Be Strong

When my oldest, Isaiah, was between the ages of 3 and 5, he would have severe nightmares from time to time. He would scream and cry out in his sleep. When my husband and I would go to him, he would begin to describe his dreams, which were filled with very scary images and situations for such a young child. I would wonder, “Why is he having these dreams.” We were very careful to not let him watch inappropriate shows on TV and there was nothing in our day to day life that was scary. I began to wonder if the enemy was attacking his dreams. This thought caused the “Mama Bear” to rise up in me. If the enemy was going to try to torment him in the night, I would use the nights to contend for his peace. When the bad dreams would come, I would lay on the floor in his room and I would stay awake interceding for him and it became a place of privilege as I considered what God would want to do in my son’s life. The devil would regret that he tried to mess with him. I would be strong and take a stand.

The bible tells us that we have an enemy who is scheming against us. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be “alert.” We don’t need to be afraid because Satan is defeated and we are to take our stand in God’s mighty power. As parents, we have God-given authority and responsibility to stand against the enemy and release blessing over our kids. As we start praying the armor over our kids, we will with start here: Be strong.

Ephesians 6:10-13: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Prayer points:

1)      Acknowledge God’s mighty power and authority over all things seen and unseen.

2)      Ask Him to help keep you be alert like a “watchman in the tower” over your family.

3)      Purposing to set aside fear, pray strong, faith-filled declarations over your kids.

4)      Praise God for His goodness and His plans for your kids.

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Prayer

God you are mighty in power. There is no one like you. Help me to be alert and watchful, remembering that we battle not against flesh and blood. Before my child/children were yet formed you knew all their days. Thank you for the purposes and plans you have for them. I resist the devil and his schemes. He has no place of authority here; all authority in heaven and earth has been given to your son Jesus. Lord I pray today that my family would be strong. Be at work in my kid/kids hearts, minds and character that they would grow in strength. Help me to raise them on “the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2) Lord may they be like trees planted by the stream of your love with deep roots able to weather lives storms and bear good fruit. Lord I put my trust in you. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Moments: Nature of Godmoments

IMG_8540Talking to our kids about God can sometimes feel intimidating.  He is all powerful and all knowing. He has always been and always will be. He is the Great I Am. The one who commands the wind and the waves; who holds all of eternity in his hands and yet in Matthew 11:28 He describes Himself as gentle and humble in heart. Considering the magnitude and complexities of who He is, how and where do we begin to teach our kids about God?  Often we start with the story of creation, and continue with the stories of Noah and Moses, David and Goliath. We explain how man was unable to make themselves right before God so our savior Jesus came as a child to pay the price for our sins.  These are all important lessons and begin to paint a picture for our children of God.  Over the next few months I want to talk about using parts of scripture we may not commonly use with our young kids to go deeper with them to help them better understand the nature of God.  Like David, the writer of many of the Psalms, our kids can grow in their courage and sense of who they are in Him as they understand who He is.

Psalms 139 is one of my all-time favorite Psalms. It speaks of the amazing intimacy in which God knows us and leads us.  There are many verses that truth could be pulled from but today I thought we’d focus on verses 17 and 18. They read:

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Here is an idea you might find helpful whether you live by a beach or plan to visit one this summer. Or maybe you have a sand box in your back yard or in a nearby park. Even just a IMG_8686cup of sand will give you a great opportunity to demonstrate how incredible this truth is and this idea plays into young children’s love of counting. Ask your child to count the sand around them, going as high as they can. Then when they’ve counted as high as they can ask them to guess how much more than that there is in the cup or box or on the beach.  Then explain to them that the Bible tells us God thinks about them more often than the grains of sand on the whole earth.  He is always thinking of them and all His thoughts are of love for them.

Enjoy your week and keep looking for moments each day to speak to your kids about the nature of God.

Moments : Brave and Strong

I love putting truth all over my house.Written on the mirror in my kid’s bathroom are the words, “Let your light shine before men.” In my hallway, above a collection of pictures I have the words, “Family is believing in one another.” In our home, we have “Family Rules,” scriptures and cute quotes scattered about. 

Some of you may remember back in February I posted about the two most important things my husband and I wanted to instill in our children; that they would know their significance, and, that they would be free. Ever since that post, I’ve thought I need to get those words above my kid’s bedroom doors (or somewhere we see them daily) so I remember to pray that over them and work towards that goal. 

Just a couple weeks ago, my four year old added two more words to that list.When she was faced with a situation she was worried about, instead of getting upset (she’s known around these parts for her dramatic ways), she started whispering to herself, “I’m brave and I’m strong, I’m brave and I’m strong,” until whatever she was concerned about had passed. So when she stubbed her toe and broke her toenail past the quick, as I went to cut off the broken part I braced myself for a battle. To my amazement, instead of crying and not letting me near it, she let me take care of it, while reassuring herself she was “brave and strong.” 
So today I am happy to share with you the finished sign that I’m putting up. To download a free 8 x 10 printable version of this sign CLICK HERE

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.

Lanise Santala