Pulling in to my "Circle of Quiet" to keep my soul Alive


A circle of quiet in California after the mom's conference

Today, my circle will be quite different, in the cold, stark winter day on the opposite coast. But again, it will be in nature--celebrating life with my lovies.

Each of us, each day, is pouring out our lives. And yet, we all know that eventually, if you pour the contents of a pitcher out, it will become empty, unless it is refilled.

I poured out in Dallas--not perfectly, but all that I had.

And so today, I am in Raleigh, North Carolina, hiding, sequestered away with Sarah and a sweet friend, looking out on the winter trees, afrost with a bit of  snow and cold,

sitting in my red nightgown,

sipping Yorkshire Gold tea and listening to soft, instrumental music.

I am reading Circle of Quiet and pulling away, so that I may have something more to give next weekend at one more mom's conference.

Something does not come out of nothing (unless of course you are the Creator of the world who spoke light out of darkness).

And so I know that each day, I must pull away to refill, in order to be sure there is something of substance from which others may draw.

Here is what I read today that is a balm and reality to my own day ...

"We are four generations under one roof this summer, from infant Charlotte to almost-ninety Great-grandmother. A lot of the time it is twelve, and even more to feed. Cooking is the only part of housekeeping I manage with any grace; it's something like writing a book: you look in the refrigerator and see what's there, choose all the ingredients you need, and a few your husband thinks you don't need, and put them all together to concoct a dish. Vacuum cleaners are simply something more for me to trip over; and a kitchen floor, no matter how grubby, looks better before I wax it. The sight of a meal's worth of dirty dishes, pots, and pans makes me want to run in the other direction.  

Every so often I need OUT; something will throw me into total disproportion, and I have to get away from everybody -- away from all these people I love most in the world -- in order to regain a sense of proportion. 

I like hanging sheets on lines strung under the apple trees -- the birds like it, too. I enjoy going out to the incinerator after dark and watching the flames; my bad feelings burn away with the trash. But the house is still visible, and I can hear the sounds from within; often I need to get away completely, if only for a few minutes. My special place is a small brook in a green glade, a circle of quiet from which there is no visible sign of human beings. There's a natural stone bridge over the brook, and I sit there, dangling my legs and looking through the foliage at the sky reflected in the water, and things slowly come back into perspective. If the insects are biting me -- and they usually are; no place is quite perfect -- I use the pliable branch of a shad-blow tree as a fan. The brook wanders through a tunnel of foliage, and the birds sing more sweetly there than anywhere else, or perhaps it is just that when I am at the brook I have time to be aware of them, and I move slowly into a kind of peace that is marvelous, "annihilating all that's made to a green thought in a green shade." 

If I sit for a while, then impatience, crossness, frustration, are indeed annihilated, and my sense of humor returns."

~Madeleine L'Engle

For me, if I sit for a while, quietly, just listening to my music, reading my Bible, quietly, quietly, alone and rest--today is my sabbath day--then the assurance that He is in control, that my life is held and that all the fears and "gnats swarming around my head" are not a real threat in my life, then I will have enough to keep going and truth and beauty to keep giving.

This is harder to come by in some seasons--seasons of babes and teens when someone needs me all the time--but if I look for this time to restore, I know all will be more at peace as I have been a mom who took time to pull in to a center of quiet.

"Peace be with you today, the Lord is near."

And yes, in time, I will get back to mentoring Monday--but today, I will keep my priorities in order so that my soul will stay alive.