I’m a one-woman word processor. Words are my way to make sense of my thoughts and ideas, fears and disappointments, hopes and joys.
Just ask my husband.
Articulating my experiences in the right combination of words brings me deep satisfaction. And sharing with others feels second-nature. Posting, blogging, commenting, replying.
About a year ago, as I grasped at a new idea — one that I thought could help others — a dear friend startled me with her advice.
It’s okay to be quiet.
She reminded me of Mary. The one who gave birth in a stable and then was visited by shepherds who told her that she was part of a heavenly plan. A plan for the world’s redemption. And what did Mary do?
She “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
If anyone had words to share in this moment, it was Mary. She no doubt had some engaging content. Of course, she couldn’t start a group text or post to social media. (Much less use a Google map to help poor Joseph find Egypt.) But I do believe her quiet was intentional.
That day, I decided to keep my idea — and this verse — in my heart. To personally prioritize contemplation over communication.
And as time has passed, I now find myself more present with my family, more able to read, pray, or listen to a podcast. I am less likely to be emotionally derailed by a reckless social media rant or overwhelmed by a long list of notifications and unread messages. I’ve even embarked on an online class for mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Life still has ups and downs. Our house is as likely to have laughter and fun, as frustration and tears. I have a heart for the hurting and the marginalized, and I’m driven to act. Work gets overwhelming sometimes. The cooking and cleaning gets ignored sometimes. Pandemic life tantrums (including mine) still catch me by surprise.
And I will always be a compulsive communicator. Just ask my husband.
But experiencing the struggles and celebrations of each day — without a drive to capture and share every reflection — has become a gift.
And in this season, I’m happy to keep most of these things in my heart.