Do you know what I have not had since becoming a widow? A quiet house all to myself for an extended amount of time. I absolutely love my kids and every minute that I get to spend with them. But after a year of homeschooling and being together for almost every single minute, the silence in my house right now is truly deafening!
I woke up on my own today and realized that there was no one arguing, asking for electronics, or even destroying the kitchen looking for what they could eat. So, I just laid there wondering if I would survive 7 whole days of this quiet.
The reality is that while I do not get a lot of me time these days, I tend to find ways to fill up all that I get with tasks that keep me busy. I fill my time with activities that keep me from thinking too much… and that keep me from being sad about the things that I have lost. One of the ways I fill the empty space is to travel as often as possible… so that I can’t sit still and wallow in my losses.
In some ways busyness can be a gift. It helps us get a lot done and keeps us from sitting too long in sadness and self-pity. The flipside however is that busyness keeps us from doing the critical work of learning and growing in the ways that we should! By not thinking about my losses, I can pretend they do not exist.
My to do list for this week is a mile long. Work on the house, decluttering of kids’ things, two different training programs for helping others with loss and grief, and doctors’ appointments I have been putting off for months. But this morning while I sat in an online training I was stopped in my tracks.
I was reminded of all the heart work I have been putting off and pretending I did not need to do. The work of healing from lost friendships and relationships that I have yet to accomplish.
Sometimes the stillness is the gift. The quiet is the treat. The empty space is not actually in need of filling, but instead a reminder that we need to spend more time emptying.
Lamentations 3:25-26 says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Do you spend a lot of time staying busy? Running from one thing to another to not think too much?
I have found that not thinking too much lends itself to my not growing as much either. And not growing for me means not moving forward. The stillness today reminded me of all the losses that I have had that have yet to be processed. All the relationships that I have yet to take time to complete in my heart. The time that I need to spend praying and seeking after God’s direction for my life… not my own.
So, this week amid the to do list, I am carving out time for the heart work. The work of healing, processing, and taking active steps to move forward. Because if we are not taking time to self-evaluate, then chances are we are not growing either!