FIRE SEASONS

FIRE SEASONS

We walked through some very refining seasons, and little made sense to me at the time. I was following Him to the best of my ability, and few understood. Not everyone around me was able to stand with me in my journey. I know it was heavy and hard at times, and sometimes we have to endure the reality that no one else can fully understand our world except Him. Some suggested maybe we weren’t to move to Colorado because the journey was so long. Others let me know that the hardship on the kids wasn’t good. I am not sure anything frightens a mother’s heart more than knowing her children are ‘suffering.’ Nothing makes a single mom feel more vulnerable than knowing she is the sole parent making decisions that radically affect her children. This was the hardest, most excruciating part of the process. I went before the Lord and asked Him (repeatedly) if I was missing something that was causing undue hardship to my kids. He said, “Lisa, yes, your children are indeed going through a very challenging season (on top of what everyone else is enduring), but your children will see the breakthrough, the provision, and the outcome. Your children will witness My hand move on their behalf.” Suddenly my countless tears turned into glory and praise to a God who continues to woo and wow His children.

As a mother, what I long for the most is for my children to see the hand of their Father. Psalms 107 speaks of tossing around the waves of hardship and how God brings us through the storm into our safe haven. I was never looking for a house. I was looking for His peace, and we found it!

GET UP AND FIGHT – WORSHIP

Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary. 

KINGDOM COME

There are scores and scores of testimonies building up of how GOD is using this season to strengthen the family. If you could peel back the rooftops and have a birds-eye view into many homes, you would see this. Dads are connecting with their children. Mothers are letting out the pain instead of carrying it around. Fathers are on the floor, laughing with their kids. Moms are teaching respect. Marriages are being healed and restored. The kids’ love tanks are overflowing. Connections are being restored with siblings. Children are being taught who they are. Parents are teaching their children about His goodness. There is laughter. Families are talking again. Offenses are being forgiven. Siblings are playing and releasing joy. Children feel like they belong. Moms are being seen and heard. Dads are relaxing. Pain is being addressed and resolved. Dads are laying down the idol of money. Pillars of peace are being contended for. Families are readjusting their focus. Families are seeking Him together. 

Keep going! You are doing an incredible job allowing Him to use this season for GOOD. I know you are tired, and there are still so many unknowns, but you are doing it one choice at a time. When the FAMILY is strengthened, there is an advancement of His Kingdom. Revival happens when the family is REVIVED! May Your Kingdom come into the FAMILY ROOM!

ACT LIKE IT!

When we first arrived in Redding, a friend came over for dinner. He said, “Lisa, you are in an open heaven,” to which I smiled big and said, “I know. That is why we moved here” (for the supernatural and presence of God). His response put chills in my spine, and I have never forgotten this reply. He said, “Act like it.”

Don’t just declare it, LIVE in it. Don’t just say it, BE it. Don’t just smile, DIGEST it. Don’t just acknowledge it, EMBRACE it. Don’t withhold it, SHARE it. Don’t just receive it, TEACH it to your children.

Friends, if you declare Jesus is your Lord and Savior, YOU live in an open heaven… Act like it!

JUST A LITTLE

A dad was struggling to get his teen daughters to understand why their choice of music wasn’t edifying. The girls argued that it was ‘just a little’ bit of bad language and that it wouldn’t hurt anything. The dad prayed for a creative solution to get into his daughters’ hearts on the subject. The next morning, he announced he was making a very special dessert with “a very special ingredient.” He made a big deal of the upcoming dessert all day, and after their dinner plates were cleaned, they were begging for the much-awaited sweet treat. They scarfed down the yummiest batch of brownies, and while smacking their lips, they inquired about the ‘special ingredient.’ The dad sat back and calmly announced, “Dog poop, but don’t worry, it was just a little bit.” They seemed to understand in that moment that ‘just a little bit’ can indeed be harmful. This glorious creative teachable moment can be used with music, swearing, drugs, disobedience, alcohol, lying, slander, etc. Sometimes kids need a visual to understand your point.

LISTEN TO THEM!

A teen boy pitched a first-class attitude, walked out of a prayer meeting, and went to sit in the car. He was scolded and rebuked by the leaders. He didn’t care and refused to budge from his position. The leader confronted his parents on his attitude, which got them to explore things further. It was revealed weeks later that the male who was leading the prayer meeting was actually grooming his sister! Yes, son, you have every right to respond, react and refuse to follow when someone is threatening your sister. Sometimes kids are reacting to something that is WRONG. They do it in an immature way because they are children, but sometimes they react to something because they are discerning it doesn’t feel right. LISTEN TO THEM!

JOURNEY NOT DESTINATION

On the first day of our JOURNEY class, I explain that there is always more and we can always go deeper with God. The goal is not to be airdropped in the middle of the ocean just to be able to say, “I have arrived,” but to enjoy the JOURNEY with Him every step of the way. I ask parents if they can see God’s invitation to come out deeper with Him, and the #1 response I get from parents reflects fear that He will ask something of them (like sell everything and move away) or make them do something their heart doesn’t want to. This reflects areas of our heart where we have yet to discover that He is indeed a GOOD Father. He knows the desires He has placed inside of us, and they are to prosper us and give us hope, not shut us down. It is like parents crave and hunger for more but at the same time do not want it because they fear what He will require of them. If this is you, I want you to know that this is not God’s heart or voice speaking but the enemy to try and get YOU to shrink back from His goodness.

GRIEVING HOLY SPIRIT DREAM

I have been stewarding this dream for years and believe it is the time to share it. God was teaching me about family and, ultimately, the church because leadership should reflect good parenting.

In my dream, the kids and I arrived at our new housing. It was a unique round building with a gorgeous custom kitchen and living room in the middle. It was designed with the intention of people doing life together. Off of the living area were master suites with private bathrooms. We walked in, each carrying a different-sized suitcase, like the ones that were passed down from parents or grandparents. There was no check-in station as it was designed to be set up like a family with connection between the occupants, not run like a motel or business. We were aware there were people gathered in one of the rooms. I knew in my dream they were aware we had arrived and were waiting, but they didn’t come out to greet us or give us instructions. I didn’t want just to assume which room was ours, so despite traveling a long distance, we waited joyfully. The landlord walked in to greet us like a mother eager to see her child. I felt at home when she hugged me. She began to flow with tears. It wasn’t an anxious, wounded, or fearful cry. Just tears of genuine sadness. She said, “I want you here, but you can’t stay. You would be a model tenant, but they were here first and don’t want you here.” It didn’t feel like personal rejection as much as just the way things were done there. The sincere compassion I felt for the landlord for having renters who did not honor her desires for her own building made it easy to take my eyes off of myself and put them on her. I hugged her and assured her we would be okay, even though it meant we would be ‘homeless’ once we walked out the door. This tender moment morphed into me, saying firmly, “I will go (to honor her), but I will not leave until I have taken a shower first.” I was so aware in my dream it was 4 in the afternoon, and I was already clean. I went to take my shower and noticed a line that went all the way out the door. End of dream.

I woke up at 4 the next morning with a deep pang in my heart over what I had just witnessed in my dream. I got out of bed and sat in the dark living room, where I began to unpack the dream with God. He said, “Ask me who the landlord was in the dream,” and it was revealed she was Holy Spirit. I immediately fell on my face and wept. To witness Holy Spirit being grieved grieves me. To this day, I still can’t talk about the dream without tears coming to my eyes. I will never forget the genuine sadness in her eyes. The round living area represented what should have been a family room (not an empty living room). The people in the bedrooms were the parents/leaders who had authority just by ‘being there first.’ The dream highlights the need for instruction and guidance from them. Their closed room door and unwillingness to come out represents a wall they have built to shut out what they don’t want to enter. God sends children into families and people into churches carrying certain things (suitcases) because He knows what they need is inside of them. It grieves Him when we reject the ones He has sent to us to BLESS US. When we begin to run our families/churches according to our own agenda, we miss out on what He is doing in them. The lack of concern from the parents/leaders felt unloving, prideful, and downright rude, but the Lord showed me later that they were protecting something. Oftentimes when a parent/leader has wounds, hurts, jealousy or insecurity will, they will shut out the very ones God brings to them to help them. Just by their presence, a child/person can trigger the parents/leaders wound and cause them to ‘shut the door.’ This is a greater reflection on the parent/leader but often feels to the child/person like something is wrong with them. Parents/leaders can argue that what they are doing is right because they are ‘protecting’ something, but God never called us to be self-protectors. That is His job. I was aware in my dream, due to the uniqueness of the circle building, that the people in the closed room were at the 11 o’clock position. 11 can represent imperfection, disorder, disintegration, and chaos, which is exactly what happens when parents/leaders are unwilling to open the door, communicate clearly or welcome what those under them carry by God’s design. My shower represented my awareness that this interaction slimmed me, and I needed to rid myself fully and completely of any hurts, offenses, judgments, or bitterness. I assumed the words “you would be a model tenant” meant we were faithful financially, which is important to a landlord, but the Lord showed me that the word ‘model’ meant we, as a family, carried a model. There are five people in my family, and we all just happen to represent a different part of the five-fold ministry. We have an anointing in the area of family, and God has given us an anointing on how to model our families after His. We came into the family room, bringing that model with us. This is super important because we ALL carry things and that God wants to release through us. The vintage suitcases represented what has been passed down from each generation. We never meet someone with an empty suitcase. God has been setting things in motion in each family line for centuries. We carry what our parents, grandparents, and on did or didn’t complete on earth but may have sowed into. Each person’s suitcase is filled with valuable keys, solutions, and tools to build His Kingdom. My shower was at four which confirmed to me that I was FOR them, even though it wasn’t received. Taking a shower was about me, but FOR them as not to carry the offense against them. God also woke me at 4 am. Children are born FOR their parents until they are taught otherwise. Ironically, God woke me up at 4:44 am to release this dream. The long line indicated this dream wasn’t just for me but a corporate one, as many were slimed in the process of being shut out. This is a key and strategy of the Lord. We must clean ourselves of hurts, offenses, and judgments before we are fully free to move on.

TELL THEM!!

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.

PROPHESY

Years ago, the kids and I went through the Kingdom training classes. One night, I was selected to be a part of the team to ask Jesus (prophesy) what He wanted to say to each person. There had to be well over 150 people lined up around the room. It was a powerful night of activation for me. I got to the end, and Jary was waiting, but when I got to her, she turned the tables on me and began to prophesy such deep rich words of life over me. It is hard to explain all that happened at that moment. All I know is that I received something so profound through this woman’s prayers. Years later, I can say that I am walking in what she released over me.

FEAR IS NOT YOURS

When God says, “Fear not,” He means FEAR IS NOT YOURS! Look what this mom shared.

“Lisa, thank you! After your words, I prayed against fear last night, and I slept harder than I have in months. I woke up feeling refreshed, and there was SUCH a cool sunrise this morning with a HUGE sun breaking out from clouds. It was beautiful and spoke to me about strength and clarity breaking out of the fog. Thank you for your encouragement!”