Monday, August 1, 2011

Mamma Sets the Tone

I sat across the table from my friend Amy. She had the worn, tired look of I- have-little-kids-and-Daddy’s-out-of-town. Her husband was a DNR officer and had gotten a new job. While he worked through six months of school and training in another state, Amy stayed behind to keep the kids anchored. They’d move, as a family, when the training was complete.

“Are you holding up okay?” I asked. I noticed the large calendar that hung on the wall behind her. Not many squares held the dark, heavy X of days-gone-by.

“I’m exhausted,” she said. “The kids aren’t sleeping well and their behaviors are off.”

“That must be hard.”

“It is,” she said. “But I’m the mom and I set the tone. The kids see me first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I try to keep things peaceful. Positive. They look to me for that.”

Our conversation was several years ago, but I haven’t forgotten Amy’s words. Powerful . They ring true, whether Daddy’s home or not. We’ve all heard the saying, “If Mama aint happy, no one’s happy.” But Amy, in God’s strength, put this one in reverse. Applied a positive spin. In their lives and in their home.

As Mamas and keepers of hearts and homes, we do carry this responsibility. Some days I like it. Some days I don’t. It doesn’t really matter. The responsibility is mine, just the same. It’s sort of like when one of my little guys takes a fall. He stops, examines the damage, and looks to me to see if he should cry. If I say “Shake it off, Buddy”, he’s usually fine. If I fret and fuss and make a major deal over a minor spill, there’s bawling to beat the band.

Mama lays it down.

If I want my home to be a place of encouragement, growth, and joyful service, a rich place where God’s sweet love flows fresh and free, I’d better be walking the walk. Talking the talk.

Setting the tone for others in my home.

God, only, only in your grace and strength can I set the tone for a healthy, strong, God-honoring home. Empower me. Fill me. Let your Spirit flow!


  1. I LOVE this! Love you too....Loved visiting the other night....I need more Shawnelle time in my life.

  2. This is just what I needed today :) I too love the precious time I get with you. You're lovely spirit sets the tone in a lot of lives, more than you will probably ever know!

  3. Thanks, Becky. I just love you, too. Come. On. Over. Girl! :)

  4. Oh, Sarah, thank you. Just what I needed today... sweet encouragement. You always know. Love you dearly...

  5. This is so true. It seems early in the morning, even before breakfast is on the table, the tone for the day is being set ... and it's usually being set by me (no pressure :)

  6. I hear you, Amanda:) Before the Cheerios hit the table....God's sweet grace!