If you’ve been a mom of a toddler, you’ve likely learned that silence is rarely a good thing. In fact, if there is silence when you have children in the home, it is certain they are up to no good. Need proof? In the latest moments of silence in our home, my 4 year old and 2 year old drew “jaguar spots” on each other. They were covered in ball point pen circles from head to toe. A few weeks before that, the 2 year old found some nail polish in her older sister’s room and painted a colorful mural on the closet door and wall. Another time, after a trip to the barber, my younger son decided to touch up the haircut he had only been sporting for a few hours and pretty much left himself bald. It took a good 5 months before he needed another haircut. In my earlier parenting years, I woke early to take a shower and thought both my daughters were fast asleep. While I showered, the younger of the 2 quietly came into the bathroom and proceeded to eat one of my contacts. Another time, as I was preparing to speak at a Girls’ Ministry Retreat, my oldest daughter found my red lipstick and applied it to herself and the other side of the bathroom door. With 5 kids, I could go on with story after story, but I’m sure you get my point and they’ll probably thank me for refraining from sharing all I could. It can get exhausting!
These terrifying moments of silence usually occur when I’m in another room busily folding laundry, on an important phone call or when I’m just trying to get stuff done. When I’m not being attentive to their whereabouts and am distracted.
There’s another kind of silence that can be pretty terrifying. It happens when I’m too busy to notice it happening. I get so focused on running errands, building my business, making lunches, making sure all the details of our lives go off without a hitch. Then, like ballpoint pen jaguar spots on a 2 year old, it becomes painfully obvious that I DON’T have it all together. I loose my temper, throw a grown up temper tantrum and become woefully remorseful of my behavior. In those moments, I realize, that I haven’t heard God speak to me in too long. That I’ve relied on my own strength and it’s run out of steam. I gather up the kids. We sit on the floor together and I tell them, “Mommy messed up. We need a do over. I apologize for my behavior and we need Jesus to be our strength right now.” It’s not profound, but it is absolutely necessary. My kids need to know that they can mess up, that we all mess up. But more than that, they need to know what to do when the mess ups happen. We bow our heads together, ask for forgiveness and ask that God help us to be more like Him.
Those moments come and go in life. Whether your a parent, a spouse, employee, or boss, student, teacher. Whatever your position, we all need to replace those terrifying moments of silence with more of the peaceful type of silence that begets strength and courage to face the tasks ahead.
Did you know that most arguments happen because someone is hungry? In our house we call it being “hangry.” When my kids are cranky and begin misbehaving, I can usually discover that they are tired or hungry and fixing those 2 needs takes care of so much.
How many times do we walk around spiritually “hangry”. We are starving for quiet time with the Lord and it’s been too long since our last meal. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Life is so much easier and peaceful when we are full of His grace & strength. I know l struggle finding quiet time, but I want to challenge you to find creative ways to get scripture and prayer time into your life. Some seasons of life it can seem impossible, but it is possible. Creating an open line of communication with the Lord when you just carry on a conversation with Him throughout the day, while you fold laundry, vacuum, in the shower, by listening to worship music as the background soundtrack to your life. These things help create an atmosphere of peace in your home. Filling your home with the Silence that doesn’t have to be dreaded, but that silence when you sit in His presence and draw from His strength. On our own we can only do so much, but with Him we are unstoppable.
Don’t forget that you can’t pour from an empty container. Fill yourself up with time in Scripture and meditate on it and spend time in prayer. You’ll have so much more to give and you’ll feel so much better about your gifts as well.