Intentional Quiet {#WholeMama}

Quiet. What an elusive idea. I find that our lives can be so full. So distracting. So loud. That we miss the quiet, though oftentimes we don’t even realize we are missing it. We miss the beauty in the simple. And we miss grace.

Thinking on quiet + motherhood + wholeness, I hit a roadblock. Honestly, I have another post ready and typed. But I just couldn’t publish it yet. Something is missing. Something isn’t right. So instead, today, you get this. These quiet thoughts. That are both real and vulnerable. Honest, and I hope they meet you right where you are. Searching for quiet. Searching for grace. Searching for truth.

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Today I began reading Genesis. I finished my journey through the Psalms and have decided to read through the Bible for the rest of this year. So today began where it all began, “In the beginning…”. I have read these verses time and time again. But today, today I noticed one verse that I had never really noticed before:

“The earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

There is something about this verse, about these 2 simple sentences that stops me right where I’m at. They shout loudly and whisper quietly at the same time. They speak straight to my soul. We were without form. Void. Empty. Darkness, sin, had come upon us. Entered into the beautiful. Darkness was over us. Around us. In us. But. But that was not how we were left. But God. But God entered in. He saw us where we were. Empty. Lifeless. And He hovered over us. Preparing us for life. Preparing to speak life over us. Through us. In us. 

As I sit and think on these words. I think about the quiet. The deep. The real. The beautiful. And of course, the grace. Always the grace.

I know that life is loud. I know that children are loud. I know that the things I surround myself with are loud. All vying for my attention. But when I enter into quiet. When I intentionally choose to still my heart. To sit quietly with my Lord. To read His words. I grow. I see that grace. I see His never ceasing, abounding love. And I feel quiet. I feel calm. I feel peace.

Even when the world around me is loud. Even when the world around me is begging me to stop and look at…everything. Even when all four of my children are pulling at me asking me for something. I feel quiet. No, it may not be quiet. Instead of focusing on the noise level, on the sounds around me, I focus on my heart. I alter the definition. I redefine ‘quiet.’ I give it a meaning that I can achieve in my daily life. One that can be achieved with these blessings calling me ‘mom.’ Because I need quiet. I thrive on quiet. And I grow in the quiet. And if it’s definition was always tied to the sound or noise level around me, I would never grow. And if I allowed quiet to be tied to the noise, the distractions, I would need to constantly be away from the joys of my life. The big joys of my family and the small joys of music and friends a small app away.

But that is not how life was designed. We were not made to live apart from the noise. We were not made to live separate from joy. No. Instead, we were made to live in a place, in a place of intentionality. A place where we choose to live for God, in His word, in His love. And through that choice, we find our quiet. We grow. And we thrive.

The problem is this. We must find our place and our pace. We need to take intentional living one step farther. We must also find what speed we can thrive in. Where we still find quiet. Where we can still be intentional. Life is moving ever faster. Technology allows us to complete more things, to be more places. To do more. Each day I have to remind myself to say no. To stay healthy. Because though I can complete more than I do, I would no longer find quiet. I would be hurried. I would be busy. And I would forget. I would lose my intentionality. I would lose my growth. I would lose. Everything.

So today. Today I urge you. Stop. Think about the pace of your life. Are you finding quiet? Are you being intentional with what you allow to distract you? Are you rushing from one ‘yes’ to another? If you are, I want to encourage you. I was there too. And I was overwhelmed. I was not at my best. And that is okay. It is okay to not be enough, to not be able to accomplish everything. For everyone. But what you can do, you can quiet your heart. You can intentionally live in a way that allows you to find quiet and to find joy. Real joy. I would love to pray for you as you walk through this transition to quiet. Just leave a note in the comments, or contact me here

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Today I am joining Esther Emery for the #WholeMama link up. I am excited to be in a community of mama bloggers that are willing to be real, vulnerable and honest. But most of all, that can show the amazing beauty and grace through it all. Each week we will be discussing one word and what it means to each of us. I would love if you joined in too! You can find more information on the original #WholeMama post, here.

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49 thoughts on “Intentional Quiet {#WholeMama}

  1. Such a beautiful post. I’ve been working on finding my quiet a new way since having a baby. I used to lay and meditate for hrs which is simply not a option now. I think I find the most quiet on our walks 🙂

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  2. Ashley, I just love your words this morning. Lately I have been in a habit of rush and impatience. And I know now it is because I have been lacking the spiritual growth and one on one time with the Lord that I so desperately need. I need to really meditate on His word rather than just reading a quick devotion in the morning. I need to soak it up and just revel in it and enjoy His peace. Thank you for this timely reminder.

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    • Thank you, Julie. I am with you. I try to spend daily time reading the Bible, but I can tell the days I’m not (and I’m sure the rest of my family could too). I’m not patient with my children, I’m not enjoying my life. I grumble. I needed this reminder today, and am so thankful it reminded you too! I’ll be praying for you! 💛

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  3. Ashley, I am really enjoying your posts and the way your heart and love for the scriptures comes through. That void, that sense of quiet at the beginning of creation, is a beautiful thing to think upon. Thanks. -Chara

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  4. Funny, I hit the same roadblock when I saw the word “quiet” Monday evening. I had a post written in my notebook and thought about skipping #wholemama this week but started “free typing” and some hard stuff came out. Not my usual style, but it felt good to explore a deeper meaning of quiet. You’re right about having to be intentional about claiming some quiet…thanks for the encouragement!

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  5. Life is so rushed. I have found that since I’ve been consciously setting aside “quiet” reflection and prayer/meditation time I’m a much happier woman (and wife and mommy!).

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  6. I used to hate quiet. I feared quiet. I despised quiet. But now, maybe with and because of littles in tow, I LOVE quiet. And summer, like you hinted at as well, seems to be made for quiet. Here’s to embracing ….quiet. 🙂

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  7. I love the idea of FEELING quiet in the midst of noise. Reading this post makes me feel a little quieter, in fact. Lovely insight, as usual 🙂

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  8. This is wonderful! I am finding lately that I am craving quiet more than ever. I used to always play music when I’m out walking the dog, but now I leave it off and just enjoy the quiet. I talk to God. I don’t think. I look around and appreciate the nature surrounding me. I listen to the birds. I find peace. We all need to seek out quiet more often.

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  9. Perfectly said ❤ I find so often that if I don't set aside time EVERY SINGLE DAY to be "in" God's word and to just shut up and listen to what he's saying and have an intentional dialogue, it will go by the wayside once the kids/husband/animals are up and needing me. This is a simple reminder for me to set aside that time. Thank you 🙂

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  10. Love this idea of intentional quiet. I think this is so important, especially as parents with constant “loud” demands around us all the time.

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  11. “But when I enter into quiet. When I intentionally choose to still my heart. To sit quietly with my Lord. To read His words. I grow. I see that grace. I see His never ceasing, abounding love. And I feel quiet. I feel calm. I feel peace.” I really like this, Ashley, because it is truth. We do have to intentionally choose to take that time to sit still, to read His word and be at peace. It’s not always easy and we think we don’t have time. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes or seconds for us to take a deep breath, relax, refocus and let God’s peace wash over us giving us grace to jump back into whatever is at hand.

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  12. I love your idea of altering the definition of quiet. Feeling quiet from within. Finding our growth in that quiet. It’s such an amazing concept of consciousness, really. Being still. And aware of the stillness no matter what other loudness surrounds. Beautiful!

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