Maybe you have read my posts, and I have let on like I run on sheer sunshine—that our household only knows abundant living (my name is “Jolly” after all). And while the truth of abundance is absolutely the headliner, and God is at the helm of this ship and steering its course toward victory, I can wash up exhausted on the shores of the here and now. I can run bare. Straight empty. A mama-soul with little to offer in whole-hearted responses to the precious faces I call my own.
After several evenings of the redundant, loud squabblings between boys, I wrestle them each to bed with prayers and songs to quiet their souls. Then I try to connect whole-heartedly to one of my teenagers, all while fighting PE (Postpartum Exhaustion). I can sense my hesitation rising as I spy the clock winding away—but I know better. She let me know years ago, this girl of mine, how she just needs to be heard—genuinely heard. The listening to the soul of your child is like treading on holy ground—as they bring the gift of self, of vulnerability, and openness.
I look back to last evening and I think how, in the moment, I could sense a certain quiet prodding of grace. Right there, at the end of a loud day, and in the midst of mid-week emptiness and fatigue, I called on the Holy Spirit. Because so many times I have gotten it all wrong. I have responded out of my own limited resources—having little to offer, or worse, responding in irritation. Maybe all along, the lesson has been about learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit while listening to my child.
When I realize the Holy Spirit is the ultimate resident in the home of my mothering heart, I can begin to understand that it is Christ’s being that I am called to impart to my children. The Spirit enables and equips me to listen and speak as a conduit of love. When I open the doors of my heart and ask him to live, move, and breath through me, the font of virtues (hope, peace, joy, and love) begins to flow. Christ said, Whoever believes in me, as Scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him’ (Jn 7:38).
Our family room envelops us like a sanctuary as we sit on our worn leather couch, and my child receives the healing balm of comfort. Living water washes us both afresh, as I allow the exchange of our human brokenness and human triumphs—of listening like a sacrificial offering. What if I really began to see how powerful it is to listen to the Spirit . . . and to practice the vital need to listen to the hearts of my children? As a Mother I have the opportunity to play a significant role in the story of Christ’s redemption in my home.
Blessed Mother, show me this miraculous path of openness that can start like a flame in my domestic church and spread to society—lighting a fire of love for the world!