Tag Archives: quiet

Graffiti Summer: Silence Births Vision

We’ve been intentionally leaning in to the Lord and stepping out to serve where He leads for six weeks now. This is the last week!

Thank you for coming alongside and hanging in there with me!

This Graffiti Summer Study and Do has certainly been both a journey and a challenge. But as the formal study comes to a close, I pray our hearts remain in this rhythm of seeking and serving Him for a lifetime.

For this last week, we considered how Moses approached times of quiet before God, how he handled times when God seemed silent, and how we can be encouraged during such times as well. Check out Alene’s post here for more!

DO Assignment: Look back over the Graffiti study and consider whether God is being silent or if He has already impressed upon your heart what to do next. And then DO it.

graffiti summer - silence births vision

As badly as I wanted to begin this study with a neat and tidy post, I maybe even more badly wanted to end this Graffiti Summer challenge with a neat and tidy post, but the truth is, I still just can’t.

Because the questions, the struggles, the unknowns … they don’t end here.

But the One constant hasn’t changed: Christ.

And I can think of no better note on which to end this Graffiti Summer challenge than to once again recognize that I don’t have to plan this life around a particular ministry or place to serve.

Rather, I simply trust the One who calls.

As my life revolves around Christ, I trust Him to take care of the details … the how, the where, the when. He knows the seasons of waiting, the seasons of doing, and all of the seasons in between that aren’t so easily defined.

He alone holds the future.

So I want to continue doing. Not just filling my head with knowledge that never makes a difference. But experiencing a change of heart that can’t be contained.

And I trust Jesus to do that in me. Because I certainly can’t do it in myself.

And yes, sometimes in the midst of the heart change, God seems silent.

But I wonder if more times than not it’s because I’m expecting God to speak in a certain way while He’s attempting to show me something in a completely different way.

I may not have perfect clarity regarding where He’s leading and re-directing. I may only have been given a glimpse. I may only have the one next small step. It may all still seem hazy and shadowy. But even in that, I hear His voice. I see His hand at work. I feel His prompting to love and serve.

And through the help and words of a dear friend, I see that through all of it, He’s leading me into an ever deepening trust in Him and in His faithfulness and in His Word.

So in the moments when that feels like God is silent, I want to sit in that silence. To be in His presence. To trust Him fully. To rest in Him completely.

So that all that’s left is humbly and honestly seeking His face.

Knowing Him more. Surrendering once again to His will. His way. His time.

Because this life isn’t about me.

And as I listened to the sermon on Sunday regarding the freedom we have in Christ, I couldn’t help but see the connection.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

I’m free.

I don’t have to feel crushed under the weight of what I don’t understand in this life.

I won’t always know exactly where or how to serve. I won’t always get it right. But I can still live a life characterized by the love of Christ. By recognizing the freedom that is mine, by seeking first His kingdom, by stepping out and serving (in big ways and small) as He leads along the way.

So I keep seeking. I keep following where He leads. I keep trusting.

And He [God] said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14 (ESV)

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{Day 13} In Quietness and In Trust

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

– Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

Returning to Christ, to His word and His promises, and following Him.

Resting in Him in the midst of uncertainty and unknown.

Quieting our souls in the hope and assurance of His presence.

Trusting in Him and His perfect plan.

As we return to Him, too often with hands firmly grasping our own ideas and plans for the future, as we desperately pray that we would have a willingness to release that false sense of control and rest in His plan instead of our own, He meets us there in our need and in our weakness. He softens our hearts, quiets our souls, loosens our grip, and restores our mind to a place of trust and confidence in Him alone.

Quiet Confidence.

With Paragraphs & Everything…

It’s been awfully quiet over here, no?

Technically it’s time for another photo of the week (and I do have one ready to go, so it will be up in the next day or so), and I know it’s past time for another devo thought, and I even considered doing a “5 Things” post because those are always fun and relatively easy, but since it’s been so long since I’ve actually “shown up” around here, I decided on a real post instead … with paragraphs and everything.

It’s certainly not for lack of content that I’ve been missing from this space. My energy has just been spent elsewhere.

This past month {maybe a little longer…} has been just plain full and, as usual, I struggle to find balance in the fullness. I love my community, my commitments, and my friends, but when I open the calendar on my too-smart-for-its-own-good phone to see multiple dots on each day of every weekend {and several in between} for a solid month, I get exhausted just thinking about it, tend to lose perspective, and then the temptation to pull away {and if I’m being really honest, to hide!} is great.

I suppose in those moments, maybe it’s a good thing that I DO have commitments and hiding is just not an option.

Truthfully, effortless and encouraging conversations with precious friends over meals, on the phone driving across town, during movie intros, late at night on bedroom floors, and even while “exploring” unfamiliar industrial parks keep me going through these seasons that can leave me feeling somewhat disconnected because of the fullness. Especially when my calendar is not the only one that pulls in far too many directions all at once … it seems to be a problem that plagues many around this time of year.

And although I enjoy social media, and I so appreciate each one of you, some moments – maybe even some seasons – just aren’t intended for sharing in real time via this blog or twitter or instagram.

So I keep going knowing that sometimes quiet is best and sometimes quiet {at least in this space} is just necessary. I’m not gone for good. I’m still writing. And as things begin to slow down I’ll show up around here with more than just a photo a little more frequently.

And while I am very much looking forward to a slightly slower paced summer and enjoying more Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book {soon to be happening poolside! woot!}, I just don’t want to miss being fully present for all of the really great moments {from graduations and weddings to beach weekends and beyond} that this season of fullness has to offer … because there are many. And for that, I am truly grateful.

What are you looking forward to this summer and what moments are you grateful for in this season?

Grace in the Quiet

“Make glad the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications!”

– Psalm 86:4-6

I love words … reading words, speaking words, hearing words, pondering words, singing words, writing words.

But it seems in the past several days (weeks, even) I have had little energy left for words. In the wake of processing much that can’t be penned publicly {at least not yet}, my own words feel hollow and my brain feels like mush.

I have a list of sermons to be listened to, books to be read, Scriptures to be reflected upon, and experiences to be written about.

But I don’t.

Instead, in the midst of commitments that are good and necessary and rich, I find myself meeting an unspoken need to be quiet. To just be. Abandoning my typical routines, I fill my free hours with long and purposeful walks, music that effortlessly leads into pure worship, and a prayerful soul.

Yet beginning to feel guilty at this unexpected inward turn, my thoughts shift slightly, almost hesitatingly, towards others. Lacking significant will-power to do much else, I simply pray.

And as I spend my time walking and praying and worshiping, as these moments of intercession turn from me, to them, to HIM, I receive this beautiful reminder of Grace in the quiet.

The perfectionist and legalistic side of me is quick to judge all that I am doing wrong and all that I am failing to do.

But this Grace reminds me that it’s much less about doing what I should and much more about being who I am called.

Christ isn’t holding me to a checklist. He’s holding me to a relationship. And maybe this just being … this walking and worshiping … is just part of this season of that relationship.

And even when I fail him, when I stray from making Him the priority, this Grace is still there. Because even in the failure, He’s not after my efforts, He’s after my heart … a heart conformed to His likeness.

This Grace … it does so much more than cover each sin (though it does that perfectly). It leads each moment.

Yes, accountability and consistency and routine are all good, but maybe there’s even more in abandoning the routine from time to time in order to experience this grace anew, afresh, again.

Although serving and doing tends to feel more productive, the just being was absolutely necessary for this reminder. I simply couldn’t hear it through all the doing, but I could experience this Grace in the quiet. In His presence. Focused on His heart.

This Grace … and this Grace Giver … is everything.

“All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name.

For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.”

– Psalm 86:9-10

Peace

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be Still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'” – Mark 4:39-40 (ESV)

Peace.

A command that the storm be stilled.

A quiet calmness. A steady assurance.

A choice to exhibit faith and trust.

HIS peace.

Not of this world.

Not dependent on circumstances.

Not a place for fear.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27 (ESV)