Friday, October 28, 2016

{#write31days - day 28} silence and stillness

In the present moment, life happens. It happens always. Diligently and gently, abruptly and surprisingly, moving us forward into each next breath we take. On we go, sometimes passively and sometimes actively. Our heart keeps beating and our body keeps warm as our soul seeks new ways to know, love, and serve the good God who knitted together our very intricacies at our very beginning.

It's hard to always be present. It's hard to always seek His Face in our moments, much less, in the few moments of silence that scatter themselves throughout our days.

I'm sitting in my silence right now. I know! Miracle of miracles that all three little souls are asleep right now! at the SAME time! And yet, sitting in this little space of what looks and feels like silence, I look around and do not see a stillness, even though nothing is moving; nor do I hear a silence even though my little people are not being their typical roudy selves.

Instead, I see the strewn legos across a table, scattered battle gear, baby teething toys, dishes uncleaned, a whirling fan, curtains that sway, a dinner that isn't going to make itself, and work to be done...because there's always work to be done, isn't there?

But all is still and silence does surround me.

Silence and stillness are two occasions of life that my little soul has often pursued to know better. My interest began while in graduate school. There was this time I went to adoration with a priest friend. This priest was one of my classmates in a mental health program wanting to learn more about how to better shepherd his flock. Any who knew or know him now are truly blessed.

While we were on our way to adoration, I remember telling him how much I loved the chapel because of the reverent silence that was often present. I yearned for silence in those days as I still do, today. "It's what keeps me sane and prayerful!" I told him.

Upon sharing my sentiment, my dear priest friend looked at me and shared that he couldn't relate to that kind of silence. See, he is one of a handful of Deaf Catholic priests in the US and the concept of silence means something entirely different to him.

He shared that for him, silence was stillness. He appreciated the chapel because of it's stillness. Being Deaf, he hears with his eyes the same way I hear with my ears. This information was profound to me then and still is now. It is an awareness that I know my heart will constantly be unraveling in years to come, thanks be to God.

Stumbling into my nap-time silence today, brought me back to that time, his words, and a new awareness that stirred my soul many moons ago. I'll never forget that conversation or that experience of adoration. I remember how profound the stillness and silence felt that day. It was pouring rain outside. The sounds of the beating drops against the beautiful stained glass of this quaint little chapel is forever etched in my heart. That day, there was silence and stillness only not around me, but within.

"In the silence of the heart You speak 
In the silence of the heart You speak
And it is there that I will know You
And You will know me
In the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak."

-Audrey Assad

Over the years that have passed, what I've noticed, is that no matter what is going on around me whether it be silence or stillness, peace happens when the goodness of stillness and silence are present within my soul.

Stilling my soul is where He meets me; where I can see His Face and know His Presence. It is where He speaks and shares His Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. No matter what is going on around me it is my interior that matters.

“We live in a society in which every space, every moment must be ‘filled’ with initiatives, activities, and sounds. Often there is not ever time to listen or to converse. Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us not be afraid to create silence inside and outside ourselves if we wish to be capable not only of hearing the voice of God, but also the voice of those near us, the voice of our fellow man.” 
-Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI

Finding the right time to pray, to be Mary or to be Martha, to serve, to study, to embrace the ordinary moments, to move, or to be still can all be so confusing and frustrating. No time feels like the right time because there is always sound and there is always movement. But, if we dig down deep and strive to quiet our hearts so that He can stay with us awhile in our interior stillness and silence, the peace that comes is truly good and beautiful.

Babies are up now, but I'm curious:
What does stillness sound like to you? What does silence look like? 


  1. Wow, what a lovely post Amanda! The photos, the quotes. I positively need to subscribe! I was so happy that you stopped at my blog this AM ( I did the write31 as well..... ) I believe I have been here in the past, but then "lost" you, through clicking around......

    And the thoughts on profound.

    THanks so much for the inspiration!!

    Nice to visit!

    1. Chris! I'm so happy you visited and enjoyed what was shared! Love love love that you want to subscribe! Know I'm over here, doing life, and praying for the space and time to get back to sharing when I can. When I read your work at your space I'v always felt a sort of kindredness! :) I loved your share on silence recently too and absolutely loved your write31 work! Pray you'll be back even if my posts are sporadic! God bless!


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