Time for Silence

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.

 

Thomas Merton-Silence

 

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?

 

Theresa lives out her vocation as wife, mother to four (and two in Heaven), homeschooler, Secular Carmelite, and part-time ultrasonographer in Pennsylvania. Every so often, the Spirit nudges her to share her thoughts and words with others here and at My Desert Heart.

 

*A repost from the archives while I recover.

 


10 Comments

  1. Great post. Silence is so important. I struggle to find it in my day but I keep working at it! I get a little silence in the first hour of the morning at work when I am the only one in the office! And late at night I have some time. Sometimes, after dinner, I go in my bedroom or out on the patio to pray and have some silent time. It can be a constant struggle but I keep at it, finding that few minutes here and there.

    • Those few minutes here and there add up Colleen…they all count!! The Lord knows we desire it and I know He will grant longer periods of silence when the time is right.

      God bless!
      Theresa recently posted..A Time for SilenceMy Profile

  2. Bless you Teresa! I have been trying very hard to find that time to foster silence. I’m seeing now that it is a very real need, not just a luxury. The woman who started our Carmelite community back in the 60′s was a mother of eight. She said she did the Office while giving her baby a bottle. She did her “time of mental prayer” in the bathroom! Where there is a will, there’s a way, right? I haven’t resorted to the bathroom just yet, but I do try to take that silence when the baby is nursing, and after one of my kids get off the bus. I’m still working on consistency, but I know God will bless my small efforts. Great quote! Thank you for this beautiful post!
    Jen recently posted..It’s Been Awhile…My Profile

    • Happy Blessed Feast Day Jen! I have been thinking of you and hope all is well.

      Yes…where there is a will there is a way and us moms get can quite creative right?

      Have a grace filled day!
      Theresa recently posted..A Time for SilenceMy Profile

  3. Laundry chores have that effect on me, too. They clear the hampers and offer me long periods of silence to clear my anxious mind. Changing bed linen on Fridays come a close second. But there is nothing like keeping still and fully focused and being prayerful at the beginning of the day and at its end… I must admit that I lack discipline here, though!

    ‘Hope you get better soon!

    • I lack discipline too. But the striving is what is important. It’s really the silence in my thoughts that I really need to tackle.

      PS…Jenny is not feeling well so she pulled this from the archives.
      Theresa recently posted..A Time for SilenceMy Profile

  4. I am able to do both the morning and the evening thing and find it quite a blessing, especially the morning with my cup of coffee near the window :) A couple of years ago I stopped playing the radio every time I got in the car and now, since I’m in there A LOT, I have a lot of time for conversation with the Lord. God Bless, you, Theresa!
    Laura recently posted..Starbucks, Writing and ScroogeMy Profile

    • I have to laugh. People find it a very strange thing that I do not have the radio on in the car. Once in a while I will pop in a classical music CD for youngest but she doesn’t mind the silence either.

      Many blessings to you too!
      Theresa recently posted..A Time for SilenceMy Profile

  5. I love this. I do try to read and reflect in the morning and at night.
    I need to remove the word TRY and actually DO it daily.

    Without time alone with Our Lord, how could we possibly know what HE wants of us. It’s communication at it’s finest and we do all need to participate in it.

    Blessings,
    Em
    Emily Davis recently posted..Catholic Woman’s Almanac – Tuesday StyleMy Profile

    • This is the ongoing struggle especially in today’s world of technology and haste. AND when we finally find the time for silence, how long it takes to settle ourselves! So, the more we try to create an atmosphere of silence in our homes, in our actions, and in our speech…the easier it will become to place ourselves in silence before the Lord at any time.
      Theresa recently posted..A Time for SilenceMy Profile

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