Sunday, June 22, 2014

Experiencing Silence at Lunchtime: Listening to the Lord

Pausing in silence and stillness, I take a moment to gaze out my window. I am eating lunch and all of my children are quiet. Teresa, Veronica and Noah are all napping. Joshua is reading quietly in another room. Let's just say this doesn't happen everyday. And if it does, I usually take advantage of it by "getting stuff done."

Today,  I don't. Not that there isn't an eternal to-do list. There always is. But rather than eat my lunch while reading a book, catching up on the news, watching TV, writing a Vacation Bible School letter to parents or writing emails, I decide to close my computer and eat my lunch in silence.

I take a few bites and then set down my fork. I look out the window. The sky and clouds are layered on top of each other in an eternal vastness, reminding me of my Creator. At the moment, I remember that He is with me. I feel His presence. I immediately begin to talk to Him in prayer, "Thank you for this moment of silence."

Upon saying the word "silence," I realize that I am disturbing the silence with my own thoughts and prayers. Instead, I choose to listen. I close my eyes and breathe deeply in and out, only whispering in my mind a couple of time, "I praise you."

My heart beats harder in my chest, reminding me that God is not only around me but within me. I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

I open my eyes. Looking out the window renewed, the world is actually, literally brighter. The sun has peaked from behind a cloud and streams of sunlight pour down. A flying bug lands on our deck. I continue to observe God's creation. A small bird lands just outside my window. It flutters around and lands over and over and finally flies away. The branches sway gently. God is all around me. Tears fill my eyes.

The moment comes and the moment goes, ebbing and flowing from me like the tide. Eventually it passes. I wait to see if there is any more, not wanting it to slip away. But of course it does. Ironically, when the moment has gone, I immediately pop open my laptop to write it down. It was so wonderful, I wanted to remember it and share it.

All of this occurred on a random Monday afternoon.

I recently shared a five-part series on weight and motherhood. After that, I thought a lot about it and wondered what my next step would be. I prayed a lot about it, did a lot of research and have been reading a lot.

But one lesson that I've learned so far is to turn off the computer, the Kindle, the TV and just eat. Experience my meal. Savor it. Enjoy it. And thus, be more satisfied. Not just with the actual food, but with the experience of enjoying a meal.

If I hadn't done that last Monday afternoon, the silence and the stillness would have slipped by and I would not have even noticed the way the Lord was trying to speak to me in that moment.

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