A Time to Be Silent, A Time to Speak

As a self-proclaimed “extroverted introvert,” finding the balance ⚖️ between what fills me up and what drains me has always been a craft that’s required some fine-tuning.

It’s no secret that communication is key ? in absolutely every area of our lives – essential to the continued growth of our marriages?, the always-evolving relationships we have with our children?, interactions with other moms, our friends, and family ?.

As a child, I mistook my introverted tendencies to be an innate flaw ?. I was surrounded by extroverted mentors, many of whom I greatly admired. I wanted terribly to be naturally outgoing, to feel comfortable in overwhelmingly social situations, and to be the person with just the right thing to say at the right time. It took me a long time to realize I’m simply not wired that way – rather, I’m exactly the person {and personality} that God intended ?.
In the early years of our marriage, I found it all too easy to brush the day-to-day under the rug ?. My husband and I are both pretty easy-going people, and work schedules, household chores, and life in general always required us to take turns making our fair share of sacrifices?. Fast forward to the unforeseen moment when something small would inevitably spark a conversational spew?, and my poor husband would get hit with a stream of grievances he’d never seen coming?– and, let’s be honest, weren’t even an issue most days – until it just so happened that the emotions boiled over? (with, perhaps, exhaustion, loneliness, or anxiety truly to blame)?‍♀️. It didn’t take us long to realize that our communication habits, and give-give-give mentalities, needed a reboot ?.
Even my prayer life changed when I became a mom??. My go-to reflection on the drive to work each morning was always, “Lord, please be on my mind ?, on my lips ?, and in my heart ?.” This remains of primary value to me, but I also credit the rigors of motherhood ?? with teaching me to foster a real, raw, and ongoing relationship with God – to engage Him in more than just the moments I’m feeling most grateful, or needy ?.

How about you, Mama? Can you relate?
Like everything else in life and motherhood, this can be a work in progress??. So here’s what I’m learning…

I’ve learned that introspection is a gift ?, not a flaw. I’m not wired to be as extroverted as some of my peers, family members, or friends, and you know what? That’s ok. It’s more than ok, actually, because when God wired me, He did so in the way that best suited my gifts and talents ??. I’ve learned that extroverted ease is something I can appreciate in others, without feeling the need to emulate☺️. Can I speak up for what’s right? Do I enjoy getting involved in activities that matter to me, meeting new people, and growing through fellowship? You bet I do. Am I a good friend, and an even better listener? ? I certainly try to be. If I can answer all of these questions resolutely, then I’d say I’m extroverted in all the right ways. The drive to speak up and the desire to be truly seen and heard go hand-in-hand ???, and I want to do both according to where my heart leads ?–not because I feel I’m supposed to.

In our marriage, my husband and I work to maintain ongoing communication?. We’ve learned to vocalize how we’re feeling before it ever becomes a problem – no matter how significant or silly – and we feel heard every step of the way? (not just at the breaking point?). We step in for one another in small ways when we can, and without asking, before one or the other of us is completely exhausted ?, or blows up without warning. In his book, Everybody Always, author Bob Goff says, “We make plans, and God sends us a person.”  That spouse of mine? He’s my person – my life’s partner – and I’m an integral part of his plan, too. Don’t wait for date night to check in and catch up. ?

I credit being a special needs mom with pushing me toward more openness and vulnerability in all of my relationships✨. Rather than desiring to “have it all together,” I can appreciate God’s constant reminders for humility. And guess what? Opening up about all of the less-envied parts of motherhood has made me a better mom, more relatable, and approachable?‍♀️. Turns out that when you open your heart to others, they feel safe enough to do the same – and what an incredible gift that is ?.

The bottom line, Mama? Do what works for you??. Let your gifts and interests lead you to where you’re meant to be ➡️. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your heart, but also know when it’s time (and ok) to just listen❣️.

Our God? He’s doing the exact same thing.

For us. ?  

Every. Single. Day.


Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the Heavens…a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 7b).
  • “If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians, ‪11:30‬).
  • “There are different ministries, but the same Lord” (1 Corinthians, 12:5).
  • “For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy, 1:7).
  • “You’re my place of quiet retreat. I wait for your word to renew me” (Psalm 119:114).
  • “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John, 3:18).

Music to inspire you:

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • Ask yourself these questions: 

o   What fills you up?
o   What drains you?
o   What are your passions?
o   How can you use your God-given talents?
o   What areas of your life need some tweaking?

  • Start small, and be patient with yourself! Learning to find the balance of that works for you is a special sort of give-and-take juggling act. Do you find yourself over-committed more than you’d like, or are there areas in your life where you could free up some space?  For me (Jen), I’ve learned that if we’re looking at an exceptionally busy few days, I should also schedule some time on the calendar to do absolutely nothing and refuel with my family.
  • Talk to your partner. Where do you feel you can improve as a communicator in your relationship? As your family grows, your relationship needs to evolve with the ever-changing ages and stages. Don’t forget to check in regularly.
  • Do something special for your partner, just because. ?
  • Talk with your kids about what they perceive to be their strengths and gifts. Where do they need a little more confidence? Are they more introspective processors, or does it fill them up to be the life of the party? In a world where it’s too easy to be just like everyone else, we can do our kids a huge favor by encouraging them to use their unique talents and gifts to make the world a better place.

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One thought on “A Time to Be Silent, A Time to Speak

  1. Such the perfect post for me!! Feel so much like you.. introverted in an extroverted world. But being an introvert has its rewards, as you have found. Being able to understand yourself and what your needs are and staying true to yourself are a couple. This blog is the perfect place for understanding truths about all kinds of relationships, even the ones within ourselves. I’m so thankful for you women!!!

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