I DECLARE

I DECLARE

I left my four-month-old twins at home and put my newly pregnant self together for my first moms night out in nearly a year. I was excited to join my mom’s group for a night of carefree laughs. Everything was going great until halfway through our meal when one mom mentioned co-sleeping. Nearly every single mom believed in co-sleeping, and the comments were becoming the law vs. an option. Things were being said like, “If you don’t co-sleep, you are harming their emotional well-being,” and “I feel sorry for the kids whose parents are too selfish to share their bed.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I felt shame, judged, and inadequate as a new mother. It did not take long for MY reality to sink back in. I had two four-month-old babies, a husband who woke up at 4:00 AM for work, I was pregnant again with a growing belly, and we had a queen-sized bed. NO! Co-sleeping was not for us. I had to intentionally draw a line in the sand, push back their ‘wisdom,’ and be at peace with what was best for our family. I wished that painful experience with my peers was a rare moment, but I have found in parenting that this is a normal occurrence. 

Picture a dad injecting his son with a shot every morning. When asked WHY he was doing it, he replied, “Oh, I was at the hospital the other day. I noticed other parents doing it, so I wanted to be a good dad and give it to my son too.” How absurd, right? What keeps one child alive would actually harm another. We have got to get a hold of this in our parenting in order to parent with their Creator and what He is doing in their lives. No two families are a cookie-cutter of God’s design. We are all unique expressions of what He is doing on earth. The mom raising a missionary does not have the same job as the mom raising the next President of the United States of America. We are all bringing children up in the way they should go according to His plan and the assignment He has for them. We need to break the agreement that our families should fit in, look like everyone else, and the pressure to mold them according to someone else’s expectations. 

I encourage you to pray this out loud, “Jesus, I confess that I have attempted to shape my child into someone else’s image. I ask for Your forgiveness for having my eyes on the fear and pressure of man instead of You. Do You forgive me?” Make sure you are not just asking for forgiveness but receiving it too. Make these declarations out loud over yourself: 

I DECLARE I am more than enough for my family. 

I DECLARE I do not need to parent like anyone else. 

I DECLARE my child does not need to conform to anyone else’s box. 

I DECLARE God knows what He is doing with my child. 

I DECLARE I will always know what to do because Christ lives inside of me. I DECLARE partnering with God in my parenting is the best way to raise my child.

GET UP AND FIGHT – SURRENDER

Something that always brings a shift for me is when I hold my hand palms up and say, “Lord, I let go. You can have this one. I will not carry it, hold onto it or worry about it. This one is on You.” It removes the tension I feel from operating outside of my control.

DO YOU TRUST HIM EVEN IF…?

Excerpt from my book:

I was sandwiched between my pursuit of trying to help the kids with their deep owies and yet still trying to keep the bridge from burning fully with their father. I was struggling with letting them go to his house for the weekend, knowing it would only reap more trauma. Part of the problem was that we did not fully yet know what kind of trauma was happening, just that the kids were having strong reactions and saying things that were pointing to some very upsetting possibilities. My friend asked me, “Do you trust God even if something happens?” My immediate answer was, “NO! No, I do not.” I mean, I loved Him, and He was my Savior, but trust Him with my children? Oh my. That stretched a level of faith in me I had not yet tapped into. Her reply was both upsetting and convicting. She said, “That is the problem, Lisa. Unless and until you resolve that God is big enough, even if things happen to your children that bring pain, you will spend the next 18 years wearing yourself out trying to play God in their life. Resolve this issue first and then make a decision in their best interest.” This was perhaps one of the most painful yet defining moments in my parenting and one I have to ask myself repeatedly. Do I trust Him even if _____?

SHAME HAS TO BLAME

I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go, but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not require my energy or time. I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase. I finally met with my friend, a professional counselor, and asked her what the problem was that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom. She said, “Shame HAS to blame,” and began to introduce me to shame’s profound effects on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down, and robs us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words), it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all. Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.

I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider, and more passionately than you have been loved before. You will watch a video teaching, and I will provide activities and exercises based on the teachings for the rest of the days. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive, so they never have to find themselves again down the road.

You can register here: Moms & Dads – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

EMMA’S OUTFIT

When Emma was five, she came to me sobbing that she hated her outfit. I encouraged her to pick out something else. She did, and that, too, produced an ocean of tears. She set off to find something else, but the flood of tears continued. At this point, I was getting a little annoyed and frustrated. We were already super late for Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house, and clothes were simply a non-issue in my home up until that point. Why did they matter so much now? By the fifth outfit, I was about to give her a good lecture on, “naked you came, naked you will leave,” and I could feel my blood pressure rising. I heard her tears coming back up the stairs, and suddenly Holy Spirit whispered, “Ask her WHY.” I sat her down and asked why she hated her clothes. She stated immediately that it was because she wasn’t pretty enough (lie). But we had to keep asking questions. WHY did she believe she wasn’t pretty enough? She then revealed the painful splinter: “Because my daddy doesn’t love me.” Satan had whispered to her that he didn’t like her because she wasn’t pretty enough and that if only she could find the right outfit, she would be pretty enough to be loved. Imagine if the splinter had not been dealt with that day. Fast forward several years to when she is fifteen. Her unresolved need for love drives her to dress for boys’ attention. What about when she is twenty-five and married and causes a great amount of debt due to her obsession with shopping in an attempt to feel good about herself? The hurts, lies, and offenses are there to steal, kill, and destroy our relationships with God, ourselves, and others. I believe that the enemy was seeking to plant a lie deep in Emma that day that would reap a harvest for a lifetime through the pain with her father. I explained that the voice she heard was not Jesus but His enemy. Because kids have free will, I always ask, “Would you like to tell that lie to leave?” It empowers rather than controls them. She said she wanted to get rid of the lie, so I led her through a prayer that looked like this: “Jesus, I confess I believed the lie that I am not pretty enough to be loved.” “Jesus, I forgive my dad for not making me feel like a princess.” “Jesus, where were You when I got my feelings hurt?” “Jesus, how do You feel about me?” She sat there with her eyes closed and her head bowed and suddenly got the biggest smile on her face. She looked up and said with excitement, “Mom! I wore this beautiful dress, and my hair was like a ballerina’s. I was dancing with Jesus, and He said I was HIS princess!” While that was indeed a sweet moment, what is so awesome about this story is that God used it all for good when the enemy came to harm and hurt. To this day, years later, that girl KNOWS she is Jesus’ princess!

SPIRIT OF REJECTION

A young girl had trouble staying in bed at night because of recurring nightmares. During a coaching session with the mom, God revealed a spirit of rejection that was affecting her due to some earlier life experiences. We used our authority over the spirit of rejection, and the mom messaged me to report that her daughter went to bed without fighting. WHY? Because the issue had nothing to do with her bedroom, sleep, or being alone and had everything to do with what she was encountering in her room. You cannot manage spirits. You have to use your God-given authority over them!! Period. It is for FREEDOM that Christ gave His life!

LOVE BIG

Testimony from a father. This is what it is all about! The best parenting in the world means little if it does not love big.

“My wife and I discovered today which love language each of our children gravitates toward & made an intentional effort to fill them. The results were immediate & noticeable! It was as if their cup was running over & they had extra to share. Really neat!”

BREWING EXCITEMENT

In the natural, things have been hard, overwhelming, scary, and filled with many uncertainties. We all have had to walk that out. But deeper in the spiritual realm, there is a brewing excitement about what God is doing, how He is using this for our good, and what He is doing deep in the hearts of many. This is a season that will shape generations to come. 

I am looking for parents who feel a hunger for more. Who wants to go deeper still? Who feels a stirring for more in their families? I invite you to join me for our online parenting JOURNEY class, where we will go deeper, empower you on how to model your home after His, and give you the tools needed for connection, sibling conflict, resolving hurts, and changing the world around you. You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

PIONEER MOMS

I have a message specifically for YOU. I love history and ponder what it would be like to be in other people’s shoes. I think about Pearl Harbor and what that must have been like to wake up to the instant chaos of the bombings. Or the pioneer families who braved the west fighting the wilderness. Or the women who knew their husbands were on the ground during 911. We learn the facts of history but do not often hear the stories. 

Pioneer – a person who is among the first to explore or settle in a new country or area.

Precious pioneer moms, you have just walked through our future’s history. The year 2020 will be recorded in our children’s children’s history books, and you were the woman who endured, fought fear, and cared for her family in the midst. I see the sweat on your brow, matted hair, and dusty clothes, but you DID IT! You pioneered in new territory. As a spiritual mom, mentor, and leader, I bless you in the name of Jesus for the grace and call on your life for such a time as this. God knew the day you were knit together in your mother’s womb that you would be alive today for this hour. Everything you have endured and walked through was part of your training ground for this season. You have walked through something no other person in history has EVER endured – not ever. You have plowed new ground and are still standing.

I want you to stop for a moment today and ponder how challenging this past season has been for you, specifically as a mother. It has required something of you that demanded you to dig deep and find your footing in the midst of gale-force winds and turbulent waters. Yet, you did it. You are still in the game. The favor of God is upon you, and many of you can say your family is stronger, more solid, and more deeply connected than ever before. Put your hand on your heart and repeat these words “(NAME), I bless you. I see how hard it has been for you as a mother in this season, but you did it, and I am so proud of you.” Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what You see when You look at me?” 

IF YOU PRAY FOR HIM

In 2012 I felt led to take my then 8-year-old twins to the Voice of Apostles in Florida. It was a life-changing experience for us as a family. On the last night, I took them out to a lively pizza joint with lots of noise and activity, but I seemed to get lost in watching one particular family sitting across from us. I could see wealth and success all over the dad. He was a proud man of prestige as he had much to show for his life’s dedication. But I could also see intense shame. I could not shake it. While his kids bounced around, he remained unusually still. I heard the Lord say clear as a bell, “If you pray for him, I will heal him.” I was unclear about what he needed healing of, but I told the Lord, “Yes,” yet somehow knew that doing so in a public place wouldn’t be honoring, so I waited for the right time. I can’t explain it other than I had the gift of faith and knew that he would be healed. We ended up finishing at the same time, and when he attempted to stand up, I noticed the crutches that were used to drag his legs across the floor. My heart broke for him and the source of his shame. When we both got outside, I approached him and chatted briefly, and he seemed friendly. When I asked if I could pray for him, he said, “For what?” and immediately got defensive. Having to state the obvious, he became enraged and publicly humiliated the girls and me for wanting to pray for him. It was hard. He mocked me and gathered others to laugh at us. Ugh. As a family, we have prayed for scores of people and have had very few people decline, but this was different. When we got in the car, I started to cry. My sweet Lauren said, “Mom, I am sorry he wasn’t kind to you,” and my tears gave way to deep emotion. I told the girls I wasn’t crying because I got rejected and made fun of. I was crying because despite his extraordinary success, the man had a wound, and God wanted to heal him, but he built a wall around his weakest area and wouldn’t let anyone in. Years later, the story still brings a tear to my eye, not for the rejection I endured but because of his unwillingness to receive the love God had for him through us.