It was one of those days when I was exhausted. My mind was traveling faster than my car going down I-65 heading home from many errands. My phone was full of little red circles indicating messages representing conversations and decisions needing to be made.
Despite the air conditioning in my car, beads of sweat chased my makeup down my face and pooled in the edge of my top. I was on my fifth phone call in an hour – one call clicked into the next. My ear was going numb and beginning to give up the ghost (a southern expression when something dies or quits working).
Walking into the house, I lowered my arms, allowing the plastic bags filled with groceries, clothing and a few pharmaceuticals, to cascade to the floor with a thud. A ball of dust as big as my fist rolled belligerently past and into a new corner to hide. Two-fifteen in the afternoon, and I had not eaten breakfast or lunch.
Mentally and physically I had given all I had and was ready to stop to collect my thoughts. A cold glass of sweet iced tea accompanied me to the white wicker rocker beneath a fan on the back porch. One knee bent and pulled into my chest as the other leg hung low to keep the chair gently moving.
A cool breeze came off the pond, which caused the wooden mallet to bump against the long black tubes of the wind-chime. My head leaned back as I marveled how clunky tubes could produce a tune as delicate as lace.
As my breathing slowed I was aware of silence. It was the most profound silence I have ever heard, like a soul stirring song that has no sound – the sound of heaven intersecting with earth. Something within me roused from a slothful state as if feeling life pulsing after a cathartic state. My mind began to rest as my spirit began to rev.
Sometimes it feels like God is not near. We fear He is not traveling with us, navigating this adventure He called us to live. The truth is, His Spirit is with us at all times, but the problem is we don’t stop to recognize Him.
God has called us to a great adventure that we cannot possibly achieve in our own strength, talents or wisdom. It is a journey of unpredictable adversity, as well as God-size victory that we traverse without a map. The only way to achieve success and to be faithful to the call is to, each day find time to sit in the Profound Silence of Heaven intersecting Earth and listen to His Holy Spirit speak.
“Will God ever ask you to do something you are not able to do? The answer is yes–all the time! It must be that way, for God’s glory and kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world.”
― Henry T. Blackaby, Experiencing the Spirit: The Power of Pentecost Every Day
Ministry without pause can bring on weariness and waywardness. Jesus called His disciples away to a quiet place to rest. Christ’s example of coming away to rest can be difficult for those who pride themselves on productivity. I’m like a young child who has been told it is nap time. I throw my head back and protest, “But I’m not tired!”
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” Mark 6:31
Do you have trouble with taking time to rest?
So to help me with the need to achieve, I started bringing my journal or a devotional into the the rest time. It is not long before I feel the Lord’s presence speaking to my soul with meanings too deep for my mind to form words.
Rest time is a place to achieve. It is a place where can recieve. It is a place where deep calls to deep and spirit clings to spirit. And in the end, it is in the rest that we renewed.
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
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Oh, Diane, I could feel my body exhale when you sat in that chair. I often forget the importance of silence. It’s one of my favorite sounds in the world because when you have it you realize all that’s going on unnoticed – just like the Spirit. Thank you for the gentle reminder to find some time and space to just hush up.
Amy I’m so glad this ministered to you as much as it did to me. You are working hard at Trades of Hope so I”m glad you are taking some time to rest in the silence.
And so it is time for retreat. Diane, thank you for being the wise and obedient leader we needed to grow the Consilium into the community it has become. We honor your anointing and pray for Grace.
Chelle, you are an amazing hard worker too. I’m praising God for all He is doing in you as well as teaching you to rest in Him.
I’m looking forward to what the fall will bring for The Consilium! What a blessing to be a part (even a small part) of this!
Joan don’t minimize your part. The greeter is the first impression of the group. You make us look good and make the women want to come in! Thank you!
I look forward to the fall and enjoying the blessings of this group. Have a wonderful summer everyone! Blessings and hugs!
Thank you Melissa, We are going to have a great time this fall. Stay close to hear!! <3
Ah, silence! A rare commodity in our busy and full house! Thanks for this reminder to seek it out.
It truly restores my soul!
Hi Diane, this spoke volumes to me. I realized that thought I do not work a regular job I am working for the Lord. I have made myself almost too available to the people around me so that I have been neglecting myself. I just heard the Lord saying I need a week off and a day a week dedicated to me and Him. Not that it will be my only time with Him, but as I am at the beginning of a new season I need to be more purposeful about how I spend my time everyday. I have never been one to be very good with scheduling my time. With the Lord’s help, I hope to learn this summer. Thank you for your heart to share and being real, Diane.
It is pure gift when we slow down, listen to the silence — and find that God has been right at our elbow during all our frenzy and chaos. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for the Consilium sisterhood — and will be praying for you and seeking Him along with you as you open your heart to His direction.
Slowing down and being silent is so important yet so elusive! We all say we will pencil it in, but then we let life walk over that allotted time as if it’s not important enough. Great reminder to make it intentional, necessary and then go do it!
Oh wow, Diane!!! I wasn’t going to read this (ONLY because I am in the throes of writing my journaling playshop literally almost as I present it–though much preliminary work was done before)….but it’s always the way with a new class….sooo much to do and tweak to get it ready as I go along week to week. It will be far easier the second time around. So . . .as you know, I’ve purposely not been reading blogs. BUT I love you and all you say, I love the Consilium and feel very connected to it, and I have been sensing God’s repeated messages as a call to silence. I don’t even know where I got the first inclination of it about a month ago. And I’ve ignored it (largely because I am so addicted to TV news, and this election is burdening me big time). but tthat’s only part of it. I’m just not very brave. One summer, not all that many summers ago, my family and I gave up TV for 3 months, during the summer. It was difficult, but ultimately delightful. But I am also now praying about turning off Christian radio (the only kind I listen to, other than Bach or Baroque on my Internet radio), and maybe even not talking a day a week (can you imagine?)! As I was exiting the library two days ago, I saw this book on the display rack: Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence by Anne D. LeClaire (photographs by her son). It is a secular book, so I do not agree w/ all her points, but oh my: It’s gorgeously written and offers much food for thought (as you silently reflect upon it). And I had forgotten that I own the book! So . . . I am rereading it. I had also unearthed The Sacred Year: Mapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice by Christian author Michael Yankoski, and he too addresses the practice of silence (and I think McHugh mentioned this in the Listening Life). I would recommend all three books. Anyway, Diane, this really spoke to me. and now do I have the courage this summer (for howevr long God shows me) not to keep speaking, but to start listening–really listening–in the profound and palpable silence??? I do think that the silence palpates with a life and messages all its own (from the Lord), and that the title of the old Simon & Garfunkel song rings true: There really are Sounds of Silence.
Happy rest and listening Diane. Can’t wait to see what God speaks to you. You are precious in His sight and ours! xoxo
Honored to be here amongst y’all. I had about “given up the ghost” of arriving to work on time (@7:30) until l heard the gentle whisper of ‘get up earlier’ Really Lord!?! (He does know I’m not a good morning person, times I’m sure I can hear chuckling!) Thankful to have been obedient (this time), the still dawn awakening. Right there with you Diane,the silence is profound. Blessings and restoration to you and your team?
Oh Diane. Thank you for bringing me into your world – like best friends forever. Entering that Holy hush with you was refreshing. You’re a treasure!