Monday, March 21, 2011

What to Do When Quiet Isn't Happening

I've talked alot about different seasons of life, and in the last few months, I think I've turned yet another corner. If you've read my blog for very long, you know how I love that quiet hour in the morning with the Lord, but now I'm too tired to get up super early because of being up so much at night with the baby. I also really loved my afternoon quiet time, but the baby's afternoon nap is still at erratic times and my two-year-old naturally isn't as quiet awake as he is sleeping (he doesn't nap anymore). Plus there are some necessary extra activities I now have.

Anyway, quiet around our house is greatly limited now. I could let it stress me, and sometimes, I admit, I do. However, there are a few lessons I'm learning that I'm trying to grow into. Maybe they'll help you, too (or maybe you have a few more to add).

1. Keep a quiet heart. In the midst of outward noise, it is possible to be quiet inside. Part of this is being obedient. If I know I have allowed the noise to make me stress, there is a nagging feeling inside that I have been too harsh and impatient with my kids. I think another name for it is conscience. If I live in obedience to the Lord, I can have quiet in my heart regardless of the mayhem of a busy household.
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2. Be content. Another part of this is contentment. I have heard many mothers say (and have probably been guilty of it myself) that they can't wait to "get away from the kids". I've also heard older parents complain because their kids don't come around enough. Surely we can be content with the season we are in and appreciate the fact that another season is coming but this one is fleeting and needs to be enjoyed.

3. Do what you can. I love to picture Susanna Wesley, mother of many; including John and Charles, famous preachers and hymn writers. Historians say when she needed time to pray alone, she would put her apron over her head and her kids would know to leave her alone. I have employed various "aprons". This is where creativity comes in. I sometimes let an older child play with a younger child. Or I'll pop my little ones into the bathtub and read my Bible (or a magazine) nearby. I'll feed the baby and catch up on "computer time". Snatch a few minutes here or there instead of waiting for large time blocks which probably won't come.

4. Keep perspective. I can't imagine my husband whining to his boss about not having enough quiet time. He not only works in a noisy shop, but he has people around him constantly with which he has to interact. I have several teacher friends and daycare worker friends that keep groups of 20 and 30 children occupied for large blocks of time. They don't get much chance to kick off their shoes with a cold drink. The same could be said for virtually any occupation. Why are we tempted to act like our children are the problem when maybe we just need to realize what comes with our particular job?

#ds368 - Rebel Yell
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5. Appreciate life. I can't imagine Hannah of the Bible complaining about the lack of quiet once she held little Samuel (and later others) in her arms. I've seen mothers who waited long for their children and some who never got to be mothers at all but desperately wanted to. I've known mothers who had their children taken from them in death. Their quiet is as deafening as the noise of my house is--yet theirs is also accompanied by pain. Let's allow every ear-splitting yell and endless conversation to remind us that vibrant life is present with us. I like to think of it as abundant life.


  1. Great post! It is so hard sometimes, to keep life in perspective! Thank you for reminding me to appreciate the season I am in!

  2. I empathize with your situation. My younger child is waking up again at night and naps are sporadic, so I also miss this quiet time during the day, a time I used to rely upon. Like you, I try to focus in on the blessings and be joyful even if I don't feel very happy. It does come with the territory, and it takes work to find the way to be joyful through it.