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.

Five Minute Friday #30 – QUIET

I link up with Lisa-Jo on Fridays for a writing flash mob…throwing caution to the wind and gathering to share what a few minutes of free writing can buy.

Today’s topic: QUIET

GO.

Jake and the other Neverland pirates are fighting Captain Hook and the washing machine is spinning wildly and the dishwasher is humming. He’s snuggled on my lap in the fuzzy blanket, head resting on my shoulder, and despite all the background noise it’s the quietest five minutes of my week. For these five minutes while we snuggle, he’s not running around the house and I’m not on the phone or computer or washing dishes or cleaning the kitchen or doing anything. I’m finally just being — in the moment, with my boy, the two of us spending a quiet few minutes together despite the noise.

Sometimes the quietest moments aren’t quiet moments at all, but finding The Quiet in the midst of the noise. (<= click to tweet)

I used to believe all the conditions had to be perfect for me to enjoy The Quiet. A clean house, a hot cup of coffee, everything in it’s place…children asleep, dark mornings. And those times happen and those times are restoring to my soul. But most times, like Jesus, I have to find The Quiet in the midst of the wilderness.

Jesus withdrew to be alone, but He withdrew to the wilderness (Luke 5:16, NLT). To the desert (NLV). The wilderness doesn’t have clean countertops and folded laundry and swept floors. The wilderness doesn’t have green and blue and white  hydrangeas on a perfectly set table with a shiny new laptop. The desert doesn’t have a steaming hot mug of french roast.

No, the wilderness has monster trucks strewn all over the living room floor, and dirty handprints on the glass doors. The desert has dust under the couch and an unwashed face and unbrushed teeth and a rumbling stomach because you fed everyone else breakfast but haven’t eaten anything yourself yet.

And in the midst of those deserts and that wilderness is a snuggly boy who is almost three yet just born and a couch beckoning for Mommy to stop doing and just be and soak in those last few moments before he’s off to college and then married snuggling a child of his own.

So like Jesus, I withdrew to a lonely place. And when I got there, I found Love. Just like He did.

STOP.