Thursday, January 9, 2014

in the quiet {my 2014 word of the year}

It's been pretty quiet around this blog in the new year thus far. It hasn't been my intention, but between having a bad cold and reestablishing some semblance of routine post-holidays, blogging has taken a backseat. But I'm glad to be writing here today.

I've enjoyed reading many recent blog posts with bloggers' words of the year (some of my favorites were DwijaAnnaKathryn, and Jen's posts). It got me thinking about what my word of the year might be. I've never chosen one before, and I like the idea of having a point of focus.

The first word I thought of was surrender. There are many parts of my life where I need to let go and stop attempting to control. Similarly, I was thinking about the word trust. I can always place more of my trust in the Lord and His ways. I stayed with those two words for a while, and I really thought one of them would be what I picked. What do you think, Lord? I asked. I really want my word for the year to be what YOU want it to be...not what I want it to be...

I listened.
And listened a little more.
And I didn't hear anything very immediately, so I got busy again, letting my mind run, talking to God, trying to figure out if what I was thinking was what He was thinking.

Which is when I realized (thank you, Holy Spirit) what I needed to do was not think, not talk and talk and talk some more to God (though there's nothing wrong with talking to God, of course!), but I needed to stop. Stop the chatter. Stop the endless noise and over-evaluating and comparing and worrying and

Be still. Be calm. Be at peace. Rest. Listen. Enjoy the silence.

Be quiet.

For me, it is here, in the still silence of my heart, that God speaks. He speaks to me in other ways too, certainly, but my most intimate moments with our Lord have always been in the quiet.

Finding quiet is challenging in the world we live in today (I find it particularly so here in New York City), where being busy is often equated with "success," where the constant chatter of social media fills the in-between moments of our day, where immediate communication is the norm. Now I don't mean to sound like an old fuddy-duddy here, but I do think it's important for me (for us, maybe) to recognize that quiet is not a large part of my life. As the years go by I have more trouble being still, more trouble doing less, more trouble finding quiet. Most of the time I'm not even looking for it. But I should. God wants me to. God wants quiet for each of us.

"Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very precious in God's sight."
{1 Peter 3:4}
Here's to a year of more listening and more prayer.
Here's to a year filled with more calm, more rest, and more peace.
Here's to a year full of seeking - and seizing - the quiet.

Have you chosen a word for 2014?
Do you need more quiet in your own life?
Let me know what you think in the comments section below - I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Elise, I love it.
    How perceptive of you to pick up on the silence and realize that in itself was the answer. : )
    I shall join is a wonderful place to quiet with God.
    Have a cozy weekend!

  2. I love this, Elise! Sometimes the quiet speaks more than anything. I think I'll join you and Billie Jo. :) God bless you!

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook
    Recently posted: Get your backpacks ready.... Some essentials for the March for Life


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