"Quiet time"

The wind whips suddenly through the stand of pines on the southeast hill. The whir of wind through winter-dried needles grows deeper and stronger as the gust rushes past the pines and rattles the dry stick branches of the hardwoods behind the house. I am out hanging laundry, a crisp lemonade sun shining down just hard enough to warm my shoulders when the wind pauses to gather it's strength. The clothes are rough under the dry, cracked tips of my fingers, and the clothespins are brittle from three winters hanging on the line. It is stillness and wind and sun and I for twenty minutes, twice a day. It is the most gapless communion I've ever experienced, being outside in stillness with God all around me.

I remember the hectic days of the city, when the whir came from a million cars and other machines in perpetual motion. I remember how distant God seemed. That wasn't a place for natural worship for me. I needed to be in a place where other people were not. An expanse of earth to call my own, to be quiet in, to breathe in. I know not everyone is like that - that to some people, the whir of people is the same as the whir of the wind is to me. That for some people, cities mean synergy.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:4-5)

In moments like these, hanging clothes, or trudging up the ravine to check cherry blossoms with the children, or rambling down the truck path in the waning sun of evening, when I feel the heaviness of God's hand resting on my shoulder and bolstering my soul. When the world is quiet around me and I am distracted by the beauty of creation, my skin wiped clean by the sun and the wind, I feel deep inside exactly how "okay" I really am. I am not falling into an abyss, I am not at the edge of a precipice, I am not crying alone in a dark room. I am walking through a field of tall grass with God whispering in the breeze, whispering of blessings innumerable and beyond the scope of this mortal imagination.

You may wonder why I almost always include photos and music in these ramblings. It is because that's how God speaks most intensely to me. It unlocks my heart, which is usually a solid rock, and pours the emotions out in a flood. I will never forget the first time this song made me really weep. It was the night I got the biopsy results back. Aaron had called me and told me the results in person, and I sobbed. Then I held it together all day, until a late night trip to Walmart with the kids just before coming home. I bought a CD by Rebecca St. James because I felt like I needed to listen to SOMETHING about God or I was going to break apart into a million pieces. When this song came on, I pulled to the side of the highway and cried and sang with my children. They understood that what was happening was BIG, and we prayed and cried and sang together. It is a sweet, sweet memory, even for all it's bitterness. Take time to click on the link and listen to the song.
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in,
Still I will say
Blessed be Your name
~ Blessed Be Your Name, Matt Redman