Seeing With My Heart

Seeing With My Heart

May 8, 2017

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

Growing up in a home swimming with female hormones, I was blessed to have not one “mother,” but four. I was the youngest of five daughters, and there was always a feminine perspective around … ready and willing to point me in the right direction. Sometimes they used their words, but more often, their guidance was subtle: Their actions spoke.

These women taught me how to keep going when life isn’t what you expect. They modeled staying true to yourself, your family and God even when “true” was not given to you. They showed me how to love even when love costs dearly.

The women of my family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into, have all, in one way or another, shaped me into the woman I am becoming.

God has intersected my life with still more women through friendship, who have spurred me on when I struggled to keep moving forward. These women, some whose names I can’t remember, were so crazy in love with Jesus, they drew me to fall in love with Him, too.

They practiced the wisdom found in Hebrews 10:24, “… spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

These women in my past, who impacted my whole life, have come in all ages, all shapes and all sizes … all women who taught me to see with my heart.

Today, the women teaching me to see with my heart include my daughters. At one point I was the one doing all the teaching. But today, I am daily challenged by them. Seeing the world in a way I haven’t before, I learn from their love for people and their desire for everyone to know their true value. While it was once a one-way teaching, now we spur each other on.

This growing, this learning to see with my heart and not with my natural eyes, has not always been easy. The Lord in His kindness and graciousness has sent those who’ve been bold enough to confront me, showing me the error of my ways. And I know, as I continue to desire to grow, He’ll continue to send more who will challenge me.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and while it honors those who brought us into this world, it is also a day to celebrate women. To say “thank you” to those in our lives who have helped us grow, challenged us and taught us to see with more than our natural eyes.

Lord, thank You so much for the many women You have brought into my life who’ve helped me become the woman I am today. Help me not just receive, but also to be one who spurs on others to good works as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (NIV)

Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Is there someone in your life who inspires you to love God and love people? This Mother’s Day, we’re honoring the women — our mothers, our sisters, our mentors and friends — who have loved us for who we are, and taught us to see with our hearts. Let her know how much she means to you with these special gifts.

CONNECT:
Join Lynn Cowell today on her blog, where she’s got a special Mother’s Day giveaway!

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who is a woman in your life that has encouraged you to grow into the best version of you?

Think of a girl or young woman that you can, in turn, spend time with and help become the best person God created them to be. Make a point to contact them today, and set a time when you can spend some time together.

© 2017 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Lynn, Thank you! This was beautiful. And, it gave me the opportunity to look back at all the women that God brought into my life that shaped and guided me. What a wonderful perspective, seeing with the heart…

  2. Gayle S says:

    Overwhelmed as I think about those who have guided and influenced me over the years. I pray, Lord, for wisdom and insight to be a light and guide for others.

    Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

  3. Sherna says:

    I moved to a new country first year I felt alone and then I met a beautiful lady who involved me in bringing Gods word to kids, 6 months ago we moved away and I feel alone as I live far from family and new friends made, miss my bond I had with her and teaching kids, but every day remember how she inspires me to bring God into my kids life.
    I pray and ask God keep her strong and may she now even when she doesn’t feel like an inspiration she is one to me!

  4. Thank you Lynn for this beautiful reminder of how special our mothers are and to those who are like a mother to us. Above all, my mother is so very special to me and I thank God for her. She has some health issues and we do not to get to do things like we did years ago. However, her best qualities are being an amazing prayer warrior as well as memorizing scripture. She inspires me to quote scripture. My aunt, my mother’s sister that passed away 6 1/2 years ago was very close to me. I miss her dearly as I grew up with her. I have many fond fun memories of her. My aunt on my father’s side of the family was very special to me too. She passed away a few years ago as well. She taught me many scriptures, prayers and wisdom. For any young women reading, please listen to the wise words of older Christian women as they have experience, wisdom and discernment . ~Lisa~

  5. Susan Taylor says:

    I really liked this devoutional. I wish I was as lucky as you were growing up but I was not. My mother did not love nor protect me. She put me down all of the time. This kind of relationship I had with my mother makes it difficult for me to trust women. I need prayer for this. I just love Proverbs 31 Women. The devoutional I recieve has taught me that I am not alone. Most of my life I have felt abadoned and rejected from my mother. This makes me see things and people through this kind of lens. I need people in my life who will acceot me for who I am. I have been a people pleaser all of my life. I need pray to meet trustworthy woman. Have a blessed day.

    • roxanne says:

      God Thank You for Susan! I pray you feel her life with the passion and spurs from women of faith. Use her past as her testimony and stepping stone for what lies ahead. In Jesus name

    • Cindy b says:

      Susan- I have walked your road. We did not receive the love, acceptance and nurture we deserved. I’ve learned my mother could not give and teach what she did not have. So sad. But! God is an amazing God of love and grace and hope. He knows your story and He loves you more than you can imagine! Every tear is saved and written on His scroll. He is nearby and has been your whole life! Possibly smiling and whispering “I got this! We can do this together!” Lord, please open Susan’s eyes to your love and care today. She needs to feel your presence today and every day.

    • Susan, please read Stormie, Stormie Omartian’s autobiography. It is amazing what God did in her life. He can do the same for you! Praying for an amazing work if God in your life!

    • I’m not saying that your past experience is a blessing, Susan, but it is an opportunity. You are uniquely equipped to see the hearts of women who hurt and to touch them with a moment of grace. Like Lynn, I grew up surrounded by godly women. I can only imagine how it feels to be in your shoes, and my words (and even my prayers) will often miss the mark. Fear not, Susan, to say and pray blessing into the lives of women who share your pain.

    • Susan – thank you so much for your transparency. It can be difficult to find those we trust with our hearts.

      Lord, I pray that you will direct Susan’s path to intersect with other women who have hearts like your’s. Heal her so that she can and does not only receive love, but becomes a generous giver of it as well. Amen

  6. Both my mom and mother-in-law are two women who I adore grealy! It is through their actions, their words, and their prayers that I am the woman I am today. Although God has not blessed me with biological children yet, I am blessed to have two “bonus” (step) children, one of whom is a 15 year old girl. When I read the part of one-way teaching turning to two-way teaching, I thought of her. It is through her kindness and her forgiveness that I am spurred on to live a life pleasing unto the Lord. I am indeed blessed.

  7. Praying for you Susan to meet a special woman to mentor you. I grew up with four older sisters and feel very blessed.

  8. Thank you so much for this devotional! It challenged me to remember back on the women, young and old that touched my life and influenced me to be a better, stringer, more vocal daughter of Christ. I am so blessed to have known and still know so many Biblical women that strengthen me with God’s love daily! I too am blessed to feel God has placed me in the lives of a few women to be an encourager in Christ to them too.Thank you!

  9. Dear Susan, I am so sorry for the struggles you continue to go through dealing with being rejected by your Mom in one way or another. I too have struggled with my Mom being emotionally unavailable to me and my sisters. How could she love when she couldn’t deal with her own struggles? Have faith Susan in this ministry and trust The Lord that he has placed people in your life to help heal you on your path. I recently read Lysa TerKeurst’s book Uninvited- Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Lysa shares her story and it will help you identify your childhood hurts and guide you with scripture verses and prayers to healing you from your childhood. Know that many woman struggle with feelings of rejection in one form or another and that you are not alone. Prayers to you Susan and know how much Jesus loves you!

  10. Jessica says:

    Please pray for me. When I am tired and overwhelmed, I yell at my precious little children. I am finding that it is becoming a bad habit and I feel terrible. I was fortunate to be brought up in a loving home, but do not have a lot of help with my kids and I get tired and loose patience. Please pray for patience and strength for me, and that I would give love to each of the precious children that God has blessed me with. Thanks

    • Jessica,
      I’m sorry you’re struggling with this. I used to have the same problem with yelling. There’s a book by Julie Barnhill I think “she’s gonna blow” that helped me.
      Another tip I’ve heard is to whisper when you feel like yelling.
      For me, it was depression. When I got help for that things got much better. I so rarely yell now.
      Best wishes!!

    • Jessica, Mothering is a work that pulls at every part of us. Cara has shared some great wisdom!

      I remember also praying to the Lord to help me to stop yelling. For me, my children were often the outlet from the other stresses that were surrounding me. Taking a few moments for myself – especially to connect with the love of God – began to be my lifeline. My source to get the love I needed first if I was going to have any to give to my family.

      Praying for you now!

  11. Thank you Father for the women in my life to teach me and spur me toward good! I don’t have any kids yet, but I pray that one day I am able to spur them on as well! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there!

  12. Denise says:

    Phyllis Peterson showed me how to love those around me, how to find and see the good in others, and no matter what was going on in your own life to always find a moment to honor and love the people God had blessed you with.

  13. This devotional is so timely for me! Everything speaks to my life right now. Thank you!

  14. Love your heart and your testimony! Happy Mother’s Day!
    God Bless

  15. I have the hardest time understanding how Mary, Jesus’s mother doesn’t come to mind when you write this beautiful blog. She has inspired me so much with her obedience and faithfulness. Without Mary we wouldn’t have Jesus and she deserves praise and admiration. I’m not saying to worship her, I just feel she deserves to be acknowledged.

  16. Tricia says:

    Lynn,

    Thank you for this inspiration. This message really touched me and really made me look at Mothers Day in a different light.
    God Bless!!! Happy Mothers Day to you and all ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

  17. Susan G. says:

    I thank God for my mother who always loved me with unconditional love. Although she has passed on to greater Glory last January, I will never forget what she has taught me, and will try to instill that in my daughters and granddaughters. My moms friends also came along side me as a teenager to model Christ. I now have a couple of close friends who stay connected, and quite often we gather to fellowship and “sharpen one another”.
    Thanks for this!

  18. Rachel says:

    My mother has shaped me more than any other woman. My dad has been a pastor for many years and she came from a complete different background. There have many times when I know she wanted to loose it but kept her composure because she knew so many were watching, including me. God blessed me with a family that served God and I can only hope not to let God and my family down. Praise God for Strong God fearing women.

  19. Thank you for all the inspiring messages. I’ve always been a Christian but started following God everyday 2015. I have just been baptized in March of this year. I have many many testimonies over my life time . My family is not where I am with the Lord . I did not know what I was suppose to be doing when my girls were growing up . They are all in their own now . I am praying for them everyday . Please pray for them as well as my husband . Thank you and anything you can add to help is appreciated . God Bless

  20. Rebecca Orr says:

    I was reminded of the song “Open the Eyes of My HEART LORD, so I can see YOU!” Let us pray that all will see JESUS with their hearts! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!

  21. Lynn, thank you for sharing your story! Mother’s Day can be special in so many ways. I grew up with a hurting mother. When I became a mother myself, at first I would lament… “How can I give a mother’s love? I don’t even know what it feels like.” Then one day the Lord spoke to my heart: “You do know now what a mother’s love feels like, because you are blessed to be on the giving end of it.” This Mother’s Day I will celebrate the Lord who redeemed what I thought was lost, as well as my mother-in-law who has been so kind and servant-hearted. Thank you again for your encouragement. ~Laura Jane, howtobless.com

  22. Lisa Pless says:

    My daughter and I used to be so close.But my not accepting her same sex relationship is tearing us apart.I am suffering severe depression because of this.She is away at school so this is going to be a very difficult Mother’s Day for me.

  23. You are so very fortunate to have all of these posit women in your life. Not all of us are so lucky. My grandmother struggled with bipolar and my mother used me as a sounding board when she got frustrated with her marriage (to my father). The women at church all have fast friends and I have floundered trying to make sense of the world. It’s nice to see others in positive relationships though. It looks like it would be so nice.

  24. Merle Nursten says:

    My mother was such a beautiful woman and didn’t have a very pleasant upbringing, my father was a tough man too! After he died I saw my mom blossom a little and although with his death came many hardships, she always kept her eyes on Jesus! For me it was so amazing as I’d not seen this godly side of her..my father dominated mostly!! The she fell ill with cancer and died in 2014. When I was 26 my husband also passed away from an embolism leaving my son (then 20 months) which naturally is hard. And now 14 years later with a lot of heart ache I am in Gods arms! More than ever before. I have no idea why my journey is what is it…I lost my second husband in 2015 so now I’m 41 and very much in love with Jesus who has saved me time and again. I am so blessed this week as I have a sponsee who has come to know the Lord just 10 days ago! My heart is overflowing and now I know why I’m here, and today’s message has just encouraged me to encourage her today! Thank you Jesus for saving me!! For loving and accepting me!!

  25. My own Mother has inspired me and many others with her prayers and humor. She was the Mother of Ten children and as her oldest, I was at her side. We lost her recently and everyday I realize more what a GIFT she was to us. Much love to all Mothers, everywhere! I wrote this for her. Anne Helton
    https://happyjesusnurse.com/2017/05/08/the-empty-rocker-by-anne-stewart-helton/

  26. Judy S. says:

    I can relate to Jessica’s comment and struggle though I was raised in a loving home, it was not without problems, difficulties and insecurity. That has become such a part of my life that I really battle with the negativity and hurt my own little family show me daily. I feel like there’s no purpose of me being a wife and mom anymore even though that’s all my heart cries to be the best at.
    I thank God for all the wonderful mother figures in my life, my mom especially who went to be with the Lord after losing to ovarian cancer almost four years ago. I miss her terribly still. Her love, faith and positive attitude and strength to go on in the midst of every problem, heartache and sickness were very impactful in my life, my brothers’ and everyone else around her. She was the life of our lives as a family. I pray that I can exemplify this kind of life to my own family and teach my daughter the way mom taught me and leave a legacy to continue for future generations.
    I also pray for a healing between my mother in law and me. I’m kind of in a healing process already but not quite there yet. She and my mom were close friends since their teens. I had always admired her in my own way and I never realised or wanted us to come to this kind of state in our relationship. It has affected us greatly as a family. I just want this to end so we can live in love, forgiveness and peace again.

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