked about God being my Husband. I dried my tears and said, “Okay, YOU are now my Husband. We have a problem with our dishwasher. What are You going to do about it?” Three days later, I ran the dishwasher, and it never leaked again. A place in my heart was created that Christmas for God to become my Husband, my faithful, know-it-all, can-fix-it Husband. I no longer operated in spiritual singleness. FAITH is the wedding band that activates His power, peace, and solutions in my life.
When God does something in your life, He is showing others what is possible for Him to do in their life, too. Selling our home in Colorado was a big part of our journey, but little did I know just how much He would allow that testimony to follow us around and continue to impact people. A friend was telling me about getting her house ready for the market and the stress of keeping a clean home with a toddler. God put the name of a realtor friend in my heart, and I texted her asking if she was looking for a house that matched this one, and she wrote back, “YES.” Her parents were en route with cash in hand to purchase the exact kind of home. They closed a month later. Another friend was telling me about their plans to move back home. I got a picture in my mind of a friend I didn’t even know was looking to buy and messaged her. She said they were going through the loan process. Two days later, they went to see the house (before it was even listed), and a week later, they were under contract. I cannot tell you the COUNTLESS times people have stopped me saying they heard this testimony, and it gave them the faith to move. There is life on the fingerprints of God in your life.