There is so much noise in my life – some good, some bad, some indifferent.
I’ve had to determine what noise I need to tune in to, tune out of, and what to just let play on in the background.
At times, I want to tune out to all the noise (especially when I have a sinus headache) and crawl into my bed and shut out the world. At other times, I find myself adding to the noise – sometimes in a positive way, and other times in a not-so-positive way.
Psalms tells me that there are times that I need to: “Be still and know that I am God”.
In a world filled with noise, I find myself needing to constantly evaluate what noise I’m allowing to enter my life.
I’ve figured out how to tune out screaming kids… most of the time.
Is that a good thing, though?
This weekend, David was especially fussy due to not getting enough sleep and being around a lot of people at once. Yesterday at lunch, he was being fussy, so I was holding him while attempting to eat, and I didn’t really realize how noisy he was being until we were on our way home and J told me that David was being really loud at lunch. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized that I must tune out the screaming/fussing, since I hear it “all the time”.
No, he’s not a fussy baby, but when he does fuss throughout the day, I am able to tune it out until I’m able to do whatever he wants/needs me for. It doesn’t bother me to let my baby fuss and attempt to self-soothe, or let Jenny realize that “baby is crying” and try to soothe him.
As a stay-at-home mom, though, if I responded to my kids’ every cry, fuss, or noise, I would never get anything done – I have learned to tune out the non-emergency noise and to take the noise in stride.
Another noise I have learned to tune out is the noise from the TV.
During the day, Jenny often has the TV on, watching Dora, Caillou, or Diego. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t watch “adult TV” 95% of the time during the course of the day, until after 5pm (or whenever Jason gets home). And then, when the TV is on “adult shows”, I’m still only half watching/listening as I’m trying to make/eat dinner, get the kids ready for bed, using the computer, reading a book, etc.
There are times, I will admit, when I do veg-out in front of the TV (mostly when we’re watching a movie and/or one of “my” shows) and tune in to the noise, but lately, those times have been growing farther and farther apart.
Music is another area of noise in life.
I’ve found over the course of my life, that my heart attitude (that from which my emotions, words, and actions flow) is definitely impacted by the amount and type of music I tune in to (and even sometimes by the music I don’t “tune in” to but fail to “tune out”). I find that tuning in to music that uplifts and encourages me to turn my thoughts and focus to God definitely makes for a happier, better perspective on life, whereas tuning in to (or failing to tune out) music that is “worldly” and that is “self-focused” makes me much more likely to be self-focused and more easily irritated with the little things in life.
The computer, although it’s not necessarily “noise”, is another area of my life where I need to work on being more (grr… I can’t think of the word again!!!) about.
I often “tune in” to the computer too much, failing to accomplish tasks around my house that need to be accomplished (like right now, I should be starting my four loads of laundry that I need to wash today) and neglecting to spend quality time with my family and friends.
Then again, I’m able to “tune out” the computer when I actually need to get things done, and I’ve been able to set (and stick to) some boundaries during the day in regards to my time on the computer.
I find that I can usually get done what I want to get done in the mornings (after breakfast and before lunch – during Jenny’s “shows” that she likes to watch and during David’s morning nap), and then I can turn it off for the rest of the day without “going through withdrawal”.
I am able to update my finances (check my bank account, update my check register on Quicken), read my blogs that I subscribe to, check my email, post a blog or two on my own blog sites, check Facebook, Xanga, etc. If I have “down time” throughout the rest of the day (time when the kids are napping, my devos are done, I’ve showered, and I don’t have a list of chores/tasks I’m trying to accomplish), I have no problem turning the computer back on, but only if I’m not failing to deal with life around me.
As the Psalmist said, and I quoted above, I need to “be still” and “tune in” to God.
This is definitely another area that I struggle with on a consistent basis.
Most of the time, when I actually take the time to sit down and have a quiet time (which I do manage to do almost daily), it’s usually not very quiet. I will usually sit down to silence, only to have one or both of the kids need me within the first five minutes.
I’ve found that my best time to pray is actually as I go through the day!
- As I’m doing my online stuff in the morning, I pray as I come across prayer requests, as I see the names of people I’m praying for.
- As I read, watch TV, play with the kids, etc., little things will remind me of something or someone I’ve told I would be praying for them, and I’ll say a quick prayer right then.
I have found that I pray best spur-of-the-moment, rather than trying to set a specific prayer time and then trying to remember and pray through all the requests I’ve promised to pray for. Laying in bed at night (when I’m WIDE AWAKE yet again) is my best time for “intimate prayer” – this is the time I use to pour out my heart to God, as my mind races through the things that are intensely on my heart.
“Tuning in” to God is key for me to have a proper perspective and a positive heart attitude throughout the day.
I can almost immediately sense when I need to “tune in” to God and “tune out” the rest of life!!
What do you need to “tune in” to? What noise do you need to “tune out?” What are some different methods you use to “tune in” to God and “tune out” life?