These days we hear a lot about making “time,” “margin,” “space,” and “quality time.”
We read a lot about putting down the social media and spending more time with our kids. We talk about how busy we are and how we need to clear our schedules a bit so that we have more margin in our day.
There’s nothing at all wrong with that.
Except, I think, it’s missing one tiny detail.
I hit this nail on the head last weekend, (or rather, stumbled upon it quite by accident.)
See, I’ve been trying to find more time all year, and the harder I try, the busier my schedule seems to get. The busier I get, the more harried and stressed I feel. I’m always running around like the proverbial chicken, and my to do list is always insanely long.
Cutting things is definitely part of the answer. Trading electronic time for quality time is a good piece of the puzzle, too. But still my days have been full – from one thing to the next, one good thing to one busy thing to one great thing.
Maybe it isn’t quality time, or electronic free time (not exactly anyway,) or margin time, or organized time…. maybe what’s missing… is QUIET time. No, I don’t mean Bible study time (that’s important, too!)
No, I quite literally mean.. the quiet time. Those quiet times when life gets still. That still time found sipping coffee as the sun rises. That silent time spent sitting on a porch in a rocker feeling the breeze. Even quiet time spent in a comfy chair reading a book.
When I was younger (and Y’ALL, I’m NOT THAT OLD..) there was a lot more quiet time in my day. I mean, yes, I spent most of my day at school or college listening to my teachers, and then later, most of my day at work listening to co-workers, and even later, most of my day tending to babies and toddlers. But there was time.
There was time in the morning,
or the evening,
or on a lazy Saturday…
to just. be. still.
Before there were cell phones, tablets, and all other manners of mini computers to keep us company, before there was social media and an endless internet and limitless tv to watch… we didn’t feel the need to occupy every waking moment with noise and thought and chatter.
Seriously, y’all. I have always been a person who almost *needs* to fill the quiet with a tv show or music or something. I also like to talk to fill the silence. Grab a phone and chat. Visit with friends and chat. I don’t like to too much quiet, but I also know that we do need SOME. I feel like I know what I’m talking about here.
We don’t need THIS much noise.
The truth is, now, these days, I have time where I don’t have to go or do or be anything and I fill it up with stuff that makes my body lazy and attacks my brain with busy.
Cue the Grinch:
All the noise,
We. Don’t. Need. This. Much. Noise.
And it came to me all of a sudden, as I was sitting on my porch in my pjs, holding a cup of coffee in the cool morning, waiting for my husband to get back from an errand. There was no phone. No tv. No internet. I listened to the birds and felt the cool breeze and sipped on the coffee. I listened to my thoughts,. . . and though I actually had a very, VERY, busy day ahead of me, I felt….. peaceful.
I realized that I don’t have enough of THAT in my day. It doesn’t have to be early in the morning. It doesn’t have to be outside on the porch. It just needs to be quiet. Not silent quiet–you can listen to the birds, you can even have the radio softly playing. Do you know what I mean if I say it needs to be BRAIN QUIET? Tell me I’m not alone here.
And I think that could even happen when relaxing and reading a good book or soaking in a warm bath or taking a walk. It could be anything that helps your brain slow down.
Do you hear it, too? Do you feel it? The siren call of the still moment. It beckons.
And so I ask myself what excess noise I have that I don’t need. I look for places to intentionally add in “Still Time,” because I thinks that’s definitely part of what we need to do.
Yes, we need to purge and cut back, yes, we need to monitor our social media time, yes, we need margin in our day, yes, we need Quiet Time with the Lord, yes, we need to put down the electronics, and YES.. we need to plan quiet into our day. At least a little bit of it.
Come on, ladies, we have so much to do, and so little time to do it in. Why should we fill up every waking moment with something that demands attention from our brains? Give the brain a break. Seek a quiet moment. Brain Quiet. Create it, take it, revel in it.
A few minutes of peace and quiet will go such a long, long way.