Breaking the Silence…

What better time to end my hiatus than Easter?  Easter: A rising from the dead…a coming out of hiding…a great return…a breaking of the silence.

Silence…?

My short time away from my computer-key-therapy was spent in busyness and mayhem.  I’ve been sorting, packing, and cleaning in order to get our house on the market.  Our desire is to move closer to our church community and family.  This, however, requires the kids to switch schools, yet again, and with that, comes all kinds of thoughts to process and forms to fill out.  All of these decisions required a stepping away so that I could be intentionally focused on the choices and tasks at hand.

So here I am.  Struggling to keep the house clean while on the market, still two months left of this school year, and the calendar steadily filling with weddings, graduations, and celebrations of all kinds.  I almost feel premature in my return.  Soon (hopefully), I will have to pack more boxes, make some out-of-town trips, and in general, be too busy for my own good.  I might find myself stepping back once again, in need of another break, in need of some silence.

But what better time to break silence than Easter?

Have you ever thought about silence?  Have you ever been quiet enough to truly experience it?  And then when your words have stopped, have you ever been still enough that your thoughts stop?

Me either.  

When I try to be silent, other sounds intrude…it’s never completely silent:

Distant birds chirping.

Cars humming two streets over.

The dog’s breathing gaining weight as she falls asleep under my desk.

Dang, I forgot to start the crockpot…

I wonder if the realtor will call today…

I really should get a hair cut.

The silence is never completely silent…unless your lying breathless in a tomb. Tweet: The silence is never completely silent, unless your lying breathless in a tomb. #EASTER #BreakingTheSilence

When I consider my return to blogging, my breaking of silence…I know nothing of the topic.  I not only wonder if this is the right time to start writing again, but I also question if I’ve even taken a true break.  If I’m honest, I don’t know true quiet, true rest…because even in my portrayed absence, I’m still busy.  Again, if I’m honest,  I don’t know true sacrifice, true death, or true breathlessness.  I’m always clinging to self-interests, comforts, or lung-filled gasps for control.

Perhaps I don’t know true silence, because I don’t know how to truly surrender.Tweet: Perhaps I don't know true silence, because I don't know how to truly surrender. #EASTER #BreakingTheSilence

Jesus, while seemingly absent as His body lay in that tomb, was hard at work.  He was waging a war.  He was busy going to the place of mayhem, defeating death, conquering sin, paying off the debt of mankind.  His hiatus wasn’t a vacation.  His purposeful silence redefines the understanding of my own rest.

His silence had motive.  His stillness acted in extremes.  His body slumped over, but His Spirit ran into battle.Tweet: His silence had motive. His stillness acted in extremes. His body slumped over, but His Spirit ran into battle. #EASTER #BreakingTheSilence

Perhaps, I need apply a new silence to my lips, or to my keyboard.  One that requires a laying down of my own comforts and opinions.  One that only speaks through actions of sacrifice and words of mercy.

As I come back from my blogging hiatus, I consider how Jesus broke His silence.  The earth shook and He appeared to many, making sure they knew the only news that mattered: they were loved and redeemed.

At first, my own breaking of silence seems pretty insignificant compared to all that Jesus has accomplished.  (Plus, His ground-shaking-bit…no one will even notice when I’m back!)

But, I see that His breaking of silence tells me all I need to know about re-engaing my own voice:Tweet: His breaking of silence tells me all I need to know about re-engaing my own voice. #EASTER #BreakingTheSilence

He loves me. (John 3:16) (Romans 8:35)

He has won me. (1 Corinthians 6:11) (1 Corinthians 6:20)

He has equipped me. (2 Corinthians 3:5) (Ephesians 1:3)

He has empowered me. (Ephesians 1:19) (Ephesians 6:10) (Romans 8:37)

He has sent me. (Matthew 5:13-14) (Matthew 28:19) (John 13:34-35) (2 Corinthians 5:20)

What better way to break silence than with the example of Jesus’s own ground-shattering return from the quiet tomb…to proclaim the only news that really matters.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Galatians 2:20

on hiatus…

hiatus: a pause or a gap in a sequence, series, or process.

As this new year begins, I’m going on hiatus.

It’s not unusual during this time of year, to pause and reflect on the goals and resolutions we’ve set before us.  Many of us have made a routine of reestablishing priorities and healthy habits.  We’ve set aside time to make lists and action plans.

This break, however, takes pausing to a whole new level.  A hiatus takes a full leave of absence.  One disappears from the face of the planet while on hiatus, and the intention to plan forward to future goals isn’t necessarily reason for the departure.  In fact, by definition, a hiatus takes pause in the midst of something happening…It potentially stops something: a plan or a process.  Rather than planning for something, I’m taking a hiatus to pause something.

Social media gurus and bloggers would tell me that now is the worst time ever to hit the pause button on blogging.  I’ve received good traffic due to an article recently published in the winter issue of a magazine.  Recent speaking engagements and worship leading have brought interested ears to read and hear more.  Retreats are on the calendar and they will likely generate more online followers.  I’m waiting and hoping that a publishing company, one which has been passing my book around the office, will come to this site, be interested, and ultimately decide to pick me up as an author.

While on hiatus, visitors to the blog will see nothing new.  They will potentially stop following.  They will eventually forget about the blog’s existence.  Their interest will not be sustained.  (This plan is opposed to every Michael Hyatt article ever written.)

Now is a horrible time to take a hiatus.

Well…it’s horrible only if media traffic, publicity, and strategic online plans control my fate.

I have fallen victim to the lies that elevate these methods and strategies above God’s sovereignty.  In and of themselves, these aren’t bad things.  God has and will continue to use them for His purposes.  But, when all hope is set in them, it’s time to take control out of human hands, and back into the Father’s.  He has told me to let go, yet my fists clench a little tighter.  My trust in His provision and plan for me has been rocky at best, so this is not an easy leave.

Therefore, I am forcing a self-imposed hiatus.  If God has plans for me, He will have to work…not my computer screen, the words on the tips of my fingers, or masterful networking.  Quippy analogies and post series’ schedules won’t be able to contribute to His purpose.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21

I will take myself out, so that He can be credited with anything and everything that happens, whether following my desires or not.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  I need to pause, create a gap, so that He can establish my next steps.  See, I have been busy creating my own dance moves…and apparently, they are only spinning me in circles.

He is greater.  Greater than the number of followers, retweets, or shares.  This is a terrifying act of trust.

In the time spent away from the blog, I will be praying, meditating on His word, and loving my family and home.  I will focus on all that has already been given to me–all the ways that He has already been faithful.  I will spend time praying for friends and family.  I will put dreams and goals for 2016 into Jesus’ hands, freeing mine up for service.  And all of this will remind me that God’s main concern is not my success or how He will use me…but rather His chief resolution is for my heart.  He wants my affection above all else.

And when I hear Him say, “return”,  I will.

I appreciate the encouragement and kind words many of you have shared regarding my writing and music.  I look forward to returning with a renewed heart and mind, excited to magnify the Lord with you.

 “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” 

Psalm 34:3