Each year around this time, I start feeling a familiar itch… an itch to prepare. To clean. To dig in.
By now, all of my Christmas decorations are long-since packed away, and my house has been fully cleaned and reset. I’ve begun to eagerly draw up plans to have my husband plant a new flower bed in a few months (because let’s be real, everything *I* plant dies).
Every part in my being cries out for the joy of spring. For new life. For blossoming, for blooming. For vibrant, colorful growth.
And yet, here we are. In winter. In the quiet. In the tension of the in between time….the seeming no man’s land between Christmas and Lent, winter and spring.
So, I plan. I wait. I try to cease my wrestling with the quiet and rest in it instead.
Quiet doesn’t come naturally to me, and I’m guessing it doesn’t come naturally to everyone else either. Our culture doesn’t exactly praise silence and introspection, and for many of us, it’s a completely foreign entity.
Beyond silence feeling uncomfortable and uncertain, there’s the other internal factors that make me want to shy away from silence - fear of solitude and introspection being prime among them. Do I really want to listen to my own thoughts? And of course, I struggle with sometimes (immaturely) viewing silence as selfish - Shouldn’t I be giving time to other people or be productive instead of just sitting around?
This is all to say nothing of the external factors – lots of demands on our time, distractions that are easily available… the list goes on and on.
For me, being silent takes WORK. It takes time. It takes practice. But in the end, the effort is always worth it because in that silence, the Lord meets me where I’m at.
He sees it all… the areas of my life that need pruning, the parts of my soul that need a good clean. He gazes upon me with love and patience. He invites me to draw deeper, nearer. To rest in Him instead of distracting myself and finding “rest” in my phone.
With that in mind, I’ve been making a concerted effort to draw nearer to Him in the quiet. To carve out pockets in my day that I can spend in the silence. Here’s a few of the ways I’ve been trying to nurture this area of my life:
1. Deleting Netflix from my phone (my Achilles heel, the #1 distraction from silence for me)
2. Not using my phone right before bed or first thing in the morning
3. Not carrying my phone on my person/leaving it in one spot as much as possible
4. Turning off the radio in the car in favor of silence and prayer instead
5. Getting up a little early or going to bed a little later… or atleast finding *a* quiet pocket or two in my calendar when I can be still
6. Talking with my husband about how we can work together to prioritize time for silence in each of our schedules (#tagteaming it ;))
7. Placing beautiful reminders around my house that encourage me to embrace silence… art prints, a post it note on my bathroom mirror, a quote on my letterboard. etc.
8. Going to Adoration solo once a month
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, each of these ideas have helped me to make the most of this in-between season as I wait in joyful expectation for springtime.
How about you? What factors keep you from embracing silence? How are you nurturing silence in your own life?
PS. If you are one of those blessed souls who truly loves silence and finds that it comes naturally to you – please contact me and shower me with your wisdom! I seriously need it!