Honor Your Space: Heart-Expanders.
As I walked into the house on Saturday, there were a pair of girls’ rain boots by the door and a refrigerator covered in artwork. I just grinned, knowing that these girls had successfully touched every part of the house, and every part of our hearts. About three months ago, I got two heart expanders. One is six and one is thirteen, and their names are Terra and Cherokee and OHMYGOODNESS they are so stinkin’ precious, my heart could burst.
It’s been an adjustment, sure. Days are filled with doing hair, driving to ballet class, and too many firsts to count. It’s an ongoing process, letting people into your lives and hearts: there’s the push and pull of trying to keep things the same and welcoming new things. They aren’t guests who stay for the weekend and you plan their entire visit around fun things—it’s the everyday, little things that make up the pieces of your heart.
When Terra wants to say the blessing at dinner for the first time.
When Cherokee gets a part in her school play in the second week of school.
When Avery teaches Terra how to throw a baseball.
When Cherokee convinces Nathan to let her paint his toes.
When Terra falls asleep at a baseball game in Momma’s arms.
When Cherokee FaceTimes me in the middle of the week, just because.
When Terra convinces Daddy to play dress-up with her.
When Cherokee and Terra run yelling my name when I walk in the door.
My parents taught me a lot about heart expanders over the years. They are the people that come into your family’s lives and make your heart stretch, expanding for another soul to fit in there. They share sacred space in our hearts, in our lives, in our daily routines.
The week before they came to us, we worked on getting their names in our head. Now, their faces are etched in our heart.
By all means, we’re no experts, and it’d be a lie to say it’s all been easy. But it’s been worth it.
That’s what happens with heart expanders: they work their way into our lives and our hearts, and our hearts grow, our hearts expand. Our lives are fuller and richer.
Heart expanders are never very far from you: most likely, they are someone you know. Maybe they don’t need a place to stay, but they need an open heart.
At the very core, this is God’s purpose: that we open our homes and our hearts, to allow others in. We’re not in charge of the heart-changing business, God is. It doesn’t have to be a huge, grand gesture—it just needs to be a safe space, an offer to meet them for tea.
Heart expansion starts with door opening.