Everyday I feel like I sing the words of David Crowder’s song ‘Here’s my Heart’. (If you don’t know it, look it up.) But all you need to know is this part: ‘Here’s my heart, Lord/Speak what is true’.
This is why:
Because every day I am confident that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. Because every moment I say ‘This. This, Lord, is my heart. This house. This ministry. These little faces. This is where my heart is.’ My heart is daily laid out for all to see. Those children. That’s my heart. Their memories, their spiritual life, their development, their happiness, their sadness, their health, their grades, their hygiene, their entertainment, their tantrums, their hugs and kisses. It is so evident to me that children, specifically our children, are simply people passing through that I have the honor of raising for the time being. Their life is my life. So, everything I do in Bryan Mac cottage, I say with my actions and in my mind, ‘Here’s my heart, Lord’.
. . .And ‘speak what is true’? That’s the redeeming part! I can present my heart, life, desires, and children to the Lord everyday. But I cannot speak Truth without Him. There’s not much more I desire for our kids than to speak Truth into their lives, for them to see the one and only Truth, for them to experience and believe it, for His Truth to combat every lie they believe. Everything I do as a mother for our kids must be inundated with His Truth. From waking them up in the morning to doing bed checks after they’ve all fallen asleep, I must use every moment to speak God’s Truth into their lives. It is the only thing that can change their anxiety, cause them to see their true identity, shift their view of the past and the future. God’s voice of Truth is what changes our children’s fear, distrust, self esteem, confusion, everything! They need His Truth to fill their little lives in order to move forward, and they don’t even know it. That’s why it’s my job to speak it and to live it. His Truth.
There are rarely moments when I don’t see the privilege it is to be a mom to this house of boys. Like every other parent, some moments make it easier than others. When your kids are being sweet or following instructions or wanting to be close, it’s in the moments that make you proud that you think about how honored you feel to parent your children. And then there’s the struggles – the timeouts, their yelling, when they lock your keys in the car, the poop in the tub, the bad conference reports, the lack of sleep. The elements of parenthood that make it challenging and test your patience, even in those circumstances, I can see clearly the trauma and hurts that cause them. Those trying times cause me to see the world from their point of view, and it leaves me feeling privileged in a different way. Those memories they hold, the hell they’ve lived in, the past they need to forget, they entrust to me. Sometimes it’s through words and other times through their actions. No adult may have ever cared for their feelings or opinions or even just cared at all for that child. But they feel safe enough to misbehave because they know I won’t beat them or they know I’ll be a voice for them about the abuse they’ve held in for a long time. It is a privilege to be their voice, to be trusted with their past, to be influential in their steps to freedom, to speak Truth into their lives.
That’s what motherhood is to me. Having the honor of raising anxious, loving, hurting, most times chaotic children. Making sure, that no matter what, every boy I tuck into bed knows that they are safe, loved, and will be forever cared for when Momma Heidi is with them.
It’s interesting to see the connection the boys make with feeling safe. I always say they should call me Ms Heidi, and most do. But many times after I’ve done a bed time or 2 with them, and I give them the speech I give every night, something like ‘You’re safe here. I love you. I’m sorry you have to be here, but I’m so glad I met you. I will never hurt you. Jesus loves you so I love you’. It only takes once or twice and our little ones will ask ‘so you’re my mom? I’m gonna call you Mom’. Even with their 4 year old minds they know how they should feel when a Mom is being a Mom.
It’s not a self-made title, but I’ll take it anyday of the week: Momma Heidi. It helps me know that I’m completing the overwhelming, but wonderful task of motherhood.