Silent Night

Whenever I go home to Ohio, probably one of the biggest adjustments to have to get used to, is…the quiet.

Falling asleep, there is nothing. Maybe a distant train. Maybe the ticking of a clock. But it is silent.

Especially in the winter. When there’s a blanket of snow covering the ground, the silence can be deafening.

A far cry from New York City, that’s for sure.

Ambulances, garbage collectors, cars, rowdy bar crawlers, blaring music — all things I fall asleep to. In fact, from my bed, when I put my ear to the ground, I can feel and hear the subway pass beneath every 4.5 minutes.

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Needless to say, silence is a bit of an anomaly in the concrete jungle.

But not here. Not in Ohio.

And there’s something about lying here, eyes closed, listening to the stillness, that I realize just how powerful that lack of noise is.

And how I could use a lot more of it.


This past week has been a whirlwind of epic proportions. Christmas, traveling, cooking.

I’m sure you can relate.

No matter how non-commercial you try and keep Christmas, the fact is, you can’t show up to parties empty handed. Christmas cards have to be sent. And people expect a token of appreciation, even if it is non-monetary.

So that means running around like a bat outta hell trying to get things done.

But it is in the silence that I finally am able to breath. Relax. Think.

And, with literally nothing else as a distraction, my mind is able to wander. And come to the sobering realization that this is missing from my life. The quiet. The stillness. The moments of no distractions where I can think and pray and listen.

I’ve been so restless these past few months about boys and life and career, and I wonder…when was the last time I sat in silence like this? And just think?

Not even church is an avenue for contemplation anymore, with its hymns and people watching, and interaction. All well and good – but admittedly, lacking the stillness.

God speaks to us in the stillness. As a “gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12. We need to “stop and consider God’s wonders.” Job 37:14.

This is not such a simple matter. Being still is not nearly as cut and dry as we may think. Because honestly, when we slow down and be still, we have to sit with ourselves. We have to come face to face with some truths. With who we are. With who we’ve become.

And that, can be scary.

But I think, it’s a necessity. For growth. For our relationship with God. And our relationship with ourselves.

Ohio may be onto something with its silence. With its ability to be quiet. And still. It provides an opportunity to reflect.

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So for now, I’m going to just shut down the computer and enjoy this respite from the noise and absorb the silence. To sit with my thoughts and prayers and just be.

And think about that little Child in the manger. Because He was born on a Silent Night, just like tonight. And I bet if we listen close enough, we may even be able to hear the Heavenly Hosts sing Hallelujah.

Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas.

Hugs

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201 thoughts on “Silent Night

  1. Finding stillness and quiet is difficult in our always on world. We recently house sat out in the country. So quiet. Almost “there is a murdered coming to get you in the night” quiet. Fortunately, we survived.
    Your post made me think of Paul Miller’s book, “A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World.” Have you read it?

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  2. “Because honestly, when we slow down and be still, we have to sit with ourselves. We have to come face to face with some truths. With who we are. With who we’ve become.”

    ^This line got to me. So very true. Sometimes that’s what makes silence so scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Silence is hard where every bit of your attention is demanded elsewhere. Many pay good money to learn to sit alone with themselves. So, accept that gift wherever you may find it. There are many times when I don’t when others do because I’m, fine. I don’t know a better word for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah silence is golden and freaky. I’ll probably always have to use ambient noise to fall asleep. But as you say silence is important. There’s a reason why it’s a spiritual discipline. Not speaking can have a similar effect. An interesting experience for Lent would be only speaking when absolutely necessary or when spoken to or something.

    Can you see all the stars where you are in Ohio? That’s the other thing about leaving the city: Stars. I love being able to actually see the Milky Way. Silence and stars sounds very purifying and relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing this insight into that basic need: silence. I started incorporating that into worship regularly at church and find that it is a marvel how long even 2 minutes can feel but how refreshing 2 minutes of silence can be. And yes, then God can be heard much better when we are still. Love this. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reminded…in Peace.
    Reflect…in Peace.
    Strengthened…in Peace.
    A relationship…in Peace.
    Thoughts…in Peace.
    Listen…in Peace.
    Understand…in Peace.
    Speak…in Peace.
    Taught…in Peace.
    Teach…in Peace.
    Reach out…in Peace.
    Live…in Peace.
    Rest…in Peace.

    Wishing you a New Year of Peace, young Peace-Maker. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m very happy you found a place of peace, and enjoying it.
    My best wishes for you in the New Year.
    Let it bring you all good, blessings, love, and good luck.
    You are Amazing!

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  8. Thanks. Very profound. Yes. Definitely God can minister to one’s soul in the silence.
    In silence, one can experience the presence of God.
    In silence, one’s questions can be answered and new questions can be raised.
    In silence, direction can be discovered.
    In silence, the balm that heals mental, emotional, and physical ailments pours forth and one can embrace the peace that passes all understanding.

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  9. Silence is powerful in so many ways that it can’t be explained in just few lines. I’m glad you found it and you are making the most out of it. Happy new year!

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  10. I had some of the exact same thoughts this past week, visiting family in rural Ohio. The silence was needed, but somewhat unsettling, haha. If there’s one thing I learned from my years in New York City, it was that silence can’t be an end unto itself. Sometimes in the City, I didn’t have that option (obviously). But at the same time, I had the most peace-filled moments of my life amidst the chaos of the city. If I am able to treat silence as a way to posture myself to listen to God, I’ve found that He is there… just waiting for me to finally acknowledge Him. Thanks for this post!

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  11. Glad you had a Silent Night, Vit. B! I always love silent moments, you know. I believe it is during such wherein you are closest to God. I pray that you always find that needed silence whenever you need it this 2017. Happy New Year! 🙂

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  12. I ws just thinking if I could find a “quiet” place in my house for mediation it would be great.. my room is not right and the house is packed with work stuff.. i am researching it more but yes I need and desire quiet time to relax, recharge and get the mind on a positive level sometimes

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  13. Nice post. I like the phrase, “we have to sit with ourselves”. Very important to sit with ourselves and realize who we have become and if that is okay. Self-examiniation is indeed a very important part of being a Christian.

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  14. My husband and I went back to Ohio for Christmas as well and said the exact same thing. The quiet was startling (which sounds like an oxymoron, but I know you understand!). From the hustle and bustle of California, the quiet felt like such a needed respite. Like time was moving slower, and we finally had time to catch our breaths. I relate so well to this post. Moving into this year, I want to be more intentional about sitting in the quiet listening for God’s voice. Thank you for sharing, Caralyn. ❤ Wishing you big blessings in this new year!

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  15. I live in Cleveland – not much quiet here. Plus, I have a gang of children whobare on winter break! I find that late nights and early mornings are ideal for real quiet time. I sacrifice a bit of sleep just to have space to think.

    I remember going “camping” at the cabins in Pymatuning and Salt Fork as a kid. I wish I could go back and enjoy the beauty of just being. I hope you enjoyed your visit, and are able to find quiet moments even in NYC.

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  16. Thank you for sharing. This is how I felt leading up to Christmas, which saddens me as I couldn’t get myself to sit in silence, to take in the serenity of our calming natural surroundings and to just breath. I felt overwhelmed and lost to be honest.

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    • Hey there, thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry that christmas was overwhelming. I definitely can relate…our “to do” lists are always super long and it’s hard to find that respite from the busyness. hope 2017 proves to be a quieter and more peaceful year 🙂 hugs xox

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  17. This is a perfect post to end 2015 on. I personally identify so much! I found blasting music or having a show on in the background the last few months causing overstimulation. My mind started shutting down, fatigued by all the noise, and I realized I also need quiet. Quiet resets my mind and in a way, gives me a chance to hear God more loudly. ❤

    Like

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