Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blessed Quietness

Growing up I don’t remember being really needed by anybody until I became a wife and a mother. As I strive to be a godly spouse and a Mom, I try to wake up early each day knowing my family needs me. I "labor and I toil," not only at my job so I can help my husband provide for our family, but also at our house to make it a home. Most of the time I feel unappreciated, my hard work unnoticed. Haven’t we heard the saying, "a homemaker’s job is a thankless job?" Then the day comes when our children grow up and they think they don’t need us anymore, somehow we start to feel sad.

We’ve also heard the term empty-nest syndrome. Actually, it’s the first time I’ve heard women talk about it, especially on TV and online, crying out in despair, feeling the pain of no one around to need them anymore, they feel anxious and restless. And I can't help to also think about my Mom now that all her six children are away from home, it hits me hard to think of her pain. I wonder what she’s going through and how she copes? Somehow it makes me feel helpless. But it also pushes me to ask questions.

Throughout the years, women tend to beat themselves up with too much responsibility, more tasks, increasing work loads, and more things to do just to be busy and to feel needed. Experts say it’s inherent in women. I guess this "quality" prepares us for a life of family, community, and church. Come to think of it ---women are behind every affair, every event, and the flourishing of our families and communities are always backed up by "active" women. We run every institution, we take on each responsibility we put ourselves into, and we manage our homes and groups with much gusto. Most of the time women are just behind-the-scenes movers but there are times that we are also at the front lines.

The first year we came, I was restless in Chicago. I wanted to do something, anything for the Lord! I needed to be busy for Him. But every time I had my quiet time, the same verse keeps on popping up in my devotions! So after 2 to 3 weeks of reading the same verse over and over again, I finally said, “Okay Lord, I hear you."
The verse: "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." -Psalm 46:10

To be still and be silent before God is the hardest for me to do. I wanted to have an active, "visible" part on what He is doing! But He said no. And I do understand now that it was not a no-forever but a no, for now. He wanted me to learn something first. No amount of busy-ness, hard work or ministry will make me know Him deeper. He wanted me to learn how to be quiet before Him. He wants me for Himself alone. He is a jealous God after all. He wants me to shut up and enjoy His Person without any hoopla. He wanted me to have a blessed quietness within me and about me. He wants me to be rooted and grounded on His Word alone, in His love, and with His peace.

I love that term blessed quietness. I first read it in a booklet by Mrs. Debbie Jenkins. I wanted that quality for myself. It's hard and it's not particularly popular especially in these modern times when women are encouraged to speak up and to speak out, to be vocal about our feelings and our opinions. Our world has become very opinionated. Sadly, the character of meekness, silence, and gentleness has been unwittingly regarded as obsolete and uninteresting by many. The digital age also help to stoke the fire of unrest and noise. People always are on the run, gotta be busy, and somehow feels inadequate if there's nothing to do or say. I am a victim of those thoughts myself. Why do you think I'm blogging now?

But I am a work in progress. God is not done with me yet. I still want to have that blessed quietness and to be still before Him. So help me God.

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