Stressful Times Lead to Fertile Hearts

Painting pictures in my mind has been very helpful in my parenting journey. For example, when I’m upset and feel like my head is going to explode I imagine a balloon in my lungs filling and releasing air. When my kids are upset and I remain calm, I visualize myself “loaning” my calm to them as a blanket to cover them during their emotional storm.

A word-picture God gave me recently is appropriate for the spring weather we’ve been having: when my kids are upset, tense, frustrated, angry — really any negative emotion — I picture a tiny rototiller tilling up the soil of their hearts.

And then I picture my words as a seed that gets planted in their stirred-up, rototilled hearts.

The word-seed that gets planted can grow into something beautiful that keeps bearing fruit — or something ugly, a weed that chokes out all the beauty around it. When I plant a word-seed that could potentially grow into a weed I quickly, while the weed is small and the soil is fresh, yank out the weed with a sincere and heartfelt apology.

This word-picture allows me to accept the “rototiller” of their negative emotions as a beneficial tool that is preparing their hearts for a bountiful harvest.

Apply It Now:

  • What kinds of seeds do you usually plant when your kiddos’ emotions are all rototilled up? What kinds of seeds do you want to plant?
  • The next time you see your child(ren) getting worked up, picture the tiny rototiller, take a deep breath, and plant the kind of seed you want to plant. (And if you plant a weed, don’t worry — yank it out with a sincere and heartfelt apology!)

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