How to REALLY Fight For Your Kids

I caught her expression out of the corner of my eye. I was rushing to pile stuff on tables, and convince every person that my stuff was worth the $5 bucks I was selling it for. We were moving to Texas–suddenly. My three kids were in shock, but with some happiness. Except my daughter.

She would be leaving behind her friends.

She wouldn't be a varsity cheerleader anymore.

She sat there, in the chair, huddled with her friends, on her 16th birthday, watching me sell our stuff.

I will never, ever forget the look on her face. I tried my hardest to be positive. I had conversations with God and told him that I trusted him. But inside, as a mom, I was dying. I felt like a failure. I felt the worse sense of shame that somehow I was causing harm to my kids. I hated myself.

From that moment forward I hated everything about life and everything about how utterly helpless I was to change our circumstances. We moved to Texas and did our best to settle, temporarily at my brother's and then soon after into our own place. No matter what I have done, being in San Antonio just hasn't felt like home. I hated this place. And I convinced myself that if I chose to like it, then I chose my daughter's pain, and I couldn't own up to that.

Her depression was ruining her. Daily tears, hating her school, feeling utterly alone, feeling like she just didn't fit in. Our pain was unified, she hurt, and I hurt…I hated and she hated. I couldn't take it anymore. What happened to my independent,sassy, life-loving, joy-filled, fisher of men? She was slowly fading, with every tweet: I hate school, I hate my life, I hate people.

I told her counseling was inevitable, she was stuck without perspective and I could only encourage her so much. She refused, with all the stubbornness inside her. It only made sense to fast for her. I had to.

As a mom, I have certain control over my children's spiritual life. She is flesh of my flesh, and I have every right to approach the throne on her behalf. I have every authority over the principalities of darkness to fight on her behalf. And I did!

With every bite I denied myself, every Coke I passed up, my prayer was this: My daughter needs freedom more than I need this piece of bread. The pangs in my stomach are my spirit crying to you Lord to free my daughter and give her vision for her life.

And He did.

Her depression is lifted.

She can be sad about missing her friends without it controlling her life.

God has given her a clear vision for her immediate future. And she has been favored already as she starts her own business and blog. She no longer cries everyday. She no longer hates people. (However, she still very much hates her school).

She is seeking God's word, and has once again embraced her desire to conquer the world.

Although nothing has changed, everything has changed.

As parents we must go head to head with the enemy, refusing to allow anything to overcome our children. God entrusted them to us and it is our job to protect them, not just physically, but emotionally and especially spiritually.

A group of us are fasting

JULY 1

JULY 2

JULY 3

Join us if you have a child who:

  • Is overcome with depression
  • Needs a relationship with Christ
  • Is lost or alone
  • Is being bullied
  • Struggles with Addiction
  • Has a broken relationship with you
  • Just needs some breakthrough.

FAST WITH US!

FIGHT FOR THEM!

A leader of the local synagogue, who name was Jairus, came and fell down before him, pleading with him to heal his little daughter. “She is about to die,” he said in desperation. “Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” Mark 5:22-23

Right away a woman came to him whose little girl was possessed by an evil spirit. She had heard about jesus, and now she came and fell at his feet. She begged him to release her child from the demon's control. Mark 7:25-26

One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son for you to heal him…” Mark 9:17

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them….He said to them, “Let the children come to me.” Mark 10:13&14

Parents! Bring your children to Jesus…they will be blessed and healed, And you will have a grateful heart, an overwhelming spirit of thankfulness whenever you look at our child. You will have evidence of God's present day miracles in the eyes of your very own child!

Comment your YES! and stay tuned as we prepare our hearts!

Share this with 3 people who can fast with you!

And for those of you who are already committed, I am praying for you!!

LIVE RECKLESS

 

 

HOW I BECAME A CRIMINAL

It’s true. All of it, I confess. I went before the judge made my plea:

Judge: Do you understand the charges against you?

Me: Yes, ma’am

Judge: What do you plead?

Me: No Contest

Charges against me?! I now, officially, have a criminal record.

All the illegal stuff I did in my youth. The drinking and driving. The fake ID’s the drugs, the stealing….and NOW, as a mother of five….NOW, as I wife….NOW, as a someone who loves me some Jesus…NOW I am an official criminal.

And it’s not even a cool story. Everyone is expecting a cool story from me. But I got nothing for you…

It’s just as simple as this:

When Cody was sick, I sent in parent notes instead of doctor’s notes.

So because the school didn’t have their preferred excuse, me and my fourteen year old son had charges brought against us. And we had a court appointed time in the Municipal building with a judge. And we wasted a whole lotta tax payer’s dollars. To be told:

You are on probation until October 27th. Cody don’t have any unexcused absences, and Mom, make sure you monitor his attendance.

Yup. That happened… giving me a criminal record

I get there are kids who don’t go to school but these Texans take this truancy thing super seriously.

As I watched these other moms, I wondered how difficult it was for them to be there. How many of them had to take off work? How many of them have cried over their wayward child? How many have dreaded that phone call from the school saying their child wasn’t at there, and every tear was a different worry about something being horribly wrong?

My BIGGEST fear going into this whole court ordeal was that I didn’t want anyone to think I was a bad mom. I wasn’t afraid of jail, after all I’ve seen ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. But people thinking I’m a bad mom would be worse than death.  In fact, the whole BIKINI DISCUSSION really boils down to this–moms wanting to make the right decision. We want to all say it’s for the sole benefit of our child, but, really, is it? I think as moms we want to impress other moms. We want to make the more noble decision. We want our kids to come out of their messed up childhood with flying colors. And if they don’t, then maybe we didn’t give them enough attention. Maybe we let them wear a bikini…maybe we turned in the wrong kind of note.

At one time, maybe those moms felt the insecurity of being sub-par. But as I looked around the courtroom, most of them were courtroom veterans. One mom told the prosecutor she just didn’t know what to do anymore, and she has a younger daughter who hated school, and life, just like the older one who was ready to drop out and get her GED. One mom hired an attorney. The other moms could care less about their criminal record, they just needed someone to help them figure out how to help their children.

How petty of us to be concerned about what other people think of our mothering?! In mothering we extend each other the least amount of grace. Even when we are sympathetic to that mom who has a struggling, rebellious child, we have those secret questions wondering to ourselves,… never out loud….where that mom went wrong.

If a child is doing well, we assume he has a great mom. If a child is failing, then it’s for sure the moms fault.

This entire situation taught me a few things:

  • I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me .
  • We judge ourselves so harshly, and sometimes even hope to come across another mom that is worse at parenting than us, just to make us feel better.
  • Moms of truly hurting kids don’t give a crap about how you parent. They are way too absorbed in their own troubles to care about your failures.
  • We are all humans in need of grace and mercy.
  • Truancy judges are bound to be bored out of their minds.

How do you handle your parenting failures? Do you give yourself grace or feel like you’ve messed up your child forever? What have been your eye opening experiences?

I really want to know…. Comment and SHARE!

LG|LP – Tiff

 

Getting Over It With Tortillas & Big Red

It’s a Christmas miracle.  I started working out.  If you know me at all you know that I am not one that enjoys working out.  I don’t get a high from it, I don’t get satisfaction from it, I don’t get it. I do understand I have to stay healthy, and that is my only goal.

But you runners…you’re crazy.

And you cross-fitters, I don’t even claim to begin to understand you.

Oh and you that go to the gym and then post pics of your cupcakes and donuts… let me just

Shake.

       My. 

          Head.  

But I did, I started doing some walking.  I have to. Because I am faced with the swimsuit + the reality that I haven’t worked out in the 8 months I’ve been in Texas.  It’s amazing what a little grief and depression can do to you. I have done nothing but eat the tortillas and drink the big red, and sulk on the couch.

 

Today I saw a friend I haven’t seen since I’ve been back.  She asked why it took me so long to come see her.  Seeking sympathy, I told her about the trap door of deep, dark depression I’ve been hiding behind. She looked at me and scrunched up her face and told me to

Get over it!

So I guess it’s time for me to get over it. We do this thing, us humans, where we submit to our feelings more than we trust in Jesus.  It’s okay for us to feel, God made us that way.  It’s okay for you to be disappointed you didn’t get the job.  It’s okay that you are angry that she wronged you.  It’s okay for you to be joyful when he isn’t. I love that God created us to live the abundant life.

Some think abundance means the materialism, or everything we ever want.  To me abundance is the fullness of life, the good with the bad.  The pretty and the ugly.  The roses and the thorns.  God gives it all to us, at His discretion.  It’s when we don’t trust in that, more so, it’s when we don’t trust in the character and integrity of this Great God, that we eat tortillas and gain 10 pounds. It’s then we have to start exercising.

Whatever it is for you that you need to get over, take a step. (A positive, non-alcoholic, drug free step). Do something to help you get over it.  It might be exercise, it might be talking to a friend, it might be just admitting that you have something to get over.  But it will always be Jesus.

Always Jesus. 

 

tortillas

It’s Time to Break Up–When Mom’s Need To Let It Go

What’s for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

What’s for dinner? 

This question makes me want to poke my eye out with a fork.  A dull, dirty fork.  I stay at home, and work here and there doing some speaking/consulting/counseling.  But the hardest job I have is feeding my kids.  I am trying not to break the bank with eating out, at least during the week.  I’m not a great cook, but I’m not the worst.  I don’t have the budget nor the interest in fancy, hour-long-preparation dinners. My kids would be satisfied with 89 cent bean and cheese at least 3 nights a week, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  #ThanksPinterest

And before you comment: Pinterest DOES NOT HELP!  I repeat Pinterest DOES NOT HELP!

Why?

Because I have a child who does not eat pasta–unless it’s Ramen.  That eliminates 99% of the cheap and easy recipes I’ve pinned to my board.

I’ve tried the–if you don’t like it, don’t eat it-approach, but then I spend at least 20 whole minutes in the kitchen, no one eats it, and then I get pissed.

I’ve tried the – YOU cook dinner then-approach.  My kids will eat Ramen, or chicken soup and then be hungry at midnight and scarf an entire box of cereal before bed.

I’ve tried the-FYOF (Feed your own face)-approach and then I get complaints that they had Ramen the night before, and then the night before that.

I stare in the pantry, open the fridge a few hundred times, make some rubber chicken and then store at least 3 containers full of food so I can throw it away on Friday.  As I face this horrible monster–dinner, not my children–I have to simply apologize and say, “it’s not you, it’s me.” As if we are breaking up, and perhaps that’s exactly what needs to happen.

The reality is, I want to be a Pinterest Pioneer Woman who not only makes the best most nutritious food but loves every single minute of it, even the washing dishes after part.  But the realty is, I’m the –drive through, you wanna bean and cheese taco and a coke?– kinda mom.  It’s who I am.  It’s nothing personal, it’s just who I am.  In reality, I’m the only person who puts this dinner-pressure on myself.  My husband doesn’t, my kids could care less.

So as of this moment I”m breaking up with dinner.

And chances are you have something you need to break up with, too.   You have some shortcoming in your parenting, or your marriage, or your life that may be a “shortcoming” according to the world of Pinterest and compared to the super-duper at home moms who can balance it all and still look fabulous at 6:30 (oh and post Bible verses on their Instagram and constant words of encouragement about loving every moment of life)… not me sister, me with greasy hair and mascara running down my face, ready to pass out to the latest episode of iCarly my child has watched at least six times.  Just know that shortcomings are relative, and if it doesn’t bother anyone else, you are officially released from all guilt and all attempts to be something that you aren’t. (Ding!) <—-that is the sound of absolution.

magic wand

Let the laundry pile up, you will wash the undies when you need to.  (Ding)

Let the dog go one more day without a bath, he’ll be alright. (Ding)

Let your hair be greasy and the mascara run. (Ding)

Let them eat Ramen! (Ding)

Running is Overrated

As the day comes to a close and the Texas heat goes from Scorching to Hot, the people emerge from their homes to exercise off the six-pack of Coronas and the dozen tortillas they consumed the weekend before. I notice these people, but not in envy. Being envious would imply that I wish I were exercising. That is rarely–well, no—that’s never the case.

I see this guy as I’m driving by. Young twenties, maybe. He was running. Well a version of running anyway. His feet shuffling, the sweat pouring from his face, drenching his hair. A pained expression that screamed to the world, “just hit me with your car and put me out of my misery.”

I asked myself, “Why?” Really. Why would anyone want to do that to themselves? Don’t comment to tell me about the importance of health or the endorphins or the benefits of exercise. Because it will sound like the Charlie Brown adults:

wah wah wah-wah wah, wah-wah wah wah-wah. And I won’t care. I understand we should exercise and take care of our bodies, but I couldn’t help myself from asking one question.

Why can’t he just walk?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Push ourselves to pain just to prove something–what?! I don’t know. But we push ourselves into the pain of debt, or the pain of exercising until we look like we’re going to die. (I seriously just don’t get this whole Crossfit thing).

Then there is the pain of pleasing every whim of our children or the pain of trying to make someone else happy. We even make our relationship with Jesus painful, when it was never designed to be. There are rules to follow: read those 5 chapters in the Bible, say those Hail Marys, volunteer every moment of spare time. Painfully we trudge through, shuffling our feet, sweat in our eyes so we can’t see, wondering where the peace and joy come from.

Running through life is even a hot topic in the ministry world. Churches struggle with creating Bible Studies and Small Groups, women’s events, Men’s retreats because people perceive it as clutter and commitment. Churches don’t want to compete with soccer and cheerleading. Churches don’t want to be “one more thing to do”. In fact, Jesus doesn’t want to be “one more thing to do.”

So instead of literally running your self in the ground trying to do this life, just walk. Walk with Him. Slowly, so you can chat it up and not run out of breath. So that every so often you can get so engrossed in conversation with Him, you actually stop right there, in the middle of the walkway and face each other so He can see your eyes and you can see His face

Only then will the pain go away. Just walk.