Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Quiet Heart

I've recently been diving into the idea of "biblical womanhood" and what it means to be a woman of God right now - in the time and culture and place I live, and also in the season of life I'm in.

One theme that keeps emerging is that of "quietness" - often paired with the idea of gentleness and peace. I've really been struggling with this idea. Does it mean I have to literally be a quiet person? Because let's be honest - I'm just not. Sure, I went through that really shy, awkward stage as a teenager, when having to talk to someone at all was terrifying. And yeah, I am an introvert and I need my alone time. . . but none of this adds up to me being a quiet woman. In fact, around people I love and care for, I can be downright noisy (and sometimes even boisterous and obnoxious). And we have fun, and we talk and laugh and it builds our relationships.

So what is this business about living a quiet life? And how do I strive for that and pray for it to come about in my life? Here are some questions I've started asking myself on a regular basis, to help determine if my liife is marked by quietness, gentleness, and peace:

- Am I being loud, talking a lot, or telling personal stories only to gain attention for myself and be in the spotlight?
- Are my mind and heart "quiet"? Am I anxious, worried, stressed, etc?
- Do I take time to listen, to sit silently and just be present for my friends?
- How are my non-verbals? Is my tone of voice gentle? Is my posture and bearing one of peace, or am I being defensive, worried, withdrawn?
- Do I spend time each day in silence, listening to God? Do I take quiet time in His Word?

This is my starting point - not trying to change my personality, not trying to just be quiet for the sake of obedience, but in understanding what ways God calls me to a quiet life. He tells us that as women, we can "win over" those in our lives without words, but through behavior. Wow - what power there is in the "unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit" (I Peter 3:4).

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