My Overflowing Mom Heart

My precious friends and me with Sally.

Thursday night of last week, I “lost it.” When things get hectic, I usually turn on auto-pilot and “do the next thing.” But I’ve done the next thing and the next and next with very little down-time for so long, that I just couldn’t hold it together any longer. My husband, who had noticed a change within me, lovingly inquired and asked how he could help. He mentioned we could make changes in our schooling or get some help or let some things go, but one thing was certain… he missed my “passionate and optimistic spirit.” With those words coming from the one who knows me best, I began to sob because I missed those qualities about myself too.

My head ached from stress, I’m sure, and the events of the next 48 hours filled me with dread. I’d signed up not only to attend, but drive my 12-passenger van to Raleigh for Sally Clarkson’s Mom Heart Conference. I’ll admit that as I looked at the work that always piles after a busy school week, I wanted only a nap and a magic wand. I did not want to subject my friends to my downcast disposition. Daniel prayed for me – that I would gain perspective and that the Lord would reveal himself to me and my heart would be encouraged.

And God did just that!

Sally - one of my mentors for well over a decade. What a blessing to hear her speak! One of my friends said, "WOW! This far exceeded my expectations!" Another claimed the Mom Heart Conference to be the most encouraging event she'd ever attended.

I can’t possibly write all the truths I brought home with me. Sally told story after story and I could relate to each and every one. She even told one of her son ten years ago – her then 11-year-old Nathan. Yes, I have an 11-year-old Nathan too, and as she described so beautifully a poignant moment of his childhood and her privilege in sharing it with him, I was touched. I don’t want to miss life changing opportunities with my children. I want to stop and pray with them. I want to watch sunsets. I want to live out Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Sally shared scripture after scripture. Her husband, Clay, led us in worship. My friends and I prayed and discussed

Several dear friends of mine attended this conference. Here I am with my sweet friend Kelly from Atlanta.

such important truths! I felt a sisterhood with the precious friends who attended with me. As I listened and prayed and worshiped, the Holy Spirit convicted me of some areas in my life that have become “cluttered.” Just as I can not concentrate with a cluttered house, I can not grow spiritually with a cluttered soul. And this weekend, the Lord told me to put away my to-do list and do the next thing His way. This “next thing” is to focus totally and completely on my first love. I am responsible only for my relationship with Him… not even for the outcome of my children! That is His job and he is oh so faithful!

Sally asked, “What is robbing you of your life, energy and victory?” We must guard our passion! Anything that robs us of our passion for God, must be removed from our lives. We can’t pass on to our children what we do not possess.

I want to love my God, my husband and my children with a whole heart. I want to be “thoroughly alive” with the love of Christ. And this weekend, I received a precious gift – time to sit and soak up words of truth, time to be still and time to enjoy fellowship with my sisters in Christ.

I left home Friday a little directionless and depressed. I came home different – eager to give each of my precious children and my husband love from my heart that is overflowing with encouragement and thankfulness. As I pulled into our driveway on Saturday night, I was greeted by my yippee yorkie and wonderful family. As my two youngest fought over first hugs, I smiled. As my oldest showed me her speech that she composed without my assistance, I smiled more. The house was picked up. The aroma of homemade pizza and bread filled the kitchen. Such tasks, though not an expectation, blessed me! Bethany reported, “Anna was really awesome this weekend, Mom!” Her words were music to my ears! My son showed me a gold coin his daddy gave him. Esther gave me kisses. Could this have been the same home and people I left on Thursday? Really, not much had changed, but my heart had and that made all the difference. My husband took one look at me and knew that God had answered his prayer for me. His optimistic and passionate wife need no longer be missed!

Sally reminded me that my mom heart matters. When it is full of Christ, I am able to minister. I must guard it carefully and keep it that way. My friends and I unanimously agreed that the Whole Heart Conference needs to be an annual event for us. Next year, join us if you can! 🙂

“I came that they might have life and have it to the full.” -John 10:10

“It seems to me that we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good and we must hunger after them.” – George Eliot

Eating at Changs!

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11 Responses to “My Overflowing Mom Heart”

  1. Lindsey Swinborne Says:

    What a blessing this post was to me. I’m barely hanging on to my sanity with my hubby gone for 3 weekends in a row. I’m overwhelmed as a mom and just desperate for a break. I am looking forward to a Women’s Conference coming up at the end of the month in a nearby town and am hoping to come away refreshed. I’ve never read a Sally Clarkson book until this last week when a friend handed me a copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child. I’m reading it now!

  2. Tina Says:

    Lindsey, I have something I’d like to send you. Message me your address!

  3. Melinda Williford Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us about the state of your “mom heart.” Although my sons are grown and away from home, I still face attitudes and judgments from afar. I’m also busy with many volunteer activities and sometimes fail to “keep the main thing, the main thing” as far as seeking first the Kingdom of God. But God dealt so graciously with me through Pastor Scott’s sermon on Sunday that I am beginning anew this Monday morning with “eyes to see and hear” God’s voice for my day and my week.

  4. Tina Says:

    Melinda, Scott’s sermon was like the Sunday session of the conference… different speaker, same message! I thought, “Wow! God really is trying to get my attention!” 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mama D's Dozen Says:

    Hi Tina

    Thanks so much for commenting on my blog tonight. I look forward to reading more about your family. (I think I found your old blog a long time ago, but “lost” it. So glad you found me.)

    Just to let you know … when I told my sweet 51 year old husband that we were going to have a new baby, the first words out of his mouth were, “But, I’m too old.” to which I responded, “Obviously, God doesn’t think so.”

    He quickly got over the “too old” thing, and is totally EXCITED for another little one.

    My dad was 40 when he got married. He was 41, 43, 46 when he had his 3 children. I NEVER thought my dad was “old”. He was just “dad”. Dear Daddy is now 92, and thoroughly enjoying his 15 grandchildren.

    We are as old as we think we are, and my sweet husband and I think we’re still pretty young (and so glad that the Lord has chosen to give us a child when I am 49). Seriously … I absolutely believe that our young children have kept us young; as we so don’t relate to our peers who are celebrating their “empty nests”. Oh. My. No.

    Hope your week is BLESSED!

    Laurel 🙂

    PS: The conference sounds WONDERFUL! I read Sally’s books many years ago … and should probably find them and read them again. 🙂

  6. Christine Says:

    I hope to make it to one of her conferences some day. Such wisdom! Praise God for your husband’s prayer, and for Sally!

    Thank you for this precious post!


    (Blogging as Christine. We don’t use our real names.)

  7. Katie Says:

    Thanks for the great synopsis of the Mom Heart Conference. I was there as well and was blessed in a similar way.

    I lost my notes on the way home and have been searching online for some reviews/comments about the conference to spark my memory and your blog is what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Angela W Says:

    Tina, thank you for posting this. It’s so easy in out busy-ness to forget what it’s all for! I know I struggle with remembering that myself. Sounds like the conference was just what was needed- for you AND for me. 🙂 I’m glad you shared this. I’m thinking of getting a new copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child as well as The Mission of Motherhood. 🙂 I so miss our fellowship at Diane’s and also at the Mom’s meetings!! It’s nice to get that sweet fellowship with the Sisters in Christ to encourage us!! <3

  9. Tina Says:

    Angela, Wait just a bit before order ETWHC. A new edition comes out this spring with 100 additional pages including a high school section! I miss our mom’s meetings too. Pray about that! Sally really encouraged Whole Heart groups which, I think, both our meeting at my house and Diane’s were. Would LOVE to see them happen again. Have some ideas. Let’s talk about that Thursday. And next year, you must come with us to Raleigh!

  10. Angela W Says:

    I noticed that it was not out yet. I’ll wait. 🙂

    I had heard some ladies had thought of continuing meetings but I don’t think anything ever came of that- either that or I haven’t been invited!! LOL

    I’ll have to get with you about going next year. I would LOVE to go. I used to never really go to Mom’s retreats, except our homeschool group one a few times, but oh- now I see it as so necessary!

  11. Stacy Says:

    Thanks for this! I really needed it this week.

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