Far from the maddening crowd
Have you ever been to someone’s home and there is just a serenity and calm about their house? My house isn’t like that. AT ALL!!!! I have 4 children, all 7 years and under. My house is LOUD. From the time my kiddies wake in the morning until they put their heads on their pillow at night. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but I’m very aware that there is very little ‘space’ in the noise that is our normal, day-to-day life. I also have to be honest and say that not all the noise comes from the kids. My hubby and I also add our fair share of volume to the soundtrack of our home, and my contribution tends to come in the guise of requests, commands and directions.   I repeat myself – a lot! Have you got your shoes? Where is your homework? Did you wash your hands? Don’t jump on the couch! Eat your breakfast! No! The list is long but that’s my job. I’m mom and my four darlings need a lot of help to navigate life at the moment. But there are some days when it honestly feels like nothing I say actually makes a dent. It doesn’t matter what I ask them, how often (or loudly) I say their name or tell them what to do, I’m just not heard. It can be really frustrating to say the least.

Everything is becoming clear
At the beginning of this year my oldest started school. As part of the ‘get parents up to speed’ process, the new school put on a talk to explain to us newbie’s what we needed to do to help our first grader adjust to life in the education system. Lots was communicated during the evening but one thing that was said was a complete light bulb moment for me. Experts tell us that at around 16 weeks into its development, a human baby can begin making out sound inside its mother’s womb. From that moment there is a connection formed with the outside world and the most constant and most frequently heard sound for that developing life? Mom. Babies hear their mother’s voice for 24 weeks before they their born. It’s part of their world. Mom’s voice so familiar, and so close it becomes background noise. This is why, after birth, yes this voice is comforting and familiar, it’s also very easy to block out and accept as just something in the background, not necessarily something to listen to. So when I’m busy trying to get my message through to my little ones, they’re quite happy to relegate my voice to ambient sound… great!

Shut up or shut out
It’s not easy having your wisdom and loving guidance tuned out. I love my children and want my knowledge and experience to benefit them as much as possible so when they choose to ignore me, to say it’s frustrating is an understatement, but to tell the truth, there are times as an adult I do exactly the same thing to The Voice that would guide and direct me.

The Voice
I believe that God talks to people, that’s not just my opinion. The Bible says He does. I’ve never personally experienced a burning bush or an audible voice booming from the clouds. It is often that quiet, inner voice and pressing conviction that just won’t leave you alone. It might come through reading the Bible, praying or even from a conversation with someone that leaves you with lots of food for thought. I think everyone can experience God speaking to them, if they just open their ears. I have found however, that if there is too much ‘noise’ in my life, I all too quickly tune God out and His voice gets mixed in with the chaos. There are times when I know I can’t hear God speaking to me, not because He’s silent but because I’m not really listening and those are the times that I feel the most lost and directionless. At those times I’ve found the best thing to do is be still and make space. Practically, it means turning off the television and the radio and any other ‘voice’ that just fills the air around me. It means putting time aside to listen to God and asking him to speak.

Seeking to hear
There is nothing sweeter as a mommy when my children come and seek me out want to chat or just be together. It’s a wonderful thing when I speak to my kids and we connect. In those moments I want the world to stop and those precious minutes to last forever. I believe that God feels the same way when we go in search of Him. He wants that’s connection with us more than anything, we just need to turn off the noise and tune in to Him.