Yesterday I made the fourteen hour drive from my home in Illinois to my sister’s house in North Carolina. My two younger sons were packed in the backseat along with their movies, books, pillows, and electronics.
With each new state line we crossed, they became more excited – talking, singing, laughing, telling crazy stories.
Crossing the Mason-Dixon line the temperature went from “It’s so cold! Is this even June? Can I get away with wearing two hoodies?” to a sudden “Mom, its even hot IN the car. The window is burning my hand! Hey, the roads have, like, mirages of water!”
The heat in the south right now, guys? It’s a thing.
But I so enjoy summer, and all the extra time with my children and family is a major blessing.
I enjoy family gatherings, days spent outdoors and vacations. I enjoy filling up our weeks with day trips and outings.
I am in love with the long days of lingering twilight which allow us even more minutes to fill! There is nothing better than summer evenings spent playing outside as a family, in the lengthening shadows of a setting sun.
But… I also love quiet – the space, the time to process, time to be still and..quiet (oh, did I say ‘quiet’ twice?) and..umm…quiet (third time is a charm!)
“Summer” as I just described it does not lend itself well to meeting my need for “quiet” (which I believe I may have also mentioned?) Every summer, the disproportion between our jam packed days and my need for downtime creates disharmony. This year I am making it a goal to stay..well..harmonious.
Because as the busyness of these months continues, and as I push away my own need for the quiet, I become..crabby.
Oh, yes – there it is.
My ugly truth.
I can usually make it a few weeks without realizing I have not had a moment to think, let alone spend time just completely still in the presence of God (my daily “quiet times” usually occurring poolside or at a noisy playground!) but it will catch up to me..
Suddenly, my anxiety rises.
Out of nowhere, I become easily frustrated.
Living, loving, everything meant to be fun and joyful seems more like a chore than it once did.
Without a nice short time of quiet –
I struggle to be nice for long.
But when I can be wise enough to leave behind the loudness of our bright, busy summer days for a bit – the beauty of quiet becomes the amplified.
And in those amplified moments – won by obedience (since God has called us to ‘Be Still’) I clearly hear the
sweetness of the voice of God.
What a rich reward!
It isn’t that He doesn’t speak always but in the chaos I often fail to create a place to meet and hear Him.
I want to listen. I want to hear. He has great things to tell me.
He promises to speak sweet secrets to me and I want to promise to meet Him there – in the green pastures, the refreshing meadows, at the gate where the vivid colors of summer fade to cool greens – where I can HEAR Him.
I want to kick off my flip-flops, and sit in the shade of the Garden of Quiet with Him. I want time in His presence, where my prayers and desires begin to align with His good plans.
In peace – the best desicions are made. In peace – is God.
This summer I am praying we all find the sounds we most want to hear – children laughing outside as they play, a home filled with family, lawn mowers roaring through grass blades, the silly screams of pool parties, the crashing waves of the ocean, crickets in the evening, firecrackers on the 4th … and the whispered promises, secrets and love words from a God who just asks for our hearts to be willing to meet with Him – in a space cleared and held open for “hearing”.
Quiet Seeking and Authentically Yours,
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3