Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In the Quiet

As I sit here typing, everyone else is in bed and the house is quiet. Because our home houses nine people and two furry animals, it can often be quite a chaotic place during the day, but the late evenings are mine. I do look forward to the day when Boss and I can retire for the evening at the same time again, but for this season, it is simply easier for me to stay up until Mister Man's last feeding of the night. I used to dread the quiet of the evening. I did not like the stillness. It gave me too much time to think. During the first year after the births of each of my daughters, late nights would be the hardest time for me emotionally. Along with the stillness and quiet would always come the anxiety. But this time around? This time around, things are different. Now I view this quiet time alone as a precious gift.

You see, often times the days are just about doing. Rushing, rushing, rushing, going here and there. Changing diapers, giving bottles, reading aloud, wiping bottoms, teaching arithmetic, making lunches, returning phone calls, folding laundry, and correcting behavior. Sometimes it feels as though there is not even enough time for me to catch my breath! But that's okay. I thrive on busy days, on mothering, on helping others, and generally on being surrounded by people. I suppose that is why the unique lifestyle of house parenting suites me. Being a people person comes very naturally to me. But it took a long time for me to enjoy being with only myself. It took a long time for me to appreciate the quiet.

I am not sure why the quiet used to bother me so much. Perhaps it is because I did not know who I was back then. I was a young, overwhelmed, wife and mother who was searching for her place in this world, and when I was "busy" I could pretend that I had this thing called life figured out. But in the quiet moments, it was evident that all I was doing was pretending. In reality, I had no clue! All I knew was that I wanted to be somebody in this world. I wanted to make a difference and lead a life that mattered. Mediocrity was not an option. I wanted a happy life lived with no regrets. During my busy days I could pretend that I had all of this! But in the quiet, the Enemy would attack. "You're a nobody," he would say. "There are a million mom's on this planet." " What makes you any different?". "Your life is not making a difference." "You're only living to please yourself. To earn recognition for your name." And therein lied my problem. The Enemy was right. I did want all of those things. To be somebody, to make a name for myself, to matter. But I wanted them for my glory. To make myself feel better. I had it all wrong! And that is why I did not like the quiet. When all of my busyness was stripped away, I did not like the person who I was.

But God has been teaching me a lot this past year. He has been teaching me about living for His glory instead of my own. He has been teaching me that the only way to be somebody in this world, is to be somebody in His name. For His sake. He is in the process of showing me that the only way to find true happiness and contentment is to die to myself, every single day. And He is showing me all of this in the quiet. And suddenly it is not so scary anymore. There have been many changes in my heart these past several months about what(Who) I want my life to stand for, and how I want to live my life. I have been sharing my heart with Boss, and we have been talking and praying about some changes that need to be made in the way our family lives the life that we have been given together. I am excited to see where He will take us on this adventure of growing, changing, and stretching our lives. So I will continue to seek Him in the quiet, because now He is meeting me there and I am no longer afraid.

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