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The Collective

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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Taylor

The Heart of the Matter

Okay, women who stay at home during the day - we need to talk.

Yesterday was cloudy, rainy and cold, and all my 3-month old grandson wanted to do was be held. Now, I don't usually turn the TV on, but by 2:00 in the afternoon, I was feeling like it had been 5 months since his momma had left for work that morning. And, I love my grandson. I just needed adult noise.

So, I turned on the TV.

Nothing particular. Just something to take the time. No judgments about TV watching. But, here is where my lesson came in. I knew it. I had been taught it before. But, I guess the good Lord just needed to remind me...

Every commercial was about something that could be (and, probably was) wrong with me - from my hair color to my kidney to my abilities as a grandmother. The little movie I watched had the word 'heart' in the title - it couldn't be that bad, right?!? It had everything from severe family dysfunction to men cheating and beating their wives to a terrible medical diagnosis.

Now, I am not someone who buries their head in the sand. I'm really not. For 30 years, I have worked with many, many tragedies - with myself, with personal friends, and with acquaintances I hardly know. It's called 'life'.

But, I've got to tell you something.

That hour and a half of daytime Emmy worthy media almost did me in.

Maybe it was the multitude of issues hitting me all at once. Maybe it was the subpar acting.

Whatever it was, I felt an unsettled-ness about me all night long. I just couldn't put my finger on it. Then, in the early morning rising from a night of troubled sleep, it has dawned on me.

Subconsciously I was letting things speak into my heart.

I was letting fear speak over my peace with the innocuous ticking of each medical commercial - you know what I mean - a quick mental ticking of the symptoms to see if I might have a chance of dying, or the semi-relieved thought of, "Oh, good, that's not me...yet."

I let coveting sneak into the fine lines and wrinkles of my furrowed brow when I heard of new miracle creams for aging bodies.

And, my fat cells were screaming for emotional relief from the onslaught of bullying from the beautiful women chatting with me about what I need to do to look just like them.

No wonder I went to the pantry for M&Ms. At the time, I couldn't understand why I was so hungry when I had just eaten lunch.

Here's the deal. We all know this, but I thought my reminder could also be your reminder...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

It doesn't take much of a psychologist to figure out what happened to me while sitting curled up in my chair. When I was tired, I unwittingly left the door open to the most precious part of my body - my heart.

This is so easy to do as woman. Watch for it. Don't let other people's ideas for you steal your joy. Don't even let your ideas for you steal your joy. Instead, go to your Father who loves you unconditionally. Let Him help you see your trigger points when you allow unhealthy thoughts to bombard you - maybe it's exhaustion, maybe it's boredom, maybe it's mourning unmet expectations of what you thought life would be for you.

Whatever your particular trigger points are, while you are not in them, let your Father help you find healthy ways to walk through your day. Maybe it's someone you need to forgive (including yourself). Maybe it's an old expectation of life you need to surrender so you can find the joy you have actually been given. Maybe it's resting while your child sleeps rather than cleaning another closet. Whatever it is,

Guard your heart.

And, don't under any circumstances, watch afternoon movies with the word 'heart' in it.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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