Silent Night

Everyone knows the first verse from “Silent Night” which is  lovely, but have you stopped to listen and ponder the second and third verses?

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

The idea of this reverent silence reminds me of a quote from my all time favorite author, C.S. Lewis. This is from a passage in his book The Screwtape Letters:

“[The demon Screwtape writes:] Music and silence–how I detest both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell–though Cover of "The Screwtape Letters"longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express–no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise–Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile–Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.”

In this past year our house has been anything but quiet. We now have a 21 month old and a 6 month old. Our daughters love each other tremendously and although they are young, I know they will be great friends…and our house will only get louder with the squeals of playful sisters. Life is full and life is good. We have been so blessed, but I need to remember the importance of silence. God speaks to us in the still, quiet moments, and he restores our soul in the absence of Noise.

So, for this Christmas Season (and into the next year and beyond) I encourage all of you to discover what is making the most Noise in your life (electronics, activities, work, everyday distractions?) and mindfully make a little more quiet time. Take a break from some of the holiday busyness a let Jesus’ light and love fill in the silence.

Grace and Forgiveness

Today I read this devotional from A.W. Tozer Grace and Forgiveness – Bible Gateway Devotionals.

It really struck a chord with me, especially this part:

What a gracious thing for us that Jesus Christ never thinks about what we have been. He always thinks about what we are going to be. You and I are slaves to time and space and records and reputations and publicity and the past-all that we call the case history. Jesus Christ cares absolutely nothing about anyone’s moral case history. He forgives it and starts from there as though the person had been born one minute before.

I find myself consistently dwelling on the past. Praise God that Jesus “never thinks about what we have been.” If He forgives me and sees all the wonderful potential in my life, then certainly I need to forgive myself (more), move on (why is this such a process!?) and focus on becoming who I am meant to be.

Just because I am forgiven doesn’t mean that I won’t still make mistakes. I am not perfect 🙂 There is a fine line, I think, in becoming complacent and having the attitude of “Well, if I mess up, I’m forgiven! No biggie!” and not giving yourself grace for the inevitable slip-ups we have from simply being non-perfect and, you know, human!

I could write a lot more, but I think I would find myself rambling just a little too much. And, as good as it is to write out these few simple thoughts I need to pry myself from the computer and get back to some mommyhood duties. Fortunately, since it is nap time for the kiddies that means a short nap for me and trying to clean the crayon off my table… 🙂

Toughest Critic

Yesterday I went to bed with the energy, motivation, and greatest of intention of doing a super clean of the whole house. And then this morning I woke up and reality set in: 6 hours of light sleep and severe seasonal allergies made me very tired and very unmotivated. So even though my morning was MUCH less busy since Sweet C is still at Grandma’s, I still have my darling newborn Blue Eyes that wanted lots of attention. Please don’t take this as a complaint, I’m just stating it as a fact that my planned morning of all out cleaning was a morning of cuddling, diapers, feeding, and you get the idea. Of course this in of its self was wonderful because she wasn’t being fussy, but I think she realized Sweet C wasn’t around and so she could have more of my undivided attention.

However, I did manage to get a little housework done after a quick lunch. But, I am my toughest critic, and so now I am reminding myself that one out of two bathrooms cleaned, one load of laundry, cleaning counters and kitchen floor, and picking  up random toys off the floor is sufficient. I need to give myself grace. I could probably do more, but I am learning more and more that as a mommy of two little kiddies I run out of energy fast! So now I am resting for a bit. This is not a lazy restful period but one of necessary rejuvenation. I need to find a healthy snack (thinking English: A pack of blueberries from a organic ...blueberries and peanut butter on a whole grain tortilla) to energize my body. Also, since Blue Eyes just laid down for a nap I am going to energize my mind and body by taking a little nap as well. But before I take a nap I am going to energize my spirit by having a little quiet time and reading a short devotional. I love biblegateway.com for this purpose.

So, my tip for cleaning of the day is this: give yourself grace! Do what you can because the little things add up, and once you feel more energized do a bit more. Little tasks at a time (and it will be probably be over several days) make one clean house.

I am blessed to have such a flexible schedule to clean, relax, and have fun as needed 😀