Sometimes all you can hear is the quiet and it’s the loudest sound ever.

The sound of your heart singing to the One that made you, and you hear it as the boys are running in the soil barefoot, Opa’s tractor in the distance dropping seed into the dirt.

You hear it as you zoom in on flesh that’s stretching over limb and muscle and joint, and growing from boy into man and you hear it even as your heart stops for a moment as you realize you have no more babies save for the one inside your womb. Your children are growing even as the seeds fall into dirt and within a week they’ll be shooting up, green arms stretching for the sky, worshiping.

It’s the one thing that matters.

This teaching our children what does. This teaching them about the seeds of hope that fall into the soil of our hearts and grow new life.

I’m zooming in on their feet stretching wide across the grooves of the field and I’m wondering if we’ve taught them  how to put on the peace that prepares them to spread the gospel. Is peace is a set of shoes that we have in our entrance-way?

And it’s the only place you can truly seek it, out here, away from the Facebook updates and the Tweets. Out here in the quiet of a world that pulses with the membrane of a Spirit that is holy.

If the ground is not ready – if it hasn’t been worked, and fertilized – there is no use in planting. Are my children ready? Am I ready, to take these seeds and plant them in the hearts of those longing to hear the gospel?

Later that evening we’re washing the dirt from our toes in the rain water on our deck and it’s a sacrament of sorts. The kind Jesus did at the Last Supper and I want them to remember him in everything we do.

No amount of zeroes on a paycheck or thread counts in a sheet or followers on a blog will matter, if my sons’ lives do not open like Bethlehem for the Christ Child.

“God expects my personal life to be a ‘Bethlehem'” writes Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest. “Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be manifested in my mortal flesh.”

And this, our ultimate purpose as Christian mothers: That we live to see God’s Son manifested in their mortal flesh.

I know it doesn’t always happen. I know sometimes we pray and still, the ground isn’t ready. Sometimes we set out the shoes and they just don’t want to wear them.

But we do what we can, and then we trust.

Come what may. Come persecution and hardship and sorrow. Are we ready to pray that? Are we ready to pray that our children’s hearts be broken so they might know God more?

It’s quiet out there in the soil of the earth and I can hear his heartbeat. The heartbeat of a Father who longs to love on his children.

Are they ready?

“The fight to which we have been called is not an easy fight. We are touching the very center of the devil’s power and kingdom, and he hates us intensely and fights hard against us. We have no chance at all of winning in this fight unless we are disciplined soldiers, utterly out-and-out and uncompromising, and men and women of prayer.

“So first, give much time to quietness. We have to get our help for the most part direct from our God. We are here to help, not to be helped, and we must each one of us learn to walk with God alone and feed on His word so as to be nourished. Don’t only read and pray; listen. And don’t evade the slightest whisper of guidance that comes. God make you very sensitive, and very obedient.” ~ Amy Carmichael, Candles in the Dark