Take This Heart

Since I’ve been home as a mom, a new kind of yearning has filled my heart. Strange as that sounds coming from a mommy who blissfully spends her days enjoying her sweet baby girl… My heart has been aching for some way to reach out.

For seven years, it was in the daily interaction with my teenage students. Even on the days when I felt the immense spiritual battle, I knew that I was called to serve them and prayed daily for a compassionate heart.

Now that my sphere is much smaller, I’ve been praying about how I can give back to God some portion of the abundance he’s given me. Well, immediately I understand that I do that minute by minute with my daughter and my husband. This has made me mindful of the way I steward my time and energy for them – this includes my attitude, which I am continuously working on and have to confess to the Lord everyday.

But in addition to loving on my husband and daughter, the Lord has impressed upon my heart Psalm 51:16-17 declaring

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

and 1 Samuel 15:22

 But Samuel replied:
β€œDoes the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
My brother came over last Saturday for an afternoon visit. He had just been to see a friend who was moving to Colorado for a job. This friend, he met at a laundry mat in Mentone, a homeless man who was fighting to stay off of drugs, struggled with suicidal thoughts, and just wanted to know God.

Diligently, compassionately, my brother returned to the laundry mat each week to wash his clothes and chat with his friend. Over a few years, he was able to encourage this man and speak truth into his life. Is my brother a saint? Nah! I grew up with him – I would know – haha! BUT, he loves the Lord and was willing to make himself a little uncomfortable for the sake of another.

I had that thought in my head all week. As I have prayed about how I might serve God with my talents right where I am, the Lord encouraged me through my brother.
Many of my days this year have been spent at home with my baby, working around her nap schedule, keeping her in from the heat, running errands, doctor’s visits, etc. I’ve even dealt with a new kind of loneliness that comes with the territory of being a once career-driven now stay-at-home mom.

Then I remembered my neighbors – literally the folks next door. On our left is a kind, older couple who like to travel. The wife had an accident while on a recent trip and she broke her foot. She’s stuck at home for weeks.

On our right is an elementary school teacher from San Bernardino (my previous school district) who is on disability for lupus and neuropothy among other things. So, with my brother’s words in my head and the Lord’s leading, it dawned on me – “I’m home every afternoon wondering what to do with my busy little girl! Duh! Go visit your neighbors, Janette!”

So yesterday I took the baby with me over to visit the neighbor on our right. She and I had a nice long chat and I think we were both blessed by each other’s company. When we were saying goodbye – this is the point when I, the Christian, am supposed to invite her to church, right? – she says, “So what church do you guys attend?” I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, come on, God, that was too easy!” He put that opportunity in my lap, like a parent gently pushing their child on a bike with training wheels. Tomorrow morning, I’m hoping she’ll be able to ride with us to church. All that matters is that God is in control and He’s after her heart (and mine). I’m so thankful that He let me be part of His work to His glory.


  1. Anonymous

    And darling, you touched my heart! Isn't it wonderful to see how God works in our lives. It is amazing too to watch how children work in peoples lives….Lily has as much to give as her dear sweet mama! Know that I'll be praying for you as you venture out in this new ministry and keep us posted on how it blooms!

  2. How awesome that God could use you in a way that blessed you both πŸ™‚ It is definitely an adjustment and a different kind of loneliness as a stay at home mom. I'm so glad you are searching for ways to reach out πŸ™‚


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