I Start to Awake.

I woke up with something loud on my heart.

Does that happen to you? For me, it’s quite normal. I imagine that on the slippery tunnel ride out, whatever dreams I might’ve been having leave their foggy imprint on my brain — like a carbon copy — staining my conscious mind.

I am not an expert on sleep, nor do I purport to understand how dreams effect the mind; but being someone who both dreams and sleeps with regular attendance, and then wakes up (Or at least I think I am awake; ever since seeing Inception, I’ve had to wonder if . . .) I can strongly argue a case wherein I hypothesize that, the manner in which one wakes will set a tone for that individual. Maybe not for the entire day, but for some time.

If I were an artist — the kind that uses color rather than colorful language — and I attempted to draw my mind in its unconscious state, I believe it would resemble something like this:

Or perhaps this:

Nonsensical. Incomprehensible. Bizarre. Erratic. Dysfunctional.

I dream loud. And if possible, I’m busier asleep than when I am awake. So, more often than not, the first minutes of my morning are not the quiet ascent into wakefulness, but weighted with the certainty that something unfavorably odd has slunk off into a cavern, where it will wait for me till nightfall.

On this particular morning, I lie in bed for a while trying to define the loudness, staring at the popcorn ceiling, and wondering what it might manifest into; or, if it would stay hidden from me. It does that, you know. There was a puppy to release from the confines of the bathroom, however, and coffee awaiting me in the kitchen, so I decided to leave it be for the time being, and begin my morning.

Today is my day off, and while I look forward to the day in which nothing is expected of me, this day is most often accompanied by wildly eminent expectations. Is there a bit of irony there? I don’t know. Irony is one of those abstruse trivialities I keep a constant wary eye on; I just don’t trust it. I don’t even get it, truthfully. So I turned my back on it, or I didn’t, and I read a magazine. I get magazines.

And as I sifted through the rubbery pages adorned with lovely pictures, Pandora’s finest providing soundtrack, I suddenly knew what it was.

It was the Quiet.

You see, I woke in such a tumult that the quiet felt loud to me. And just a bit foreign, too. Naturally I put up a resistance against it. To be honest, at that point of realization, I think I actually turned the volume up on my computer. Noise comforts me. I sleep with a fan. I listen to music when I’m getting ready. I enjoy the soft din of a coffee shop.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with noise. But I do think our hearts beg us for quiet once in a while. And not an entertained quiet, either, such as what happens when we’re reading a book or gardening or painting or cooking or sewing or . . . you fill in the blank. We need an intentional quiet. You and your thoughts, alone and still. Something unexplainable happens there. It differs for each person; I know this because I’ve asked.

I believe God dwells in the quiet. I don’t think He ever yells or screams. I don’t believe He waves His hands madly and whistles with His fingers. I think He waits, patiently, for us to turn down the music, to shut off the noise, and come to Him of our own accord.

And when we do, His quiet love is more than able to drown out the loudness.

29 thoughts on “I Start to Awake.

  1. I agree with your experience(s) on dreams. Fortunately, I usually wake in the middle of bad or disturbing ones, realize it’s still the middle of the night, and go back to sleep with happy, comforting thoughts in my mind. Rarely does a day start with a down-mood caused by a dream.

    I also practice what you prescribe on intentional silence. I love white noise when I sleep, but when I want to be alone and listen for wisdom, I intentionally go somewhere quiet–where there are no distractions other than those created by nature. That’s what I love about living on two acres backing up to a ranch–with late sleeping neighbors.

    On a side note, Cara. Please email me at gloria (at) gloriarichardwrites (dot) com. You won the STARBUCKS gift card and an ebook novella on Hildie MQueen’s guest blog on my site.I’ll need your snail mail address to mail the Starbucks card. Congratulations!

    • I am glad to hear that late night rousing doesn’t hinder or impact your slumber. I suppose I should be thankful to be sleeping through the night. That in itself is a success. The dreams . . . well, they are not always pleasant, but I would rather wake from less than auspicious dreams than have none at all!

      Your space to think sounds incredibly lovely, and quite accommodating to the intentional time you set out to have there.

      Really? How wonderful! I’ll get right on that.

      Happy Wednesday to you, Gloria.

      • I wondered why I hadn’t heard from you, Cara.

        There is no “s” on the end of Richard. Since I have those e-mails auto-routed to my main email account, try this instead:


  2. Beautiful words, Cara ~ I, too am a dreamer ~ and God has given me direction and many an epiphany through them ♥ Quiet….you are so right….sometimes that may be why I fear it? I fear what He might tell me? ♥

  3. I love the depictions of your mind when it’s sleeping, especially the Josephine Wall picture.

    I try never to start my day on the tail end of a bad dream. Sometimes I’ve had to because the kids needed to get to school or something needed to be done, but at the next possible moment, I try to go back to sleep to rid myself of the ick bad dreams leave with me.

  4. Cara, even though we’ve never met face to face, I know your heart. Your words are like a favorite worn quilt that I find so familiar and take immense comfort in wrapping myself in.

    I’m sure our Father watches over us, involved in our hustle and bustle lives, and does just as you said “waits, patiently, for us to turn down the music, to shut off the noise, and come to Him of our own accord.” We humans, with all of our many faults and shortcomings, are His one true delight! The great Creator of the entire universe only really desires our love and devotion… Wow! Blows me away!

    • I find it comforting to know that neither of us need to see faces in order to be familiar with hearts. Lori, I know I’ve likely told you once, twice, or dozens of times by now, but you are a treasure.

  5. Cara- your lovely post really spoke to me today. In the past, I have spent a great deal of time filling my life with tons of hustle and bustle that I compare to your noise. I was the girl in college who worked full time, had a full class load, was in a sorority, a lab assistant, and had a boyfriend. I say all of this to describe how busy I liked my life to be. It wasn’t until years later that I realized why I filled my life so full… because I was afraid of what may come in the quiet. So, I faced my fears and sat in the stillness. It brought up stuff, sure, but it was wonderful. It was there that I found comfort and confidence in myself and let God take care of many of my burdens. I have tried to be very intentional in the last few years to make sure I always allow time for this stillness; however, I have seemed to pack my schedule full once again. Thanks for reminding me of the power of the quietness.

    Happy Thursday to you!

    • Amber, your comment warmed my heart. Any time I go about sharing my heart or thoughts, I do so with the hope that people might relate, and if the issue is distressing that whatever I might have to say will bring some comfort. That you found yourself resonating with this post gave me a gladsome feeling.

      Thank you for sharing yourself back with me. I am inspired by your intentionality, and the courage in which you sought by going into the stillness knowingly.
      May we search for Him in the quiet.

      ~ Cara

  6. Thank you, Cara, for stopping by my blog. I’m very grateful it brought me to yours; you write so beautifully! I thought for a moment I was being lulled into sleep just reading your dreamy words. I’ll be back!

    • Oh, it was your smile that drew me in! That is you in the picture, yes?
      I’m delighted you stopped by and decided to read this piece, and equally thrilled to have imparted its soporific qualities. 😉
      See you soon, friend.

  7. Hello,
    I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful blog this was, your father has obviously done a great job in parenting, and you must have a great relationship. Your words drip with love and adoration for him, what a tribute on fathers day. You write extremely well, and I will be following your blog. God bless-Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for leaving this. Such kind words, and I appreciate every one of them. My father and I understand one another. We are very like. Over the years, this has stirred contention, and it has also helped us have grace for one another. More than anything, I rest assured that he did his best for me. That is all a child can ask from her parents. And that they work hard to avoid making the same mistakes their parents made with them.

      By way of forensic investigation, I’ve deduced that you are a dad, too. 😉 A happy belated father’s day to you, Jim. I hope you and your entire family had a wonderful day celebrating.

      ~ Cara

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