Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quiet Retreat

Dishes. Diapers. Laundry. The trifecta every homemaker/mommy knows well. I know I do. I can get kind of lost, caught-up in the again-ness of it all. You know what really gets to me though? Noise. I really struggle with not having enough quiet in my life.

And before I go any further, it is important that I qualify that I would not trade one second of my crazy, child-filled life for anything. My children are amazing, they are beautiful, they are kind and smart and, besides Trever, my closest friends and playmates. I adore them. But you know what? They are really (REALLY) loud.

I was thinking the other day, when we were driving (with all our littles) in our big, bad 15 passenger van. We were about half way into a four hour drive when we decided it might be nice to listen to some music. My husband put in the cd, and we started singing along. About 35 seconds go by, and our six year old raises his voice over the music, loud enough to get our attention. He had something he needed to ask. (mind you, no one needed to say anything to us until we turned on the music).

We turned down the music, listened to him, answered his question, turned the music back up. About a minute later, we repeated this process. And a minute later, with another child. And again, and again, until my husband is frustrated and I look at him with a grin and explain, "This is why I usually don't try to listen to music anymore."

And it's true. If I try to listen to music in the house, something crazy happens where all the children raise their volume considerably. And in order to talk to each of them, I need to turn the music down, and after much repeating, off.

I love music. I love to sing. I sang in choir through high school. I love singing in church. I adore worship music. But somehow, it drains me when I have to concentrate so very hard to offer anything to God. As far as music is concerned anyway.

Recently, I have come to discover some things about myself that have somehow escaped my attention for a long time. Apparently I am a very private person. My mother is the one who first brought this to my attention, and after some reflecting (because at first I balked at this notion) I had to admit she was right. I am.

Another is that I need some quiet. Too much noise kind of stresses me out. I tend to turn off the radio in the car and just have some quiet time. I can't write while music is playing. (I know I have music on my blog page, but honestly, it's for others, because when I am reading on my page (or someone else's) I usually turn it off.

I occasionally feel I am on sensory overload.

I read some of Jeanne Guyon's works, and she speaks often about seeking to commune with Christ in her inner spirit, inside. She would retreat to that place to be quiet, alone with Him, because obviously we can not always change all our outward circumstances and make them all conducive for prayer and meditation.

And I am thinking, I need to begin finding ways to do this. I need to have a quiet sanctuary, a place of retreat.

Because life is full of noise.


  1. You are not the only one. My husband and I usually tell the kids in the car that they need to be quiet so we can drive. I hardly ever listen to music in the car. I laugh to myself when I see people driving with loud music playing or when people start their car and the radio is already on. It is as if they don't even hear it. We get so irritated when we go somewhere like an amusement park and they have music blasting. We say it "rattles our nerves". LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  2. quiet is so good. i crave it. for in it, i hear Him. thank you for your words of encouragement on my art, amy. let me know if you ever want me to make you something, or if you'd like a print. bless you.

  3. I relate to much of this :)
    And I only have four children!
    I tend to find that I can suffer from sensory overload. Even the supermarket, (bright lights, noise etc...) or the high street can leave me tired out.
    Sometimes on weekends I just have to retreat for an hour or so while my husband watches the kids so that I can get my "quiet time".
    The early mornings (before the children wake) give me a dose of quiet that recharges my batteries too.
    Oh and I had to nod and smile at the music in the car thing :)


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