Category Archives: Listening to God

The Silence Detour

On a recent jaunt up into the Smoky Mountains for morning hike, I noticed several signs along the roadside. Obviously, there were the signs that pointed to important points of interests, various hiking  trails and sites, as well as directional signs to get travelers back to wherever they came from. And then there were these signs: images

Each time we passed one, it was as if the sign was calling my name, beckoning me to come spend some time in quiet. It was as if my heart longed to simply walk a path and enjoy stillness. Although, I was about to hike a trail with my husband, something about this simple sign was alluring. We never stopped to take a look-see at what stillness was to be experience on such a walkway. Still, I can’t shake the simple entreaty that this sign promised.

I know the feeling of traveling life’s road and needing a moment to get out of the car and just escape down a quiet path. How many times, though, have I ignored that need? How many times  did I ignore the Voice that suggested I take a moment and rest?

These days I’m learning to stop the car and head down the quiet walkway. Although I haven’t visited one here in the Smokies, I have made a routine of taking time for myself, for seeking some silence. In a world where technology makes it nearly impossible to disappear for any length of time, we must vigilant in finding time to be still, to be quiet. The constant noise of the world drowns out the voices we need to hear. The voice of God, obviously, grows soft in the midst of worldly chatter, but also other voices that need us to hear them.

When was the last time we stopped to ponder a conversation with a family member: a child, spouse, mother, or father? Maybe we had a chat with a friend that still haunts us on some level because we sensed something wasn’t quite right. Or just maybe, our bodies are asking us for a little silence – for a chance to let our brains rest, to be without responsibilities, music, and conversations.

In taking time for “Quiet Walkways” we allow ourselves a chance to truly find answers and peace in the silence. We find truth in silence, too. Sometimes it’s a truth we don’t want to hear, but the silence can allow us to both hear it and accept it.

So how do we take these hushed detours? We get intentional! Begin now looking for a place that can become your quiet walkway. It could be a nearby park, nature trail, or simply the chair on your front porch. Schedule a time to “walk the trail” and then keep it. Finally,  turn off the phone and music and just listen. Don’t try to come up with answers to problems, just enjoy the silence.

And if God’s voice so chooses to whisper in that silence – keep your lips sealed, so you can hear what He has to say.

Where do you find “quiet walkways” in your life? 

swirl

verb – move in a twisting or spiraling pattern

It’s Monday, which means I’m supposed to blog.  I’ve tried to adhere to habit of posting every Monday, Wednesday (book review), and Friday. My mind right now, however, is swirling with thoughts and none of them can I pin down.

This little blog of mine which is read by somewhere around 30 people on any give day can dominate my thoughts. That number is obviously lower than I would like, but every time I think of giving the blog up, someone sends an email or message letting me know how much something I wrote encouraged them. So I keep up with the battle of thoughts.  What’s that you ask?  Take a peak in my brain for any given day:

  • “I need to BLOG!”
  • “Ohhh, that’s a great idea for a blog post!.”
  • “I can’t wait to tell my readers about this book on the blog!”
  • “Ugh, it’s Monday, and I need to blog.”
  • “Shoot, it’s Saturday and I forgot to blog yesterday.”
  • “I need a piece of paper: I gotta jot down this idea for my blog.”
  • “Does anyone even read my blog besides my Dad?” (Shout out to Dad whose comments always encourages:)
  • “Can’t I just blog something random that I write on the spur of the moment? I mean, all this planning, revising, and editing is making me crazy!”
  • “I NEED to blog!”

So as you can see, my brain spends a lot of time thinking about the blog even when I’m not writing one.

I’ve been in a weird kind of season in my life right now that keeps my thoughts swirling. Keith and I have been discussing “life dreams” and “life goals” and all of that heavy stuff that I think people in their 40’s start to discuss when they see that the years are coming at the speed of light. I’ve been reading books on finding your dream, how to live that dream, and how to make Southern Biscuits. Okay, so the last one doesn’t seem to fit, but in my swirling thoughts, it fits right in with what God is dropping in my heart. (Have fun finding that connection.)  

In the midst of all these discussions with Keith, I’m learning to let go of my need to be perfect-at-whatever-it-is-I’m-doing. This obviously explains the need that every post be Pulitzer Prize worthy. So…. that’s what today is. It’s letting my faithful readers out there into a blog that was written “on the fly” and not perfectly outlined and edited. Basically, I sat, I thought, and then I wrote.

I’m in the process of reading a book that I wish I had written, or better yet, a book that I know I could write. It’s just my style, and it’s so powerful in a simple way.  I won’t tell you what it is yet because that’s a post for Wednesday Reads, and as I said earlier, it’s only Monday:) Reading this book has reminded me that it’s the simple writing of personal thoughts and experiences that touch a reader’s heart and binds them to you in a way that can’t be explained. I want to write like that.

In order to write like that,  I have to take my swirling thoughts and force them down on paper. I have to let go of my “try-hard life.” When I do, I find a freedom that makes me want to pursue dreams that are way to big for me, but not too big for my God.

So although today’s post was not outlined and throughly revised and edited, you read it. (I hope you stayed till now.) So here’s my thanks for joining me each day. I really do think of you guys a lot ( as evidenced by the earlier brain insight.) Keep the comments and messages coming and I’ll keep blogging even when the thoughts might not find their place in an outline.

Happy Monday,

~a