Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quiet Time

In this busy world that we live in, finding some quiet time alone with ourselves, and with God can sometimes prove challenging.  In the electronic age that we live in with all the conveniences that we have available, it would seem that we should have more time to do things that really matter, since we save so much time with things like microwaves, and frozen dinners, and drive through restaurants, online shopping, and so on.



But instead of all these electronic conveniences making our lives simpler, and more manageable, it seems our world has done the opposite, and become more chaotic and busy than ever before.

With all the electronic conveniences, we are trying to  keep up with the lives of hundreds of people at a time.  





In the world of "more more more" that we live in, it would seem that once we get the "more" that we desired... whether it be a new car, a better job, a nicer house, more fashionable wardrobe, or exotic vacation... than our hearts are still as empty as they were before....Somehow achieving and receiving the "more" in our lives doesn't bring the happiness our heart craves and desires.

Since we've moved to Idaho, one thing that I've had a lot of is quiet time.

We left Texas with the 24/7 interstate traffic, and bustling cities and suburbs, with a restaurant open 24/7, or a store to browse, something to do... go.go.go.  was the thing we did each and every day.  I hardly cooked meals, sometimes on the weekends, but we ate out a lot.  Our eating out bill for the month was almost always as high as our grocery bill, and we thought nothing of it.  We were caught up in a fast pace of life, and didn't stop to think much of it.

 

So when we moved to Idaho, all that began to change.  I think of the night my kids and I experienced the "change"... We left the house about 7:00 to go into the little town nearby.  We hadn't been  in Idaho long, perhaps a week or two.  It was a rainy evening, and rather than spend the evening at home, we decided to just get out and go.

Well.

We didn't go far.  We traveled into town, and found that each and every last little store had closed up shop and rolled up their carpets at dark, and the only thing open in town was McDonald's, and Safeway.  Not even the library was open!

It was quite a shock to our system... at first.  I mean... we had come from a place where you could always find something to do, especially if it was only 7:00 in the evening! But we were 45 minutes away from the closest Wal-Mart, and I couldn't even get my weekly Wally-world fix! It felt like culture shock!  No Wal-Mart! No library! Not even a decent restaurant open (you can't hardly call McD's a place you'd want to eat at unless you just have to!) 

So.  When the dust settled, and the kids and I realized that we were going to spend evenings home alone with no stores open, nothing else to do but just stay home... that is when we began to learn the secret to a happy life.

Yes indeed.

Quiet time.  Home alone.  Nothing on the calendar.  Absolutely nothing.  Just an evening home alone.

We began to visit the library during daylight hours, and books became a welcome friend to us once more.  I began to read books that I hadn't read since childhood.  My daughter began to write beautiful songs on the piano.  My son spent more time outdoors and just playing basketball with his friends or carving bows and arrows, and playing with the dogs, and just being a boy.  Being outdoors.  Once summer rolled around, we took daily walks, and enjoyed hikes through the mountain trails.



And so I said all that to say this.... moving to Idaho completely changed us from the busy, run-run-run lifestyle we had always known living in Texas to a place where life has slowed down and the most beautiful things that life has to offer have been made more real to us.

Just enjoying the beautiful outdoors that God created for us to enjoy.

Spending an evening relaxing with a good book or the Bible.

Having the time to cook wholesome nutritious meals for my family.

Spend valuable time with my children, listening to how their day went, and sharing in their joys, sorrows, and silly incidents throughout the day.


Slowing down.  That's what happened when we moved to Idaho, and it has changed our lives one hundred percent for the better.

Taking time to smell the roses (or flowers...)

Having quiet time.

Time when there is nothing else on the calendar, but just time to do the things you've always wanted to do.

Time to cook a wonderful meal for your family.

Time to spend with your family.  Time to listen to their concerns, desires, and dreams.

Time to enjoy nature and the beauty God created for us.

Quiet time.  I am thankful for the lesson I have learned since moving here to Idaho.  How valuable my quiet time is to me now.  How precious each and every day is when I can enjoy my family, enjoy being the wife and mother God called me to be, and not to have stress pouring out of my very veins to try to keep up with the hecticness of a busy nonstop lifestyle... that involved conveniences of restaurants, shopping arenas, highways with instant access, toll roads, amusement parks and on the list goes... conveniences that really only serve to make life busier and more stressful, more consumed and more miserable.

If you find yourself in the place I have described above, in a place where you find you are on a treadmill running full steam, and can't seem to get off... perhaps you need to set aside some quiet time.

Just an evening with nothing on the calendar.  No menus to plan.  No groceries to buy.  No doctor's appointments to schedule.  No house to clean.

Just stop. 
 Stop everything. 
Relax, unwind, and read a bit.  
Sit still and quiet and just allow your mind to release some of its mental stress.  

Find a place in your home, if you can, where you can be alone.  Having quiet time alone is nourishment to the soul. Each one of us needs it.  Some need more than others.  But we all need some time alone.

And in that time alone, I encourage you to listen for the voice of God speaking to your heart.  For I know that God does not always speak in the thunder and roars of our life, but most often, He speaks very quietly and softly into our hearts when we open our ears to listen.

This is one of the quiet spots I have found.


Well, I know it doesn't look like much...

And it doesn't have to.

I just happened to carry an old rusted chair out to a favorite spot of mine in the woods, and every time I tromp back here with the dogs, I sit on my chair, and have some very special quiet time... for at least as long as the dogs will let me!


I don't know where your quiet spot could be... as I know many of you live in a very busy, hectic, fast-paced world. 

yet...

I wish that each one of you could have a quiet place... somewhere you can go that is private and quiet.  And let the stillness, and the quietness sink deep into your soul.

I have no doubts that you will find answers to things that trouble you.  You will feel peace where you once felt worry and fear.  You will find the rest your soul deeply desires from the busyness of your world.

Why don't you seek out and find your quiet place today?

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