Use The Silence
I grew up Catholic, so the Lenten season is very familiar to me. I can recall many years trying to find something to give up, usually landing on chocolate or TV (because being in 2nd grade and not having chocolate is a real hard thing).
For the past several years, since becoming a mom, I have tried to focus more on a specific spiritual practice to add into my life that will draw me closer to God rather than giving up something tangible. Because if I am being honest, the early years of motherhood are hard, and giving up something else just seemed like too much.
As I imagine most families do, the Meyers lead a very full and often very busy life. Our day-to-day is packed with so many things. We are usually rushing out the door to head to school and work and when we get home we are rushing into the house to prepare dinner, do homework, and get the kids in bed. I constantly have ideas, thoughts, and to-do lists running through my head and not a lot of space or time where I can sit in silence, to be still and have the opportunity to hear from God. There’s not typically a lot of extra space where I can remove all the clutter—figuratively and literally.
But this year, in Herndon’s Ash Wednesday service, I felt God speaking to me through Zach’s words and was led to give up something during this Lenten season. As I thought about the areas that take my focus away from God, I quickly knew what I should abstain from during this season—noise, specifically in the car while I am driving alone. I know this seems small, but I love podcasts and audiobooks (email me if you’d like some recommendations) and look forward to times when I am alone in the car and able to catch up on recent episodes or continue on in my book.
So here I am: a week and a few days in since giving up noise and I have noticed that the quiet space I’ve given myself has been filled with prayer for my day, my family, and friends. I have been able to reflect on the day’s Scripture through Summit’s Gospel Reading Plan and I actually have begun to look forward to the silence for those 10 minutes before arriving at work or picking up my Molly girl. I have been able to use the silence to connect with God, to hear from him, and seek relationship with Jesus.
And what started out as silence while I am alone has turned into limited podcasts, music, or audiobooks while in the car with my kids. This practice has opened up additional opportunities for conversation with my kids about their day and even opportunities for them to experience the joy of silence. To appreciate having the space to think and reflect in a world that is full of noise and voices coming at them all the time. I think it’s my job to help create healthy boundaries and model them so my children can see silence, reflection, and prayer lived out in my daily life.
So whatever you’ve decided to give up for Lent (and if you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late), I hope it draws you closer to God, his word, and relationship with him.