I’ve been stuck. In this place there are two things; a lot of words and a lot of silence. First the words; I’ve already told you how I couldn’t get thoughts to paper, but it’s more than just having all of those unexpressed thoughts in my head. I can’t seem to put a book down, I have been reading in all of the spare moments, filling my soul with fictitious worlds that overtake my imagination. I’ve been seeking out the quotes that express how I feel, pinning them, scratching them down in notebooks, saving them on my phone. I have this idea that if I could just find the right words, some missing mental piece would fall into place.
I find this desire for words to be so strange when all I beg for in my quiet moments is…quiet. My children talk a lot. They seem to never cease. I joke that one of my daughters started talking shortly after birth and hasn’t stopped yet -she’s ten. Add to that all of the mothering responses, teachable moments, corrections of behavior, more, that are required in our homeschool day and the amount of words easily exceeds seven catrillion, (that’s a real number, I swear). Recently we were able to spend a couple of our days outdoors, which was awesome! We have these dogs on our street though, they bark incessantly at each other. Yesterday I actually shouted down across the neighborhood for them to shut-up! It didn’t work, they kept on barking and I found myself with my head in my hands asking why everything in my life is so loud?
Serious irony here? I yell. I’ll admit it. Yes, I am constantly trying not to yell, trying to get a handle on my tongue, reading things that may help, taking the deep breath before I speak, quoting Scripture and the Psalms to myself. I still yell. In case you didn’t know, yelling is loud. Want to know when I yell most? When the volume and repetition reaches a fever pitch in my house and I can’t handle anymore sound. It’s so logical that I would yell then isn’t it? Later, I lay in bed wondering why I would do something so counter-productive, something so loud? Ugh.
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the doors of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
So the noise of life is too much for me. Can that be a thing please? I want it to be so badly. I want to be able to say that I must take a time-out or a mental health day or something because the volume has exceeded acceptable levels. Please? I mean, when does a momma get some silence for Heaven’s sake?
The nights are quieter it’s true. I fill those hours before I fall asleep and the ones before my children wake reading in blissful silence. It is as if I am in Heaven, only I have steamy coffee. Another thing that’s hard for me to admit? Before I had any babies, my biggest fear was how much of my sleep their sweet, teensy needs would steal from me. Truth is that fear was well founded because someone is always waking me or sneaking into my quiet reading time. I didn’t know that I could adjust my internal clock as much as I have over the last ten years. (More) truth is there is always time for what is most important, but really only the top one or two things. Everything else must be optional. There are only so many waking hours in one day and only so many words that will fit in that same grouping of hours. Honest, we’ve maxed both out.
This place where I’m at, the one with a lot of words, it is a seeking place. It is a searching place and a place where I am allowing myself to feel all of the broken that has been much like my shadow. I know the words that I need to hear are not the ones that will be found on Pinterest memes or while scrolling Facebook. The words that I feel, the words that seem to be inside of me yet eluding me, these words will come from God and they will come from the mouths of my children and they will come from the kind hearts of the people I love. They come from being seen and being honest.
Another hard-to-admit-truth; the only silence I’m feeling right now is Gods. The one voice I am seeking so desperately, is not crying out to me like it ofttimes does. A woman I knew for a short time told me once that God’s silence is sometimes necessary. Like a rest in a piece of music is necessary for the musicians to catch their breath. That stopped me in my tears. I find myself back in that place now, breathing and little else. I am comforted knowing that the music always starts again. I will begin to hear God’s words for me and then walk with His purpose for my life anew. Right now, today, I will sit in the rest, in the pause, in the break in the music, and I will let tears fall that have no place still falling. I will speak softly to my children, I will listen well to them. I will look at those I love and hope to really see them as they look back and see me probably more clearly than I would like some to.
As the sun begins to brighten the sky I hear my children stirring, the quiet of this morning nearly done. The volume will rise and the chaos will scramble around my feet as it so often does. I am striving for nothing more than to sit in the rest He has provided, accepting as much actual and imagined quiet as I can receive. Hearing those words that will be most beneficial to my soul. I hope you’ll know that you have a place here too, in the break.