Monday, April 01, 2013
Evening Quiet Retreat
One Sunday evening, our children were w-i-l-d. and, no kidding this happens more nights than I would like to admit. Something happens around 7:30, and they go bananas.
David walked through the craziness and encouraged everyone to get a book and sit quietly. One or two of them had trouble getting started on that idea and needed encouragement to sit still and quiet.
I was sitting at the school table and picked up a nearby book myself. Before I knew it, I had finished my chapter in complete silence. I carefully looked around, Emily was stretched out reading Ramona and Her Mother, Rachel had an Usborne fairy search and find book and Samuel was sitting at the table with me quietly coloring. I was afraid to even breathe for fear of breaking the wondrous spell that had fallen quietly over this noisy bunch.
It lasted for fifteen or twenty minutes, which floored me and also refreshed and calmed my frazzled state. At the beginning of the year when I chose quiet as my word, one of the things in my mind was an evening quiet retreat. The initial idea was different, but now I think is taking shape.
What if we did this every night? It would transform how much I despise bed time and the craziness that usually ensues. I closed the quiet by whispering that we needed to put our things quietly away and come together on the couch. We snuggled up with our new that day copy of Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing and I spontaneously announced right then and there we'd be doing this every night. They were to be ready for bed including teeth brushed, jammies on and clean up finished at the appointed time for Evening Quiet.
Bed time was smooth and non stressful and while I know we can do anything once, it feels good and right and I am hopeful for great blessings from the investment in peace and quiet. Not to mention mama's nerves.
Fast forward one month since I originally wrote the above, we've continued the evening quiet time and it has been marvelous. Really, has made evenings so much less stressful in our home and especially for me. I cannot tell you how many times our children are the ones to get started on and remind about this time.
It's become a time of lamps and candlelight, books, quiet games, drawing, snuggling, reading, resting and just being together in a quiet way to end the day.
Thank You, Lord for the glorious idea. For the chaos that prompted the desperation to start it and for the desire hidden in our hearts to continue it.