“Will you please be quiet!” I say very firmly to my children – I’m obviously a little on edge this morning. My kids look up at me, a little confused – “but mum” they say, “we aren’t making any noise!” True story – this has happened a few times to me. I see movement as noise. I hear movement. It crowds me in and I hit overload. In these situations I had to adjust my instruction – “well, will you please be still – or go outside and play!”
Once when Josh was just a toddler I was getting very antsy at church. He was so noisy today. Eventually I whipped him up and took him out the back. After a while I came back in. Later on Pete asked me “What’s up?” I explained to him that Josh was so loud today and I just had to take him out. Pete looked at me weirdly – he wasn’t really making any noise! In reflecting on it he was busy that day, but yes, quiet – but I heard the movement as noise.
Sometimes my life is so busy, so full that my head is full of noise. Surround Sound. It fills my head. There are things to do, books to read, people to see, projects to complete. It is like each activity creates its own sound wave in my head – and when the head gets full they start jarring with each other.
This morning I read of a few books and courses to help mums get back from being overwhelmed. I’m sure they are good, I’m sure they will be helpful. But I couldn’t help but wonder if they are just more noise. Just another thing to do. Is this blog post itself just more noise? Sometimes we just have to turn off the noise – stop it all and sit and listen to quiet.
Turn off the surround sound.
It is much easier to walk away from reading a book or blog post – we just put it down or click it away but how do we walk away from all the things that we need to do? This is a serious question – and no doubt the one that has driven those books and courses I saw on offer.
But what do we really need to find quiet from all the noise in our life? Jesus withdrew from the crowds regularly. He withdrew from the noise to spend time with his Father. This is our example.
Susannah Wesley – a very busy woman with upto 10 kids around – is known for putting her head on the kitchen table, covered it by her apron. That was her signal – she was withdrawing from the crowds, withdrawing from the noise and spending time with her heavenly Father. Putting your apron over your head isn’t that hard. We could all do it – or do an equivalent.
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I am sure the first time Susannah did this her young kids thought she was playing a game – I am sure they tried to peep under and get her attention. For that to become her known habit she must of persevered and taught her kids to leave her be – this was her time with God. We can do the same.
Today – find time to turn off the sound – walk away from the noise, and meet with Jesus.
Turn off the noise, and find peace.