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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Sweet Silence

Do you ever want to just be quiet? I work in the world of words – books, stories, screenplays, pitches, dialogue, monologue, email, text, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter – the word-flow is unending. Words hold value. They convey meaning. They wield power. And they’re being tossed out without forethought. Like they don’t have an effect.

Sometimes, words overwhelm me. I crave silence. Simple silence. No one communicating. No message to hear or decipher. Just silence.

The problem is that I suck at being still. I know, I know. All my Christian readers just thought, “‘Be still and know that I am God,’ Rebeca, it’s in the Bible.” You’re right. A close friend of mine, Russ Pruiett, sings a gorgeous version of that song. Every time Russ sings it, I smile. I am still while he sings.

But then the song ends. And the phone rings. Or my kiddos need something. Or the Droid dings. Or my husband has something to share. Or a client has an idea. Or an author/artist wants to talk about coming into Reclaim. Or an editor wants to talk about acquiring a project. Or a publisher wants to see if GRPR can provide publicity for a book. Or a family member needs a writing favor. Or, or, or. All the words rush back in. They’re important words. They need my attention and reaction. To show love, I must listen and give a considered response.

Except I crave silence. My ears hurt from hearing, my eyes ache from reading.

I have to give myself permission to be quiet and sit in the silence. To not think about what needs done, who needs what from me. To just go rest in the Father God’s lap and be quiet.

How do you manage to be still? Do you have a special place to which you run for silence? A ritual that ushers in the quiet?

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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Life Lessons

 

Intimacy?

I enjoyed a fantastic half-day meeting yesterday with one of our artists in Reclaim Management. Early on, our conversation turned to what “intimacy” actually means. At Reclaim, my business partner and I committed to only bringing in as many authors as we could maintain close relationship with. The goal wasn’t to be a giant management firm with hundreds of authors, but a niche firm catering to a specific clientele and growing key individuals’ career paths. We want close relationship and real community with our artists.

“What breeds intimacy in relationship and community, though?” the artist asked. “I’ve been thinking about that and I think it’s surrender.” I listened as he explained that to surrender yourself into a relationship, to put the other person’s needs and desires above your own, to think first of the other and then yourself, to give up control, to surrender your need and instead focus on giving, creates intimacy in all relationships–business or personal.

Given that I’m still making the three-hour drive to Nashville every week, I have a lot of time to mull over talks like these. Yesterday was no exception!

In the past two weeks, I’ve been thrice “accused” of being transparent. As a former manipulator/control freak, I appreciate the accusation as outward proof of the inward changes God is working through the years. I thought back to those years when my greatest fears included not measuring up to the idea of me others possessed. There was a lot of NONtransparency in those years. And did I have intimate relationships as a result? Sadly, no. Many would probably have said they were close to me. About two would have been right.

So, I would add a requirement to the “surrender” concept the artist suggested: authenticity. I can pretend to be about the other person, pretend to surrender. I can fake self-sacrifice and humility–especially if I have limited contact with the person. I’m sure you can think of “ministry workers” who fit this description, too. However, when surrender and authenticity combine, a relationship rooted in truth and honesty manifests. Those are the “sweet” relationships we cherish in life. The ones to which we gravitate when life revs up.

Authenticity sparks a need to embrace vulnerability, which is of course why most hang out on the route I took early on–fake it. If someone rejects your fake self, it’s not a true rejection, right? If someone, however, knows you and rejects that, you’re in for some pain. For me, the realization that pain births wisdom negated the need to protect my authentic self from rejection. In short, I decided to listen to Solomon’s wise words, “If it costs you everything, get wisdom.”

What breeds intimacy in your relationships? What barriers did you embrace along the way that robbed you of real community? How did you recognize them? Let’s see if we can help steer each other into stronger community and relationships…

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in The Misc Bucket