Welcome back to the Lent retreat! My name is Ryian, and I am your host and MC. This is a retreat for those who aren’t able to get away, so throughout Lent, there will be talks, testimonies, and questions to help you reflect. If you prefer to listen instead of read, there is an audio format on the podcast, Ryian’s Coffee Shop!
During our time away, we have been working on quieting our hearts, even if we can’t quiet the room. Today, our guest Jacki Beers from Faber Beads is going to be sharing her testimony about quiet. Jacki is a wife and mama living near Pittsburgh. She finds herself among endless creative and home projects while sipping coffee and driving to and from preschool.
“Quiet is something rare in my life. No, its not because of my children or my “busy mom life.” Its because I don’t often choose it. When I was approached about joining in presenting this retreat, I felt drawn to talk about quiet and have since been becoming very aware of how often I choose noise.
Yes, my children can be loud. They are five and three and a half. They often have incredibly long stories to share with me, unending songs sung from their little hearts, they breathe in my ear, and pose nonsensical questions that come into formation as they leave their lips. I often find myself irritated with the constant noise coming from my two little darlings. But if I’m honest, I don’t allow quiet when it can come either.
As an introvert, I have been blessed that my children have grown to prefer occupying themselves at home. Their imaginations run wild in the playroom. They choreograph shows to put on in the evening. They curl up under a blankie together and pick out their favorite movies to watch. Even when one of them is at preschool on any given weekday, the other is content drawing pictures or flipping through books. So I have a lot of time that I could be spending in quiet. Instead, I create my own noise.
I listen to podcasts. I listen to music. I catch up with friends over video chat. I listen to audiobooks. I listen to prayer and spiritual meditation apps. (My husband could absolutely give testimony that something seems to always be playing on my phone.) I create mental chatter as I fill out my planner. My to do list — what I need to make for dinner, what needs cleaned today, what appointments need to be made for next week…it never ends. I don’t let it. Its written on paper, but I keep the loop running in my mind.
Its only when I push my planner aside and when I walk away from my phone that I find my creativity bubbling. Why? It’s quiet. My mind is quiet. The stream of incoming information and noise has ceased, and now I may give from myself. I design things. I plan goals and may even plan out a future month. (Planning in this way doesn’t feel pressing like it does when I plan my coming week or day. Its a much lighter and creative feeling.) I think. And I pray.
I love to pray with some of my favorite apps and daily readings books. I like to think that I am refreshing myself when I consume positive, religious, and calming content. But the most refreshing prayer time I have is when my mind is quiet. I speak to our Father from my heart. I let my soul do the talking. And because my mind is quiet, I can hear Him. His voice speaking to my soul is the only incoming information that truly refreshes me. This communion of my soul bursting forth and at the same time receiving what God wants to show me gives the best direction in those plans I was making for myself and for my family. It gives me an abundance of inspiration for designing and creating work which honors Him. This quiet prayer is my best prayer that I can offer. Quiet nourishes my spirit in ways that just cannot be encouraged by consuming any content that promises that calmness, or sometimes even in reciting traditional prayers. Quiet allows me to just be and to listen to the Voice which is best heard in the silence.
I need quiet. I need to allow quiet. Giving myself regular time that is truly quiet lets me give of myself better as a daughter of God, as a wife, as a mother, as a household manager, as an artist, as a friend. Where can you find times to allow quiet in your day? Do you already? How does it change you? What does it teach you?
We are all mamas with children who will create plenty of noise for us. We are also simply people living in a busy world. There will always be noise. There will even be the noise that cloaks itself in a facade promising calm and peace. I encourage you to choose the quiet instead. Even for a minute here or there. And I’ll be here trying to choose it too.”
Thank you so much, Jacki!
I actually just got back from a place called Pacem where I spent a couple days in silence at a hermitage. It was a wonderful experience! I’ll share more about it later on in the near future, but for now I wanted to share that like Jacki, my time of quiet helped me listen. I wasn’t told anything profound, but I was able to be creative, organize my thoughts, and be at peace, and I hardly journaled one page! My mind was distraction free and able to cool off and settle down. I know not everyone is able to actually go on a retreat. I have been wanting to go on that retreat for four years! So at this time, I want you to take 5 minutes with no phone, no screen, no book, no music, and just be.
Jacki creates rosaries and Catholic gifts, including Young & Wild Catholic Mama swag. She is also building up her blog where she writes to encourage young mamas to thrive in their vocations. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook. All of her links can be found at her website here.