My daughter was so excited to meet a sweet girl on the first day of school. It made her transition so much easier knowing she had made a friend, but as the days rolled on, another girl seemed to have a real problem with her and was making life difficult. She would come home and talk about what the ‘mean girl’ was doing to her. Finally, I asked Lauren if she was willing to forgive the girl for not being loving. After she let go of the offense, Jesus showed her the girl was scared that my daughter would take away her friend and that she would be left alone. Then I had her ask Jesus what HE wanted her to do about it. Instantly, she heard she was to ‘kill her with kindness.’ The next day, she pulled her aside, apologized for any way she may have made her mad or upset, and then blessed her with a sweet treat. It broke that girl’s wall down, and she immediately began to accept her. The following day, she presented my daughter with a handmade thank you note for being so kind to her. THAT is how we teach our children to be the head and not the tail, how to flip situations for God’s glory and how to release heaven in worldly situations on earth.
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 _____?
One of the best statements spoken over me was from a business mentor who heard me lamenting about how hard the process was, and she said, “Well, that doesn’t sound like a very empowering statement. You can do better than that.” It woke something up in me to create solutions, not complaints. Feel the pain and then put my energy towards solutions. This has been something I have tried to empower my children in too. First, validating their frustration and then helping them to move from victim to empowered in choices to care for their needs, heart, and situation.
Trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
Think for a moment about your child’s life back in 2020. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but within a short time, your child was thrown into a whirlwind of being home 24/7. Not being able to see friends or go out to the park, learning without peers, sitting in front of a computer, many faced hours alone as their mom and dad still worked. Some went without food, increased sibling conflict, missed birthday parties, felt fear all around them, not being able to go to church or their favorite store, and then the anger and violence that was unleashed in nearly every city. Most adults can’t comprehend all that is going on, much less a child whose brain isn’t fully developed. Folks, this is trauma. Add another layer of what was released in the atmosphere and the paralyzing fear, worry, and anger that slimed people without notice or warning. Kids feel it too.
While I am not trying to create a doomsday post, there is a reality that this past season has been brutal for some children. The events themselves do not bring damage to children. How adults respond to trauma can make a challenging event a lifelong wound. Your role is KEY! #1. Know your child’s love language and fill it DAILY! Five minutes of intentional “I see you” can fill their heart. #2. Connection – Talking, engaging, asking questions, hugging, smiling, listening, etc. Merely hanging out 24/7 is not the same as actually connecting to their hearts. #3. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that increases our will to fight and endure hard things. Dance parties, giggles, wrestling matches, dinner in the living room, tickling, being silly, special treats, dancing on the bed, or splashing in the rain. Your child NEEDS joy!
I know it is hard to give when you are enduring the same battle, but your response in this hour matters. Help children overcome by filling them up with love, connection, and joy, which are heaven’s tools to overcome.
A while back, we went out to eat, and this man was cursing up a storm and yelling loudly. When we sat down, the kids wanted to call out the bad and do the whole, “Did you see that man…?” I stopped them and said, “Ask Jesus what He wants you to know about that man.” They started saying things like, “He was hurt as a boy,” “He doesn’t know who he is,” “He doesn’t know Jesus.” Hurt people do hurtful things. People act out what other people have spoken over them. When we ask Jesus to show us what’s going on inside of others, our perspective changes. One of the most powerful ways we can release the Kingdom as a family is to see stuff like that in our normal everyday life and ask Jesus to show us what He sees. We will shift how we view, judge, and see that person when we see through His eyes.
This is going to be a HUGE key for many parents! From a very early age, I could feel resistance with one of my daughters. I figured it was a generational thing and have intentionally gone after her heart. I would find myself saying YES to the others with ease, but my heart was hesitant, and I always wanted to say NO to her. It made no sense to me, but I could feel it. She agitated me in a way the others didn’t, yet she wasn’t really doing anything in the natural to warrant it. It was awful to admit because it felt like maybe I even liked her less than the others. I didn’t, but the resistance always made me feel like I was subtly rejecting my own child. God later revealed this to me through someone else, and I rushed home to share it with my daughter. She cried and began to tell me that she felt it, too, and even when we would go on dates, she felt like she couldn’t get close to me. We walked through what this looked like between us and have had such breakthrough.
It looks like this: When there is control-based parenting, the child responds in one of two ways. #1. They feel resistance, anger, and/or have hate or murder in their heart (which doesn’t mean death but can ‘kill’ you with their words). These children then partner with the spirit of REBELLION in their hearts. This can be outward or inward rebellion. #2. The other child feels hurt, isolated, withdrawn, unworthy, like a victim, and helpless when faced with a controlling parent, and they partner with a spirit of REJECTION. The problem is that when the parent feels the spirit of rebellion or rejection coming from the child, it makes them increase their control. A crazy cycle begins in which neither the parent nor the child is really seeing/responding to the other person, but rather the two spirits of control and rebellion/rejection are having a hay day! Connection, love, and unity go right out the window.
My daughter was partnering with a spirit of rejection, and I CAN’T STAND the spirit of rejection. My daughter wasn’t agitating me; the spirit was. Once she began to partner with that spirit, no matter what I would say, she would feel hurt and rejected, which drove me up a wall (in all honesty). I did use more control-based parenting until she was around five years old when I discovered Holy Spirit. But I think it has more to do with how opposite we are. She is my dancing, joyful, giddy, silly, talk a mile a minute, always wanting to create things, bake things, make a mess with paints, glitter and glue kid. I am busy, serious, don’t like messes, and have little appreciation for creative arts. Neither of us are wrong, but because I am the adult, she was feeling controlled by my repetitive ‘no’ answers and not giving her more freedom to be herself. The cycle had gone on for so long that it began to feel normal. It is easier to partner with control when they are younger, but once the spirit of rebellion and rejection are in motion, it is the tween and teen years where the ‘fruit’ of that parenting really begins to reveal itself in the child. Since the spirit of rebellion and rejection have a legal right to be there, they influence the child to behave and make choices that only further the parents’ drive for control. Obviously, rebellion and rejection are not what we want to introduce our children to. We are the ones to break the cycle!
Praise God for this incredible revelation and tool so that we can break free from the enemy’s tools of control, rebellion, and rejection, and we can walk in freedom and connection. If this sounds like something that you are experiencing with one of your children, I encourage you to spend time with Holy Spirit talking to Him about it. If you need to repent, do that first. Set a date with your child (mine was out on the driveway while the other kids were inside). Fill their love tank for a few minutes first, as a filled tank always lowers the walls and makes hard conversations easier. Explain to them that God loves them so much and has shown you an area that you need to change (this makes them feel secure that God has their back, too). I drew a figure 8 and showed her how the crazy cycle went around and around and how we both played our roles. I asked her to please forgive me for making her feel controlled. I also helped her walk through asking Jesus for forgiveness for partnering with the lie and spirit of rejection. We hugged and cried and allowed for Holy Spirit to heal without words for a while. We then tasted the new fruit in the days to come. I also called a family meeting and made sure everyone was aware of the cycle. We agreed that when they were feeling controlled, or I was seeing the rebellion/rejection, we could call out a special code to signal we were partnering with it again. I also want to add that children can control their parents, causing parents to partner with rebellion and rejection, too. This can also be a dynamic with siblings where one is controlling another. If you had a controlling parent, ask Holy Spirit if you are still allowing the spirit of rebellion or rejection to influence you today. Spirits don’t leave us just because we move out of the house. This is NOT a reflection of you being a bad parent, but rather a reflection of the enemy and what he does best – kill, steal and destroy – in this case, the connection with our children. Don’t allow him to put the blame back on you. It is okay to get mad that many of us come under this but use the anger to rise up in your authority and break the cycle. Ask Holy Spirit what keys He wants you to use with your child to repair the connection. Thank You, Father, for being a perfect parent and helping us along the way!
Crazy cycle between parent and child: Crazy Cycle Between Parent & Child – YouTube
When Hudson was six years old, he came to me after we were all in bed and said there was fear in his room. I asked what he wanted to do, and he said, “Mom, we need to go up and tell it to leave.” YES! He gets it. Fear doesn’t chase him out of his room. That is HIS room, and fear is the one that has to leave. When we KNOW fear, we need to say NO to fear. If they do not have a junior Holy Spirit, they don’t have junior authority. When my children saw ‘bad’ stuff, I asked if they wanted it to be there because respecting free will is how the Kingdom of God is established. I would then help them to pray using this outline.
The Bible instructs us to command whatever is NOT in heaven to go in Jesus’ name and to invite in whatever IS in heaven in the name of Jesus. COMMAND THE BAD TO GO: “Fear/anger/strife/chaos/, I see you, and you need to leave in Jesus’ name.” INVITE THE GOOD TO COME: “Peace/love/joy/comfort/, I invite and welcome you in Jesus’ name.” There is no rule on how to do it, but this outline helps to teach them. I love the expression, “I see you,” when speaking to the fear/anger because it helps us to FACE the issue head-on rather than ignore it or feel paralyzed by it. The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… Always!
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
Such a sweet testimony from my friend taking our Moms & Dads class on being seen, heard, and valued.
“While spending my time in prayer doing my homework assignment, He showed me that my daughter was doing something behind my back IN THAT MOMENT. This has never happened before. So, I rushed to her, and instead of coming down hard on her or shaming her (ways I have parented before), I asked Jesus to help me, and we walked through getting to her heart. It wasn’t anything huge, but it was dishonest. At the end of the conversation, I told her I wanted her to be honest so she could feel heard. I was given a great opportunity to try and use these gifts, and I feel like it went well! Thank you so much!!”
What I LOVE about this testimony is that she did not see her daughter as a liar but as robbing herself of using her voice to be heard. EMPOWERMENT!!!!
Veterans are very dear to my heart. One day we were in the frozen foods aisle, and an elderly man was walking towards us in a brand-new shiny Veterans hat. I stopped and asked him if he was a Veteran. He was taken aback, and I quickly mentioned that his hat was so crisp and new. He got tears in his eyes and said he was a Veteran but too ashamed to wear his hat. A week earlier, his buddy had chewed him out for never wearing it and told him he needed to wear it with pride. That was his first outing wearing it. He pulled out his worn wallet and showed me a photo of all the medals he had earned, including the Purple Heart. He was injured as a Medevac but went to sign on for another term. I can’t fully describe to you what happened, but tears came pouring out of my eyes. I stood up straight, grabbed my son, and said, “Hudson, THIS is what a real hero is,” Tears began to fall from the man’s eyes. Another shopper stopped, I introduced them, and they stopped to shake his hand. Then another shopper came to salute him. This went on for a while, and we had a small gathering of people in the frozen food aisle honoring this hero. That man had walked in full of shame but walked out of the frozen food aisle the hero he really was!
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!