The Seasons of a Woman’s Heart

The Seasons of a Woman’s Heart

A woman’s heart is toward her husband. But it’s also toward God. How can she balance her desire toward God with her desire toward her husband.

It seems that the greater heart’s desire is toward her husband when a woman is young and newly married. She struggles with the tendency to put her love for her husband before her love for God. She almost makes an idol of her husband. Her every thought is about him.

But as time goes on and she experiences the disappointments, unmet expectations, and unexpected changes that happen in life, sometimes the intensity of her feeling for her husband can wane. She realizes with great sorrow that her husband cannot meet all of her needs. She discovers that there are some things about him that she thought she could change because they really bugged her, but – well, he’s still the same. And those things bother her more than ever. She may start to wonder what she ever saw in him!

In many cases, the woman then turns to God, realizing that only He can meet her needs. She finds in Him the comfort, love, hope, strength, and power to answer her prayers that she was expecting her husband to provide. God is the perfect husband and friend! She now knows that God deserves first place in her heart.

What about her husband?

But where does that leave her husband? Is he less loved now? Is he competing with God for his wife’s love?

It may seem like that to him. He has a great desire to be her knight in shining armor. He wants to take care of her and be her hero. He may feel abandoned and deserted by his wife as she no longer acts like she needs him so much. He may wonder what happened and how he can win her back.

Now, we know that it’s impossible for a man to compete with God. So women have to make up their minds to accept and appreciate the love their husbands have for them. Women need to acknowledge the blessing of having a lifelong companion to share life with. Now she can love him with a more mature, realistic, selfless love.

Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

The Correct Order in Her Heart

The order is now correct. God is first in her heart, and her husband is second. She isn’t expecting her husband to meet needs that only God can meet. She can accept his flaws and idiosyncrasies instead of trying to change him. She is hopefully mature and whole enough that she can express how she feels when he says or does insensitive things so that he knows when he hurts her. In a good marriage with two good-hearted people, conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings can be worked out.

The wife can balance her love for her perfect God with her love for her imperfect husband. Knowing that she is imperfect herself, she should be extremely thankful that her husband still wants to go through life with her.

Women can encourage their husbands to grow spiritually by letting them see and experience their wife’s great love for God. Instead of feeling excluded and left out, they may begin to draw closer to God themselves.

The seasons of a woman’s heart can take her from over-dependence on her husband to a mature, whole-hearted reliance on God with a deep, self-sacrificing love for her husband.


Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash
 

 

 

You Can Mother Well Even if You Weren’t Mothered Well

 

What kind of relationship did you have with your mother growing up?

If you didn’t get along with her or feel very close to her, don’t feel like you’re doomed to have the same kind of relationship with your kids.

You are not your mother. Try to step outside of the situation and identify the things that impaired your relationship with your mom. There could be many causes of the breakdown, such as lack of affection, poor communication, feelings of condescension, feelings of not being understood, or even feelings of being used as slave labor. Many times  children misinterpret things that happen to them when their understanding is not as well developed.

Go back in your memories. Try to remember specific situations that made you feel put down, ignored, or unloved. See if there’s anything that you may have misinterpreted or taken too seriously because of immaturity.

But it could be that your mother did treat you badly. Maybe she was too busy with other things to pay enough attention to you. Maybe your personalities clashed. Maybe she was under lots of stress that you weren’t even aware of. There could be any number of reasons for the disconnect.

But this does not have to happen to you with your children. I’m thinking especially of mothers and daughters. That seems to be a difficult relationship in many families. There are many reasons for that, too.

If you are finding things more difficult between you and your mother now that you are grown and a mother yourself, there may be some jealousy or a desire to keep you little instead of giving you the freedom to be your own person.

These are some common areas I’ve noticed that make things difficult in relationships between mothers and daughters. I would like to suggest that you take lessons from the hurtful things that happened in your relationship with your mother, and be intentional about doing things differently with your children. Take this opportunity to break that cycle that may have been going on in your family for generations.

Do things differently. Keep your attitude positive with your children. Give them the attention they need, and enjoy your time with them. Do lots of fun things with them. Listen to them, even when their stories are silly or tiresome. See them as blessings instead of drudgery or just another responsibility to take care of. Let them know how much you love them by your actions and attitude, not just by saying it or taking care of their physical needs. That is not enough. They need to know that you really like them.

I spoke at my mom’s funeral last year. It was a year ago. On my daughter’s birthday. Talk about an emotional time. I missed my daughter’s birthday to fly to Ohio for my mom’s funeral.

My mom was a very strong-minded, outspoken, sociable woman. I was not. I did have strong opinions, but I didn’t dare go up against her about anything. Until I got older. When I was younger most of my opinions mirrored hers. But as I got older and experienced new things, she was not very happy that I was developing a mind of my own. So we had some clashes.

But she loved me and would do anything for me. She babysat my children. She really cared about me and always wanted the best for me. There were some things that I felt slighted in when it came to the way she treated my siblings. And her temper put me on edge and made me stay away from her.

But the last several years, I lived far away. When I called her, I knew she missed me and needed me to show love to her. I prayed with her. I warmed back up to her. Then she got dementia. The mom I knew was mostly gone. The only time she seemed like her old self was when I would ask if she wanted me to pray with her.

I’m crying as I write this. Our relationship was not always perfect.

But when it came time to speak at her funeral, I knew that I needed to honor her. She was a wonderful, loving mother. And the thing that stood out most in my mind was that she was a fun mom. She took us to the swimming pool every day in the summer. She planned camping trips for us back in our woods. She planned fun birthday parties for us. She took us shopping for new clothes every school year. She always tried to make sure we were having fun.

She always sang around the house. And when we were in the car she got us to all sing together. I still love singing to this day. She was a fun person and a fun mom.

She told people about Jesus everywhere she went. Everyone who knew my mom knew that she was a Christian. There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind. People always remembered her, even if she didn’t remember them. These were the things I shared at her funeral. In spite of the difficulties we had, the most impactful memories I had were of the good things about our relationship and her life.

There are some things that I have done deliberately with my children, because I felt that I lacked them in my childhood. I have been very careful to listen to my kids. I have tried to make them feel respected and important. I have tried to make them feel noticed. I may have fallen short of some of these ideals, but I have definitely made great efforts to treat my children this way.

So I tried to do things differently than the ways that made me feel separated and disrespected.

I believe that it made me a better mother than I would have been had I not dealt with my own hurts and feelings of rejection. I had to overcome feelings of inferiority that came from preferential treatment, and other deep-seated wounds.

My mother never meant to hurt me in any way. But some things just end up hurting.

But I made up my mind to do the best I could to avoid those things that were hurtful to me.

So when I became a mother, I did it my way.

Charlotte Mason Lite

Hi, fellow homeschool moms!

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Learn some of the basics of the Charlotte Mason Approach and how to apply them to your homeschool plans. Find out how to take baby steps and just try one thing at a time. Check out the simple ways that I did things in a Charlotte Mason way but didn’t follow a rigid plan or schedule. I just applied the elements of it that I considered the most important and effective.

Find the article here at https://mailchi.mp/5e537925696f/charlottemasonlite?fbclid=IwAR3lhmxxQj91orNDXxkPhTGJcSVjm_iQ7reTWy4Rh9ioCZvISrF7FRlOgDc

 

Thought Breeds Thought

How do we accomplish the physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual growth of our children?

According to Charlotte Mason in Volume 6 of Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series, called “Philosophy of Education” in chapter 4:

Knowledge Appeals to and Nourishes the Mind

“If knowledge means so much to us, “What is knowledge?” the reader asks. We can give only a negative answer. Knowledge is not instruction, information, scholarship, a well-stored memory. It is passed, like the light of a torch, from mind to mind, and the flame can be kindled at original minds only. Thought, we know, breeds thought; it is as vital thought touches our minds that our ideas are vitalized, and out of our ideas comes our conduct of life.

The case for reform hardly needs demonstration, but now we begin to see the way of reform. The direct and immediate impact of great minds upon his own mind is necessary to the education of a child. Most of us can get into touch with original minds chiefly through books; and if we want to know how far a school provides intellectual sustenance for its scholars, we may ask to see the list of books in reading during the current term. If the list be short, the scholar will not get enough mind-stuff; if the books are not various, his will not be an all-round development; if they are not original, but compiled at second hand, he will find no material in them for his intellectual growth. Again, if they are too easy and too direct, if they tell him straight away what he is to think, he will read, but he will not appropriate.

Just as a man has to eat a good dinner in order that his physical energies may be stimulated to select and secrete that small portion which is vital to him, so must the intellectual energies be stimulated to extract what the individual needs by a generous supply, and also by a way of presentation that is not obvious. We have the highest authority for the indirect method of teaching proper to literature, and especially to poetry. The parables of Christ remain dark sayings; but what is there more precious in the world’s store of knowledge?”

In other words, when we introduce our children to great thoughts and ideas, they proceed to think great thoughts themselves. They make connections when they see something that reminds them of another thing that they learned or experienced. Thought breeds thought.

We need to present “vital” thoughts to our children, thoughts that challenge, inspire, excite, and spark imagination. Ideas and thoughts are to the mind as food is to the body. Our mind feeds on thoughts. We need to give our children good mind food. And then the thoughts that come from those ideas will cause growth.