Thursday, January 03, 2008

Being quiet

It's a rare day when I sit down to blog twice in the same day. I guess it's a cheating sort of way to force myself to sit still for awhile and take a break of sorts. My mind doesn't seem to want to slow down but my body really HAS to, at least for a little while.

Like I said in an earlier post there are changes on the way around our house and in our lives. I guess this is the time of year for reflecting on the year that is now gone and evaluating it bit by (sometimes)painful bit. So much has changed in our family so quickly since Troy got saved that the last two and a half years or so have felt like a tilt a whirl at the county fair back home.... as soon as I think I've caught my balance and can make out the shapes in the distance they disappear in a blur again. I've literally spent nights sweating it out in prayer just seeking God for the grace to hang on, just waiting for that specific line to follow. Yet, knowing all along that He has shown me time and time again where to begin.... and time and time again I have failed miserably.

So here we are treading water so to speak (er type?) with our lives in a strange holding pattern that isn't the mountain top or the valley, but that shifting and uncertain in-between land where the only thing you can do is take each step in faith listening with all your heart so that you don't accidentally miss that still small voice that will always answer in the moment of quietness that seems most fleeting. Since late last summer I've been studying about quietness and stillness in the scriptures, for a lot of years quiet was the thing that my life lacked the most, so now that it makes the more than occasional appearance I can't help but notice the contrast and ask the Father to reveal Himself more to me during those times.

I used to fear those times of quiet because they almost always came before an enormous storm.... like the 'summer of sixteen' when me and the Hunk o' Honey were suddenly bombarded with extra children to care for. Within a week's time we went from being a household of 2 adults and 2 children 2 and under to a household of 2 adults with 16 children 13 and under, 4 of those being under 2. Right before that happened we were sitting on our porch late one evening in the quiet after having stripped and waxed the hardwood floors in our new-to-us home thinking and talking about how nice it was to have some quiet time with the babies in bed to enjoy the stars and the cool evening air. That storm of a summer gave us many blessings and many tears and trials, and even a few scars but I've never forgotten the quiet before the storm and in looking back I've often wondered what I could have done beforehand that would have made weathering the storm easier. But that's just one example of why I've always feared the quiet times.

I've also feared those times of quiet because they almost always seem to bring behind them big changes that may or may not be things I will be happy with. A few months before we moved out here there was a time of quiet. Things didn't seem too bad or too good, and there was just a steady rhythm to the days. Just when I feared that I was falling into a rut of sorts with the day to day routineness of things; in blew the storm.... and it raged on for months with the end result being a cross country move for my family and being separated from so many of the people and things we loved the most. But again, in looking back I wondered many times what could have been done to make weathering the storm easier and make the transitions it brings smoother.

I think that I've learned through all of those things, plus the many that I don't have time to type about that instead of fearing the quiet I need to use that time to listen. To put my head to the Savior's chest and just hear what His heart would speak to mine. I've learned that if I listen he will speak to me and tell me just what He needs me to know.... instead of what I think I need to know. Today the Lord reminded me of a time that I didn't know what to do and all I had to do was listen to hear him and let go of the things I was wrestling with. He reminded that during ALL of those storms He stood there with me and never let me suffer more than He was able to help me bear. I've learned to use the quiet to draw nearer to Him .... He is my strength and apart from Him I can withstand nothing at all.

So here I am, enjoying my quiet for today, and even being thankful that the Lord sees farther ahead than I am able to and that He gave me this time of quiet to prepare for whatever is ahead of me be it storm or blessing or more quiet.

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