FAMILY MEETINGS

FAMILY MEETINGS

I grew up having ‘family meetings,’ which meant we had to gather and listen to a very long lecture about something. I walked away feeling like I wanted to run away. They were not empowering or life-giving. When I began to have my own family, I, too, wanted to have family meetings but to create a time everyone had a voice, was able to share without fear, and could contribute to the process. I wanted my children to walk away feeling closer, connected, and empowered. We have done just that over the years. When I call out “family meeting,” they stop what they are doing and join me in the family room. They come expectant to be included and heard. We have intentionally gone on family meeting dates where we talk through a particular topic or issue.

Family means all people. Everyone gets a voice, each carrying something vital. Children have a perspective that is needed.

CHILDLIKE FAITH

It never ceases to amaze me how much children actually have the Kingdom right, and we have it backward. In the natural, they are the ones that get afraid and automatically cling to their daddy for protection. Yet it is when parents are partnering with fear and refuse to go to the Father that creates the greatest hindrance in the family’s spiritual health. Fear is a LIE used by the enemy that prevents us from holding our Father’s hand and trusting Him to protect us. So instead, be childlike and jump in His lap!

THERE IS MORE!

Take a moment and picture how incredible it would be to be in Hawaii. No, seriously. Stop right now and think about a trip to paradise. The mere thought of the ocean mist, bright sun, and warm sand – sounds like heaven. Now, picture yourself on the balcony of the high-rise hotel on the beach. Pretty cool, huh? What if you were to walk down to the sandy beach with a relaxing book and sit under the sun umbrella? How about strolling up and down the shoreline, flirting with the cool waves against your warm toes? Better yet, picture yourself knee-deep and enjoying the waves splashing against your body. Swimming out deeper and jumping in the waves is an experience like no other. If you venture out just a little further, you can snorkel and see some of the most fantastic fish swimming. Still, does the wonder of the ocean end there? No! There is even more! When you learn how to surrender to the mercy of an oxygen tank, you can stay immersed under the water for quite some time and enjoy the outstanding, breathtaking beauty that is not available for those seated in the safety of their hotel balcony. While the mere thought of being in Hawaii right now is a good one, God wants us to know that there is MORE of Himself waiting to be discovered, and these depths in God far outweigh any beauty we may find on earthly soil. The only person to ever reach the vast depth of the Father was Jesus. For the rest of us, we can stay on the beautiful yet comfortable, confined balcony or allow the Spirit to draw us deeper and deeper. No matter where you are at right now, know there is MORE! The goal isn’t to be air-dropped into the middle of the sea and claim that we have arrived. Doing so ill-equipped would be not only dangerous but also foolish. The goal is the JOURNEY! God finishes and completes our faith, and it is our job to allow Him to lead us one step at a time. Philippians 1:6 is your anchor! 

Now, link this analogy to parenting: Can you picture how drastically different our parenting will be based on where we position ourselves? Those on the balcony will have a different parenting mindset than those who parent from the ocean’s depth. 

Through the different seasons of your life. Are you gradually moving deeper and deeper, or are you having continued visits between the same few safe and familiar locations?

DRAINING THE LOVE TANK

My friend Amber shared: “Holy Spirit gave me insight into my three kids and showed me that sometimes there’s a disconnect with my oldest because I am judging her. He showed me how her new school overwhelms her, how she feels like I’m not listening to her, and that one of her love languages is acts of service, so the ‘bossiness’ and constantly asking for this or that is her way of connecting.”

ALIGNMENT

Helping parents align their thinking about family is a big part of what we do through Let the Children Fly. Take a look at this exchange with one precious mama. 

Mom wrote: “I’ve been realizing this year just how much having children pushes on and exposes my own childhood trauma. I have been facing brokenness I never knew existed until kids. It is HARD!! I so wish I could have gotten better healing before I had kids! I hate that they are the victims of my process! But I am so determined to get whole and healed and BREAK the cycles in the name of JESUS!”

Lisa’s response: Oh, sweet friend. No, no, no, they are not victims of your process. God knew before He knit them together what you did/didn’t receive. He knit them together in HIS image, but with you in mind. It is God’s love for you that your children carry something that touches that part of you that needs healing and alignment. This is called FAMILY by God’s design. If you make a mess, you need to make it right with them, but there is nothing but grace in the process. Staying that way long term and hardening yourself to growth is how we pass it on to the next generation. But seeing our messy places AND doing something about it is GLORIOUS. You are allowing Him to crash in those places. Your children lack nothing because God is working this out. They are the heroes in your story, not victims. Your breakthrough is their inheritance. He is covering you today, sweet friend.

VALIDATION

To validate means recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile. Validation is not trying to move someone out of their space but giving them permission to be where they are at. It is saying things like: “I am sorry that…” “It is not okay that…” “It makes me mad that…” “You didn’t deserve that…” “That must have been so hard when…” “Man, that stinks!” “You are so much more than that.”

Parents, look for ways to VALIDATE your child today; not just correct, change or fix them. They have been in a crazy intense season. Go to them, embrace them, and tell them you know this season has been hard, and they have had to endure a lot. Tell them it stinks. Tell them how proud you are of them, and that God loves them very much. GO! Validation is the ministry of Jesus! He cares. 

LEAD THEM TO HIM

I have often been encouraged to write a book about all the ways one could release the Kingdom through children. While I love the idea, I believe that it has the potential to feed many people’s religious spirit. If they just go through a book and do 1, 2,3, they might bear some fruit but will miss the connection with God that our heart desires. I believe the greater calling is simply to help parents flip some of their old mindsets that may be super religious but are not of the Father’s heart. Once their mindsets are in alignment with heaven, the flow becomes endless of how we can play in the Kingdom based on our own specific calling, destiny, and unique family design. There is *never* going to be a perfect month for you to put your family first as there will always be busyness and distractions, but I strongly believe that NOW is the time to widen your journey with Him in your parenting. 

FAMILY TIME

Kingdom training in your home was never supposed to be a once-a-week event. It is about a lifestyle of little drips. When children start asking parents, “Has Lisa sent another lesson yet?” you know we are doing something right. Kids LOVE the connection time as a family and learning about Jesus in a way that promotes connections, not legalism.

LOOK BEYOND BEHAVIOR

I have strived hard through the Let the Children Fly message to get parents to see beyond the behavior. Yes, train children to manage themselves better, but if we only focus on managing behavior, we will enter legalism and move away from the Father’s heart. We must be willing to endure discomfort with their behavior to explore with Holy Spirit WHY. If we can partner with Him, we will discover what is going on inside their hearts, and we can parent them in that place. This is where real transformation and growth occur. When we experience someone acting immature, wounded, and reckless, we have two choices: #1 Increase our power by using intimidation and fear to control them so that we feel comfortable or #2 come alongside their pain and usher them to Jesus. If all we are doing is managing triggers and outward behavior, we are actually separating ourselves from their heart. If we want to draw closer, we must become students of what is going on in their world.

THANK YOU, JESUS

A mom shared: “Thank you for your incredible heart and practical tools. It has transformed my parenting and what has been happening in my home continually brings me to tears of thankfulness and wonder. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. We are so blessed by your ministry, and your life lived out.”

ORPHAN PARENTING

God created us to be fully alive, deeply accepted, and truly belong. The aftermath of the fall is that man became a spiritual orphan separated from God and wandered around life, feeling profound feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. The Good News is that Jesus came to restore us to that place of deep security with the Father. We can accept Christ yet still wander like an orphan, striving, begging, and doing life on our own. Imagine a child digging through the dump, fending for themselves, and meeting their needs for food and clothing all on their own. Now picture a palace where the table is always set and a room with your name on it. When we become Christians, we get the honor of living in the palace, yet some enjoy the view and go back to the dump laboring daily to meet their needs. It is impossible to raise a child as a Son/Daughter in the palace when you occupy the dump yourself. Orphan parenting is when we parent our children from a place of isolation, abandonment, self-protection, striving, loneliness, self-sufficiency, and lack. We are teaching them orphan living, not Kingdom reality.