“There is in the deepest center of the soul a chamber of peace where God dwells, and where, if we will only enter in and hush every other sound, we can hear his still small voice.”
— L. B. Cowman
I have a very odd habit for when I need to knock out a piece of writing that I want to do. I go to the state park. I live about 5 miles away, and it is an unlikely spot for a writer. Most writers go to the coffee shop or Panera Bread. I’m not sure what they do in these pandemical times, but I pull up a picnic table in the shade under the trees. It’s not exactly a quiet spot, even though, I suppose, quiet is the point of the writer’s heart.
The times I choose to go are always the times of the year that the park is busy and full. I hear birds twittering, Mexican restaurant style music blaring from the next patio over, kids playing, men and women calling to one another, cars engines and transmissions growling as they look for the perfect place to settle, bikers’ wheels’ whirling as they bike trails, and of course, the usual sound of my own clank of the keys. Soon, the sounds fade away, and it is me, my words, and God.
What no one gets at Panera Bread is the stillness of soul that comes with the Great Outdoors. Bluebirds and sparrows come right up to me as I type. Of course, I leave home because I look for a refuge away from my own, where someone won’t tell me they need me (even teenagers) or interrupt the flow of my mind, fingers to keys. For once, I am still. I am free. When I write, I meet with God. When I am in nature, he is there too, through the solitude, through the beauty of the birds, both how he’s designed them and the songs they sing.
The things that bring pleasure and quiet to your soul, causing you to recognize the Beauty and Majesty of God, may be different for you.
As mothers, we are in constant demand, whether we work or whether motherhood is our work. Even when the kids are older, as mine are, there is always something to be done, something to do. Not only that, but for me, as the mom of older kids, I often have an unsettled heart full of concerns about my older kids. Some of my restless questions ask, “Where did I go wrong? What should I have done better? Will it always be this hard?” How easily my heart wanders from the peace Jesus gives into anxiety, dis-ease, or worry!
There’s an easy solution for those times, though we don’t always see the path to our calm.
We close the door to the outside world, the cares and concerns of the world, and enter into our prayer closets. Just as I go to the park or to nature to write, I enter into a space where it is just me and God.
For me, personally, sometimes, that is literally in my closet, face to the floor with my beloved Bible next to me, sometimes when I am moved to write, as I am doing now, or when I open the Word of God as I sit on my bed. However, God is not only with us during the times we choose to devote to him. He is with us in every moment, and the “quiet times” in the Lord fill us with strength for the everyday, ordinary, chaotic moments of motherhood.
The Word tells us to “pray continually,” and these two words show us the power of carrying God’s presence with us every day in every way.
When I am home, listening to my teen ask me to do yet another activity that I am not sure about, God is there guiding me. This is true of whatever you are doing each moment of your day too. We have the power to be stilled and listen in all things, even the hard ones, even as the baby cries, the toddler whines, the school age child yells unpleasantly, and when we worry about the future of our teens. God is there listening to our hearts and speaking love to our souls. As we hush our babies or bring temperament to our teens, he hushes and quiets our souls when we invite him into our everyday moments.
With him, these ordinary moments are holy whispers of grace.
Reflect + Respond ::
- How do you practice being in the presence of God?
- Do you feel connected to God outside of your devotional time with him? Why or why not?
Father, you are great and mighty, awesome to behold. You are the same God who stills the winds and the waves. Help me to recognize that you can still the chaos inside of me, if only I will enter into your presence and seek your face. Let me walk in the strength I have in nearness to you. Thank you for being with me. You are Prince of Peace, and your peace dwells in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Go Deeper ::
- Psalm 46
- Philippians 4:4-9
- Zephaniah 3:14-17
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Matthew 11:25-30 (MSG)
Jamie S. Harper is a beloved daughter of Christ. She is a wife and mother of three kids. She loves people, truth telling, the nations, and offering life-giving, vulnerable, and compassionate words to others.