Attending the services is a matter of constant movement. My arms, they’re seldom empty and it’s a rare occasion I find myself ending a service standing in the spot where I began. I’ve long abandoned that naive notion, the one that equates the caring for young children with lost opportunities. You see, a will pruned by repeated cuttings bears far more fruit than one that withers away under external peace and quiet.
She shall be saved in childbearing. She shall receive an opportunity – to live for another.
A mother must be creative in prayer – taking utter chaos and through it, affecting the order of her heart. Sleepless nights spent nursing an infant become opportunities to keep vigil. Mealtime interruptions, leaving the table one more time to fill a cup for a thirsty child, they become moments to fast. Baskets full of laundry, they’re just little reminders jogging the memory, opportunities to whisper prayers for this child and that one, as each shirt and sock is folded and put away. The search for little ways to capture the grace of the smallest, most ordinary moments, that’s the art of motherhood.
I spent the first decade of mothering waiting for that moment of quiet, the one that never came. When the children are older, then I can pray. When the house is clean and organized, then I can find peace. When I reach the end of this stage, that’s when I can be the wife and mother I wish to be.
All that waiting, always missing the opportunity to engage the present moment. It’s a shadow of a life, always living for an imaginary one. But real life’s a matter of embracing the present moment, the grace hidden in this messy moment of time. God is here and He longs to be found.
Seek and ye shall find.
That search for quiet, I’ve long abandoned it. These days I embrace the noise, listen through it, hunting out an opportunity to catch a brief moment of grace. It’s within the clamor that the quiet of His voice resonates clearly, that moment when I hush the noise of my complaining. It’s a matter of silencing the unrest of my heart, just long enough to hear the Voice of the One leading me on this great treasure hunt.
For He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them. Isaiah 49:10
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