What would your community look like if you had a parent talking about fear, sibling conflict, and identity and handed them the HEART SPLINTERS book to take home and read to gain a better understanding and tools? Yeah, that is what this book does. It leads people to Him in practical and tangible ways. Empower parents in your community with the tools of heaven.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LEADERS
“Hi Lisa! I have newly discovered your presence and am loving your posts and the way you approach parenting. We’ve had this in our hearts and have purposes to parent this way, but it can feel overwhelming without extra help. I love the prompts you give and the practical, real-life examples. Thank you! I just bought Heart Splinters and am slowly working through it. I have three beautiful boys. Our oldest was diagnosed with arthritis when he was 3. He lost the ability to walk and was in therapy for a year, along with multiple shots per week. He is 10 now and is completely fine! We know the Lord healed him (and blessed us with good doctors), but I can see some heart splinters regarding God and feeling like everything bad happens to him. Yesterday, he said something about this, and I said, ‘You know, I have this book called Heart Splinters. Maybe we can look at it together? I think you may have some heart splinters.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I think I do. We should do that.’ Sorry for the long message, but I’m just really excited to have found a tool to touch those places I wasn’t sure how to get to but knew they were there.”
One of my daughters was working through some stuff with her father and made the decision not to connect with him when the opportunity presented itself. It is a hard dance to know how to parent a child with heart splinters, when to push, and when to take your hands off. I asked God for help, and it came to me while worshiping in church. I embraced her and shared with her what He told me. God commands you to honor your father but wants you to know that part of honoring your father is staying true to your heart and not lying about your process. While I cannot encourage her to keep this wall between her and him, she has come a long way from being the girl with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. She has fought hard to be honest with herself about how she feels, and the fact she was setting a boundary for her heart was a good thing. It is a sign that she is no longer willing to lie to herself for someone else’s profit. God is proud of her for the hard heart work she has done over the years to be fully alive. She sat down with tears streaming down her face. In all honesty, the parts that hurt her the most about her relationship with him are the parts of him that are so shut down and unable to engage. She realized at that moment that God healed her of the very thing in him. Part of honoring our mother and father is becoming the fullest expression of who God made us to be!
Intimidation produces shame in the receiver, questioning what is wrong with them. This wreaks havoc on their sound mind because they are battling illogical, unfounded, and absurd thoughts. God gave us a sound mind!
How many of you were parented in a way you do not wish to repeat with your children? If that is you, please hear this!!! When you vow not to parent like your parents, you fix your eyes on them and what they did/didn’t do. We yoke ourselves to whatever our eyes are set upon. Guess what? You will not be able to enter the fullness of what God has for you as a parent because your eyes are on man, not Him. Dad was intimidating – “I will never make my child feel intimidated”, Mom was emotional – “I will never show my child out-of-control emotions”, Dad was absent – “I will never leave my child alone”, Mom was angry – “I will never get angry with my child”, Dad was dominating -“I will never control my child”. While all of these may be true to some extent #1. You are seeing your parents through the eyes of a child. #2. You are replacing their less-than-ideal parenting with another faulty parenting plan. #3. You will rob yourself of parenting skills and tools and may look and feel like your parents, but it isn’t. The heart and motive behind parenting tools make all the difference in the world. You are using your parents’ choices to guide you, which will not lead you where you need to go. We can only parent fully when our eyes and heart are on HIM. We need to break the vow, “I will not parent like my mom/dad did,” and need to release to them their choices so that we are free to make our own.
I encourage you to spend some time today and walk through the following. Forgive your parents for the ways they parented you outside of the way God parents us. Repent of making a vow not to be like them. “Jesus, I confess I have yoked myself to my parent’s choices. I repent of putting my eyes on anyone other than You. Will You please forgive me?” Don’t just ask for forgiveness, but truly receive His reply. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what was going on inside my mom/dad to partner with that parenting style?” Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees in their heart and what is going on for them. The true fruit of forgiveness is the ability to have compassion for one’s ill choices, not because you like or accept them, but because you have a greater understanding. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what lies I have believed regarding my parenting?” Ask, “Father, will You please show me a picture of how I can model my parenting after You and Your heart?” Invite Holy Spirit to be your teacher. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to show me how to parent after the Father’s heart. Please teach me what it looks like to parent as a Son/Daughter.” Thank Jesus for aligning you so that your children can reap the fruit of healthy parenting that reflects His heart.
Ask, “Father, is there a wall between us?”
If you heard yes ask, “What is the name of the wall?”
Ask Him what tool He wants you to use to tear down the wall.
Use the tool and your free will to tear the wall down.
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
The Cross is the solution for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Spend a few minutes and ask Jesus if there is any unforgiveness between you and your child. I encourage you not to be introspective and mentally feast on every mistake, but rather ASK JESUS to show you if there is a hook of unforgiveness in their heart. If God shows you something, make it right TODAY! Perhaps you will want to spend some 1:1 time with them after school, take them out for a treat, or write a note and put it on their bed.
Parents do not lose respect by admitting their mistakes, they gain it. When you go low with your children, it makes them feel seen and heard. It validates their pain and this is the ministry of Jesus! When parents go to their children and say, “Jesus, showed me I was wrong when I _____. Will you please forgive me?” it is teaching your child that Jesus has their back, cares about their pain and sees their heart. Actually seeing the Cross applied is one of the most powerful experiences for a child in a Christian home. Moms, it could be YOU are the one who needs to forgive your child. Perhaps you are holding onto offense for being stretched too thin, getting your heart hurt or that life doesn’t look the way you thought it would. It is okay to need to forgive our children – we are all human beings in a fallen world. I would release the offense privately and not share this with your child. “Jesus, I confess my heart feels _____ because _____. I chose to let go of this offense towards (child’s name). I hand over my offense/pain/disappointment to you (In your mind picture handing it over to Jesus). What do You have in exchange for me?” (Wait until you see/hear what He has in exchange for you). Clean the spiritual pipes between you by applying the Cross today!
I knew God wanted me to write the book HEART SPLINTERS – Resolving Childhood Issues in Childhood. But I was walking through a season of deep discouragement and feeling disempowered. It is super hard to feel confident in your calling and put your voice out there when feeling disempowered. The manuscript was always a work in progress on my desk, but I was dragging my feet. I saw a Facebook post about a well-loved husband who had committed suicide leaving behind a precious family. While I had not met them, we had many mutual friends, and it rocked our community deeply. His wife shared her raw experience on social media, and it came across my news feed countless times.
One day, I saw it pop up again, but I kept scrolling since I had already read it. I so clearly heard God tell me to go back and reread it. I did, unsure of what He wanted me to see. I heard Him tell me to print the picture of this family. It was so strong that even though my printer was out of ink, I went to the local drug store to obey. I felt a little odd holding a picture of a family I had never met and who was going through so much tragedy, but I held the picture in my hand and asked, “God, what do You want to tell me about this family?” and He said, “This is your YES – this is why I want you to write HEART SPLINTERS. People are perishing without this information.” The tears were instant as I fell out of my chair on my face, and wept for hours. “Oh, Jesus, forgive me for partnering with being disempowered. Forgive me for walking small. Forgive me for not opening my mouth. Forgive me for laying down what You have called me to pick up. JESUS! Use me to tell Your sheep there is hope. Let what You did in my life, and the lives of my four children serve as a testimony of what You can do. Light and life always trump death and darkness.”
And with that encounter, the manuscript was finished.
“Why are we whispering?” I asked her, sitting in my living room. “Because we aren’t allowed to talk about it,” said my new friend, who reached out to process her heart-wrenching pain. When a culture of honor becomes a culture of silence, it no longer operates as God’s kingdom. The truth sets us free, and sometimes we need to be heard, process, and get wise counsel as we walk out our journey. You DO have permission to talk about your experiences, but HOW you do it and with WHOM is of great importance. If you are sharing to get someone in trouble, you might want to check your motives. If you are talking to change, heal, or align something in you in response to them, godly counsel is not only wise; it is healthy. See Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 11:14, and Proverbs 28:26. I tell parents all the time that, typically, it is not the event itself that creates lasting trauma but how those around them respond to the event. A young boy loses his dog, and another loses his father. The one who lost his father goes on to live a successful, healthy life, but the one who loses the dog remains hurt and wounded. What’s the difference? The one who lost his dad was surrounded by a community that validated his pain and gave him grace and space to process the pain, causing the hurt to get out. The boy who lost his dog was told to “get over it,” pushing the hurt further. It is never about the size of the heart splinter but about how the child was or was not able to process it. This is why God puts children in families and churches. If you can’t talk about your journey, it makes for a much longer walk to freedom. We need each other. Intimacy happens when we present our true selves and allow others to encourage, uphold, and speak into our lives. If a culture of silence is something you have partnered with, it is time to break up with that lie. It’s okay to need to process your journey with others. If we are going to restore order from chaos, we must value truth highly. We do not value honor in itself. We value truth, and honor is the vehicle used to seek the truth. Truth is exalted before honor.
Guilt says what you did was wrong, and the enemy counterfeits by using the tool of shame that says who you are is wrong. We do want to feel the weight of conviction for our mistakes and choices so that it leads us to godly repentance, but we never want to partner with the enemy’s lies of shame over who we are. Shame is paralyzing and incredibly toxic to our systems. It is like drinking acid. God never designed our bodies to hold onto shame.
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.
When we create cultures of silence, it creates shame in people, and eventually, it will come up as BLAME. I think one of the most unhelpful things a leader can say when someone is processing pain is that they are slandering and gossiping when they are just trying to process their pain. Not everyone comes from healthy backgrounds where they know how to work through their heart splinters, but when someone is trying to heal, let’s not shoot them down with the law of religion.
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