Being the Fertile Soil

Jolly Hormillosa // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


July 16  

I look across the messy living room with my fussing baby on my hip as my three-year-old pulls on my pant leg, whining about the next thing he was sure he needed from me. I had just spent the afternoon in the blinding Texas summer temperatures, braving the grocery store with my littles in tow while schlepping older kids from one summer activity to the next. We made it home, and all of my brood were either crying, bickering, or heatedly complaining.

Maybe they had collectively plotted a heist right as I was preparing to make their dinner. Most likely not, but I felt burnout followed by a simultaneous surge of sheer frustration. I was upset at them for their ingratitude and poor conduct. I was disappointed in myself for my lack of skill in parenting them to manage their moods and emotions with self-control. Then I simply wanted to melt down myself. I unhinged my toddler from my leg and made my way to the only place I knew that I could be alone. I stood in the bathroom trying to cry in silent mode, and then I heard a knock on the door. My ten-year old knocked on the locked door and asked in a chipper voice, “Mom, are you crying in the bathroom again?”

I exited my master bathroom and couldn’t help smiling a bit through my tear-stained cheeks, my son smirking with that come-easy humor that God gave him.  “Let’s get a fresh start Mom,” he says. Maybe it is not a small wonder that grace comes by way of seemingly small interactions, bringing the relief to start anew. And that night dinner did make it to the table, and my little and tall souls laughed in unison bringing that sure, golden light of renewal after a hard day.

I knew with every positive pregnancy test that being a mom would mean exponential dedication and hard work on so many fronts, but I envisioned the reward of sure-won harmony. I knew it would not be easy, but I had no idea how hard it would be. I didn’t know that in actuality it would oftentimes mean sacrificially bearing the reality of a myriad of human weaknesses—all varying widely across the span of ages and temperaments—all of whom God has chosen to create our family as it grows.

Today, we read the Gospel of the sower, who generously spreads the various kinds of ground with seed. And I think of how generous God is to be willing to become the tiny seeds of love in the ground of my soul, so that I might be filled with his life and co-labor in sacrificial love for my children. 

All of this fertility continues to call me to be the fertile soil God asks for . . . and I continue to wonder most over the reality that God loves me so much that he wants me to be a part of the love that grows. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that God is, “Infinitely perfect and blessed in himself,” but because of his “sheer goodness” wants us to “share in his own blessed life.” In the midst of the holy chafing that is oftentimes a reality of family life, may we never forget that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us (Rm 8:18). Dear mothers, we are so perfectly loved, and we are being asked to continue to toil the hard ground of our hearts, and remain tenderly open so that we might be drawn into the growth of love.

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