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Week Two | Noise

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Week Two | When Less Becomes More  Online Bible Study
Reading Assignment – Pages 39-74 | Noise & Social Media

Recently a co-worker commented about how well I’m able to ignore or drown out background noise.  For the most part, I am able to.  I’ve trained my brain to ignore conversations going on outside of my office, or the ones that take place within earshot.  As someone who works in the main office of the largest department on a university campus, I’ve learned to out of necessity.  But I have my moments.

There are times when it all overwhelms.  The phone rings, I’m trying to answer an email, a text message notification dings, someone’s asking me a question, and there’s more than one conversation going on inside my office.  It’s all enough to make me lose my ever-loving mind.

But at the same time white noise is my jam!  If I need to be ultra-productive, I’ll turn on a fan, as I multi-task like a boss.  I’ll do the same if I want a better night’s sleep.

Why is it that we’re more comfortable with background noise than silence?

In chapter three of When Less Becomes More, Emily talks about the increasing amount of input that we receive daily.  It’s staggering if we really stop and think about it.

After reading this chapter, I made a list of all of the input that I receive daily:

โ€ข Email content                        โ€ข Music
โ€ข Social media posts                โ€ข Internet searches
โ€ข Text messages                       โ€ข Xbox games
โ€ข Calendar reminders             โ€ข Television
โ€ข Radio or podcasts                โ€ข Movies

Yikes!  That list doesn’t even include any face to face interactions or anything from billboards, signs, or on paper.

I fear that if we don’t create filters for the type of information that we take in, if we don’t set up boundaries to protect our emotional and mental energy, we are changing neurologically and feeding the monster of worry and doubt.
– Emily Ley, When Less Becomes More (Pg. 47)

What if we were more intentional in the type of input that we allowed ourselves to receive on a daily basis like Emily chose to?  What if we put boundaries in place as to how people can connect with us and how often?

What if we turned down the noise?  What if we were more selective by the type of input we consume on a daily basis?

“Less digital junk food.  More inspiration.”

Quote from "When Less Becomes More" by Emily Ley | Online Bible Study at Intentionalfilling.com

It’s beautiful what can happen in that quiet space where we allow the body to still… the mind to still… the heart to still.  This is where God begins the wonderful work of rewiring our priorities and rewriting our lives. 
– Emily Ley, When Less Becomes More (Pg. 52)

Instead of focusing on what you’re losing by establishing boundaries, consider what you’ll find in your own life.  Practice the pause, and invite God in.  In time, I’m certain you’ll find more goodness than you ever thought you lost.


Letโ€™s chat!  Weโ€™d love to hear from you once youโ€™ve had some time to read through this weekโ€™s reading assignments.  Come back to this space & share your thoughts in the comments below about:

Identify โ€“ In this weekโ€™s reading weโ€™re finding that we’re drowning in noise, and even if some of it is beneficial, it adds to the total sum of what we’re feeling our brains and souls.

What boundaries can you put in place that will allow you to practice the pause and invite God in?

In the Word โ€“ This weekโ€™s Scripture focus comes from Proverbs 4:23 (NIV). Download our weekly Scripture card.  Print it and hang it in a place where youโ€™ll come across it often this week, to aid in memorization and the reminder that setting boundaries are something that we’re called to do, to protect ourselves, others, and our relationship with God.

What does it mean to you to guard your heart?

Share with us in the comments; weโ€™d love to hear from you!


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  1. What boundaries can you put in place that will allow you to practice the pause and invite God in?

    Every morning on the way into work I keep the radio off and drive in silence. This gives me time for prayer and meditation. I will continue to keep this practice as I find it brings stillness to my life.

    What does it mean to you to guard your heart?

    To protect myself (in this passage specifically, from evil).

    1. Abigail, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions from this week’s Community Chat section. What a wonderfully simple, yet effective practice to drive in silence! Sometimes, I find myself surprised at how loud my thoughts are when they are not being drowned out by music or a podcast. I pray that this practice continues to help you ground yourself as you prepare for the day ahead. Be blessed!

    2. The world says โ€œfollow your heartโ€, but God says โ€œguard your heartโ€. He know that our hearts canโ€™t be trusted. Our hearts want what we want, which is often contradictory to what Godโ€™s word is. To guard our hearts we must be in the word and surround ourselves with people who will hold us accountable and give us wise council. We must ask Him for wisdom and rely not on our own understanding because our ways are not His ways. Is. 55:8

  2. Bree I also sleep best with white noise in the room usually a fan but while traveling a sound machine white noise works pretty well too. Well in the early hours of this morning our power went out. I actually woke up when the fan noise stopped. It was so difficult to get back to sleep. But when I woke up everything felt and sounded different. I usually hums of the house were missing. It’s almost unnerving how unusual it felt and sounded. But that being said our house was anything but silent. Just over the hill there are workers digging, drilling and cutting for the oil and gas lines that are being put in all over the area. This constant loud droning of the big machines is so intense that it actually have a headache from it and it feels like there is a heavy pressure sitting on my head. Every whirl of the motor feels like it’s right behind my head. Obviously there is no way I can make this awful noise stop. It’s been a long noisy and chilling morning here. And then finally praise God our power was restored and the internal noises of the house kicked on. The heater, refrigerator, computer, hot water heater, dehumidifier and other things that have a soft hum all came on and suddenly the outside racket didn’t seem as oppressive. It’s still there but it isn’t the only thing my ears are listening to. It was such an interesting example to me today how there is a constant oppressive noise in the world. Satan has so many avenues and resources to bombard us with anything and everything to keep us distracted, irritated and on edge. At times it seems like there’s no way to turn off the negative. But if we are connected with God and allow Him access to our minds and hearts He can fill us with a more calming “noise” of His promises and truth. His peace then drowns out the worldly racket and we can be lulled into a peaceful rest with His gentle loving hum.

    1. Gloria, it is interesting how we’ve grown accustomed to these background noises and have taken comfort in them as they help drown out the world. But I love what you said about the Lord’s peace drowing out the worldly racket. What a joyful noise He brings!!

  3. What boundaries can you put in place that will allow you to practice the pause and invite God in?

    Turning off the tv, and opening up my friend’s bible, that was left to me after she passed a couple months ago. I use to struggle with this a lot but with her passing, I feel like that is my visiting time with her and God. She was my rock and helped me to keep my faith and love God despite trials in life. All of her notes, prayers, etc are still in that bible. I miss her so much!

    What does it mean to you to guard your heart?

    To be active in preventing ugly, negative ideas, thoughts, etc. To ignore the chaos that you know will cause you to retreat back to unhealthy habits.

    1. Robin, what a gift you’ve been given in your friend’s Bible and to be able to use it in your quiet time with the Lord in order to feel closer to both of them. What a blessing!

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