God said, “I am building her testimony,” – My daughter wanted to try out for a sport that was important to her, but she called me asking if she could skip it and come home. Everything within my mama’s heart wanted to tell her no and make her do hard things (because I knew her heart wanted to do it). But I heard the Lord say, “Let her come home. I am building her testimony.” We went for a walk and talked about it. I began asking her questions about what had happened and what her heart was experiencing. We talked about risk and how there is a chance it may not end well. We talked about other things she attempted in life that did not end so well, which made her laugh. She realized she had the capacity to handle it if it didn’t turn out the way she hoped. I then asked her, “Is the fear of risk greater than the disappointment of not making the team because you were too afraid to try?” She began to see it as a risk but worth it. We created a plan to help empower her. While I could have ‘made’ her do it, her faith would not have been built. She will forever have a brick in her testimony wall of how God walked her through her fear of taking a risk.
“I AM BUILDING HER TESTIMONY”
When Lauren was five years old, I was dealing with a ripped carotid artery, and the kids needed to know the signs of stroke and how to respond. I attended a church in Loveland, Colorado as a visitor when Rob & Ellie Hein were missionary guest speakers. Rob called people forward, and I had a powerful encounter with Jesus. Rob noticed Lauren and came off the stage to her side. He asked if she was afraid (I later found out she thought I was having a stroke) and began to tell her that Jesus was encountering me and that I was okay. He then prophesied over her that he would see her someday in Africa. The seeds planted that day went straight to her heart and took root. By the time she was eight, she had asked for and read all of Heidi Baker’s books. She was in Mexico for a mission trip and texted me to say, “Mom, I was born for missions.” My heart wept as God continues to grow the seeds of this girl’s mighty destiny.
Back in my 20’s, I was hospitalized for three months, and upon waking from my coma, I discovered I had kidney, liver, and respiratory failure. I was pretty sick and very weak. My vital organs were all compromised, and I almost died because of it. One of the hardest parts of that journey was physical therapy, where I had to mentally train my body to work again. All I wanted to do was lay down and quit. It was too hard. I did not have the muscle strength to do what my circumstances demanded of me. My muscles felt like a wet noodle. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to be left alone, but my PT cared about my health journey and knew it was best to push me, call me further, and expect more of myself SO THAT I could be strong and healthy again. I am so glad they could see further down the road than my eyes could at that moment. I needed to trust their wisdom in order to pull myself out of that pit.
Here’s the deal – many of you have been in a spiritual coma. Things have happened and caused your muscles to feel fatigued. You are like a wet noodle in the spiritual realm and have simply laid down and quit. You have allowed the toxins of life to affect your spiritual health. I get it more than you know. But we cannot remain in bed, hoping and praying that God will supernaturally step in and heal us where He has invited us to take our place. We must do our part. You have to get out of bed and begin using those muscles again, as hard as it is and as weak as you may feel. You have come too far to quit now. Your children will reap the fruit of your choices one way or another.
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.
THANK YOU to everyone who prayed and invited their children into praying for my concussion. My pain level was at a 7/8 when I asked for prayer two days ago. I felt led to stop taking the pain meds in an act of faith as so many were praying and have not had any in two days. My pain/pressure has gone down to a 3/4. For those of you who had your children pray, it is essential to follow back up with them and let them know the progress as this builds their faith. I would often say to my children something like, “Hey guys, remember when you prayed for Miss Amy? She is feeling much better. You guys are rock stars and so powerful. Look at what you did.” And they would respond, “No, JESUS did it.” This is very important. Often we empower our children to walk in healing the sick and powerful things happen, but we do not highlight that it is 100% the work of the Cross and the power of Jesus through us. If we fail to focus on this aspect, we are raising children to be prideful and taking credit for God’s glory. I have seen this happen, and it does not produce long-lasting fruit. Yes, children are very powerful. Yes, things happen when we pray. But it must be anchored in the truth that Jesus is the One who heals through us, not us.
My 14-year-old twin daughters felt like God was leading them to start a small group for their 11-year-old sister and her friends. I supported them, telling them that it would be just as much for their growth and development as leaders as it would be for the girls receiving from them. I would mentor them while they were mentoring the girls. The third week in, they couldn’t get their act together. There was conflict over the lesson, and the morning of it still wasn’t done. I didn’t think it was wise to have all of the girls come if they weren’t prepared, so I went to text the moms. I was just about to hit ‘send’ when I heard the Lord say, “Do not cancel.” Hmm. Okay, sometimes the Lord allows us to reap what we sow, and I figured the Lord wanted the girls to experience what happens when you don’t steward what you have been given. My heart hurt for them as I knew it would be uncomfortable and awkward being an unprepared leader.
When the group was over, the girls came to me and said it was the ‘best group ever.’ What? No. It couldn’t be. They weren’t prepared at all. How? And that is when I heard the Lord remind me that I have always taught my kids to lead and speak from the heart. It isn’t about memorizing lines but knowing the issue in their heart and speaking from that place. I ultimately failed to realize that God was the one who called them to do this, and He was sufficient to speak through them. Perhaps the group was such a success because it wasn’t all planned out perfectly, and God had room to move. Sometimes mother does not know best, and we need to learn to trust that the Father has their back and knows what He is doing with them.
“I received revelation about how to respond to my oldest son who challenges me the most. He opened his car window all the way, which caused the whole interior of the car to vibrate, and everyone got upset. Normally, I would yell at him, shut the window, and lock it. But this morning, I stopped myself, waited, and listened. Holy Spirit said he was angry that I turned off his TV show when it was time to leave. The cool thing is that conversation turned into another conversation about God. It was amazing! The car ride was so fun and peaceful, the atmosphere completely shifted back to His presence and peace, and at the end of our adventure, out of the blue, my son said that was the best day he ever had! Thank you, Lisa. This course has started to affect my response to my children, which, as you see, has really blessed us.”
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.
I believe this is what His original design for family was supposed to look and operate like.
From my sweet friend: “I taught my eldest son (14) how to soak and listen for the voice of God about four years ago, and in doing so, he has learned how to pray in the Spirit. He went to bed and got up an hour later and asked if we could talk. He proceeded to tell me he had been soaking and needed to share with me what he heard. All of a sudden he starts prophesying over me going after my heart splinters, my longing for a mother that was never fulfilled and how much that hurt and how I still long for it, and why I struggle with my stepmom is because I wanted that from her, too. It was never fulfilled… then he went on to speak about the hurt in her, and why she could not fulfill it. He started praying something along the lines of ‘You didn’t have anyone to mother you, but God was there, and He mothered you, which is why you can be the mother you are today.’ I have been processing ALL the things he spoke over me over the last few weeks as the Holy Spirit has shown me I have offense in my heart with my stepmom. God used my son to show me. God. Is. So. Faithful! Thank you for teaching us how to partner with the Holy Spirit in our parenting.”
Picture a toddler screaming and crying in the middle of the grocery store. No matter what you say, he turns a deaf ear to you. He is kicking and flapping his arms hysterically – a total and complete meltdown. Everyone is looking at you in the checkout lane, wondering why you can’t control your child. You feel the piercing stares of judgment. How would you respond?
How about this scene? Picture sitting in a country club – the kind where they eat lunch in diamonds and pearls – and in walks an elderly man and four children. The children are all nicely dressed but unruly, bouncing all over the chairs and disrupting the people around them. The youngest won’t stop crying and the eldest are bickering. The guests are getting more and more agitated at this appalling site. Judgment and stern looks are being thrown towards the man allowing such disgrace to intrude on their well-to-do luncheon.
What would you say if I told you the young toddler above was dealing with a double ear infection, and his eardrum just popped? Is the issue the meltdown or bacteria in his eustachian tubes? I am sure the words ‘eustachian tube’ were the last thing on your mind, but that area of his body is raging with pain, and nothing else matters to him at that moment. What would you say if I told you the rest of the story of the kids at the country club? Finally, the affluent guests couldn’t take it any longer and called the manager over to request the immediate removal of such nonsense. The manager replies, “Oh, I am so sorry. That is their grandfather, and they just came from their parent’s funeral. They both died in a car accident last week.”
I share this to make a strong point – we have to look beyond their flesh and have to discover what is REALLY going on inside of them. Spanking, time outs, discipline, removing toys, withholding dessert, doubling chores, yelling, ignoring, giving them an electronic or bribing them with a sugary treat is as foolish at that moment as treating a broken leg by doing laundry. When we are empowered with the truth of what we are dealing with, we will be so much better and help them overcome and win the battle.
Years ago, I was invited to a mom’s night out with our local twin’s club and hungered for deep girlfriend time. I had four-month-old twins and just discovered we were pregnant again. Little did I know how that evening would change my life. These seasoned moms began to share the horror stories of taking twins out in public – each story topping the next with embarrassment over unruly children in public places. One lady raised her glass to toast ‘eating out in public with twins’ goodbye. Something about this conversation was upsetting to me. Maybe it was because I have often said that eating out was my love language (my deeper confession is that I’m not too fond of cooking). Part of me didn’t like being controlled by a child who didn’t even know how to walk yet, and part of me wanted to raise my glass and toast to equip our children to not only have the character to be able to enter all places, but to be a JOY! I went home that night, determined to do just that. We would go out in public, and I used it as an intentional training ground to equip our baby twins, soon-to-be-four children under four years of age, how to have self-control, honor, and respect. Years later, I am still reaping the fruit. I saw a need to equip hungry parents in the ways of Kingdom parenting, specifically as it pertains to healthy character building that models the heart of the Father, the original parent! Character firmly plants a child to bear good fruit. Your home will be one of honor, respect, and peace when character is at the foundation. Enjoy the journey of equipping your children to bear good fruit.