In my last post, I confessed my self-diagnosed case of QFS (Quarantine Fatigue Syndrome) as I was uncovering my inner-introvert. This week, I will share the first two steps I am applying to my heart at home during this season. These steps simply help me to focus my mind and will. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit to give my best, intentional, daily fiat. With my mind in the right place and with an open heart, the Holy Spirit can flow through me in my domestic church and create more space for the unending love of God.
Last week I identified my ‘overwhelm.’ Recognizing and admitting this overwhelm helped me to step back, go to the cross, and receive the infilling of heavenly hope as I begin to foster a holy curiosity about how God wants to “come to the aid of my weakness” (Rom 8:28).
In my experience, in a given season, there tends to be a specific child that tops the list and calls for the interior attention of my mothering heart. Sometimes it is more than one family member, but, for the sake of discernment, let’s ask God to expose the worst (relationship dynamic) first.
1. I will renew my focused prayer for this child. I will choose three specific prayers every single morning. Before the coffee pot brews, before the pitter-patter of feet come down the hall, what three prayers will I be asking of heaven today? I will dig deep and admit what is scarce, and what I need most. A prayer of gratitude for this child—for this unrepeatable, irreplaceable soul that brings a specific gem of God’s heart to our family. What gift does this child bring in abundance that I am taking for granted? Thank you, God, that this child desires an authentic relationship, that this child has a heart to be connected, to give and receive love. A prayer that love will increase and abound (1 Thes 3-4). Jesus, source of all love, increase my overflowing love for this child and uproot my selfishness—replace it with a selfless, sacrificial openness. A prayer for empathy. What pain is my child experiencing during this season of quarantine? How can I see life through their eyes and grow in compassion? Dear Jesus, fill me with compassion that begets action to sacrificially help my child—to hold them as you would in their own suffering that has come from the current season.
What areas of prayer can you apply? Perhaps instead of gratitude, you feel led to start with forgiveness? Let the Holy Spirit guide you. One of the most poignant powers of prayer is that the longer and more consistently we pray for our heartache, the less the heart aches. Miraculously, prayer unites us with God, aligning our hearts to his. For example, when we pray for our enemy, we begin to see our enemy as our friend. Even if we don’t end up with our “end-goal” request, what we end up with is something far more glorious—a changed heart towards the person, toward the child. We begin to see as God sees!
2. I will not make my action steps (and my tri-fold prayer vigil) about making my child change. The steps I am making are entirely my call, between me and God. If I wait for my amazing steps to produce less need for ravenous snacking, longer naps, less read-alouds, more Latin recitation, and sparkling floors resulting from voluntary chore cooperation, I have missed the point. I will easily become discouraged when the chaos ensues. I am not working on altering behavior (we can save behavior tips for another post). I am working on me, and the posture of my heart. I must make my peace with this important reality—I cannot hinge my emotional and spiritual journey on my child’s behavior. I will take imminent change, take child-reform off the table. God wants to bring peace to my heart long before change (if ever) takes effect. God does not want me to live angry and resentful. God wants my heart. He wants me to live the fullest life—a high adventure in the spiritual life, changing me into the image of Christ Jesus.