On having a light heart…

Post date: Dec 29, 2011 7:23:48 PM

Natalie said to me last night, “Mom, you just have a light heart like mine. You can be strong. I know it.”

2011 has been a fantastic year for Natalie’s health, and truly that is the most important thing. But it has also been a very very trying year, emotionally. My heart has been wounded more this year than in all my time in middle school – and that is saying something. I have seen the worst in people this year and it has come at me from all sides.

But, I have also seen the best in others. Jason is my rock. This year we concentrated on our marriage. Our church put on a marriage date night series and I cannot begin to tell you how inviting God into the conversation, helped to strengthen our marriage. We have re-connected this year. We have strengthened our relationship with our Lord and with each other. It helped to make my heart light.

Having a light heart is how Natalie so kindly and gently told me that I am sensitive.

I am.

I wear my feelings on my sleeve – one of my mother’s favorite lines from my childhood. PS – mom, I hated hearing that. :)

And so last night Natalie and I talked about conflict resolution and how to keep a “light heart.” She asked how to not have an angry heart when people upset her. I told her that having an angry heart is easy - it is the easy way out and the devil's doing (no, I am not mama from the Waterboy movie :) ). I reminded her that we must fight to keep our hearts light and full of Jesus.

I told her that when people upset us or tease us that there are two ways that we can respond. The first way is not the best way, I told her. In the first way, when someone says something mean, our reaction can often be to say something “more mean” back. We want to hurt that person. But that makes our heart heavy and dark. It is also the easiest way. The second way is much harder, I told her. And we must be strong, we must keep our heart light. We must ask Jesus to help us. We must take the high road, when we can. We can still stand up for what is right, but we must never let our heart be dark when we do it.

As we talked on our ride home, Natalie and I held hands the entire time; something that she sees her daddy and I doing, every time we go for a card ride. She told me that sometimes she gets “so angry” at people, and I explained that she would have these moments for the rest of her life.

And then I asked, “Whose reaction can you control?” “Only mine, Mom.”

“Whose anger can you control?” “Just mine, Mom”

“Whose actions can you control?” “I got it, Mom.”