peace & the still, small voice {guest post Becky MacKenzie}

Becky recently relocated with her family from Virginia to Ireland where her husband is a visiting professor at Trinity College. (Cool, right??) She is funny and honest, and I love what she shares about discovering peace, calling, and even quiet within the wilds of motherhood.

When I started filtering out the noise of culture, family, and what the me of fifteen years ago thought I should be doing, wanting, and feeling, I finally began to hear my own voice. I started to think about why I had been put on this earth. What talent had I been given to share?

I had just had three babies in under four years. Life with littles is loud and exhausting, but amid all that crazy is the wonderful reminder of being part of something larger. Motherhood hit me upside the head with big questions. How would I act on the answers?

I wanted to become intentional about all sorts of things but at the core was living out my faith. That meant I had to discern my calling. I had to be mindful. I had to notice.

You know that warmth you get in the pit of your stomach when you get a tiny baby to laugh? That feeling that if you could stay in this moment forever you would? That is the feeling I get when I am in communion with the Holy Spirit. It's what I was looking for in my daily life, that sense that I was doing something I was created to do.

It turned out I had been acting out my calling long before I gave it any thought at all. If it the Holy Spirit could work through a teenage girl to secure salvation for all, it could get me to at least nod in the right direction at a time when intentional meant little more than intending to drink a whole cup of coffee while it was Still Hot.

While I was hauling everyone off to preschool, nursing the baby, or loading the dishwasher, I squeezed in moments of reflection and noticed a thread throughout where I felt right. It was when I was telling another mom that it would get a little easier. It was when I was helping others find connection in the community. It was when I smiled at an international student. It was when I was praising my child.

I realized that I felt a connection with the Holy Spirit when offering encouragementWhen I am in tune with those Spirit-nudges, I experience contentment, and that peace allows me to better hear the Spirit's prompting.

Of course, there are times that I fall out of that cycle and am cranky, cross, and overwhelmed. Once I realize where I am, I try to step away. It might take a while, but eventually, I get to where I am able to do one small thing. I smile. I pray. I hug. I am slowly refilled. I come back to the light. My mustard seed faith assures me that the Holy Spirit works even in this.

I was not raised in faith. Figuring out how to pass along spiritual beliefs is hard, but motherhood, too, is part of the Spirit's call for me. So I teach my children to breathe. I remind them that everyone has value and can be an instrument for good. I have them consider the impact of their actions on others. I close my eyes and say a prayer when it all goes awry.

Self-awareness can be the first step towards spiritual awareness. Identifying my own passions and gifts helped me to listen to the Spirit who gives them, so I teach my children to listen for that still, small voice and have the courage to act on it. I remind them that God has a plan.

We go to church. We pray. We try our best.

We listen. We love.

We have faith that the Holy Spirit is at work.

Becky blogs about her one year adventure in Ireland at The MacKenzies Go Adventuring.

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