Our guest blogger this week is Emily Hartford! Emily lives in Lawrence, Kansas and is a mother of four awesome kiddos. Emily is a member of the Lawrence University Congregation and Midlands Mission Center. She is currently participating in the Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program produced by the Community of Christ to learn more about spiritual practices. Emily is a member of Lawrence Babywearing and an avid swing dancer. She is also finishing up her training as a Birth Educator from Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations. A big thanks for Emily contributing her depth and knowledge to us this week!
"Listen in the Silence listen in the noise
Listen to the sound of the Spirit's voice."
- Community of Christ Sings
#153 (Listen in the Silence)
As a mother of four kiddos, and one fur baby, my house is always filled with noise. Sometimes the laughter and squeals of delight of my children playing with neighborhood friends. Sometimes the tense arguments over who did or said what to whom. Sometimes the chatter of a dinner table shared with friends become family. Sometimes the barks of our dog, as she and kiddos run around the backyard chasing a plastic jug.
Sometimes the heavy, deep breaths of truly restful sleep, or the sound of a little hand falling off a blanket as relaxation sets in. Sometimes the bounce of springs as one child spends time reveling in the magic of their body under a big blue sky. Sometimes bubbles being blown into cereal milk, or the squeak of the dryer as it dries another day’s adventures.
This past fall I began to regularly practice Holy Attention as a spiritual discipline. At the time, my life felt as though it were falling apart. Nothing was as it should be, and everything felt exceptionally hard. My mind could find the negatives so quickly, I could've been an expert. My practice began with superficial noticing's. Things I'd been directed to look at closely.
But, the more I practiced seeing God’s incredible creation, the more readily I found it. I began to notice the softness of my daughter’s hand as she reached up to stroke my cheek. The way the sun highlighted the magnificence of my son’s curls. The way my daughter’s body moved as she danced to music. The way my son’s eyes crinkled like his Pa’s when he smiled.
The more I noticed, the more I noticed. And the more I noticed, the softer my heart became. I began to find the beauty in the difficult days, as well as the easy ones.
My house is noisy, with occasional moments of silence, just like my life. And so I listen, in the silence and the noise, for the Spirit’s invitation to marvel in the beautiful that we co-created with God.
Again a big thank you to Emily sharing her thoughts! Please leave any comments or questions for Emily here.
This week stop and notice the moments where God is blessing you and those around you!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.