Nurturing God-sized Dreams in Your Children & Nathan’s New Movie & Podcast
When we hold our little new born in our arms for the first time, we cannot even imagine what life they will lead or story they will tell. I certainly never dreamed of Nathan , my third child, second boy, would attend the New York Film Academy, live between New York and Hollywood and create and produce his own films. And yet, God has worked in his life in such a way that he has followed Him into very secular arenas, forged friendships and connections with people from all over the world and produced two movies.
And yet, Nathan says it was what took place in our home over thousands of days that spurred on his dream to become an onscreen story teller. Today, Nathan and I talk about what prepared him to live into the dreams God placed on his heart and how our home became the training grounds for paving the way to these opportunities.
So often, when I talk to women, they speak of being overwhelmed, feel a failure and are looking for a way back to their ideals. Often, they live as though they have no hope. When vision for what mentoring children becomes lost among the flurry of daily life, it seems that it is easy to lose our sense of purpose. Women quit dreaming with their children. When we are limited in our hearts to the tasks of life, to the responsibilities and bills and duties we have, we can become very discouraged.
But when we realize that the Holy Spirit, Himself, dwells in us and wants to bring glory through our lives and create supernatural life and love right where we are, it gives us a whole different way to live. As a trainer of children who could learn to dream and take on the task of bringing God's kingdom to bear on this world, I always looked for ways to expand their faith, to listen to their talents and delights, to speak of how God might use them in this world.
I told my four chatterboxes they had only a few years to bring about miracles of love in His name, to banish sadness and darkness and to bring about light and His life through all that they did. It gave us an excitement about every day, every lesson God was teaching, every story that we heard. The way it played out in my children's lives was different for each one.
Sarah was an incredible reader from the time she was very small. I would read volumes of books to her, and enter her into every reading program, contest and give her lots of opportunity to write. She would fill dozens of journals with her writing. I encouraged her as a message maker who would bring light to many minds. I truly believe that she will become one of the great writers of our times. Her insight and creativity and wisdom for one her age has been blessed by God. She has had to work hard, but I believe her many years of input is beginning to pay off.
Joel, had the same input in soul, with the reading and devotionals, but I noticed that he sang in perfect tune from the time he was 15 months and could do perfect harmony by the time he was three--it came naturally to him. Consequently, we encouraged him to play guitar like his dad, exposed him to lots of different music, took him to concerts, and gave him all the software and instruments we could afford when he wanted to try to produce a small album. The last years, he has composed music and worked in Los Angeles with a well-known composer, and has produced 3 albums and has now moved into creating choral music and getting his PHD at St. Andrews..
Nathan, our very extroverted child, loved people, activity and performance. Clay took him to Christian magician conferences to stretch his own skills as a stage illusionist. Sending him to the New York Film academy when he was 19 was a faith risk, but just this week, he is producing his second movie that he wrote. Because of his stepping stones to practice living into his passions, he learned to work hard to create a place where he could act, produce movies and write books that would being inspiration to his world—my Different Child, (We wrote the Different Book together), pursued his own path to bring light and hope to his world. We provided training in discipleship as he followed all of these areas in hopes of having a ministry to his generation through the arts.
Joy literally came out of the womb loving a stage. She has grown up at our conferences and never flinched when she stood up in front of hundreds of people--in plays, musicals, conferences or anywhere else. When Joy performs, I feel God's gift and pleasure in a marked way! We allowed her to have one semester of competitive speech and debate, because she is such a natural. (The other years, we had our conferences and could not do speech and debate.) Now, fast forward, Joy is completing her PHD, has developed a popular podcast and twitter following and speaks as a way of life. (He podcast is Speakingwithjoy)
We just pray for our children and support their efforts because we want to encourage them to live by faith and to invest their lives, and to own the gifts God gave to them.
I see so many moms, whether in Classical school, homeschool, public school and private school, become bogged down with the work load and curricular demands and they become hyper-focussed on “filling in the blanks and dotting every I” but they have lost the bigger picture
. But I meet few, who have invested much time in Kingdom dreams with and for their children. David became king of the slingshot--was that according to His mother's hopes and dreams? He also came to court because of his great music. Gideon was a grape stomper. Esther was a pretty orphan. Peter was a working class man. Paul was an academic. But the thing they all have in common, is that they used who and what they were for God's glory--to make a difference in the world for His kingdom.
Proverbs tells us the from the heart flow the springs of life. Jesus wanted us to live from the wells of life springing up in and through our hearts from His Spirit. If we are to take the world by God's force and light, we must learn to be dreamers, empowered and inspired by God, to bring His light to the darkness. We do this by cultivating the dreams and passions of our children's hearts.
NATHAN’S MOVIE: THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN
I will write and speak more about this in the coming months, but Nathan and I have recorded a podcast for you that we hope will encourage and inspire you to breathe in the peace of God while you exercise the hope and faith that He is at work spinning great hearts and lives while you are living and building values and messages in your every day life.
This week, Nathan’s new movie, The Unlikely Good Samaritan, comes out in a debut in a theatre in Colorado Springs and you can pick up your own copy on Amazon or in your local Walmarts. Hope it inspires you—and look for Clay and me as we play a tiny cameo appearance. So fun.