On October 1, many bloggers began series of “31 Days” with The Nester. I too joined for the first time ever. My theme for the month is QUIET. I crave quiet … I need quiet … I want a quiet heart and a calm mind.
Even extroverts need quiet and can benefit from settling their minds in the busyness of life. As Christians, God has a huge part in our quiet … we can hear Him clearest when we’ve removed the distractions.
Our quiet can obviously be found best in those moments we spend completely alone, perhaps in our bed or a comfy chair with a warm beverage, a Bible, or a good book … Do you have a place like that??
Right now, our home is a little crowded as we have recently downsized from a house into a rented duplex due to a job change and out-of-state move. When my entire family is home, my big kids can go to their own room, my husband can hide out in our room, and our little girl may take over the TV in the living room with never-ending cartoons. There is pretty much NO WHERE for me to go to be alone unless I sneak out onto our little porch, weather permitting or sit at the dining room table. Thankfully, I’m fairly good at tuning out the noise … but sadly, even so, they still find me: “Mom! MOM!!!” (why can’t they find anything on their own?!). Therefore, I plan out quiet times. They are sacred!
My biggest issue then is I feel GUILTY sometimes if I am “wasting” those minutes by NOT being busy. However, I’ve learned that if I allow myself the time to refresh myself when I am alone by doing “what I want to do” or spending a few moment with God, then I am ready to tackle my household tasks even when my 3 year old is hanging on my leg, offering to “help” or demanding yet another cup of milk.
While this has nothing to do with quiet, I could take a moment to address GUILT. I have figured out that mommy-guilt is something universal … and if anyone compares herself too much to the seemingly perfect mother/woman, false guilt can also set in. Nothing can destroy my stolen, hoarded moment of quiet faster than looking around me and remember all the things I “should be” doing or “could be” doing instead.
We live in a world of busy, don’t we? Unless we make a conscious effort to remain at home, our children’s activities, our church, and our need for fellowship or working or service draw us into being busy, running around all over town to this meeting or that appointment. I get that we NEED to do some of that … but the older I get, the more selective I get in my commitments. I think busyness can be an enemy of quiet. I do realize some people thrive on busy … but I know I don’t and can’t.
Find quiet in each day.
~ Steal a few moments of quiet for yourself … and don’t feel guilty about it.
~ Explain to your family that you need a few minutes for yourself. In my experience, you’ll have to explain that a lot; my children forget that when mom’s bedroom door is closed, please do not disturb except in emergency. And my 12-year-old thinks not finding her favorite sweater IS an emergency.
~ PLAN for quiet.
~ While going out for a quiet cup of coffee is nice, sometimes, too, I need/crave quiet time alone AT HOME, too. My mutually-introverted friend recently shared with me that her favorite time of the day was BEDTIME! This too is one of my favorite times, and to attempt to turn off my brain, I usually read a little bit of fiction before attempting sleep. Bliss!
~ There are seasons when quiet is almost elusive: having a newborn or being a single parent, for example. As an Army wife once upon a time, I spent a year as a “single parent” with a 2 year old and 4 year old while my husband was deployed to Iraq. At this time, God sent me a dear friend who I could call on if I needed to. I have also used a “Mothers Day Out” program and paid to have quiet time. Consider yourself blessed if you live near willing babysitters such as grandparents or a trusted teenage neighbor/friend.
I don’t really think I’m saying anything revolutionary or innovative … This is mainly just a reminder to myself and an encouragement for you to seek QUIET today.
picture source: pinterest