what we really need is “nothing.”

Written by Mandy Thompson

She’s just a girl with a guitar. And, in a perfect world, Mandy would spend her days writing songs and soaking up the sun. But, life is life. And, while not perfect, her life is good. She serves as Director of Congregational Services at The Chapel, in Brunswick GA. If you asked her about her position, she’d say her main course involves developing worship experiences, with a side of creative design and social media for dessert. Tasty!

February 28, 2012

Our house is quiet. Sometimes it’s a lonely “waiting for adoption” sort of quiet, but most of the time it’s a soothing quiet. And I soak it up. Just the other day, I spent nearly four hours in consecutive silence. It was heart-binding. It was immense. It was effortless. It was convenient.

And it sort of serendipitously happened.

I didn’t wake up that morning demanding silence. I didn’t put it on my little to-do list. And I didn’t consciously enter into it. In fact, I didn’t know I was in the presence of silence until it was being removed from me, phone call by car radio by office-work, like the unwrapping of a warm soothing blanket.

My soul had been blanketed in silence for the morning, leaving me with a strong sense of self-awareness and Shalom. I could almost hear my soul speak soft quiet soulish words. Almost.

Given another hour or so, I suspect that my soul would’ve spoken. Words would’ve flown from my hands. Art would’ve dripped from my fingertips. Truth would’ve been whispered from deep within me.

So I muted the radio in an effort to save what little silence remained. I breathed in and out the air of oxygen-rich transcendance. I felt small but safe. Secure.

I’ve made effort to reclaim the quiet spaces of my life, enter into them with intention and care. I look for those pockets of my week that might go uninterrupted and still. I place myself in them. I rest. I reflect.

And I know that soon my world will be filled with the sound of giggles and potty emergencies and little feet and peanut-butter sandwiches. I know the sounds around me will soon shift, and I wonder how I’m going to find that silence that my soul craves?

How do you find silence? Or does It find you?

18 Comments

  1. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    It’s 3:25 a.m., so it’s pretty quiet here. Yet I hear the house creak once, a rooster, way off in the distance, the faint hum of the fridge, my computer’s fan, my fingers on the keyboard. I hear my own breath.

    It’s hard to find silence. 

    And….congratulations on impending giggles and PB&J!

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      Wow, Sheila. It sounds like I need to wake up at 3:20am in order to find post-adoption silence? Oh boy! 🙂

      Reply
  2. melut775

    To me, silence is the substance of art. It is out of silence and solitude that I find myself overwhelmed with the need to express God’s love in creative mediums. In other words: I love it.

    Maybe that’s I keep earplugs in my room at all times…

    -kingdom-eyes.com-

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      You’ve just given me a new layer of understanding to why silence is so important for my creative soul. Thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  3. tam

    I find silence. I believe this, in part, because I believe silence always exists, somewhere. you can’t have noise unless you have silence first. Hushing the noise, however, isn’t always easy. This is something I am continually working on…

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      I like that: “You can’t have noise unless you have silence first.”
      So, how did you find silence when the kids were younger? Or when they’re doing their music thing? Or when a horror movie is playing? In other words: Help!

      Reply
      • tam

        =)

        right off the cuff i can answer all those questions with one answer…

        finding the beauty in all of those situations. camping my mind out in the beauty of what surrounded me, regardless of the temporary noise.

        1- when the kids were younger i loved watching such miraculous creations begin to create on their own. “sometimes” that would help me drown out my urge to wanta kick a puppy cuz i was so over the noise 😉

        2- oddly…the music, as noisy as it was/is, has never once gotten to me. perhaps it was because i relate to it. i am not sure.

        3- horror movies. ahhh, brenty. i leave the room. =D

        here’s the thing – if you are nurturing your own spirit with silence, meditation or whatever it is that refuels you and gives you a brain-break, you will have the ability to endure the not so silent moments. 

        the times i do not care for my own well being i find that i react to the littlest of things. even when those little things are nothing out of the ordinary.

        i’m probably saying much more than what you were looking for, mandy pants, aren’t i?

        Reply
        • mandythompson

          Thank you for this. It’s so helpful. I can feel this moment surging at me and I know that my balance and stasis will be rattled to the core. It’s been just me and Drew for a long time… Things are about to change, and there’s so much that I can’t even begin to prepare for on my own. Your answers are very helpful. And not too much. 🙂 Never too much!

          Reply
          • tam

            i love you, friend. and i am beyond excited, thrilled, elated and all that other fabulous stuff for the journey that awaits you!

          • mandythompson

            Love you too, Tam. 🙂

  4. Shanyn

    Quiet is something that a Mama with child, husband, dogs, cows and horses doesn’t have very often but it is so precious and wonderful.  Ah I love it.

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      Cows can be loud, especially at odd hours. Glad you are able to get silence when you can, Shanyn. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Janmacy

    I’ve found silence.  I love it.  I’ve learned to turn off the TV and just read or think. 

    That only works until my husband arrives.  But – oh – it’s wonderful.  Once the giggles and PF&J arrive you’ll need to learn were to carve out some silence. 

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      Oh yes. 🙂 No TV works great for me! And right now I’m pretending that my washing machine is a waterfall. Well, until it hit the spin cycle as I’m typing this. Ok, maybe laundry won’t be my “silent” time after all…

      Reply
  6. Nikole Hahn

    That sounds like a place I want to be. :o)

    Reply
    • mandythompson

      Me too, Nikole! As often as possible.

      Reply

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what we really need is “nothing.”

by Mandy Thompson time to read: 2 min
19