Please Place It on My Heart!

Place what on your heart, you must be thinking? Shhh, calmate {that’s Spanish for shhh}. I’ll get there soon enough. Let me tell a brief story that will explain how I learned a new way to pray. Ready? Ok.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard a friend share that sentiment. We were standing in the church parking lot one evening. It was dark and, if memory serves correctly, we had just finished attending one of our parish Pastor’s Talks, where Father Joel would reflect on Scripture with a group of people after daily Mass. I still remember enough of the details of the conversation – we were talking about family size. My then youngest, aka #4 aka car birth kid aka Andrew, had just turned one. They were expecting number nine and, being honest with my flawed self, I found the thought of my having more children quite burdensome.

Still, I remember being intrigued by the appearance of her having it all together. My kids were still in public school, hers were homeschooled. I needed my me time, she never seemed to mind her kiddos around all the time. When I asked if she came from a large family, she mentioned being only one of three growing up. Being the oldest of two myself, I found I could relate to her in that respect. I finally just blurted out the question: “Did you always know you wanted a large family?” Without missing a beat, she responded “God always placed it on my heart” – or something like that. I wouldn’t really understand what she meant that night until some years later.

Fast forward through the years of discerning homeschooling after my son asked me to go that route. My life went from

  • up at crack thirty
  • shuffle the kids to school,
  • do stuff through the day – chat online about religion, laundry, think about what would be for dinner
  • pick up the kids and
  • begin afternoon craziness of various activities, sports, meetings, etc.
  • maybe. maybe? maybe make that dinner I thought about earlier in the day
  • homework, baths, prayers
  • go to bed at dark thirty

to a whole new way of living. No longer was my life tied to the alarm clock and schedules {unless we decided to do that as a family}. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of homeschooling – it meant giving up all the comforts I was used to and, yet, I felt a sense of obligation towards it. It was like it was chosen for me. If you knew me before we decided to homeschool, you would have laughed yourself silly at the thought of my attempting to be around my kids ALL. THE. TIME. That first year was TOUGH. There were many days of wondering and questioning the decision to homeschool. I finally broke down and did something I had never considered. I asked God to place homeschooling as a good for our family on my heart.

A Soft Place in My Heart by Pino Daeni

It was a surrender of sorts. It was me saying God, I can’t do this on my own and I need your help. Please send me the graces to understand Your plan in all this. But it didn’t stop there. I asked Him constantly to show me how to love what we had chosen for our family. I didn’t want it to be a joyless obligation. And while there were plenty of bad days, due in large part to the transition of a very regimented traditional classroom and schedule to a much more lax homeschooling schedule, I kept offering up those struggles in the hopes that He would eventually place that desire to love the call to homeschool on my heart. That prayer wasn’t answered overnight, or revealed in an epiphany. As I have come to understand my personal relationship with God the Father over the years, I have learned that He first speaks to me softly, then increases the volume ever so slightly over a period of time. By the end, the voice is so loud that it becomes my own and the desire and strength are mine. I actually want to do what it was that I begged Him to place on my heart.

This is not a perfect process, just ask my husband. Wait. Don’t do that. Just take my word for it. ::snicker:: All I can say is thank goodness we are called practicing Catholics, amiright? I want to offer you encouragement if you feel like you are powerless to change your bad habits or if you are stuck. While I wouldn’t say I am batting 100% on loving homeschooling, God has now firmly placed it on my heart that it is like anything else worth doing in my life – it’s hard, and it takes a lot of love and sacrifice, but it is ultimately the way it is supposed to be for our family.

If you can learn to lay it in His lap, let go of your own timeline, and ask God to place it on your heart He will answer you. Promise.


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