Finding Comfort in the Silence

I wrote last week about being physically stifled by the silence of my summer, and in doing so, I allowed those closest to me to know what I was feeling and had been unable to express. Breaking my own silence, allowed those individuals whom I love and who love me, to truly know what I was enduring and pray for me… help me to be able to pray for myself, once again. It has also been in this last week that I have stepped outside of my comfort zone a time or two and allowed for more of the people around me, to really see me. I have never underestimated the power of prayer, but in this last week I have certainly felt the comfort of prayer more than I have in a very long time.

It has been in this last week, that I was reminded by others, as well as myself that silence isn’t always a bad thing, in fact… just this morning I was reminded that I need to remember to “be still” in His presence. Allowing myself to meditate in the silence with Jesus and listen to His direction in my life.

 

So, I sit here this morning, coffee at my side, and listen… listen to what the silence has to offer. Nearly all sounds averted, yet, there are some that are reminders of all I have in my life. First sound, is that of the clock on the wall–ticking away, rhythmically, like a steady pulse; reminding me that within me, my heart too, beats with a steady pulse because God has given me the gift of life.

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Next, there is the sound of the rain that has been falling most of the morning… as it taps on the roof of my home, I am reminded that I have a roof over my head, I have a home that provides me with shelter and a gentle reminder that not all people are so blessed. As the rain falls on my lawn, I am reminded of our farmers in the community, harvest will be here before we know it and this rain will help them to have a bountiful crop. This crop will help provide many of us, even those beyond our little community with food for their tables. Listening to the rain fall, I am sadly reminded that there are so many who do not… that there are small children who might go without eating today.

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Then there is the sound of a train as it blows it whistle, as it passes through our sleepy little town. This is a reminder, not of the “noise”, but of what the train signifies for so many. Without trains, it would be much more difficult to transport so many different and important provisions all over the country. Whether it be food or fuel… the trains are vital, as well as providing jobs for so many people, allowing them to be able to provide for their families.

The next sound that breaks through the silence of my morning is actually that of two different sounds–first the dog quietly growling/barking at the noises and activities that our occurring outside our front door, and that of my daughter (who fell asleep on the couch) telling him to “be quiet”. It is through these two wonderful sounds, that I am reminded of all that I have that is comforting in my life, in this very moment. Today, I have my sweet daughter here at home with me. And even in her absence this summer, I had the comfort of our dog, to provide me with his unconditional love and protection. It is this thought, that of “unconditional love” that further reminds me of the One who also provides an unconditional love, if we so choose to receive it.

My devotional this morning (Jesus Always, Sarah Young) request that we “Come Rest With Me“, asking us to put aside some of the the tasks that may be urging us, to set them aside, ever so briefly and spend a few moments with the One who knows what we need. “I know what you need most” He tells us, “to be still in My Presence“. When we allow ourselves to take the time to find our balance, to set our feet on solid ground for the day; when we do so by meditating with Christ and doing so by reading His word… we equip ourselves to take on any given day, no matter how loud or how silent it may be. The Living Word of God gives us the necessary strength we need each day, as it “infuses” fresh life into us; moment by moment, throughout a given day.

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Once we are fueled by His Word, we can take on our day, and if we allow ourselves to–we can bring what He placed on our hearts, what He showed us in His Word; into our day, sharing and spreading His light and goodness to all. When you reach a moment that seems to hard, too difficult to get through on your own, whisper His name; quietly speak the name of Jesus and bring Him ever closer to you, His nearness will then provide you with the strength you need to move forward, stepping over any stone or hole in the path that lies before you. “In everything you do, put Me first“.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” ~ Psalm 46:10

 For the word of God is alive and active… it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12

He will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:6b

So I ask you, no I implore you, to embrace the silence, not the darkness, but the silence that will always allow you to find comfort in Him. Let Him speak to your inner most being, listen to His prompting; as He guides your soul… When you allow yourself to spend those first initial moments of your day with Him, He will provide you with what you need to guide you through anything that may be a part of the day’s path. Trust in what He shows you, allow Him to bring you through the silence and darkness, into His warm and loving light.

Until the next moment,

 

 

518,400 minutes

There are many of you out there who are familiar with the song “525,600 Minutes” reflecting on the minutes that make up 365 days, one year. 518,400 minutes is 360 days and as I was continuing to study the word #JOY in scripture this morning, I pondered what a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend I had, the joy I felt in the many wonderful moments shared with my two youngest daughters. This morning as I reflected, my thoughts went back to this time in my life just last year.

We had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, three of my four kiddos were home. (My oldest called me and we had a nice visit). First, I got to sing with one of my daughters at church Sunday morning, followed by being taken out for lunch. We continued to have a fun afternoon, watching movies and just being silly. It was a day filled with much laughter and love. My youngest baked me a chocolate cake from scratch! The day ended at the movie theater, watching the newest action flick of the summer. I felt happy and blessed.

This Mother’s Day I had my youngest two at my side as we headed off for Sunday worship and once again I was blessed to be singing with my daughter, this time her younger sister would join us. As I thought about what to sing, I thought about all that this past year has entailed for me, for us as a family. So, even though we sang it last year; I chose to sing the song “Blessings” by Laura Story again with my girls. It just seemed very fitting, this last year has certainly brought more pain and tears if you only look at the earthly aspects of this thing we call our life. Yet, for me, for my family–we know the blessings that can come from the trials and pain that God allows to come our way. (Let us not forget about His faithful servant Job). He is most certainly our comfort in the storm. In this past year, we experienced one of the worst storms we have had to face as a family to date.

518,400 minutes ago, on this day my phone would ring and after an initial familiar voice would start the conversation, a stranger would give me the terrible news. There had been an accident, it should have been fatal, but my daughter was doing well. They had been able to remove her from the wreckage and were proceeding to take her to the nearest trauma center.

Conscious. Broken bones.

The words still seem so fresh, so real as if they are being spoke again, right now in this moment. My son was still home, which I am forever thankful for. I doubt he will ever really know how much his presence in those early hours, days meant to me… how much he helped hold me together. I called one of my “moms” from our church family, to fill her in on what had occurred and to start the mighty power of prayer. As we drove the hour to where they were taking my daughter, an officer would call with additional information.

Fatal accident. Miracle.

I could smile through my tears as he said the later. Yes, through my silent tears I could smile; because my God is in the business of miracles. In those earliest days, I would share with others that I believed without a doubt that God must have big plans for my girl.

We would arrive at the hospital literally just behind the surgeon. As I glanced past my daughter to the corner where the docs and nurses were looking at her Xray, even an untrained eye would know it was bad. She would have surgery that night and our journey would begin. 518,400 minutes ago I nearly lost of of my children. Yet God, had other plans for her, for us as a family and we look on this moment, so many minutes ago as a way to show others who He is and how He can not only heal, but protect in the most awful of situations.

This Mother’s Day morning as we prepared to sing, my mamma’s heart was smiling as we lifted our voices, right here in the kitchen, praising Him. Thanking Him for all He has done in our lives this past year. We headed off to church (still singing in the car) and the girls waited for me to be done rehearsing with Worship Team before we did a mic check and sang through our song one last time. Then came the time for the girls to join me at the front of the church. I had decided to not share any words with our congregation as I was worried I would get too emotional and then not be able to sing at all.

We started singing, and after the first time through the chorus, as my daughters were singing the second verse, I could hear Kayleigh’s voice trailing off. I glanced over and watched as she swept away a tear or two. Then as they continued a bit further, she was just overcome with the emotion of it all. I pulled her to me and as she wept on my shoulder I sang with my younger daughter… praising Him, thanking Him because I indeed had a daughter to hold. By the final chorus she had joined us once again and our voices filled the sanctuary of our church with our simple act of praise.

What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

518,400 minutes ago we were allowed to experience this particular trial. It was in the midst of this storm, through every difficult moment, every hard night… we were also allowed to experience mercy, His Mercy, His Grace–His Presence in the midst of what seemed nearly impossible to bear. 518,400 minutes ago God gave us the opportunity to be His light, to share who He is. To be a living, breathing example of thankfulness and love.

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Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God is Good – All the Time.

Until the next moment-