Sometimes all you can do is keep standing. Standing IS a battle stance—though it DOES depend on what you are standing on. And the longer you keep standing in the promises of what God has spoken to you—despite all the external circumstances around you, you ARE earning spiritual authority: equity in the spiritual realm. You ARE taking new spiritual territory as you walk through challenges using His principles and looking to him, rather than to the advice of others, to rescue and deliver you out of whatever situation you are in.
I really feel Jesus encouraging those of you who are in this place: “Steady on. Hold firm. I will prove true. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I love you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Your portion is in me. Lift up your eyes to me and I will deliver you.”
“…Having done all to stand, stand firm.”—Eph 6:13
(Then after the battle you will still be standing firm)
God recently shared a picture with me that was so powerful and full of hope for those that have been wondering whether they will ever be set free from their past pain and triggers.
He showed me a garden that had been transformed from a graveyard. I first saw the graveyard—it was peppered with crosses marking the various graves. But each grave was a hopeful place, a place of restoration and freedom–because what had actually been laid to rest were the triggers that had tormented His beloved for years.
I felt God saying, “I am laying to rest your triggers, so that you can finally move on with your life.”
I saw His beloved carefully patting down the dirt on top of each grave, smoothing it out as a symbolic picture of closure, honoring the pain, and reconciling with their past. And then His beloved dusted off their hands and started to walk away with Jesus, towards their future, towards the fulfilling place of living life without the torment and triggers of the past.
And then I saw the garden begin to grow in the very land that had once been a graveyard. And the flowers were completely uninhibited. They grew plentifully, brightly, and they soared taller than any garden I’d ever seen. The garden was so robust, so full of life, and yet the seedbed for that huge expansion and forward thrust of life was the graveyard of past pain and triggers.
And the garden was the recompense of the Lord–the justice of God.
And He wants His beloved to know that He has not forgotten about you. He will not leave you stranded and alone in a graveyard of pain. He IS taking you to that expanded place of vitality and enjoyment of life once again.
He is laying to rest your triggers. Laying to rest the ruminating places of past pain.
Restoration is coming. Redemption is at hand. 💙
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6)
I met a lady recently whose sister had twenty cats. Yes—twenty cats living in her home at one time. Sometimes I feel like that with kids though; it’s amazing the amount of mess that they cause, things that they break, and stuff that they accumulate in their little, young years.
I feel like Twenty–Cat Lady a LOT—it’s just in the dimension of children. Four children may as well be twenty for the amount of stuff that we have and mess that we seem to struggle with.
I’m actually in the middle of cleaning out everything in my house right now because we are getting ready to move. We don’t know where we’re going yet; our landlord just recently informed us that he is selling our house. And so my huge family purge started about two months ago.
Drawer by drawer, container by container…I’m taking back the land.
The progress was definitely slow at first. I didn’t know where to start in the myriad of clutter and it took a while to see any quantitative difference. I just knew that I felt oversaturated—there was TOO MUCH of everything, everywhere. Too many toys. Too many trinkets. Too many containers, baskets, and drawers full of STUFF. Stuff I didn’t remember was there. Stuff that we never used. Stuff that I hated when it somehow ended up all over the floors.
Like evidence of an ongoing kid–frat party.
I knew there was a total parallel between the spiritual and natural realms. I knew that too much physical clutter translated into too much spiritual clutter. And I eventually came to the conclusion that clutter was my new enemy. But it took me a while to realize that this cluttered enemy couldn’t be defeated in just ONE family purge.
And when it was almost all said and done, I knew going forward that our family’s recently de-cluttered borders would need to be maintained on a daily basis.
I had MAJORLY purged after our last move three years ago. I got rid of so much. And then I had drilled down on not letting extended family members dump their donations onto us. But I knew that now I needed to up my de-cluttering game even more. Now I ALSO needed to hold my children and husband accountable for their daily crap-keeping regimens.
Because each of them had contributed to the problem and I was tired of being the de-cluttering patsy, bearing the consequences for each of their hoarding tendencies.
So I became determined to go through everything in our home before we moved, because I was unwilling to move a bunch of junk that we didn’t need. We had filled up the largest U-Haul truck two or three times the last time we moved. And I never wanted to do that again.
It was torture.
Besides, I knew something else this time around. I had realized this time that the purging of stuff wasn’t just to help the awkwardness of the clutter—it was actually about sanctifying a new atmosphere in our home. I knew it wasn’t just about me and my type-A preferences, this was actually about changing patterns and future generations.
This was about me shifting the home environment and entire family system. And I was dogmatic in my intention—I wasn’t willing to settle for our old norms.
A perfect illustration of how our spiritual problems had outworked into tangible clutter was when I realized that we owned three digital weight scales. Why three? Well…we’d originally bought one, then we were given a second from a friend that moved, and then my husband bought yet a third because he was positive the other two weren’t accurate.
So why the heck DID we keep the other two? Great question.
I realized over time that it was our belief-system bungee cords that kept yanking us back into that place of bondage. It was our mindsets that perpetuated the behaviors. Because when I actually discovered the excess scales and went to donate the other two, my husband spoke up and questioned whether we shouldn’t keep them because they still worked.
I was horrified.
First because the spiritual scales fell off my eyes in that moment and I saw the problem so clearly for what it was. I caught myself and realized that my initial response to his words had almost been agreement. Sure, let’s just stuff the extra scales in our garage for that hypothetical day when we will NEED them—along with all the other crap we have stored but never use.
It was right then that I realized I had been a huge part of the problem in NOT saying no. Even if I didn’t foster the hoarding to begin with, I had definitely partnered with it to at least some degree.
And each item by passive item that I didn’t negate had added up over time.
I knew at that moment of realization that I would soon be praying through a generational repentance type of prayer, asking God to cleanse both sides of our family lines from the poverty and Great-Depression mentalities that we had continued to perpetuate.
I knew both sides had partnered with lack to varying degrees, including the need to hoard and save everything.
I saw the mindset saturation everywhere as I scrolled through family memories. And it had a wide scope—ranging everywhere from “Let’s save every ziplock bag and empty container… to let’s shop at yard sales for what we need.”
And I knew that even though we hadn’t partnered with the poverty mentality to quite the same degree that we were still culpable and drinking from the same generational cistern of perceived lack.
There was definitely a difference between thrifty wise and thrifty obsessive.
I was done with the latter. And once I realized that the problem hadn’t gone away after our last huge move and purge, I knew that we’d need to cut the spiritual ties to the past. I also knew that we’d need to do the even harder work of replacing old mindsets with new ones. We would have to be intentional.
Because that stuff had snowballed again since our last clean-through despite my BEST intentions.
Needless to say, both extra scales got donated. And I was proud of myself, because I was starting to be brave and call our previous mindsets out onto the carpet. I was trying desperately to integrate more righteous perspectives and attitudes. Because that scale scenario was representative of MANY other multiples that I found within our home.
Like who needed four popsicle sets? How did we end up with ten vases when we barely ever bought flowers? Why did I still have two crib-bedding sets and misc toddler cutlery? And how did we accumulate five cake holders, three sandwich cutters, four pasta drainers, and three thermometers?
I couldn’t donate stuff fast enough.
And now at the almost end-of-it-all, I’ve come to the conclusion that clutter is like a demon—it’s tormenting to one’s ENTIRE well-being: spirit, soul and body. I’ve also realized that I don’t ever want to FEEL like Twenty–Cat Lady with Four Kids again.
So even though it’s taken me a while to get here, I’ve definitely come a long way from where I started. Changing mindsets is the biggest battle. Once those start to shift, the behaviors follow suit. It’s not easy to change already-established family patterns, but I’m not giving up.
Never give up. Never surrender.
Little by little, I’m taking back our land.
“Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land” (Deuteronomy 23:30).
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
I don’t always follow the way of the wind. But yesterday I did. It just sort of happened. I wasn’t planning on an adventure. I was actually getting ready to put on my morning workout clothes—my usual routine before dropping the kids off to school. But this morning I paused and kind of checked in with my spirit. Was I even supposed to go today? Hmmmm…all of a sudden it didn’t feel like it was on the agenda.
Okay then—regular clothes it was.
I loaded my backpack into my trunk—complete with book, journal, and computer; balanced my coffee mug on the dashboard, and tried to mentally gear up for whatever lied ahead. Then I started onto my usual morning routine: rush kids to school and pray we wouldn’t be late; breathe huge sigh of relief when we made it on time; pull away from the curb and change the kids’ showtunes to a favorite podcast.
Now what? If I wasn’t heading to my Zumba class, then where was I going?
I headed towards the freeway because it just felt right. My usual local landing pad to write, aka coffee shop, didn’t seem to resonate with what my spirit wanted today. I felt like I needed to drive for a while. So I followed the prompting and decided to head out to a favorite coffee shop further out instead. Forty minutes away to be exact.
I had to push past the nattering of my soul, reminding me of gas prices and practicality, but pretty soon I was in the zone. I loved driving—it was just me and the wind and God. A perfect combination. I decided to let God be my iTunes DJ for the morning, and I ended up listening to a perfect teaching nugget about expanding authority and how to be a big-spirited person in today’s culture.
I felt inspired and comforted for where I was in my process.
And then my phone rang. As soon as I saw the name on the caller ID, I laughed. It was just too good. God had set me up in the best way. I hadn’t heard from this friend for probably four months because both of our lives had been just crazy slammed. And I felt the delight rise up in my spirit that THIS was what was on this morning’s agenda.
It was like finding money in my pocket—Score!
I answered the phone and enjoyed the refreshing hour-long conversation that followed with my friend—who also happened to be a total supernatural connection. She was someone who God wanted me to meet years ago, so He connected me with her through the weirdest of circumstances.
I always love savoring how He does those sorts of things.
I picture God’s coaching mantra for me in those awkward times of introduction going something like this: “I have this awesome connection for you. This person will be important and instrumental to you in your journey, so I need you to meet them. It IS going to be mutually life giving—even though it might seem awkward in the beginning. So hang in there while I do something totally weird and counterintuitive. You’ll see the payout in the long run. Just follow my clues and trust me.”
With this particular person, our friendship started when God prompted me to contact her via social media. We had mutual friends in common and had gone to college together years ago, but we had never actually met. And after three or four times of God harassing me to message her, I finally followed through. I’m really glad I did. We’re now about three years into our friendship and it’s been so enriching. An awkward start followed by a sweet journey together.
So yah, our conversation together that morning definitely hit the spot. We updated. We vented. We laughed—a LOT. We helped each other strategize with a couple challenging life pieces. We shared vision and counsel. And I gleaned from her parenting wisdom since she was a few steps ahead of me in the parenting-a-teenager journey.
Then our convo ended shortly after I found myself at my destination coffee shop. So I grabbed my backpack, headed inside, and scoped out a doable table. Seat positioning mattered to me if I was going to write, but this coffee shop’s seating was usually packed. So I took what I could find until I could move to a better table.
I eventually maneuvered myself into the perfect space, coffee in hand, computer open—ready for whatever was next.
I journaled for a bit when suddenly I felt a huge download land in my spirit. I didn’t quite know the entirety of what God wanted to say but I recognized the prompting, so I opened up my computer and started typing away as fast as I could. The flow was definitely there. The words seamed to synchronize together flawlessly. And then the weightiness of the message lifted and I knew that I was done. I was amused at the surprise of it all and how the thrust of that particular message landed on me to get my attention.
I posted it onto my blog and social media. It was obviously on God’s heart for today—someone needed to hear it. I could feel the urgency and timelines of it in my spirit. And then it was completed.
Flow over. Words posted. Heart content.
I sat for a minute in that space. I felt like I’d completed an assignment and it felt good. I felt at peace. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do for the next hour until I had to go pick up my kids, but I didn’t have time to think long. All of a sudden I found myself looking into the beautiful eyes of a german shepherd service dog named Max, as he accompanied his owner throughout the seating area.
I must have made goo-goo dog eyes at Max, because his owner instantly pegged me as a dog lover. He sat down next to me and started a lively conversation. He even offered me some of his sandwich. And what followed in the conversation was quite comical and VERY non-traditional for regular coffee-shop conversation.
We skipped the niceties of surface topics and went straight for the deep.
We talked about the spiritual connections between dogs and their owners. We compared dog stories. I listened to him share about his family’s journey with a service dog and the varying receptions to Max’s appearance.
And then I don’t really know HOW it happened, but all of a sudden we started talking about land dynamics, spiritual entities, ley lines, and ghosts.
Yep. I can’t make this stuff up. He mentioned a couple local places that had some interesting spiritual land dynamics. He wasn’t sure if the info would freak me out at first, but I think he was pleasantly surprised to find that I could dialogue with him in each of these topics.
And inside my head, I was also having my own conversation with the Father:
Me: Now this is classic.
God: I know, right?
I definitely enjoyed my inside convo with God as much as, if not more so, than the actual conversation I had with Max’s owner.
After an hour had gone by, I had to end the conversation so that I still had enough time to make it back to school for pickup. But before I left, I wrote down a website I thought Max’s owner might enjoy and He gave me both his and his wife’s phone numbers—in case I ever wanted to meet them at one of those interesting spiritual locations.
And then I started the drive back.
There was ALL sorts of wind, and birds, and even a train and a motorcycle rider on the drive back home. I was in my happy place of reflection and movement.
Following the wind was the best.
And then Wind Girl had to segue back into Mommyland and spend the rest of her day cleaning through her daughter’s hoarder room of trinkets. But it was all good.
Until her next wind adventure…
Being misunderstood is OKAY. Not everyone will understand your heart or your intention. Not everyone will understand your process or your walk with God. We are not called to be understood. We are called to walk with God in whatever path He leads us.
I feel this so strongly in my spirit: God wants you to know it is OKAY to not be understood. It is okay if the only person that knows where you really stand in your intention and heart’s pursuit is God. And He WILL back you up. He WILL be true. He cannot do other than prove true to His nature.
And God WILL allow others to misunderstand you sometimes on purpose. Spoiler alert. He WILL foster these breaking times in our life where we feel all alone and misunderstood…in order to set us FREE: Free from man’s judgment, free from man’s attempts to control or manipulate us, and most importantly—free of the fear of man.
And when we can stand in the midst of an environment where others misunderstand us, WITHOUT feeling the need to correct misperceptions or justify or defend ourself—then we have tapped into that freedom. When we can stand in the midst of judgment and accusation—and still feel secure in our identity, secure in our sonship, and secure in our walk with God and the path He has us on, THEN the enemy trembles. Then we are dangerous to darkness.
Let history be your judge, not man.
God often reparents me while I am dreaming. I have misperceptions about Him just like everybody else in the world. No one really escapes from the incorrect forming of beliefs that come as a result of life experience or pain. We all got em, basically.
And if you think YOU’RE the exception to the misperception rule, then you’ve ESPECIALLY got em.
But it’s been fascinating to look in retrospect at some of the ways that He has corrected my misperceptions about His nature. God uses just about anything to re-father me, to reteach me the things about Him that I never learned growing up. All of the truth that got missed through my own natural experience with parenting, He is now fiercely intentional about reteaching me and getting me back up to speed.
He uses a lot of ways to do this, but my absolute favorite tool that God uses to reparent me is through His use of dream metaphors.
God has definitely blown up some of my biggest misbeliefs, deceptions, and strongholds through His interactions with me in my sleeping hours. I know that I’m often too busy during the day to hear Him, so using my dreams is a way to gently hack my firewall and go straight to my heart. Dreams are powerful.
We actually sleep 1/4th of our lifetime, so why wouldn’t God want to communicate with us during our night watches? I think of nighttime as the prime real estate of the heart.
But yah, God’s funny with His use of dream metaphors with me and the symbolic people He uses to speak into my life. He does occasionally surprise me with a new cast appearance, but for the most part I’ve become very familiar with my own dream instruction crew.
I have a handful of dream regulars that God uses to counsel and help me.
I know when certain women pop into my dreams that they represent various aspects of the Holy Spirit speaking into my life. One usually brings comfort. One brings spiritual instruction or counsel.
He uses friends a LOT in my dreams too—they usually represent Jesus’ role in my life as a friend or brother. And I can often tell from the context of the dream or the friendship represented what aspect of my life He is currently helping me with or speaking into.
God also regularly casts a few select men into my dreams to speak into my life from the Father’s perspective. These are some of my favorite dreams because they have been so spiritually watering over the years. I used to have a HUGE father deficit in my life. Though I did have a natural father, I didn’t grow up having the fatherly counsel or spiritual instruction that I really needed.
So God is filling in those missing father pieces now.
One of these men is usually a context clue that God’s message relates to my inner healing journey. So I know when he pops into my dreams that God is usually sharing something with me about my heart or spiritual restoration. Another man continually gets cast into my dreams whenever the Father is radically shifting my paradigms or exposing a false belief that I have about His nature. I’m usually at a seminar in these dreams because God is trying to TEACH me something or correct me.
Usually it’s a combination of both; I’m learning and being corrected at the same time. God IS the ultimate multitasker.
One dream years ago showed me that I was scared of intimacy with the Father. That dream then propelled me onto a long journey of discovering how to have intimacy with God.
Another dream years back showed me that I was only able to engage with God in the positive emotions, but that I had a severe deficiency when it came to interfacing with Him in anything painful. I’d put a positive spin on things again and again. It revealed pockets of denial in my life. And once I realized what it meant, I was then able to partner with that catalytic dream for more healing growth.
Nowadays I think of dreams as conversation starters that God initiates. The question then becomes: Am I willing to engage with God here? Am I willing to lean into the conversation?
Because that is what those two aforementioned dreams were all about: Was I willing to engage with God in the particular conversation that was on His heart? Was I willing to lean into the weak areas of my heart that He was revealing and let Him heal me through a process of growth and engagement?
I did…eventually. But it took me years of having dreams before I even realized that God was speaking to me, and then even more years afterwards to learn my own dream vocabulary and cadences with God.
Those two particular dreams became God’s conversation starters that turned into major growth projects. But not all of them become these big things. Some God dreams are meant to bring more minor adjustments, like the time that my chiropractor showed up in my dream and shared his perspective with me on a specific area of my life.
That dream gifted me with a much-needed perspective shift. It brought me back into spiritual alignment and I woke up feeling so much better.
I had a funny one awhile back where the God character in my dream was developmentally slow. The dream metaphor was helpful because it actually showed me that I thought God was too slow. The dream then went on to show me that my flawed perspective led to my own striving, because I thought I had to figure things out without His help.
Another dream metaphorically showed me that I thought I had to TELL God what I needed—like He didn’t already know what was best for me lol.
And so God’s parenting goes on and on. I’m certain it’s going to continue until the day that I die. I will never NOT need His counsel, His healing, His nurturing love. And each dream is a gift that I try to savor. He parents me in the daytimes too, but His nighttime counsel will probably always be my favorite.
Solomon received his wisdom upgrade in a dream, after all. And I’m open to any and all dream expansion that the Father wants to bring.
“He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword” (Job 33:15-18).