Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

6/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Those first flutters of movement in my womb are always so exciting and welcome, confirmation that a new life is growing.

Lying there on my back, watching my taunt, stretched skin rise and fall like a rough tide, I thought about the Holy Spirit.  The invocation, "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love," sparked in my mind. How often I've invited Him into my life in recent years, offered Him my entire self. Now in this moment of motherly solitude, I glimpsed a correlation.

Highlights

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Holy Spirit, pregnancy, Pro-Life, conception, openness to life, Right to Life, Tara K. E. Brelinsky


ZEBULON, NC (Catholic Online) - Those first flutters of movement in my womb are always so exciting and welcome, confirmation that a new life is growing. How many nights I've spent lying still in the darkness of the night, hand to my bulging tummy, awaiting and praying for those barely detectable twitches. Sometimes I've held my breath so as not to confuse my own bodily motions with that gentle stirring from my unborn child.

All those baby books outline the milestones to expect and when to expect them, but they can lead to unnecessary anxiety if we hold too fast to their promises. Like so many other blueprints for life, we need to keep in mind that as individuals we may not fit precisely into the documented specs.
Our Architect employs unlimited parameters, He draws from a knowledge and creativity far beyond our human capacity. I forget that too often and find myself frustrated when I'm not reaching the sixteen week mile marker for baby detection. You'd think after carrying more than a dozen souls, I'd learn to fully embrace that lesson, but unfortunately my stubbornness persists.

Those barely perceivable motions feel somewhat akin to a butterfly's landing, soft and fleeting. Usually, I second-guess them, wondering if it was really baby or just some ill-timed, gas bubble. Most often my husband has to wait a while longer before he can share in my enthusiasm because those first flickers are too gentle for him to sense.

As those kicks and turns become more noticeable, they disturb me at times. Not that baby's activity is no longer welcome, but it takes me by surprise and my brain needs a moment to process what is happening inside. It's similar to a sudden discomfort, like when a random pain or abnormal twinge seizes our attention and our thoughts attempt to process the source. That is not to say, the tiny one's stretches and internal pokes cause actually discomfort, but in the earliest phases I'm not yet familiar with the infrequent stirring so my brain instinctively sends out an alert. Sometimes my post-womb children can have this effect on me. One of them may unexpectedly grab on for a cuddle when I'm in the middle of washing the dishes or folding the laundry and my first reaction is to jump or brush their hand away. It takes my scattered brain a moment to understand their intentions.

Now that our expected one has grown for these last eight plus months, his/her kicks, pushes and twists garner my attention easily. A foot pokes out here and the long back presses there. Astonishing how he/she even reacts to Daddy's pep talks or a sibling's searching hands.

Just the other night I awoke abruptly from a sound slumber. The full weight and girth of this big baby belly is already preparing me for the night-time feedings to come as I rarely sleep for more than an hour at a clip in between bathroom pit stops, but this time felt different. From the depths of my quiet stillness, I suddenly opened my eyes to discover my tummy fully engaged in wild activity, like a full swing party was going on inside of me.

Lying there on my back, watching my taunt, stretched skin rise and fall like a rough tide, I thought about the Holy Spirit.  The invocation, "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love," sparked in my mind. How often I've invited Him into my life in recent years, offered Him my entire self. Now in this moment of motherly solitude, I glimpsed a correlation.

It was my complete openness and surrender that allowed the Creator to conceive life within me, but that life took on more than one form. Yes, there is the tangible, visible creature who will be delivered into my waiting arms within the next seven (or so) weeks, but there is also the mysterious Third Person Whose residence will continue to dwell inside of me.

Like those first baby flutters, I suppose my awareness to the movings of the Holy Spirit were equally elusive. My prayers, at times, seemed to go unanswered and I wondered if perhaps my offering of self was too deficient. Attempting to follow the advice of other faithful advocates, I may have caused my own frustration by forgetting that the Divine Plan is custom tailored, not a one size fits all design. If I try to mirror the steps of my favorite saints, I'm probably dooming myself to failure. Not because their example is unfit, but because my foot simply requires a different size.

Thinking back over the last few years, I doubt my husband could perceive the early changes either. My periodic depression and ready tears probably masked the smoldering flame of that Spirit. And than there was that ever present self-doubt battling to capture my attention and discourage my progress. Similar to that tiny life beginning to gain the strength to make him/herself known, the kindling had only started to catch hold.

Not unlike those internal movements that momentarily disturbed my peace, the Third Person stirred up unexpected changes. Things I once took for granted, He now calls me to reconsider. Recently, I've started a weekly thanksgiving list and it sure has helped me to reexamine my petitions list. It's not so easy to beg for more "stuff" when I seriously reflect on all the blessings I've already received. Too many times to count, I've asked but forgotten to thank. Rather humbling to be reminded of my own selfishness when I am so ready to remind my children of theirs.

While the intentions of the Holy Spirit are certainly unquestioningly good, His admonitions and challenges can sear the heart. Thinking of St. Teresa of Avila, I can hardly imagine her transverberation or spiritual wounding of the heart. She describes the experience as "pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by this intense pain that one can never wish to lose it, nor will one's soul be content with anything less than God."  I cannot claim such blessed torment and in truth it stirs up a bit of fear because I'm not sure that I could ever be so docile to or worthy of the Spirit's full flaming charity.

But I suppose that's why the Holy Spirit arrives as a small flame in need of fanning. Certainly as a mother, I can see the need for time to grow accustomed to and prepared for the joyful pain and sacrifice of birth. The thought of having to go through labor without first walking through the steps of pregnancy seems terrifying. It makes me think of trying to run a marathon without having taken the time to train.

Lying there on my bed watching all of that internal activity, I considered how the Third Person's presence has become more apparent. Not that I'm His perfect steward by any measure, but I am more aware than ever before of His movements in my life. Hopefully, in due time I will succeed in helping to set this world aflame by delivering His Presence for all to see.

-----

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of seven living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede (and a little soul expected to arrive in August). Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, a fish, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/).

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote a ... continue reading


Pope Francis says that if law 'doesn't get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be a rebuke to legalism within the church, Pope Francis declared in his morning homily that if laws do not lead people to Christ then they are obsolete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scholars of the law in Jesus's day, Pope Francis ... continue reading


Monday, October 13 - Homily: Columbus Day Watch

Image of Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples? continue reading


Learning the Christian Way of Active Prayer and Prayerful Action Watch

Image of The Lord invites us to ask, knock, seek and persist in prayer. Prayer is a path to a new way of living in continual communion with God. That leads to fruitful and effective action. The way of active prayer and prayerful action is the Christian Way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Too many people draw a separation between prayer and action which can fail to understand the integrated Christian Way of Life. The two should not be separated. The two cannot be separated. St. Luke's account of the teaching of the Lord on the call to active ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter