Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tending To The Hearts In Our Home

"It's a rare person who can take care of hearts while also taking care of business."

The above quote is what I see as I sit at my computer desk.  It is also what I see when I close my eyes and visualize the kind of mama I want to be.  My home is a bustle of activity most of the time.  My home, when the kids are here, is full--and I do mean full--of noise.   I have found that it is very easy, if not routine, for me to get caught up in the business of busyness.  There is never a moment when I think "hmm...what can I do?" or "Man, I'm bored!"  I'm sure you can relate.  The lists are endless and the categories never remain checked-off.  What I realized not too long ago was that if I didn't make some very purposeful changes, I would forever remain in the business of busyness.  And who would ultimately feel the price of that?  I would--I imagine--in years to come.  But also would little hearts.

I have a house full of little hearts that need tending to and cared for.  As a mama, whether you have one precious heart, five(like me), or more to tend to, you want to care for their hearts most wholly.  How do I know that?  You would not be reading this if that was not the case.  Not too long ago I began to feel some emotional and mental drain.  The new school year began and I said goodbye, somewhat reluctantly, to the lazy days of summer.  Actually, I did not fully realize how so until a few weeks in.  I have four school-age children and a baby at home.  Once the clock strikes 3, I brace myself!  A few minutes later, four very loud, excited children come through the door with stories, questions, homework, forms that need signed, hungry bellies, etc.  You get the idea!  From that moment until past bedtime, it is nonstop for me emotionally and physically.  I'm not complaining.  It just is.  And again, I'm sure you relate.  Not only do I miss the no-fuss, stay-up-and-outside-as-long-as-we-want days of summer, but as I said earlier, I began to realize how much I had fallen into the business of busyness.  Something felt amiss.

I didn't want to just check homework...and check progress...and check laundry...and check on dinner.  I wanted to check on their hearts.  How easy, as mama's, we can fall into the habit of doing everything to care for our home, meanwhile overlooking the most important job of truly caring for their hearts.  Well, at least that's the camp I had wandered into in some ways.  I didn't want to remain there.  I don't want to remain there.  I want to be the "rare person who can take care of hearts while also taking care of business."  Surely it's not good to neglect the business side of a busy home, and that would be readily noticeable to my brood!  But it's not acceptable to me--nor do I think it is to God--to neglect being foremost present in caring for their precious hearts.

So my first order of business in the tending department was to detach, very significantly, from social media.  I have done this before in the way of a hiatus now and then for various lengths of time.  It has always felt incredibly refreshing to me.  I won't go into all of the many reasons why I believe this to be personally necessary, at this point, other than to say that I was having a hard time discontinuing the news feed scroll.  Do you know what I mean?  I would log off of facebook, but all too often, the scroll would just go on and on and on...in my mind and emotions.  I'm a word-girl so maybe that's why I cannot just shut it off.  Words stick with me.  This can be good.  And this can be bad.  I determined, with God's prompting, that if I would purposefully choose to focus on my present day life and what God has for me this day, rather than what is socially "trending", then those little hearts would only benefit.  I have heard from other mama's and know that I am not alone in this very present-day(pun intended) struggle.  I'm not suggesting that God is prompting everyone in this course of action.  However, for me, it has been a sure-fire way to attune my heart more to God's words for my life and for those little hearts.

And that brings me back to the vision.  "It's a rare person who can take care of hearts while also taking care of business."  It really is.  And I'm not there yet.  I'm honestly not sure I'll ever be there fully.  But I'm happy with the first step--which has truthfully gotten me just a little bit closer.  There is less clutter and more space in my mind and emotions for that which concerns the little hearts God has given me.  Can you think of any ways God has been prompting you to be more present in caring for the hearts in your home?  If not, just ask Him.  I believe He will answer.


  1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your sweet comment today-- loved what you shared and am so glad what I wrote met you where you were. Love the quote you shared. It resonated with me. Even as recently as fifteen minutes ago I had to stop ironing because I felt a nudge to go upstairs and minister to my youngest's heart. Sure enough, she needed to talk. I was so glad I pressed pause and took care of the heart instead of the to do list... which NEVER ends!! :)

    1. Hi Marybeth,

      Thank you for this encouraging comment! So true! The list never ends and the lesson of learning to tend to their hearts never ends either. The quote resonates with me too! Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      P.S. I have made the Miracle Chocolate Chip muffins a few times! Yumm!!