YOU HAVE HOMEWORK

YOU HAVE HOMEWORK

Every child needs to do this exercise! Do it 1:1 with each child, so you can hear their heart and pick up on any resistance. Have them outline a body on a piece of paper. Start with their hair and walk through their mind, eyes, nose, mouth, body shape, stomach, height, etc. Think of their interests and the things that make them come alive (sports, music, dancing). Write it out on the paper as you go through who they are, top to bottom. You are helping them see who they are. While we are constantly being transformed on the inside, there are some things we cannot change, such as our nose shape, eye color, height, gifts, what makes us come alive, etc. This is the package of who they were created to be. Now have them make a circle around the entire body. Explain to them that who they are is to be guarded and protected as if it is inside a bubble. Read Proverbs 4:23 and explain if any person, peer, teacher, sibling, social media post, song, friend, movie, leader, or thought tells them that something is wrong with their body, gifts, talents, etc., they are to reject it. Empower them with how to reject it. Perhaps they will take that thought captive and say to themselves, “That is not something I agree with, and do not give that voice permission to speak to me.”

When I was teaching my children this concept, Hudson (age four at the time) got up, went to the front door, made a kicking motion, and slammed the door. I asked what he was doing, and he said, “I had a bad thought, so I was kicking it out” Yeah, like that, buddy! They can write it on a piece of paper, rip it up, cross it out, or shred it. I had a season that we were going after this and put a set of colorful markers in the bathroom and would have my children write the lie on a piece of toilet paper with the colorful marker and then toss it into the toilet. The color would lift, making a beautiful swirl in the toilet bowl (isn’t that true of what God does with whatever we give Him? It turns it into something beautiful.). Teach them that there is a difference between being humble and allowing people to speak into their lives and give healthy feedback and constructive criticism vs. someone or something being used as a spokesperson of the enemy to tear down what God has built and designed. Give specific examples such as a friend saying, “Shut up. You are so annoying when you talk,” and a teacher saying, “I need for you to manage your mouth when I am teaching the class.” Both are addressing the issue of their mouth, but one is to be rejected and the other is to be received. How do they know the difference? It is generally tested by peace.

If while doing this with older children, you feel resistance or they say things like “This is stupid,” “Why do we have to do this?” “What’s the point?” Please do not back down. The resistance is telling you that they have already allowed a voice inside their bubble, which needs to be exposed. I would take it as far as you can, and then if it is time to back off (Holy Spirit will lead you), say something like this, “Okay, yeah, we can stop, but I need for you to hear this. Your resistance and wall to even talk about who you are is revealing that you have allowed a thought to enter your bubble. It is there to steal your joy, rob you of your peace, and tell you that something is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you, and I am here when you are ready to deal with it.” I would intentionally speak their love language and look for creative ways to bring them joy because it releases a chemical in their brain that gives them the will to fight and endure hard things. Give it a few hours or a day but circle back by saying something like, “Hey, remember when I asked you to draw that picture? What was happening inside of you when we talked about who you are?” Listen to them. Do not fix or correct them but listen to what their heart has to say. For many older children, simply exposing it helps them reject it and realize that they are feeling icky about themselves because of a lie, not because something is wrong with them. Others may need to ask Jesus to show them who they need to forgive for speaking that their body, gifts, and personality are unacceptable.

Moms and dads, please do not ignore this exercise. Children who grow up with the wrong voices inside their bubble carry them around for years, shaping who they become. We can empower our children to reject lies and protect who God designed them to be.

Are you willing to put in the effort and help your child understand their value and worth?

 

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.

WHAT’S HIS NAME?

Gather the family and talk about their name. What happens when someone calls their name? Explore the meaning of their name or perhaps tell the story of why you named them. A name is significant in so many ways and represents who you are.

God has many names; it is important to know them as it teaches us His character and how to relate to Him in our time of need. Go through this list of the names of God, exploring each one as it relates to their world. Ex. Ask them if they have ever gotten hurt. Recall that time they fell off their bike and scraped their knee badly. Introduce them to Jehovah Rapha and talk about WHO God is at that moment. What about being afraid? Have they ever had a moment where they felt unsafe? Introduce them to El Shaddai – the God who is mighty and powerful. Teach the children they can call on the name of God anytime they want, and He will help. Putting this deep within their hearts is an important part of equipping our children for whatever they face.

  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  • El Elyon (The Most High God)
  • Adonai (Lord, Master)
  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
  • Jehovah Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  • Elohim (God), Qanna (Jealous)
  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)

JEALOUSY

Years ago, we attended weekly Kingdom classes in Denver. I would watch the leader grazing the stage speaking such profound and mighty things. I kept saying to myself, “I am going to do that someday, but BIGGER.” I wanted what they had. I felt pangs of deep longing as they walked in such authority and power. Oh, I wanted it so bad. However, I avoided all eye contact whenever the leader would walk by me for fear they would call on me. I was mortified at the thought of public speaking, the microphone, or being in front of people. I would leave the meetings craving it, yet I was upset with myself for feeling jealous of their gifts and success. I soon began to realize that it wasn’t jealousy that I was feeling but yearning and longing for MY destiny. They were modeling what was possible, and I was so hungry for it. It spoke to who I was created to be.

This is an exciting time of revelation and discovering one’s purpose on earth, yet the enemy comes and whispers in our ear that we are jealous, which turns it into a double-minded battle of the mind and heart. Our hearts scream, “I want that so bad,” and yet our minds say, “You shouldn’t be jealous of others.” We should steward the longing, not seeking to harness or shut it down.

This is a very delicate season for many. Will we walk in the discomfort of holy dissatisfaction (having the revelation there is more, but not yet there), or will we let the enemy snatch it away with his lies of jealousy and insecurity? Of course, jealousy could reveal the flesh or a wound, but more times than not, it is God allowing you to see a part of your destiny modeled, and it should increase your faith to what is possible.

Make a list of the things or people that stir up your jealousy. Do you see a pattern? Ask Jesus what He wants you to see.

BLACK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY

Black Sheep – a family member who stands out for being odd and different. They go against the flow of the family, often causing issues. The term has to do with sheep having white wool, and the one that has black wool not only stands out but typically has less value. They have been judged to have ‘less value’ alone, which tells us this term is not the right kingdom. Typically, the child who rebels against the family’s operating system does so with anger, resistance, attitudes, and conflict because they are young and immature and do not yet have the communication or skill sets to address the issues they are coming up against. But just because their delivery is flawed doesn’t mean WHAT they are trying to say is wrong. Countless times in coaching sessions, parents will come to me with the one child who brings so much chaos into the home. After we explore the situation with Holy Spirit, we learn that the child is rebelling against something in the parent that needs to come into alignment. God knits our children in HIS image, but with us in mind. Let’s not be so quick to label a child as the black sheep when God is using the purity of their heart to align something in us. Maybe they aren’t the ‘black sheep’ but the HERO of your story! 

LET IT OUT

I woke to the sound of my daughter throwing up. I had to manage my nose carefully, or the mere smell would cause me to join her. I couldn’t bear the thought of her enduring getting sick alone, so I covered my nose and put my hand on her back, assuring her she would be okay. As I prayed over her, I began to think how incredibly nasty throw-up is. Yet I was praying that whatever was inside of her would come out. I began to think of poop and how utterly gross that is, yet without that daily function, we would die. God designed our bodies to get rid of whatever is making us sick. I thought of how our minds sometimes get filled with toxic things and need a good throw-up! I am more concerned with the lies my child may pick up after enduring an unpleasant situation than I am about the actual situation. It isn’t the event that causes lasting trauma; it is the lie and trapped pain that wreaks havoc on their systems. I often ask, “Are you willing to ask Jesus to show you if you are believing any lies because of (whatever the event).” It isn’t a matter of IF your children will ever believe lies; it is a matter of WHEN. We can arm them with creative ways to break agreement with the lie. I used to keep colored markers by the toilet. When Jesus revealed a lie they believed, we would write/draw it on a piece of toilet paper, and then they would toss it in the toilet and watch the colors swirl as we flushed the lie. We have burned them in the backyard fire pit. We have put them in the shredder. We have written them on the bathroom mirror and then used a spray bottle to wash away the lie. We have wadded them up in a paper ball and thrown them out. We have put them on the ground and stomped on them. Either way, help your child vomit the lies they believe.

STRENGTHEN THEIR HEARING MUSCLES

Fun ways for the kids to practice hearing. I STRONGLY encourage you to practice together in fun ways that empower their hearing in times of peace instead of only when they need to seek Jesus over a heart splinter. Also, doing it as a family is super helpful because it gives everyone a chance to learn from each other and takes the pressure off of being the only one. For example, if a child states they don’t hear anything, I simply ask them to listen again, and we come back to them after everyone else has shared. When you send out a birthday card, have the kids ask God what He wants to say to that person and then draw a picture (you can caption it based on what they heard). When you have extra time on your hands, have the kids ask God what you should do with your time. When you can’t find something, have the kids ask Jesus to show them a picture of where it is. When they are upset about something, have the kids ask God to show them what is bothering them. When you come up against something ‘different,’ ask Papa what He wants them to do about it. When you see a homeless man, have the kids ask God what He wants you to know about that person. When they are behaving poorly, have them ask God to show them what they did wrong (instead of YOU telling them). The ideas are endless! You can’t practice strengthening their ears enough.

I AM A TEACHER

I homeschooled the kid’s elementary years, so I was used to being their ‘school teacher’ in the classroom setting, but it was years into homeschooling when I realized that one of my primary roles as a mother was to be a teacher. As they were getting older, the tones and attitudes in their speech started to really wear on me. It was not what they were saying but how they were saying it. As I was praying about it, Proverbs 16:24 came to mind, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” I suddenly got this idea to cash in on the science lesson I had just taught on senses. I told them to meet me in the kitchen and blindfolded them. I asked them to stick out their tongue and I put a small dab of horseradish on it. They yelped and moaned. We tried it again, but this time I put honey on their tongue. Yum. That was much better. I shared the verse with them and talked about how sometimes their words sounded like horseradish, but that God wants us to use words and tones that are like honey. We role-played what that sounded like when someone took their toy, when they wanted something, or were asked to do something. I pretended to be them and modeled what kind and sweet tones looked like, and then I molded what horseradish sounded like. They thought it was funny, and we all laughed.

Here is what I want you to see. I was good at teaching science and math, but when it came to teaching principles of the heart to train and equip them, I felt shy and ill-equipped. I was so tired of their tones and needed to do something, but honestly, after the teaching, I remember feeling like it was flat, not deep enough, and I doubted they would retain any of it. I felt awkward and so unsure of myself that it was making a difference. My delivery felt skinny and weak. As the days went on, I would come to them, get down on their level and say, “Remember when I put that stuff on your tongue? How do you think you just sounded?” They had to stop and think and redirect their choice of speech. I began to get the revelation that they were not mini adults and did not need the 12-week course or 2-hour lecture on a subject. They understood me fully, and I had their hearts because I was teaching them through connection and releasing joy through the science experiment. They got it, and I grew in understanding that if I just show up and teach them, they will respond. To this day, with tweens and teenagers, all I have to say is, “That doesn’t sound like honey to me,” and they know immediately their tone was off.

Like it or not, if you are a parent, you ARE a teacher. It might not be of other children or in the classroom, but you are, by God’s design, a teacher of your own children. The more you embrace this part of parenting, the easier life will be for both you and your child. I encourage you to say this out loud a couple of times until it really sinks deep. “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” Have you received the revelation that to be a parent means to be a TEACHER?

FEAR

Fear is just a tool the enemy uses to paralyze us and stop us from moving forward. Fear always comes with a LIE. Lies are not true and are almost always in the tune of God being powerless, small, or absent. During the online mentorship class, nearly 99.9% of the adults mentioned fear from childhood that crippled them in some area.

There was a wooded area next to where we used to live, and we often saw evidence that homeless people had been there at nighttime. While walking one night, it started to get dark, and Lauren said, “We should head home now.” I asked her why, and she said she felt something, like danger. I wanted to see if Holy Spirit was warning us or if the enemy was using fear, so I asked her to ask Jesus if that was coming from him. He said no. I could allow fear to chase us home or teach my daughter how to stand up like a lioness and take authority over it. She stood there and commanded all fear to leave in Jesus’ name and then released a blessing of peace, love, and comfort to all who passed through the wooded area. Another day, we went boating as a family, and out of nowhere Holy Spirit told me to ask my daughter if she was afraid of something and her reply surprised me. I sensed I was to gather all the kids and ask them. Each of them were believing a LIE that was producing a different fear. It doesn’t take much in today’s world to plant the wrong seeds and for them to grow.

Spend a moment connecting with your child to fill up their love tank (if you don’t know what that is, start there) and then ask them, “Sweetie, what are you most afraid of?” or “What are you most worried will happen?” Instead of YOU telling them the truth together, ask Jesus for His truth. “Jesus, is it true that ________” or “Jesus, what do You think about ______?” This leads children into an encounter with the Father and not just a religion in their minds.

Childhood fear can be removed in childhood and not carried around with them into adulthood!

TELL THEM!

Your child is hungry to learn and hear your personal stories. Your journey will shape them significantly, and your story’s chapters will be valuable to them. Share with them your experiences as it relates to their world. Tell them about a time you dealt with or struggled with the same thing they are walking through. Share with them what you have learned through your own mistakes. Tell them about your God encounters and what Jesus has said to you. You are not their royal emperor dictating from a throne. You are their parent – empowering, equipping, and leading them face-to-face.

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.