Turn up the Quiet!

1713039951_c528dbb2d4One of my most favorite past times is spending the weekend at the lake with my husband. It’s a restorative experience–like java to my soul!  Our days there are relatively uneventful–just filled with fishing, boating, or sitting around talking to family and friends.

Sometimes I take a book or my laptop with me with the intention of getting some work done, but most of the time I just sit around doing nothing at all. These visits are a welcome change from my daily routine, which leave me strengthened and refreshed–full of insight and inspiration.

When we return from the quietness of the lake, I always become hypersensitive to the noise back at home. We live close to a highway and the freeway noise is magnified by the contrast of the still mornings on the lake when the only thing that disturbs the quiet is a splash from a fish jumping in the water. The difference between the restorative nature of “quiet” versus the depleting tendency of “noise,” becomes apparent.

“Noise” comes from the latin word for “nausea” or “seasickness.” It reflects a type of disturbance that is caused by too much movement or too many loud and confusing sounds. When we apply this definition to our present day, noise is reflected by too much work, time on the internet, television, or too much time talking on the cell phone.  The result of this imbalance is “seasickness” in the form of irritability, fatigue, overwhelm and depletion. Like the non-stop echo of traffic on a busy freeway, a noisy life is cluttered with busyness and too much activity.

In contrast, “quiet” comes from the Latin word “repose” which, according to The New Oxford American Dictionary, means “a temporary rest from activity, excitement or exertion; a state of peace, composure, and harmony.” Quiet is reflected by time to think, pray, rest, play, love, and be refreshed. The Bible says, that it is in quietness and confidence that you will find strength (Isaiah 30:15) and it is a “quiet and peaceable” life that we are encouraged to live. (1 Timothy 2:2)

See, when you work, you pour out as you give to your family, friends, customers, or clients.  This activity draws from and takes away your strength. But when you balance your work with times of rest and quiet, you position yourself to receive by allowing the world to give back to you. Quiet times and restful places are like God’s fueling stations designed to strengthen and restore you.

If you are weary or depleted and need to be recharged, turn down the noise in your environment–find a place of peace and quiet. You don’t have to go on an elaborate vacation to experience restoration.  You can find your “quiet place” right at home. Just choose a “quiet time” and turn off your computer, television or blackberry. Leave an auto response letting your friends and family know that you are away –busy working on all the things that you are “NOT” going to do at the moment!  Go get your ipod, a good book or nothing at all.  Kick your feet up or snuggle in your favorite  chair and then…turn up the quiet!

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13 Comments

Filed under Work-Life Balance

13 responses to “Turn up the Quiet!

  1. I think I should have studied Latin! Thanks so much for this. Quiet can be very hard to come by and when we meet it, sometimes people are unable to enjoy it. Not MY problem, but this is a great reminder.

  2. This is very beautiful. I am going to make sure several others read it and also keep it in my heart.

  3. Lynn, I agree. Quiet is an under-appreciated experience. But it’s full of untapped potential. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Martha…thank you so much for sharing this and for your encouragement!!!!

  5. Too often we fill our lives with noise and activity. I’ve always wondered, for instance, why people run with headphones (music) when there is already plenty of sound outdoors. So many environments are noisy and draining. I recently accompanied my daughter to a birthday party at an indoor amusement park type place (think Chuck e Cheese times 100). Kids screaming. Beeping of various games. By the time I got home, I wanted to crawl into a dark hole.

    There was a time in my life, though, when I was terrified of the space and of the quiet. I couldn’t stop doing.

  6. Tiffany

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. drcarolynmiller

    Alisa–I agree. Sometimes we are afraid of quiet…noise is much more comfortable and familiar.

    Tiffany…thanks for your comments!

  8. What a timely message! In the busyness of our lives. we sometimes forget the things that God has created to give us peace, such as His voice during quiet moments.

  9. drcarolynmiller

    Athena, you are absolutely right!

  10. Lekesha R. Barnett

    Love it! I fight to turn up the quiet in my life and I am always blessed when I have victory. Now I can’t live without it on a regular basis. It has often made the difference in serious circumstances in my life. Thanks for sharing!

  11. drcarolynmiller

    Lekesha, great point. The more serious the circumstance, the more important it is to slow down and really “hear” the next step or action God wants us to take.

  12. Meryl Steinberg

    Couldn’t be more perfect. Going to post it in Twitter…then get me an hour of quiet. 🙂 (couldn’t recall your twitter name–are you still on it?)

  13. drcarolynmiller

    Thanks for stopping by, Meryl! 🙂 Yes…I’m still on twitter. Look for @drcarolynmiller. You can also get to me from my website, http://www.drcarolynmiller.com

    I’ll shoot you a DM sometime today! 🙂

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