If you are just joining us, start here with Why Advent?
On this chilly late fall morning, snuggled warmly under three layers of blankets, I woke up to the sound of a crying baby in my room. Quickly the sound was followed by little feet running downstairs asking for breakfast, escalating to brothers fighting over a toy and chasing each other around the house crying. The baby was still crying and it was only 6:18am. I had been awake only three minutes. I still have a full 13 hours of a kid filled day of noises to go. As mothers, our world is echoing noise every moment of the day. Whining, asking, Curious George, more asking, directing, crying, screaming, playing, toy pianos, tantrums, race car noises and talking bears, fighting siblings, Mighty Machines and asking for another snack. By days end, my ears literally are pulsing, begging for a break from the chaotic noise. I feel overwhelmed and burdened by the noise most days.
When my kids are napping or finally in bed, I read or watch television. When I am in the car, I listen to music. When I am at work I am talking to people or reading. I text, read emails, talk on the phone or talk to my husband in my free time. Silence only makes its way into my world when I am laying down to sleep at night.
Silence, you see, is scary. We are afraid what thought might pop up. What fear we may have to face, so we distract ourselves. We keep our minds and ears busy so we do not have to deal with it. Amidst so many words it can be difficult to think our own thoughts let alone hear God's. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "Let us be silent so we may hear the whispers of God." Jesus tends to speak quietly doesn't He? Jesus himself withdrew to be alone and commune with God. When is the last time you were silent? When on earth am I going to find time to be silent as a mom you ask? Good one...
Here are a few ways to try to practice silence this week:
1) Turn off the radio in the car, listen to God
2) Turn off the television, listen to God
3) If the kids are actually are playing quietly, revel in that and turn off all other noises
4) Set aside 5 minutes after your kiddos are in bed-go to your room and sit in silence. Set a timer if you need to. If a thought pops up, push it aside and breathe deeply. Listen for God. Say something simple to yourself like "Jesus" or "Peace of God" over and over if you need to settle into it. Focus on your breathing. Maybe He won't speak at all. Maybe He will. Wait. Listen. Breathe.
Silence seems unfruitful and boring at first, but you reap rewards from silence after you have rested there. You reap rewards in this full, deep and wide sort of way that is just beautiful. You can more clearly hear God's voice amidst noise because you can better recognize Him. You don't feel like you need noise every moment. You become a better listener and learn to actually enjoy silence. A better, calmer momma whose spirit is lighter and more content. You can experience a form of inner silence amidst the chaos of your kids noise- an immeasurable value. In this advent season, the silence allows you to anticipate and long for Jesus' coming by clearing your mind. By Friday you will easily be able to "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10) and that will be enough. He alone is enough. It is beautiful friend. Refreshing, cool and bright. Just you, Jesus and the silence. Advent is waiting, expecting, anticipating, and longing for Jesus. Silence is that too. Silence is holy. Silence is a gift. Enjoy it. Let Jesus meet you there tonight friend. Let's make room for Him in our life starting today.
As you journey this week, take a photo of something that represents silence or the chair you sat in or the candle you lit, etc and hashtag #makehimroom so we can join together as a community and encourage each other. As we wait and long for the coming of our blessed gift, our King Jesus we can advent together.
Practice this every day if you can and Sunday we will start a new practice. Ask other mom friends to join on facebook.com/waitingforbedtime, on Instagram @waitingforbedime or just text the girl ;)
Looking forward to growing together this season.