I get it honestly. Walk into my parents’ home, and you are guaranteed to find the TV in the kitchen blaring with either Fox News or HGTV. Though she rarely sits down to watch it, my mom just enjoys the background noise.
With four young children running around the house, I hardly need a television for background noise. In fact, I tend to find it irritating to have that noise in addition to the clamoring of children. However, I recently realized that I am not completely immune to this need for noise. I always have the radio on in the car, even when I don’t like the program that is running. If the kids are playing in the basement, you will assuredly find the TV on or my IPod going while I cook dinner. Every time I nurse the baby, I either read a book or flip the television on, even if it’s three o’clock in the morning.
I honestly can’t understand why I have this desire to constantly inundate myself with external input. I like myself. I do! I’m not such a bad person to spend time with. But somehow spending time with just my thoughts for company is a great challenge for me.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to deliberately give myself a little bit of silence every day. At the suggestion of a friend, instead of watching TV while I fold clothes, I pray. While folding my husband’s shirts, I ask God to give him the strength to shoulder the burden of providing for our family. As I collate socks, I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide each family member in their walk through life.
Last night, the kids had gone to bed and my husband was working late. I resisted the urge to turn the TV on while I mopped floors, and instead enjoyed the quiet of the house. I stopped and listened, discerning the purr of the heater, and gave thanks for a warm house. I heard the static of the baby monitor, and rejoiced in the health and safety of my children. When I found myself wishing that the ugly linoleum was replaced by beautiful hard wood floors, I stopped and remembered that I should be grateful for having any home at all.
Taking time to savor the silence has done wonderful things for my well-being in these last few weeks, turning mundane chores into opportunities for spiritual enrichment. The Holy Spirit clearly felt the need to hammer this point home, and last night I laughed as I glanced at our Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta wall calendar. January is headed with “Called to meet God in moments of silence.” Here are a few things that Mother Teresa had to say about silence:
- “In the silence of our hearts God speaks of His love; with our
silence we allow Jesus to love us.”
- “We cannot put ourselves directly in the presence of God if we do not practice internal and external silence.”
- “We too… must learn that ‘silence’ which will enable us to ponder His words in our hearts and so grow in love. We cannot love nor serve unless we learn to ponder in our hearts.”
Father, please help us to take time each day to turn off the noise of our busy world. Help us to savor the silence, and to learn to ponder in our hearts your words and your love. Amen.
**This post was originally posted on my “old” blog, www.marthasheart.com, back when I only had four kids, was nursing the fourth, and Mother Theresa was “Blessed,” not “Saint.” It’s lovely to read it again today and recognize how these new practices have now become habits. I hope you’ll be blessed by these ideas for savoring the silence as well!
I’m linking up with other Catholic bloggers for #WorthRevisit Wednesday! Check out this link for other “Best of the Best” posts!