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The house is so quiet tonight. My daughters and husband are gone, and the animals are curled up tight. I hear the hum of the air conditioner, the lively chirps of the robins, and the cars cruising along. The television is dark. Lights and phone are off. I notice the evening sun spilling through the window onto the corner of the mantle above. I hear my own breath and close my eyes. It’s amazing to hear the world so often invisible to me.

More and more these days, I find myself choosing quiet. The noise from my computer, phone, television, and radio seem louder than before. I am anxious and overwhelmed by the exploding pixels on my screen and chaos in my ears. I sense that I need a break to tune out the noise, so I can tune into the truth. I know it’s there, hiding underneath it all.

A few years ago, it became popular to choose a word for the year. Something you want to focus on or learn about. Well, it’s the end of May, and I’m almost half-way through this year, so I decided to choose a word for my summer. The word is LISTEN. Just as the calendar has turned the season to summer, I feel a season of listening upon me. Not just audible sounds, but also a deeper type of soul listening. Listening to God’s Word. Listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Listening to creation sing it’s glorious summer chorus. LISTEN.

It can be scary to stay still long enough to listen. I spend so much of my life striving and seeking, desperate for answers and approval. Taking action is what’s comfortable to me. But I also want to know Jesus better. I want to open myself to receive His truths. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

What?! God will tell me great and unsearchable things? I want to know!

So, perhaps I’m ready to stop trying to figure everything out on my own and simply receive whatever God has for me. Can I stop speaking so much and listen more? I suppose it might feel awkward and gangly, like an uncomfortable pause in conversation. I know I’ll be tempted to fill in the void with my own thoughts and words. But for this season, I am praying for God to help me expand my ability to hear Him, to know Him, to love Him.

A few months ago, I had a custom sign designed from pallet boards. It is a paraphrase of the beautiful verse Zephaniah 3:17. “The LORD will delight in you with gladness. With His LOVE He will calm all your fears. He will REJOICE over you with joyful songs.” He is singing over me right now. Oh, that I would hear those joyful songs! I’m ready to LISTEN.

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