Ah, we did it – FINALLY. FB removed 2,000 families from my group for not engaging a while back. I never set out to grow a name or platform for myself. I just want families aligned with Him. I want to give parents the keys and tools that my mom needed for me (but never found). I want children to know they are loved, powerful, and wanted. Those 2,000 families mattered to me because they mattered to Him. I cried when I got the message from F B telling me they ‘helped me clean my group’ not because MY numbers changed, but because they are HIS children. While I may never be able to get them back (and pray they do not think *I* am the one who removed them), I have been praying for repayment. We gained the 2,000th family back, and I cried again. Jesus, have Your way with Let the Children Fly reaching more families! They matter to me because they matter to YOU.
I love this time of year when we get to reflect on the previous year and gladly welcome the new. It seems every year, there is a deep sense of excitement for what God is doing, but this year (2020) is different. I have been in a six-year journey of contending for my destiny and all that God has given me to do on earth. It would be impossible to describe the resistance and opposition along the way. Some days it was so loud, I had all I could do not to quit just to get relief from it. But deep down I KNEW if I stayed in the game long enough God would see me through and I would come forth not only purified but with greater authority.
IT’S TIME! It’s time to take back ground that has been lost in families. I get numerous messages each week from parents around the globe being bullied, attacked and held hostage by the enemy. They are overwhelmed, scared and feel powerless to help their children. Issues such as sexual violation, attacks on their gender, divorce, online predators, death, sickness, anger, drugs, tormenting spirit of fear, walls, runaways, disrespect, orphan mindsets, lies, hurts, offenses, bitterness, trauma are attacking many homes. I am passionate that Jesus died for ALL of the keys, and there is nothing we endure on earth that Jesus does not have a solution and answer for but this year feels like a tipping point for me and Let the Children Fly.
IT’S TIME! It is time to awaken parents to their God-given authority in the family. It is time to stop being bullied in the spiritual realm. It is time to give children the weapons of heaven. It is time to walk in the power Jesus died for. It is time to empower this generation with the power and authority of Christ. It is time to link arms with other parents and destroy the isolation. It is time to rise up and protect our children from the war on their identity. It is time to deal with our own childhood issues so that we do not parent from that place. It is time to stay NO MORE to the sexualization of our children. It is time to raise our voices in our child’s school regarding sexual education. It is time to align parents as Sons and Daughters. It is time to encounter the Father as a household and build stories together. Who is coming with me? This is the year we are going to defeat the works of the devil in our family room and align our families with His power, love and purpose.
I met with a young 20-year-old girl who got delivered of two tormenting spirits. I was overwhelmed with compassion for her. She was sincerely trying so hard but was harassed by these spirits. We cannot manage demonic spirits – we deal with them using our authority. It was time for them to go and for her to be FREE! Oh, that we would understand as believers the power and authority that He has so graciously handed to us. Many moons ago, I was sitting in my kitchen and reading Isaiah 61 for the first time. I wrote the date next to it in my Bible and had this awareness that this verse was for me, yet I was in the middle of walking out my own brokenness. I love how God can call us long before we are ready. Over the years, that fire in my belly has only increased. I am passionate about setting the captives free, bringing comfort to the hurting, and declaring freedom. Simply put, my mission statement is to defeat the works of the enemy in the family room!!! “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” (Isaiah 61:1).
It is one thing to reject a person because of their looks, style, personality, or character flaws. While it hurts, there is a deeper form of rejection when someone ignores, dismisses, or devalues your destiny because your destiny is the core in which you were knit together. It is not rejecting a part of you, like your personality, character flaws, or weaknesses. It is rejecting the very core of your existence. This is why learning our identity is so critical. We have to know who we are so that when others, who don’t know who they are, speak demonically-influenced words over us, we can stand on His truth about our worth, value, and calling and not cower. The world needs what you carry. You are the answer to someone’s prayer. God knit you together to be a part of His plan for the world around you. It is time to break up with and flush the words and actions done in an attempt to shut you down, silence you, and render you useless.
May I encourage you to make a list of the actions or words that have crippled your ability to move forward? Write down the offense, but also write down the fruit of the offense. Ex: Someone spoke over you that your gifts aren’t good enough (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have partnered with fear and intimidation, which has caused you to shrink back from other opportunities. Ex. Someone spoke over you that they don’t believe in you (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have wandered around from place to place looking for someone to see value in you because you were too afraid to see it in yourself again.
FORGIVE the person for being used by the enemy to put a hook in your heart. HAND OVER the pain, hurt, and regret to Jesus. ASK Jesus to show you what lie you were believing about yourself because of this event. ASK Father God what His truth is about you. INVITE Holy Spirit to teach you how to activate and use your gifts again. BLESS your spirit and tell yourself that you believe in yourself and have permission to carry on. The attack on your calling gives evidence that it is something that causes the enemy fear. It is time to stop partnering with it and get back in the game. The world is waiting for YOU!
I am just going to go ahead and say it. Not all of you will have worldwide platforms. It wasn’t that long ago when few people even dreamed about it, much less achieved it. Social media has made the world seem smaller. One YouTube video can reach the globe overnight. We have 1000’s of ‘famous’ people. We no longer live in the era of Hollywood celebrities being the only famous ones. You can be famous today without any talent. People can be famous for a single act, rebellion, or even for doing something stupid! Heck, churches can literally buy social media followers to make their churches seem bigger. Ugh! This has shaped so many in the body of Christ and rendered them silent. God has given you internal wiring to be seen and known and to offer the world something significant. If there are unrefined places in your heart, that God-given seed will be drawn to the world’s ‘success,’ and it can create the most DISCOURAGING view that there will never be a spot for you, that your voice isn’t needed and that there is no way you could become what is inside of you. The world is NOT your stage – your home and local community are. God has put something inside of you for the world AROUND YOU, not always for you to go around the world. Your voice, destiny, love, care, concern, mission, talent, and story IS needed, wanted, and valued, but if you think it has to be on the world platform, you will disqualify yourself before God even has a chance to develop you. He is looking for those who are faithful to what He has put inside of them, not looking for someone who is ready to be discovered. His Kingdom doesn’t work that way. This isn’t Hollywood, this is God’s Kingdom on earth, and you play a major role. Your calling was never supposed to put YOU on the stage but to use your gifting to point to the only One worthy of the stage, Jesus. Break up with the lie that “Someone else is already saying what I want to say,” “There isn’t enough room for me,” or “There is no way I could step out when others do it so much better.” This is an orphan speaking, not a Son/Daughter. Chicken lines are your friends because you increase your capacity every time you deliberately choose to cross one. If you want to change the world around you, be faithful to steward what He has given you well. The Kingdom of God does not have talent scouts looking for someone to discover. You are already found and have been given the role of modeling Him to those around you through your calling. What is ONE thing you are going to do to cross your chicken line and own what God has given YOU to do to impact the world around you?
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?
Over the years, many business/ministry mentors have told me that I need to have a clear identity statement for my business. I would work on it and get so frustrated that I would conclude it was insignificant. Over and over, this issue came up, yet it left me with the same feelings and frustration and dread. I would get a clear statement only to doubt myself and start over. I was told we could take as long as needed, but this part had to be done before moving forward. Ugh! I asked the Lord the following morning why it was so hard for me, and He so clearly and tenderly responded by saying, “Lisa, your dad never told you who you were, so you are having a hard time declaring who you are.” Knowing that I am a full-grown adult, and my dad is deceased, I asked what I was supposed to do with the lack, and He said, “Let Me parent you in this area.” The next morning, I scheduled a couple of hours in the Prayer House, where He began to unpack, reveal, and declare my business/ministry identity over me. From that moment on, there has been such rich and vibrant clarity of my mission. We have to know who we are in order to do what we are called to do.
When Lauren was five years old, I was dealing with a ripped carotid artery, and the kids needed to know the signs of stroke and how to respond. I attended a church in Loveland, Colorado as a visitor when Rob & Ellie Hein were missionary guest speakers. Rob called people forward, and I had a powerful encounter with Jesus. Rob noticed Lauren and came off the stage to her side. He asked if she was afraid (I later found out she thought I was having a stroke) and began to tell her that Jesus was encountering me and that I was okay. He then prophesied over her that he would see her someday in Africa. The seeds planted that day went straight to her heart and took root. By the time she was eight, she had asked for and read all of Heidi Baker’s books. She was in Mexico for a mission trip and texted me to say, “Mom, I was born for missions.” My heart wept as God continues to grow the seeds of this girl’s mighty destiny.
I·den·ti·ty – Noun – the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
Sta·bil·i·ty – Noun – the state of being stable. synonyms: firmness, solidity, steadiness, secureness, strength, fastness, stoutness, sturdiness, security, safety.
According to the dictionary the word IDENTITY is a noun and is based on FACTS. A fact is something that is known and proven true. Some will say that our identity can be anything one wants it to be, but that defies the definition of identity. A cow can’t just decide they want to be a monkey and swing from the trees. Attempting to ‘be’ a monkey would reap a lifetime of defeat, not to mention bumps and bruises. An ant can’t decide they want to carry their young in a pouch like a kangaroo because they don’t have a pouch! Wish as you might, but a clock can’t just start operating like a car because they are wired completely different.
In order to fully be alive, we need to answer two questions – WHY was I created and then HOW was I created? My parenting is anchored in these truths about my children.
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG) – “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG) – “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.”
Do you have faith in what God says about your child’s existence? Oh friends, this is the GOOD news! We aren’t here by chance or accident. He didn’t mess up the design, switch parts or make an error. We are purposely created with the utmost of care and intention. We are not manufactured at record speed; we are knit together by our Creator with a plan and purpose (the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists). We are ANCHORED when we understand that we were created by design for an incredible purpose. The world will tell you otherwise because they are without the hope, promise, and mindset of Christ. To know your identity is to also know that others haven’t yet discovered theirs. Discovering how we were created is not about reading a manual, but a glorious process of discovery with our Creator. This is one of the reasons why God put young vulnerable children in families and not as orphans. As parents, we get to blow on their areas of strength and empower them in their areas of weaknesses. We have the privilege of helping them unpack what is inside of them by God’s intentional design to impact those around them. The more this is discovered in childhood the easier adulthood will be because they already have a grid for who they are. You can’t operate successfully unless you know your original design and purpose. Establishing identity is a building block that is essential to building a strong foundation. If you don’t know who you are then it is going to be very hard to walk in the fullness of all that is inside of you with confidence and boldness. If you want your child to grow up bearing good fruit in their life, they must be first taught who they are. Our identity is who we ARE, and our destiny is what we are called to DO with our time on earth. Identity always comes before destiny because you have to know who you are before you can discover what you were created to do (and it is a loving Father not to move you into your calling before you have established your identity as His Son and Daughter). When a person doesn’t know who they are they become double-minded. Their mind tells them one thing and their heart tells them another. Each one cancels the other out rendering the person motionless. “I should”, “I shouldn’t”, “I am”, “I am not”, “I do”, “I don’t”… The cycle rages on in all areas of their life reducing their capacity to a cycle of unanswered mental questions. James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” God calls us to walk in confidence and assurance, not double mindedness.
Here’s the deal – if we, as parents, do not partner with our child’s Creator and help them discover who they were knit together to be, the world will. The two worlds are vastly different in views, purpose, and identity. More than ever the world is reaching children with a non-Biblical worldview which does not line up with God’s intention, plan, and purpose for your child. It is crucial that we shift from the parenting mindset of ‘shaping’ and ‘molding’ our children into something and learn how to partner, call forth and pull out what God has ALREADY created them to be. Paul was never meant to be a football player. Moses was never meant to be a worship leader. David wasn’t meant to be the president of a company. They changed the world because they discovered and then walked in who they were designed to be.
HeartWork – I want you to take out a sheet of paper and draw an outline of a body. Spend some time with your child’s Creator and ask Him to show you who He knit your child to be. How do they see the world? How does their brain work? What makes them come alive? What are their gifts, skills, and talents (even at a young age)? Allow Him to introduce you to the child He knit together.
Sometimes I think I could write a book titled MY DESTINY KILLED ME! I am opening up a window into a part of my journey to see some of the lessons God has taught me along the way. May it encourage you in your journey! I have wrestled these past years deeply with managing Let the Children Fly. Is it a business? Is it a ministry? Many would say it is both. Yet as others attempted to empower me on how to GROW my platform, it only increased my inner agitation. There is an insane amount of pressure in the Body of Christ to create and establish something by the labor of your own hands. Years of seeking wise counsel would tell me how to increase and grow my ministry, yet I could never get peace about it. Until recently, when God told me why… I never set out to run a business or lead a ministry. Growth organically occurred AFTER I stewarded what He gave me. To grow my platform outside of my intimacy with Him felt scary, even risky. It’s like working with a publisher before the book is finished. We can only faithfully steward something within our capacity. God isn’t about increasing the platform. He is about increasing capacity to steward more of what He wants to give you, and IN THAT, the platform increases naturally. To do it the other way around is nothing short of pride. It will not reap a true harvest. God will never give you a platform in your name. Banning once said, “Do not go after being the most elegant speaker. Go after the anointing and authority”. The first produces fame; the second produces transformation and eternal fruit. Everyone wants a platform, but few survive the resistance training between the audience and the stage. There has to be a process, a journey. Before you can carry the weight of a platform, you must be refined in key areas of weakness, or the stage will crush you. It is God’s mercy not to elevate you beyond your capacity. He isn’t denying you; He is protecting you. Everyone has patches of ice they slip on, and God wants to teach you how to endure things without falling. This is a process of growth that takes time. God is a master at growing people for the long term and is not interested in fifteen minutes of fame. He wants fruit that will last into eternity and later generations. Fruit takes time to mature. The Body has lost the art of serving others for no other motive than helping someone else succeed. Not everything needs to be turned into a marketing or financial funnel to profit you. Social media is a power that exposes what is inside us. If a sense of significance comes from the number of likes, we are partnering with a dangerous pit. While the temporary high of the ‘likes’ feels good, it leaves us feeling empty. There is nothing wrong with social media as long as it is from a place of being a Son/Daughter. Our motive is everything. Some people do not have a calling to reach the world. They have a calling to change the world of a few people well. You will be rewarded, not for what you grew, but for how faithful you were with what God has given you. I was lamenting to God once about the world’s value around numbers. The pressure that says you are only as good as your followers. I had an intimate time surrendering the pressure to God and being okay right where He has me. The next day I woke to a message from FB saying they helped me clean my group up and deleted **2K** people from my group. Gulp. I felt the loss for a moment and knew deep down I was okay because the numbers + or – do not define my faithfulness, worth, or value. The pressure broke off, and I refused to let it drive me. You can’t find your calling/destiny until you first have discovered your new identity as a Son/Daughter. To give you your destiny before you know how to operate in your calling would be a recipe for disaster. If you want to know your destiny, first learn your true identity. Finding your calling is one thing – overcoming the battle to remain in it is another. God isn’t looking for the most significant person, ministry, or platform. He is looking for YOU to be faithful in stewarding what He has given YOU. You contribute something on earth today that is vital, and you can’t afford to waste it on anything outside of where He has you. There is only one Kingdom ROCKSTAR, and His name is Jesus. He didn’t come to promote but to steward well all that His Father gave Him to profit others, not Himself.