The question a friend asked me after reading, “Children and Their ‘Abiding Place’ before conception,” Led to this blog’s creation. This is her comment:
“ahhhhhhh I got goosebumps!!!!! You shared some of this with me about my Josh –
as I would see Him watching angels as a baby. This stirred me up
Priscilla, parents of young ones would love a writing on this from both your wisdom, insight and your personal journey with your kids and others.
I would love some examples of how to make room
The questions to ask that would take them there
Holy Spirit will show us – but def would love more on this topic
It stirs up excitement and faith and reminds us, moms, to stay in that place in the spirit.”
This is my response to her:
“Tina, I recall a lot of our conversations and love that you have revisited them.
I think I’m about to scribe for you a chapter (lol)… Because others will be reading,
I’ll add some things you already have cultivated. Tina, please feel free to share this with those moms you are speaking of. My brief response to your above processing and questions of, “How to make room” is this.”:
My husband and I are the teachers of our children. Regarding the Kingdom of God, they hunger to learn it from us. You know that the same goes for you. For single parented homes, the grace is the same. Our children will have many voices training them in different facets of life, but there will only be two voices of God-given parents within the home. We have all been given an incredible gift to train up our children in the way they should go. No matter what hardship they will encounter in their future, they will come back (in Jesus’ beautiful name), because the ‘anchor has been dropped into deep waters.’ Wow, I love that.
Proverbs 22:6 instructs us in this:
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Let’s talk about hospitality as the key word here. Hospitality and facilitating go together. As people who are hospitable; it takes practice to learn and to perfect this gift. We tend to take the time necessary to learn what the actions of that word ‘hospitable’ really means, and carry it out, yes? So simply put, what would it look like to ‘host’ the spirit, soul, and body of our child as one who has been created within the hands of The Loving God? Just think about that for a minute. Our children AND US were within the hands and Spirit of our loving God. (pause and visualize) That’s large. So, how do we desire to host such gifts? And better yet, “How do we daily lead our child to Christ?” Jesus said,
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me;
do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
A true host prepares the house for those who are coming; creating an ambiance that is comfortable for those present, sets a table and serves the platters to their guests, etc. If there is physical room in the house, the host/hostess sets up different places of viewing meaningful things, places to relax, be part of activities, etc.. making the time together a mosaic of fun.
For children, this is true also. Fun, creative, structural, free-flowing, loving space, filled with readiness for them to create relaxes them. For us, within this space, to cultivate a place where they can meet with Jesus is an honor. (Tina, you are fabulous at parties for your kids. Yes, I’m thinking about that! Every holiday a joy ride at your place. I love it.)
Adding to that the privilege and joy of sharing with them snippets of our experiences with God (at their pace/speed), is part of the ‘becoming’. After all, God directed us to “remember the mighty acts and to recall them to our children.” Making room for them to create and glean through touch, hearing, tasting, discerning, and seeing is to bring Jesus to their visual world.
“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14
[Regarding the pace and speed issue: they have just come from the presence of God and their natural mind rpm’s are running much slower than adults who have become influenced by the speed of daily life’s movements. Their slower speed enables them to connect to their spirit which is still heightened because of their most recent dwelling place. They can often align easier to the Lord and see thru the door into the Spirit realm. Our minds, as adults (if not yet trained), runs too fast, closing the gate of the seer’s realm. So to slow down with our children is a gift for us as well.]
All of us moms remember at least one incident while walking with our children. Hand in hand we recognized how slow our child was walking. Much slower then our schedule allowed. “Hurry up.” I would say. Their little feet scooted along to catch up. Remember? Well, honestly I did that alot with Tori and Jon. But with Malakey, once I learned the rpm reality, I did not do that. The goal was to train him in keeping his rpm’s at a pace that he could hear and see his Creator. He was already there, why close that gate on him?
Oh, I can hear the questions… “How will he survive in the real world?” Actually he is in the ‘real’ world, but I’ll answer the question anyway. He is doing just fine. 4.0 in school, social life is thriving, life is full of good challenges, walk with God is daily filled with God’s mercy and grace, and he continues to pursue the Lord’s voice and ways. ALL by the grace of God! Do all children stay steadfast? “No, not necessarily.” Will they come back? “In the name of Jesus, Yes!” Is this training worth it? “Yes, it is life.”
Back to the prepping. Once we acknowledge and respect one another’s “coming from the presence of God,” we tend to slow down and take time to meet the “spirit” — the person (our child) – eye to eye, heart to heart, and Spirit to spirit. You are right, this challenges moms and dads to work on sculpting the reality of “staying in the place of Spirit.” Yes, a life of learning, “how to dwell.” This is the beginning of the ‘safe place’ taking root.
I do not believe in formulas, but I do believe in learning who God has revealed Himself to be in our families, our personal lives, for our children, etc. There is grace. We work/build according to who He has revealed Himself to be, right? So wherever we are with the Lord, from that place we “look” and begin to facilitate a place for the Lord and for our children to meet.
STAYING OPEN to gleaning more of who He is through the moments that our children begin to share their hearts is key. For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, and where there is liberty there will be a flow of gentle revelation. He presents Himself. Both in knowledge and in visitations. Seen or unseen. These treasured moments, to be kept hidden within our families building stones. For it is our generations which are being built through these moments.
“Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 1:3
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace, and Joy. It is wisdom to access these traits as building foundation stones in the place our children will thrive in.
David wrote in Psalm 89:14 that “Lovingkindness and Truth go before the Lord.” To me, these two attributes facilitated from a place of freedom and creativity can be considered to be the DNA of a safe place for children’s learnings of God and His Spirit.
Engaging every child is different, as you know. Here is what I find to be the main “door opener.” Watch them. Listen to what they are saying. When we watch and listen by the Spirit of God, we can “hear” if there is more behind their words. You can tell when they are in a deeper place, and unable to ‘say it.’ It is in those times that we can take them through the door into His presence. (I don’t know why, but I’m seeing you in your front yard playing catch with one of your boys, while you drop little nuggets of truth to him, based on his conversation with you.) They do not need to know we are watching but can engage conversation in those moments. Jesus’ voice directs us.
One of my children thrives on hearing stories of our generations. He thrives on hearing stories of God’s movements in our family’s history; as well as, current happenings. Telling him stories where the truth of God resides sends him into his own private place with God. I can ‘see’ his spirit activate during those moments as he “disappears for seconds.” He comes back stronger.
What do we do when they seem far away? We pray. We call them back. We love them. We speak hope. We pray.
For us involved in ministry I tend, through learned mistakes of the past, to want to hide my children’s anointings from the public eye until it is time for their revealing. I would rather ask them to help me prepare a project where they will learn something about Jesus … in our “space,” thus enabling them to grow solidly without the sound of hundreds of hearts reverberation around them. This way they learn who God is within them. Jesus wasn’t released into the ministry until He was 30. Not at all saying that public ministry is wrong, but the public is not the place of personal cultivation. The former apart from the latter will not last and can delay proper growth.
So for now, here are a few of my ramblings. “Host the spirit of the one who was gifted into the family. Honor the Lord who created them. Welcome the spirit of the son or daughter who came. Listen to the Lord’s prodding, as He guides you into continuing the “creating” of your child. Listen to the heart of the child. Respond accordingly to both. Create an atmosphere of love, clarity, and freedom. Recognize when the Spirit of God is resting on something. Slow down and work according to the speed of God in them. Trust God. And love the fact that every human and family is unique in the eyes of God. The Bible is our manuscript. Holy Spirit is our Guide.
With much love,