Reflecting on Lessons Learned at Hearts at Home…

Listen, here is the thing…

Parenting is hard.  It is.  So when it feels hard, it does not mean you are doing it wrong or that something has gone amiss… This task that we have undertaken is huge.  These little people who so need us and who have lists and lists of things to learn in a finite number of days, they are challenging us to do a job that can sometimes seem too much.

It is a lot.

I was reminded of this again while speaking at Hearts at Home last weekend.

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I loved these audiences! So responsive!

It is a humbling thing to be asked to speak for an organization I deeply respect.  So much planning went into my talk preparation and table set-up.  So much prayer went into the choosing of my words and the state of my heart… But in no way could I have been prepared for all that occurred.

I love my work.  I love taking the stage and looking out at the faces of parents who are eager for a word of encouragement or a new idea.  And believe me, this part of the weekend was a blast!

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Awesome mommas ready for my Sticks talk! Filling up 10 minutes before I spoke!

But, what was truly amazing to me was the conversations I was able to have with so many mommas, who stopped by my table after my talks.  The stories and faces and feelings are etched in my memory and have given me plenty of things to pray over since I have been home.

And as I listened to their words, your words, our words, I was reminded all over again that this work is hard.  Sometimes we may feel like we are fumbling around in the dark, seeking answers or solutions to questions we cannot even find the words to express. We want to do right by the little ones with whom we have been entrusted but what is “right” in any given situation is not always clear.  We worry.  We doubt ourselves.  We drown in guilt.  And we believe we are alone…

We aren’t.

I can tell you that honestly because I have struggled with all of these things.  I can tell you that honestly because I have looked into the faces of sweet mommas from all over the place, with big and little kids and struggles that are squashing them flat.  And I have heard their stories and waited for words that came through tears and then heard worries and wants that mirror my own.

Oh man, I am thankful for that weekend.  Thankful for brave folks who practiced tough-truth-telling and took the risk to share their load.  I am thankful because I may have come to Hearts at Home to speak and to minister to those who attended, but in the end, I came face to face with a fact I wanted and needed to hear again.

You are not alone.

I am not alone.

And we desperately need the grace that we can freely share with one another.

So today, let’s do that thing.  Okay?

Seriously.

Let’s look into the face of just one other person and purposefully express our willingness to stand alongside and be present.  Let’s reach out and take one hand or offer one embrace or extend the invitation for coffee to one other soul who likely needs the same reminder I got last weekend.

And let’s be willing to receive that grace as well.

Yep, we need each other.  Like it or not.  :)

After last weekend, I am pretty thankful for that truth.

Blessings on your day.