It’s been a week since my last post. Months upon months have passed since I’ve done such a thing. As I recall, the last blogging break I took was more akin to an, “Oh my word! I haven’t posted in 6 days!”. Panic and frantic writing immediately ensued. But this pause? It was completely intentional. Unexpected at the time, but intentional nonetheless. And it makes one wonder, what can you learn in 7 days of quiet?
More than a few things to be sure! Here’s my short list
1 | I have absolutely no idea
It’s true. Mostly. It’s true in the sense that words are my love language, and if you ask anyone who has known me for longer than it takes to drain one cup of coffee, I have more than my fair share of them. And sharing them is one of the great pleasures in my day. This, by the way, is why we must always have a dog. I can talk to his furry ever-attentive self all day long and not run the risk of wearing out my oh-so-patient husband with every random thought that enters my head. Just to be clear, silent isn’t really what we’re speaking of here, but quiet. A quieting of our routine to rest, refresh and regroup.
2 | Silent doesn’t exist in my home
Also true. With 6 teens and 20-somethings in and out this past week, there’s no such thing as silent. In fact, I would be hard pressed to even remember, much less describe this “silent” you speak of. I’ll have to google it. The sound of kids talking smack and throwing down on Dad in a spirited game of UNO is downright cathartic, even when it reaches a fever-pitch volume. To be fair, I should clarify that though these days have not been saturated in external quiet, there have been moments of solitude here and there. Either way, this intentional quieting in my heart, soul and mind has ushered in the grace to live fully present in each moment. Whether silent and peaceful or loud and chaotic.
3| We need to press pause more often
Life can be good about handing us unplanned breaks – sick days, canceled plans and the like, but we need to schedule breaks for ourselves instead of waiting for them to accidentally show up on our calendar. There’s a calming, refreshing and even healing balm in the scheduled pause. It comes with a hearty dose of anticipating, of soaking in and energizing.
4 | Even our passions need a rest
Blogging can one of the grandest and scariest of journeys. This from a woman who for a matter of months was the mom of 4 teens … all at one time. It doesn’t get much scarier than that! When it comes to blogging, there’s no shortage of advice for connecting with readers and every other aspect of blogging that you could possibly imagine. Whatever our passion or occupation, we can so quickly be carried away by the do’s and dont’s that we make them our master. Right smack in the middle of those often self-imposed standards, we find ourselves worn and exhausted. That’s when it’s time to listen to your own heart and push pause rather than continue marching along to the inaudible decrees demanding attention in your own head.
5| Quiet brings perspective
I’m not really sure if it changes our perspective or if it brings focus and clarity to perspective. Either way, it allows space to hear and see things in the big picture. It’s the interlude that allows for seeing an entire forest, as opposed to the bark of each tree right in front of our face. We need that. Step back. Breathe. Enjoy the journey.
6 | There truly is wisdom that comes in, and from, the quiet
Many people will tell you that it’s the wisdom of our mature years that teach us to slow down and observe quiet. Could be. But that may be giving the wisdom thing too much credit. Honestly? Maybe we’re just tired. Tired enough that we can’t do the go-go-go thing, and we’re finally mature and wise enough to be okay with it. Not in a resigned sort of way, but in a what’s-the-point-of-all-this-hustle-and-crazy-if-we-can’t-enjoy-the-journey way. It’s an accepting of how we’re wired and our season of life and settling into the beauty, and dare-I-say wisdom of it. Learn it in your younger years and it will serve you well!
7 | We need quiet
Never before have our lives been so full to the brim. Full of both ridiculously good things and altogether stressful things. The quieting of those allows us to sort out the good and the not-so-good and to live more deeply in each moment. It may be a few moments each day or a handful of hours over the weekend. But every once in awhile, it needs to be a stretch of days to block the noise of our routine and listen to the voice of our Creator and His heart for us. It’s absolutely amazing what a difference it can make in the grand scheme of our days.
Bottom line? My 7 days of quiet included a good bit of noise – with family dinners and coffee dates and sleeping in and organizing and gift giving and planning for days to come and card games and more family dinners. It was both gloriously full and still a much-needed break from the usual noise of my days.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve made of late. And it’s one I’ll be repeating several times each year.
What can you learn in 7 days of quiet?
So how about you? Do you take time to quiet your routine and shift your focus? What does that look like for you? Are you up to joining me in this adventure of choosing snippets of quiet?