When you can’t receive God’s truth about you and partner with the lie, “I am not enough,” you will think that you aren’t enough and then act like you aren’t enough. When you act less than enough, your children get the fruit of a parent who isn’t enough – two generations in one with a single lie. Rise, dear one, and reject whatever feels, sounds, and looks true and walk in what IS true. You ARE enough, not on your own, but because He lives inside you, and you are His. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who taught me that I am not enough?” Forgive that person for teaching you a lie about your worth. Write out the words, “I am not enough,” and then rip it up, shred it, burn it, flush it, stomp on it, crumble it, toss it. Whatever you need to do to prophetically tell that lie, NO MORE! Then ask, “Jesus, will You please teach me about my worth and value that was inherited when I decided to follow You?”
YOU ARE ENOUGH
Our children have been walking through so much, and I want to share this in confidence that it will help someone else reach their own child.
While sitting at dinner, I noticed a mark on my child’s hand. It was unusual, and I asked about it. They immediately started telling me how no one had done it to them. I have a strong core value about siblings not using their strength to communicate, and they were trying to protect their siblings from getting in trouble, but something felt off. We were laughing on my bed the following day, and I noticed it again. I asked, and their response was almost pleading with me that it was nothing. I let it go, but about ten minutes later, I sensed God highlighting it again. I asked them to show me how it happened as their story didn’t line up. They acted out how the mark happened, and it was almost comical how impossible it would have been to create a mark like that. I knew something deeper was going on. I could discern two things: #1. They were covering up something, and #2. They were worried they would be in trouble. I told them I was not mad and that it wasn’t about getting in trouble but being free from whatever it was. I asked them to get their journal and process the story with Jesus (because they know they can tell Him anything and that He is their safe advocate). I was in my room praying that Holy Spirit would lead them and convict their heart (because we partner together to raise my children). They returned, holding back tears, and told me they made the mark themselves. Since cutting is a serious issue, I was most alarmed. They began to tell me that the other day they felt alone and wanted someone to SEE them (yes, kids can feel unseen when you are together 24/7 in a household of 7). This is a child in pain and not having the maturity yet to fully walk it out.
Children often make messes in their pain. When we only focus on the ‘mark’ or mess, we will miss the pain that is underneath. If we are not alert, we will push the pain further, causing them to want to self-protect, which only traps the pain. I knew they had just experienced adult-sized rejection and radical injustice and asked how they felt about it, and they burst into tears sobbing. The injustice done to them would cripple most adults, and their pain was valid. My heart bled for them, but it allowed me to help them process the pain and bring it to Jesus. They needed to know that Jesus saw their heart (not just their immature way of communicating). Here is the sad part of the story. They got what they wanted – for someone to see them, but with it came shame and embarrassment for what they did. It gave me a priceless opportunity to sit all of the kids down and talk about healthy ways to process our hearts without the price tag of shame. Things like porn, alcohol, shopping, swearing, lying, self-harming, etc., are just flags being waved, saying, “I am in pain and need help.” Our children are also learning how to deal with their pain as sons and daughters.
This is in response to the many questions I get about toddlers who are regressing or acting out when the new baby comes home. I had 14-month-old twins when their brother was born, so I went after making sure they felt secure. It is a big deal for a child to have their birth order changed. Think about it – they are the only ones who get Mom’s attention; she leaves for a few days and comes back with a new baby she is with all the time. Often, Mom is recovering physically, and others intentionally keep the older child away from Mom so she can rest. This is confusing to a child, and they can surely build up resentment toward their new sibling. One thing that was super helpful was the ‘5-minute dates’ with the twins when I knew Hudson would need me for feedings and such. I would bring them to the floor with me, and we would spend quality time together. If Hudson started to cry, I would say out loud, “Oh no, not now, Hudson. Lauren and Emma are very special to me, and I am spending time with them now. You will have to wait.” Of course, you don’t make a newborn wait long, but they have no concept of time. I was communicating to them that the baby has not replaced them, and they are still so valued and important to me. But then I would tell them it was Hudson’s turn and that they needed to play by my feet, watch a movie, read a book, etc. If they wanted juice or help when I was feeding Hudson, I reminded them it was his turn, and they had to wait. I intentionally filled them up like this for many days after we brought him home, and the transition was smooth for all.
Do any of these issues apply in your home (either for you or your children)?
- Walking through a divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal comments
- Continual sibling conflict
- Spirit of rejection
- Disrespect/back talk
- Walls/shut down
- Outbursts for no reason
- Irrational fears
- Lack of honor/listening
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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.
Parenting is a verb that unfolds over time. We do not sit our children down when they are two and tell them everything there is to know about life. We grow and roll with them as they develop and mature. The same is true for safety. Children under five are mainly going to be with mom and dad, so their world is different than the child who is at the age of going to school, sleepovers, playing with neighbors alone, etc. Giving them the language and tools to be safe will open wider and wider over the years, eventually having them walk out your door prepared with tools to be successful, healthy, functioning adults. When new situations arise (playing alone outside, going to school, sleepovers), you first have to ask yourself, “What have I, as the parent, done to teach them about this in the time of peace?” When a child is begging to go play with the neighbors, that is not the time to teach. Your YES should be dependent upon: #1. Have you equipped them with how to handle that situation in the time of peace? #2. Do they have the skills and responsibility to be successful? Sending them out the door, to the neighbors, or even at school without first preparing and arming them with tools gambles with their success.
…and then forgive AGAIN!
“I make the choice of my will to forgive _______ for _______ so that satan has no hooks in me that he can use to influence my mind, emotions, confidence, identity, calling, or blessings! I release the offense and turn it over to God to judge and deal with accordingly.”
I went away with the sole purpose of hearing His heartbeat for families. Here is a portion of what I heard Him say:
OPPOSITE DIRECTION – There has been a force leading parents in the opposite direction, and many have found themselves going the wrong way but haven’t known how to pull themselves out of it. Parents have felt overwhelmed and powerless in the battle. I see buckets of slime thrown over the heads of parents, preventing them from seeing and hearing clearly. It has caused them to feel dazed. Fear has crept in over the next generation, and because of this, the battle line has moved inch by inch in the wrong direction. But God….
INTO THE CURRENT – Do you remember in the movie Finding Nemo, when Marlin awakens on the back of the sea turtle Crush and learns they’re riding the East Australian Current? All they had to do was roll into the current, and it swept them up in the direction they were supposed to go. They rested and played while the current moved them at record speed. That is the picture God gave me for families this year and what I will be anchoring my ministry and family around in 2018.
FINDING THE SON – Just like Nemo’s dad, Marlin, who was on a pursuit to see his son, scores of families in the church will leave the comforts of what is familiar to join the adventure of finding the Son. I am not talking about salvation, as they are already believers, but rather those who lack the power of the Cross in their lives. Families in the church are going to taste and see the power of the Cross and the transforming power of the name of Jesus in ways they have only read about before. Once they experience it for themselves, they will gain strength and resolve to make sure their children don’t become unbelieving believers but walk in the power of John 14:12.
QUIET REVOLT – There is going to be a quiet revolt as many make a personal choice to rebel in opposition to armed resistance to the established way of life. It will not be by force or control but by determination and conviction fueled by a deep hunger for the righteousness of God. Households will be reclaimed for the Lord’s purpose, and PARENTS WILL roll into the massive undercurrent of the Lord’s power that will sweep them under His wing and set the next generation back on course.
AN AUDIENCE OF ONE – The term ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is the pursuit of striving to keep up with what everyone else is doing. The Joneses will move out, and JESUS will move in! 1 John 4:4.
TITANIC GENERATION – Many generations have been like the Titanic, doomed to sink because of the lack of vision and clarity. On the outside, life looks like a big party, but they failed to navigate the things below the surface and sunk. This is the year many will partner with the Great Captain to TURN THE SHIP AROUND in the right direction. This generation has a unique calling in their bloodline. Those who have gone before you didn’t know who they were or how to do it. The next generation will never know the days of defeat, isolation, rejection, or fear that you had to walk through. But before the beginning of time, God had YOU in mind for your bloodline and called you to partner with Him to turn the ship of your family line around. It is a unique calling and one that the previous generations nor future generations fully understand. Do not mistake the uniqueness of this assignment for isolation, as there are many being called in this generation to turn their ship around.
CURRENT CHANGES – God is going to change the current in many families where parents have parented out of fear of man, doubt, and unbelief. The childlike faith of their children will begin to flow UP the generations and transform parents as they become students of their child’s pure faith and joy.
WHOLE PARENT – I see parents standing tall on two solid legs with their arms stretched out with open hands. The Spirit of the Lord has healed their brokenness, set them free, and repaid what was stolen. I see their hand extending down, feeding their children from a place of wholeness and security, producing fruit way beyond themselves at that age.
WHOLE GRANDPARENTS – On the other side, I see their hands stretched upwards to their parents. Because of the good work He has done, God will use this generation to extend healing to their parents (grandparents). This is the year THREE generations will come together in wholeness, unity, and honor. The glue is the Cross of forgiveness, healing, and redemption. There will be mighty encounters with the love of the Father as adult children become the instruments of healing and give to their parents what they never received from them. God is going to change the current in many families where pain, lack, and heartbreak were passed down; healing will begin to flow UP the generations.
PLAYING IN THE KINGDOM – The moment your child was born, God sent you an invitation to play in the Kingdom WITH your children. I see the invitation on many kitchen counters tossed aside like junk mail. This year many, many, many families will discover, open, and accept the invitation. There will be great joy, laughter, and more fruit than you could ever imagine as you learn to play in His Kingdom TOGETHER everywhere you go. A parent/child team is a force to be reckoned with.
Parents will awaken to the drum of His voice. Parents will know who they are so they can teach their children who they are. Parents will unthaw from the things that have kept them frozen. Parents will awaken from the seductive lure of social media and become fierce warriors to protect their children. Parents will heal from their childhood wounds so that they can help their children deal with their owies in childhood. Parents will get so radically set free of their strongholds that they parent in word *and* example. Parents will deal with their bitterness so that their children can learn how to be free of their offenses. Parents will say no to the popular vote and begin to parent the uniqueness of their children by God’s design. This is the year of His family, YOUR FAMILY!
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It seemed like my phone was constantly going off with messages from people in the battle. Many of my leader friends were posting to encourage those around them in their battle. A LOT is going on in the spiritual realm. Battle means a sustained fight between large organized armed forces and/or a fight or struggle tenaciously to achieve or resist something. There is a time and place to rest and surrender, and there is a time and place to rise up, stand in your place and engage. If you are feeling that battle, I want to lead you to an exercise on how to do just that.
First, take what is causing your heart trouble – conflict, disconnection, being misunderstood, injustice, world affairs or current events, finances, etc. Whatever it is, hold it in your hand. Don’t just feel it; identify it.
Second, you must align your heart with His. The whole purpose of a battle is to defeat something. You are feeling the battle because something has to be defeated. BUT we need to make sure we are on the right side. Sometimes our battle is because something inside of us needs to be defeated, such as partnering with a spirit of fear. I recently went through a massive battle, but there was something inside of me that God wanted to align for my health and increased capacity. So start by asking, “Jesus, what in me do You want to align in this present battle?”
Third, your battle is the touchpoint where you are called and commissioned (an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people) to be an Ambassador of Christ. In Matthew 6:10, Jesus is teaching us how to pray. It says we are to declare, speak out and usher HEAVEN into a situation. I grew up with a version of the Bible that reads, “May Your Kingdom come soon,” so I was raised with the belief that He is good but that His Kingdom is for later, not now. But if you look at other translations, it says we are to pray, “Heaven COME!” We do not command, dictate, or direct God, but we pray as Jesus did and order His Kingdom to be infused in a situation. This matters deeply because this is where we battle. Perhaps so many people are weary and worn out from the battle because there are no ambassadors of Heaven ushering in His Kingdom into the circumstances.
Fourth, put your hand on your heart and pray this prayer, “Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life so that I could have a relationship with Your Father and have access to all that is His. I speak to my spirit and say be aligned with His Holy Spirit. I take my eyes off of my battle and circumstances and will rise up as His ambassador on earth. I speak to my situation and say, ‘Heaven come now. May Your will and Kingdom be rulers in this situation.’ In Jesus’ name.”
Whenever I heard of someone’s battle, I simply said with faith, “Heaven come now into that situation.” Rise up and do your part as His ambassador.
I have said for years, “Parents, do the heart work so that your children don’t have to clean up the mess.” This mom is willing to do the hard work for the benefit of her grandchildren. Breathtaking.
“Jesus’ flashlight (tool) was a breakthrough moment for us. The concept of heart splinters helped my children to see what was going on. Their delight in knowing Jesus wants to take it out so they could be healed was tangible and beautiful. I do feel like it is quite the growth curve for me based on the parenting that was passed on to me, but I am committed to doing the work. I envision what their lives as adults will look like as we address these things in childhood, and should they become parents themselves someday, the jump start they will have to navigate this with their children.”