• Debbie Salter Goodwin

Do You Need a Quiet Circle?


I’m celebrating a bit. I’ve been writing this Quiet Circles blog for over a year with about fifty entries. When I started, I doubted my own ability to offer something on a regular basis. I’ve tried to bring words that stimulate and inspire you to listen to God more than you listen to any other voice. As a celebration marker of this web log, which our social media culture has shortened into the clunky sounding blog, I want to re-share the subject of my first entry.

I chose Quiet Circles for this blog because it represents one of the most important practices that encourages spiritual growth in me. I need Quiet Circles because I can’t hear the right voice without them.

And who is the right voice. God, of course. I want to hear God, his whisper, his counsel, his direction.

Too often, I can’t. It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s because I live in a noisy world. Often, I

hide behind those noises and pretend they are the must-listen-to voices. But loud and noisy doesn’t impart importance or authority.

Now, I’m not afraid of God’s voice. At least not most of the time. I am most afraid of my own voice. I fear the thoughts that compromise my ability to hear God first. You know what they are—all of the you-can’ts and if-only’s and what-ifs. These are the voices that come from hurts and failures. These are voices that paralyze and disable.

I know better. I really do. I know that God speaks His deep and unfailing love to anyone who will listen. I know that God doesn’t humiliate or put down or rub your face in any failure. I know that God reminds, redeems, renews with His voice.

But I have to be quiet to hear it.

That’s where Quiet Circles come in. At a critical time in my young adult life, when my single life overwhelmed me with so many responsibilities, personal and job-related; I learned the importance of drawing an imaginary circle whenever and wherever I needed to hear from God. In the middle of a noisy day, I would draw my circle in my office. At the end of a frustrating day, I drew my circle at home. It wasn’t about finding a quiet place, though external quiet does help. Instead, it is about quieting my own voice and my own thoughts so that I can hear God.

In the next few weeks, I want to return to this subject of Quiet Circles. I’ll share some lessons, what has helped me and what I’ve learned and am learning.

I’ll be honest; I’m sharing this out of a desire for accountability. The New Year has uncovered a hunger to return to Quiet Circles as an intentional way to set aside time to listen to God.

Would you join me on this journey? I covet your lessons as I share mine.

#quiet

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