If Your Kid Chooses Jesus, Make Sure This Never Happens

It quite possibly could be every Christian parent’s dream to see their kid, like my 9-year-old above, worshiping God with an arm extended and eyes closed, appearing fully surrendered to their Father. Isn’t this what we pray for, yearn for, and deeply desire for our kids? I know I do. I believe the purpose of parenting is to partner with God to shape the spiritual trajectory of our kid’s lives so they leave our homes bent on making God famous. And I know I will feel that I have lived into this purpose, if I see my kids in love with Jesus. But when I look at my kid worshipping God in this picture, great is my temptation to relax, to slow up. To step out of the boxing ring of the fight and off the treadmill of the race towards helping my kids love Jesus more than life itself. As if I’ve done my job, and now it’s time to exhale and let my hair down, because I see my kid outwardly expressing his inward reality. But this is the worst move we could make as Christian parents. The reason my 9-year-old can extend his arm like this so freely, is because no one tells him not to. At least not yet. No peers, no fear of what others will think, no girl he’s trying to be cool enough for. When we worship God with abandon like this, we’re often saying that God means more to us than anything in this world. That life is in fact, not about me, but all about God. And right now, my 9-year-old has nothing to lose. But what about when he’s 12, 15, 18-years old, and

When I Found Freedom From the Trap of People-Pleasing

I taped the first TV interview to promote my book, Chasing Famous, two months ago on, “Life Today,” with James and Betty Robison. The staff whisked me away from the hair and makeup chair, down the hall to set, to stand backstage and wait for my cue. What felt like hours, was probably only five minutes. I prayed God would calm my heart which beat as fast as my kiddo’s ice cream melts standing outside in the Texas summer heat. Earlier in the week, I had a pre-show interview with a “Life Today” producer. He read my book and was in awe of God’s transformational power in my life. (You can read my testimony of God’s great grace in response to my teenage abortion in this blog post, or in Chapter 4 of, Chasing Famous.) He urged me to share many details of my story in the taping, as he believed the audience would be reminded or learn for the first time, that God loves us with no conditions. While pacing and praying backstage, a different producer walked up to me and said, “Lisa, just keep talking. James and Betty will interrupt you if they want, but people need to hear your story, so just keep talking.” And once the cameras started rolling, that’s what I did. I was on cloud nine afterwards. I knew God got the glory as He made Himself famous through me. God was so good. But there is always an enemy to Good. That evening, this enemy cast doubt in my direction. And like any good people pleaser, I analyzed all I said and worried, once the interview aired, the audience and my publisher would be disappointed. I talked about

Here is How You Mom-Fail

We spent weeks rehearsing for the boy’s talent show audition at school. “Deuce”, age nine, would play piano and sing a “mashed up” version of three pop songs. Six-year-old Solomon, memorized Jack Prelutsky’s, “Homework, Oh Homework!” as well as a few jokes to tell after performing the poem. Sign-ups for the audition were on a recent Friday and we were told no exceptions would be given for parents who missed the deadline. The boys reminded me again and again to sign them up. But when I woke up Saturday morning, I remembered I forgotten. I threw back the covers, raced to my computer, and prayed the sign-up link was still open. The link was gone and in its place, were the dreaded words, “Audition sign-ups are NOW CLOSED.” Panic set in. I immediately emailed the teacher in charge a “desperate mom” message. I asked her for mercy and blamed my lame brain for forgetting. I said I’d understand if she couldn’t let me sign them up late, but because she was a mom too, I just knew she’d say yes. She said no. Through their tears, my boys offered hugs, kisses, and forgiveness. But letting them down made me feel like a horrible mom. I don’t know about you, but the memories of the times I feel I stink as a mother, swim more quickly to the front of my mind, than the times I’ve succeeded. But yesterday, God let me in on a conversation that reminded me of His opinion of the job I’m doing. The boys had a friend over after school and in the middle of dinner, I said, “Oh boys, we forgot to pray and thank God for our food!” Friend:

Why Disobedience is More Comfortable Than Surrender.

Recently God's asked me over and over again to die to something I want for myself. But every time He speaks, I make excuses like, "Nah, that's not really God asking me that". Because if I convince myself it's not God asking me, then I don't have to obey. Maybe like me, God is asking you to do something you don't want to do. We know that if we obey, we will give up a lot. And I'd rather be comfortable than obedient most days, so I keep on making excuses. But then something I read in Experiencing God by Blackaby and King, reminded me that people have been giving God excuses for disobedience forever. Moses, Gideon, Noah, Abraham, David and more. Because we know exactly what God's asking us to do. And this is why we raise so many objections. I like the ease of being me, more than the pain it will cause me to change. But I know if I obey, I'll look less like me and a lot more like Him. And at the end of it all, this is what I crave more than the comfort of my disobedience. What if we were to obey the next time He asks? And not give delayed, excuse-filled, obedience, like I'm prone to do, but obey immediately. On this very subject in my book, Chasing Famous, I say, In my opinion, our obedience is not just one way we evidence our faith, I think it’s the evidence of our faith...Obedience is extremely difficult, especially because it always seems easier to go our own way. But my happiness and comfort are not what I’m living for. I’m living to make God famous despite the sacrifice. May we

3 Clues It Was Time to Give Our 8-Year-Old the Sex Talk

I knew the day would come when we would share with our oldest son, "Deuce" about the “birds and the bees”. And I wasn’t excited about it. I knew in doing so, we would take away his innocence. I just wanted him to remain ignorant for the rest of his life and on the eve of his wedding, Markus and I would sit him down and share what was about to happen tomorrow. Wouldn’t that be nice? Ahhh, best laid plans… But three clues caused Markus and I to realize it was time to give "Deuce" the sex talk. He heard the word “sexy” at school and wondered what the word meant. He also asked for an explanation every time he saw or heard the word, “sex” in the media. “Deuce” asked questions about pregnancy, like, “How do babies get inside a mom?” And pointing to a pregnant woman once asked, “How did she get pregnant?” We’ve always held to the belief, “If they’re old enough to ask, they're old enough to know.” So, until we were ready to talk with him, our response was always a true one, “A piece of a husband and a piece of a wife come together to make a baby.” A few parenting experts shared with us that kids hear about or are exposed to sex earlier than ever before, thanks in part to smartphones. And if we don’t talk to our kids by the time they are eight years old, their friends will. Age eight. Our son’s age. Holy moly Batman. So, we spoke with couples who already traversed this road and asked them for wisdom. I mean, aren’t we all in this together? Let’s lean on each other.

“Life Creative” – book review

One thing I gave up when I started having kids, was performing in live theater. My time once spent on stage, was taken up by babies who needed to nurse, or toddlers with “necessary” bedtime routines. Now my kids are older and not as needy. And I could audition again, but it makes my heart heavy to think of spending the evenings away from them, or having someone else pick them up from school, only to see them in morning when they wake up or when I tip toe into their room after rehearsal to kiss their sleeping faces. I have the luxury of the choice, and I choose to stay home. But there are times when I drive past theaters, or see a production, and long for the days of living in the theater. I desire to build a character from scratch, relate with other cast members on-stage, and develop lasting relationships with them off-stage. As I see the theater in my rear-view mirror, I get lost in my dream world and compare what I have to what I wish I did, and wonder what I need to do to make my dream world a reality. But I recently picked up the book, “Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom”, where authors Wendi Speake and Kelli Stewart encourage my God-given talent, and challenge me to not give up the dream. But they also remind me to not be so caught up with me that I forget to have a Kingdom perspective in my parenting— “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19 ESV). “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit

Helping My Little Boy Find His Self-Control

  When “Deuce” was a baby, I would watch him sleep in his crib and wonder what kind of personality he might have as he grew up. I also wondered, if he allows God to move in his life, what characteristics of Jesus might he exude? Now eight years old, “Deuce’s” personality is already larger than life. He is a leader. He’s a great student. He can be extremely kind. His feelings run deep and he cares for others. He hates lies. He’s a rule follower and protective of his own—if you’re a mom reading this, I can guarantee you, “Deuce” will be the boy you will want your daughter to date. And “Deuce” loves Jesus. But just like a lot of little boys out there, “Deuce” struggles with being impulsive. This has been a thorn for him as long as I can remember.  His lack of self-control has continued into his school years, where he still gets in trouble for blurting out and acting as the class clown to get a laugh. Markus and I tell him there’s a time and place for all of this, but while the teacher is talking is not one of them. But still, he struggles. So this school year, I thought we’d try a different tactic. If my nagging voice and Markus’ “dad” voice won’t work, maybe God’s will. “Deuce” has an acute sensitivity to the Lord. And so I try to embrace teachable moments when I can tell he hears the Holy Spirit speak to him. I point out the difference between his voice and God’s—if he has a hunch or desire that is more holy than his, better, or will benefit others, this is probably the Holy

Boy Summer

If you’re one of my two boys, it only makes sense that when you spend every waking summer moment with your brother, playing video games, creating worlds with legos, cars, and superhero toys, you’re bound to get on each other’s last nerve. We’ve had our share of day camps this summer, swim lessons, and even a family vacation, but when they’re at home, they easily—and very willingly—erk the other. Sometimes it’s on accident, but often it’s just to bug the snot out of their brother. They know each other best and they know how tick each other off. When this happens, I’m often sitting at my computer working. I hear it coming. The rumbling starts low, but I can hear the annoyance in his voice. The other continues his button pushing until all hell breaks loose. In the end, one is crying, and the other is making fun of him for doing so. Now my concentration is broken. And just like the anger rising inside the victimized brother, the heat within me is like water about to boil in a tea kettle. No longer able to focus on my work, my spout whistles loudly. “What is going on?!” I yell. And thus begins the, “He said/He said,” game complete with plenty of, “No I did not/Yes you did,” and “Mom, he’s lying/No I’m not (shove)!”. When this happens, I wish I could say that I always sit them down, and begin a communication lesson with them. “Tell your brother how what he did made you feel.” (They do so.) “Now, apologize to your brother.” (They do so.) “Now hug each other.” (They do so.) “Now, go play and be selfless!” (And they do so, skipping

Asking God, But Loosening My Grip

I recently asked a celebrity speaker and writer to write the forward to my upcoming book. I was convinced if she said, “Yes,” her influence and large platform would get the book into the hands of more women than I could. She appeared to be very enthusiastic about the book's message—God wants to glorify Himself through us to make Him famous to the world. It just made sense to me that God would want her to endorse my book. I prayed and fasted that He would open her calendar to read my manuscript and write the forward. After two months of waiting and hoping, I finally received a reply—“No.” Due to a busy speaking and writing season, she couldn’t commit. You may be thinking, as I was, Well, duh! I mean, come on Lisa, you’re no celebrity. So why do you think a celebrity would carve time out of their busy schedule to write your forward? True. But! I also believed and counted on God turning an impossible situation into possible. So I was heartbroken at the response. In fact, I cried a little in the Kroger parking lot as I read her reply. In an attempt to comfort me, my sweet 5-year-old said, “Mommy, I’ll write something for your book. Just tell me what you want me to say.” After responding to the news with some Ben and Jerry’s, “Triple Caramel Chunk” ice cream, I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to learn. He showed me that I clenched in both hands the desire for this woman to write my forward. My grip was so tight, I left nail marks in my palms as I hoped, wished, and prayed for my

Guest Post – “When Your Friend Has Cancer: Three Ways to Provide Support”

  I recently found out that a friend of mine has breast cancer. I'm in her "outer circle" - see Marissa's definition below - but I didn't know how to respond. Do I call her? Text? Bring her a meal? Is this too much/not enough? How can I help? Because that's really what I want to do, help. But I don't want to be invasive and I don't want to be neglecting an opportunity to meet any of her needs. Then, Marissa Henley, a cancer survivor and my cousin's wife, told me about her new book, Loving Your Friend Through Cancer. I couldn't wait to pick it up. I asked her to send me a blog post so that you too could benefit immediately from her past pain that she's transforming into her future purpose. Reading this post not only helped me to know how to respond to my friend with cancer, but also gave me insight on how I can respond to others going through grief or illness. May we be the best friends we can be to those we love when they need us most.    Five years ago, I was a young mom of three when I first heard the words: “It’s cancer.” I was standing alone in my bedroom, but I wasn’t alone for long.   Within hours, a few family members and friends came over and joined me in my shock and grief. The next day—my 34th birthday—a larger group of friends gathered for a surprise birthday party full of tearful prayers. And over the coming months, a multitude of supporters sustained our family with love, prayers and service.   My battle against angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer with a grim prognosis, involved

Are You Ready To Live the Life You've Always Auditioned For?

"Lisa Lloyd has written a book that relentlessly fixes our eyes on Jesus. She candidly shares her story of finding purpose inside and outside the lights of the stage and film. The struggle she unveils is universal. As you turn these pages, she will ask you the same questions about your life. This book is for you." |  Tracy Levinson
 
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