Monday, December 13, 2010

Listening Heart

Lord, I’m frustrated. I teach and train and days like this make me stark raving mad. Help! Brotherly love? Out the window. First time obedience? Nowhere in sight. Our Scripture for the day was Romans 3:10 (there is none righteous, no, not one). The boys were downright surly and I was fast on my way.

We were driving home from my parents’ house (where we were the cause of a few grey hairs). The three little boys bickered in their seats.

“I want my marker,” said Zay.

“Well then give me the tablet,” said Gabe.

“I had it first!”

I jumped in, to troubleshoot, for the eight hundredth time that day.

After my speech about others-centered hearts, Gabe crossed his arms across his chest. “Well, I still just want my tablet.”

That summed it up. Day in a nutshell. The morning had begun with teenage trauma and the afternoon was winding down to a brotherly brawl over a red Mead spiral.

When we pulled into the drive, I tried to keep the agitation from my voice. “Now when we get inside, everyone find a quiet place. Alone. You’ll need to sit until we’re ready to be together again.”

The boys shot through the backdoor and dispersed. I tugged out of my coat and hung it on the oak rack.

That’s when I saw the surprise gift - a sampler, sitting beside my Bible, on Gabriel’s old-fashioned school desk. It was tea-stained muslin, in a black wooden frame, and the words in dark brown stitches hit me in the right place.

“What’s planted in the heart takes root in the soul.”

I was immediately uplifted. And I knew where the gift had come from. I’d recently shared my struggles with a friend. She had understood. And now God had used her to speak encouragement to my heart.

Of course the words were true. As moms, we plant and sow. Sometimes the sowing is tough because the fruit isn’t as evident as we’d like. But our efforts aren’t in vain. We turn our children over to the Lord and trust that His truth will become a deep, anchoring, life-nourishing root.

I was blessed, that day, to be encouraged in parenting. I was also blessed that God had heard my prayer. And isn’t it cool? The way that He intervened?

He used the listening heart of a friend.


  1. I love God's timing, too! He provides us with just the right people at just the right time. Just as he gives you just the right words at just the right time! Hugs :)

  2. Thanks, Kelly and Sarah. He is so personal and awesome!