parenting

What To Do When You Can't Decide...

Sometimes it can be really hard to make a choice. It's especially hard if you're the type of person who really wants to get it right. The higher the stakes, the harder the choice.

I recently had to make a hard choice in parenting. It was so difficult because parenting my kids is one the most important things to me. I went back and forth between a couple of options, back and forth, back and forth.

Here's how I landed on my decision:

  • I prayed about it
  • I got into unity with my husband about it
  • I bounced it off the people in my inner circle
  • I fought off fear
  • I finally picked the "scary but exciting option"

You see, I felt the Lord speak to me that the "scary but exciting option" was actually His provision for our family. I chose to let go of all of the "what if's" and move forward. As soon as I made the choice, I felt peace and relief. I know that if at some point the peace leaves, I can choose to make another change.

Sometimes it's hard to make a choice when we really value doing the right thing. As long as we aren't choosing to do something in violation of God's ways or our conscience, we can move forward with courage and confidence. Even if we choose "wrong", God is able to make everything work out for our best.

Key Idea: pray, get in peace, submit to God,

and choose the "scary but exciting" choice!

Does Being Worried Really Mean You're A Good Parent?

It seems to be socially acceptable to worry about our kids or family members. I hear people say all the time, "I only worry because I care" or "your worry just shows that you're a good mom." The problem is that this line of thinking is just not healthy.

Fear and worry are evil spirits that we can choose to agree with or stand against. Living in mental peace is a battle. We need to see the battle for what it is and fight. Let’s not agree with the enemy and let him mess with our heads.

 
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Did you know that you can live in perfect peace? Did you know that fear and worry are some of the most common tools of the enemy to keep you from your destiny? I am so tired of the enemy tricking us into thinking that fear and worry are some kind of normal emotions.

Ok, where to begin: we have to be aware of our self talk…. the voices in our head. Every single thought you have is not your own. The devil whispers lies constantly, and we have to practice recognizing them and not agreeing with them.

It is great to have a healthy friend or mentor to tell your thoughts to. They should be able to help you see where the thought is coming from. When we agree with God’s thoughts towards us, we grow in peace and joy. When we agree with the enemy, we open the door for him to come in and destroy our peace.

Holy Spirit is our Friend and Helper. We need Him so much. As we take time to value Him and soak in His presence, the worries fall away. Quieting the heart does not come natural to everyone. Living in peace is a skill that you can practice.

As children of God it is our nature to love. It is not our nature to live in fear.

Key Idea: Practice until peace and joy are your natural default.

What's one fear that you are choosing to let go of today?

How To Respond When Life Isn't Fair

Our culture seems to be obsessed with equality, but really fairness evaluations are just bizarre. They are all about comparison and self-pity and low self-esteem. If you've ever seen kids fighting over whose portion is bigger or better, you know what I'm talking about. You might even have been that kid.

As a mom I am convinced that it is good to parent each child individually according to their own needs. Life is not fair. Period. We do our kids a disservice when we help them to think otherwise. 

I'm so thankful that life isn't fair, because if it were I would have to have all the same skill sets as everyone else on the planet.  Can you imagine if you had to go to college to get every single type of degree available to be had. Or what if there was only one degree type, and every person had to get it so that no one else felt left out? That would be really boring.

I have been to a country where the end goal was to have everything be completely equal. The thought is that no one should rise above the rest, but that everyone should contribute equally. It simply doesn't work out well. The end result is the government deciding every person's career path so they can assure that society is evenly provided for. This means that if the government decides you should be a teacher, you don't have any choice in the matter. You just have to do it for the good and overall "fairness" of the whole.

Each person is unique. We each have a specific personality with a gift mix all our own.  We each have unique needs with different love languages to give and receive love.

God is the best Father and He is really good at giving each of us exactly what we need at just the right time. We can rest in Him.

Key Idea: Everyone ends up poor and losing when we make equality our highest goal.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 12:1-3

We really do not need to worry about if someone else is getting more than we are. We have a really good Father who really loves us, and that makes it completely normal for us to be filled with peace and contentment instead of striving and comparison.


I was a guest on DOVETALES Radio Show yesterday. Check it out!

Is Someone Undermining Your Leadership?

I am concerned that a lot of leaders lose their platform of trust by not following through on their promises. It's kind of like shooting yourself in the foot when you don't mean what you say.

Can the people in your life really trust you? Do your spouse, kids, and friends believe you when you talk to them?

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Don't leave room for confusion. When you say something, mean it, and follow through.

Remember what the Centurion in Luke 7 said? It was amazing enough that it impressed Jesus!

For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Luke 7:8

When the people under your care trust you, it makes it much easier for them to follow your instructions.

Sticking to your word means that you will need to take a moment to think before you speak. Don't let words and promises just fly out of your mouth, or your promises will be empty.

Empty words are a sure way to undermine your influence.

Action Point: Make a choice today to strengthen your influence by being a person of your word.

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What Will Your Kids Create That Will Change The World?

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Parenting is the ultimate way to raise up disciples. We're not all called to full time ministry, but we're all called to make disciples and feed our Father's sheep.

It is time to get a vision for the next generation. What will your kids create that will change the world? Whatever it is, they will have a very difficult time accomplishing it without your care and wisdom.

Be intentional in raising your kids. Your kids are your story. Ask Holy Spirit what your child's destiny is. Then take time to get to know your child well. This way you can start to form a strategy to prepare them for their future.

Try to think outside the box in raising your kids. Every child has a unique personality and learning style. It is better to work with their individuality than against it. 

It's helpful to think of the parenting journey as raising adults, not taking care of kids. If you don't have kids, or your kids are grown, ask Holy Spirit to highlight some young people that you can reach out to and encourage.

The nurture and training you give out now will affect generations to come. Your kids are your inheritance. Pour your whole heart into them!


Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

BOOM! And the Family Exploded...

I witnessed something curious while I was out walking the other night. It was a beautiful evening, and people were taking full advantage of it by spending as much time outside as possible. I passed a home with a school aged boy sitting on the porch, two preschool girls eating Popsicles just off the porch, and a mom standing in the driveway. Everything seemed happy and peaceful until one of the little girls walked over to mom, and said, "Mom, he (the brother) called me stupid." 

BOOM! The peaceful scene exploded. Out of seemingly nowhere the mom was on the porch yelling at the boy, who gave it right back to her. I was trying to be invisible as I walked on by, but I could hear the mom going back and forth between "Don't ever call your sister stupid," and "Stop yelling; you're embarrassing me."

The whole thing made me wonder: did the boy even call her stupid at all or was the little girl wielding her power to cause a raucous?

Whatever the case, there was an obvious breakdown in heart connection going on in at least three directions. It was sad.

I couldn't help thinking about how the enemy whispers accusations in our ears against our brothers and sisters. Whether the accusation is based on truth or not doesn't really matter, his goal is to destroy the love between us.

If he can get us fighting each other, he knows he can win every battle.

What could the mom have done differently? Maybe:

  • Tell the girl to go back to her snack and let mom deal with it.
  • Tell the girl to sincerely explain to her brother (without an audience) how his words hurt her heart. Mom may have needed to supervise/mediate.
  • Take a moment to talk to the boy alone and hear his side of the story while acknowledging the pressure that goes along with being an oldest child.
  • Not parent out of trying to avoid embarrassment.

What other ideas can you think of that might've brought peace and heart connection to the family?

What can you do when the enemy whispers an accusation in your ear directly or through gossip from a friend? Maybe:

  • Take a moment to consider the source and motivation for sharing of the information.
  • Don't participate in gossip. Quickly end the conversation.
  • Get both sides of the story.
  • Always believe the best. Even if a person's actions seem sketchy, choose to believe that they truly want to do the right thing.

What other solutions come to your mind? I would love to hear them.

Take a minute to watch the short video I made about my new book.

Your Natural Default

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Did you know that you can live in perfect peace?  Did you know that fear and worry are tools of the enemy to keep you from your destiny?  I am so tired of the enemy tricking us into thinking that fear and worry are some kind of normal emotions.
It seems to be socially acceptable to worry about our kids or family members.   That’s nuts.  Fear and worry are evil spirits that we can choose to stand against or to agree with.  It is a battle.  We need to see it for what it is and fight.  Let’s not agree with the enemy and let him have place to rule in our hearts.
Ok, where to begin:  we have to be aware of our self talk….the voices in our head.  Every single thought you have is not your own.  The devil whispers lies constantly and we have to practice recognizing them and not agreeing with them.
It is great to have a healthy friend or spiritual parent to tell your thoughts to.  They should be able to help you decide where the thought is coming from.  When we agree with God’s thoughts towards us, we grow in peace and joy.  When we agree with the enemy, we open the door for him to come in and destroy our peace.
Holy Spirit is our Friend and Helper.  We need Him so much.  As we take time to value Him and soak in His presence, He fills us up.
The enemy will do everything he can to keep you from living in peace. Quieting the heart does not come natural to everyone.  Living in peace is a skill that you can practice.
As children of God it is our nature to love.  It is not our nature to live in fear.
Practice until peace and joy are your natural default.
 Please comment one fear that you are choosing to let go of today!

It's a Bad Moment When You Wreck Both of Your Vehicles at the Same Time

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I have no idea how I can drive through a messy snowstorm and make it home unscathed, only to wreck both of my vehicles in my own driveway a couple days later when the weather is totally fine.
I do have a few lame excuses for how it happened:
  1. Our car had been at the mechanic shop for a couple days and I got very used to it being gone,
  2. I was in a hurry to get all the kids and all of our stuff into the van and to church on time,
  3. It was pitch dark outside so when I glanced at the driveway all I saw was black,
  4. Normally on Wednesday nights Christopher would have taken the car and headed to church by this time, but he was in Brazil preaching in a bunch of different churches.
None of these excuses make what happened much easier to bear. The fact of the matter is I just plain forgot that the car was in the driveway. I put my van into reverse, slowly backed up, and crunch! I paused. I was puzzled.  What in the world was that? Crap, oh yeah. 
Judah and I both got out of the van and looked around, but it was so dark out that we couldn't really tell how much damage had been done. We got back into the van and headed to church.
The fact of the matter is no matter how much damage was done it just wasn't worth losing my peace. I knew it was an important moment for my kids too. They needed to see mom not freak out over something that was clearly not a fun situation.
It may cost money to have the vehicles repaired, but money is just money. God provides what we need, and we use what He provides to take care of our needs.
Of course I would prefer not to spend money on repairing both of my vehicles, but hey, it is what it is.
The fact that this is the third time in my life that I have backed into a parked car should be laughable. I may not be laughing at it yet, but I am choosing to let it go.
Life is too short to stress over things that are not a matter of life and death.
Word to the wise: don't park your car behind me!