This week, I challenged myself. I committed to 10 minutes of “quiet time” to let go of my worries and to do list, focus on God, pray, and most of all…just listen.
10 minutes didn’t sound like much. Although I bet if you told most parents to find 10 minutes of pure silence each day, they would laugh at you. Seriously, do any mothers even get 5 minutes to use the bathroom a day without kids barging in; and heaven forbid you lock the door, your 2 year old will yell “Mom!” relentlessly while repeatedly banging on the door while your 7 year old remembers if she runs down the stairs and through the toy room she can get into the bathroom through the second door that doesn’t lock.
Yet I was determined and decided when I got to work each morning, I would sit in the car for 10 minutes in the parking lot basking in complete silence…opening up my heart and mind to God and destressing my soul.
This was a great plan, except due to the fact that my mind is like a Merry-Go-Round of thoughts/to do lists/worries/plans that never endingly scroll round and round in my head, by the time I got to work, I had completely forgotten to do my quiet time and marched in ready to face the day.
Fail number 1.
Luckily, I got home earlier than my kids…perfect. I let the puppy out, grabbed my favorite devotional…and walked around aimlessly for a few minutes. This was awkward. Where do I sit to have 10 minutes of pure silence with God? Do I lie down? Do I close my eyes? I actually laughed out loud at the thought of purposfully sitting down for 10 minutes of silence. Has my brain ever been clear and silent in the past 20 years?
Finally I sat down on the couch and closed my eyes. At that moment, Veda and our miniature dachshund decided to have a growling/biting match. Ugh. I put Veda in her cage, sat down, and closed my eyes again. Veda started her pathetic why am I in my cage whine.
Fail number 2.
I got up and moved to another room and sat down once again. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath… and started crying. What?! Now if you read my first blog, you know I DON’T CRY!! Honestly, I don’t really know why I cried.
Maybe the idea of focusing on how much was actually going on in my head and having to let that go was too overwhelming. Maybe I was crying because I knew I didn’t have an extra ten minutes of my day and now I was going to be behind. But honestly, I think just the act of giving myself permission to let go of chaos internally connected with the ability to allow an emotional release as well.
I randomly opened my devotional to a page, and was taken back by the message God obviously sent me:
“The Peace that I give you transcends your intellect. When most of your mental energy goes into efforts to figure things out, you are unable to receive this glorious gift. I look into your mind and see thoughts spinning round and round: going nowhere, accomplishing nothing. All the while, My Peace hovers over you, searcing for a place to land.
Be still in My Presence, inviting Me to control your thoughts. Let My Light soak into your mind and heart until you are aglow with My very Being. This is the most effective way to receive My Peace.” ~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
After the 10 minutes, I wasn’t one hundred percent sure how I felt about it. I realized God was trying to tell me something, and I knew I needed to do this every day. After reading the devotional, I spent part of my quiet time praying and thanking God for my blessings, but the majority of the time was spent placing my line of distracting thoughts, one at a time, on an imaginary train car and watching it chug chug away (for this is what I read you were supposed to do during quiet time when your worries, anxieties, to do list, and random thoughts threaten to distract you). I must have been successful at clearing all these thoughts, because I think the last 2 minutes I fell asleep before the ringing of my phone alarm woke me back up.
Quiet time is going to take some practice.