Keeping a Quiet Heart

After my confession blog two weeks ago about putting my novel at the foot of the cross, God’s been remaking me. It’s moment-by-moment as if He’s forming me at the Potter’s wheel.

I’m talking less and listening more.

He whispers without words through friends and family, and even through simple, everyday happenings.

First, it was the eggs.

Almost every day, my husband puts fresh eggs on the kitchen counter. He doesn’t say anything. He spreads them out on a paper towel beside the sink. These eggs look like where they’ve been. They’re dirty. They’re covered in chicken poop and laying feed.

They’re also fragile and delicate–and on their way to being beautiful. But it takes a quiet heart to discover their beauty. 

Over the past few years, I’ve broken plenty of eggs by getting frustrated and impatient. By having a bad attitude.

Why doesn’t he clean them himself?  He doesn’t even ask if I mind. He just plops them on the counter and walks off.

See what I mean? Ungrateful. Missing the miracle of the moment.

Sort of like two weeks ago.

I felt like God had plopped an impossible assignment on my desk.

I thought He’d called me to write novels. But then He asked me to put all my hard work at the foot of the cross and get to know Him better. But how? I had work to do! 

I felt stranded in the middle of nowhere–with a big mess to clean up. 

Or so it seemed. 

But His ways aren’t mine. Neither is His timing or His plans. 

He let me “break a lot of eggs” before I got desperate enough to say,

“Help me. I need You. I can’t make it a day without You.” 

So, standing at the kitchen sink, I kept my heart still and quiet and carefully washed the dirty egg. Then I dried it and marked it with the day’s date–just like God is doing with me. 

Before I closed the lid, I said a quick prayer. Nothing fancy. Just honest and grateful.

A complete dozen. Thank You, Lord. You provide. 

One tiny prayer.

One giant shift in attitude.

This new path I’m walking isn’t a race. I have no idea where He’s leading me. I’m not in control, and I don’t have all the answers. 

But I can promise you this–

A new life begins with brokenness and rises from a quiet heart. Click to tweet. 

P.S. The eggs were my first lesson in keeping a quiet heart. I’m jotting everything down so I won’t forget to tell you!

Have you kept a quiet heart today?

Are you being broken? Be encouraged. God’s at work.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 


 

Comments

  1. sandy coffey says:

    By having a quiet heart and appreciating the dozen eggs you have heard God speak to you. In a way your husband had a quiet heart by placing the eggs on the counter knowing you would wash each one and put them in the carton. Silent voices we hear everyday. Sometimes without even knowing it. Thanks for your story this morning. I will start having more of a quiet heart and listen to the voices. What fun to have your own eggs. Blessed for sure.

    • Sandy, you’re exactly right. I’d never thought of it that way–that my husband had a quiet heart too!

      I’m always, always learning something from my wise reader-friends.

      Thank you! And thank you for letting me know this touched your heart.

  2. Yes Julie…quiet. Last week I read the story of Elijah hearing God in the still small voice after the wind and the storm passed by- The term “whisper or still small voice” can be translated : ” voice of fragile silence” – how profoundly powerful….God speaks in silence. xo

    • Robin, I love it–“the voice of fragile silence.” That’s what this feels like–this new path.

      Thank you and I love you~~ And with Elijah, the wind and the storm had to pass first.

      xo

  3. Carm Russell says:

    From the moment I walked into the emergency room with God’s Jeremiah 29:11 message for me about my husband and about me. My life has been about allowing God to show me what His plans for my life are. And I’m okay with not knowing. With it being day to day and sometimes one breath to the next. He plan for David was in His message that it was time for David to go home. And it was just that simple. Heartbreakingly hard that day and some hard days as well since. But my heart been quiet in all those times and today and I know it will be tomorrow.

    Love the eggs story. My grandfather was a farmer and boy did we have chicken coops & eggs growing up!

    Blessings,
    Carm

    • Carm, I just love your heart. Sounds like we’re both listening in the quiet. And I also feel such peace in your responses. God’s with you. I can tell. He’s stretched you and brought you to a place of letting go and of peace.

      Thank you. You mean so much to me. I love learning from your gentle ways.

      • Carm Russell says:

        I would have to say your blogs, your words are the same for me. And it has come at a time in my life when God knew I would need it the most.

        Blessings…

        • Carm–tears–gratitude. His ways and how He works. He’s into the details and He loves us and knows us so well.

          • Carmella Russell says:

            Yes ma’am He does

  4. I try to keep a quiet heart. How many times have I beat myself up mentally for voicing my heart, when I should have kept quiet? Too many to count. And with God, you can’t even speak up mentally without Him knowing our heart intent. 🙂 It’s a daily lesson. Inch by inch. xoxo And you’re beautiful.

    • Good point, Shelli. So, good I want to retype it:

      “With God, you can’t even speak up mentally without Him knowing our heart intent.” So true.

      The closeness. The can’t fool Him.

      I’m saying a prayer right now for you–for your precious girls.

  5. Brenda E. Greene says:

    “Be beautiful, inside, in your heart with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to Him.” (1 Peter 3:4b TLB) was the verse I claimed for our first-born many years ago. Much like her Dad, what she thought often came out her mouth and not always kindly.

    The “death of my dream” (a husband who had a personal relationship with Jesus so we could share our faith) hasn’t happened yet and time is running out as his health continues to decline; he will be 70 next month and we will celebrate 50 years of marriage in March. The “death” was sad when I realized I had to “let it go” but God has been SO faithful in helping me through the grief. For example: The article I read that said “angry people are usually fearful people who have lost hope.” Sadly I could see how his dysfunctional childhood contributed to that. God’s reminder that he was more concerned about my obedience to Him and the vow I made than my “happiness”. He knew that as I drew closer to Him, my happiness will be complete. (It is.)

    My opening scripture? It now applies to me as I continue to love my husband. The promise that God’s “steadfast love never ceases and is new every morning” continues to sustain me. I heard recently on Christian radio, a lady that acknowledged because we are humbled by our many blessings we often tell Jesus how much we love him; because of how much he loves us, our response should be, “I love you too”! Never thought of that before and have made it a daily (hourly!) habit! Try it…it’s given a whole new “spin” to my relationship with Him.

    Happy Wednesday Julie Girl and hank you for the inspiration your words bring each and every time you post here! Your “journey” touches so many of us and we are blessed! Much love!

    • Once again, Brenda, your words bring tears.

      So rich. So deep. Such peace–but a peace that didn’t come quickly or easily.

      The verse is absolutely amazing. I’m putting it on my whiteboard here in my office.

      And I’m agreeing with your quiet prayers for your husband. And I’m saying, “I love you, too,” to Jesus. Such a great thought/prayer.

      Thank you–thank you.

  6. Cathy Mayfield says:

    My day today is anything BUT quiet! In fact, life at this moment is loud, messy, chaotic!

    But…

    Yesterday, my husband and I took a day trip to Penns Cave and Wildlife Park in PA. It was a lovely day, and though I’m scared stiff of water and boats, the water tour through the cavern was delightful. I also got to spend time watching a beautiful cougar and five timber wolves on the wildlife tour, my favorite part.

    And…

    Today, even though it was a quick change in plans, causing a quicker get-it-all-done-before-I-go morning, I get to go to our daughter’s house and play with my grandson for the whole afternoon! 🙂

    So, yes, life is noisy, life is crazy, life is NOT quiet for me right now, but when I get Behr into my arms and rock him and sing to him…well, that’s much better than any other way I know of “doing life”!! Praise Jesus!

    It reminds me of this part of a beautiful poem about children and mamas: “So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep!” Amen!

    • Cathy, your grandson is just beautiful–and your love for him shines through this email.

      I’d never heard the poem you mentioned. So true…so true. It reminds us of what matters most, doesn’t it? It sounds like even though your life is crazy-busy right now, your heart is still peaceful.

      So much love~~~~

  7. I am encouraged…by you. You tell the coolest stories about normal, ordinary things that happen in your life. Thank you for sharing. Hugs!

  8. marci says:

    It always amazes me that God gives me the lesson I need right when I need it– and your sharing always gives me a morsel that I need to hear. My husband is dealing with a problem, and I feel you understand– they cannot be hurt, and us not hurt. I pray a lot about it. Still, in the middle of this, sometimes I get the message, that I am to be still – listen for the small whisper. I understand about the eggs, and the lesson in them. And sometimes are we the eggs? just a thought that ran through my mind, and as you pointed out. My husband brings in the eggs, and sits them on the table for me to deal with, like your husband does. I am grateful to have the eggs. I can’t say I always enjoy dealing with the eggs, but I tell myself, Chas takes care of everything else about the chickens, and he gathers up the eggs, so I should be grateful for that.
    Have I kept a quiet heart today? I wish I could say yes, my intention was ‘yes’, but in truth, I have not succeeded that well today.

    Thank you dear Julie for this.

    God Bless you! xoxoxo
    Marci’a

    • Marci’a, I just love your honesty.

      You and I have so much in common, too–the eggs, our men who love their animals (esp their chickens!) and I think we both have tender hearts.

      It’s Thursday morning, and right now, in Jesus’ name, I’m praying for you and your husband–that God will work supernaturally in the situation.

      And I’m praying for a quiet heart for you two–and for all our blog-friends.

      • marci says:

        Oh, dearest Julie, Thank you. Yes, you are right, it seems we do have much in common. Our husbands are so much alike, and also the tender hearts that the trials in our lives have given us.
        As I read your prayer for us, my husband, it brought tears to my eyes.
        Your prayer is already giving me hope and strength.
        God Bless you,
        Marci’a
        xoxoxo

  9. Such a seemingly simple lesson, yet profoundly moving. Finding God in our ordinary moments, when we focus our hearts, our minds, and our ears. Beautifully reflected in your life. It reminds me of the verse Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

    I’m leaving for the prayer service for my sweet friend Karla- she indeed seemed at peace. Thankful she is now in her heavenly home- and you helped pray her there. Love you friend.

    • Ohh, Vicky,

      I’ve been praying–God’s created such a tender spot in my heart for Karla.

      Thank You, Lord. Your timing, Your Grace, Your gentleness, Your ways–we love You. We trust You.

  10. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, Julie, I can relate to this so much, especially this week.

    Being a breast cancer patient (I am afraid to use the word survivor until I have the mammogram in December), I find myself having less tolerance or patience for small things. For example, I was wiped out after our weekend getaway. My husband did not understand. He wasn’t mean, or ugly. He was just perplexed. For some reason, that really rubbed me the wrong way. I stayed home yesterday since I felt horrible and he came in with his dinner but nothing for me. Turned out he thought I would be at choir practice, but still it bothered me to no end, even when he offered to make me something.
    I see friends’ photos on Facebook of their fall break vacations, perhaps their second vacation of the year, and I am annoyed.
    Why can’t I see that gentle, sweet man who is concerned about me? Why can’t I just appreciate my friends’ fun and be happy for them?
    I hate myself when I am feeling this way. I really want to just run off and cry for a while.
    Thankfully, God is patient and kind with us. With me, especially.
    I look around and I see a co worker who is so thankful that her granddaughter, whom she thought had run away, has returned home. Another dear friend has gotten a motor home so she can take her daddy, who has ALS, on a trip out west. A high school classmate has finally adopted a child. Those moments make me smile and cry at the same time.
    The blue eyed man who didn’t want to leave me this morning.
    The image of Rick gently gathering eggs with his hands.
    The vision of you, Clyde, and Ellie walking in the woods.
    I am going to focus on these.
    Blessings,
    Anna

    • Anna, I got holy goosebumps when I read what you wrote. Look back at it!

      Your attitude (and it’s a HUGE lesson for me) shifts when you start praising God and seeing Him all around you.

      You’re human. Me too. And these pesky thoughts try to take us both down–comparing ourselves to others–wondering why they’re doing this or that–even thinking someone else can fix it and make us happy.

      What day in Dec is your mammo? I want to put it on my calendar. I’m so, so, so, so proud of you! You are a survivor! Someone who inspires me every time we connect. And someone who gives life and love to everyone around you. Including ME!

      I love you dearly~~~and so does Don.

      Thank you for being real and not having it all together every single minute of every single day!

      • Anna Haney says:

        Oh, Julie. I am sitting here all teary eyed. Yesterday I was a bundle of emotions. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I am so blessed to call you friend.

        My mammo is December 15 at 10. I just learned that I get my chemo port removed Monday the 17th! Whoo hoo! I am looking forward to that.
        Love you

  11. Some posts soothe, draw me into deeper peace and joy……and sometimes (like today) your post just gets in my business something fierce. Yikes!
    Thank you for always writing your heart, dear friend. I will continue to read each post and listen to what God tells me through your words.

    • Kellie–my friend. This is so unlike me–to wait and rest when there’s work to be done. It’s not logical. Makes no sense. Totally Out Of My Comfort Zone!!

      I’m smiling at your comment–getting into your business. 🙂 We writers love it when that happens, don’t we?!

      I love you. And thank you. Sipping a second cup of coffee–wish you were here.

  12. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie,

    I’m a little late on commenting, but when a crazy work week kept me from it, I decided that in the spirit of your message, it might be better for me to wait and listen for what to comment! I even noticed on the same day that one of email devotions I receive had to do with listening. The scripture for that were:

    “Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice;…” Jn 10:27

    It was about pilots needing to listen carefully to air traffic contollers for direction and for safety, and was related to listening for God’s direction and guidance in our lives. I tried to write this comment last night and was pulled away again. Then this morning, look what my daily scripture was:

    “This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’ In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused;they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears becau they hear.” — Mt 13:13-16

    Between your blog, the devotional I received on the same day and these two scripture passages, I’d say that’s an awful lot about listening! And as if that were not enough, before the end of the day yesterday, I read a statement made by Robert Redford many years ago. It’s about horses, but it makes me think of our communicating with God and He with us:

    “Horses have taught me a kind of meditation that’s possible as you are acting as one and communicating instinctively without words.” ~Robert Redford.

    Isn’t that sort of what you were talking about — that silent communication, whether between two people, or between us and God, or in his case between him and his horse! In my case — owls, lol. Anyone who knows me or sees my facebook posts knows how I love owls and recently when I “met” one in person and up close, I’ have to say that kind of silent communication happened. I stared into the eyes of this Great Horned Owl named Clackers and he stared right back. I felt a connection I can’t explain and my eyes welled up with tears. I loved this owl and felt he could sense that and was not afraid of me. Maybe I read more into it than what was really there, but I don’t think so.

    Anyway, I can see through all of these things, God must be speaking to me about listening. To quiet myself, be slower to speak and quick to listen.

    Thank you for sharing this Julie, and the next time we fix eggs, I’m going to think of you!!

    Leafy

    • Hey Leafy

      First, the owls. Remember that post I wrote about Mr. Owl? I’d never been up close and personal with an owl before and isn’t it…..peculiar–our reactions. I was afraid to move–felt he was glaring down at me. My first response was fear. And you connected with Clackers. I love his name!!

      That’s one thing I’m discovering on this new journey–exactly what you’re talking about–that God seems to whisper in people/places/things around me, and I’m getting the same message.

      Love the Robert Redford quote!

      And I’m so glad you listened to Him and waited–it gave you even more Truth to share with us.

      I just love my bloggy-friends. We’re all in this together.

      I’m reading a couple of books (nonfiction) and this subject of being quiet runs through them. Will probably share later. Still learning so much…and listening.

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Was hoping you’d join the conversation!~

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        Julie, no, I don’t remember your story about an owl!! Maybe I read it before owls stole my heart so that I didn’t yet relate to it, or maybe you wrote about it way back before I began reading your blog? In any case I would love to read it if you point the way 🙂

        Leafy

        • Sure, Leafy. Here it is…will try to add the link and see if it works. https://juliegarmon.com/2014/11/the-day-the-woods-came-alive/

          • Julie Gilleand says:

            Oh wow! I had forgotten all about this — your story of meeting an owl in the woods and my connecting with that because of my own encounter years before. Thanks for the link! So fun to reread your blog from that day and I do remember it now. By the way, tomorrow (Saturday) I/m going to an owl show and will meet some more owls up close! And about Clackers, the owl I connected with, it is his picture that is my current facebook profile picture. Thanks again Julie for reminding me of our common experience and encounter with an owl!

        • An owl show, Julie???!! How fascinating!! Never heard of this. I know my husband would be all over it!!

          Have fun and take lots of pics 🙂

          • Julie Gilleand says:

            I’ll send you some pics 🙂

  13. Patricia Martin says:

    Julie, I love your insights from the eggs! I do not know about if I am being broken, but I do know that God is a miracle worker! Do you have a favorite christian bookstore or retailer? May 19 is a beautiful time of year to be married and I want to know if they are looking for any particular kind of gifts? God made you special and He gave you a heart of gold (and two cute dogs, a cat, and some wonderful family members).

    • Yes, I totally agree with you Patricia. He’s a miracle worker. I’m not too far from a Lifeway Christian Bookstore–which I love, and we have a small bookstore on the square where I live.

      Brittany and Thomas–they haven’t mentioned anything special for wedding gifts. I’m just so excited it’s going to happen!!!

      Thank you for your beautiful words to me.

      Hope you get something really good (and safe!) to eat this weekend!

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