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the quiet life

Slow down, breathe, feel the peace, listen to the silence. Okay, this is not often my life, but when I get a moment and it is quiet, it feels so good. The Lord has a lot to say about quiet and peace. In a world that is loud, busy, bright, flashy, and fast, finding quiet and a moment to think is often difficult to find. In this world where busy lives and packed schedules are idolized, the need for quiet for everyone, including children is still necessary today just as it has always been. This quiet is not just healthy, but also encourages time with God. It might even be more essential with all the noise that goes on around us.I find it difficult to find quiet time and we do not even keep a packed schedule. One favorite activity each week is ballet class. Raegan loves it and I like taking her just to get out of the house! I like swinging by the nearby McDonald's for a caramel coffee sometimes too while we are out!

We just celebrated Valentine's Day, so we made real sugar cookies with the rolling pin I received for Christmas. Along with the daily tasks to accomplish, then holidays that happen, and activities to go to, groceries to order, messes to clean up, and work to do, time escapes, and time with God did not happen. Yikes! We need it so much!

It has been exceptionally difficult lately to find a moment to spend with God. Thankfully, He is patient with us (2 Peter 3:9). Baby Krew, born January 6 and over three weeks early has had difficulty gaining weight and regulating his body temperature. At one point, we were feeding him every 90 minutes! The rest of the world functions at 6 a.m. including the other members of my family, so when the alarm goes off it is GO time, no matter how little I have slept. I am used to getting up before everyone, reading my Bible, and gathering myself first thing in the morning, but lately my nights have combined with mornings, so it has not worked well.

Different places in life come with their own distractions and busyness. Right now, I am often giving a bottle to Krew with one hand, cutting lunch food up for Deacon with the other, instructing how to write a story to Ella Kate, administering a spelling test for Linley, asking Jenna to read to me, and reminding Raegan not to jump off the back of the couch, all at once. The struggle is real. In college, people and activities were my busy. I did homework every now and then, too. What is your distraction? What is your busy? When do you just sit and be still and recognize Who God is and seek His presence? If I am not sitting still with Him, there is no way I can hear His voice amid all the other stuff competing for my attention.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Most of us are familiar with Disney, complete with the bright colors and fast-changing frames we enjoy. It is common knowledge that this way of broadcasting will capture the attention of viewers. I myself find it mesmerizing and the shows catch my attention too. My little people are no different. They will sit still and watch as if nothing else exists around them.

Some psychologists say this fast-paced, colorful way of grabbing attention of child viewers may contribute to attention deficits or concentration issues, while other psychologists say there is no harm. Regardless, everyone needs to learn to experience and enjoy quiet moments. It will be easier for children to take time for God when they are adults if they learn how when they are young.

Some of the best childhood memories I have include walking barefoot through my backyard, jumping through sprinklers, climbing trees, swinging, reading under a tree, playing with dolls on a picnic blanket outside, building forts out of boxes, tying the wagon to my brother’s bike and taking turns pulling each other. Staring at the clouds rolling by and imagining the shapes into pictures is still a favorite activity of mine. Inside, making up dances to songs and performing them for the family was super fun. As the oldest of four, I was naturally in charge of choreography. I loved playing with my dolls, building legos with my bother, reading on my bed, and listening to the radio at night.

I would like to add, it is fine to let children and ourselves be bored. A great response to boredom is, “I cannot wait to see what you come up with.” Most of the time when I have a few seconds to wait on something or someone, I turn to my phone to browse…basically a lot of nothing stuff. We are constantly bombarded with social media, television, cell phones, games, bright colors, and loud voices. If we are honest, sometimes it distracts us from thinking about anything serious we are dealing with. If I am scrolling through whatever on my phone, I can avoid thinking about anything tough.

Many of us are experiencing some tough stuff in life. This pandemic has left people weary, lonely, and in a weird place in life. It is a dark world and we have a real enemy. We often think that Jesus followers have an easier life, but that is simply not true, is it? This world full of distractions and loud voices, and busy schedules can serve to keep us from thinking and hurting for a moment, but the hard stuff still exists.

Taking a moment to sit still, think, and just BE is probably rare for most of us, no matter our age or place in life. Lately, I often wake up to a unicorn and a small girl climbing into my bed. The older girls have discovered they like to join me in the bed before the sun comes up while I am giving Krew a bottle because sometimes I am watching a true crime show! So goes my day! It is already going when I open my eyes!

I find time with God may often not be in one long prayer session or Bible study. It may be moments throughout the day to simply open the door, get some fresh air, and chat with Him for a minute. It might talking to Him while driving down the road. Staying connected is essential anyway. He will sustain us through our busy. My challenge is to put the phone to rest for a while, turn the television off until later, take a break from emails. Breathe in and out. Feel the breath God has given you. Smell some fresh air about to give way to spring. See the sky He created for us to enjoy. Listen for His voice. I am taking up this challenge with you, my friends!

But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands…

1 Thessalonians 4:11




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