Friday, March 22, 2013

On Losing Heart And Finding It Again

I know all of you are oblivious to deeply concerned about my minimal online presence lately, and I wish I could tell you that it's because I've been doing all this amazing intentional living where I'm having loads of fun playing with the kids, creating Pinterest-worthy baking masterpieces, reading books, writing a novel and such, but the truth is I've been in a state of MOM...Mental Overload Mode.

Living IntentionallyAlthough I can absolutely say that we have been enjoying the heck out of being back home and that there has been a lot of that stuff going on – like kite flying, first-time fishing (for Hannah), campfires, and family – there is also an awful lot of fatigue and stress that comes along with a big move, so there has been some of that as well.
For starters, our former house needs to get rented out ASAP and terrible pestilences need to quit plaguing our household...but I try to remind myself daily that these are mere inconveniences in the scheme of things, especially when I take into consideration all the things in our life right now that are so good.
Sure, there's no Chipotle, and milk costs an arm and a leg. And yes, we're back in the south and I've already had to try to break Hannah of adding extra syllables to her words ("Mama, can I have a SNA-YICK?"). But nothing can ever take away from what I've gained.
On our first night here I slept better than I have in months, maybe even years. I wondered why... Is this neighborhood quieter? Is it because the dog wasn't in our room? Is it because the kids' room is further away, and I can't hear every tiny moan and sigh anymore?
Perhaps it's some of that, or maybe even all of it, but I also believe that being here has ignited a spark of contentment that had burned out at some point a while back. I think I was too busy and distracted to notice, but being 1300 miles away from where your heart is does take its toll.
For Valentine's Day Hannah's preschool class at church made paper heart cut-outs, and she carried hers around proudly...until she laid it down somewhere and couldn't find it. She was quite sad about it, for a while, but eventually she accepted its absence, as we so often do when we lose our hearts. There's always enough to keep us distracted.
Don't Lose HeartThen after church one evening, she ran up to me with the long-lost treasure in her hand.

Mama! I found my heart!”
What joy it brings us to find it again. I know so completely how it feels. Our heart gets lost in the shuffle along the way, many times, and we use our distractions to make us forget. But when we stumble across it again, we're reminded of why we missed it so much in the first place. We're reminded of why taking care of it matters so much.
Of course, afterwards we went to Kroger where she promptly lost her little paper heart again, and I fear this time it shall never be found. Good thing this is just a metaphor and pretzels are a handy distraction.
But I'm just thankful to feel it again – that sense of wholeness, of being complete. The knowing that my heart is right where it belongs and that I have the tools to find it again if ever it becomes lost.
There are plenty of other precious things that can get lost when I lose sight of my patience, my temper, my joy...and that's why I've got to hold on tight. I've got to give my heart the nourishment it, faith, hope. It's the well from which all that purposeful, intentional living that I desire can spring forth.
I see a lot of 'losing heart' going on these days, and all I can say is, maybe we're meant to find it in each other. I wish we always had the courage to share ourselves in those real, raw, uninhibited moments that are so rare, when we connect with another human being so deeply that we say, “There! There is my heart. I've found it because it's the same as yours.”
We need more of that. We need more of the hope that we find in each other. Perhaps the greatest lesson we will ever learn is how to share our little paper hearts.