If perfection was the goal in parenting, then even Mary messed up because she lost the Savior of the world; just saying.
Jesus doesn’t have band-aids.
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.
I went away with the sole purpose of hearing His heartbeat for families. Here is a portion of what I heard Him say:
OPPOSITE DIRECTION – There has been a force leading parents in the opposite direction, and many have found themselves going the wrong way but haven’t known how to pull themselves out of it. Parents have felt overwhelmed and powerless in the battle. I see buckets of slime thrown over the heads of parents, preventing them from seeing and hearing clearly. It has caused them to feel dazed. Fear has crept in over the next generation, and because of this, the battle line has moved inch by inch in the wrong direction. But God….
INTO THE CURRENT – Do you remember in the movie Finding Nemo, when Marlin awakens on the back of the sea turtle Crush and learns they’re riding the East Australian Current? All they had to do was roll into the current, and it swept them up in the direction they were supposed to go. They rested and played while the current moved them at record speed. That is the picture God gave me for families this year and what I will be anchoring my ministry and family around in 2018.
FINDING THE SON – Just like Nemo’s dad, Marlin, who was on a pursuit to see his son, scores of families in the church will leave the comforts of what is familiar to join the adventure of finding the Son. I am not talking about salvation, as they are already believers, but rather those who lack the power of the Cross in their lives. Families in the church are going to taste and see the power of the Cross and the transforming power of the name of Jesus in ways they have only read about before. Once they experience it for themselves, they will gain strength and resolve to make sure their children don’t become unbelieving believers but walk in the power of John 14:12.
QUIET REVOLT – There is going to be a quiet revolt as many make a personal choice to rebel in opposition to armed resistance to the established way of life. It will not be by force or control but by determination and conviction fueled by a deep hunger for the righteousness of God. Households will be reclaimed for the Lord’s purpose, and PARENTS WILL roll into the massive undercurrent of the Lord’s power that will sweep them under His wing and set the next generation back on course.
AN AUDIENCE OF ONE – The term ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is the pursuit of striving to keep up with what everyone else is doing. The Joneses will move out, and JESUS will move in! 1 John 4:4.
TITANIC GENERATION – Many generations have been like the Titanic, doomed to sink because of the lack of vision and clarity. On the outside, life looks like a big party, but they failed to navigate the things below the surface and sunk. This is the year many will partner with the Great Captain to TURN THE SHIP AROUND in the right direction. This generation has a unique calling in their bloodline. Those who have gone before you didn’t know who they were or how to do it. The next generation will never know the days of defeat, isolation, rejection, or fear that you had to walk through. But before the beginning of time, God had YOU in mind for your bloodline and called you to partner with Him to turn the ship of your family line around. It is a unique calling and one that the previous generations nor future generations fully understand. Do not mistake the uniqueness of this assignment for isolation, as there are many being called in this generation to turn their ship around.
CURRENT CHANGES – God is going to change the current in many families where parents have parented out of fear of man, doubt, and unbelief. The childlike faith of their children will begin to flow UP the generations and transform parents as they become students of their child’s pure faith and joy.
WHOLE PARENT – I see parents standing tall on two solid legs with their arms stretched out with open hands. The Spirit of the Lord has healed their brokenness, set them free, and repaid what was stolen. I see their hand extending down, feeding their children from a place of wholeness and security, producing fruit way beyond themselves at that age.
WHOLE GRANDPARENTS – On the other side, I see their hands stretched upwards to their parents. Because of the good work He has done, God will use this generation to extend healing to their parents (grandparents). This is the year THREE generations will come together in wholeness, unity, and honor. The glue is the Cross of forgiveness, healing, and redemption. There will be mighty encounters with the love of the Father as adult children become the instruments of healing and give to their parents what they never received from them. God is going to change the current in many families where pain, lack, and heartbreak were passed down; healing will begin to flow UP the generations.
PLAYING IN THE KINGDOM – The moment your child was born, God sent you an invitation to play in the Kingdom WITH your children. I see the invitation on many kitchen counters tossed aside like junk mail. This year many, many, many families will discover, open, and accept the invitation. There will be great joy, laughter, and more fruit than you could ever imagine as you learn to play in His Kingdom TOGETHER everywhere you go. A parent/child team is a force to be reckoned with.
Parents will awaken to the drum of His voice. Parents will know who they are so they can teach their children who they are. Parents will unthaw from the things that have kept them frozen. Parents will awaken from the seductive lure of social media and become fierce warriors to protect their children. Parents will heal from their childhood wounds so that they can help their children deal with their owies in childhood. Parents will get so radically set free of their strongholds that they parent in word *and* example. Parents will deal with their bitterness so that their children can learn how to be free of their offenses. Parents will say no to the popular vote and begin to parent the uniqueness of their children by God’s design. This is the year of His family, YOUR FAMILY!
Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary.
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.
You do not need to master the things of the Kingdom in order to teach your children. Doing it together is Kingdom. I would never be where I am today if I had waited for me to master (reading the Word, worshiping, hearing His voice, praying for the sick, etc.) first. It was my ‘wisdom’ that married with my children’s childlike faith that exploded something in our family. Learn, grow and practice TOGETHER as a family.
As we were preparing to go on the road as a family for five weeks, I kept trying to stay in a place of rest physically, mentally, and spiritually, but it was like one thing after the next challenged that. I was worried about starting our trip from an exhausted place, as being on the road takes a toll on you. I heard God say, “Don’t rest to go, go to rest.” I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but our first stop was in Reno, where we spent two glorious days doing nothing but resting by the pool. I could feel myself slipping back into that place of surrender, peace, and rest. The entire trip was a breeze filled with ease and had so many pockets of deep rest between events. A friend offered to take the kids for me so I could have alone time, and I realized I was so rested that I didn’t want the alone time. Rest is key to stewarding what you have been given as well as receiving more, and He is indeed teaching me how to remain in that place in all circumstances. In what area does God want you to rest your soul today?
Years ago, God told me to go back to a situation that was familiar to my childhood. I went, and the entire week felt fruitless. I couldn’t come up with a single thing that created movement or fruit, and it bothered me. I sat on the dock watching the sunrise on our last morning with tears in my eyes that somewhere, maybe I missed the assignment and was truly grieved. The entire trip seemed so pointless. Until I heard God say this, “Lisa, I brought you back to the same situation you were in as a child, not because anything has changed, but to show you how far I have changed you.” I wept tears of utter gratefulness for the incredible movement deep inside of me over the years. Sometimes God allows us back in previous situations or seasons simply to give us a view of the good work He had done in us. Thank You, Jesus, that You are faithful to finish and complete the good work in our lives. Take a moment today and ponder your younger self; a year ago, five years, and twenty years ago. Allow Him to show you just how far He has carried you.
I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. While it is not fun talking about what isn’t working, sometimes our freedom comes from acknowledging reality. Jesus says that it is the truth that sets us free, and we cannot align ourselves with that truth if we are not first willing to see and acknowledge that we are not in alignment with His truth. I have been overwhelmed with messages of gratitude and testimonies of how people came humbly to Jesus and encountered His love, revelation, and healing. He is doing a good work in you, and your children are blessed by your willingness to do the heart work! I am just so proud of you!
During church, we were told to pray for those who needed healing. I asked the Lord what He wanted me to know about a precious elderly lady. I could tell she loved Jesus but was struggling with receiving healing. I began to whisper in her ear how much she loved Jesus and how faithful she has been to Him over the years, and she would nod in agreement. I then began to tell her just how much HE loved HER, and she started to cry, weep, and come really unglued. There are so many Jesus-loving people in our church who have never experienced the personal love that Jesus and Papa God have for them personally! When we train our children to ask, “Papa, how do You feel about me?” We are literally changing the course of their lives. I was a believer for nearly 20 years before I realized the God of the Universe loved ME, not the world, but ME!!