There is so much noise in my life. It’s not loud, necessarily, but there’s noise. We live in a crowded subdivision near the airport, so the noise of UPS trucks and dogs and bikes and airplanes is constantly in the background. During this endless summer, our backdoor is permanently open and neighbors’ conversations float over our fence and into my ears (both ways I’m sure, and I’m sorry about that!). My kids are “out-loud processors” and I am all day every day the sounding board for their precious thoughts and questions. When I get time to myself, I tend to fill the silence with more words. I turn on Netflix, I turn on a podcast. I give myself something to laugh about and I am hardly ever alone because Liz Lemon or Sarah Koenig are my constant companions. It’s easy and a habit and while it’s not the worst, it’s not the best. I take the easy way too often and forget about the gift of a hard space.
The other week, I gave myself a little silence, by accident, and now I give myself that gift every day. After Cruz and London lay down for their naps, I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes and clean in silence. I pick up their toys, match their shoes. I corrall, I sweep, I rinse lunch dishes. In silence. I hear the gentle trickle of our oil diffuser. I hear the sweep of my broom. And after a few minutes I start to hear myself. I think thoughts and plan my writing. I pray as I wash dishes. My mind travels from our cul de sac and our homegroup to our church, to our country, to Syria. I want this time of silence to grow my heart and to allow me to trust the Lord more and more. I love the miracle of prayer– that my hands can be busy with the smallest, dirtiest, most mundane of this world while my heart and my mind and my soul are waging war for good and light. I can carry out the trash while I intercede for refugee children and for the children in our neighborhood. I am not trapped by the smallness and the quiet moment– I am liberated.