Liz Montigny holds herself accountable to find ways to allow more time for silence and listening to God.
Ah, to "be still and know” (Psalm 46:11). We live in a noisy world. I think it's one of the devil's key distractions, whether it's audio or visual, we're being bombarded on a daily basis, and it can make it hard to hear God's voice.
This has always been a challenge for me. We have three boys, I homeschool, and I read a lot for my work so there is always something to consume. I have a strong faith and prayer life, but as a friend pointed out to me recently, I'm doing a lot of talking and not a lot of listening. Yes, I'm praying daily but not always leaving time for silence and to listen. So I'm working on creating more silence rather than filling the space. Again, one more way Jesus keeps inviting me to surrender.
I'm not afraid of silence nor of what God may say to me within the silence but it's simply hard for me to do. I'm good at building a routine that works and habits that are doable, so here's what comes to mind when I think of cutting back on consumption and not filling in the space. … Perhaps this list will help you too.
My phone has a "digital wellbeing" setting on it and I've been using it for a few months. I can set a time limit for apps and "focus time," which limits how I can use my phone and when. In the past, I've limited my screen time by using the timer on my phone and I typically unplug on Sundays, but this phone setting adds another layer and makes building this habit easy. It helps me use my time online with more intention and be present for my family.
How I'm Praying
I certainly won't give up my daily Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, but I can certainly slow them down and bookend them with silence. This will be a challenge when praying with the family, so I'll have to give myself some grace here.
I've started to leave the headphones at home. I typically listen to some praise music or a podcast when I walk, not bad things to be listening to but not necessary either. A walk is best in silence, enjoying the beauty of God's creation. I used to make sure my walks were quiet time but then I tried some habit stacking and, well, too much doing and not enough being.
All of this means getting back to some habits I let slide. I need a reset, and that's okay: we all do. Plus, it just proves to me how powerful those habits were and that they worked. The chaos of this world can lead us to believe we have to know everything, when really we need to trust.
Have you considered in what ways you can be silent? How would this change your relationships, work, or perspective?
Copyright 2022 Elizabeth Montigny
About the Author
Liz Montigny is a life coach for Catholic working moms who want to drop the hustle for hope so they can truly live their dreams. She is a wife and homeschooler who likes to relax with a cup of tea and enjoys talking about non-toxic living and building her theatre ministry. Connect with Liz at LizMontignyCoaching.com.