Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Quiet Time

I have stood in a silent place and listened.
I have sat in the shade of a mighty wing and rested.
I have danced in a sweet meadow with no one to see me but God.
I have lived quietly . . .
And found it nourishing, satisfying, and, above all, blessed.

* * * * *

As a child, I loved those cozy books with glimpses down a rabbit warren or peeks behind the walls into a mouse house.  I pored over each heavily-detailed page depicting life among a mouse family dressed in period togs, seated by a warm fire, reading a story to sleepy babes, while sipping bedtime beverages from floral-sprigged china.  The picture of bliss:  Home Sweet Home.

While I love a robust adventure or a romantic saga, a cottage-cozy tale replete with tasty meals, tufted ottomans (why isn’t it ottomen?), and a tumbling garden always gets my vote.  I have a burgeoning collection of “bedtime reads” that coddle and comfort before I drift off to sleep.  Finding such joy in the quiet spaces of my day sustains me and breeds contentment.

Once upon a time, I sought, sought, sought fulfillment through events, acquisitions, and goals.  I worked hard at being, doing, and achieving.  The “rewards” flowed steady, but I was often too tired or overbooked to enjoy the sweet fruits of the sweaty labor.  I craved rest but had a hard time scheduling for it.  I “collapsed” now and again, naming it rest.  In due time, I would drag my still-crumpled and weary body back onto life’s treadmill and plod along.

Somewhere along life’s path I found tiny moments to steal away and hide from the taskmaster I called life.  I felt guilty as I soaked in a tub without an instruction book clasped in my damp hands.  Guilt whispered harshly when I lay down and cuddled a child in the shadow of a billowing laundry basket.   In fact, guilt hissed at me so often and from so many places that I began to just ignore it like the distant hum of a neighbor’s leaf blower.  “It will pass,” I assured myself as I stopped up my ears with laughter and celebration in a tiny moment spent tickling a beloved tummy.  These random moments of pure fun or sweet quiet began knitting together to form a shawl of beauty and warmth to wrap round me as I rambled through the busy days as wife/mommy/daughter/sister/friend.  Little pearls of wisdom and joy threaded through the fabric of my daily mantle adorning, as well as, strengthening its fiber.  Peace and contentment grew in the shadow of these loving, nurturing moments woven by and through and around me.

I have no idea when I first noticed that I could no longer hear guilt’s guttural grumble; nor do I wish to retrace my steps to find such an unwelcome companion.  Instead, I greet each day with a cuppa tea and a quiet time, fresh and ready for joy to meet me.  Some days I read, others I write, and often I simply gaze in wonder at the freshly-sprung day and all its blossoming beauty.  One need only pause and look to find once barren twigs come to life with floral frosting or a simply threaded web hosting a dewy dressing rivaling a Tiffany display.  Life stores unmatched artistry in the quiet corners of our life.  We need only open our eyes as we rest our hands and our mouth.   This wondrous cape of life and love wraps me up in readiness for whatever I may encounter as I sojourn on this earth.  I may keep my shawl closely pulled on those chilly morns, and later pillow it behind my head on a warm bed of grass beckoning me to cloud gaze.  I used to run through the day chasing bossy To Do’s and anxious checklists, but now I step softly and listen, for there is so much to be found in a quiet time.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:  And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 
1 Kings 19:11-12


joanne said...

there is peace and contentment to be found in quiet time...I don't know why it takes us so long to figure that out! Nice to see you post, hope all is well.

Becky said...

Thank you. :)

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hi Joanne,

Thanks for the welcome back to blogging. It has been a long time for me, hasn't it? Life became busier and busier and I simply dropped the blog. But . . . I felt it calling to me, so I came back. Thanks for being here. :)

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED your teacup post (I think it inspired me to jot a bit on the old blog page). I miss the old days of blogging and commenting and "meeting" people from all over the world. I finally joined Facebook a little more than a year ago, but it just isn't quite the same -- so commercial in many ways and no new people to meet. *sigh*

Thanks again for the nice comment.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

My dear Becky,

You are welcome. Thanks for commenting. I actually wondered if I still had readers after such a long hiatus. It's nice to be back, and doubly nice to be welcomed back with comments. :)

Jeannette said...

Blogging is not a job...it is a giving...and coming and going is an important part of the process.

One of the only blogs I have deleted was oddly someone who blogged everyday and the content deteriorated under the pressure and self enthrallment to post.

Thank you for this very sweet and insightful sharing...sojourn on!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

My Dear Jeanette,

You will never know how much this encouraged me today! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me. My post today is all about that very struggle to blog with inspiration rather than compulsion. Blogging is indeed a gift, not a job!