The Blessing of Silence

20140213-092617.jpgIt’s snowing. You all know that because I wrote about it here. Well, yesterday afternoon, we were pelted with sleet and then more snow came late into the night. The white flakes are now slowly drifting down.

20140213-093041.jpgFor the past few days, I’ve had the pleasure of these rowdy young people hanging out at my house.

20140213-093134.jpgThey’ve walked the neighborhood, sledded hills, built wonky snowmen and searched for warm homes to rest their weary bones.

20140213-093254.jpgMany times they ended up here. I love it! I’m not sure why they end up here, because I can only offer pizza, pop corn and cake. While my friend makes delicious homemade chicken and dumplings, red beans and rice, ceasar salad, bread cookies and hot chocolate! I tried to get myself over there to eat it too, but those bottomless pits, called teenagers, ate every last bite! Dang.

20140213-093826.jpgSince Thomas spent the night with one of the guys, Superman and I woke to a quiet house.
Silence. Like the snow that is falling now. It is so beautiful, I had to turn my chair around so I could enjoy it.

20140213-094642.jpgWith a bowl of grits and a hot cup of coffee, I’m reading this amazing book, Celebration of Discipline, by Richard J. Foster.

Hailed by many as the best modern book ever written on Christian spirituality and described by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century, Celebration of Discipline explores the classic “disciplines” of the Christian faith.

Foster divides the disciplines into three movements, inward, outward and corporate disciplines. Today, ironically, I was reading about the outward discipline of solitude.

20140213-102247.jpg Being in solitude is not the same as being in loneliness.

Solitude is more a state of mind and heart than it is a place.

R.J.Foster

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A day filled with noise and voices can be a day of silence, if the noises become for us the echo of the presence of God, if the voices are, for us, messages and solicitations of God. When we speak of ourselves and are filled with ourselves, we leave silence behind. When we repeat the intimate words of God that he has left within us, our silence remains intact.

Catherine de Haeck Doherty

20140213-103705.jpgIts kinda funny for someone like me, with a mouth like mine, to revere this chapter on solitude. For the extrovert like me, who loves people, get-togethers, parties, lately I feel most comforted by silence.

20140213-104008.jpgQuiet. My body loosens.

20140213-104337.jpgAs I walked around the yard this morning, I thanked God. There were no lawn mowers, no dogs barking, no firetruck sirens, no voices. Just quiet. I breathed deeply.

20140213-104526.jpgEven what I was seeing was quiet.

Friends, this is a gift. Embrace it. Let your soul sink into the silence. Take this time to listen. Hear what God is telling you.

20140213-105143.jpgRecognize this gift, because if like most of us….it won’t last long.
They’re back. Rowdy, noisy, laughing, hungry boys.

20140213-105350.jpgThanks for stopping by! Stay warm.

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Winter Storm 2014

20140212-100245.jpgPREPARE FOR WINTER STORM!!!

20140212-100328.jpgSchools are closed in preparation of storm.

20140212-100354.jpgThe accumulation…

20140212-100413.jpgThe danger…
I know it seems crazy to my northern friends. We are seen as idiots, as wimps, as silly southerners. I get it. You guys live in feet of snow for many months of the year. You drive, run and playfully live life in blizzards and white-outs.
But you see, here, I was playing tennis in 60 degree weather just three days ago. Our winter consists of wearing a sweater and some flip flops, hoping it gets cold enough to warm up some hot cocoa. So, make fun of us. Yup, the kids are out of school. But honestly? I know you’d rather be here knowing that the snow will be melted away by Friday, than sitting there with your shovel in hand knowing you’ll be looking at your white stuff for the next 4 months.

Here in Spartanburg, we are bedding down for a few days. So for my southern friends, what are we to do? These are a few of my suggestions to help pass the time away. But first snuggle in your favorite chair with a cozy blanket wrapped around you. Grab a hot cup of coffee and relax.

20140212-101631.jpgCheck out Travel and Leisure’s Beautiful Scenes Around the World.

20140212-103018.jpgThis collection of photographs of animals living in an abandoned house is amazing.

20140212-103835.jpgMy heart quiets when I look at these animals in winter.

20140212-104243.jpgA Russian mom captures her two sons on their farm in enchanting photographs.

Do you need to waste some more time? Here are some quizzes you can take to get to “know” yourself better.

20140212-104647.jpgWhich design aesthetic are you? Click here to find out. I was a Wes Anderson movie. ???? Good to know, I think.

20140212-105412.jpgThis quiz, I have to say, did not result in what I wanted it to say. The first time I took it, it said I was a “Thank You” cookie. (I don’t think they sell those here in South Carolina.) So, I tried again, picking totally different answers. Then I was “Lemonade” cookies. I really want to be a Samoa, a crazy mix of ingredients…coconutty, chocolatey, which everyone happy, and the cookie crunch to shake things up a bit.

Feel the need to play around? I’ve got a few fun apps to get creative with.

20140212-131141.jpgThis was done on the BubbleFrameapp.

20140212-131246.jpgThis cool app is called Waterlogue.

I want to end with this…Superman- I love you! You are the Sonny to my Cher. I got you Babe! Pleeeeze! Pretty please! Click here for the most romantic video of all time…cough, cough…ahem.

Have a great snowy day! Love,

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