Jennifer and I are doing our best to pour good thinking into our children… not just good behavior, but good thinking. We want our girls to know that they’re not just ‘enough’. They’re amazing – and truly, they are. So many of us recall our childhoods and can point to events that broke our hearts. Little lies were planted in us leading us to believe we’re broken and lacking – and for some of us, just plain bad. We could all tell stories of a school yard bully, or a bully at home who did some damage we’re still repairing today. Jennifer and I are no exceptions, and we’re fiercely committed to defending the hearts and spirits of our little girls… to let them know they are our greatest treasures, and beyond that, they matter to this world. They have a seriously important role to play.
Usually she wants me to do our nighttime rituals, but last night, Jalen wanted her Mommy. So I sat in a chair in the corner as they read Ladybug Girl together, played ‘I got your nose’ and said a prayer. As they were winding down, Jennifer looked down at Jalen and said, “Did you know that your Mommy loves you sooo much… I’m so proud of you, and you know what, baby girl? You’ve got a good heart.’’
Jalen didn’t say a word, but her eyes said more than her little vocabulary could find words to speak. She locked eyes intensely with Jen, and smiling a sweet little smile, she sat up and wrapped her arms around her Mommy’s neck, resting in the safety and the acceptance she found there. Then, without a word, she laid her head on her pillow and closed her eyes, peace and rest taking over her tired little body.
Of course kids love to hear that they’re loved, and that we’re proud of them. But I saw something different last night. I think Jalen was responding to hearing ‘You’ve got a good heart.’ It was kinda like she needed to hear the words, to know that she is ‘good’.
I left the room thinking how true that is of me too… and today I’m wondering if you might need to hear it as well.
Friend, you’ve got a good heart; do you know it? Perfect? No. Making some bad choices, choosing the long and difficult road at times? Definitely. But at the center of it all, at the center of ‘you’ is a heart that longs to do better today than you did yesterday – and to be better today than you were yesterday.
Personally, spiritually, in your work, with your family and community… Take a moment, and give yourself credit for trying. Feel the peace of knowing that, though you’re not there yet, you’re advancing everyday. And at the center of it all is a heart that beats to be better. You will get there. With a heart like that guiding you, you will get there.
In case you need to hear it today, let me remind you… You’ve got a good heart.
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