I Raised Millennials

The Silent Generation. Baby Boomers. Generation X. Millennials. Generation Z. Each name represents a group of people born during a specific time frame. And each group has become known by certain characteristic traits. But none have been tagged or labeled more openly than perhaps the most recent two groups as social media is used to spread opinions at whim.

Little over a year ago, I saw a picture that was being shared on social media. It depicted a pickup truck loaded with bales of hay sitting in the middle of a beautiful open field. The tag line boasted how older generations knew what REAL work was. And the sad insight to me was that a pastor had shared the picture and was agreeing with the comparison of the hard work of farm life to the ‘lazy youth’ of today who know more about technology than doing chores. And the post most likely was shared from his own technical device.

As I sat looking at the post, so many thoughts went rushing through my mind. First, who’s duty is it to teach the next generation about chores and responsibilities? We cannot blame one generation for not achieving what the previous generation never taught or set as a goal.

Second, if we want to have younger generations visiting and joining our churches, then we need to make sure they feel welcomed and not judged. Christ said told us that others will know us by our love. If a visiting young adult walks into your church, enjoys the service, but wants to know more about the vision or the pastor, he probably will check out social media. If he sees a post that is talking down ‘this generation of youth’, he may feel all the judgement that he already experiences in the world. Chances are, he will not visit your church again.


It is easy for me to have grace on these three as I know what formed their thinking.

Third, I RAISED MILLENNIALS! When I read posts about millennials, I think of my own now grown kids. Looking at the pastor’s post that day, I wanted to add a comment that he just lumped my kids into that group. And my kids were following a weekly chore list at an early age. Each of them have visited third world countries spreading the gospel. I taught them to be real and authentic. In teaching them to be authentic, they came to realize how to recognize duplicity. Yes, they have a completely different mindset in many areas of life than I do even though they have held fast to the things we taught them. Why? Because their millennial world is vastly different than the world my generation remembers.


“We cannot blame one generation for not achieving what the previous generation never taught or set as a goal.”

Serving our community.

This generation needs us to be real. They need us to show them the love of Jesus. When the widow gave just a penny in the temple’s offering bucket, the leaders looked down on her. But Christ did not. Christ saw the reason behind the small amount. He realized she gave all she had. He understood what formed her thinking. What would it look like if we chose to see others through Christ’s perspective? What if our first response to someone’s actions was not judgmental but with the question of, “I wonder what happened to them in life to cause this?” Or how about asking our Father, “Is there a way I can help them discover more of their life in You?”

Amos 3:7 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”

Serving orphans in Haiti.

I want to be known for seeking God’s perspective first before I ever judge in my heart or speak judgement from my lips. If God chooses to reveal secrets to His prophets, won’t He also reveal hurting hearts to those who want to help them heal? After all, He knows all and sees all. Let’s ask Him today for His vision!


Love their fun personalities!


1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”

On more than one occasion, God has given my husband flash visions to reveal to him an incident that happened in someone’s life. Often it has been for strangers, such as a waiter or waitress serving at our table. The vision gave my husband an open door to share the love of Christ to a hurting soul.

Serving others in Africa.

Ask Him today to reveal what is hidden and to give you His vision. Let’s reach the world around us!

Care for the Heart

Jesus is the key to broken hearts.

Sitting across the table from a young mom, I listened to as she shared her story of shock, pain and grief. A twenty-four-hour whirlwind that forever changed her life. I recognized that no words spoken by me would ‘fix’ her situation. While my nearly untouched coffee became cold, my heart was beating with a desire to turn back the clock and rewrite her story with a different outcome. But life doesn’t work that way no matter how much we may desire it.

After pouring out in detail the events she walked through less than a year prior, she shared the journey she has been on since. Disillusionment. Grasping for understanding. She keeps life turning for her family while balancing her own emotions – and still grasping the reality of what happened. Listening to this young woman as a friend, my heart ached for her with each detail. Listening to her as a pastor, it brought so much more depth of understanding to the need I see for the body of Christ to create ‘safe places’ for the broken hearts around us.

Safe haven. That should be a great definition of the body of Christ. Yet reality often reminds us that the body of Christ is made up of humans that sometimes miss the mark.

Like when tragic events happen.

Too often we have a heart that just wants to see the other person healed. To see their situation turn around and make sense. In our true concern and desire to help, we go into autopilot with our words and actions. We grasp at the first thought that comes to mind as we desperately want to bring comfort. After all, we know all the Christian idioms, right?

“God has a plan.”

“It was their time.”

“He would not give you more than you can handle.”

“It must have been in His will.”

Sound familiar? Words that have meaning as they stand alone. Yet these words can also sound empty even as we speak them. Why? When words are spoken in autopilot mode and not Spirit breathed, they become as ‘sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.’ Each of these statements have truth. But unless they are ‘God breathed‘ for that time, place and person, they will fall to the floor empty. Those empty words can even pierce a heart with pain.

We are admonished to be ‘quick to listen and slow to speak.’ What would the body of Christ look like if we listened to each other completely? All the way. Allowing the story to flow freely and having our minds completely engaged with the conversation. Undistracted by our cellular devices or even our own running thoughts.

Although it was over twenty years ago, I can still hear the ‘comforting’ words of a dear friend after my miscarriage. “You are not the first person to have lost a child.” And as she walked away, I picked up my bleeding heart. That was an obvious statement. Yet I was grasping with more than the grief of losing my baby. Our church had been in the middle of a revival. Miracles had been happening. And we had chosen to delay the DNC in order to stand and believe for God’s healing touch. Now, I was not only grieving but facing the disappointment of not having my prayer answered. Not having the miracle others were seeing. What action gave me the most comfort? The friend who just came. The one who just was. No words needed. Just their presence. That action showed me their love for me was bigger than their need to help me.

Sometimes we are not ready to answer questions. Instead, we sneak in a church service late and sit in the back in hopes to hide. We are not ready for the questions or comments. The group of loved ones surrounding us for prayer can be smothering if we are not ready. So how do others that really love you know when to run to you and when to just sit and pray for you? When they take time to pause and listen to the Spirit’s whispered voice.

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

In this month where our society celebrates love, let’s examine our hearts. Do we love each other enough to stop, breath in the Spirit, listen to His counsel, and speak slowly? When reading the stories of Jesus, He doesn’t seem to be in a rush when He is giving answers. He didn’t even rush to Mary and Martha when their brother died. But He always did what His Father showed Him to do in a situation. Remember the the accusing crowd that brought an adulterous woman to Christ for judgement? He didn’t rush to answer but breathed in His Father’s thoughts, starting writing in the dirt, and made one comment. The crowd turned away. The situation diffused. All because He operated WITH His Father and the Spirit.

May we continue to grow in being Jesus with skin on!

Never Alone

Many times in life we feel alone. Whether we are just dealing with our own emotions or if the truth is we are in a desert place in life, it has left us needing a voice of encouragement. When we find ourselves in need of that person in the flesh to help us think things through clearly but we have no one at our side, we still have One constant in life. Our Father. 

Moses was on the backside of a desert when God called him. He gave his reasons why it was impossible to obey. But God reassured him.

Ex 4:12 “Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”

Mentoring is about being there for each other. It’s teaching life lessons one on one and walking the visions out together. But when life’s road takes a different path than what out thoughts had painted in our minds, there is still that Mentor of our souls who is with us. He will teach us. Sometimes His teaching will come from our time spent with Him. Other times He will place in front of us tools for us to learn from. There have been many times in life where I was unsure how to accomplish a task before me. But then I saw someone else doing the same thing and I watched from a distance, took notes, and asked my heavenly Mentor how to adapt those tools for my personal task at hand.

We are to be walking in this life together. We should be actively involved in mentoring. But more importantly, we should always remember Who is to be our most important mentor of our hearts and souls. Our Father. Abba. God with us! Always our constant voice of encouragement. Take time to listen for Him today.

Destiny’s Voice










Each of us has different giftings. And each has a different calling. That is why Paul taught about the various roles within the body of Christ. Some are pastors. Some teachers. Prophets. Apostles. Some are given to hospitality. Each are valuable.



While raising our kids, we had to realize that how we disciplined each individually did not always look the same. They each had a different personality and responded to our means of correction in a different way. God created us individually.



When speaking into the lives of those around us, we need to be able to recognize THEIR individual calling. It might not look like our own. When that happens, it is important to affirm THEIR gift and who they are. Don’t try to fit others into our specific God designed box. Pause and ask God to show you how special they are to Him. Celebrate who they are called to be.

Make it Simple

I am loving being a Nonna. And I treasure time with my little ones…..and treasure their lives. When my husband, Raphael Anzivino, showed me this picture of my granddaughter in the middle of the neighborhood girls, the first thought that came was, “and a little child shall lead them.”

Jesus was the Child born to lead His people. Yet the concept is still the same and ties to us having ‘faith as a child.’ Children take things at face value. Children are wet cement that will be molded by our words and actions. Children are often more sensitive to those around them and sense hurt, danger or joy.

Too often we complicate things when mentoring. Truth is, our actions and words still can mold a life or situation. Each life is important enough for me to treasure just as I do my grandkids. I don’t complicate time with the kids. Let’s not complicate how we mentor those we are influencing in life. Paint a simple picture. Just do life together.

Follow His Lead

We have all experienced the salesman at our door doing their best to convince us that we NEED their product. Yet most of us send them away with, “No, thank you.” And we close the door while watching them walk away.

But not God. When He sends us from one place to another, He doesn’t close the door on us. He goes with us. At times, we clearly see Him leading the way. Other times, we seem to not have the strength to go on. That’s when He carries us. And, yes, at times it seems He is silent…..no where to be found. But over and over in His Word we read His promise, “…..and I will be with you.” And later we see that He was present the entire time.

He never sends us away without going with us. And to pattern our lives after Him, we should continue to walk through situations WITH those in our lives. Not shut the door on them because we don’t want to be bothered. It might be through just an encouraging note or phone call to say, “What can I pray with you about?” But no matter how small the gesture seems to us, to the person being sent into new places, it could be the wind in their sails.

Speak Life

Screenshot_20180702-045356_GoogleEvery thing we do matters to God.  Every word we say counts.  He is listening.

And yes.  Each of us are ‘big enough’ to get in God’s way.  No.  We are not bigger than Him.  But our pride, arrogance, or even fear can be big enough to alter His divine plan for us.  How can I say this?  Because I see it throughout the Bible.

First story that comes to my mind is Miriam.  Numbers 12 tells us that she and Aaron were complaining about Moses’ Ethiopian wife.  Although we do not read what the exact complaint was, God heard it.  And Miriam must have had more to say than Aaron did because God took action towards her.  Result: Miriam’s attitude kept an entire nation at a standstill for a week.  Over 2 million people were effected because of the attitude of one person!  And on top of that, they all knew she was now covered with a vile disease and made to sit outside the camp.  Outside.  Alone.  In the sight of  two million people.  Talk about pressure!  And humility.  All ego is lost on that one!!

Next – Canaan.  Moses sent a group to look over the land and bring back a report.  Only two reported in God’s favor.  The rest saw defeat.  Here was a nation that had just seen an entire sea part in order for them to walk across.  And on dry land.  No mud.  Before the dry sea experience, they watched Egypt’s plaques fall from God’s hand.  But now they were declaring defeat and saying they would die in the wilderness.  God heard their words.  Instead of gaining a life in the land God promised them, they died in the wilderness.   Why?  Because of their own words.  God clearly tells Moses what He will do.  Numbers 14:28,  “So tell them that as long as I live-consider this to be an oracle from the LORD-as certainly as you’ve spoken right into my ears, that’s how I’m going to treat you.” (ISV)   From our lips to God’s ears!  For that group, their complaining sentenced them to life and death in the wilderness.

What about Job’s  friends?  They did not speak encouraging words to Job, but attempted to analyze the situation with their opinions of  why Job was going through his trial.  Ever been there?  I recall a time of feeling as if I had to jump through one more hoop, repent of one more sin or attitude, or pray in another manner, all to get the outcome I was seeking.  Yet none of the voices around me actually had God’s take on my situation.  Just opinions.  Job’s friends found out God’s thoughts on their opinions when God’s voice thundered down, demanding their repentance.  God defended His own name.  And He defended Job, the man whom the others were determined had sinned and caused the trials in his life.  Again, can you imagine hearing God, and everyone in the room hearing Him, audibly rebuke you from heaven?  Lesson learned!

Then there was Saul.  He couldn’t wait for Samuel before killing the lamb.  One more hour.  That was all.  If he had waited one more hour, Samuel would have arrived to offer the needed sacrifice.  But he chose to make a sacrifice himself.  Result?  A nation was divided into two kingdoms.

David.  His sin caused the death of his baby and an uprising in his own family.

Thankfully we have examples of positive altering of time as well.  King Hezekiah gained 15 years to his life! Just because he turned his face to You and through tears made his appeal.  Abigail’s quick action to appeal to David saved him from killing Nabal.  Sun stood still for Joshua.  The Canaanite woman cried out for her daughter’s healing and stood her ground when her lowly status was mentioned.  Her actions were seen as faith and her daughter was healed.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Proverbs 18:21 

Words really do matter.  It’s like that moment of heaviness among a group of friends, until, out of nowhere, one person makes a comment that releases a breath of joy.  The result of encouraging words bring relief to those that hear them.

 

A few moths ago I started dwelling on this topic.  I had read a post stating something to the effect of, “God is too big for you to get in His way.”  It seemed so profound to me at the time.  Not long after reading it, I sat across a room with another couple.  He must have seen the same post.  His wife was concerned that they were in God’s way of a matter they had been praying about.  He looked at her and asked, “Do you really believe you are big enough to get in God’s way?”  And I started thinking of their situation, recalling the prophetic words they had been given and the circumstances that had blocked those words from coming forth.  That’s when I realized, yes.  We CAN get in His way.

See, God will never break man’s will.  He gave us free will for a purpose.  And there are times that other people’s involvement can change our outcome. We’ve all been there.  That time when we were given prophetic words that never came to pass.  And sometimes we look back and realize it didn’t happen because not everyone involved cooperated with the Spirit.  Unfair?  Often, yes.  But God will always find a way to refine us through those disappointing times.

As I have weighed this out recently, my goal has become that of choosing to speak life.  If I believe God will give me what I say, then I want to speak what is good.  But the key is also to speak what He speaks, then we know we are speaking forth what is to be HIS will in a situation.  What if each of us vowed to be ‘slow to speak and quick to listen’?  What if each of us kept our spirits open to the voice or nudging of the Holy Spirit before we spoke?  Could we really make a difference in our situations?  Or change the atmosphere around us?  The thought that my words can have a ripple effect on the future is powerful!  Every action, every word, it all matters.  We either speak life into a situation or we speak death.  And  God gave us the ultimate example of speaking life.  He SPOKE this world into being!!

Let’s speak life!!  Let’s change the future for the positive!  Let’s align our words with the Spirit and bring about God’s plans for our lives!  Let’s be like Hezekiah and add God’s blessing to our lives today!!