My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen to my words. Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart.
Proverbs 4: 20 – 21
I have been at an interesting point in my life in the past 6 months or so, everything seems to be happening fast and slow all at the same time. I have a direction I want each part of my life to go in, I have an outcome in mind, but the road to get there seems foggy and bumpy. It has caused me to become disheartened at times, which combined with all of these lovely pregnancy hormones has caused some awful breakdowns for me.
I keep thinking of everything I need to do to get the blog where I want it, to get my photography business where I want it, and my to do list just keeps getting longer. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands how hard I work to get to where we need these parts of our life to be, but not many other people in my life understand what exactly it is that I do or how hard I have to work to get these two aspects of my life to become successful. And that gets hard, it makes the road just a little more foggy, a little bit more bumpy, the breakdowns along the way a little more frequent, and sometimes I wonder if I can really do it. Especially because I am a dreamer – a big dreamer. I have these incredible goals I want to reach and there is so much work that I have to do to get there that every little bump feels like a roadblock. I let the doubters creep into my mind, I let the Devil put those lies in my ears and I hear them as truths.
On top of my professional goals, my main concern is being a good wife, mom, and follower of Christ. When I succeed at those 3 roles, my career goals become a little easier. They drive me, they give me a “why”. And I just needed a little silence to understand that.
Last week, I was at my breaking point, and I honestly had no idea why. I felt like I had a mountain on top of me and I couldn’t keep up with everything I needed to do. SJ decided not to nap that day, and I needed that break but instead it broke me. I texted DJ that when he got home I was going to Target to get a few things we needed. That trip to Target did more for me than I could ever put into words, it gave me the silence I needed to hear God. I didn’t realize that’s exactly what it was until mass the following weekend. I just knew God was present during that trip and there was a change in my heart.
I’ve been trying really hard to listen to the readings and the homily (which is difficult with an 18 month old), to hear what God is trying to tell me, to look deeper into His word and past the sometimes confusing wording of the Bible. The first reading that service was from 1 Samuel 3 when God calls out to Samuel in the night, but Samuel believes it to be Eli. Each time God called out to him, he went to Eli. When he went to Eli for the third time after being called by God, Eli understood what was going on and told him if he is called again to say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” This got me thinking, how many times does God call out to us and we don’t realize it’s Him? How many times is He there calling us, to help us, and we don’t hear Him?
But whoever listens to me will have security. He will be safe, with no reason to be afraid.
Proverbs 1: 33
I will say that our priest gives one of the best homilies around, he always seems to know what I need to hear. That Sunday he said in reference to the first reading that sometimes there is too much noise to hear God, but he also said that the silence can make us uncomfortable. But that’s what we need. We need the silence to hear Him. And my silence, was a solo trip to Target.
I’ll be honest, that trip was not very silent. I had the music loud in the car, because, well. I’m a mom and I don’t get to do that often. I was in Target which is anything but silent, and I was surrounded by all of those lovely clothes and decor Target somehow makes you believe you need (I know I’m not the only one who goes in for 2 things and comes out with 20). But that’s what God needed me to do to hear Him; that was the silence I needed. It was getting away for a brief moment and focusing on me and Him. Your silence to hear Him will be different than my silence to hear Him. What He said to me was “buy these books, throw that devotional in your cart too, get this planner, focus on what you want and how I can help you.” Yeah, I know, that sounds more like what Target says to you, but the silence on the way home made me realize it was God. Those books, that all speak His word, are to help me see through the fog, that devotional is to help me keep up on the daily maintenance I need, and that planner is how to get over the bumps.
As I heard him say these things to me, I realized I can’t let the lies the Devil is telling me get into my heart. I didn’t make a New Years resolution really, but God made it clear as day what 2018 needs to be for me. I need to spend more time in silence, so that I can rock this year. So that I can reach my goals. So that I can make my dreams a reality. So that I can be an amazing mom, an amazing #momboss. That I really can do this as long as He is by my side.
I woke up the next morning with pep in my step, and then in all my gracefulness hopped right down a hill. Yeah, that next day was awful. I had such positivity that morning, I was on top of the world, and then it came crashing down. I cried so much that day and looking back, I have no idea what happened to even bring those tears to my eyes. I asked DJ “How did I start this day with such a positive outlook, and now it has turned into this?” I’ll tell you how, the Devil saw I let God’s word into my life and I was going some place with it, and he wanted to ruin it. Not this time, though.
This time I had already heard what God needed me to hear, he gave me the tools I needed, and I beat the Devil. I woke up the next day just as determined, and I didn’t let those lies creep into my heart. I remembered my trip to Target, I remembered the silence, and I am ready to rock 2018 with Him by my side. It’s going to be an ongoing battle this year, especially with all the changes that will be coming this year. Those changes are what is going to push me. One of the thoughts of perspective I had on the way home was that, these dreams aren’t just for me. I am doing these for my family, so that we can have a better life. Yes, these dreams are my passions, but they have the potential to fulfill my one true passion which is to help make my family’s life the best it can be. And I will work through whatever roadblock the devil wants to put in my path. The doubters, the lies, the heartbreak, the never ending to-do list and not enough time to do it – whatever it might be – I can push through because I have silence.
As my priest said, silence can be uncomfortable. If your mind is anything like mine, it never freaking shuts up. It is hard to let God in when there all these other thoughts fighting for you to hear them. Which means trying to shut off all the noise can be strange, it isn’t what you are used to, it’s uncomfortable.
Think that feeling you get when your kids are playing but then it’s silent. You get this uncomfortable feeling that something isn’t right. That’s what we think of when we think of silence, but instead think nap time silence. The silence when you know everything is right, when everyone is getting that recharge they need. When you can relax, or clean and do laundry and all the stuff you can’t do when the kids are awake. But it’s still a peaceful silence even if you are doing things. Even if there is still noise, there’s a stillness. I guess that’s what we really need—stillness. Stillness in your heart to let God throw the stone of his call and let the ripple of it go all through you.
Embrace the silence, whatever your silence may be. Feel the stillness of your heart so God can speak to you in whatever way he needs to reach you. And if you want to use this blog post as an excuse to go to Target, well hey, that works too. Because who knew God could use Target as a tool to call to me?