Blessings Part 4
I am an extrovert. If I am at a party with you, and don't know you, I WILL know you by the end of that party, and I will probably know about your family, your hobbies, and all about your work by the time I leave. I am possibly also an over-sharer, but that's for another post. So, because of my extroverted temperament, I can sometimes feel the need to fill the quiet with noise. Music, TV or a podcast in the background were the norm for me for many years. I was not comfortable with silence. It usually made me feel lonely and uneasy.
Having children has made me learn to appreciate the quiet WAY MORE. Early in the morning, when one of our boys tends to wake up VERY early (*cough* EMILIO *cough*) and I get up with him, he usually plays quietly while his father and brother keep sleeping. I love this quiet time. He is good at entertaining himself, and I can read, or sip my coffee calmly. The quiet in our house brings me a lot of peace. Once our older son, Oliver, wakes up, it is PARTY TIME, so forget the silence. The boys will scream in each other's faces, wrestle until one (or both) start to cry, or just giggle uncontrollably. This is actually fun for me, for the most part. I like the chaos of little boys, which is why I think God has blessed me with 2, up to now. But when they nap midday I can sit again and rest in the silence. I have learned to really LOVE silence.
My husband is reading The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah, and has been sharing with me excerpts from the book and I am so convicted to create more time for silence in our home. In his book, Cardinal Sarah writes beautifully about how many things grow in silence, trees, flowers, and babies in the womb, unfold in perfect silence. We too can grow, and DO grow, in that silence spent with the Lord.
Naturally, I want to cultivate this silence in our children, because we can profoundly encounter Christ in the silence. I have started to keep the house more quiet during the day, so less TV, music, and general noise. I feel like this has calmed the boys down a little bit more, which has brought more peace into the house.
We still watch tv, listen to music, squeal, laugh, and I listen to podcasts daily, but we also are reading more, they are playing independently more, and I am less stressed. This silence has made me realize that I don't need to fill every quiet with my voice, my opinions, or my "suggestions". I can just be content in that silence. I know that we are not going to be silent like a monastery…that just is not what this vocation entails, no matter HOW much my husband wished it did. But we can still cultivate a spirit of peace in our homes, even when those homes are full of loud children (or adults).
Maybe you are in a season of life where silence is a luxury. Maybe you are afraid of silence because of what you may hear from the Lord. Maybe you love silence and wish you had more of it. Whatever your situation, try to find time to cultivate silence in your own life. I know it is not easy. Trust me, some days our home is so loud and chaotic, and I think, “how can we be this loud and we only have TWO CHILDREN?!” But you deserve that time resting peacefully with our Father.
I am so thankful for the blessing of quiet. I think the Lord has provided me with this time daily, to reflect on Him, His goodness, and His mercies.
What are some ways that you cultivate the quiet in your home? Share your ideas with us!