Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
YOU SHOULD BE TOO!
I love the way God loved my children during our Mexico trip. I saw His provision, faithfulness, and protection in real and tangible ways over and over.
Another team announced they had spots for us to join them on an outreach back to the dump. Everything within me wanted to go, but I felt the Lord tell me not to go. I honored it, and soon the team came back and began to tell us the stories of a large number of puppies that were left at the dump to die. They were infested with worms and flies and couldn’t be touched despite them crying at their ankles. They were starving and very sick. They said the sound of them begging for help was brutal. Lauren has been my dog lover since birth, and I instantly knew that God was protecting her. She burst into tears when they returned with stories and still talks about it. I instantly knew God was sparing her from seeing it in person, as it would have been too much for her.
I am so captivated by God’s love for us and the timing in which He allows us to go through things. He is so tender, kind, and wise in the way He meets us right where we are yet never lets us remain there. He is such a good Father.
Ask, “Jesus, if You were here in the flesh, how would You handle my children?” (You may be surprised by the answer).
I am being stretched in the area of patience, and for someone who is normally wired for fast-paced, productive movement, it hit me hard. I could feel myself sinking by the hour; it isn’t healthy to be in that place very long. I got the kids through dinner and took off by myself. I just stood soaking in the view and breathing in the air. I realized my MIND needed an adjustment similar to my back needing a chiropractor. I was aware I was out of alignment but could not pop it back in myself. I needed the GREAT PHYSICIAN to help align me. I confessed my attitude and weariness and cried out for help. I was tired, sad, and frustrated and needed the strength to endure more but from a place of rising above, not sinking lower. I needed Psalms 40:1-3 to be my reality: “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”
Sometimes God aligns us through revelation, correction, or inner healing, yet sometimes He does it in a way that is so gentle and light we can’t even pinpoint how or when He changed us. Like a Father who gently guides a child’s chin to look into His eyes, all becomes well again. God does not want us to endure hard things; He wants us to find HIM in the midst of it.
I see so many precious first-generation believers feel insane pressure that they should be further along. I want to break that off of you. You have permission to be faithful to your season. God is using you to turn the ship around in your family line, and that is not supposed to look like someone who is a 3rd, 4th, 5th generation Christian. You are learning about your Father, building a foundation, AND training your children simultaneously. So, give yourself a break, and do not come under the pressure that you should be anywhere other than right where God has you.
As a watchman on the wall for families, I can tell you that you are one of MANY who feel flattened by circumstances and profound inner turmoil. God is purifying us – you are not alone. The topic may be different, but the battle is the same. This is God cleaning us in and out of anything that isn’t of Him. Seriously, count it pure joy that you are being so radically transformed. Do not let the enemy speak an ounce of lies to you that you are the only one, can’t handle it, or won’t make it. God’s got you, and He WILL finish the work as He prepares His Bride.
Finding pockets of joy is a deal-breaker in the midst of the battle because it increases a chemical in our brain that gives us the will to endure hard things. Laughing when you are heavy is hard, but it is one of the greatest muscles you can utilize in the midst of a battle. Make a list of 3-5 things that would bring your heart a smile – DO IT!
Revival in the land will start in the FAMILY room with Him as the head of our households.
My voice is a broken record as I state over and over and over that if the Father looks at the heart, so should we in our parenting. God told me years ago, “Stop denying my daughter her dog,” and with that, I moved into another home just to get her a dog. I am not a dog lover, and it was a hard thing for me to obey. God has surely been good on His word, and Boo has brought so much healing to her heart over the years.
Yes, there is a better way to parent our children than yelling but you do not need more of God so that you stop yelling. You need more of God so that He can comfort and heal those places in your heart so that you do not need to yell anymore.