11 Matters of the Heart That Simplify Motherhood
Motherhood. Like the wires and cables found behind most electronic devices, it can feel sprawling, confusing, and tangled.
Our world throws information at us moment by moment.
As mothers, we are inundated with parenting wisdom, advice, ideas, and sadly, comparisons. We feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
But does it have to be this way? I don’t believe so.
Not if we keep our focus on the heart of the matter.
Twice in the book of Luke, the heart of Mary is mentioned.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
“…and his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” –Luke 2:51
Friends, every time I put myself in the shoes of Mary, my heart aches. I look at my children and I think,
“How on Earth?”
How did this woman find the strength to withstand all that she did? How did she relinquish her grip on her baby boy as he began to grow? How did she watch him walk away to follow the path his Father planned?
How did she watch him suffer without dying herself?
That strength. That courage. That mother’s love.
Her heart was fully God’s. She surrendered her life to Him and filled her heart with Him. That strength? That love? It had to be the power of God enabling her to walk that journey.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. –Psalm 73:26
When she fully surrendered her heart to God, He became her strength. It was in that action of surrender, her strength was born.
And thus the perfect image of a Mother’s love was birthed. An icon of beauty to this very day.
God created mothers with uniquely designed hearts. Hearts that have the power to project an incomparable beauty. The strength He incites from within the depths of a woman’s heart is the very strength that was found in Mary at the foot of the cross as she bore the reality that was imposed upon her son.
It is strength beyond words.
It is beauty without boundaries.
It makes us women.
It makes us wives.
It makes us mothers.
As we embrace our unique beauty and strength of heart as mothers, I believe we can minimize the chaos of Motherhood. We can minimize it by focusing on what is important. Focusing on matters of the heart.
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Here are 11 Matters of the Heart I like to focus on when parenting my children. This list may not be complete. There may be matters of the heart you would like to add. However, if you are in a place where Motherhood feels tangled, sprawling, and confusing, I believe these matters will bring calm to your chaos.
11 Matters of the Heart to Focus on In Motherhood
- Prayer A relationship with the Lord keeps our hearts on course.
- Love A safe and unconditional place to rest.
- Compassion A catalyst to empathetic service and care of others.
- Forgiveness A necessity in living a life free of bitterness and pride.
- Gratitude A generator of “noticers” who become aware of even the smallest of blessings.
- Joy A dose of laughter and humor to handle life independent of our circumstances.
- Integrity A foundation of accountability and self-worth.
- Value An infrastructure to learning the intentional investments of time, money, emotion, and effort.
- Relationship A demonstration of connecting with others.
- Resiliency A strength to learn from failures and disappointments.
- Tradition A mainspring to building identity, connections, and belonging.
As mothers, our hearts were designed as powerful tools in the raising of our children. We can leave the mess of tangled sprawling wires behind embracing instead that which God has given us. The gift of a uniquely designed heart. One of beauty and strength.
Today you may have arrived here overwhelmed and exhausted. I pray that as you rested here and heard the hope that comes from a heart surrendered fully to God, you too, embrace that hope. I pray that as you leave here, your shoulders feel lighter and your peace fuller.
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Thank you for this reminder of the basic tenants of parenting. And thanks for adding this post to DifferentDream.com’s Tuesday special needs link share!
Thanks so much, Jolene! I love what DifferentDream.com provides for families!
I’m your neighbor today at Susan’s site Lori. You have come up with a tremendous list here. I thank God for my mother as she blessed me with many of these eleven matters of the heart even now! I’m sure you do as well. Have a wonderful weekend and continued blessings to you and yours my friend!
Your Mama sounds like quite a treasure! It’s difficult to stay on track with these 11 ideas, but when I intentionally take inventory, I can refocus and get back on track. It’s frustrating how easy it is to start focusing and “worrying” about the wrong things! Blessings, my friend!!
First of all, Lori, I love your analogy of sprawling, tangled and confusing wires and cables. That surely describes what we mothers have all felt at one time or another.
But here I think is the key: “Her heart was fully God’s. She surrendered her life to Him and filled her heart with Him. That strength? That love? It had to be the power of God enabling her to walk that journey.” Having raised 7 kids I can wholeheartedly agree with your tips. I surely didn’t do them all perfectly, but God gives much grace. Putting Him first really does help to calm the chaos.
Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #LetUsGrow
Gayl, You are my hero! Your words of affirmation mean so much coming from a Mama of 7! Thank you!
These are all so important, Lori, but there’s one that I would add but didn’t model as well for my sons as I wish I had–humility. One of my sons, who just turned 23, is very self-assured to the point of coming across opinionated and arrogant at times. It is difficult to discuss matters with him because he always seems to know better than we do. I want to point this out to him, but realize that will only cause more of the same arrogance and certainly defensiveness. He must see me hold my tongue and treat him with generosity and grace in order to learn humility from me now. But I wonder if I had focused more on being humble with him when he was little, instead of instructing him on all “I knew” would he be this opinionated and, quite frankly, argumentative now? Ah, I’m just fresh off of an encounter, so forgive me for venting a bit in your safe place! It’s just that I wish I could have a do-over sometimes! 😉 But I do love your list, my friend! You are a voice of reason and grace for moms in a dry and weary land!
Oh, Beth, thank you so much for your vulnerability here in sharing your story. Humility is a tough one. Letting that pride down is difficult because we wear it like a cloak of protection. You make such a beautiful testimony here, though, to the power of not just teaching or instructing, but of modeling the behaviors we want our children to embrace. Our instruction and our actions must align. I am praying with you, friend, for that softened spirit within your son. That God may open his eyes to how his mom is holding her tongue and modeling humility. And, as God opens his eyes to you, He opens His eyes and mind enough to fully embrace humility in the next chapters of his life! Thank you so much for your kind words. I pray this list can hold a little hope for weary Mamas!
I think the 24/7 online world we live in is bewildering! You’re right – we’re inundated with tips and advice everywhere. I purposely shut it all off from time to time. God is the center and I must return to Him. His Hand will guide. Thank you for sharing this valuable reminder!
Thank you, Carrie! The online world is such a blessing, but sadly all good things can be become a thorn or even an area of sin. Remembering God is the center is the key! I’m so thankful you stopped by to visit, Carrie!
Lori, this is beautiful. I’m so glad I stopped by from Coffee for the Heart! This really does streamline what our focus needs to be. I find myself doing better at some matters than others, and the mixture changes by the day, but I pray the Lord will shape and mold me into a mom in which these 11 characteristics and actions are encountered more and more.
Oh, Shauna, I think all of us Mamas are in that same boat. Some days we rock some areas and other days we rock others. And some day, we just stink at all of them! Whew … aren’t we so relieved to have a God who wipes the slate clean each day and lets us start fresh? And One who fills our many gaps? So if we keep our eyes on Him and stay aligned with His Word and His heart, we’ll be okay 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and joining the conversation!
There is a lot of parenting ‘advice’ out there, right? I recently read something on Pinterest that made me cringe – it was so unbiblical and out in left field! I have been studying God’s Word and what HE has to say about parenting. I can’t wait to blog about it!
Thanks for sharing your awesome list on Grace and Truth…and I pray for you every day, my friend!
Thanks so much for visiting, Aimee! Your book still sticks in my mind as such a great resource for parenting our children God’s way. I love how our hearts align and I pray for you, too, friend!!
This is so beautiful and encouraging, Lori…especially your reflection on Mary: “Her heart was fully God’s. She surrendered her life to Him and filled her heart with Him. That strength? That love? It had to be the power of God enabling her to walk that journey.” Oh the release I’ve found in walking motherhood clothed in His grace and His strength and His guidance. It’s only a little over two years ago that I came back to Christ and it’s amazing the difference it’s made for me as a mother. Love your list. Prayer, relationship and forgiveness (for me and of my girls) have brought the biggest transformation: in both me and my girls. Joy and gratitude are ones that I’m growing into more and more…already seeing the fruits there too.
Thank you for this beautiful comment, Anna! You so blessed me with these words. God is doing such an amazing work through you as you have embraced His love and work to follow Him and share His truth! You are a blessing! I’m so thankful God used these words to encourage you ♥