“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

To Quiet and Back Again

 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

Coconut's in the foreground. Other one's Scooter.
As I compose this post on a Saturday afternoon, my son is sitting beside me, playing on my Kindle Fire, making most every squealing noise known to man. He just naturally makes sound effects when he plays games. Don't think he could stop if he wanted to.

Earlier today, he and his little sister were arguing. You know, as brothers and sisters do. It was not a quiet argument. It was, I might say, sibling rivalry at its grumpiest and whiniest.

And Coconut, my daughter's guinea pig, is chewing on the bars of her cage. Why? Not a clue. Just something she likes to do. And it's noisy.

Oh - and my email just pinged.
Good thing I don't need silence to get a blog post written. 
The older I get, the more I like quiet. And, it seems, the less I get of it.

 I used to always have/want the TV on in the background. I used to do my homework with the stereo on full blast (or as full blast as my parents would allow!). I NEVER drove in the car without tunes playing. Awkward silences were...well...awkward.

But now? If I'm alone in the car, the radio is off. Almost guaranteed. If I can find a place without noise, that's where I'll be. And awkward silences? No such thing.

This coming week just might be one when I have more opportunities than usual for quiet. You see, both my kids are heading to overnight camp. We're taking them up this morning, and will be getting them again on Saturday.

No squealing. No kid arguments. No backtalk. Just me, my wonderful hubby, and the pets.

This is the second year we've had a week like this over the summer. And if last year was any indication, it will be wonderful, but we won't be too many days into it before we start missing the kids. Missing their smiles. Their hugs. And even (gasp!) the noise.

Because, as much as I enjoy being alone with my thoughts (and my Lord), I was made for community. For connection. For fellowship. We all were. And those kids, no matter how much, or often, they drive me crazy, are God's gifts to me. 

And while I know I'll appreciate the quieter time, life (my life, anyway) isn't meant to be lived that way 24/7. How can we grow closer to one another in silence? Isn't laughter a fabulous way to connect? How can we share our dreams, our desires, our prayers with one another if we must keep our mouths shut?
And how will we ever function in this world, full of distractions and clamor, if we don't learn to work through the noise?
When He lived among us, Jesus left the masses to pray more than once (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, 22:41). He knew the value of time alone with the Lord, without distractions. But He always came back. For that is why He was sent (Luke 4:43) - not just to pray, but to be with people; to share the Good News; to act.

So, go ahead. Recharge your battery. Seek out the quiet. Avoid distractions. But don't forget to come back to the real world and share, interact, and act. That's what we're recharging for - more specifically, what God put us here for. (Ephesians 2:10)


How much quiet are you getting this summer? Do you find yourself craving that time alone, or do you find it uncomfortable? Do you sometimes avoid doing things for God because you haven't had that "alone time" you crave? Do you agree that we are made for community? Do you put feet to your prayers?

Comment below, and/or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength


  1. AnonymousJuly 30, 2012

    I find I'm liking the quiet times.
    Enjoy your week, Jo!


  2. Oh yeah. I get this, Jo. The noise here is different but like you, I've come to appreciate the quiet moments. I'm so very thankful Jesus came back from His quiet times! =]

    and enjoy your week!! =] =]

  3. Hope you enjoy your week of quiet. As one who relishes the quiet I needed the reminder to make sure I stay connected too.

  4. I'm the same way. As a kid I remember finding my mom sitting in the dark in our living room in total silence and wondering what on earth was wrong with her. Nowadays, I completely understand! And yes, my teen/adult children do NOT understand how I can drive for hours with NO music on. : )

  5. Thanks, ladies! Twelve hours down (about, anyway LOL) and I'm liking the quiet. Not too eager to get back into "life" - but it's early yet ;)

    And Niki? My HUBBY doesn't understand it (but he read my post this morning BEFORE we went to take the kids, and we almost made it all the way home with the radio off. He's getting better LOL

  6. With only one kid to take care of (unless you count the little buddies she wrangles home with her) it's not that noisy. I still have trouble getting anything accomplished with people in the house. I guess I need to learn how to write through the distractions and the sounds. School starts on Wednesday for us so hopefully I'll be able to get more done. I absolutely believe that we were made to be around others; we're studying Genesis right now so I know God created us to be social, ha ha.

  7. I crave the silence, Joanne, and I'm getting far too little of it this summer. I never knew I needed it so much until I went through my cancer season. I came to prize the quiet. I need the quiet. Like you, I used to have the tv or radio on all day long. Now, I leave them off.

    I wonder how it's going to go for me this year as I'll be homeschooling for the first time. It's a necessary decision, but it frightens me a bit.

    Anyway, enjoy your week.


  8. Praying for both of you, Sherry and Elaine. And now I'm pondering if this silence need came about when Marc got sick. Maybe.

  9. Right now my oldest son, his wife and their 4 are here. My dad and my mother-in-law are also here. aggggghhhhhhghh! I've had one or more gks all summer, and they never shut up! Two even talk in their sleep. The mil is a talker as well (and has dementia, so convoys are, interesting.). Anyway, I lock myself in the bathroom just for a bit of quiet. Monday I will have a week without noise, and I will love it. Then I'll start to feel lonely and want the noise back. Sometimes, I just sit in a corner somewhere and listen to the chatter, laughter, fighting, etc., and thank God for my blessings. Quiet time is great, but I thank my God that it's not an all the time thing. :) Angie

  10. Absolutely glad it's not an all the time thing. Picking up the kids this mornign. Will be GOOD to have them home! :)

    And you enjoy that week. I'm sure the noise was crazy, but blessed! thanks, Angie!


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