Offering Hope to the Mom with a Messy Heart

Christine M. Chappell Guest Post at |Offering Hope for the Mom with a Messy Heart

I was honored to write this original article for the blog of Christen Spratt and her series “MOMentous Mondays.” I hope you enjoy, share with a mom who needs encouragement, and read the entire article over at!


He thought it was the funniest thing, kicking his legs in the air as I spread open a sock to put on his foot. I was already feeling a bit “off” that morning, with the cares of the world pressing hard against my mind. In an attempt to appeal to his three-year-old sensibilities, I quietly informed him that I was suffering from a headache and would appreciate his full cooperation. Turns out he hadn’t developed the ability to empathize as I had hoped.

Offering Hope tot he Mom with a Messy HeartLaughing and kicking even harder at my poor attempts to hit a moving target with an open sock, my son spared me no effort and my heart began to pound in anger. What I knew to be an innocent game of “catch me if you can” felt like an attack against a heart woke weary. Where there were giggles, I only heard heckling; where there was play, I only saw taunting.

Days before, I would have handled the situation differently, engaging him with questions and redirections in order to make putting on the socks a secondary activity–and it would have worked to diffuse the situation. But I was worried, tired from a night of racing thoughts and poor sleep, with no margin for hitting a toddler-brick-wall. Burning with frustration because of the difficulty he was causing me, I began to bitterly snap at my other children as tears welled up in my eyes.

It’s in these moments–when little things grow cumbersome and weighty–that I discover how easily I give my heart away.

Proverbs 4:23 reads, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (emphasis mine) It is from our hearts that angry thoughts turn into angry words (Luke 6:25), from our hearts that sin spawns forth like a sprawling weed to infect those around us (Matthew 15:18). As much as we would like to think it is our children, our chores, our schedules, or our messy homes causing such difficulty and unhappiness, the fact is we must, as Jesus said, “First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matthew 23:26)

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