There are days that I wish time would stand still. I wish it would stop for a moment and allow the constant crowding of noise to pause and breathe…in and out. In and out. I want life to rest for a moment and in that time I need to refocus my eyes on the path in front of me and my heart on the one who made me. He knows me well.
I think as women living in an expectation-soaked world we often forget that “quiet” is real and attainable and okay. Quiet is sometimes uncomfortable, but it is good. Several weeks ago, I started looking for quiet. I thought that making some space in my schedule would invite quiet in, but somehow it hasn’t yet. Not to the extent I thought it would, anyway. I’m still busy! I expected to feel relieved when I dismissed some of the rush, but I found that busy days don’t just un-rush themselves. We lack quiet, ladies. And when we miss out on quiet moments, we ultimately miss out on the movement in the moments. We miss Jesus’ voice whispering. We miss living in and celebrating the time we have- making the most of every breath we breathe. We miss it. I miss it. And so I pray that God would help me be quiet.
I had one of those “oh geez, I said too much moments” a few weeks ago. And trust me, I felt the weight of it. Women are born to communicate. We were gifted to speak and tell stories and share. Sometimes I over-share and my mouth tends to drown out the quiet gentleness that would be much better suited for the situation. I know that if you’re honest, you’ve been there too. It’s okay. However, when God quiets my moments, I find that he quiets my mouth, too. When I don’t speak, I’m able to listen and thus a lesson was birthed from all of this. Not speaking and choosing to listen allows me to hear what God says…not in an audible kind of way, but in a deep down in my heart kind of way. Quiet moments should lead to quiet mouths. (And quiet fingers too! Just because our mouths are literally quiet doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to shout words with our hands on social media. There’s so much truth here, but we’ll save that for another day.)
If there is one thing I could tell my girls it would be this…quiet doesn’t mean we’re broken or ill-equipped, or weak. It means that we’re strong and able to not just listen, but truly hear what the Father wants to speak to our heart. It means that we’re bold enough to embrace the uncomfortable silence at times in order to let God be our guide and lead us toward our purpose. God tells us in 1 Peter 3:4 to clothe ourselves with the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (NIV)
When doors close, that could be God guiding us away from so much noise and into a quiet place, a sanctuary, with him. Embrace this place. When relationships don’t turn out like we thought they would and if feels like you are standing all alone, embrace it. Be quiet. Listen. When you’re tempted to build a busy schedule because you’re afraid of boredom, don’t do it. Don’t fall prey to quenching the quiet because it feels awkward and lifeless. For it is in the quiet that life is born. True living begins when we spend time quietly reflecting and listening to God. He gives us purpose. He breathes into us life.
You won’t find quiet if you’re not looking for it. Life often doesn’t lend itself to quiet. At least not today, anyway. Be intentional about being quiet. Find moments to sit and reflect. Open your eyes to what God might be doing around you. Pay attention to the interactions and conversations you have with people and circumstances everyday. Find some quiet moments in the morning, at night, or even during the day to close your eyes and listen. Don’t say anything. Just listen. For me, quiet doesn’t happen all day, everyday, but I find time when I can. Sometimes quiet happens in the car, as I put on my make-up in the morning, when I sit alone at lunch, or just before I close my eyes at night. I’ve learned to love quiet and protect those precious moments with God.
Here’s some ways that you can practice being quiet in your everyday life:
- Turn off the radio while you’re driving.
- Put down the phone when you’re all by yourself for a few minutes.
- Take a walk.
- Say no to something to free up some time.
- Sit in your car for a few extra minutes before you get out wherever you’re at….(This one sounds silly, but I do it all the time! And it works!)
What are some ways you can welcome quiet into your world?
Quiet me. Help me see the value in the quiet moments I can spend with you. Unrush my days and speak to my heart. I want to know more about you. I want to know my purpose. I want to see you at work in my life. Quiet my moments. Quiet my mouth. Quiet my heart. Give me a new vision and direction that can only be birthed from time spent with you. Help me to walk in your ways and embrace a gentle and quiet spirit because it is of great worth to you. Amen.