Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Come to the Quiet by Denise George: A Book Review

Are You Tired Today and Longing for Rest?

I know I am. Although I now live only with my husband and neither of us works outside the home, I still find it hard to find the rest I need. It's especially hard to find quiet rest. It seems there is always some kind of noise in the background. Maybe it's a neighbor using a leaf blower or my husband watching television or a motorcycle driving by. Since I've moved to the city it's never been quiet. That's why I have to use white noise to block unwanted sounds and get to sleep.

a calm lake surrounded by trees

Even though I work at home as a blogger, it seems I never have time to relax. There's always something to read or write, photos to take or edit, other blogs to visit and comment on, and social promotion to do. That's on top of the normal chores involved in keeping us fed and in clean clothes, doing necessary housework, and paying bills. Interruptions come in the form of phone calls, husband, workmen, and knocks on the door. There are errands to run, doctor appointments, and emergencies to deal with. I have to plan carefully to spend time with friends.

Many reading this have even more on their plates than I have -- a full time job outside the home, children to care for, getting children where they need to go in their own busy lives, etc., etc., etc. It never stops, and probably neither do you until you drop physically and emotionally exhausted into bed at night.

The Right Book at the Right Time

Solitude and quiet have always been important to me. Up until we moved into our house in a small city I always had a place to get away to de stress . Since we now live in a one story house and have a television which can be heard from almost every room, it's been much harder to have my solitude. And I've been feeling the tension build. Sunday I had almost the entire day to myself and I spent most of it reading this book: Come to the Quiet by Denise George. I found it sitting on a shelf of samples publishers had sent me years ago. For me it was certainly the right book at the right time.

My husband was gone almost all day. I took advantage of the solitude to rest my body and my spirit. This book was like a drink of ice cold water on one of those triple digit summer days we've had this summer. It confirmed my need to escape to solitude more often.

When my mind and body can't rest my spirit suffers, too. Rest for body, soul, and spirit are essential for physical and mental health. George's book explains how we can find the quiet and rest we must have even though it seems like there is no time or place for it. We were created for quiet. To be healthy we must leave room for quiet rest in our lives.

Finding Rest in the Midst of Stress

George points out that we often bring unnecessary stress on ourselves. Maybe a mother doesn't really need to work outside the home. George helps a woman who has a choice evaluate the value of her job to herself and her family. Denise George also recognizes that some women must work -- especially those who already have the stress of parenting alone. She suggests ways even single working moms can find quiet rest in the midst of their stress.

She also helps us work through our priorities. Misplaced priorities are a major source of our stress and overwork. Some stresses are easy to get rid of by changing habits we might not have even thought of as stressful. She points out some of those stresses that have easy fixes. She explains ways we can tune out external noise we can't control and have a more peaceful life.

I think many of us are so used to some stressors we don't even realize they are there, but George shows us some practical ways to escape them. There are changes we can make and places we can go to rest our stressed minds. George's suggestions will help anyone, no matter what causes the stress or how economically well off one is.

Christian Answers to Stress

Christian women's lives can be as stressful as any other lives, but our faith and relationship with Christ mean they don't have to be. It's very easy to buy into the world's mindset and get our sense of worth from what we do instead of who we are in Christ. This book shows us how to let Christ transform our minds. It also offers suggestions for resting our bodies and spirits.

Stress eventually affects our bodies enough to make us sick. Researchers have determined how much stress we can take before this happens. The book contains a stress test that gives points for various life events and pressures and you can see how close you are coming to the 300 points that can make you sick. As the points add up, quiet, self-care, and solitude become more important than ever in keeping you well. There are plenty of suggestions in this book for lessening the stress both you and your children have in your lives.

George invites us to come to Jesus when we are physically and emotionally overburdened and find rest for our spirits and minds. She shows us how to do that. She leads us to the quiet place of healing and shows us how to guard our hearts against the hate, prejudice, bitterness, and selfishness which stress us and  hurt others. Jesus can replace those things with agape love in our hearts.

Jesus invites you to come and rest with him. He wants to lift your burden of stress and lead you to his quiet place of refreshment for your body, mind and spirit. Come to the Quiet will give you the details on how to rest in Him.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Over the last few years, I've noticed that I prefer a quiet home the majority of the time. I used to always have the TV on or be playing music in the background and now if I want to read or write and concentrate, having no background noise is preferable. This sounds like a very helpful book, Barbara.

    1. I have one news program I watch, and then, if left to my own desires, the set would stay off except for debates or times when there is urgent emergency news. I wish I could get my husband on that same page. It's a good thing we choose not to get a TV for our first 50 years of marriage. Now the set seems to be on for most of the hours when he's home and awake. One reason we chose not to have TV those first years was because he was a TV addict. If there was one around, he was in front of it. If my parents had it on when I was at home and I didn't like the show, I'd retreat to my room with a book.

  2. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who cannot just be still. Oh, I can be quiet, I just have to be doing "something" if I am awake. Ironically, I was just contemplating Martha and Mary earlier this week. How Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping her do the work, but instead was sitting at His feet listening to His teaching. Lest anyone reading this thinks I have a Mary in my life, I do not. I was simply thinking of Christ's answer to Martha and I know He would answer me the same way. So little actually NEEDS to be done. We often unnecessarily burden ourselves, but I find I have to remind myself to lay down that burden, sit at the feet of Christ and listen. I have no doubt the book you have reviewed and recommended would contain more jewels of wisdom that would be helpful for me.

    1. There's more than one way to be still. I find some of my best solitude on a walk through our local park by the river or through a neighbor's vineyard in the early evening. I'm moving when I want to be, but I see evidence of God's hand all around me. At the other house in the country I had some of my best solitude times when weeding the garden.

  3. I neglected to say, I am really glad you got a day to rest! We all need time to renew our spirits. Clearly, you made an excellent choice from your bookshelf.

    1. It was certainly the right choice for that day. When there is too much noise in my life I get thirsty for quiet like I get thirsty for cool water when it's really hot out. Maybe part of that comes from having been an only child for the first ten years of my life. I had adult attention when I wanted it, but I could also play quietly by myself with my dolls or paper dolls or a book and not feel lonely. And there was no television or radio noise in the background.

  4. Boy is this timely for me too Barbara. Quiet is something that is really hard to find sometimes. I'm lucky though, while I live in a big city, there is a tiny space in the back of a church, that is open 24 hours a day with a chapel that holds maybe 10 people at the most. It is often empty and it's beautiful. So that's where I end up when my spirit needs to rest and pray. I love the poem!

    1. You are fortunate that you have a 24-hour chapel still available. Many churches that used to leave their chapels open no longer do so because some cities have become more dangerous.

  5. Renewal. I sure need it too. Am glad you found some moments of peace. The loudest noise for me can be my internal chatter, there's a lot going on in there sometimes lol. For about 3 years I've been practicing mindfulness (I had to practice because there's no way I would be able to even slightly master it without practice). Although it's not perfected, sometimes when I'm on top of my thoughts, it's what saves me, and I move on from my own minds constant buzzing chatter. Peacefulness surely comes from within. I'm learning to master peacefulness no matter where I am. Again, one of my fave quotes comes to mind, 'Sometimes God calms the storm, and other times he calms the child that's in the storm'. I've been in the storm for quite a while, and most of the time can find calmness. Inner peace has nothing to do with outer peace, it's taken me a while to finally come to terms with that. Being human is a lot of work, lol!

  6. I agree that inner peace doesn't require outward peace, but I find noise, especially repetitive noise or human conversations, almost impossible to tune out. I'm going to try some of the techniques Denise George suggested when I can't escape noise.


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