Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
So today, I’m supposed to be sharing with you my book recommendation for the month of March. But apparently God has some other plans.
Let me share what’s going on.
As I was preparing for that book recommendation episode, God and I had a little conversation that went something like this:
Do you remember that email you sent to your community about practicing the holy hush during Lent?
Yep. It really seemed to resonate with a lot of women, and I am so glad they are joining me in that.
I want you to do something more than what you’re doing.
Um, like what? What do You mean?
You have so many words going out—teaching, homeschooling, podcasting. These are all good and holy things. But I want you to pause the podcast so you can have one day a week where you don’t have to speak out loud. You don’t have to create content or lessons.
But Lent has already started.
It’s okay. Just start it now.
Now, realize that this is just a conversation with God that happens in my heart and mind. I sense these little invitations from Him, these little nudges, and I notice what goes on in my spirit as I hear from Him.
But let me back up and share that original email God was referring to, so you have some context for this conversation. This is what I had sent out to my community just a week or so before.
Practicing the Holy Hush During Lent
I have a simple invitation to you today: to practice the Holy Hush during this Lent season.
Embracing moments of silence throughout our day.
Intentionally turning off unnecessary noises.
Meeting God in that sacred space.
We talked about the Holy Hush back in November and December as we were getting ready for Christmas. Though we used it back then as an alternative to the holiday hustle, it is also a perfect practice for Lent, as we seek God and prepare our hearts to celebrate Easter.
What might this look like?
- Leaving the radio off in the car
- Not listening to a podcast as you do household chores (even if it’s mine… it’s okay to turn it off)
- Not forcing small talk if everyone is sitting around in companionable silence
- Being intentional about when we run the washing machine or dishwasher so that noise doesn’t interfere with the quiet we are seeking
- Setting aside one morning or afternoon each week for a time of personal silence and solitude
Maybe just experiment today and notice at different points of the day where you hear noise that isn’t necessary. And let it stir up a desire within you to hear God’s voice above the noise around you.
What do you think? Are you up for practicing the Holy Hush with me?
Challenges with God’s Invitation
And so that was the email I sent out to my community. And then God and I had that conversation where He invited me to press pause on the podcast so I’d have one day a week where I didn’t have to speak, but could settle into the silence together with Him.
But let me share about a couple of things that make this specific invitation from Him a little more challenging.
First, I have yet to miss a week of podcasting. I see the value in providing consistent episodes for you to listen to, the value in showing up faithfully for you and speaking about the topics that are on your hearts—and on mine. And I love to do that.
Yet, I also know I have within me a bit of a perfectionistic tendency, and so by missing a week… that perfectionism is, perhaps, an idol that God is asking me to lay down.
Second, this pause comes right as I would be celebrating not only the two-year anniversary of the podcast, but the five-year anniversary of my work at Love Does That. Where most podcasters would be gearing up and having fun celebrating that with their listeners, God is asking me to go silent.
Yet This I Know: It’s a Gift
Yet I know that this invitation from God, this invitation to pause the podcast for a few weeks, is really a gift from Him. It’s a chance to set aside extended time with Him, to be in His presence, to prepare my heart for Easter, to remember the sacrifice He made for me.
It’s also the chance for me to set an example for you. It wasn’t that long ago I said that sometimes you need to simplify things for a season. You might need to let go of some of things to do what God has called you to do. You might need to take a rest and refresh your spirit, even from doing work that you love to do. What kind of teacher am I if I don’t lead the way?
Honestly, I wish our culture, our churches, were better at gifting time off to those who work and those who serve. We feel guilty for pressing pause or taking a break. But rest is a gift from God. Taking a small sabbatical to refresh your spirit is a gift from Him.
What is God’s Invitation for You?
Now, does this mean you have to practice the Holy Hush in the same way? Absolutely not. Does it mean you have to practice the Holy Hush at all? No. God’s invitation for you might very well be different.
He might be calling you to step out and serve within a ministry at your church or a nonprofit in your community. He might be asking you to work a little extra this Lent season so you can give more to someone in need. He might be asking you to use these weeks as a time to dive deep into a Bible study or some other learning curriculum instead of watching TV. I don’t know. That’s your conversation to have with God.
Lent might be partway over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to draw closer to God. It’s never too late to draw closer to Him.
A Heart That Obeys Out of Love
For now, I’m going to accept His invitation to press pause on the podcast until Lent is finished. And then I’ll be back.
We’ve been talking in Sunday school about how God is a sovereign King, and how I want a heart posture that, once I hear His instructions, His invitations, I immediately respond in obedience. Because I trust Him. Because I know He is good. Because I know He loves me. And I don’t have to know all the reasons why He is asking me to do something. I can just do it. And this is a perfect opportunity for me to practice that.
May we all be faithful to obey God as He extends His sweet invitations to us. Because we love Him, and because we love Him, our hearts will yearn to obey Him. We demonstrate our love to God through our obedience. It’s God’s love language. First John 2:5a (NLT) says, “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him.”
In the Meantime
So I will see you back in a few weeks. And even though I am not publishing new episodes for you, there are over 100 other ones you can listen to. If you’re looking for a specific topic, you can go to my website at lovedoesthat.org and use the search bar on either the top or the bottom of the page, and look for the topic where you need encouragement: grief, anxiety, faith.
I will also continue working with my clients in spiritual direction and the Journal Gently program. So if you are someone I work with, know I am still showing up in those places.
And, if you’re in my email community, I’m sure you will still hear from me at least a few times here during Lent. I might be finding a fun way to celebrate my two milestones—just in a quieter way, which is actually quite fitting for me and the work that I do. So if you want to be a part of that celebration, you can join the email community by grabbing the free journaling workshop at lovedoesthat.org/journalingworkshop.
And when we are all back together, I’ll be sure to take an episode to share how my time went, as well as to update you about some life changes here in our family.
And that, my friends, is all for today—and all for the next few weeks. Until next time, let’s encourage one another.
BIBLE VERSES + RESOURCES:
- Episode 92: Practicing the Holy Hush Instead of the Holiday Hustle: Intentionally Inviting Moments of Deep Silence
- Episode 94: Entering the Silence and Stillness with God: A Conversation with Blogger and Writer Celia Miller
- Episode 103: 6 Strategies to Manage Overwhelm, Stress, and Change
- “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him.” (1 John 2:5a NLT)
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.