The faraway jet moves closer. I stop what I’m doing, look up into the cool October sky. I’m careless, though, and instead I gaze straight into the sun, white turns green against my eyelids.
The jet is over my head, I can tell by the heavy loudness in the air. Smarter now, I cup my hand at my eyebrows and look up again. Too many trees block the way and the jet sounds change from coming to going.
I’m missing it.
But really? I’m 35 years old. I’ve seen jets before. Why am I still compelled to look, drop everything to find the source of the growling roar?
The louder the sound, the more instinctual my attention.
Cloaked in quietness, the vine climbs higher, inches her way across the white picket fence. These introverted buds whisper their growing secrets only to those who stop to listen.
I’m missing it.
This time, it’s true.
The urgent bursts into the room, dramatic and demanding.
The important things whisper, steady and waiting.
I have a lot to learn.
Every weekend in October I’m in a different city. Good things, all good things. But there is stillness of soul and quietness of heart I long to learn. I’ve been blogging now for almost seven years, writing books for three.
There is a time to speak, and I’ve been doing a lot of it.
There is also a time to keep silence.
I want to learn a new rhythm of listening. I desperately need to hear God, to hear the shape of my own desire, to confront lingering fear that still smokes through my insides. I’m writing through the learning for 31 days this month, a small bit each day.
31 Days to Hush: Thoughts on Becoming a Curious Listener.
The irony is not lost on me, this incessant talk of listening.
I refuse to feel guilty for the way I learn best. And so I write through the learning this month, the learning of listening and hearing and waiting.
Do you feel the pull to quiet this October?
by emily at Chatting at the SkyLeave a Comment
I am glad you are refusing to feel guilty for the way you learn best. I am glad you are writing on this topic this month. To get to read what the Father is showing you on your journey in the midst of my own journey is a blessing and a gift. Thank you for sharing the gift of words.
I am not such a good listener. I am an interrupter…wanting to get my words in…sometimes because I want you to know I get you and sometimes because I fear how the conversation is going. Add in the distraction of the urgent that you talk about so beautifully here and, oh my, how I need this month of quiet. Who knows what I may hear! 🙂
Blessings to you,
Emily Freeman says
“I am an interrupeter..” it’s good that you know that, Kimberly! Insightful that you even realize why.
I’m glad you’re joining in the listen this month…
I am wanting to learn too!! Learning to listen is not an option for a Christian. It is vital if we are to follow the particular path He has for each of us!~ Learning to listen takes effort and stillness which is very hard for me, for most of us, but I am wanting it!! Thanks for writing about that very thing this month. I am eager to learn right alongside! May God bless your writing!
Dana Butler says
I LOVE THIS POST!!!! This is what the Lord’s been cultivating in me also… this desire for a still, quiet space inside my heart, where I’m silent before Him and moving more and more into depth of communion with the Unseen…. I crave it so much. Praying that you find this in a deep way, that God shows you how to carve out room for it in your life…. praying this for myself too! 🙂
Love this Emily. Learning to listen and find the quiet with you.
This entire mini-study couldn’t have come around at a better time. I’m playing the role of a mom and dad for about six months. My husband is deployed to Afghanistan…..I have noticed not in my three boys, yet in ME that I need to sit back and hush and listen a bit more. Connecting in many ways with my boys and with Him is my ultimate goal. It’ll be tough, but I intend to make this happen and see just what I’ve been missing and what I can learn. Trilled with excitement but will quietly redeem it to all…..quietly know that I’m doing good so far. 🙂
Thank you Emily, thank you
Thank you, Sherry, for the huge sacrifice of your husband and family!! I pray you’ll find moments of quiet when He will fill you to overflowing…
Shelly Miller says
I long for the quiet, the whisper of His voice in my every. single. day. Thank you for your determination to find it and hold it like lost treasure. It’s inspiring.
Mary@The Calm of His Presence says
Absolutely beautiful! It is in the quiet where I learn the most too!
Loved this!! “the urgent bursts in…The important things whisper…”
Yes, I am feeling the pull to quiet this October. HE’s using you and your posts through this 31 days to take me there. Thank you for being willing to share what you’re learning, so I can learn along with you.
I feel the very urgent necessity toward quiet this month. Life is chaotic. Our prayer times are constantly threatened by whatever Satan can throw at us to keep us from worshiping the Triune God through prayer. I personally need more margin built in for the quieter realities around me. It is such a joy when I can just….be still and know God. Thank you for reminding all of your readers of how the important things whisper, steady and waiting. However we cannot neglect those quiet important things too long, for they will soon wither and die.
I’ve always loved quiet. It’s my natural habitat. 🙂 I can curl up on the sofa in a quiet house with a mug of tea, some soft music, and my journal and be good to go for hours. To have that kind of uninterrupted time is a luxury these days with two small children. But I’ll take snatches of it whenever I can. And I find that when I do that regularly, I start to crave it. Whenever anything is happening in life, I want to go to a quiet place with my journal and talk to God about it. And I find myself talking to God a lot more as I go about the busyness of life too. And I find Him speaking to me more. I love it.
Emily Freeman says
That is key, Melissa – to learn quietness even in the midst of the chaos. I’m paying more attention to that.
Sarah Comley Caldwell says
“I want to learn a new rhythm of listening. I desperately need to hear God, to hear the shape of my own desire, to confront lingering fear that still smokes through my insides. I’m writing through the learning…”
These words are pure wisdom and breathtaking ‘prosetry’ –thank you so much for this post! Blessings!
Emily Freeman says
Sometimes I wonder if the way I write even makes any sense – so thanks for that.
Lady diAnne Phillips says
Your words have made so much sense to me over and over Emily. I was finally able to buy your Grace for the Good Girl book and am reading every, every word. It is like you are at a retreat and we are sharing a dorm at the University of Life. I am having a silent conversation with you when I am reading your book. I can’t get to sleep because I literally rest on every word until my soul breathes and I fall asleep until the next chapter of our story unfolds together.
So Emily, please don’t wonder if the way you write makes any sense…please know that GOD has blessed us with YOU and HE has chosen YOU to whisper loudly into the depth of our understanding as we are honored by HIS presence in our quiet place with HIM and YOU.
This is thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I have added YOU to my list of gratitude blessings.
So from this Canadian HeArtist who wears her heart on her sleeve this thanksgiving….Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are.
Loved your post Emily! Absolutely … I can relate. Blessings my Sister … keep writing! Loved it!
Rachel Goode @ Heirs with Christ says
My friend Christen posted some songs today on her 31 day series about “Living Out Loud.” She noted that both songs spoke of living loud for Christ, yet both songs had a very quiet feel. And I thought of your series… perhaps we live loudest for Christ in the quiet!
Here’s her post with the songs: http://bit.ly/QPOZdM
I loved your post here today!
Mindy Rogers says
You make such a good point about how the “loud” in our lives is usually good and worthy things. I should be willing to turn them down (even though they are good) and devote space to the quiet.
Can’t wait to see where this series will go 🙂
“I desperately need to hear God, to hear the shape of my own desire, to confront lingering fear that still smokes through my insides.” I love this, Emily…you’ve captured what I’ve been trying to articulate to myself for a long while. It takes a certain kind of courage to be internally honest. I wish I could hear Him the way Adam and Eve could actually “hear”, instead of just looking for reflections of His kindness in people, and traces of His mercy in hindsight…
Living a 1/2 hr of silence each day was life changing for me. God speaks loud and clear when we are still enough to listen. I also highly recommend “Inner Compass” a book by Margaret Silf on discernment and learning how to feel the movements of God in our lives.
Thanks, AJ – your encouragement is so helpful!
Teresa S says
I find it interesting that God had me read your post today. It is like he is showing me where I have been. I am working on coming out of a season of quiet and listening (2 years actually), I feel like I am being called out of silence, called to share a story, my story. God has taught me so much and now he has given me the courage to offer to speak at church. I love how God has you listening but you are doing it out loud when you let us see it through your words.
Women Health − Finding Quiet Spaces in a Loud, Loud World says
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Nikole Hahn says
September 11 the sky felt blessedly without the noise of jets. When you live in the country, you love the silence of the woods, the high desert, and the valleys and mountains. The roar of a jet disturbs that and when September 11 happened (sad day for America) I heard silence. Just the silence of grounded jets. Such a rare thing to find complete silence in the modern world. We’ve got so many distractions.
I am choosing to listen and love with a quiet heart. Thank you for your encouragement to find the hush in our lives.
Beth Williams says
I desperately long for quiet any time. Work is busy, noisy, hectic; life is hectic, rush paced. I feel as though I’m on a merry go round & I want/need to get off–go somewhere be quiet for a while. I want the quiet ease of summer.
Right now I’d love to find a cabin in the middle of nowhere & just sit with hubby & watch animals go by & look at the beautiful sky & waters.
It’s hard to hear God & be near him in the hustle & bustle of daily living.
Tracie Braylock says
Oh, how I feel the pull to be quiet this October! To still myself; to quiet my spirit while listening to His, and to write through it all.
God desires to be near us. He’s drawing us close to Him and wants us to just be. I’m basking in His presence soaking Him in and allowing Him to love on me.
What a blessing! What a joy! The essence of God in and all around me.
So thankful for this post! I am so encouraged.
Thank you for letting us in on your journey this month. One that The Lord has invited me on years ago and ebbs and flows ever since. I find myself longing for Him and reminded that the desire to listen, the patience to wait, and faith in His love for me even when my ears are still being trained all comes from Him alone. I cannot do this listening without the power and discernment of His Spirt within me. Lately He is telling me to “lean in” and I am enjoying the many ways He is showing me what that may mean. Blessings, fellow traveler!
I’m always one to talk. I’m very outspoken on issues…all kinds of issues. Funny I should read this post today. I have been feeling lately like spending more quiet time seeking God and listening is what I need to do. Life’s so busy…it’s so easy to get distracted. Time to recenter myself with my maker.
Sue Tell says
Loved this post. I too have been learning much about quiet. This extrovert loves–needs–her quiet places and spaces. Many of the posts on my blog speak about this. Today I just re-wrote one I titled “Quiet or QUIET”. Some of my practical steps I shared on a post titled Mini-Sabbaths. My blog is Echoes of Grace and is found at http://www.suesgracechoes.blogspot.com.
Kristin Blankenship says
Yes, I do! I was just thinking to myself over the weekend that I need to slow-down and just be in the presence of God. Sometimes I get so caught-up in my projects, that I start to lose the connection to my source of inspiration – God himself!