Today’s guest post is from Kathi Lipp. Kathy helps women renovate their lives, their relationships, and their connection to God. She blogs at KathiLipp.com and is the author of six books including The Me Project. Find out more about Kathi at on her website or connect with her on Facebook.
During a visit to my mom last month, she had set aside a few things to see if I wanted them. A couple of framed pictures, some letters I’d written to my folks while I was a missionary in Japan, and a tiny silver box.
The box had the initials ”HVK” embossed on the top for my great, great aunt, Hilda Von Kampen, and a little note inside written in German. As far as I can make out, the box is a thank you gift that a man named Karl Kachler gave her on July 24th, 1929.
I’m sure there were hundreds if not thousands of boxes just like this one made in 1929. What makes it so precious is not so much the original cost of the box, or even who owned it, but the value is from the obvious care that the owners have put into protecting it.
It was first owned by my great, great aunt, and then my grandmother (who brought it over from Germany,) and then my mom. This box has survived boat trips, dozens of moves, earthquakes and my brother’s and my sticky little fingers for over eighty years. All because it was protected.
This is a lesson I’m learning in my own life. If I want to be one of those women who is valuable and useful as I grow older, I need to be taking daily care now. I understand as a mom it’s so much easier to put that “heart care” off to a time when you’re not so busy, or so stressed, or so burdened by everything that is going on around you.
But these are the times when you need to guard your heart more than ever. I know I need to guard my heart by being mindful where jealousy and envy take me. I need to guard my mind by what I watch on TV and the music I listen to and the gossip I participate in.
Giving over your heart care to anyone besides God is a risky proposition. It’s not up to your husband or your church, or your moms group to protect your heart. It is up to you and God only. Am I guarding my heart with God’s word, with prayer and solitude, or have I let my guard down and given others passage into the places of my life where only God should be allowed?
Solomon, the wisest king to rule Israel said: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Solomon wasn’t saying that guarding our heart was an important thing. He said it was the important thing. “Above all else…” Nothing else is more important.
When I think about what will make me valuable at eighty plus years of age, it comes down to the daily ways I need to protect my heart:
• Prayer (Am I talking to God?)
• Meditation (Am I listening to God? Could I sit still for 2 minutes and “be still?”)
• Worship (Am I giving God my best…even if it’s doing laundry, reading to my kids, or offering a listening ear to a friend?)
• Community (Am I living life with others? Can I ask for help? Can I offer help?)
It’s these kinds of daily practices that all add up to becoming a wellspring of life.
What about you? What area: Prayer, Meditation, Worship or Community, are your most needing to develop in this stage of your life?