Theresa | My Desert Heart
This may be an unfamiliar word to most of you busy moms. But we also need to take a step back and realize how important it is to our spiritual lives to take time for silence…to listen. It is possible for us…God is ready with the graces…we have only to ask. He is not asking for hours of silence as practiced in the monasteries, but only silent moments that we can offer Him during the course of our day. God sees our intentions and our efforts, and that is very pleasing to Him.
The question is “When?” Now I have to guiltily admit that I may have more opportunity for silence that many of you since my three older children are college and high school age and I only have my daughter at home with me. And although she is quite demanding of my attention, it’s not the same as 2, 3, or 4 children demanding my attention all at the same time! So, I will keep this in mind for I believe it is possible for everyone and I believe in the absolute necessity of it.
For me personally, I take time for silence when my youngest is falling asleep (in our room or her room) to light a candle, to talk to God about my day, to do some spiritual reading to initiate meditation, and then taking the time to listen. It’s not always easy to tame the thoughts that are racing through my mind…like what’s still left to accomplish, did I pay that bill yet, what I am wearing tomorrow, what am I cooking this week…you know…really deep spiritual matters! I at least try to calm my mind by doing some deep breathing and repeating the “Jesus Prayer”. Spiritual or scriptural reading is a must for me to refocus my attention on the Lord.
If it is at all possible, I find it a wonderful practice to get up maybe 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the household and sit by the window with a cup of coffee and thank God for the new day He has blessed me with. I decided to try this during a past Lent and since my husband was on a later shift at the time, it worked well. Instead of getting up and going right to the computer, I would take that time to spend in silence with God. I love that time…those sacred moments just as dawn is approaching and the house is silent. The anxious thoughts of the day haven’t quite woken up yet! Unfortunately, I lacked the discipline to continue since an extra 15 minutes of sleep in the morning seemed more heavenly to me than prayer itself! Now that my husband’s shift has changed to early morning, it’s even more difficult to put it into practice. But despite the difficulties, if you can get into this practice, you will be truly spiritually enriched.
If either of the above are not an option at all, think of all those scattered moments throughout the day (or night!) when you can grab a few moments of silence. How about those precious moments of nursing a baby in the middle of the night? Despite our grogginess, we can still offer that time of silence to God and open our hearts to what He wants to tell us. If you ever get the opportunity to drive alone or with a quiet one, don’t turn on the radio. If you get a rare chance to soak in a tub, or shower, don’t let the thoughts and anxieties of the day clutter your mind…instead practice some deep breathing and place yourself in the Presence of God. Do you get some free moments in the laundry room? I find the repetition of folding laundry can induce a quiet state of listening. Nature also gives us wonderful opportunities for reflecting on God’s beauty in creation, so take advantage of those moments during your nature walks or looking out your window.
Exteriorly, we can also maintain a “spirit of silence” by keeping the radio or TV to a minimum or decreasing the time we spend on the phone or emailing (if extended for too long, it can lead to idle chatter).
One of the wonderful and blessed consequences of making an effort to embrace being alone in quiet to become aware of God’s Presence is that we might just discover the One thing that can fill the emptiness of our hearts.
?How do you find time for silence in your day?
*A repost from the archives while I recover.