Being Quiet (31 Days #23)

To read all the posts in the 31 Days series, click here.

I worked in silence today.

Usually when I’m home alone I’ve got music playing (never the TV) and it’s just quiet and low in the background. But today — today it felt too noisy. Too intrusive and distracting and it added too much into an already wildly spinning mind.

So for six hours, I worked and cleaned and prepped and showered with no sound except for my thoughts.

I had no agenda or plan or list of things I wanted to focus on or pray about. I just wanted silence — it felt so wrong to have any external distraction so I went with it. And it provided time for my mind to just race and spin and every so often something that didn’t need to be there would escape and by the time I left to pick up my daughter from school, I felt

at peace. Calm. Unhurried. Slow. Deliberate. Intentional. Centered. Chill. Like I was moving through molasses, but in a really great way. Like I had all the time in the world.

It was so unlike any of my other days, ever. And it was beautiful.

There used to be a lot more times for me to be alone with my thoughts — when I used to go for walks and runs and never use music and each pounding of my foot would eject another thought and by the time I was done, all the junk was filtered out and I felt

at peace. Calm. Unhurried. Slow. Deliberate. Intentional. Centered. Chill. Like I was moving through molasses, but in a really great way.

But I haven’t had those times in a while. My exercise routine has changed to better fit my schedule and day and that’s great! it’s wonderful. But after sitting alone in silence today with just my thoughts, it occurred to me that I need to carve out more time to do this. I’m such an internal processor that I hear God more clearly when I’ve had time to sift through the weird stuff and let it escape.

And when all the junky thoughts are gone, I’m ready to receive the God ones.

Do I need to sit in silence for six hours every time I want to hear God and get peace? No, of course not. And I’m sure I’ll be back to my music tomorrow.

But I do need to make more of a practice of quiet. Of silence. Of giving myself time to let my mind wander and process and filter and escape. Of giving myself permission to feel all the junky thoughts and search my heart and then bring it all to God. Like the verse I posted on Sunday from Psalm 4:4, remembering to keep my mouth shut and let my heart do the talking.

It was a good day today, and so unlike any of my other days, ever.

And it was perfect.

Losing (Thanksday #83)

I know someone who was 22 weeks pregnant with twin girls this week. And her health had been deteriorating, and just yesterday the doctors determined they had to deliver the babies in order to save her. And the girls were born and then went to sit in Jesus’ lap and wait for their parents to greet them in eternity.

My friend posted the following on Facebook yesterday:

[The girls] passed through this world on their way to heaven today. They are now in the everlasting tender loving care of our Father God and his mighty son Jesus Christ. We cannot wait until the day that we will meet [them] again. We have no regrets: we enjoyed getting to know them these past weeks and during our very precious goodbye time; we will never forget them. Please, we beg you, if you would like to have a glimpse of the peace and love that we have felt during this time, and still feel do this very minute, lay your burdens at the foot of the cross and accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior.”

And after reading that, any needs or wants or requests that I have suddenly seem so insignificant. I imagine God is beside Himself with pride in her and her husband. Knowing that despite the greatest loss a parent can experience, their faith is unshaken and unwavering, and that still their greatest hope would be that others know The One who gives that kind of peace.

I’ve experienced this — not a loss as great as they are now walking — but those moments when your faith is shaken and the foundation that once seemed so sure is broken in two. Those moments when the pain and grief sucker punch you and leave you breathless and your knees give away and all you can do is crumble to the floor in a heap of devastation.

But the thing I learned in those moments, laying on the floor in a crumbled heap, is that while I question and cry and shake my fist at a Most Holy God…I still believe. I still trust. I still have faith. And sometimes, when disaster strikes, it’s not to show God how strong our faith is, but to show ourselves. For we never know how sure our own foundation is until it’s broken in two. And then when we stand, each foot on a separate piece of uneven ground, we know that we know that we know that despite it all, yet will I praise Him.

I wonder if my friend is experiencing this today — this I-can’t-explain-it-I-just-still-love-Him feeling? I pray that today, the day after a loss only God Himself can identify with, that in the midst of grief and pain, she will be able to stand with assurance that though she be slain, yet will her mouth ring praises to the King.

I’m thankful for her post yesterday. I’m thankful for her faith. I’m thankful for her reminder that everything that hope grows strongest in the broken places and to never take our eyes off of Jesus.

What are you thankful for today?