I heard this testimony and can’t get it out of my mind. A mom shared that her son was hungry to learn how to hear from the Lord. He worked at a ski resort and heard the Lord tell him to jump on the ski lift and ride up with a perfect stranger. He did and wondered what to say to him. Nothing came to mind the entire trip. He kept asking God but wasn’t hearing anything. They got to the top, and the stranger got off and began skiing without exchanging a single word. A tad perplexed, my friend asked God what that was about, and God said, “See, obeying Me is easy.” I LOVE this. We associate God with asking things of us that are so hard or cost us something dearly. While at times that is a part of obedience, He is saying the yoke of listening is easy.
OBEYING ME WAS EASY
A mom mentioned: “When I read about children with the language of acts of service wanting you to help them, I thought of my daughter. An example would be me fixing her hair. Sometimes I don’t have time to help her and ask her to do it herself, and she does get upset actually.”
My response: I know you love her and show it through providing breakfast, clean clothes, and getting her to school, but can you increase doing it in a way that she values and understands? What if sending her to school with her hair done by you filled her tank in a way that empowered and helped her throughout the day to feel safe and secure? Would you want to do it then? She is giving you the keys to her heart. The amazing thing about children is that their hearts are small and fill so fast. A five-minute hair session can literally change her day! How can you create the time to communicate love to her? Can you wake up five minutes earlier? Can you braid it the night before? When you honestly cannot do it, how then can you communicate that you still love her without being able to do her hair?
Let’s slow this down for a moment. A child is asking for help because that is how their tank gets filled, and the parent to whom they are offering their heart begins to get upset and frustrated with them for not doing it themselves. They now walk away with a tank even lower than when they first asked. I KNOW this is not the goal of many parents, but this is what happens when we fail to understand *their* language. We have miscommunication and a breakdown of deposits in their heart. Hear the difference: “No, I already taught you how to tie your shoes. You be a big boy and do it by yourself. Stop fussing and get it done now. No, I will not help you. You are going to make me late. Hurry up,” VS. “Oh, buddy. I love that you want me to help you, and my heart really wants to, but I cannot right now. I need you to tie your shoes. I am so proud of you for the way you have mastered tying your shoes.” Can you hear the difference? One sees the heart and affirms them, while the other only sees the task. It isn’t a yes/no, you do it/I do it response. It is seeing their heart and making sure you are communicating and affirming your love for them.
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!
Often, we focus so much on the struggle instead of the victory. Take a piece of paper and draw a huge heart. Spend some time being quiet before the Lord, and then ask Him to show you what HE has written on the heart of your child (do this separately for each child). What are the passions, dreams, desires, and strengths HE has put deep inside of them? Write down whatever you hear, then deliberately partner with God to call that out in them. Be the parent who says, “Guess what God told me about you today?” When you think it’s just your mom’s opinion, it’s easy to dismiss the validity, but knowing who we are to God is breathtaking.
What does a heart splinter in our children look like? A child of mine made a mess – a big one in my book. And then attempted to cover it up even though I have repetitively taught my children that coming to me is always the better route than keeping it from me. They lied to my face not once but FIVE times. Each time I could feel it and finally encouraged them to take some time to gain the confidence to answer honestly. They did, kinda (not really). An hour later, I invited them to talk about it, and their response lacked heart and vulnerability. I could feel FEAR from them and kept reminding them that partnering with fear in their messes would not help them clean it up. They commented about always being the one to disappoint me (which was odd because this child is the one who goes out of their way NOT to disappoint others almost to a fault). While I rarely use isolation as a parenting tool, I felt like this child needed to sit out and spend some time processing on their own. I brought them dinner and reminded them that I loved them but that three issues were going on. #1. The original mess. #2. Their response to the mess. #3. Their belief that they are always a disappointment.
They grabbed their journal and began to talk to Jesus about the splinter in their heart. By the time dinner was over, genuine tears were present. I invited them to share, and with great emotion, they said they asked Jesus to show them when they first felt like they were a disappointment and recalled a time six years ago. I did not manage my emotions well. She did something wrong, and it was the tipping point for me, and my response to her was larger than her offense. I remember the event well. I asked if they were willing to forgive me for the event and for introducing her to the idea she was a disappointment. I did not introduce her to that – the enemy did, but he worked through my choice not to manage my emotions well. Forgiving me removes the hook the enemy was using against them. We asked Jesus what LIE they believed because of this event, and He said, “That when Mom is upset, it means you will be alone.” I knew it was their truth because, when Jesus revealed that, great emotion came over them. Suddenly so many things about this child made sense. It was coming across like they were great at serving and kindness, yet it was really a fear of not wanting to upset me. Ugh. We broke agreement with the lie and asked Jesus for His truth. I had them sit in front of me and prophetically hand over the responsibility of managing my emotions back over to me. I handed back their God-given right to be a child, make mistakes, and learn from them. I prayed over them that Holy Spirit would erase that memory from her mind whenever she saw me having emotions, and it would no longer be an association or trigger. We hugged for a very long time. I invited them to go do something that would bring them great joy because joy resets brain chemicals, and joy is warfare.
Parents, I made a mess by not managing my emotions well, and here we are YEARS later, and that single event is still affecting my child. But this is what I want you to hear – #1. I do not partner with condemnation or accusation. I am on a journey. I make messes, too. God is still deep at work with me through my own journey of learning more and more how to be His daughter. I already asked for forgiveness when the event happened, and I am forgiven. I cannot and do not allow the enemy to spank me for what Jesus has already paid the price for (someone needed to hear that!). #2. THIS lie would have come up in my child’s future marriage when their spouse got upset with them or when they became a parent. It would have created bad fruit, and finally, they would have gone to someone for help, and what would Jesus have shown them? That when they were younger, their mother didn’t manage her emotions well, which created a lie.
THE FACT THAT WE CAN RESOLVE THIS **IN** CHILDHOOD IS HEAVEN ON EARTH. I told them when they went to bed, “I am SO glad you made a mess today because Jesus used it to reveal something so deep inside your heart, and today you got set free from a lie that would have shaped your life.”
Want to learn more? Order your copy of Heart Splinters – Resolving Childhood Owies In Childhood. Read it together as a family. Learn the tools of heaven together. Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly
God is always calling your name.
I excitedly read a book cover to cover in one sitting about children hearing God and then set it down. My religious mind told me that they were too young for such complicated spiritual matters. While the information exploded in my heart I longed for the day they would be mature enough to participate in the Kingdom! A few days later, we were all down by a river eating shelled peanuts. Lauren, my eldest twin, asked if she could feed the squirrels. Suddenly, to my own surprise, I heard myself say, “I do not know if it is a good idea or not, go ask Jesus,” and a few seconds later she jumped off the chair to go play. To know Lauren is to know that she is quite strong and bright and she will repeatedly ask and even repackage her question until she gets the answer she desires. She doesn’t just let things go and run off and play without getting her answer. I called her back and inquired if she asked Jesus or not, and what she said rocked my world to the core. She said, “Oh yeah, He said it wouldn’t be a good idea,” and again she bounced off to play. For me, in that moment, the world stopped. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that my baby had just heard the voice of the God of the universe. I knew in that moment that I was not a single parent but that my children have a Father who is eager to parent them. I took a mental snapshot of what just happened and vowed to the Lord that I would spend the rest of my days on earth tuning my children’s ears to His voice!
If you have followed Let the Children Fly for any amount of time you will notice a theme of sharing the stories of people having an issue/conflict, asking Jesus and then walking out the fruit of what He said. Anyone can have a bad day, mess up or create conflict, but as sons and daughters we get to declare, “Look what my Father did.”
I am passionate about YOU cultivating conversations with your Creator. If a parent has a lifestyle of communicating with their Creator, it will become natural for their children. We can’t expect our children to play in the Kingdom if we aren’t modeling it first in our own lives (I didn’t say children can’t hear God unless you do. I said it would not be their go-to if it isn’t something that is the norm in your household).
If God is the head of our households, then we need to be giving Him more room to speak into the decisions and situations that face our families today.
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Before we get into the good stuff, we need to resolve something first.
Each person must come to their conclusion to this question. “Does God still speak today?”
Some would say, “NO!” Some would say, “YES!”
I say, let’s ask Jesus and let His Word be our guide.
John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
John 5:19 – “Jesus gave them this answer: Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Many have been taught that He no longer speaks and if that is your adopted belief, then you are going to be double minded in trying to have conversations with Him. Your underlying belief will sabotage your growth because you will cast doubt on anything you hear.
Let’s go through the Word one more time.
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” **Conversations with our Creator is a two-way communication, not a grocery list.**
John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” **How can you follow if you cannot hear? Hearing is essential to following!**
John 5:19 – “Jesus gave them this answer: Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” **This is an astounding verse. Jesus is saying there isn’t anything (nothing, was the word He used) great about Himself, but what makes Him so fruitful is that He ONLY does what He sees/hears His Father doing. Part of following Him means to imitate His ways and do as He does.**
Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” **God is the original parent and doesn’t want us just to hear Him, but obey. (Aren’t we the same way with our children?) He isn’t just demanding obedience; He is asking we following what He is telling us. There is a difference. Old Testament was about the rules and law. The New Testament was about our relationship and connection with Him. As a loving Father, He instructs us and wants us to trust Him enough to obey.**
Parents, parents, teachers, and friends are there to help us, but it is ultimately Holy Spirit’s job to lead us into truth. John 16:13 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
I want to leave you with an action step based on John 11:40 that reads, “Jesus looked her in the eye. ‘Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’”
Do you want to see the glory of God? Regardless of wherever you are right now on the subject, you can see the glory of God *IF* you believe.
For those who haven’t experienced conversations with your Creator, ask, “Holy Spirit, who do I need to forgive for teaching me that You no longer communicate with your children?”
For those of you who have experienced it before, ask, “Holy Spirit, is there anything blocking my way to greater intimacy with my Creator?”
Emma, my second twin, wiggled in my womb so much it could easily take the nurses 45 minutes just to get an ultrasound of her. She hasn’t stopped moving since. Not in a hyper way (she is actually very mellow), but she is always dancing. I was never allowed to be carefree as a child, and the creative arts aren’t my natural bent, so it somewhat agitated me that she couldn’t just walk through the grocery store but always had to be leaping and twirling. I used to try to teach her to control herself and walk like a lady. It caused tension between us at times. Finally, God began to show me that her dancing is a gift from Him. It is almost warfare in nature. Something shifts in the atmosphere when she dances, which is so powerful.
I sensed Holy Spirit calling me to worship Him despite the heaviness of my heart. I found myself calling my daughter from the other room, “Dance, Emma, DANCE!” Within a few moments, something broke in the atmosphere. Interestingly, I endured a lot of grief while pregnant with her, and I sincerely believe all of the ‘movement’ was her dancing in the womb. I don’t always understand what is going on, but I DO know this – children are powerful carriers of the Kingdom, and when we as parents learn to steward their gifts vs. trying to control them, WE are the ones who are blessed.
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!
Dear Let the Children Fly Family, I owe you a heartfelt apology. God is so good. Why He gave me this message of partnering with Him in our parenting is beyond me. I can think of 101 reasons why someone could do it better. But He has been preparing this message in me since the day I was born. I am passionate about family, restoration, seeing children (really seeing them), partnering with Him, and parenting the way He parents us. I have done my best to learn and grow how to steward all that He has given our family. As any ministry leader would tell you, the leader’s development is not for the faint at heart. God cares deeply about our process of becoming the fullness of who He created us to be so that we can carry our message with purity, grace, and longevity.
When I was in a long season of learning how to run a business, God told me, “Lisa, I did not give Let the Children Fly to a businessman. I gave it to you, a solo mom of four. Lead from your heart just like you do your children.” From that moment on, I felt the freedom to ‘raise’ my ministry from my heart and not like anyone else. But there has been another area of my development that has caused me much tension. I do not like the camera and never have, not even as a child. Not sure why, but I don’t. In order to steward well the voice He has given me and minister well to others, I have needed to cross that chicken line despite the fact it causes deep vulnerability. My greatest gifting is sitting with someone 1:1 where Holy Spirit shows up and ministers to them, so talking to a blank computer screen feels like I am talking to a house plant. It is just not my comfort zone. Over the years, I have overcome my dislike enough to do them anyway. I do it because I love you and want to share what God has given me to help you in your journey. It is important to have people who have gone before us model what the Kingdom can look like. We are never called to be them, but we can pull on what they model, knowing that God wants to do the same in us. I have two people who have been my ‘ministry models.’ They are women who have gone before me and have modeled women in ministry well. God has used them richly in my life to learn from, watch and glean how they lead. They are excellent, refined, polished, and beautiful and have set the bar so high, yet seeing their constant example of excellence has caused me to disqualify myself somewhere along the lines. I felt like the widow giving her all; it always seemed to pale compared to the giants around me. I recently heard God say I was to ‘break up with them’ in my mind. They are no longer the model for which I am to aim for and achieve. Once again, God told me, “I did not give Let the Children Fly to them. I gave it to you. Lead it with your face, your voice, your ability.”
When we feel like we don’t measure up to the standard, we will disqualify ourselves in the waiting to get there. The goal is not to measure up. The goal is to change the measuring stick! I cannot tell you how many times God has shown up in our home, and I want to share it with you, but I don’t. I talk myself out of it because I am not ready like the women who have shaped my vision of what it ‘should’ look like. The lighting, sound, background, outfit, hair, speech, and presentation are perfect; I am not there yet. So I have allowed that to silence my voice and sideline me. God has been speaking to me deeply in this area. Those women are not newbies. One has been in ministry since I was in diapers (literally). They have earned their polished look by taking the same steps God is calling me to right now. Yes, we want to walk in excellence, but we cannot let perfection sideline us. The world needs what God has given us, and being polished can only come from our YES and stepping out, not our man-made perfection. While I love living in a community with so many polished leaders who are brilliant, beautiful, and polished, the truth is many have a vast team of people who are trained in marketing and social media and have incredible skill sets in those areas to help them. The hard thing about that is that it can shape one to think that is how it is supposed to look, feel and sound for someone starting out. I bless their journey and success, but it is so important that we lead and steward what God has given us, stay in our own lane and accept that we are on our own journey.
So to you, my dearest friends, supporters, and passionate parents, I owe you a heartfelt apology for being silent when God has called me to speak. I ask for your forgiveness for caring more about the polish than the message. I repent of hiding behind a bar set so high and ungodly expectations of myself. The truth is I have crossed 101 chicken lines this year alone, and I am committed to crossing them again because I DO passionately believe in the message God has given me. You have my promise that I will no longer withhold from you when God tells me to share. I break up with the pressure to be anywhere other than where God has me. You deserve better. You are hungry for what we carry and have been so faithful to steward it in your own homes. I promise you that I will let go of that style of ministry and share my heart as if we are sitting across from each other. Will you please forgive me?
What about you? Have you shrunk back from using your voice because it did not look like someone else’s success?
For years I noticed something in my life that would occur, yet I never had the language for it. Frustrated over its constant intrusion, I sat on the couch and told God I wouldn’t get up until it was exposed. Shortly after, my children walked in from school, and I heard Him say, “Your ministry team just walked in.” Anytime the kids are involved in ministry, I know it will be good. I called them all over and explained that there was ‘something’ going on in our family, and I wasn’t even sure what it was called or where it came from, but Jesus did, and we could ask Him. Their responses blew me away! One heard a stampede of elephants that happened over and over. Another saw a man morph into the Incredible Hulk and felt fear over this raging anger. Another heard the word ‘rejection,’ and my youngest began to cry. She said, “Mom, I don’t understand it, but I see the sweetest baby who is so cute, but no one even likes her.” Instantly my mind recalled one of the stories my grandma shared when I was interviewing her about her life journey. In 1894, my (great, great, great) grandfather came to America from Germany, leaving behind his wife and young sons. He worked for two years before having enough money to send for them to join him. At their long-awaited reunion, he sees his wife, three sons, and a brand-new baby girl (obviously, not his). He told his wife he would feed her, and that was about it. He taught the boys to reject her, and she spent the rest of her life hated and unwanted simply for being the fruit of her mother’s choices. The thing I was feeling was an unloving spirit. There has been a family disconnect between mothers and daughters in our family line ever since. The stories of blatant rejection and cruelty are heart-wrenching. I am the generation that breaks it and restores the mother/daughter connection as God intended. As a family, we sat in a circle and forgave our great, great, great grandma for having an affair. We forgave our great, great, great grandpa for partnering with a spirit of rejection and for not handling his anger well. We forgave him for using the parenting tool of fear and control and for not knowing how to work through this pain in a healthy way. And then we told the unloving spirit it was no longer welcome in our family!
I sat in a room with 80 young kids one night. Oh, my word, the world hasn’t yet seen what God can do with a group of children who are hungry for him. One girl said to her friends that her knee was hurting, and they immediately laid hands on her, and was healed. Her response? “Cool.” At first, I wasn’t sure how to process the flippant response, but I heard Holy Spirit say, “Because the supernatural is natural to her.” So powerful!