WHEN YOUR PEACE GETS TESTED

WHEN YOUR PEACE GETS TESTED

Some dear friends of ours said they had wanted to buy a home for a few years but were waiting for the Lord to show them who for. They approached us and said they would like to buy a home for us by paying cash. We enjoyed looking at houses together, and they were ready to sign on a new construction home. While I loved the idea for a variety of reasons, AND the home we picked out was gorgeous, I did not have peace. We waited and looked at a few more homes, but I couldn’t do it. When there is no peace, you have to lay down whatever it is – no matter how big or how wild or how big of a ‘blessing’ it is. Peace is my pillar, and I am anchored to it. The moment I asked if we could lay it down, peace returned, and within a short amount of time, God made it abundantly clear we were moving to North Carolina. Could you imagine if I said yes to the immediate blessing and forfeited what He had planned for us? It puts a chill in my spine to think I could have missed out on His goodness for us because I was tempted to grab the comfortable at the moment.

I share this to encourage you to hold onto your anchor of peace no matter what the weather report says. Peace is your pillar!

FAITH OF A CHILD

I love this memory because it was an experience that shaped Ellie’s faith in God.

Hudson has been wanting to use his money to buy the family ice cream. We were having a great time, and in walks a party of 3, but one of the guys had a brace on his wrist/arm. Ellie says immediately, “I have to pray for him.” She made that comment three times while eating ice cream. He got up to the restroom, and the kids grabbed him on the way back. Little fearless Ellie asks if she can pray for him, and his lip starts to tremble. He squats down and listens so intently to their prayers. When done, she asks how he feels, and the tears really come as he says, “I feel so loved.” He takes off his brace, and sure enough, his pain is gone. He broke it months ago, and healing has been a long journey. Nothing like seeing a grown man with tattoos weeping over the wave of love. Whoever said the Kingdom was boring surely has never witnessed or experienced the POWER of a Living God!

FULL CIRCLE

My parents went through a terrible divorce, and we remained with my mom full-time. Before my dad died, he shared the painful story of how he went to Hawaii and wrote the names of my siblings and me in the sand. When the waves washed our names away, he said goodbye to each of his four children as if we had died. It was his way of processing the pain and letting go. Years later, I visited the very island my dad said goodbye to me. I felt the Lord wake me early to write my children’s names in the sand, but I am not letting them go, nor am I grieving them. Instead, I surrendered them to the Father, who will never leave or forsake them; a Father who holds their future and embraces their heart today and forever.

LOVE WON

When my son went to take his entrance test for his current school, he wasn’t even able to test. He knew the answers if you asked him but struggled to read at that level. Finally, a teacher said he would help my son take the test by reading the questions to him.

He was so sad to leave his two best friends in Colorado, and I assured him countless times God wasn’t asking him to give up something without having something in exchange for it. Hudson was given a place in the classroom (thank God) and came home the first day to report God had given him not only one but three new best friends. These three boys were SO good to him and made him feel like a brother. A week later, they wanted to move him into a smaller classroom where he could get more 1:1 time with the teacher. When I told Hudson, he was upset all weekend. I thought it was about the reading level, but he finally told me, “You promised God would have something for me here with friends, and He gave me three of them. Why do I have to give them up, too?” I told the principle we would honor whatever professional decision they felt was best for his academics but shared with him Hudson’s heart. The principle’s response was, “I am not touching that. We aren’t moving him.” He jumped an entire year’s worth of reading levels in ONE month. I have always believed the love of brotherhood with these three other boys created an atmosphere where he could not only catch up but thrive.

GRIEVING HOLY SPIRIT DREAM

I have been stewarding this dream for years and believe it is the time to share it. God was teaching me about family and, ultimately, the church because leadership should reflect good parenting.

In my dream, the kids and I arrived at our new housing. It was a unique round building with a gorgeous custom kitchen and living room in the middle. It was designed with the intention of people doing life together. Off of the living area were master suites with private bathrooms. We walked in, each carrying a different-sized suitcase, like the ones that were passed down from parents or grandparents. There was no check-in station as it was designed to be set up like a family with connection between the occupants, not run like a motel or business. We were aware there were people gathered in one of the rooms. I knew in my dream they were aware we had arrived and were waiting, but they didn’t come out to greet us or give us instructions. I didn’t want just to assume which room was ours, so despite traveling a long distance, we waited joyfully. The landlord walked in to greet us like a mother eager to see her child. I felt at home when she hugged me. She began to flow with tears. It wasn’t an anxious, wounded, or fearful cry. Just tears of genuine sadness. She said, “I want you here, but you can’t stay. You would be a model tenant, but they were here first and don’t want you here.” It didn’t feel like personal rejection as much as just the way things were done there. The sincere compassion I felt for the landlord for having renters who did not honor her desires for her own building made it easy to take my eyes off of myself and put them on her. I hugged her and assured her we would be okay, even though it meant we would be ‘homeless’ once we walked out the door. This tender moment morphed into me, saying firmly, “I will go (to honor her), but I will not leave until I have taken a shower first.” I was so aware in my dream it was 4 in the afternoon, and I was already clean. I went to take my shower and noticed a line that went all the way out the door. End of dream.

I woke up at 4 the next morning with a deep pang in my heart over what I had just witnessed in my dream. I got out of bed and sat in the dark living room, where I began to unpack the dream with God. He said, “Ask me who the landlord was in the dream,” and it was revealed she was Holy Spirit. I immediately fell on my face and wept. To witness Holy Spirit being grieved grieves me. To this day, I still can’t talk about the dream without tears coming to my eyes. I will never forget the genuine sadness in her eyes. The round living area represented what should have been a family room (not an empty living room). The people in the bedrooms were the parents/leaders who had authority just by ‘being there first.’ The dream highlights the need for instruction and guidance from them. Their closed room door and unwillingness to come out represents a wall they have built to shut out what they don’t want to enter. God sends children into families and people into churches carrying certain things (suitcases) because He knows what they need is inside of them. It grieves Him when we reject the ones He has sent to us to BLESS US. When we begin to run our families/churches according to our own agenda, we miss out on what He is doing in them. The lack of concern from the parents/leaders felt unloving, prideful, and downright rude, but the Lord showed me later that they were protecting something. Oftentimes when a parent/leader has wounds, hurts, jealousy or insecurity will, they will shut out the very ones God brings to them to help them. Just by their presence, a child/person can trigger the parents/leaders wound and cause them to ‘shut the door.’ This is a greater reflection on the parent/leader but often feels to the child/person like something is wrong with them. Parents/leaders can argue that what they are doing is right because they are ‘protecting’ something, but God never called us to be self-protectors. That is His job. I was aware in my dream, due to the uniqueness of the circle building, that the people in the closed room were at the 11 o’clock position. 11 can represent imperfection, disorder, disintegration, and chaos, which is exactly what happens when parents/leaders are unwilling to open the door, communicate clearly or welcome what those under them carry by God’s design. My shower represented my awareness that this interaction slimmed me, and I needed to rid myself fully and completely of any hurts, offenses, judgments, or bitterness. I assumed the words “you would be a model tenant” meant we were faithful financially, which is important to a landlord, but the Lord showed me that the word ‘model’ meant we, as a family, carried a model. There are five people in my family, and we all just happen to represent a different part of the five-fold ministry. We have an anointing in the area of family, and God has given us an anointing on how to model our families after His. We came into the family room, bringing that model with us. This is super important because we ALL carry things and that God wants to release through us. The vintage suitcases represented what has been passed down from each generation. We never meet someone with an empty suitcase. God has been setting things in motion in each family line for centuries. We carry what our parents, grandparents, and on did or didn’t complete on earth but may have sowed into. Each person’s suitcase is filled with valuable keys, solutions, and tools to build His Kingdom. My shower was at four which confirmed to me that I was FOR them, even though it wasn’t received. Taking a shower was about me, but FOR them as not to carry the offense against them. God also woke me at 4 am. Children are born FOR their parents until they are taught otherwise. Ironically, God woke me up at 4:44 am to release this dream. The long line indicated this dream wasn’t just for me but a corporate one, as many were slimed in the process of being shut out. This is a key and strategy of the Lord. We must clean ourselves of hurts, offenses, and judgments before we are fully free to move on.

SHY IS A LIE

Testimony from a mom: “One morning, our six-year-old was being funny when we asked her to pray about something. Her head was hanging down, and her hair was in her face. She said she doesn’t want to because she is shy (she has said she is shy before but is my bold adventurer!). We asked her what Father was saying to her. It took a while, but she finally whispered, ‘I’m powerful.’ So we asked if it was true or a lie that she was shy and spoke a few other things God has said to her. She knew it was a lie but was cowering in fear. I knew she could see in the spirit realm, so something was obviously going on. I remembered a story you had shared about Hudson kicking a lie out the door. So I shared it with her, and she thought it was funny. I asked her if she wanted to kick out the lie that she was shy. Still acting timid, we went to the door and together said, ‘I am not shy,’ and kicked it out the door. She shut the door and began to have this tiny smile. Then, she whispers, ‘Mommy, it’s like we kicked all the sneaky, snaky things that aren’t God’s friends out the door.’ Oh, my word. Our daughter has gotten so many words about being bold, powerful, and filled with God’s light. Blessings on our children’s destinies and callings! Thank you for sharing testimonies; they are powerful!”

GOD REDEEMS

God woke me early and revealed something deep within my heart. By the time I was done, I was in complete awe over the revelations and His love that redeems every part of my story. Hours later, a couple came to me for parent coaching. When I asked what they hoped to get out of our time together, the dad began to explain the EXACT same situation with his daughter that God had spoken to me about hours earlier.

I want you to see this – God is sufficient to redeem all things. It is who He is, but how GLORIOUS is it that we get to partner with Him in our parenting so that we can help our children deal with owies IN childhood, so that hurts don’t become adult-sized woundedness, lies don’t become adult-sized strongholds, and offenses don’t become adult-sized bitterness. KUDOS to this dad for doing the hard things so that his daughter doesn’t need to reap the fruit of it for years.

ELLIE’S STORY

One Sunday, Ellie came to me and declared that God told her not to go to Sunday school. I wasn’t overly convinced but allowed her to stay with me. She began to worship like I had never seen before. She wasn’t just singing but truly WORSHIPING. I was undone just watching her. Out of nowhere, she stopped worshiping, sat down, and got really quiet. When we got home, she asked if we could have a date, so I took her on my errands. We were driving when she said, “Mom, do you want to know why I got so quiet today during worship?” I knew something was about to unfold, and I wanted to give her my full attention, so I pulled into the parking lot of Taco Bell. She began to tell me that Jesus said to her, “Ellie, you are I are friends, but we aren’t best friends yet,” and she was crying, telling me that she wanted Jesus to be her best friend. I knew then that during worship, the Holy Spirit was ministering to her and leading her to accept Him. With tears in my own eyes, I explained to her that Jesus loved her and wanted to have that place in her life. I walked her through salvation, and with a gust of emotion, she said YES to Him. (Taco Bell will forever be a precious reminder of this glorious event). I love her story because it shows how Holy Spirit was at work, and as a parent, I just needed to be sensitive to what He was already doing in her life.

SHAME HAS TO BLAME

I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go, but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not require my energy or time. I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase. I finally met with my friend, a professional counselor, and asked her what the problem was that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom. She said, “Shame HAS to blame,” and began to introduce me to shame’s profound effects on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down, and robs us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words), it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all. Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.

I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider, and more passionately than you have been loved before. You will watch a video teaching, and I will provide activities and exercises based on the teachings for the rest of the days. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive, so they never have to find themselves again down the road.

You can register here: Moms & Dads – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

FOLLOW HIS VOICE

My friend woke in the early morning to have a sudden desire to check her phone (that was GOD speaking to her). She clicked on a message from a friend, and it almost read like a goodbye letter (the check in her spirit was Holy Spirit). The friend went offline, and she didn’t have her phone number. She got up and asked a mutual friend to call their friend right away. She didn’t answer the phone. My friend told her to call her husband, who confirmed his wife was still in bed sleeping. My friend wrote back, “No, have the husband go check on his wife.” (Holy Spirit was alerting her spirit). The friend called the husband again with instructions to check on her. He realized the door was locked and, after barging in, found that his wife had hung herself and was able to save her within seconds of her passing. God knew He could wake my friend from a deep sleep and that she would respond to His leading. It saved a little three-year-old girl from losing her mom that day. Hearing your Father is a lifeline to you and those around you!

THUMBS UP

I love having the kids ask Jesus what He thinks of them in all situations. Doing this has helped to break off lies and continues to keep their identity solid in Him. While my girls would always hear sweet things, my son would say, “Good!” when I would ask him what he heard. “How does Jesus feel about you?” “Good!” I would have him ask again and even reminded him that the God of the universe who created the entire world had more to say than “Good!” However, Holy Spirit told me to stop doing this as my son heard correctly and simply communicated it in his own way. If he asked Jesus how He felt about him and saw Jesus giving him thumbs up in his mind, he interpreted that as ‘good.’ I realized I needed to back off and let him hear from God in his own way because when the God of the universe says “Good!” it is good indeed!