If current events are causing your heart grief, please know there is an action that is demanded in response. Your mama’s heart was not designed to carry this weight, but He is allowing your heart to feel His heart SO THAT you rise up and release the burden back to the One who can move. I encourage you to intentionally spend some time carrying your mama’s heart into the Throne Room and interceding on behalf of those involved in the situation. Your voice is powerful!
LET IT MOVE YOU
I am being stretched in the area of patience, and for someone who is normally wired for fast-paced, productive movement, it hit me hard. I could feel myself sinking by the hour; it isn’t healthy to be in that place very long. I got the kids through dinner and took off by myself. I just stood soaking in the view and breathing in the air. I realized my MIND needed an adjustment similar to my back needing a chiropractor. I was aware I was out of alignment but could not pop it back in myself. I needed the GREAT PHYSICIAN to help align me. I confessed my attitude and weariness and cried out for help. I was tired, sad, and frustrated and needed the strength to endure more but from a place of rising above, not sinking lower. I needed Psalms 40:1-3 to be my reality: “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”
Sometimes God aligns us through revelation, correction, or inner healing, yet sometimes He does it in a way that is so gentle and light we can’t even pinpoint how or when He changed us. Like a Father who gently guides a child’s chin to look into His eyes, all becomes well again. God does not want us to endure hard things; He wants us to find HIM in the midst of it.
Face the fear and put it in its proper place. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what the fear is about?” Break agreement with the fear. “Fear, I see you, and you are a liar. I no longer partner with you and allow you to speak and influence me. Ask, “Jesus, what is your truth?” Declare His truth (write it down, put it on your mirror, on a sticky note, in your Bible, post it to your fridge, etc. and declare it until it becomes your truth). THEN when you go out in public and feel the heavy oppression around you, STOP and declare, “Fear, I see you. I do not partner with you. I declare (insert the truth Jesus showed up),” and release THAT into the atmosphere everywhere you go. If our hope, peace, and comfort come from anything else other than HIM, it will be sinking sand. He alone is our source, anchor, and rock.
Picture someone baking a pie for their evening gathering with friends. Could you imagine someone else coming to take the pie out of the oven and running to the corner to consume the whole thing on their own? They would not only develop a stomachache but have robbed themselves of the joy of consuming the pie with friends and family as it was intended. Your child comes with a parenting manual, and His name is Emmanuel – God with us. I say this in love, but some of you need to repent for taking His creation and running away with it. He did not spend nine months knitting them together and ushering them into the world only to have you run away together. He desired all along that you would parent together with Him. God wants you to parent with Him, not for Him.
Fear knocked, and I felt seduced by it for an hour. I finally called a friend to pray with me and heard God say, “Your hedge is not high enough.” I knew He meant that I needed to increase prayers and declarations. I needed to put a verb in my prayers, so I asked Holy Spirit for a creative idea, and this is what He gave me. I had the kids all write out their worries, fears, and statements about the coronavirus. We shared our vulnerability as a family and then shredded them. We then wrote out TRUTH statements and hung them on our Cross. We feasted on these throughout the day. We wanted to do a prophetic act about the virus passing over our home, and instantly I remembered these balls I got at the dollar store years ago (they actually look like the virus). We put a bucket of warm soapy water outside our front door, made bold declarations that the virus would pass us over, and threw them into the soapy water. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are building a hedge of prayer around your family in this hour.
Corporate love works well for the one in authority but not so much for the receiver because it denies their creative expression and teaches them they need to look like, sound like, and act like everyone else. Each child is different, and we must learn how to dance with them alone. They have different styles, personalities, likes, interests, talents, desires, and ways of connecting. The sooner we realize this as parents, the greater joy there will be in our homes. It is impossible for a child to feel seen, heard, and valued when expected to be someone other than who God knits them together to be.
Examples of corporate love: expecting everyone to work, eat, get dressed, and do homework at the same speed. Some children just move faster/slower.
Expecting everyone to respond to the same style of communication. Some children need things spelled out more, said with greater tenderness or more engagement, such as eye contact.
Expecting everyone to adjust to your spoken love language. Children speak their own language and may not have a natural high appreciation for yours.
Expecting everyone to value and appreciate what you value and appreciate. Some children are just simply not going to follow in your footsteps but need to find their own journey.
Expecting everyone to be happy when you are happy, tired when you are tired, or hungry when you are hungry. Children have different needs based on their own bodies.
Ask Jesus to show you if you are expecting your children to be mini-you’s in an area that God wants them to BE who He created them to simply be.
“You can’t. You are a single mom.” I will honor those involved by not sharing details, but I have been told this on more than one occasion over the years. The first time was when God called me to go on a mission trip. I had no desire to go, yet He began to speak to me so clearly that I gave Him my ‘yes,’ and within a week, all the funds came in. I was told, “There is no way God would call a single mom to go.” Those words stung! I beg to differ. Jesus always went after the weak, the sick, the broken, the least of these, and those overlooked. It isn’t the ‘less than’ part that qualifies a person. It is what Jesus does IN the weakness. Our weakness simply becomes the ground in which we are aware of our need for Him. No one needs to convince a solo parent (or their children) that God’s best is a family with both a mother and father, but it is incorrect to disqualify someone based on weakness alone. Judge them based on what God does through the weakness. Man may need a perfectly polished resume to qualify you, but God does not.
In four different parent coaching sessions, the theme was moms partnering with profound pressure to do things correctly and yet being in situations where they could not possibly achieve perfection. Jesus showed up in a similar way with each of them. When children are raised with the bar so high, they learn directly or indirectly that messes and mistakes are not acceptable. They develop a mindset that says, “God is only pleased with me when I do it right,” and while it profits them in life to be overachievers, they are missing out on HIS truth. Messes, weaknesses, and failures do not separate you from God. His truth is that when we come to Him, our weakness and lack bring intimacy and closeness. A loving parent knows that a 2-year-old will make messes, and they see it as an opportunity to offer comfort, reassurance, and help them grow in their capacity to do better next time. They do not see the child failing but rather as maturing and are honored to be a part of the process. If we only have closeness with Jesus when we are getting A’s and doing things perfectly, there will be a level of fear preventing deeper closeness because, deep down, you believe it is only because of your ‘good’ performance. There is a satisfying closeness with someone that only comes when they love you despite your failures and weakness, which is real vulnerability and closeness. If you experience this in your parenting, I encourage you to spend time with Him.
**Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the need to be perfect?”
**Forgive that person for directly or indirectly teaching you about perfectionism and pressure.
**Ask, “Jesus, what lies have I believed because of the pressure to be perfect?”
**Renounce/break up with the lie. “I renounce the lie that _____.”
**Ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Declare His truth over yourself daily!
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.
How many times a day do you talk to your child? To communicate love? Lead? Inform? Correct? Speak identity? Instruct? Comfort? How many times a day do you listen to what your Father wants to say to you?
When God says be HUMBLE, He means for us to be humble, always, and that includes in our parenting. Often parents fear that if they are humble with their children, they will somehow lose their parental authority. That is not accurate. You will gain their respect because you are modeling for them the Kingdom and connecting with their hearts. It is okay to learn from your children and hear what may need to be improved upon. I often check in with my kids and ask them, “What is something Mom has done well?” “What is something you wish Mom would improve upon to make your heart feel loved and seen?” The answers always surprise me and motivate me to become more like Jesus in my parenting. The truth is, either way, you are going to hear it – either now or when they are older and dealing with the fruit. I would much rather listen to their hearts while they are still children and deal with it in childhood, where I can grow and make a positive difference in their lives. Don’t be afraid of feedback. Allow God to parent you in your parenting journey.