the quiet pause of Christmas…

the quiet pause of Christmas…

My voice has been silenced in the last twenty-four hours. Literally. Sickness has claimed my vocal cords. This has never happened to me before, not completely in the way it has happened for me this time around.

My whispered shouts for the attention of others are met only by their silence. Not because they don’t care about me, but rather because they can’t hear me. Their listening isn’t prone to my whispering, so mostly… I’m ignored. Probably a relief to most of those in my household, but to a woman who’s used to being heard… a great frustration indeed.

And I’m thinking…

About my voice. About my words. About needing to be heard. About what I will say when I am, again, able to say.

And I’m thinking…

About quietness. About the value of forced silence. About going inward with my thoughts instead of outwardly displaying every single one of them.

And I’m thinking…

About God. About his voice. About his needing to be heard. About his willingness to keep company with silence… with his thoughts, instead of outwardly displaying every single one of them.

And I’m thinking…

About how very connected I feel to Him in all of this. About how my inability to speak amplifies the volume of God’s witness.

How many times has the Father whispered my name in the midst of my chaos, only to be ignored because of the noise surrounding my life? My hearing isn’t prone to his whispering. But in silence—in this period of fewer, personal words—I more clearly hear the phrases from heaven.

Beautiful, peace-filled, stilled expressions of understanding from God’s heart.

My ninth grade English teacher once wrote in my yearbook, “Elaine, if silence is golden you can forget it.” Apparently, I was destined for poverty. Thirty years ago, I hadn’t a clue what she’d meant, and I couldn’t have cared less.

Today, I have a clue. Today I care more, exceedingly more. Today, silence really is golden, because silence has given me access to the whispers of home. And whenever that happens, friends, I’m the richest person alive.

I’m so glad I know Jesus. I’m so glad he knows me. And I’m exceedingly glad for those moments when I am able to clearly hear his voice. What tender grace is mine as a daughter of the King! I pray that you know him, hear him, worship and celebrate him in the quiet, closing moments of 2011. I believe that God has something vital and important to whisper to each one of us. I’ll be anxious to hear from you in coming days. As always…

Peace for the journey,
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26 Responses to the quiet pause of Christmas…

  1. Beautiful!

    Whenever I get an upper respiratory anything it goes straight to my vocal chords. I can count on laryngitis every time. Unfortunately it usually happens on days I need to work. Pharmacists have to talk…a lot…and it is quite inconvenient.

    Thankfully God has protected me from having it when I have a speaking engagement. praise!!

    Feel better soon, dear friend.

  2. Dear Elaine, Powerful post today! I too have suffered from throat issues where I can't talk but I've never thought about it like this. I also have suffered with wanting to hear His voice more but as you said maybe it is in the quietness. Blessings on your day dear one.
    Hugs, Noreen

  3. I am so happy I came here for a visit today. What a beautiful post. We chose a quiet travel free Christmas. It has been a blessing to us, focusing on God who gave…and Jesus who came. Grace is mine, too.


  4. Just beautiful, Elaine. When I read your first paragraph, I was tempted to tell you I was sorry for your laryngitis – but I can't say that anymore. Of course, I hope you will have your voice again, in God's timing, but I have been AMAZINGLY blessed by this post. I LOVE silence, and am glad you shared this.

  5. These are truly powerful words, written by one who has the authority to "speak" them. I have lost my voice only once or twice in my life, and yet not completely. How often have I taken my ability to speak, and to be heard, for granted.

    Elaine, I send you heartfelt greetings of joy in this phase of your journey. How God must love you, that even in this temporary loss of voice, He has given you in exchange volumes of valuable lessons that can't be learned any other way.

    What a beautiful heart of a learner you have, dear friend.

    Much love

  6. It is a scary place for me, the silence. So fearful is my soul to hear what may be said. This year of loss and grief could have been abundantly filled with silent moments to hear Gods whispers, yet noise filled every waking hour. Perhaps it is why I have felt so alone and forgotten. My hope in the year before us, is to quiet my heart to His voice and somehow in that silence, find peace. Thank you, Elaine for sharing your heart and using your words to encourage others!!! Blessings to you.

  7. What a precious pic of you and your family! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I hope that 2012 brings a renewed passion for the glory of God in all things, silence or shouts. 😉

  8. Such good thoughts here. Never really thought about silence like that, but it soo true. That was a really good picture of your family. Blessings and love to you this week! HUGS

  9. Leaning in silently for God's whispers.

    Thanks for the reminder to be still and know that He is God.

    Joining hearts and hands in the profound quiet…listening…

  10. What a rugged time of year to be side-lined with a virus. Still … (great word, "still"), I have to believe there's a unique & special gift born of it.

    When I was little they called me "Chatty Kathy". I still grin thinking about my childhood, and how very much I thought I knew (and how much of it people would want/need to hear). Oi!!

    Today my lfe is largely about quiet. I don't always like that, but I've come to see it's value. Thus I recognize & appreciate the wisdom of this post.

    Praying you are well soon,

  11. Adding my wishes for you to feel better soon Elaine.

    I love the picture of your family.

    As to the still and quiet, I still struggle with that one. And yet, I am adjusting to more of it, and I am seeing the value in my own life. Choosing to be still and to listen does not come naturally, maybe not for any of us, certainly not for me. I was always the one they called 'high strung'! And yet, God has His own ways of putting us in that quiet place, and there is so much to be learned there.

    Praying for 2012 to be filled with more of the listening and quiet heart, and full of His plans, not mine.

    Love you!

  12. I crave the silence. I have to have that time to be still. Now that our nest is almost empty, that silence has become a little easier to attain.

    I hope you're feeling much better, now, and that your voice is beginning to return. Like Leah, I typically lose my voice when I'm sick. A bell works great for getting your family members' attention, but if that doesn't work I'd suggest one of those air horn cans! 😉

    Get lots of rest, stay warm, drink plenty of fluids, and fix some chicken soup. It's good for what ails ya! *Hugs*

  13. Thank you, Elaine, for the reminder that silence is golden & that I should go inward with my thoughts. I struggled to do that with my blog this week, but sadly, I lost the battle. If I am to be honest, I deliberately lost the battle.

    I've been silent for a year now. Daily I go to Him in prayer about the family events surrounding James' death. I ask for guidance for them and for me, as well as forgiveness for all parties concerned. There have been months when I have surrendered all, but this weekend, I greedily snatched some things back. It was not a very classy thing to do and for that, I pray God forgives me.

    Be well, my friend,

  14. Will be praying for you, friend! And cherishing your words about the quietness allowing me to hear God's words. Love to you!

  15. Elaine, I pray that your voice will return soon and you will be feeling better. In the meantime, silence can be golden for a time. Time to spend quietly with the Lord, time to think and meditate …

    Busyness can get in the way all too often.

    I've not visited regularly and for that I'm sorry. Full time work and such have kept me from reading all of the blogs I love. But I wanted to stop by and wish you a wonderful 2012 and to check in on your Christmas.

    Blessings and love,

  16. If I were to lose my voice, my boys would celebrate. However, with my older boys, I am learning the value of silence, the value of quietness. It is hard but my voice now has a smaller role in the chorus of their lives. Surprisingly, the more I am quiet to hear the Father, the more I am learning to quiet my voice with my sons!

    BTW – I bet your teacher did not have an exhorter spiritual gift or word love language – or she could have recognize the beautiful value of the gift of communication God had placed within you!!!!

  17. wifeforthejourney:

    Its been interesting to observe how, with your loss of voice, everyone else in our house has taken to whispering. Our younger kids especially seem to have unconciously taken on the soft voice a weekend bug has left you with. Mom whispers, and they whisper back – like there is some secret that is being shared.

    Leave it to my wife to make a sinus infection another modern day parable. If we had ears to hear God's whispers, maybe we would spend more time in hushed conversation with Him. When the volume of the world drops, suddenly we have to listen more carefully.

    This is a good word for me to hear today. Speak to us Lord, we, your servants, are listening.

    Get well soon honey! Love,

    ~ Billy

  18. Elaine,
    My Father in law is visiting us and the gentle deep voices of my men are a pleasure to hear. But the silence of the female chatter (Judith's and mine) dominates the visit for me. I'm finding the quietness helps me depend on the Lord more and I've asked Him to speak to my grieving heart. This post of yours has helped me lean into that all the more. Silence, whatever form it takes, can be golden…it is the silver lining to my cloud of loss. Thank you for your heart…and I love your hubby's comment as well….the whispers of children.

  19. Oh Elaine, I am touched by the beauty of your words. Oh how I must grieve the Lord when I don't listen to what He is trying to tell me 🙁 Thank you for this. Lori

  20. I, too, had laryngitis over the Christmas holiday! The part I miss the most is singing the carols. But it is amazing how much I hear when I can't talk. I get laryngitis about once a year, usually this time of year… I guess I should listen to hear what God is trying to teach me! but I have a very soft voice anyway, so often people don't even realize I'm talking to them when I DON'T have laryngitis! I hope you are feeling better. Mine is beginning to heal, I'm at a raspy whisper now.

  21. Dear Elaine,
    Couldn't let this year end without me dropping by here to tell you I am thankful to God for the gift of your friendship. I have no doubt the New Year will usher in blessings of peace and joy and provision for you and for me!


  22. Superb post. Well said, even amidst your silence. Oh, that we would all be quiet in His presence more often. Hope you are feeling better. Happy New Year!

  23. Peace…quiet…the atmosphere where we are most apt to hear Him. This has been a wonderful year for me spiritually friend. Your words bring me closer to Him. I am so grateful for you! You don't need a voice to write!!

    Hope your better now!!

    Living Out Loud~Pamela