I do not mean a bad day, but a season where you weren’t sure you would make it? A season where pain, words, betrayal, disappointment, and discouragement knocked you down so low, you weren’t sure you would ever rise again? Yeah, that season. We must must must forgive the people who are on their journey and say and do things out of an orphan place, but after true forgiveness comes a season of rebuilding what was lost or stolen in the previous season. Sometimes we get thrown into the pit and bound up. Not because of something we have done but what was done to us. It may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility to get back up. So many of you have walked through brutal chapters in your story, and your hearts have found peace again, but in the midst of the battle, you have lost your voice, confidence, and empowerment. There is nothing wrong with you being in this season, as long as you are owning your journey and not allowing it as an excuse to stay down or quiet. The world needs YOU at your fullest, and you owe it to yourself to keep fighting, climbing, believing, and clinging to Him. You will find your voice, confidence, and empowerment again, but with a renewed sense of resolve because you have overcome great odds!
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THROUGH A BRUTAL SEASON?
I am a firm believer in planting seeds. I have great confidence in God’s ability to water the seeds and grow them in His timing, but my job is to plant as many seeds as I can. I heard a powerful testimony from a pastor years ago about having a personal possession stolen, and he prayed, “I want my knife back,” and had a wild story of how he got it back. I told the kids about it to plant a seed of how to respond when you lose something that is rightfully yours. Months ago, Emma lost her two rings, including her purity ring. She took them off in Colorado to wash the dishes and never found them after that. We had seven pairs of eyes searching high and low and could not find them. When we moved to North Carolina, and they were not found, she realized she had lost them for good until she was reminded to pray, “I want my rings back!” Lauren was organizing her room and looked down by her bed and found two rings that she didn’t recognize as hers. She picked them up and yelled, “EMMA! You got your rings back!” Not even sure how that happened, but I have a daughter who is rejoicing over her prayers being answered.
I have some GOOD NEWS for you. This is NOT another parenting group. I am not going to tell you how to parent or if you should: breastfeed or bottle feed, vaccinate or hibernate, circumcise or exercise. I am not going to tell you what you could, would or should do. Not going to tell you what a Christian home does or doesn’t look like, sound like, or smell like, if your home should have iPhones or no phones, or if you should spank, time out, or ground for a year. If you should homeschool, do public school. I am not going to tell you if your children should be gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, or dirt free!!! But I AM going to remind you often that there is ONLY ONE PERSON who knows what is best for you and your family… So, let’s ask Him!
Messages like this make me jump up in my seat and give God a massive high five. A little girl is learning to trust her Father.
“I am feeling so encouraged and equipped to help my kids more and more. I’ve been practicing myself, and though I stumble over the words, something is getting through. Yesterday, my daughter could not find her special puppy and blanket. Instead of calling me immediately, she said that she tried to push back fear and kept asking God to show her where it was. For a brief moment, I felt bad that she hadn’t come to me asking for help, but then I rejoiced seeing how BIG of a thing that was for her! She was not consumed and paralyzed (like usual); she drew strength from going to Jesus first and asking for Him to show her. She did find it, and this morning we celebrated her victory over fear and her growth in going to Jesus and hearing him!”
I had an encounter with the Lord that left me in tears for 48 hours. My soul was agitated and frustrated, and I even said, “Either I am going to quit, or God is bringing me to death.” I spent a whole day pressing in, talking with wise counselors, and seeking Him. Finally, the revelation came and revealed an area I have been out of alignment in. Not ‘sin,’ but a belief that I was modeling my life after what wasn’t His heart. A lie so deeply entrenched it shaped my view of Him. When we are out of alignment, we create landing places for the enemy to use and influence us. Think of a disc in your spine being out of alignment – it will affect many areas of your body. Alignment matters! It would be so easy to lament and ask God why on earth did He wait 27 years to reveal that to me? It would have shaved off years of pain, confusion, and heartbreak to have been aligned years – no, decades – ago. But that is not the Father’s heart. He is not interested in airlifting us over the ocean, dropping us in the middle just to call us ‘deep.’ He is interested in the journey, the process, and the discovery together. I feel like some of you have cursed your process with words such as, “I should be further along than I am,” “I should be over this by now,” “I will never be free of this,” “I will never measure up to where others are at,” “Freedom is not for me,” etc. Break agreement with these lies and allow Jesus to be your guide one step at a time. He knows what He is doing with your life and will never ever be a day early or a minute too late. I bless your JOURNEY!
One of the most vulnerable households for child sexual assault is the house that is run by ‘because I said so,’ and a legalistic one because they operate out of a list of rules and total parental authority and often fail to listen to the child. Children cannot hold in such a horrendous lie and/or the worry that abuse causes. They might not come right out and say that XYZ happened, but they will let it leak out, and we need ears to LISTEN TO THEM!
Here is a sad but true example: A little 4th grader came home from his youth group in a foul mood. The mom repeatedly disciplined him for his attitude, but he would not shake it. Finally, she asked him how youth group went, and he said, “I hated it.” She replied that he must go anyway because it was expected of him. He yelled out that his teacher was gay, and the mother swooshed him to his bedroom for talking inappropriately about someone. Had the mother listened to the child, she would have seen that he used to love youth group, and the sudden change warranted investigation. When a young child talks about an adult being gay, it should warrant you to find out why the child thinks that way, how he knows that of the youth leader, etc. If she had only asked and inquired deeper, she would have learned that her son was molested that night, only to come home and be disciplined for not wanting to return. I call it ‘pulling on the rope.’ When a child makes a harsh comment, pull on the rope by asking WHY questions. Not all ill words are a character issue; sometimes, they are flags waving to get our attention.
Wrap your heart around this statement, “When this whole thing is over (whatever that means), I want to come out of it so hungry I don’t even recognize myself.”
I had a dream. We were having a gorgeous church potluck-style gathering in a massive lodge. There was so much activity going on, from bean bag tosses to archery to great food. Everyone was lively and having a great time. Something caught my eye, and I wandered outside, where I found these larger-than-life boulders that you had to climb down a bit to get to this raging bonfire that radiated heat. It was memorizing. Many fires were going on, but each required some effort to get close to it. I was lonely outside by myself, so I decided to go back to where the party was, but as I did, I noticed a fire at the end that was really bright, and I wondered if it was unmanaged or even getting out of control. I hiked to it and found the most beautiful fire sitting all by itself. It felt so strange to have a fire with no one around. I wanted to be with the people but couldn’t abandon the fire. I woke up and heard the Lord say, “My people do not know how to be entertained by MY fire.” There has been a profound invitation to be still and at peace with His fire and to allow it to transform as fire transforms whatever it consumes. I am finding a place of peace I am not sure I have ever encountered.
How about you? Are you still longing for the party, or have you wandered alone to the fire?
“Hi Lisa! I have newly discovered your presence and am loving your posts and the way you approach parenting. We’ve had this in our hearts and have purposes to parent this way, but it can feel overwhelming without extra help. I love the prompts you give and the practical, real-life examples. Thank you! I just bought Heart Splinters and am slowly working through it. I have three beautiful boys. Our oldest was diagnosed with arthritis when he was 3. He lost the ability to walk and was in therapy for a year, along with multiple shots per week. He is 10 now and is completely fine! We know the Lord healed him (and blessed us with good doctors), but I can see some heart splinters regarding God and feeling like everything bad happens to him. Yesterday, he said something about this, and I said, ‘You know, I have this book called Heart Splinters. Maybe we can look at it together? I think you may have some heart splinters.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I think I do. We should do that.’ Sorry for the long message, but I’m just really excited to have found a tool to touch those places I wasn’t sure how to get to but knew they were there.”
I hear this ALL the time – a person falls radically in love with Jesus and has excellent ‘quiet times.’ They get up early and spend tons of undivided time with Him, and they have a close relationship. The kids come, and soon those quiet moments together give way to sleepless nights and the demands of their new addition. As time passes, the relationship suffers, and they begin to feel exhausted, dry, and burned out. They begin to feel guilty for not investing hours into their relationship with God, which only makes them feel worse. The time we spend with our children in this season is 24/7, but there is a Biblical command to let them leave and cleave to their future mates, meaning our 24/7 relationship will transition into a new way of connecting and relating, yet the love and relationship are still there!
Could it be God intended all along for our time with Him to be transitioned, as well, when the baby comes? Do we not think that God KNEW that our relationship with Him would change when He gave us the gift of our child? Instead of feeling guilty that your former way of relating to Jesus isn’t working, ask Him to show you what the NEW looks like.
“Jesus, I miss our times together. I miss knowing You and feeling Your presence. I miss our deep connection. Will You please show me what our relationship and time together look like in this season?”
Be blessed with the fact that your relationship is growing, changing, and being transformed into something NEW!
Friends, as bloody, bruised, and betrayed as you may feel, you have got to walk your path to Calvary. Only in that place can you truly rise again. We must must must teach our children to be quick to let go of hurts and offenses, like the hot potato game. It’s okay that you caught it but feel the heat and toss it off of you quickly.