Quiet can be so loud.
It has been a loud summer in which I’ve had to be quiet.
Yes, the kids were all kinds of screams and splashing and swimming and swinging and singing. I tried to take it all in–to savor the screeching and rowdy memory making– and between you, me and the whole world-wide web, I think I did pretty well (far better than years past). I had my melt down moments where I couldn’t reconcile the 10pm bedtimes, but I also had my routine where I would get up before the noise-makers, the always-eaters, the squidgy-stretching kids. The time in which I could take in quiet. The place–back porch, pink sofa-of-so-many summers–where I could sit and be still.
I’ve done this for a number of June, July and Augusts–sat with coffee, Bible, books and a journal–only, this summer was different.
I could hear the birds calling out to each other, the mourning dove cooing it’s hypnotic lament “Co-OO-oo.” I listened to the trickle of water flowing and falling off the rocks streaming to the lily pads in our pond. On the best days, I heard the tree’s swaying whisper in the breeze. Yet, it was all muffled by the amplified volume in my mind.
In the backyard quiet, my mind was loud.
The channel of change.
The frequency of things being completely out of my control.
The song of acceptance that my ears did not want to hear.
Daily I’d seek solace in silence, only my mind just wouldn’t stop talking.
Maybe, you are no stranger to this chatter?
And so I went quiet.
The daily summer hullabaloo, the private battles (we all have them don’t we?) I’m facing, the loudness in my mind –kept me quiet.
I didn’t have the voice to blog. To write. To Tweet. To Instagram, much. Somedays I didn’t even want to read-letters arranged into words on a page even ringing.
I had poured out my heart, the prior 6 months, into a 50,000 word book.
Perhaps, it was that I ran out of Words? I thought I had just found my voice?
But, the truth is, I had words. My journal is full of them. Words to raw, to soon, to share. My mouth could only speak them, in prayer, with closest friends, through tears.
What I found, what I’m finding is that . . .
I had to quiet my words, to hear His voice.
I had to use my voice to speak His Words.
It felt like a place of weakness, like I was accomplishing nothing, but this, I’m learning, this is where the strength is, where the real change happens–in the soil of the heart.
And that is what I did. Seemingly, I became quiet, but I was using my voice.
I used my voice to choose well. I used my voice to praise. I used my voice to stay connected (in person) when I felt like isolating. I used my voice to speak truth over my storm. Sometimes I did this loudly, with authority. Sometimes I did this on bended knee in brokenness.
Quiet can be loud.
When life is loud, Lovely One, we sometimes must be quiet. This is how we can hear. This is how we can center ourselves. This makes margin for what needs to be done.
This is never easy. Especially for a girl who lives by “have to’s.”
Perhaps, you too?
But it can wait. Blogging. House Cleaning. Posting. Pool parties. Meal Planning. Projects. What can’t wait is prayer. What can’t wait is taking captive wild and worry filled thoughts. What can’t wait is loving dear ones. What can’t wait is giving thanks and counting grace. What can’t wait is reserving your strength to fight the good fight.
I don’t mean to be elusive. But as the saying goes “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” The older I get, and the more attuned my ears are to the beat of a broken heart, I am finding this to be true. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e is fighting a hard battle. Some we know about, some we do not. And, what I do know is that we’d be utterly shocked if we knew what some people had to privately endure, preserve, go-through.
I am fighting a hard battle.
I know many of you are, too.
If you need to go quiet, go quiet. This is permission. The world will carry on. Go quiet, so you can use your voice loudly when you most need it and so that you have it because there are other’s who need to hear what you have to say. Your battle is not all about you. It is about those who come behind you, and are alongside of you.
I’m finding my footing again. The kids are back in school. The hullabaloo has halted–that is until approximately 3:15. I am still getting up early to seek silence and solace and fighting the good fight. I have more space to listen for His voice, be guided and to use my own.
Do not be afraid to make the space. To go silent. To put your energy into the basics–mothering, your job, your spouse, your friends…and let the rest sit. It will marinate and when you have margin it will be there ready for you.
This is what we do when quiet becomes loud, so that quiet can become quiet again.