Parenting Guru: My heart was speaking all along

Last fall I took a leap of faith and quit my stable, well-paying job in pursuit of two dreams. One, to become a freelance writer, and two, to stay home with my children.

The decision to walk away from my job took no less than 18 months of careful planning, about a thousand prayers, a flood of tears, and a healthy dose of courage.

The worst part about making a decision so large is the not knowing. Not knowing if the decision is the right one. Not knowing if the decision was an emotional one. Not knowing if I was making the decision for the right reasons. Not knowing if it we were going to be OK. Financial considerations had taken precedence over my personal desires and for many, many years because it just felt safer that way. But who did it hurt in the end? It hurt more than just my soul. It hurt my chances of becoming the mother I was meant to be - the mother who not only dared to dream, but had the courage to make her dream come true. I wanted my children to see me succeed with their own eyes and believe me when I told them they could be anything they wanted to be.

On the first day of my new life as a stay at home mother and freelance writer, I awoke to sunshine. The sun has only continued to shine even brighter since.

This picture was taken my first week home. Here I sat with my youngest son at our local park in a quiet moment of peace and gratitude that made my heart very, very happy. I have this picture displayed in a pretty frame on my desk to remind me that no matter what the future holds, at least I dared to take a chance on my heart.

My experience has taught me that my heart knows more than I give it credit for. So often we allow extreme logic, fear and other people's opinions to steer our direction. While all of these considerations most certainly deserve our attention, our heart - the thing that speaks that still, quiet voice - feels boldly and ultimately, determines our happiness.

While I'll always be a parent who gives advice and offers direction, I want my children to know just how much I value the feelings in their hearts - because they matter.

Have you ever followed your heart and stepped out in faith?

Mommyfriend goes by Lori Garcia in real life and is a Shine Parenting Guru . She writes at www.mommyfriend.com where she's busy finding perfection in imperfection daily. When she's not watching infomercials she's a blogger for Babble's Kid Scoop, a Lifestyle Contributor for Yahoo! Contributor Network and one of the sexy founders of Project Marriage .