One day, I was super-duper stressed and couldn’t get the kids in their rooms fast enough so that I could have a date with Jesus. I saw the kids as a hindrance to my very serious issues that needed to be resolved. The first thing I heard God say to me was this, “Lisa, what you need now is JOY, and I have given you four bundles of it. You push them away when you are stressed, but what you really need is MORE of what they carry.” Gulp! Out of pure obedience, I called them all up and announced that we would be playing a family game. My heart was so heavy, and finally, my daughter said that she could tell I didn’t really want to be there. I apologized and just told her that I needed “Heaven’s joy to come down on me.” My son (then 6) stood up on his chair, motioned his arms outstretched towards heaven, and said, “Joy, come NOW,” and then threw his hands towards me. He did this in a child-like chanting manner over and over. I was about to scold him for standing on that chair, which is against our house rules! Right before my mouth opened, my daughter, Ellie (then 4), got up on her chair and joined him. Argh! This was not how I wanted to deal with my heavy burden. Then my other daughter got up. I was about to come unglued. My religious spirit was highly offended, and this was way too much child-like foolishness for my serious state; PLUS, they were breaking the rules by standing on the furniture!!! When my last daughter arose to join them, I heard the Spirit say, “Join them!” Oh, come on! There was no way this heavy-hearted mama was going to get up and partner with such foolishness. A millisecond later, I was on my chair with my hands outstretched for heaven, and before I could pull it down, such JOY splashed all over me like a tsunami. I was overcome with peaceful joy and laughter. It went on for nearly fifteen minutes. I was so tuckered out after that, and my belly ached from laughter. Oh, sweet Jesus, thank You for teaching me that worry and fret do not add an ounce of victory to what YOU have already done for me. Thank You for teaching me that Your Kingdom is righteous, full of PEACE and JOY, and if I truly want Your will to be done, I get to go play and rest while You take care of all the details.
BUNDLES OF JOY
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
Someone needs to ask this question. Ask, “Jesus, how are You defending me in this season?”
Psalm 62:5-8 – “I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector and shelter. So trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for He is our refuge.”
Learning to shift my focus is what really helps me in times of earthly stress. Say it is a money issue. I do not focus on the need for money to come in (which would seem the proper response). Instead, I focus on His goodness as my Husband. When I need something, my eyes and faith aren’t on the end result, but on HIM. Instead of praying, “Jesus, I need x-amount of money by Thursday. Please send the money.” I focus on, pray, and declare, “God, YOU alone are MY Provider.” See the difference? One keeps our eyes on the lack/need, while the other keeps our eyes on Him. The latter is the place of FAITH and REST. God whispered to me years ago to “enroll them” (meaning my kids at a Christian school in CA). That is all He said. Nine months of fear and doubt followed. Worry was on one side, and God’s gentle whisper on the other – I had to choose which one I was going to partner with. After I sold our house in Colorado, said my goodbyes, and drove four children across the country, the school called to say there wasn’t any room for them and asked what my plan B was. At that moment, my entire world could have crashed. I thought about the question and realized there was NO plan B because I wasn’t striving to make plans happen. I only had what God told me. My eyes weren’t on them getting into the school or not; my eyes were on GOD’S GOODNESS. He told me what to do, I did it, and whatever He had for us would be good because He is a good Father, Husband, and Provider. A week later, the school called back to say there was room for the children. Of course, there was; God told me to enroll them. Do we have a plan B when circumstances squeeze us? Either God is good, or He isn’t. Either He is our Provider, or He isn’t. Either He is love, or He isn’t. We can’t pick and choose when we want to take Him off the shelf and when we want to put Him back on it.
“I came to Lisa because I was finally ready to admit something that was extremely painful. There was an apparent disconnect between myself and my oldest daughter, and I did not love her like my other child. Something in my life held me back from embracing her wholeheartedly. I remember holding her as an infant and not bonding with her; fear would not allow me to snuggle and kiss her. I was terrified of her dying of SIDS. As my wife and I met Lisa, she walked me through a beautiful process with the Holy Spirit of identifying when I first let fear into my life (before this session with Lisa, I hadn’t even considered this incident in 30 years). I was now able to forgive the family member and be set free from living under fear. That night right before bedtime, I sat down with my oldest daughter, looked her in the eyes, and said, ‘I have something important I want to tell you. When you were first born, I was so afraid that something bad could happen to you that I put up a wall of protection around my heart. Do you forgive me for not loving you with my whole heart?’ She said yes, and we hugged. I honestly don’t think that we have ever embraced like that in the seven years of her little life. Not only did the wall come down in my heart, but the wall in her heart came down. Presently my daughter and I are experiencing new levels of peace and freedom that, up until then, I had been jealous of. I have grieved for these moments, and now we are becoming whole.”
“Last night my husband startled me so badly that I became so enraged and punched him, which is unlike me because I’m not much of a physical person. I was so angry I wanted to cry. This morning God revealed to me how I felt an extreme lack of protection from my father. My dad always thought it was funny to scare the living daylights out of me. He wasn’t trying to torment me. He was playing, but for me, the way I am wired, it was torment. I had to forgive my dad for not protecting me and not making me feel safe and secure. Ahhhh!! Sweet relief!”
A lady in her 40’s was so paralyzed by groups that she would not attend classes, go to Bible studies, church, restaurants, or anywhere else where large groups gathered. Finally, she could not take the isolation anymore and began seeking help. When they asked Jesus to show her the first time she felt paralyzed by a large group, she recalled the story of when she was just three years old and remembered feeling loved and secure with her large family. They were at her house, and there was a lot of excitement and love, but on a particular day, when she walked into the room, they all hushed really quickly, and she could tell that something was wrong. They all just stared at her, and the silence was paralyzing and awkward for her. For years the question, “What is wrong with me?” haunted her. Jesus showed her that the family was in town for her surprise birthday party and that they were all discussing how they would surprise her. When she walked in, they all got silent, not wanting to ruin the surprise.
Doesn’t that story break your heart? ONE lie for FORTY years! But this is what I want you to see – when the heart splinter (in this case, a lie of “what is wrong with me?”) entered, it was the PARENTS who surely saw a change in their daughter. You cannot believe a lie like that and not have it change how you think, feel and act. Had the parents been empowered to help her, the splinter could have been pulled in childhood.
How many of you struggle with anger in your parenting? If you do, this teaching is for you. If you don’t have time to watch, simply listen along while you go about your day. Too busy? Watch/listen in ten-minute sections. Holy Spirit wants to minister to your heart in the area of anger. His reaction to you may surprise you.
Like most families, we have our share of sibling issues, but something about it has always sat funny with me. It was like I could feel something working against them but could never put my finger on it. Their tones and attitudes toward each other don’t reflect the gift that they have been given. I called a family meeting and had them close their eyes. I told them we were not asking Jesus this time, nor did I want the right answer. I wanted an answer that reflected their heart. I asked them to give me thumbs up or thumbs down if they would feel something in their heart if they walked into a room and saw me in it. Everyone gave thumbs up. I asked them how their heart would feel if they saw their sister, a few thumbs halfway and one thumb down. I asked about each person, and their answers broke my heart. I was thankful for their honesty, but it pierced my heart deeply. I had them close their eyes again and asked them to give me thumbs up or down if, when they walked into a room with their peers, they felt awkward and like they didn’t belong. Each of them sheepishly put their thumb halfway or all the way down, almost surprised they were exposed to this truth of their heart. I would say all my kids are popular in that they are well-known and liked by adults and peers, yet their sense of belonging was under attack because of how they were functioning as a family. Children get their sense of belonging from siblings, not Mom and Dad. If we tolerate negative sibling connections and bullies in the living room, we are setting them up to feel isolated even amongst a crowd. I brought out the whiteboard and began to draw out our family line and how each generation has been influenced and affected by rejection. To the best of my knowledge, it started with my illegitimate great, great, great aunt who was fed rejection daily by those who called themselves family. After that, each generation hosted profound rejection between mother and child with favoritism towards one another.
I mapped out that my children will get married and have kids roughly in 2030. Their children will have children in approximately 2060, and their grandchildren will be around in 2090. Just like our ancestors of 100 years ago have affected their generational bloodline, so will they until the year 3000 – what a sobering thought. Our choices today affect future generations. We have been given a gift of life, family, and knowing Christ’s redemptive work and are called to steward it well in our lifetime. It was time to break it once and for all! We began to work as a family on our court case regarding the lack of sibling love. We argued that it violated God’s command to love each other and did not glorify His name to have such disunity. We searched for verses that backed up our case and took time to stand before Jesus, asking for forgiveness for the way we have partnered with the generation curse and allowed it to bear bad fruit. I had the children move to the same side of the room as if it were a real courtroom and had them repeat after me the court case before the Judge who judges all things. It was super powerful for all of us. One of the children heard the Judge’s gavel hit the bench, and with that, we rested our case. We put on worship music and sat in His presence together as a family. I encountered a flood of emotions as I felt the release of the conflict and was filled with His redeeming grace. Instantly I noticed a difference in the way they treated each other.
I have shared about my powerful time ministering to the moms at the rescue mission in California. A friend messaged me saying she wished I could come minister to her girls in Colorado. I just happened to have had a trip planned and an evening free so I took Lauren and Emma to minister with me. What a glorious night of freedom for these sweet mamas. I honor them for the hell they have been through and for the ways God is redeeming, restoring, healing and repaying for all that has been stolen. If you want to see God move, sit with those who truly need Him.
I love how God sets us up for success as parents. My daughter was really hurt by someone and needed some room to work through the messy emotions. After we were done processing, the verse of the day popped up on my phone and read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Instantly, I heard in my spirit that I was to apply that in this situation and said, “Do not be overcome by an orphan but overcome the orphan by being a Daughter.” Spiritual orphans operate differently than Sons and Daughters, even in pain. There was a profound shift in her when she realized the other person’s choices were not a reflection of who she was. Teaching our children WHO they are is critical to helping them navigate life.