I'm not a big fan of lack.
Ever since my daughter Birdie James was born two months early at 31 weeks….I heard God give me a promise—-
She will only go from glory to glory.
The valid expertise of the NICU nurses and doctors will tell you that preemie babies will go forward, then go backward—that it's normal and to not be discouraged when it happens. And though they're entirely right, I just smiled and nodded as they gave me the news while a little voice screamed inside of my heart…..Nope, not little Birdie. She won't go backwards…she'll only go from glory to glory. That's what my God decreed over her little life, so that's what's going to happen.
And friends, this has happened beyond measure.
Not only has our little bird flown forward without regression, she has rocketed past every NICU milestone, which has helped her earn the title “Miracle Baby” from her nurses.
If you've had a preemie baby or find yourself living in the NICU (like we have for the last 3.5 weeks), or are simply parenting a human being—here's a few things I decided in the beginning of our journey that have made all the difference in the world.
1. TRUE VS. TRUTH
I adore the medical community that has worked and trained for years to be able to care for my daughter, nursing her from a tiny 3 lb 10 oz to the 5 lb 2 oz girl she is today. I am FOREVER indebted to them, and will miss their smiles, care, and instruction as the guide us through uncharted waters. But even when they tell me what is logically and medically true about my daughter, I always stop and ask another question:
“God what is YOUR TRUTH over my daughter?”
There is a huge difference in the natural world and the supernatural kingdom where I live as a citizen of heaven. And I want to always know what heaven has to say over my situation.
It's true that preemies progress, then regress. But the truth is, I heard God say she'd only go from glory to glory. Every time a true medical statement was given, I always listened to God, got a promise from Him, then turning to declare the truth over my daughter.
I would speak it out loud.
I would decree it where her spirit could hear it.
I would align my heart with the perspective of heaven.
And I wouldn't stop.
Now, don't get me wrong. I actually LIKED hearing what was normal for preemies—that it was medically possible for her tummy to bloat from week 33-35, so we believed there would be NO blood in her diaper and NO blood in her tummy after tube feedings. I liked knowing what we needed to pray and believe against, releasing the opposite over her little life.
But every time I'd hear what was true, I'd take it and use it to my advantage….listening to God, hearing what He had to say, letting it release faith into my spirit, and then declaring His truth over my baby girl.
(Example: Birdie didn't pass her first hearing test. But because I had heard the Lord tell me last year that she would “restore our song” after her sister Goldie died, I knew she would love to sing. And singing requires hearing. (: When she didn't pass her test, my husband and I looked at each other and just smiled, praying and declaring what God had told us over Birdie—without fear.
The next day, she passed her hearing test at 100 percent with no problems….just like God had said!)
2. MIRACLE MILK
If we could see with our physical eyes what the power of a blessing releases over a person, I think we'd all going around blessing everything!
Last year, I got frustrated that I couldn't eat as healthy as I wanted to while I was on the road—always limited to less-than-organic options in airports and at venues. And that's when God spoke to me….
“Christa, why don't you bless your food and ask me to supercharge it with the miracle working power of heaven.”
As I began to do this in situations where I couldn't avoid eating meals full of processed foods, pesticides, GMO's and chemicals—I started believing that God could take everything in those foods meant to harm my body, and as I blessed them with the miracle working power of the kingdom, God could turn them for good!
When I first started pumping for Birdie every 3 hours day and night, trying to get her a good supply of breast milk in the NICU, I was barely able to get anything out. I remember sitting at my pump at 2 am, frustrated that my body wasn't producing what it needed to give my daughter an abundant supply. And then, I heard the Spirt of God remind me…..
There is no lack in the kingdom of God.
I laid one hand on my head, and one arm across my chest, blessing my body to come into alignment with the abundance of heaven. I blessed my milk, asking Father to supercharge it with His power to restore and heal my daughter in RECORD time. I decreed the life of Jesus in my milk and the power of the Holy Spirit, that it would go into her little body to heal and restore. I believed that every time I pumped, I would produce an abundance of miracle milk.
Since I wasn't able to be with Birdie all the time, I would watch the video of her birth and just worship, thanking God for my beautiful healthy daughter. I wouldn't allow my body to move into frustration or fear—I'd keep my eyes on the God of who supplies ALL my needs according to His riches in glory. I did practical things like talk to a lactation consultant, getting great advice and tips on things I could do to help my milk supply. (Hand express, lactation cookies).
But in the end, I didn't have to do much extra work for very long—because from day 2 of her birth until this very moment, I can pump 6 oz in 3 minutes, and 8-9 oz in 4-5 minutes. (And mamas, you know that is CRAZY MIRACULOUS). As the abundance continues to flow, the NICU asked me two weeks ago to stop bringing my milk because they've got a freezer overflowing with it. I donated several boxes to a local mom who couldn't produce enough to feed her sick son, and this picture of the freezer in my parents garage isn't even the extent of my extra milk.
Let's just say…..at our house, we're a land flowing with miracle milk and local honey………(:
3. SING, SING, SING
While I was texting with a friend one day, she let me know that she had done a research paper in college about preemie babies and what they need to thrive.
“Physical touch and music,” she said. “Make sure you're giving her a ton of physical touch, skin to skin, and playing music for her brain development.”
Over the past month, you've probably seen a lot of shirtless pictures of my husband and very few pictures of me holding Birdie—and this is why. When we hold her, we put her heart up to ours—letting her skin feel our skin, and her heart feel our heartbeat. As I sit beside her, I sing, sing, sing….having a playlist of my favorite worship songs on constant repeat over her NICU crib. If Luke and I are sitting with her, we're worshiping. If she's in our arms, we're singing blessings over her spirit.
We've believed for an open heaven over our daughter in the NICU, and that it would spill over into that place and pour into the other babies, into their parents, and all the nurses and doctors. We know what the power of worship does—releasing the presence of a perfect God into any situation—and as we worship, Birdie's heart is affected…..
But so is her physical body.
We believe that worship and the sound of heaven resounds within every cell of her body—creating life, healing, and growth. We believe that as the sound goes forth, creation happens. We believe that as the truth is declared over her physical body, it explodes with life.
And this is happening.
Every day that we come in, our Birdie has jumped up in weight. Her cheeks are chubby and huge. Her body has grown out of her preemie clothes and into newborn clothes. And as the sound of heaven is released over our daughter, her physical DNA, down to the cellular level, comes into alignment with that kingdom.
The kingdom of healing, wholeness, and abundant life.
There is so much more I can say, which is why this needs to be a series. And your baby doesn't have to be premature or in the NICU for you to start releasing these practical tips over your infants and children. As parents, we've been commissioned with the greatest task on earth….to father and mother God's most precious creations–His kids. This is my greatest role on earth, and one that I take very seriously.
I'm not the protector of my child–God is.
I'm not the provider for my child–God is.
I'm not the healer of my child–God is.
But as I surrender my children into the hands of the Father every day, asking Him to show me how to partner with Him to nurture, pray for, raise, and love my kids…..
The Counselor sure is a good teacher. And I simply can't figure out how people parent without Him.
Friends, declare LIFE over your children today. Lay hands on them and bless them, no matter how old they are. Lay hands on yourself and declare that your body, your life, and your being will bring them closer to Jesus—producing miracles in a natural world. Sing over them—releasing the sound of heaven. Pray over them, believing God's promises.
Greatly loved children who experience the miraculous at an early age grow up to be adults who supernaturally love the world. And as a parent, you get to be your kids introduction to this new kingdom—the kingdom of heaven that doesn't make sense to our earthly minds, but can explode within hearts that are filled with faith.
Expect miracles today in your families, dear friends. Because the God living inside of you is waiting to release them. (:
“I pray over you a release of the blessings of God's undeserved kindness and total well-being (health, prosperity, peace, and total well-being) that flows from our Father-God and from the Lord Jesus.” Galatians 1:3