It’s 6:03am. My alarm is sounding and taunting me with the snooze button. My bed is warm, my eyes are heavy and the sun is barley even awake.
“I’ve got to go to bed earlier tonight! Do I have time to take a nap today?”, I think to myself most every weekday morning after turning off my alarm.
I stumble to the caffeine and wait for my brain to wake up and my eyes to come into focus. As the caffeine reaches my blood stream my thoughts start to form and I run through my agenda for the day:
Get the kids up, dressed, fed and hugged on their way out the door to the bus stop. Make sure Lainey grabs her lunch out of the fridge and Dawson’s assignment notebook is signed. Tidy up the house from the morning routine and put myself together for the day. Grab my gym bag and laptop and head out to my boot camp class. A few appointments, returning emails and setting up my calendar for the following week. Block off time for writing and make the social media rounds. Get the oil changed, stop at Target to replenish the toilet paper and chocolate milk we ran out of. Pick up snacks for Lainey’s special star day at school tomorrow and a birthday present for the neighbor boy’s party. Be home to get the kids off the bus, complete homework and quickly get the kids changed for ballet and basketball practice. Dinner, showers and bedtime stories to round out the day.
“Yeah…definitely not a nap today,” I confirm as my head starts to spin. I’m pretty sure I’m already 12 minutes behind and I haven’t even been up for 12 minutes.
I know I’m not the only one who’s days are spilling over before they even start. I feel like a ping pong ball most days, bouncing around with poor aim and miscalculated shots. I try to shift my day into an orderly fashion but then a call comes to pick a kid up early from school with an upset stomach. An appointment runs long, an errand gets fumbled and I forget the main ingredient at the store for tonight’s dinner.
There’s no margin. There’s no space and there’s nothing in my day that resembles silence.
8:30pm rolls around. The kids are tucked in bed, lunches are packed for tomorrow and backpacks are assembled for the next day’s needs. Dinner dishes are put away and counters are cleared off. I breathe deeply as I sink into the couch in my lounge wear uniform and fuzzy slippers. The silence is so loud.
I turn on the TV but nothing can hold my attention. I pick up a book but can’t retain the same paragraph I keep rereading. My productive energy has been used up so I head to the pantry to grab a snack and reach for my phone to scroll through the socials.
The silence speaks up. I want to fight back with distractions. My day finally offers me rest but I can’t take it up on the offer. It’s like a friend who offers a sincere compliment only for me to quickly dismiss it. I can’t help but wonder when my days became so overcrowded and why my mind refuses to sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time? Why are we so scared of what silence has to say?
I want to desire silence how a dry mouth desires a drink of cool water. I want to feel satisfied, restful and reset. I want to feel proud, centered and enough. If we turn up the volume on silence what will it reveal? How will it call us to respond? What if silence speaks of our hurts and lonely spaces? What if silence offers clarity or healing? What if silence speaks of grace and self-love? What if silence offers exactly what we are lacking?
Growing up I heard a story about sheep who were prone to wander from their flock. The lost sheep would be gathered up by the Shepherd who would break the lamb’s leg in order to keep it from wandering into even greater danger…or so I thought. I was looking up this story to reference but I came across something far more interesting that had been greatly misinterpreted. The Shepherd would apply a ‘brake’ to the wandering sheep’s leg, a small weight, to act like a car brake. If this lamb was indeed prone to wander the ‘brake’ would slow the pace of the lamb down long enough for the Shepherd to rescue the lamb.
What if silence is our ‘brake’? What if the weight of our day led way to our rescue? What if God is offering us silence to lift weight off of us and speak life over us? Let’s bravely sit in the silence and let it speak to us. Perhaps what it has to say is exactly what we need to hear.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23: 1-3