WILL YOU HELP ME?

WILL YOU HELP ME?

How many of you have to do things in life that require a sacrifice for your child? Selling a house? Long car rides? Going grocery shopping? Look at what this real estate agent did to EMPOWER the kids to be on the team rather than set it up for conflict and chaos.

“At my listing appointment tonight, I had the smallest residents sign their own contracts promising to keep their rooms clean, and toys picked up while the house is on the market. If they hold up their end of the deal, they each get a gift card from a store of their choice.”

WORTHY IS THE LAMB

Worthy is the lamb is more than a good worship song – it is the position of our hearts. The elders and angels bow down and worship WORTHY IS THE LAMB over and over and over for all eternity. The Lord owes us nothing. Not comfort, morning coffee, electricity, toys, expensive vehicles, nice homes, or a paycheck. He gives these things because He is a good Father, but He owes us NOTHING and deserves it all. In this hour, it is so important to teach our children that He is worthy – all the time – of it all! 

Wor·thy – adjective – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way. Noun – a person notable or important in a particular sphere. 

Have the kids glue cotton balls around a drawn or printed lamb and talk about the countless things He is worthy of.

CLEANING UP OUR MESS

When the kids were really little, I would have them say, “I am sorry.” Once they understood that correction/discipline meant they did something to cause harm, I would have them ASK for forgiveness, such as, “I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?” And they had to wait for the reply of the other person. When they were around 4-8, I would have them say what they were sorry for, such as, “I am sorry for hitting your arm.” When they got older, I had them ask for forgiveness and state WHY what they did was not okay, such as, “I am sorry I hit your arm. It is not okay because I used my strength instead of my words.” Now that they are in their teen years, it is common for them to clean up their messes by asking forgiveness and releasing compassion and validation for how their choices have affected others. I am confident my grandchildren will reap the fruit of this because a successful marriage is not built upon perfection but on the ability to clean up one’s mess well.

MAKE JOY A PRIORITY

Joy is more than an emotion. It releases a chemical in our brain that increases hope. Studies show children with higher levels of this chemical are more resilient when faced with difficulty. Make JOY a priority today!

Break out the dance music

Declare a nerf gun war

Play indoor beach ball volleyball

Tickle attacks

Wrestling matches. 

Do something out of the norm to usher in JOY.

MAY I BE EXCUSED?

I vividly recall the day I put great effort and energy into making a special dinner for my family. I eagerly called them to the table to reveal my effort. I got less-than-sweet comments from each of the children, and they just got up and went off to play. I sat there with a huge mess to clean up and felt somewhat offended. I wanted to go on a cooking strike, vowing never to feed them again, but I realized that wasn’t a good option. I pictured them doing that in someone else’s home, and I didn’t like the thought. I knew I had to figure out a way to TEACH them what honor and gratefulness looked like in that situation. The following morning, they came to the table and I had them draw me a picture. Before they finished, I picked up and said, “Ick. I don’t like purple.” To another one, I said, “Gross. This is nasty”, and another I said, “I hate this.” They were mortified and in complete shock. I asked them how it made them feel. Awful! I explained that when someone makes a meal, it is like their artwork made with love for them. I never forced my kids to eat anything, but I set the bar for them to be grateful, gracious, and kind. After every meal, they are required to thank the person who made the meal and ask to be excused. I am not their maid, slave, or chef; I am their mother worthy of honor and respect.

HAND IT BACK TO HIM

Your body isn’t designed to carry the weight. For those of us in Redding enduring the crisis of the Carr Fire, we are divided into two camps – those who are givers and those who are receivers. Many are dealing with unimaginable loss. For those who haven’t lost their homes or loved ones, we are givers of our time, resources, energy, ministry, and helping hands. We are listening to the stories one by one, over and over, of the trauma, heartbreak, and tears. God never designed our bodies to hold onto the weight of other people’s pain. It can become extremely unhealthy if we are carrying the weight of their stories and not following through with giving them back to Him. I am hearing over and over that people who lost nothing are feeling stressed, depressed and lethargic. Yet, these are the ones who are walking side by side with those who are in pain.

One friend broke out in hives so bad she went to Urgent Care. When the second bout came, I knew she was holding onto emotions that needed to be released. I encouraged her to get the kids situated and go in her room alone with Jesus and process her heart, the pain of the stories, the fear, and deep sadness. She wept! And the hives left. God wants us to walk in compassion for those suffering, but He does not want us to carry it. Out of love and compassion, He wants us to put those burdens back on Him. When I walk or talk with someone who has endured something difficult, I have two choices. I can carry their pain as if it happened to me, or I can cry with them but remain true to my reality (the loss didn’t happen to me) and take their stories to the throne and intercede for them out of compassion. If you are in the role of being the giver to someone who is walking through challenging situations, your strength is found in putting the weight and needs back on the only One who is designed to carry our burdens.

SHIFTING OUR GAZE

It is hard to know who you are when you spend the majority of the time staring at a lens with your own reflection. We only truly discover who we are when we gaze into the One who created us in His image. Selfies only reflect what you want to see. God’s image reflects who we were made to become.

TRUTH IN – TRUTH OUT

I woke early one morning with resolve in my spirit that my prayers needed to be deeper. Sometimes we knock on a door and wait for an answer, and other times we bang and bang until someone answers. I felt in my spirit the latter. Like a rubber band being pulled in two different directions, the atmosphere has so much resistance. Can anyone else feel it? Tension and pulling. I grabbed my Bible and searched deep in Psalms for verses that resonated with what I was sensing. I prayed passionately over every verse and declared with boldness His truth. Thirty minutes in, something shifted like an airplane going through turbulence before it found smooth skies. 

Friends, we are not to manage this season by just enduring. We are to keep on pressing into Him. I encourage you to gather your family, grab your Bible and search for verses in Psalms. Have children draw out the verse, create artwork with His truth, declare it out loud, write it in chalk on your driveway, make a song with the verse, etc. The point is to get His truth IN you so that it can come OUT of you.

DEFENDER

Pray this powerful prayer and allow Holy Spirit to restore connection with your child. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to be my child’s Defender and Advocate. Would You please reveal to me where I have been wrong, caused a hurt or made a mess so that I can make it right?” If He showed you something, go low and ask for forgiveness.

CURSING MOMS

Mamas, are you cursing your body? It is hard to raise daughters with healthy self-esteem when you model cursing your own body. My mom had four kids close in age and didn’t like the way it affected her body. I was secure and confident growing up with my body; however, the moment I had kids (also four close in age, including twins), I immediately turned against my body and felt like it was ‘ruined.’ I was intentional about building up my daughters and their self-image. God began to show me that what my mom taught me, by cursing her own body, is that motherhood ‘ruins’ your body. I was simply modeling that belief onto my children. I entered a season of greater self-love and acceptance for my body, which has miraculously produced life. I want my daughters to feel beautiful now AND after they become a mom. It isn’t about praising them but modeling acceptance for myself.

***This isn’t just for daughters. When moms curse their own bodies in front of their sons, they are teaching them that there is something wrong with a woman’s body, which we surely don’t want him to transfer to his wife someday.

JOIN ME IN PRAYER

I am encouraging every parent to STAND IN THE GAP for the voiceless children in our nation who are being used and abused and read out loud Psalms 10. God is not sleeping. His eyes do not close. It is time to take the mask off our mouths and declare that the scales will be tipped. I am on my face weeping on their behalf. Cry out on behalf of the children. Be their voice. Stand in the gap on their behalf. This is God’s battle. We will do our part on our knees. Children, we are battling for you. Heaven, send the angels. God is the God who judges all things.