But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. Luke 6:49
My sweet, eleven-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, has a tender heart. The positive side of that is she has immense compassion for others. She puts others before herself and goes out of her way to help anyone in need.
The negative side of having a tender heart is that it bruises easily. When that happens, she gets overwhelmed by her feelings and doesn’t know what to do with them.
We had a heart-bruising day last Friday.
As the emotions overwhelmed her, I grounded Jocelyn in the fact that if we looked at the situation from a different angle, it could be a wonderful opportunity to practice forgiveness and acceptance.
It took a while, but she eventually understood that she’s never going to be able to manage her emotions if she doesn’t start practicing. None of us is good at the hard stuff. But the more often we work through it, the better we get.
Jesus knows we’ll never be perfect in our faith. All He asks is that we try. When we hear His Word, He wants us to put it into practice. Like anything, the more we try, the better we get.
The better we get, the more it becomes automatic to lean into our faith when the torrents of trouble strike our house. That’s the only way to keep our foundation from collapsing. It’s also the only way we attain steady and lasting peace.
I’ve never asked my kids to be perfect, but I’ve always asked them to try. Jocelyn did just that on Friday, and surprised herself when she worked through the emotions and found joy on the other side.
Questions for Reflection:
- In what ways do my kids need to practice? When they do, do I seem them getting better?
- In what ways do I have to practice my faith? When I do, in what ways do I see myself getting better?
Having Jocelyn’s feelings hurt is heartbreaking because she is such a compassionate and sweet girl. God bless you, Claire, for helping her to work through it. Disappointments can be crushing, but being better prepared, she will hopefully be less hurt. xoxo
Thanks so much Mom! I used to think my job was to shield her from hurt. But I did that with my boys and feel I didn’t prepare them for the realities of life. I don’t know if Jocelyn would consider herself lucky that I no longer try to shield her, but I do think she’ll be better equipped for adulthood where there’s no escaping the hard stuff.
Love this Claire! You helped me figure out a way to help my kids in these same situations and help me when I think I can’t get it right with being like Jesus.
Oh Sandra – that’s my favorite thing to hear! Thank you! A major goal of writing this blog is to share what I’ve learned through trial and error, so other moms don’t have to stumble as much as I do. I’m thrilled that there’s a takeaway for you to help you with your girls. They are lucky to have you!
Claire, it was your mother-coaching that helped your daughter to “be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.” Although I had wonderful parents, I usually had to fend for myself through life’s battles. You have helped her to know how to put up that shield when she needs it, while keeping her heart, and all its tender beauty, intact. You are truly blessed!
Thanks so much Lynn Marie! Jocelyn is an old soul and a wonderful student. As of now, she listens to me and absorbs what I’m trying to teach her. But we haven’t hit the teen years yet and she definitely has a strong will. Please pray for us that she remains just as open and teachable in the years to come. Sending many blessings your way!
She does have the sweetest heart I’ve ever known & it stinks that she bruises so easily. I am glad she was able to process her feelings and end up in joy. That is a lot of growth for a young girl.
Thanks so much Kerry! She has come a long way and is learning, slowly, to protect that heart without losing the softness of it.