Good morning Monday readers! Today we carry on with our mini series, "Raising your kids up in faith." As you will read this morning, this gal Kacy has always been an amazing influence to me. I always have looked at Kacy as a "super mom" with her daughter, Austyn. I admired the way Kacy was teaching her daughter to live, and move and breath in God's goodness! I only met Kacy a few years back and really have started to get to know her better lately. She is truly a joy to be around. Not only is she an amazing wife and mom, she is an amazing friend and teacher. Kacy helps lead little ones into worship and the word in our church's Extreme Kids Ministry. Her heart for God pours out onto everyone around her and she constantly exudes joy! She is such an authentic worshipper (yes, I always look for her while worshipping on stage because her praise is so exuberant I love it... a true worshipper). I know you will enjoy getting to know her and her family just as much as I have. Coming from Kacy:
Most importantly our family does not take themselves very seriously! I am not exactly shy, so Austyn has grown up with a mom who wishes life was one big musical. I have been known to dance in the grocery store and sing my sentences instead of speaking them! "Dork” is a term of endearment and something to be proud of in our home. Her dad is a little more buttoned up in public, but don’t let that fool you, he is a big kid! He takes Austyn to ride horses, loves cartoons, and is a master practical joker. One of his favorite past times is jumping out from behind corners to see how loud he can make us scream. We are a very close family and spend lots of time together. Austyn has 20+ aunts and uncles who spoil the heck out of her and is really close to her grandparents. We love to travel and try to make it to see at least one new place per year.
How does Austyn's upbringing in Christ look like compared to how you and your husband were raised?
My husband had a very traditional upbringing in Church; they went to Church 3 times a week and he knew all of the "Sunday school stories." But, he says it differed quite a bit because it was so traditional and was not "spiritual." There was a way to pray, rules to follow, etc. but God and prayer were always part of their family and just what you did growing up.
I wasn't really raised in Church. I remember Sunday school a few times but it was when I was really young and then we just stopped going. It wasn't until I was older and out of the house that I found out who God really was and really got on fire for Him.
Austyn was born into a home and Church family (Kersey Cowboy Church) where everyone was completely in love with Jesus. The church we attended when she was born was really like family. She was able to pray on the stage, sing on stage in Church, and it was just second nature to be a part of a Church where love came first. It really helped her to understand the love of God because growing up she was surrounded by people that showered her with love and affection.
How did you start to foster such a strong giving & helping spirit in Austyn?
First, by praying for her and over her constantly and thanking God for the gift He gave us when we became her parents. Then, by never setting limits! She was given freedom in her faith and her prayers. We never wanted to make God "kid sized" and so whenever we would pray or talk to her about God it was the same way we would talk to an adult. We read out of a family devotional, and did an adult Bible study on David. Some of it was pretty mature but she got it. We have always told her that God has huge plans for her and a vision for her life. Right now at 6 years old that means she is going to be a pilot so she can live in Hawaii and be a missionary in Guatemala all while being a paleontologist in both places...we say, "GO FOR IT!" If she grows up thinking there are no limits to who she can be, it's easy for her to understand there are no limits on what God can do in her life.
Tell us about a special moment or moments where you saw God using Austyn and working through her?
Prayer is definitely one area; she prays with wisdom and authority and power. People are constantly calling, texting, or emailing asking for us to have Austyn pray for something specific. There have been a number of times she has prayed for healing or breakthroughs and THEY HAPPEN. One of the first times I remember was when my parents dog got hit by a car; I witnessed it happen and it was pretty bad, he got hit head on by the bumper and went under the car. Austyn started praying in the car to the pet hospital that he would be healed and when we got to the hospital that little dog was fine! No broken bones, no internal injuries, just a little sore...it was AMAZING!
She also has very prophetic dreams and visions. Sometimes it will be as simple as "mom, God just told me we need to call uncle TJ and tell him to wear his seatbelt" - and of course we call right away to share the message. Or they will have very deep meaning. She often prays that her eyes would be healed and she wouldn't need glasses; at one point in particular she was feeling really low so we had been praying over it every night before bed; that night she went to sleep and woke up running into my bedroom to tell me about the dream she had. She was in a beautiful, colorful, garden with Jesus and an angel. The garden had more colors than she could describe and was the most beautiful place she had ever seen. To her that was God's way of telling her that her earthly eyes aren’t perfect but He has given her eyes that see more.
How do you encourage her in her faith and how to walk out listening and acting upon the Holy Spirit?
Lead by example. We invite God into every situation, we praise Him, we worship Him, and we talk to Him constantly. Sometimes that's me praying, "God forgive me for what I just thought about that other driver, help me to see them like you do." LOL! Or "Man, God must love us so much to make those beautiful mountains for us to look at." I figure if she hears me praying and praising then she knows she can pray over everything too.
Also (the most important part) making a big deal about what Holy Spirit tells her. Whatever she sees/hears/is told to do, as long as it is in line with God's word, we help her do. I also always try to make a big deal about it. When she was two years old she told me there was an angel in the car talking to her...I told her it was amazing and she was so lucky to get to see that! We never down play something as "make believe" or overreacting. If she shares something from her heart that God is saying then we make sure she knows how special it is and that He picked her for a reason.
Do you have any extra input on raising your kids up in Faith?
The best tool on raising a "Kingdom Kid" came from a teacher named Lisa Max who is from Colorado but works at Bethel Church in CA. She was giving a workshop and started talking about teaching kids to discern the "three voices." We all have three voices in our heads:
1) The voice of the enemy - who speaks lies, hurt, anger, and always makes us think and feel bad.
2) Our own voice - it's all about me, me, me and makes us jealous, or selfish, and doesn't think about others
3) The voice of God - always positive, speaks love, builds people up, always makes us feel good
So, using that as a tool; when she starts throwing a fit about something or is feeling really bad about herself I ask her "whose voice is in your head right now?" Then I have her close her eyes and imagine a chalkboard in her brain. Then we picture erasing those thoughts that aren’t positive and writing what God says about it instead. Then we pray about what God says about her. He loves her, He made her beautiful, He made her smart, He made her powerful, and He gave her everything she could ever need, etc. It's been a really good tool that helps to turn her head and refocus her attention on Heaven instead of what the world says about things.
I am so thrilled that Kacy was able to share this! I love "raising a Kingdom kid." I am definitely going to have to use that for my son. What an amazing way to describe different things with your children. I personally think we all need to be doing that!
Well that's all for now!
Till next time, XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste