Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moving Forward By Looking Back - A Belated New Year's Post

It is amazing to me that many of the desires I recognize in my life today were birthed years ago in my life experiences or in my journal entries.  But I really shouldn’t be amazed for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”, Hebrews 13:8.  Nevertheless I often am.

It was fall in the early 80’s.  I had just taken our younger son to pre-school.  Our older son was a kindergartener.  I returned home and collapsed on the sofa in our living room.   Immediately the hymn, “Blessed Quietness” came to mind.  Ahhhhh, what a gift, a quiet morning is.  I don’t remember what my devotional time looked like specifically that day, but I’m sure it included my Bible and writing of some sort.  More importantly, that morning was a stake in the ground for me.  For the first time that I remember, I realized that quiet was important to me. 

The things that God causes us to remember have significance.  I need to pay attention to them. 

For my husband, quiet can be happening when there is soft music playing in the background.  For me, quiet needs to be quiet.  In the early 2000’s Bill and I spent a week almost every summer on the deserted beach at Ocracoke, NC.  Each morning we would part ways for our time with the Lord.  For Bill it usually meant a walk on the beach.  At first for me it meant, a cup of coffee in the front yard of the local coffee shop.  I am pretty good at tuning out the comings and goings of others around me.  And I liked feeling like I was part of the community.  But as time went on, I realized as much as I loved the coffee shop, it wasn’t the quiet atmosphere I craved. 

I not only wanted quiet, but I needed to be alone to give my attention fully to God.  So my coffee shop mornings moved to the upper deck of the home we were renting where my entire view was across the trees and the sand out to the ocean.  It was a view that God created.  It’s beauty, it’s solitariness and the quiet fed my soul. 

I enjoy my times of solitude and silence even more today.  And I’m learning what ingredients need to be present to make these times enriching for me:
·        Place is important.  If I can be outdoors, I love that the best.  If not, I love to have a view of God’s creation.
·        Space is important.  The mountains in Colorado, the desert of Utah, and the ocean all are places I love to meet with God.  Or in my bedroom facing the double deck doors that look out to the mountains.  I wonder if I’m a bit claustrophobic?
·        Simplicity.  I don’t want or need a lot of things around me.  A view, a few books, my journal and a pen are all I need.  And sometimes, my computer.

Christmas was a special treat this year with both our sons, their wives and children with us.  For two weeks the pitter-patter of the feet of our GRANDS graced our home.  We have a lot of fun memories, but it wasn’t quiet!

When our last son and his family pulled away from our driveway, I came back into our home, and collapsed in my favorite chair looking out through our deck doors to the mountains and breathed deeply of the quiet. 

“The Lord is my Shepherd … He makes me lie down …He leads me beside still waters … He restores my soul …” excerpts from Psalm 23.


  1. I am so with you regarding quiet - and space, place and solitude! ...though I never thought of it like that! Thanks for putting into words what's true for my heart too. I think this will help me be more intentional in pursuing them when in need of rest - like now! :0)

  2. Glad you got some time of quiet this weekend.