Happy April, Y’all! 

Parents/guardians: Today, I wanted to encourage you and… maybe.. possibly… rebuke you. 

Actually, let me be real, this is more of a rebuke than a message of encouragement. I know, I know… I’ll be gentle. I wanted to talk to you today about finances, and the double edged sword it can be at home. I think this is a really important topic – especially if you are stressed out about money, stressed out about your finances. When parenting, raising up children, I would like you to endeavor to eliminate finances from the equation. You may have financial concerns; I don’t want you to put that burden –  those financial concerns on your children.

This is so important. Whether we are in quarantine or not. I feel like it seems to have become all too common, when raising a family. Parents and/or guardians projecting their financial hardships on their children, in essence, robbing them of their childhood. I hate to say it that way, but truthfully, I cannot understand why parents will discuss financial matters with a 5-year-old child. It just doesn’t make sense! They can’t go and get a job to alleviate your financial burdens. Being aware of these troubles (or any troubles for that matter) will not help you and it definitely will not help them. They just want to be kids; play video games, color – they want to play with their Barbies!

Children are a blessing from The Lord, they are beacons of light for you – an escape from the madness of the world. Everyday, look at your child and say, “what a gift”. See them apart as that. Let’s never forget it. 

I can never understand how parents can discuss financial hardships, no matter the age: 5 years old, 11 years old, 14 years old, 17 years old –  you’re discussing financial matters with a child and you’re projecting your stress, the anxiety that you feel, onto them and onto their lives. Passing it onto them like a baton in this relay race we call life. It creates fear in a child. Fear that there will be no provisions for you and them. It starts with us, parents. This is something that I hope you reflect on. Please stop talking about financial matters and struggles with your children. There are ways of showing your concern to your children. You could just say “shut the lights off because I politely asked you” as to saying “shut the lights off because you’re not the one paying the bills here,” or “shut the water off because the water bill was three hundred dollars and I can’t pay that.” These conversations with your children are so imperative with how they are to develop. A lot of people grow up afraid of money. What I mean when I say ‘they’re afraid’ is, all they’ve ever known is “ money equals problems”, right? There’s no real clear sense of “God is our provider and I will never lack”. If you take it upon yourself to project your worries and your concerns to your children, that inevitably takes form on how they’re going to respond to finances. When they get older, it will stress them out. How you react to anything, is how you react to everything. Not only when it comes to finances, but, when it comes to stress, when it comes to the housework, when it comes to how they treat other people.  All of this, will equate and will be a reflection of their upbringing – of you and your reactions.

What is your reaction to the trials in life? Unfortunately, we are not exempt from problems in this life, but we are guaranteed to be more than conquerors. If we’re more than conquerors, that means we get to benefit from a blessing without fighting for it. You just walk into it. By declaring the word of God over your finances, over your family, over your health. If you’re not doing that, I want to encourage you, parents. I want to encourage you, mom. I want to encourage you, dad, grandma, grandpa and guardians. I want you to be very careful with how you respond to situations that aren’t favorable for you. Maybe you got laid off, or you don’t know what the next month will look like. It’s not right for you to put that kind of a heavy load on your children. People that are poverty stricken put this on their children and they breed the same kind of poverty mentality, time and time again. You have to understand today, that there is no government agency that is going to take care of you and your family. God Almighty will take care of you and your family. I know a lot of people might have sneered at that, yes. Because: you don’t know, but I do know

I know God is my provider. I know God as our only source and resource. There were plenty of times where there was nobody to help Jonathan and I when we first got married, we had to walk this thing out. It’s a walk of faith! We declared the Word of God over our lives and we never lacked.

Declare it! Declare it until you get it through your head that God really is who he said he is. He said he’d provide. He said, “I’m the many breasted one. I will provide. There are no runts in my litter. I will provide for each of my children”. Some doubt that God can do it, they then turn to government agencies. They will turn to X, Y, Z, hoping that others will possibly lend a helping hand. God is your help. God is your helping hand

Passing on these burdens to your children will inevitably breed the same, throughout their generation and  generations to come. 

The other day, I was in Wal-Mart, at the toy aisle with Camila. There was a little boy and he was looking around and the mother says: “you get one toy.” The little boy replies: “how much is this toy? How much is this toy?!”’ That really stood out to me. I was thinking, why does it irritate me that he’s asking how much? When I take Camila to a toy aisle at any store and I tell her to pick out one toy, she never asks how much. It’s because she knows we don’t lack in this house because Jesus has blessed us immensely! That’s God’s promise for you today. Don’t ever say you can’t afford anything. I’m telling you this with all the love in my heart, snap out of that mentality. Walk in love, walk in faith, walk in faith, and walk in some more faith. That’s what faith sounds like. “Not right now, little Jimmy but we’ll come back for it”. 

I remember driving through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It was $22 to go through that bridge and we had to do it every time we drove out of Virginia Beach, when we lived there. I remember going over in a car with my sister and having to pay the $22 and I was thinking, “this is the last 20 dollars in my name right now.” I had to scrounge up $2 and hopefully I’ll find $2 of change in this car. When I handed it over to that toll attendant, he didn’t care. He just stuck out his hand. I put the money in his hand and I said, “there’s more where that came from.” He looked at me like, OK, you’re crazy, but I was saying it to declare: I’m not stressing over money, I’m not going to stress over finances. This is as small as I’ll ever be. I’m not going to allow the cares and the worries of this world to snuff out the Word of God in my heart. I’m not going to do it! Every time we’d run low, we’d always declare: “There’s more where that came from!” We can’t get that right now but we’ll come back for you. It was something that came to us with ease. 

We no longer have to say it because now, we live and walk in the abundance of the Lord. That was all God’s doing. It first started with me putting up a fight and not allowing the things I’ve seen my entire life, to tell me how I should respond to finances and money. It was put on me as a child. There are a lot of you, if you’re Italian, if you’re hispanic, people just talk about things, freely. “We can’t afford…” “We don’t have that kind of money.” “I don’t have enough.” “How do you want me to get that money?” “You want to do soccer, where am I going to get that money?” 

It’s not right. It’s not right for you to begin to create your child’s future based on your reality. It’s not right. I want you to begin to speak to your child with all of the things that the word promises them. “You are going to be mighty because the Word of God says ‘my seed shall be mighty’.” “You are going to be the head and never the tail.” “You are never going to be on the bottom.” “You’ll always be on the top in Jesus name.” Begin to say that. Anybody can state the obvious but that’s not faith. Faith tells you to say something even when your circumstances don’t show it. Today, I want you to begin to say that because I know where you’re at. I know that there’s a lot of panic. There’s a lot of stress, but don’t put that on your kids. They don’t need to know anything about anything. They can live their lives being completely oblivious to our stress because they didn’t ask for that stress. They did nothing to put us in this position. They’re completely innocent. Have the mentality, that in this time where mommy and daddy are trying to figure it out, we are going to have a blast. There’s no electricity right now = We’re going to set up a tent, grab a flashlight, and have fun! We’re going to have a light show with the flashlight, make it fun. Make it so that faith is activated in everything you do. Turn everything that the devil would try to put on you to dampen the mood and turn it around on him. From that point on, I made it a point to believe the word of God, to speak the word of God. I understood what it said. That’s ultimately what this is all about. You say what it is that you want to see, whether good or bad. Stop putting the stress on your children. We have 5-year old kids wondering, “well, there’s no money, I don’t know how we’re going to pay the rent.” Why is that?! Why does he know that? I don’t understand. Please don’t be that type of person. Start fueling them with faith. Start blowing on that fire and getting it really hot and saying, “no, there’s nothing that is hard for God, this situation is an easy thing for the Lord to help us through. In Jesus name.” I want you to do that. I have nothing but love for you all, but snap out of it! 

Keep praying against darkness. Now in this time with your family you should invest. Invest time and invest energy. Invest your words, pray, study the word of God as a family. Do devotions together and you are going to come out of this quarantine time better than ever, in Jesus name. 

 I love you!