/ / Lean In and Listen for a Heart Drop

Lean In and Listen for a Heart Drop

As women, it is important that we are attentive to those around us; for when we are, we will hear a "heart drop" that will give us clues to their needs. #WomenLivingWell #friendship #MakeYourHomeaHaven #homemaking

{Welcome back to Week 3 of our Making Your Home a Haven Series!  If you are just joining us, be sure to read the post from week one and the post from week two to bring yourself up to speed. Then, be sure to come back to this post for this week’s challenge!}

Karen Ehman Writes:

Well, did you fire up your ovens last week and serve up something delicious for your family? Are you continuing to light that candle each day and pray for all your people—those souls who reside within your four walls? And now, are you ready for week three? I know I sure am!

Reminder: Don’t forget to keep the verse of the challenge before you for perspective. Even try memorizing it if you wish.

Download the key verse here.

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Download the challenge schedule here.

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Our first week together, we began with grabbing a large candle—and a prayerful attitude—and adopting the practice of creating an atmosphere of coziness in our homes by performing this daily routine:

Light. Pray. Straighten. Repeat.

And then last week we grabbed our aprons and wooden spoons and chopping knives and then took on the challenge to…

Serve up some lovin’ from the oven.

Now, this week we are going to use our ears as tools that will help us to spread a little love within our homes as we reach out in love to our family members. Let me explain.

It first starts by learning about what is known around my house as a “heart drop”.

HEART DROP:

When a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness. It could even be a simple preference or “like” of theirs, such as their most-loved snack, hobby, musician, or a favorite sports team. Or maybe you sense anxiousness or worry in the tone of their voice when they bring up an upcoming test for school or new adventure such as auditioning for a part in a play or trying a new extra-curricular activity for the first time.

Hearing a heart drop is a concept my husband and I learned from our small group leader, Michael and it has caused me to become a better listener and also provided me with numerous opportunities to show love to the members of my family and also to acquaintances and even complete strangers—but this week we are going to just focus on our family members.

As women, it is important that we are attentive to those around us; for when we are, we will hear a "heart drop" that will give us clues to their needs. #WomenLivingWell #friendship #MakeYourHomeaHaven #homemaking

When we hear a heart drop, we can brush it aside and go on our busy way. Or, we can respond with an act of kindness. It may be words of reassurance, a clever small gift, an act of service, or gift of your time.

Hearing a heart drop is an art we can intentionally cultivate–a sort of listening between the lines. It can lead to the most wonderful times of encouragement as we make it our habit to listen and to love.

So…..our challenge this week is to do this…..

Lean in and listen. Then, go make their day!

Be extra attentive this week, listening for those “heart drops”. Remember, this is when someone—in the midst of a conversation—says something in passing that gives you a peek into their heart and how they are feeling. Perhaps they mention something they are apprehensive about, excited for, or dreading. Listen between the lines for a concern (or a joy!) that they might have and then do something to show them you care such as…

Leave a treat on their pillow with a sticky note that tells them you are praying. Send an encouraging text on the day of their big exam. Send a hand-written card to your husband’s work place. I even write on the side of their lunch box bananas with a ballpoint pen!

Lunch pails are a great place to slip in a little love…..and fun!

As women, it is important that we are attentive to those around us; for when we are, we will hear a "heart drop" that will give us clues to their needs. #WomenLivingWell #friendship #MakeYourHomeaHaven #homemaking

Whipping up a batch of jam is a great way to have a sweet treat always at hand to cheer someone’s day. I recently gave a few jars to some friends of ours who just dropped their first born off at college and were a bit teary eyed. I saw it on Facebook so I commented that when they returned to our little town, they were to swing by my house for a jar to drown their sorrows in.

strawberry-jam

Be nosey when a loved one (or friend) is giving their order at a coffee shop. Then, surprise them on a day when you sense they need a pick me up. This is me with Ruth Schwenk, my co-author, who is also a dear friend to both Courtney and me.

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A recent note that was on a plate of goodies when my son returned home from his first day of community college. The school’s team name is The Stars. (Goodies devoured before I could snap a pic! Apparently college makes you famished!)

you-are-a-star

One of my kids heard me give a heart drop last week and then bought me a hot, creamy drink on a somewhat stressful day. I thanked him—once again in his lunch pail. NOTE: this child rarely mentions these love notes. However, he does notice when I haven’t tucked one in his lunch in a while, so I know he likes them. 😉

pumpkin-spice-lattes

Let’s make it our mission this week to lean in and listen for heart drops and then respond with a loving—and impromptu—gesture.

***********************

Thank you Karen – This is Courtney here – jumping in to share with you how Karen sent a “heart drop” package to me just 2 months ago!  We were chatting on the phone and I had shared with her that my kids were headed to school (after 7 years of homeschooling) and she sent the sweetest surprise care package to my kids – check it out!!

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Lexi loved this heart drop!

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Here’s the bus arriving at the end of their first day.  They survived! Lol! 🙂

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Here’s Alex enjoying the cake that Karen sent in the package!

Notice the kleenex’s in the background?
That’s because I spent half the day crying over this transition. Lol!

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I’m so thankful to have a friend who doesn’t just write this stuff – but she really does live it out in her life.  Thank you Karen! xoxox

Ok….now for our weekly conversation…..

Leave us a comment telling us either about a time that someone heard you give a heart drop and then responded with a loving gesture that encouraged you OR tell us a heart drop you heard someone give recently in your family and what you might do to follow up on that heart drop with an act of kindness. {Feel free to also reply to others’ comments with ideas for responding to the heart drops they heard too!}

THIS Week’s Giveaway is for Everyone!

(Last week’s winner of the Slow Cooker Giveaway was Ashley Teets! Congratulations Ashley!  Look in your email inbox for an email from me.)

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If you’d like to learn more about how to hear a heart drop and then respond with an act of kindness, sign up for this free challenge. It will be delivered to your email box for five days in a row, beginning the day you sign up. These short video messages are full of biblical inspiration and practical ideas for reaching out to others with the love of Christ–family members, friends, coworkers, the lonely and grieving, the necessary people who help you get life done–even the oh-so-hard-to-love!

Come join us as we spend the next five days listening and loving, scattering kindness to those with whom our lives naturally intersect.

 

Ok. Let’s get talking about those heart drops! I can’t wait to hear all about them!

 

33 Comments

  1. I think this is definitely something I need to work on. I have a friend (who lives in another state) that is very good at sending me notes and cards in the mail after we’ve been talking about things. It is so encouraging to me!

  2. This is awesome Karen…love the Heart Drop concept…can make such a difference in someone’s day and life! God bless you Courtney! I have been with you since your blog started and know that the decision that you and your husband made to send your children to school was a very hard one, but you have laid a very strong, unshakable foundation for these two and they are going to do great!

  3. I have been looking at Women living well this morning. I don’t have the hang of it yet. It jumps to so many other things. I’ll be looking at one thing, then it will send you to something else and I get lost, but there’s a lot of interesting comments and posts. I was interested in why you decided to send your kids to school after homeschooling but I don’t know where to look. I’m also confused of the difference in Good Morning Girls and Women Living Well. I was trying to get envolved in the Good Morning Girls and I was sent to Women Living Well. So I’m kinda trying to find my way around, lol. Keep up the good work! Elaine Lovejoy. Elainelovejoy@aol.com. Oh, I was trying to subscribe to the Heart Drop thing and it said you had just sent me an email but I didn’t get it. I’m working on this stuff, lol, hopefully I’ll get more of it figured out. Thx for all your hard work keeping all this going.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      I have not shared here on the blog my reasons for the change in my kids schooling. I hope to do that soon.

      Also, Good Morning Girls has been brought back home to Women Living Well where it began. So the two have merged. Sorry for the confusion.

      So glad you are here! A great place to find all of the good morning girls resources is here: https://womenlivingwell.org/good-morning-girls-resources/

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney 🙂

  4. Dear Joy,

    I awoke to seeing your comment here and was concerned. I did not want it to be hurtful to my guest Karen. I don’t mind being criticized but I was uncomfortable with my guest being criticized and so for that reason I removed your comment. If you have a concern, I encourage you to email me or her.

    I know your comment came from a good place and just so you know, the goodies served above are treats – we still have a few of them left – so we eat them in moderation. I serve meat, vegetables and fruit all of the time. And my kids are super healthy – so no concerns there. 😉

    Lots of Love,
    Courtney

  5. My daughter (age 7) and son (age 5) share heart drops with me often, now come to think of it. It really is SO easy to brush those concerns off for another time. I pray that I am intentional about meeting needs, blessing hearts and encouraging their spirits this week… and in the future.
    Thank you for this challenge!

  6. My best friend and I I do this often, heart drop or Holy Spirit prompting ???? . I’ll randomly think oh I should bring her a coffee, and wouldn’t you know it she needed that at that the right moment. I do need to work on this with my family. I think by doing this with my family it will definatly become more of a haven for love and encouragement.

  7. I love this little mini series! It helps me focus on what’s truly important- my family and others. I’ve making a little game out of finding “heart drops” and then acting on them. So much fun!

    Thank you, Courtney and Karen!

  8. Sometimes it can be something so simple! I had a fellow mom and teacher at our homeschool co-op who noticed that I was feeling discouraged because of my very strong willed five year old. She pulled me aside during lunch and told me about her now 25 year old strong willed child and how that strong will had paid off for her when she had gone off to a ballet school at the age of 15. She also told me what a joy it was to teach my daughter. She did all this while sharing the big bag of fruit she had brought with my children. It was exactly the encouragement I needed!

  9. I just realized that I tend to send notes and cards to people outside of our family more than I do my own family. I’m always here to listen but I think having something to hold and read and go back to really lets someone know just how much you are thinking of and praying for them. I will definitely correct this imbalance. Thank you for this series! I have always enjoyed making our house a home and letting my family know how much iI love them. It is so encouraging to see that my life’s work in our home has made such an impact on my husband, my children, their friends, our friends and even strangers. Encouraging women through your blog and this series to show the light of Christ through their loving care of their home and family is a true blessing to this world. Who knows how far reaching the effects of our love of home will have. (Courtney, thinking of and praying for you.)

    Thank you Courtney and Karen,
    Jackie

  10. I would do this when my kids were younger and in school. It would be a good practice to get back into with both adult children living with me.

  11. My mom is great at responding to heart drops! When my kids mention something they want or need, she will most likely have it for them the next time they see her. She often has little surprises for me when she knows I am having a rough time, usually something I have casually mentioned before and she was listening. I try to do this with my family as well, and am going to focus on it with my husband and kids this week! <3

  12. This week is so very important and something I try to keep in mind every week, I truly believe it makes a difference, especially when I see my kiddos following this same thought and applying it when it comes to friends, family and neighbors. It’s like a RAOK that spreads kindness, I love it <3 !

  13. I love the idea of heart drops! I try and do that as often as I can. Here’s my story. My husband Bill is an artist. He teaches two classes every week, so we always have amazing paintings for our walls. One day a neighbor was here and saw one she really liked and commented on it. A week later we were able to gift it to her!

  14. I try to leave little notes for my husband around the house, since that is his love language. Sometimes he comments on them, sometimes not, but I know he always appreciates it!

  15. I love this!! I am going to start doing this!!
    Thanks for you all you do! I am praying for you Courtney! You have been an inspiration for me and all you do for Christ! Keep on keeping on!!

  16. My heart drop for my 87 years young neighbor was bar b que hash. She loves it. We had a wonderful visit looking at all her new pictures. Before I left she had to give me a set of her salt and pepper shakers she has collected through the years. Her hash, I’m sure has been eaten, but my salt shakers have found a special place in my home and heart.

  17. It’s definitely not easy to lean in & listen especially when you feel you have the weight of the world on you & you want to unload on someone. But I can tell you that several yrs ago after the birth of our 2nd grandchild, we had some family upheavals. It all came crashing down on me as I was lam-blasted by by my daughter & her husband one day for everything under the sun. I sat quietly & listened (and prayed) during it all. An instinct was to give them back a list of everything they do wrong. But I told my daughter that she is the best mommy I know, she will make mistakes, but a great mom. I told my son-in-law “God knew what He was doing when He gave you 2 little girls because he knew you would be the best daddy ever to 2 little girls”. Things were strained for a while but later & looking back, the real problem came out & they were able to talk w/us & now our relationship is relaxed, loving, open & their little family is doing super.

  18. We recently had a new family move into our neighborhood from out of state. They have a large family and I encouraged my kids to help walk their younger kids to their classrooms on their first day of school and to play with them in our yard with their friends. We “booed” the family one night by leaving a Halloween pail of treats and a Halloween message to “boo” two other houses..it’s a fun Halloween tradition in our area. If I know of something fun or a place of interest, I pick up information for the new family so they can become more familiar with our area.

  19. I try to regularly leave little notes for my kids letting them know how proud I am of something specific they’ve done in helping someone else or showing love when it maybe wasn’t easy to. I notice that when I do it brightens their day and they love it when someone acknowledges something they did!

  20. I LOVE the term “heart drop”. I have always tried to be a good listener. Part of my job as a nurse and grief support coordinator was to be a good listener and focus in on the ‘heart drops’. Yet, I still have to remind myself to do this on a daily basis with others. My neighbor recently shared a heart drop moment when she had a significant amount of anxiety, fear, sadness and concern after hearing her daughter and only grandson, age 15 months were moving within a week, over 1000 miles away. I bought her favorite coffee drink and brought it over to her, and then sat and listened while she shared her feelings and shed tears. Some days I will send her an encouraging quote via text, just to brighten her day. Now, I accept this weeks challenge you presented, because I know that I need to tune in to more heart drops within my own family. Thank you for this encouragement and challenge! ❤

  21. Thanks for the reminder of something I found enjoyable many years ago. I need to pick up the habit again. Caring for others well can be easy if we just pay attention and not only caught up in our own lives. Loved this article.

    And to Courtney….I sent you a “heart drop” earlier this month in the form of a message on FB….unless I did it wrong. LOL

    Thanks to all who make this an enjoyable experience!

    Jan

    1. Hi Jan,

      I did not see your message. I’m so sorry. I get a lot of messages and facebook filters them based on who are my friends and not – I apologize I did not respond. I did not see it.

      Thank you!
      Courtney 🙂

  22. Our little family of three loves to play all sorts of games (board games, card games, even video games). When I see my husband or our son feeling stressed, I offer up playing games together. Some games only take a few minutes to play. So, if we are busy and only have a few minutes to gather together, we pick a quick game. If we have time to play awhile, we’ll pick something that plays longer. The time together and focusing on something fun is a great stress-reliever. I also love to make food that my boys enjoy as a pick-me-up.

    I will say, one of my favorite heart drop moments was a few years ago. I was friends with a lovely woman whose family was from Holland. They were in America while her husband attended seminary. She was feeling overwhelmed and missing Holland a bit. She had shared with me that she enjoyed the dark, earthy bread from Panera, because it reminded her of home. So, one day I went and purchased a loaf for her. I wrote her a note in Dutch (thank you Google translate) telling her what an amazing vessel she is for God. I did not sign the card, and I left the loaf of bread and note on her front porch as a surprise. It was fun hearing her talk positively about her surprise and asking different friends who had done it. I was able to go unnoticed for a few months, but she finally figured out it was me. 🙂

  23. I come today running a few weeks behind compared to years past. The candle is now a daily item in our home in the morning. My family sees this as part of my prayer and devotional time. A reminder to them that I am praying for them and giving them to God. We as a family have been working on Heart Drop Moments. There are days it is hard, those days when you are stressed to the max and want to whine about it yourself, to stop and put someone else first is a major thing. To let God and the Holy spirit lead you is amazing. The more I focus on the heart drop the more I see my prayer life growing. Thank you for these challenges and simple guidance that binds God even closer into everyday and everything.

  24. My husband loves almost anything with marshmellow filling…. so in Sept. when he said he couldn’t wait for Halloween… I was a little puzzled. Well turns out when we were at the grocery store, he spotted the marshmellow filled pumpkins in the candy asile… so… this week I bought extras to put in his lunch bag… at his dinner place… etc. He loves these little acts of love.

  25. What a wonderful reminder to show thoughtfulness! A couple years ago I saw on Pinterest the sunshine in a box idea and loved it!!! ( you fill a gift basket or box with all yellow items ) I have done this a couple times since when I have noticed that people are going through a real hard time.

  26. I am a little late in responding ????, but I love doing this for my kids. I put notes in their lunch boxes every school day, and I will send them a ❤ text out of the blue. I think I make a point of doing this, because I seldom have gotten them, because I want them to know, that no matter where they are, I am always thinking about and praying for them.

  27. I have 4 little boys, and 3 have a virus that is still contagious even though they feel fine. When I told my oldest (age 6) that we’d have to miss church this morning (Hubs is at work, so he’s not going either) because the others are sick, he didn’t say much, but I could tell he was very disappointed. He LOVES our church and his classes there. I quietly texted a friend to see if she could come pick him up. When I told him it was all set up for him to go after all, he was SO happy!

  28. Oh my! In reading this, my heart… dropped! I have missed so many opportunities so many times with my little family. I feel depleted, spent…overworked, underpaid…all the whines of my self worship. Thank you for these sweet reminders. Thank you for the encouragement! I am cutting, pasting and pasting again until I have this message as part of my daily life. We are called to serve one another, and I pledge to do just that in my own little family.

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