These voices were of three kinds: My own internal voice, which is ever-present and with which I converse on a constant basis. We talk all the time. This voice was not being a good friend that particular morning. Then, my kids. Even though it was only 0730 they were already at fever pitch with their vocal exercises, which they were doing as a 3-man unit. They were also wrestling, and bouncing off the ceiling. The third voice was my own, which I was using to scream my desire for all the other voices to hush it.
It was hardly a well-begun day.
I texted my sister: I just want quiet and solitude... and to write...and to work on my house. But there is people and noise everywhere.
It was the truth. My heart was desperate for quiet. My spirit needed a place where I could remove myself and just be still for a bit. My life circumstances, both living in a tiny house and homeschooling my kids, do not allow for this in normal situations. Quiet isn't really a thing.
I say that as someone who gets up really early. I love it, and being up before the crazy starts helps. But, lately I have woken up to messes that needed picked up, dirty dishes I've been too tired the night before to pay attention to, screaming cats, and long to-do lists. I spend my quiet time trying to get the day off to a productive start, before the kids/noise wake up.
But, my soul needs quiet. To be a good mom, a good wife, a good teacher and a good writer. To be a good minister to others and to be a producer of good work.
That same day, Shauna Niequist posted these words on Instagram:
When life feels loud, I carve out a space for quiet: prayer, reading, silence, listening. This grounding makes my heart strong again, gives me courage to go back into the loud spaces.
That girl always says what I am needing to hear. And yes, a quiet space became mandatory. So, in a flurry of frustration and determination I finished up my already started efforts in cleaning out a space behind a door. I removed a ton of stuff, to make room for doing stuff. I got rid of furniture, threw away so much and cleared a small wall where a perfectly sized desk that I had yet to find would go.
And, I prayed. I said, "God. I need this. Please, find me a cheap desk that will fit in this tiny spot I have." Within the hour I pulled up a community buy/sell site and found that exact thing. Cutest little desk you ever saw. Its tiny, like my space. Its perfect for my computer and a couple of pretties.
Yesterday was its inauguration day. I sat here and prayed blessings over this space, this desk, this area. I filled the tiny drawers with notecards, my favorite books, different versions of Bibles and added a jar for my favorite (hands off kids!) pens.
I prayed, even after the kids woke up. There is a door, and I closed it. I sent them away, to do their morning things without my guidance. I wrote, I dreamed, I blessed, I asked God for clarity and I prayed for people. I didn't want to leave, and this morning I couldn't wait to get here.
I realize how important these moments are - these ones that we designate for quiet. Not to even say a word yet about what to do in this quiet (I am mulling over words to share those thoughts), but just the practice of "carving out space for quiet" is blessed. Our spirit needs it. We need these times and places to step away, to embrace the quiet and to create room for God to speak to us. In these sacred moment we do what Emily Freeman says, and "choose absence". We allow for a space to be filled with God and His Spirit - where in word, prayer, deed or practice we meet Him.
My tiny physical space behind a door is my new favorite place to come for that thing my soul wants.
My son made me a sign that says, "Do NOT Enter." He gets me.
May you find quiet spaces today, my sweet friend. May it bless you in ways you don't even anticipate this day.