Do You Have a Quiet Place?

by Sally Matheny

  Do you have a quiet place? Not just a state of mind, but literally a place where you can go sit and think, without interruptions?
  There’s a popular story among homeschool moms about a mother who only had one place—under her apron. When she desperately needed a moment of silence with the Lord she would find a chair, sit, and pull her apron over her head. Unless someone was bleeding or dying, no one was to bother Mommy when her apron was over her head!
  Sometimes we stay-at-home-moms have to go to extreme measures to find a quiet place. 
  Dads face the same dilemma. Recently, I felt challenged to make a quiet place, not for me, but for my husband.
  Serving as a bi-vocational pastor, my husband stays quite busy between his two jobs, family, and daily life events. After visiting Carl Sandburg’s home recently and seeing his chair perched out in the quiet woods nearby, I decided I would carve out a quiet place for my husband. A special place he could go and be alone with God.
  We have a creek on our land but it's overgrown with underbrush and briers. So one afternoon, while the hubby was at work, I set out to clear a path to the creek. I had high aspirations of a beautiful winding path curling along beside the creek leading to a special place set aside for solitude. I grabbed the rake and some hedge clippers and took the 8-year-old redhead with me for backup.
  The hedge clippers were so dull they were tossed immediately. The redhead lasted ten minutes before he tramped off through the woods in search of dragons with his Nerf gun. He insisted my protection was much more important than raking leaves. It was difficult raking through the thick, damp leaves. It was easier to swish the leaves to the side with my feet. I set about like a rhythmic robot. Right leg swings and leaves swish through the air. Then the left leg swings. Back and forth, I carved out a rudimentary path.
  The path hugged fairly close to the creek. Who knew the creek was so pretty, so peaceful? As I did my robotic sweeping, I prayed. I prayed for my husband, my children, all our family and friends and for our church. While I was making a quiet place for my husband, I was having my own quiet time with God.
  Searching for a stopping place was not easy. I wanted the path to lead to just the right spot. A place where I could place a chair for my dear one to go sit, to pray and to read his Bible.

  Finally, I came to a level piece of ground. It was big enough of an area to put a chair and continue a path around it, if we decided to lengthen it later. The spot was perfect. I nestled a chair under the trees facing the bubbling creek. Sinking into the chair, I was exhausted but happy. Leaning back, I gazed at the flickering of sunlight in the creek. The bubbling sounds soothed the soul. I closed my eyes and thanked God for this place of peace. 
   Before I left the spot, I cleared every tiny leaf off the ground surrounding the little nook where the chair sat. I raked the ground until a smooth, dark brown carpet appeared with its earthy smell. I longed to bring my husband to this consecrated place.
  In Mark 6:31 Jesus tells his disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 
  Have you carved out a quiet place where you can go and rest in God’s peace?

(*This article is part one of a two part series. Check the "No Tresspassing" post to find out how the quiet place was violated.)