Sunday, January 29, 2012

The quiet

What I am learning in these busy hours that weave into days and weeks around me, is that I must stop. I must find some place to be still and to follow opportunities to quiet places. Early morning walks in the first glow of sun, tea and candlelight waiting after prayers are said and kisses are smooched on foreheads; an hour here or there to spend with pens and crisp new paper, spilling out of my thoughts and prayers, these places of calm are essential to remaining the woman I want to be.
I have been waiting for these moments to come upon me, expecting them to appear and then take hold of them, but I am also learning that I have to build them into the foundations of this life our family is making. I have to create time set apart to be filled with the Word of the scriptures to confess my own depravity, to seek grace in quiet places so that I can cultivate grace in the busy ones.
Today, I am road building, brick laying, making grooves in my routine to fill my own heart, establishing anchors in my life that allow me to stop and rest and grow. The mother, I am finding, who does not take time to fill her own soul has very little to offer the souls in her care.
Hope With Feathers

I've had this quote written down on a scrap piece of paper for awhile, stuck in an old notebook. I just bought a new journal (inspired by the lovely Aimee), and have started to fill it with quotes I've had written on scrap paper. It feels good to organize it all in one place.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with journals. What should it be for? A diary? Thoughts? Sermon notes? Grocery lists? Reminders? I've given up on all that and decided to make my journal *my thing*. It can be all of the above. I've been rising early to read the Bible in 90 days, and afterwards I will sit with my journal and pray, seeing what the Lord is laying on my heart regarding all kinds of things. I will record that. I will record thoughts I have as I am reading. I will write what I need from the grocery store. I will write down the name of someone new I met at church so I can remember next Sunday. I will take sermon notes. Basically, it's a catch-all for me.
The journal spurs me on to finding those quiet moments in the beginning of my day (the best time for me) to think and as Kristen put so well: "these places of calm are essential to remaining the woman I want to be."
The quiet time I am trying to carve out in my day did not come easily, I will say. It's been years of trying to do quiet times at all times of day, trying to rise before babies and young children, and many, many times reading the Bible in the morning with a baby or toddler on my lap. The fact is, I just try to show up for the Lord. And it's only in the last year where I've seen a little light at the end of my tunnel. So I encourage you, wherever you are on this journey of seeking quiet, that do not give up. I do know that I have given up and been hopeless many times, but I just kept showing up and trying all different kinds of ways to find that quiet in my life because I knew it was essential to my mothering and also being a woman of the Lord.
If you feel stuck, here are a compilation of links about making a journal. Perhaps it will spur you on to seek quiet in your life in order to hear Him.

Simple journaling
100 benefits of journaling
The benefits of keeping a journal
Linda's journal
Write it down
Journaling as a spirtual discipline
Visual homemaking journal
Setting up a visual journal


Betty said...

Love this Andrea. I'm still trying to find my quiet spaces. It's been 8 years since I last had a baby and I've forgotten that with a newborn there are very few quiet times or even time in my control. But the Lord gently leads those who are with young and He has. I've also been around long enough to know it won't always be like this and the times for quiet will come again. This is just a season and I do want to cherish it. I am a journal junkie. I have such a need to get things, lists, prayers down on paper so that I can process them. I love this post. Keep sharing your journey with us!

Aimee said...

this post put tears in my eyes. Yes, never give up on the quiet. Even when more babies come and the house is wild and the needs are big...always, always make the pockets of peace and quiet happen. love you and thanks for this today.

Linda said...

This is lovely Andrea. I am finding so many women who are seeking a quiet, restful place and time. I think the truth is that in every season there will be things life puts in our way that make it difficult. I am finding I just have to be intentional, and often - even in this empty nest season of life - there are days when I come to the end realizing I haven't spent time with the Lord at all.
I tend to journal just the way you do. I can't seem to be terribly disciplined about doing it a certain way. It just sort of happens!
Praying you are able to carve out precious moments that draw you closer to Him.

Anonymous said...

I am visiting your blog here today after reading a brief comment you made on Cindy Rollins blog a few days ago. Your comment made me very sad, especially as I came to your blog and see what a wonderful place it is. I felt is was unnecessary to say that you are not a fan of Cindy's blog, regardless if that is true or not. I think of Ephesians 4:29: "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but let your words be good and helpful, and ENCOURAGEMENT to those who hear them." As a group of Christian women, I think we need to be encouraging each other and building each other up (1 Thes 5:11). Wouldn't you agree?
Sincerely, Julie in St. Louis

Andrea said...

I don't think I was speaking unwholesomely or discouraging Cindy by saying I wasn't a fan of her blog. Was it neccesary to say? Probably not. I did want to leave a comment on that particular post because I did like what she said, but I will say honestly I have had trouble with Cindy's tone and blog for a long while so I questioned whether or not I should even say anything. In the end, I think I did encourage her. I may not like her blog, but I did leave an encouraging word about her post.
I don't neccesarily have to like all Christian women or like all Christian blogs. In fact, I don't. But that doesn't mean I am gossiping or speaking unwholesomely about them, it's just my opinion.
I definitely think we should be building each other up and encouraging each other, I am very passionate about that. I have been blogging for almost 6 years and if you go back and read all my posts you will see that in my writings. I don't have to like a blog to encourage the writer.
I thank you for commenting and for *your* opinion. I do not take offense to your opinion as I am sure Cindy does not take offense to mine. In fact, from reading her blog, I am sure she could care less. :) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I've always had a love/hate relationship with journals. What should it be for? A diary? Thoughts? Sermon notes? Grocery lists? Reminders? I've given up on all that and decided to make my journal *my thing*. It can be all of the above."
Totally where I am right now. Remember that sweet journal you got me for my birthday? Well, I am using it for all sorts of tidbits.

"I will write down the name of someone new I met at church so I can remember next Sunday."
And I love this idea. You are so gifted at making people feel special and loved and understood, and just plain noticed. Love you!