Embracing Stillness this Summer

In the rush of the ‘daily grind’ we can find ourselves longing for time to slow and work to cease so that we can just “be.” With summer upon us, we often respond to the invitation that comes out of that longing to enjoy the beauty of this season.
We plan vacations.
We wait for weekends.
We anticipate moments.

But when they come?
Do we really take the time to breathe? To rest? To embrace the stillness away from the bustle and productivity of the everyday?

Right now I am sitting in one of my favourite coffee shops. The hum of conversation around me lingers throughout the building just above the sound of music in my headphones. As I watch people come and go, I can’t help but think about the stillness of my home that I left this morning. I could have stayed in and made coffee (not to mention saving $5) and taken the time to write from the comfort of my office.

And yet I chose to get into my car, drive 10 minutes away, and pay to sit in a crowded space to find some quiet and process my thoughts.

Maybe this is a bit of my extroverted side peeking out.
Or maybe true quiet just makes me feel uncomfortable.

 

Is it possible that this could resonate with you too?

With our little one making her arrival anytime in the next couple weeks, I have been face to face with more quiet than I have had in a long time. Work pressures have ceased, everything for baby is prepped, and I have taken my midwife’s advice to give myself permission to just relax as we wait for her to come.

Though I have been excited for the quietness of this season, some days it feels a little too quiet.
For it is in the quiet that I can start to feel the dull ache of a heart that has been pushed to the side too many times. It is in the quiet that hurts I have ignored, lies that I have believed, and insecurities I have wrestled with tend to seem louder than usual. When the necessary outward activity ceases, it becomes a lot harder to ignore the activity going on inside of us.

And lets be honest. It takes a lot of bravery to stand face to face with your own heart. 

So, when life slows down a bit this summer, whether  you are spending time hiking or camping, sitting in your backyard, taking a walk, or simply lying in bed and waiting to fall asleep and you feel that sense of things being too quiet? Rather than instinctively jumping into the next activity, conversation, or creating something else “to do” – why don’t you let the silence linger a little?

Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable with it. Observe your tendency to fill the silence. Take notice of your heart.

 

 

And there in the quiet? Thats where the gentle invitation of our Heavenly Father lingers. The invitation to enter into that quiet with Him. To know His presence that fills an aching heart, brings healing to hurt, and speaks Truth about who we are.

Psalm 131 says this:

Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mothers milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O, put your hope in the Lord – now and always.

It is in the quiet, when we stop trying to figure everything out and get everything done that we can calm and quiet ourselves before God. And it is here that we can brave our hearts with all their need and bring them to Him.
And just like a weaned babe, maybe we can find ourselves satisfied, full, and contended too; at peace in the quiet rather than uncomfortable.

Because it is here that we can rest our hearts in the quiet presence of God.

Maybe this week, take some time to just be still.
Note how your heart responds to the quiet.
Maybe its welcomed? Needed? Calming ?
Maybe it makes you feel uncomfortable? Fearful? Uncertain?

However it feels to you – let it be an invitation to embrace the quietness rather than fill it, and to be present to your heart and God’s presence with you.

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