For the last ten minutes or so I have been sitting alone. The entire family is in bed and it is quiet. About an hour ago, the Star Wars Wii game blared, music played on the computer, my children rode a noisy hobby horse in the middle of everything and the dishwasher was making it's dish washing noises.
All of that is gone now. All is silent.
It is in these quiet times that I am able to listen to God in prayer. This silence and listening that I have been practicing (the key word is practicing) has opened up space in my life to be more aware of the needs of my little family. I've noticed that Little Bear needs some hugs every once in a while (just like she did when she was a baby) and I do not deny them, or that Grasshopper has a joke to tell and I listen while delighting in her smile.
This silent space has also crept into my day-to-day and has become my secret place to run to when things get a little frantic. When I start to feel frazzled or worried, I turn my thoughts inward, to that dark and quiet place where Jesus is, and almost instantly I am calm. A once hectic moment turns peaceful and I move on with the day.
If I could go back to all the times I threw up my hands in desperation over this work of mothering I'd say, "Holly, be silent and listen to Jesus."
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)