Finding Silence In Dirt, Dead Trees and New Beginnings

Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun — how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” 

Blessed silence. It offers perspective. It is discipline that requires attention. Silence gives us time and space to confront issues, and reason with our heart, mind and soul. Silence prompts understanding. Silence offers rest to the weary. Winter passes in stark silence so we can appreciate the arrival of spring in a cacophony of birdsong and confetti of tiny buds.

Old greenhouse, new life

Isn’t it interesting how we can look back over our lives and see whole seasons of time that seem — for lack of a better word — wasted. What did I accomplish? What did we do? Where did we go?  Whole chapters of life, written without colorful adjectives, conflict or conclusion. Empty space. Empty words. Empty days … at least that’s how they appear in retrospect.

Dear heart, I’m here to tell you: silence is never wasted. More often than not the greatest moments of our lives happen in the mundane, everyday, silent moments we do not photograph, post, share, or like. We get so lost in the noise of our culture that we forget to live out the moments. Literally.

Old greenhouse revival

We exist like this lonely, dilapidated greenhouse. The potential for greatness is smack dab in front of us but we no longer see it. All else is too loud, too consuming. We crave something we can’t remember. Until we do — and then, suddenly, our souls cry out in a weary and grateful groan. We rest in the silence and our imaginations run wild. We fan the flickering spark into a bonfire of hope and action. We move the big rocks, straining with all our might until they’re positioned in a way that benefits our journey rather than impeding our every move.

Silence isn’t easy. We toil and strain, plan and prepare, and eventually … plant. We grow weary from the effort — but it’s a weariness that energizes and electrifies.

Bottle tree arch

Know this: there will always be rocks along the way. The more rocks lining your path, the more growth you’re sure to have experienced. Rock slides, rocky trails, and big ol’ roadblocks yield the wisest, kindest, and most resilient people. Be patient. Wait for it. Sit in the silence and seek direction from the only reliable navigation system:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

When we do not, our paths wander aimlessly. We’re askew. We focus on “picture perfect” and “share-worthy” and never stop to truly “like” our own journey. We seek satisfaction in a vacuum and spend our time adrift in a sea of unnecessary noise. We focus on the weeds in the background, but the stark blooming beauty directly in front of us is always out of focus.

Daffodils blooming at Tuckaway Farm, spring 2017. Silence

Spring is the time to start anew. Acknowledge the dirt, pluck out the dead trees so those that are healthy have room to stretch and grow. I am convinced the best solution to any problem begins with hard work, a whole lot of green and growing wild outside, and thoughtful silence. The best advice we’ve ever been given is this:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Blessed Holy Week to you. Unplug. Unwind. Unhinge yourself from the swinging door of noise and clutter and consumption. Stop and smell the roses (or daffodils, lilies, tulips!). Love your people. Love the gift that is your life. Love the One who made it so.



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  • comment-avatar
    Robyn April 12, 2017 (4:22 pm)

    Happy Easter to you and your family, Jennifer!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer April 13, 2017 (9:31 am)

      Thanks so much, Robyn! Hope you have a wonderful Easter week(end) as well <3