Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Learning to Be Still

Today I decided to share a scene from Secrets of Harmony Grove, one in which my heroine describes what it's like to experience the peace and quiet of an Amish home, and how drastically that compares with the usual noise and chaos of her daily life.

In the story, Sienna Miller is a business woman living in Philadelphia who has some Amish cousins in Lancaster County. Over the years, she's paid them many a visit, and in this scene she describes what it's always like when she first arrives and is forced to adapt to their uniquely low-key lifestyle...

At five minutes, I would finally stop listening for a radio or TV in the background. At fifteen minutes, even if the company was interesting and the conversation stimulating, I would find myself glancing at my phone wondering if e-mails had come in, discreetly checking for texts. At twenty-five minutes, I would wonder to myself how these people could possibly live like this. Weren’t they bored out of their minds?
It usually took about an hour before my muscles would finally start to relax. But by the two-hour mark, I would find a stillness I forgot I could even experience.  
To their credit, this kind of silence was intentional. As isolated as the Amish often seemed, it always surprised me how very aware they were of the impact noise could have on a life and the damage confusion and chaos could wreak on a soul. 
Ultimately, beyond that hard-won stillness came the true goal: a oneness with God. Was it any wonder I always felt spiritually renewed when I spent time in Amish country? By turning down the noise of my life, I was able to hear those still, small whispers of a loving God, whispers that filled my heart and never failed to refresh my soul.

That pretty much describes my experience as well, and it's one reason I love writing about the Amish, because all that time spent around them reminds me to slow down, turn off the noise, and listen for what's truly important.

Do you have a "noisy" life? How do you find peace and quiet amidst the chaos?


  1. I am blessed to have a mostly quiet life. I live out in the country on a small reservoir. When it does get noisy, I relax and destress by first praying the serenity prayer or counting my blessings and then by reading.

    1. Jan, just reading your comment made me relax. :) Thanks!

  2. My life is busy all the time and even when it's not, it is in my head!

    Thanks for the blog reminder to slow down!

  3. Me too, Robbye, I know exactly what you mean. This season especially, I'm trying to quiet all the noise both inside and out--never easy, but always worth it. :)