Help your child embrace their history. When a child knows where they came from, they are better equipped to love themselves and others.
Although I don’t know my origin story, I know that those that came before me paved the way for me to be here. As a mixed-race African American woman, it wasn’t until I was older that I fully understood our people. Understood their contributions, and the strength that they had to endure.
As an educator and children’s author, my goal is to give every child the opportunity to know who they are. When a child knows who they are, they are better equipped to love themselves and those who came before them.
“When you own the truth of your origin story, it can never be erased
With that said, how do parents, give children opportunities to embrace their own history while exploring others?
Our History is more than Just Race
According to Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry, author of Hues of You, race is a concept created to institute a social hierarchy, so racial categories describe only how we are grouped and not how we actually look. Research has found that conversations with children about skin tone and race must be explicit. Should use simple terms that children understand, and should be incorporated into family life and formal learning settings.
Therefore, the concept of race doesn’t go far enough. In order for people to embrace their full identity we need to look to our past for the keys to our future. Some of us know exactly where we came from, the origin story is very clear; told from one generation to the next. For others, self-included, history is lost. However, we can look to the people who paved the way for us to be here today.
Knowing your History
Before we can showcase the amazing contributions our ancestors made we have to know our history. Parents, just because you didn’t learn about the amazing contributions others made throughout Black history doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Even if your family history is painful to talk about, the stories need to be shared; they need to be kept alive. Chances are your child isn’t learning a whole lot about their history in their formative years from school. So, if you don’t teach them who will? Seems like it is time to share what you know with them. Or better yet, learn right alongside them. What an amazing gift you’ll be giving to both yourself and your child.
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Create the Dialogue
There are so many ways to help your child embrace their identity as long as you keep the dialogue going. Try engaging your child in activities like cultural fairs, filling your home library with diverse books, and buying baby dolls that are of a different race than your own. The main point is to encourage and keep the conversation going. Remember as your child’s first teacher, you have the opportunity to instill in them a deep rich love for themselves and others.
Let me be clear that Christian families everywhere are under attack. As Christians, we have a hard time coming together on issues, but we have to stand on the Truth, the Word of God. If not, we will continue to be attacked by the enemy. Here are five ways your family could be under spiritual attack.
Attack on Marriages
One of the ways the enemy has reared its evil head is by breaking up the family unit. The family unit has the potential to be one of the most powerful. A marriage, for instance, takes two people coming together and becoming one. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 NKJV).
A marriage is based on two independent people becoming one flesh. Ultimately, God’s design is for them to be in unity with one another. In a marriage, the goal is to die to your flesh. Your partner’s concerns and hurts are now yours too and vice versa. In the vein of being in unity with one another, you grow to want to help your partner. It is a loving relationship in which the partners have the best intentions for one another.
There are so many worldly issues that can cause disharmony: finances, spending too much or not enough time together, communication issues, different ideologies, and so on. The enemy—who comes to kill, steal, and destroy—will have spouses so wrapped up in the issues of the world that the couple misses their godly love for each other.
Attack on the Seed of Life
When a couple starts to have children, the enemy may, once again, be out to steal their joy. From the moment you find out you’re carrying life, there is an attack on the seed. From fears, doubts, and confusion, what is supposed to be a happy joyous time may leave you feeling in a state of constant fear and worry. The enemy intends to leave you so depleted that you can’t focus on the life you’re carrying. However, those In Christ can stand firm on the Bible teachings that tell us that the seeds we carry will be the light of the world.
Attack on Children and the Education System
Turn on any news channel, and you will see our American education system under attack. School shootings and other forms of violence against children and teachers. Moreover, a spiritual attack on education is evident through the confusion that lies within the educational system. Schools around the country have been a prop in the enemy’s agenda that says it’s okay to question or change your identity altogether.
When God created you, He didn’t make a mistake. He created you as a gift of love to the world. Children are just forming their identities, and society comes in with these really big questions about same-sex marriage, transgender issues, and gay ideologies. Even if parents are not in agreement with this teaching, some schools are pushing this agenda, hoping to make the school more inclusive.
From an education standpoint, we have two choices: 1) leave the social conversations out of education or 2) come to education with the mindset that every voice must be heard. There was a time in my children’s school that “pride” merchandise such as sweatshirts, caps, and mugs were being sold to the campus staff and children with no controversy. However, when the school was approached with an opportunity to hear from a Christian children’s author with a book about the legacy of black history and an edifying message of greatness, the request went through many channels and was then denied.
Why? There is an attack on our schools and our children laced with confusion and misinformation. One worldview is not the only one a child should hear. Yet, in this case, the school failed to represent all voices, thus doing the children a disservice.
Attack on Fathers
As a married woman, I see how the enemy has blinded the eyes of men to their spiritual potential. Most men, but not all, are unaware of their own greatness in God. God so greatly designed the man as the head of his family, to cover his wife and children. If a man doesn’t know his ultimate family role, how is he to rise up in spiritual matters? The enemy wants to get the man so distracted with anything he can that the man forgets about his Creator. The man ends up failing to remember to seek the Lord in all things and, as a result, falls out of line with what God really wants for his family.
Attack on Mothers
The attack on mothers is much the same as on fathers. The enemy wants us all wound up, distracted, our focus on anything other than honoring God. The enemy knows we are strong and have God’s power within us. When we get ahold of who we really are in Christ, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Our job as women is to remain focused on the Creator. Since He formed you, He knows every detail about you and how you operate.
In conclusion, the enemy wants to get you in all sorts of ways and leave you in a state of confusion, feeling worn out and rundown just for being who you’re called to be. It all starts with your mind and what you think about it. Don’t give the enemy any access points. That means always being “armored up,” focused on what is good, lovely, and just. You are the gatekeeper of what you allow in. What do you need to lay down today so the enemy won’t have a foothold to attack your family?
Raising legacy leaders is raising leaders who leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Essentially, raising children in a way that makes them leaders will help them to become capable human beings.
Remind Children Who They Came From
Raising legacy leaders means teaching them to know who they come from. The best thing a parent can do is know themselves. When you are a whole person you can teach your child how to show up in the world with that same spirit. Since our children are decoding and deciphering messages all day long they will naturally pick up the messages around them. What messages do you want your child to pick up on? When you work on yourself your child sees that. When you are continuously improving your child sees that and naturally does the same thing. No parent is perfect, but it would be detrimental to your development and your child’s to stop progressing.
Build your child up
In order to help your child receive the positive message that you are trying to instill in them, spend distraction-free time with your child. Yes, laying down the tech and actually spending time with them. Playing board games, talking, getting to know their interest, and cooking together. All these experiences at any child’s age will help them open up so you can do the work of building them up.
My youngest loves drawing and because of the career path I have recently taken as an author, he is very interested in making his own book. While the oldest has always gravitated toward musical instruments and entrepreneurship. He discovered how to play different instruments over the years and he displayed his entrepreneurial skills by making a lemonade stand and starting a neighborhood lawn business. We encouraged them by spreading the word to our neighbors and nearby family members to come to support their efforts. The skills they learned from these things are helping them in school and life. Knowing that they can take risks and that they are capable leads them to know they will be capable adults.
Routine leads to Consistency
In raising legacy leaders, consistency matters. It feels like as humans we are hard-wired to know that we work better when we have a routine. So, parents, one of the best things you can do for your kids is to create routines that will lead to consistent behavior. When my son was about 3, I felt he was ready to make a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich for himself. I probably wouldn’t have even had the thought if I also didn’t have a one-year-old and was running a home daycare, but I was. I taught him how to do it himself. Yes, it was messy at first; globs of jelly were left on the table. Later he would be taught how to wipe it up only to realize he would leave a sticky residue of jelly because he didn’t know yet how to put enough pressure on the sponge to fully wipe it clean. All this had to be learned over time.
The point is that I intentionally gave him the responsibility to ensure he knew he was capable. This seemingly small action empowers a child with the skills to become independent thinkers, who are mindful of themselves and others.
Lead by Example
When I was little I heard some parents say, “Do as I say, not as I do”. This approach to parenting always baffled me because as a parent you are your child’s first teacher. You get the amazing opportunity to instill your examples into your child. So, it would make more sense for parents to say lead by example. The truth is, every child everywhere wants to be like their parents! You are their number one influencer. When I have to be the example setter for my children; I have to remind myself to be kind in the checkout line. I have to remind myself to be present when I really want to take a call or focus on sending emails.
The same is true for our children we have to minimize distractions like video games and screen time, why? Because the distractions cloud the mind from creative thinking. The more a child is able to think creatively the more he can be in tune with his natural abilities. As an educator, it is unfortunate that I have seen the arts being taken out of schools. For that simple fact, it is still a parent’s responsibility to help foster that love of creativity and imagination.
When a child thinks creatively he is tapping into a different part of the brain to access creative thought. Creativity is the building block of your child’s future. Let them create, imagine and wonder about the world. The more we allow our children to do this the more their thoughts are free to explore all possibilities. When they are adults and someone says, “We can’t do that” in a board meeting they will be the one to stand up and say, “why not”? Because they were given the time and space to be creative they will be able to think outside the box and come up with solutions that others might not see.
Parents, parenting is hard overall. Remember that you have a purpose in your parenting. The joy of parenting comes when you partner with God and let Him lead you. Your heart will soar in anticipation of who they can become or what they will do in this life. What parenting practices can you instill today to leave a lasting legacy on your child?
Save your sanity aha’s to finding rest in the lord. Learning how a short-term hospital stay left me questioning how to rest in the Lord.
It started off as any typical Tuesday, pick the kids up from their school after I get off work. Only this day as I was waiting in the car line for one of my kids to get out, I was rear-ended. The jolt was jarring and left me in complete panic because I was six months pregnant. Already flowing with emotion due to the life growing inside me, I developed back, neck, and head pain and was urged to go to the hospital.
At the hospital, I was told a whole bunch of scary things that could be wrong with the baby that they wanted to rule out. What was supposed to be a few hours of observation turned into an overnight visit. The experience was traumatic, to say the least, but after settling into the reality of what was going on, I knew God required me to rest to get me through this.
#1 Submitting to Rest
Throughout my life. God has drawn me back to rest. At first, I examine rest as if I were trying to see it from all possible sides. If I were to rest, what would that set me back? How would I operate moving forward? Who would pick up the slack? How much more work would be on my plate after the rest was over? At this point, I weigh if rest is a feasible option. When I don’t listen to His gentle nudge and continue to operate in my flesh, He forces me to rest. He does this with forced hospital stays and temporary bodily injuries. When I finally submit to God’s lesson on rest, I find myself getting out of the way so He can teach me a lesson or two about how to operate in this season of life.
#2 Busy and Rest
Rest is an opportunity to be reunited with God, a chance for us to slow down our busy lives and sit before the Creator. Even in the seasons of being busy, we can focus on prayer, fasting, and resting in God’s presence. Rest goes as far back as God’s creation. It is our gift from the Lord. The Bible tells us in Psalms 46:10 to “be still and know that I am.” That “be still” part is the beginning of rest. It’s only when you are still that He moves on your behalf.
Rest in God’s eyes is not to be seen as an afterthought but as a way of life in cohabitation with animals and nature. Rest takes us further with God. It is needful and necessary to know God on a more intimate level.
#3 Open Hands and Rest
When I had my overnight hospital stay, I finally realized, in order to rest in the Lord, I need to give up the control I thought I had. A lot of why we don’t rest in the Lord has to do with our need to control the things we think we can.
In my case, God showed me I was lacking trust in the Lord.
There’s a beautiful image that one of my friends told me about years ago. Control is like a closed fist. You’re holding onto that thing so tightly you can’t see the blessings God wants to put in the palm of your hand. When you open your fist (release control to God), you’ll be able to receive what He has for you. Some of you are good at resting in the Spirt, and others need to be reminded that it is okay to rest. Ultimately, being still is a good thing, one in which God wants to show us new things. The question is this: Are you willing to be still enough to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
Hey Sis, Take a journey with me into the Bible and discover these Biblical Pro Tips for Solopreneurs! Yes, it’s absolutely true the Bible teaches you how to be successful in your ministry. The Bible is where you will find everything you need to be a successful solopreneur or entrepreneur.
In Exodus 40, God gives specific directions for building the tabernacle to tradespeople, business owners, and skilled workers; today we’d call them entrepreneurs. Bold statement alert:
Your Godly entrepreneurial journey is infused in your DNAIt’s up to you to unlock the hidden potential and rise to the invitation that God is gifting you.
I’ve never really built anything that hasn’t come out with extra pieces, wobbly parts, or pieces that don’t line up correctly. Building the tabernacle took great leadership on Mosses’ part and detailed execution from the people building it. Mosses, one of the first successful entrepreneurs, instructed a team of entrepreneurs; who worked together to get the job done. They were diligent in their work. The people were obedient to God and showed they had the ability to persevere to reach their desired result. Building the tabernacle was one of God’s early tests for following directions.
Drum roll for….the top 3Biblical Pro Tips for Solopreneurs:
Pro Tip # 1 Teamwork Mentality
Currently, I am an intern with Kathi Lipp. She is a successful entrepreneur who has a thriving ministry of decluttering Clutter Free and helping writers grow at Writing at the Red House. Her ministry is large and growing and she needs a lot of hands to help the vision God put in her heart to thrive. Like Mosses, Kathi Lipp knows light hands make less work. By working smarter, not harder we can see God’s vision come to life.
God gives us the desires of our hearts so that, He is glorified. When Mosses said yes to God; jobs opened up, and skills were sharpened. Do you see how when Mosses partnered with God everything worked out for His glory and the people of Bible times were able to partake in the fruit they all helped to produce in the tabernacle?
Pro Tip # 2 The Ability to Persevere
As a solopreneur or entrepreneur, oftentimes I feel God calling me to just keep going. A lot of times in building my writing career I wanted to give up. I wonder if it was the same back in bible times. The tradesmen were given a task to help with the tabernacle. They were told to trust God. The Bible never tells us these things but I imagine that humans over time have similar concerns…
Is my family ok?
Will things work out?
Should I move forward with this decision?
It’s no different for you and me today. I can remember the days of asking God, If I take this leap of faith will I fail? The thing He keeps reminding me is that when He is in control He will work things out. We don’t need to worry about the how or when just that it will because; He loves us so much. Start believing in God’s ability to provide, and your ability to persevere; and don’t forget to give yourself grace through it all.
Pro Tip # 3 Give God the Glory
When you want to rip your hair out on your entrepreneurial endeavors, try following the details that God lays before you. First, take a step back, pray; and think about the tabernacle. Everyone had to follow directions down to precise detail in order for the vision to be realized. It’s no different than the structure you are building with God whether it be your business, ministry, or family; every detail matters to God. Moreover, because it matters to God it should matter to you too. Let God guide you through the details like He did when commissioning the tabernacle. When you submit the details to Him He will meet you right where you are. He will ease your burden and set you on His path.