Stressful Times Lead to Fertile Hearts

stress emotional rototiller fertile hearts

© 2012 RichardBH, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio


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!)

This parenting tip sponsored by Bo & Jen, parents of 4 from Lincoln, NE, in celebration of 17 years of marriage as of tomorrow, April 11! Learn more about sponsoring a parenting tip here.

stress tiny rototiller card