Robin's Blog

The Art of Resetting: Stop & Listen

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Several months ago I cleaned off my bookshelves and came across a small book written in 1955. It had belonged to my grandmother, Great Lady, who lived in Louisiana. She left a bookmark in one of the pages.

Instead of putting the small treasure back on the shelf I placed it in the basket by my snuggle chair where I keep my Bible and journal. One quiet afternoon, I told myself, I’ll skim through Great Lady’s book or at least the page where she left the bookmark. It would be a good excuse to stop and breathe and enjoy a cup of tea.

Months passed. The book collected a fine layer of red Maui dust because I was far too busy to sit and read. Who has time to make a cup of tea?

I know I am not the only woman who finds herself quickly drowning in a world of noise and demands and information. So much information. Lately the abundance of suggestions, opinions, advice, requests, emails, notices and text messages have been overwhelming. Has it been that way for you, too? It does not let up day or night, 365 days a year.

Here’s what I discovered. Resetting my spirit is an art and I must be intentional about it. My heart and mind need to be recalibrated and calmed. It doesn’t happen naturally.

A few days ago I intentionally took a break. I stopped typing in the middle of an email. I stepped away from the computer. I put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. Then I sat in my snuggle chair and opened up Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. Anne’s famous husband, Charles Lindberg is buried here on the rainy side of this island. He grave is in a beautiful, peaceful church yard.

 

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Anne Lindberg knew the rush of a busy life filled with golden moments and with tragedy. Her little book reflects thoughts on what women need to feed their soul. This is the page that held Great Lady’s homemade bookmark. This is the paragraph my grandmother marked:

Life today in America is based on ever widening circle of contact and communication. It involves not only family demands, but community demands, national and international demands, through social and cultural pressures, through the mass media.

My mind reels with it. What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that wise men warn us of. It leads not to unification but to fragmentation. It does not bring grace; it destroys the soul.

Whoa! Those words were written 60 years ago. My grandmother marked them. What was true for her decades ago has only multiplied many times over in this generation.

 

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A few pages later I found another paragraph Great Lady had marked.

Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill a vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place.

Resetting my spirit is an art. When the noise stops, is there inner music in my soul?

Today my prayer was from Psalm 51:10.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

I’m pausing this week. I’m stopping and stepping away. I’m listening.

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  • DaisyTea

    ♡what a lovely idea; i believe i’ll join you in that today♡

  • Maria Quinkardete de Abreu

    Thank you!! This is so good.

  • Rebecca Grant

    Talk about a God-moment – I really needed to hear (read) what you wrote! Thanks for the reminder that resetting our spirits must be intentional. God bless you, Robin. (Your Sister Chick books have been a part of my intentional resting of my spirit for years, now.)

    • I love hearing that the Sisterchicks stories have ministered to you. That’s so cool!

  • This makes me feel better. Our pressures were their pressures too. There really is nothing new under the sun. Thank you for this post.

    • I know, crazy, huh? 60 years ago the same concerns about being too busy.

  • This is beautiful and such a reminder to keep filling up our empty spaces with God’s truth. I often listen to music … not just any music … but special songs that speak to me, the words resonate in my soul. And I soak it in. This was so appropriate for me … the listening part … as I just finished two mission articles on listening … in Ontario and East Africa. God must be speaking to me. :) And thank you, Melodie Harris, for bringing Robin’s post to my attention. :)

    • Music is such a powerful way that the Lord can communicate to the depths of us, isn’t it?

  • Gracie Yelvington

    I feel like I was meant to read this. Life has been getting too crazy with finals coming up, summer events about to begin, extra extracurriculars happening and I’m feeling like im getting overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing this Robin. ^_^ huuugs

    • May the Lord direct your days, Gracie, and give you His peace. :-)

  • Merrie Hansen

    Oh my goodness…. I needed this today. Actually, I’ve been trying to get off the merry-go-round of craziness for quite some time, and yesterday (yes, yesterday) took hold of the reins of my life and jumped off. The world around me has been spinning me out of control and it’s time for me to say “Whoa, let me get off and sit a spell.” Thank you for sharing this confirmation. Here’s a teetotaler toast to you as we “sit a spell and listen to the music of our souls.”

    • I hope the music of your soul continues to play a peaceful tune this week, Merrie.

  • jnut1

    This goes right along wth my current Bible Study, When Women Walk in Faith. thank you for the gentle reminder.

  • Jen

    Always so timely Robin! Often makes me wonder if you’re reading my mind. Lol Of course you’re not, but it gives me great evidence to know that HE is. I feel the past few months like I’ve been drowning. I can’t escape the busyness. Amongst the busyness are all my thoughts of slowing down, a simpler life, making sure I able to keep what’s important as my top priority. A hard thing when everything demands to be the priority. I am praying for His grace and His plan and will about about what needs to be changed in my life. Thank you again for always having your heart open to Him to write these things to bless and encourage us!

    • Everything does seem to demand to be top priority, doesn’t it? Some days I feel like a circus tamer — down, you roaring lions — back in the cage, you crazy monkeys — someone go catch that rogue elephant!
      I hope the drowning has ceased and you’re rather enjoying a steady swim though the events this week with ONLY the top priorities being at the top.

  • “Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill a vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place.” <–these are marching orders, I think! Where is my inner music? Am I planting dream blossoms? Beautiful!

    Thank you, Robin, for sharing your cup of tea and quiet time w/us!

    • Hi Amanda! I hope you’ve been hearing that inner music this week.

  • Teri Slater

    Thank you for this! It comes at such a perfect time for me. The series that just started at my church over the weekend is called Simplify, and it’s about this same idea of being still, resetting, breaking away from the rush of life. Thank you. :)

    • Great word — simplify. Oh, how much more peaceful and joyful our lives would be if we just cut back.

  • keke

    Thanks for sharing! You’re an inspiration to me and I want to write teen novels. I hope we can meet someday! Would you ever think about coming to Washington D.C. or sending a few fans out to Hawaii?

    • I don’t have plans to head to DC soon but you never know! I hope you keep writing your little heart out, Keke.

  • Robin, thank you. That’s what I have known for MONTHS, that I need to take a break. I need to break away from the things in the world and go to the creator to reconnect.

    • Yes! I hope that happened for you this week. And next week. And the week after that. :-)

  • CarriePadgett

    Thank you for the reminder. I have a little tiny gift book of quotes and short excerpts from Gift from the Sea. I used to pause in my day and read a page. It’s now covered with dust as well. I believe I’ll take a look…

    • Hi Carrie. Did you stop and have a look at your Gift from the Sea? So much truth in that little book that was true 60 years ago and it still true now.

      • CarriePadgett

        I did. But I need it again today. Thanks for the nudge!!

  • Amy Butler

    Thank you, Robin. I am here in your home state today, seeking this very same opportunity….to let my soul be restored as I break away from the busyness of life. Maui is a wonderful place to revel in the Lord’s beautiful creation, worshiping Him, as I meditate on Scripture and pray for my family and friends.

    • I hope your time in Hawai’i is beautifully restful and restorative, Amy! Aloha.

  • Marjie Schwartz

    Thanks for the reminder, Robin. I am in need of some quiet in my mind and soul so I can listen. Listen and pray…

  • Hannah H.

    Love this post! I have been working through Margaret Feinberg’s Wonderstruck Bible study and she’s been emphasizing taking the time to “reorient” ourselves to God–to reset our spirits. Love that idea of my inner music. Thank you for writing this, Ms. Robin!

    • What a great word — “reorient” ourselves to God. It’s so needed in our culture today.

  • Gayle Madsen

    I have had this email from you on my iPad list but did not take the time to read it till just now. I was caught up in the to do lists of a busy schedule. I was scanning my emails and came across it, again, so I stopped and clicked it on and read it to the end. What a heart hit message! God uses children and emails like this to show us and tell us to stop, enjoy the little things, take a cuppa and reflect.

    • Ha! It sounds like it came at just the right time in your busy schedule.

  • Hannah King

    Hi Robin, this is exactly what I needed today. I needed it two days ago when you posted it, but I didn’t slow down enough to read it. Thank you for sharing. When I saw Psalm 51:10, I immediately thought of the band Rend Collective’s song ‘Create in me.’ The lyrics are, “Create in me, a clean, clean heart. Create in me a work of art.” :) Thanks again.

  • Karen

    Thanks for the reminder today, Robin. I needed this…

  • Laura Erb

    I am reading your book on Grace and enjoying it very much. Just read your chapter about the Sisterchick books. I have read them all and was hopeing that there would be more. It seemed like I would find the next one just at a time I needed a fresh look at life and adventuring with ladies and how they could praise God even when everything didn’t go as they planned gave me hope.

    • I’m so happy to hear that the Sisterchicks novels have been an encouragement to you at just the right times. Love the way God does that. You might really enjoy “Canary Island Song”. It’s a similar destination sort of story with interesting women characters.

  • Kristen

    Just wanted to let you know that I made a cup of tea today. This is significant because I have 5 to 6 cups of tea a day. I believe there is very little a cup of tea can’t fix but this is the first time in a long time I have experienced a “Cup Of Tea” in its fullness. Taken time to slow down and enjoy the tea and spend time resetting with GOD. Thank you for encouraging me to take the time to do this.