Do you know what holds me together as a parent? It is NOT good coping skills, such as a warm bath, or time for me to do a hobby. It’s not the best parenting techniques or a good night of sleep. It for sure isn’t found in the numbing out through TV watching in the evening or through eating a big ole’ dessert.
What holds me together as a parent is spending time in SILENCE. I am not just talking about a silence where I break away from the kids and allow myself to sit quietly (even though this is nice!). I am referring to a very intentional silence where I allow God Himself to comfort me, counsel me, and love on me. It is in the silence that I learn to release control, free myself from human effort, and withdraw from the demands of life. It is here in the silence that I give myself more deeply and fully to my God. You see, this isn’t a discipline where you often notice something happening in the moment, but rather it is something that bears beautiful fruit over time. Here is the key: my positioning before God in the silence gives Him space to work inside me. I make myself available, He does the transforming. He truly is gentle and humble and He promises us REST as we turn away from what drains us and turn toward Him (Matthew 11:28-30). The biggest barrier I hear from parents is that they don’t have time for silence, SO just start with 10 minutes a day. You will be surprised at what this will do. He loves when we come after Him.
“Solitude is the furnace of transformation…it is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter—the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter of the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.” Henry Nouwen.