WORKING THROUGH HEART SPLINTERS TOGETHER

WORKING THROUGH HEART SPLINTERS TOGETHER

“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.”

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

JESUS AND NAILS

 We had to catch a morning flight out of Sacramento, and I kept changing the time I thought we should leave. Finally, half joking, I said, “Jesus, what time should I leave?” We left at that time. In the middle of nowhere, my light comes on, saying my back tire is low. We stopped, and the nice attendant turned on the air for free. I filled it up but heard God tell me to check the tire. I kept moving to rotate the tire so I could inspect it. Sure enough, there was a nail! I decided to see if it would hold, but I was losing pressure quickly within minutes. I pulled off, and a tire place was right there. But it was only 7 am, and they didn’t open till 8. If I waited till 8, I would have missed my flight. We called, and the manager answered, saying he would start his day early for me. As I pulled in, he was waiting for me. Expecting to walk out with two new, unexpected tire purchases, he said he could patch it and then had the heart to not even charge me. I tried to tip him but to no avail. From the time I pulled off till I was on the road again was *15 minutes*. Had that happened just two miles later, we would have been stranded on the side of nowhere! I swelled with His goodness and laughed when I heard Him say, “I know about nails.” He knew the nail would be in the road and had me leave earlier, stop when and where we did, and provided each step of the way. Wow!

BIG BROTHER

For Hudson’s 8th-grade mission trip, he was offered a chance to work in the church nursery and would tell me about this boy named Micah. His parents took my parenting class, so I reached out to Kelly to tell her how precious it was that they had connected. She said Micah talks about Hudson all the time. Clearly, God was on the connection, so we decided to get them together. When Micah came running out the door to greet us, I was so taken aback by how much he looked like Hudson at that age. Their bond is precious, and I am so thankful for the scores of men who have sown into Hudson over the years and that he has a grid and understanding of what it means to sow into someone’s life. It is so fun to watch your child receive and then grow up to be the one who values passing that gift onto someone else.

UNBALANCED SCALES

I like to get away with God to give Him space to speak to me without an agenda. This is what He showed me during our recent time together. I saw a snake wrapped around me I assumed it meant some sort of deliverance (yikes), but He began to talk to me about being ‘joined at the hip’ and how the snake serves as fuzz in Velcro, preventing it from fully attaching and sticking together. I also saw a picture of slime, which by nature, is to be repulsive. Hmmm. As I inquired about the snake, He said the word, ‘scales’ three times. At first, I thought He meant the skin of a snake, but suddenly I saw a picture of a weight scale and instantly heard in my spirit, “God despises unbalanced scales.” This has to do with cheating on the true worth and value of something. I saw a line across a page, and He began to show me that when we are adopted, we are to live in that space. It includes our identity, worth, value, destiny, abilities, energy level, faith, etc. He showed me how people elevate themselves above the line with pride, idol worship (and allowing others to worship them), taking up space that isn’t theirs to take, self-promotion with an orphan heart, striving, building a platform over building His Kingdom, etc. This picture was easy for my mind to see and grasp. Then He said, “But there is another unbalanced scale that I hate,” and He showed me those who operate below the line by partnering with being disempowered, lack need for permission or approval, lacking godly confidence, being timid, shrinking back, not owning their voice, dismissing their gifts, comparison, etc. One elevates themselves above where God has them, and the other lowers themselves below God’s call on their lives. Both are out of balance of the true worth and value of a life called and adopted by God for His Kingdom and purposes. The only way to fully attach to others in the way God intended is to do so from the position He has called us. It is nearly impossible to connect in a healthy way to an idol, just as much as it is hard to thrive with someone who partners with lack. If you find yourself in either camp outside of the balanced God-given space, I encourage you to take some time to make this right with Him. Confess it and ask Him to bring you into His measurement of who you are!

FULL CIRCLE

My parents went through a terrible divorce, and we remained with my mom full-time. Before my dad died, he shared the painful story of how he went to Hawaii and wrote the names of my siblings and me in the sand. When the waves washed our names away, he said goodbye to each of his four children as if we had died. It was his way of processing the pain and letting go. Years later, I visited the very island my dad said goodbye to me. I felt the Lord wake me early to write my children’s names in the sand, but I am not letting them go, nor am I grieving them. Instead, I surrendered them to the Father, who will never leave or forsake them; a Father who holds their future and embraces their heart today and forever.

NOT MY MAIL

This is an excellent post from my friend Michelle.

“In the last week, I have heard the following come from the mouth of children: ‘I have anger issues,’ ‘I am emotionally unstable,’ ‘I am stupid,’ ‘I am not valuable,’ and ‘I hate myself.’ A mailman delivers mail based on a label with your name and address on it. You would never accept mail with someone else’s name and address. So, why are kids accepting labels/mail that isn’t theirs??? BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TAUGHT WHO THEY ARE!!! Welcome to the ‘NOT MY MAIL’ tool… The kids decorated their own little mailboxes (I purchased these from Michaels Craft store for $1). They decorated their mailboxes while I wrote things on little pieces of paper to act as ‘mail.’ I allowed them to ‘practice’ accepting or declining a mail delivery. I wrote things such as ‘I am a world changer,’ ‘I am loved,’ ‘I am ugly,’ ‘I am stupid,’ ‘I am not popular,’ etc. They would take the ‘mail’ and stick it in their mailbox or say, ‘No thanks, that’s not my mail,’ and not accept it from me. Too many kids are taking on labels and identities that do not line up with the way Heaven sees them!!!! ‘NOT MY MAIL’ helps to teach the kids what to accept and claim over themselves. Listen to all the ‘I have…’ and ‘I am…’ and ‘I can’t…’ statements that come out of your mouth. Take some time to flush false identities/labels and receive your true identity and move forward into your true identity! No more accepting mail that isn’t yours!!!!”

LYING TO YOURSELF

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! 

JUST SAY NO!

Years ago, I had my second lump removed from my breast. I scheduled my follow-up surgery on the same day my insurance expired. My doctor ran the test and told me I had a 65% chance of getting the most aggressive form of breast cancer within five years and suggested I go on a low-dose cancer drug. I told her my insurance ended that day, and she said, “Well, you better hurry up then and make a decision,” assuring me she could give me an extended prescription to cover me for a while. I was barely 40 years old, a single mom, and had four little babies at home under five. Flashbacks of losing my mom to breast cancer poured out of my eyes as I wept, sitting in my car in the parking lot. My ability to think and make rational decisions became paralyzed in fear. I was gambling with my life, and it was not something to take flippantly. I called some friends who had their journey with cancer and strongly suggested I take the drug. I cried out to God (literally), telling Him how scared I was (not just for me, but how this would affect my children), and asked what I should do. Suddenly, I got this overwhelming thought, “Why would I treat a cancer I do not have?” The doctor said I had a higher percentage that I COULD get it, but I currently did not have cancer. The tornado of chaos and emotions gave way to deep peace. I attempted to clean up the streaks of black mascara that stained my face and, with bold confidence, went back up to my doctor’s office to tell her, “Thank you, but no thank you.” I was fully aware that fear would knock, wanting me to play the What-If game.

I made an agreement with God that day. I reminded Him that He is my great Physician (years earlier, I was scheduled for a double transplant – until God stepped in). I already had faith in what He can do through my body, so I turned the issue over to Him and told Him, “I am not going to pay attention to this report. This one is on You, and You can alert me if something is wrong, but I will not let fear talk to me.” Over the years, I have had to remind myself of that agreement on a few occasions, and when fear knocks, I answer by blessing my body and cursing cancer.

Fast forward to one summer. We have always spent our summers on the road doing family ministry. That summer, we had our trip all planned down to the details, but the more things came together, the louder my lack of peace became. I finally laid it all down as I no longer wanted to fight for peace. A week later, I found a mass in my breast. Between swinging from one doctor appointment to the next and waiting for appointment day to arrive, we spent our summer walking out the reality that a tumor was found. I got the call while standing in the swimsuit section of Target and would be lying if I said the room didn’t spin a bit when I hung up the phone. But I asked God, “Is this my time?” and clearly, I heard, “NO!” My mind never played the What-If game, and I kept my peace all summer.

It doesn’t make it true just because someone speaks a word over you. Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean you have lost. Just because a doctor says so doesn’t mean you have to partner with it. Just because fear speaks to you doesn’t mean you have to listen. I am happy to report that I am okay, and we are on the other side of this journey.

ACTS OF SERVICE

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.