mothers, listen with your heart
The other morning Matthew rushed into me with a sweet smile and twinkling eyes. I was working on something at the kitchen table. "I have a secret for you," he said. "But you'll have to listen with your heart." I stopped what I was doing and turned sideways in the chair to face him. He'd never said that before, and the profoundness of the last part struck me. "Okay, I'd love to hear your secret." He leaned in and whispered so softly I couldn't hear. I pulled back to look at him with a smile. "You're going to have to whisper a little louder, because my heart can't hear you!" So he leaned in and whispered ever-so-slightly louder. I still wasn't sure I understood it completely, so I had him whisper to me one more time. He giggled as he did so. After he went back outside to play, I couldn't stop thinking about that phrase: "you'll have to listen with your heart." I'm not sure if he heard it somewhere (maybe at church), but it caused me to think over so many things. Certainly listening with our hearts is one of the most important things we do as women and as mothers.
A matter of the heart. When it comes to making decisions, and amidst the sometimes suffocating clamor of opinions that are all around us everyday, I am learning that it's important to pay attention to my heart. I am not talking about making decisions on a whim--that is not listening to the heart, nor am I not downplaying the importance of studying out alternatives or thinking about what makes sense--those are all essential, but I do believe in the importance of paying attention to the heart. In addition to all the studying out and thinking through things, I am learning to and ask myself, "Why do I feel this way?" One reason our hearts are so important is that God tends to communicate to us in a quiet way that I don't know how else to describe other than feelings of the heart. I believe as women we have a special ability and responsibility to pay attention to those feelings as we make decisions for our family and for our children. God places them there for a reason.
Opening my heart and learning to listen. In our busy world, it's difficult to listen--to set apart time to ponder. But I feel it's necessary to do so if we want God's guidance in our lives in a more integral way. For me, prayer is the best way to open my heart and orient it properly. I know our Heavenly Father is anxious to bless and guide us, but we have to make room in our life and ask! Then we have to make the time to listen. For me, articulating myself through writing is one way I make sense of feelings and ideas (in addition to talking through things with my husband). I have found that writing is an absolute essential in my life. Somehow articulating myself through ideas helps me understand so much more than I otherwise would understand.
Move forward in faith. Sometimes listening my the heart and moving forward accordingly requires faith. Sometimes it requires a great deal of faith. And sometimes following the heart will cause us to embark upon a new journey--uncharted and exciting, but a little bit scary simply because it's new. I believe that's okay. Just as God led the children of Israel through the Red Sea in an unusual way, so it will be with us as we invite God into our lives through prayer and discipleship. He plants feelings and ideas in our hearts for a purpose, and when we move forward with those impressions, we invite His gracious hand into our lives to a greater extent.
Homeschooling with my heart. I will likely elaborate in greater detail some of the reasons why my husband and I have chosen to homeschool on later post(s), but to put it in simple terms, it is what I feel in my heart to do. Coming to this was a process for me--one that my husband and I began discussing after we were first married. Homeschool had never crossed my mind until my husband brought it up! To be honest, I was worried about the prospect because I had never known anyone who homeschooled, and I thought it was a little strange. But the Lord worked on my heart over a period of years. And now He is unfolding the beauty of it to me. It's not easy, but I feel in my heart that it's the best direction for me and my family. Following my heart fills my life with joy.
Interesting how little things my kids say can be so profound to me. And insightful. xo