This largely unedited free-write is linking up with the annual Write 31 Days Challenge.
I have a confession. I just can’t set the five-minute timer today. It’s been such a chaotic 24 hours with computer issues, my hard drive crashing, and our fridge acting up. Simply too much stress and I can’t take any more adrenalin. Thanks for understanding. ♥
The prompt word for today is SILENCE. (how ironic) Go!
Those who know me well know that I recharge in silence.
Those who know my family well know that they don’t. Ironic, eh?
- My husband recharges with loud music and movies.
- Eldest daughter―loud music and her dog.
- Eldest son―loud music and drums.
- Younger son―loud music and guitars.
- Youngest daughter―loud music and arts & crafts.
Can you see the pattern here? At any given time, you can hear anywhere from two to four different ‘noise zones’ in our house. It’s crazy and wonderful at the same time.
I am well aware that, once the kids move out of the house, one of the things parents say they miss the most is the Hustle & Bustle (loosely translated noise and chaos) of the family around them. I get it! So, I’m determined not to waste my moments pining for silence. But, Jesus help me, I still need to cope with my desperate need for a quiet place to think.
So how does someone like me find a healthy balance between conceding to the needs of the family and maintaining proper mental health?
The reality is that the satisfaction I’m looking for goes way beyond just a lack of noise. It has much MORE to do with the state of my heart. I often find that women, especially when they are running from the turmoil INSIDE them, tend to get busy running from one distraction to another. They rarely stop to take care of their heart.♥
- Is my heart out of peace?
- Is my mind anxious?
- Do I need something MORE than just silence?
I love how the Word says in 1 Peter 3:4 NLT,
“Clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”
It doesn’t say anything about having a quiet household or a quiet personality. I don’t think I would ever be labeled as a quiet personality―I can be bold and crazy with the best of them. It says clothe yourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit!
That implies stillness and calmness in the inner person. Deep peace.
No striving. No comparing. No pressure to perform.
No worry. No anxiety. Just rest.
It comes from GIVING THANKS instead of complaining, WORSHIPPING instead of cursing, HONOURING instead of criticising!
Having said all of that, here are some of my…
Tips and Tricks for Finding Silence in a Noisy House
- Have a bath and soak your head underwater. Yes, I’m serious. Listen to the water and the sound of your own breathing. Maybe imagine what life would be like as The Little Mermaid. Oooooh, it’s lovely.
- Ear plugs are your friend, especially when you’re working. I use them whenever I’m writing, editing, or doing anything that requires concentration.
- Take the dogs for a walk, or simply sit outside in the sun for a while (Vitamin D is also your friend).
- Set up a space for yourself somewhere quiet. Don’t worry if it’s weird and doesn’t make sense stylistically. It’s about coping during this season of your life. I’ve seen ‘personal spaces’ in the most random places (laundry rooms, bathrooms, basements, garages, etc.) I recently kidnapped an extra kids’ desk from my son’s room, and I’ve set it up in front of the glass sliding door in my room. Looks kinda funny, but it’s such a NICE place to write!
- Depending on your budget, maybe it’s time for a SHE-shed! You’ve heard of a man-cave? Well, this is the female equivalent. They’re awesome! Check out HOUZZ.com and search for she-sheds. A girl can hope, can’t she?
- Most importantly, ASK for some silence. Without putting a ‘heavy’ on the family, calmly and rationally explain your need for a “Noise Break” and simply ASK FOR IT. No yelling. No anger. No guilt trip. Just ask if you could put the timer on for 30 minutes and enjoy a short reprieve in the middle of a noisy day. It’s never too early to teach your children how to honour everyone’s needs in the house, including yours. (Warning: you’ll probably have to start with shorter lengths of time. 30 minutes may nearly kill them… and you in the process. Start with 5 minutes and build up from there.)
Now, go and enjoy the hustle and bustle of your beautiful family!
To read more of 31 Days of Mom Awesomeness, click here.
For more information on the Write 31 Days challenge, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!