In the Silence and the Noise


Hannah Sumpter // Tales From the Trenches

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October 8  

Silence.

The kids are asleep and I’m sitting here in silence. There’s nothing to hear but my own thoughts. 

Being a mother for almost seven years now, silence is a rare commodity, and one I’ve desperately been searching for. Oddly, it’s not the silence I crave, but the contemplation that inevitably comes in the calm of the quiet. It’s the Holy Spirit I’ve been searching for, and it’s God’s voice I need to hear, uninterrupted . . . because being a mom is hard and I need God’s grace to guide me in every interaction with my children. 

I need God to calm my frustrations when the baby dumps out the entire crayon box I just picked up, or when the preschooler performs the most epic of meltdowns because the same sandwich he eats daily suddenly tastes “different.”

I need the Holy Spirit to speak through me when my big kid offers me sass when she’s asked to help pick up, or when she simply repeats “no” to every request made of her. 

I NEED him in every moment of every day. I need him to show me the right response. Do I impose consequences, or is this a moment to offer a gentle redirection? 

I need to get this right. 

God has trusted me with HIS children. They are not mine. They are his, and God is trusting me to raise them for heaven. 

I know this in my mind, and I feel this in my heart, but that’s a tall order for my sinful human nature. I’ve prayed for these children, and I daily thank God for blessing me, but when those difficult days come, when the noise is overpowering my last nerve, I can’t help but feel like I’m failing God and this most precious parenting job that he’s tasked me with. 

So today, as I finally sit in silence on one of those difficult days, I cry to God, apologizing for all the mistakes I’ve made and begging for help. 

Because he’s ever faithful, I can sense his calm. There are no words heard, but graciously and lovingly, he quiets my anxiety and fills my needs with the awe-inspiring comfort of his presence. That moment of resting in him is all I needed to reset my day. 

That simple moment of peace brings clarity to my mind, knowing how loved I am for all that I am doing for his children, even when I make mistakes. I am reminded that God gave me his children because there is something that only I can offer them as their mother. I have strengths and weaknesses that God will weave together in the most beautiful fashion, working to form and sanctify their precious little souls to one day grow into servants of the Lord.

With Christ at the center of our home, God will not abandon our family. He will not let us fail. 

Even if I don’t hear him through the noise of parenthood, I need to trust that God’s grace is ever with me, guiding my day and protecting my children. 

When my children are grown, I will hand them fully to God in this life, knowing that my parenting was enough, as it was done in love and filled with Christ. I know that God will take care of the rest as they continue their journey to heaven. 

Then, as I begin thanking God for this inspiring moment of quiet, the baby begins to wake and my job break is over. 

And just as I start to pick up my youngest blessing, I can finally hear his voice, softly whispering: enjoy the noise, it is my greatest gift to you. 

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