Posts Tagged ‘Be Still’

After a week of feeling … blah,

7b32b5a57880df49cb6ca71783fc3d00I had to give in, and admit it,

I was sick.

You know that feeling …

  • muscle aches
  • feeling like it is nap time all day long
  • warm drinks being the most satisfying
  • head feeling like it just might explode


there was so much to do!

and I had made it almost to the end of the week!

All week I had been pushing through because to call in sick is to throw the ‘norm’ to the wind for the students I work with, and norm is what they need most. Now, don’t go thinking I am so very altruistic … after all, I am writing about taking a sick day!

So, there I was, Friday morning, and my get up and go was no where to be found. So, I did what needed to be done, made notes for whoever was to fill in for me, and called my supervisor to let her know that I would be a no show.

Then to sleep I returned (after awaking hubby … I am, after all, his alarm clock … or clanging gong).

Sleep in the day has far more healing power than any over the counter cold remedy. It is as though it is the cure for the common cold. Perhaps because it is a deprivation of rest that makes us most vulnerable to falling flat in the first place.

When I emerged, mid morning, from my restful slumber, I encountered what can only be described as utopia.


Not a sound, but the soft snoring of my middle-aged beast who was sprawled out at my bedroom door.

In a house of six people, three teens, one young adult, a hubby and myself silence is a rare thing. There is always music, pots clanging, showers running and shouts from room to room (or floor level to floor level).

This particular sick day, I got to experience the beauty of silence being golden.

It stopped me in my tracks.

It removed muscle tension better than any massage therapist named Helga.

It cleared my muddied brain faster than a morning cup of brew.

It gave me what I needed most …

to be

s  t  i  l  l

No noise, no movement, no pulling away from my center … but to be emptied of all that competes for my attention, and to be filled to over-flowing with the peace of just God.

It only lasted a few minutes before my background-noise-loving hubby returned to work in his home office,

but, those moments were worth the sick day

those moments were

g  o  l  d  e  n

“The world has changed enormously since I first gave the command to be still and know that I am God. However, this timeless truth is essential for the well-being of your soul. As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with Me.” -Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

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I have many memories of spending hours and days in preparation for a long distance trip, by car or plane. Then, just minutes after leaving our home one of our children would cry from from the backseats, “are we there yet?”

It is the most familiar cry of family road trips. It is acceptable, and even humorous to us, because it comes out of the lack of awareness and experience of a child’s understanding of place and time. If our twenty-something year old were to ask that same question, in the same context, it would not be as acceptable or humorous.

That is how it is with how we deem something to be an age-appropriate response or action. We consider the maturity level of the person.

A burp or toot from an infant is ‘cute’ but anything similar from your hubby is inappropriate and distasteful.

We watch our toddler race toy trains, planes and automobiles, encouraging them to ‘go faster’, but a new teenage driver who participates in street racing is ridiculous, and should lose their license.

These are the double standards of moving forward, of maturing, of growing up.

Are we there yet?

It is also our innate, human cry. Our bodies cry it from our first breath, until our final exhale.

We spend most of our lives trying to identify, trying to find ‘there’. We are like the child in the back seat, too young, too immature to understand distance or time. We just know that we are going, and we want to be ‘there’ so that we can discover what it is.

‘There’ is like a present, placed under the Christmas tree too many days before the due date to unwrap it. It sits, and waits for the mysteries inside to be revealed. We do not know if we want what it contains inside, we just know that we want it to be fully revealed to us, but it is not time for that.

Waiting for the right time is not something that I do well, or naturally, and I do not think that I am alone in that.

Like that child awaiting the right time to open the gift, I just want to get on with it … whatever ‘it’ is.

Being of advanced years, I am starting to learn something about the season of waiting. I am learning it is not empty time. It is not a waste of time. There is a purpose in this season of waiting and anticipating.

In the season of waiting, there is opportunity to to not be that child in the back seat, but to be one of the maturity to notice the beauty along the way. We can learn that age-old lesson to “be still.”

Somehow, to we mere mortals, “be still” sounds like a demand, and, for the impatient like me, it sounds like a punishment.

There is more, though, to that age-old lesson. The lesson comes from the Psalms (Psalm 46:10).

It says:
“Be still, and know that I am God”

When I read beyond those first two words, I sense not a demand or punishment in it’s message to me, but an opportunity to let the chips fall where they may.

It is like someone giving me money to play the slots. It did not cost me to play, so, win or lose, I get to pull the handle and still walk away without having had to gamble.

Unlike that child tortuously awaiting the appointed time to reveal the contents of the beautifully wrapped box, I can enjoy the presents of today, knowing that God has not only the appointed day in control, but also what is contained in the wrappings.

Are we there yet?

No, but each day of anticipation is an opportunity to trust in the God who already knows what is awaiting me.

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Being on the East Coast allows me the opportunity to see family I rarely get to see, and I’ve had this privilege twice this year.

This past weekend I got to see my youngest nephew. He is five years old (that is a handful of fingers for those of you who have not had the honor of receiving a reply from a five year old, to the question “how old are you?”). He is cute (as a button … what on earth does that mean?), never sits still ( 🙂 love that part), and totally brilliant (and, if you were to ask his grandparents … do NOT do that … a very long monologue will be in your future … and you are not the one talking).

My favorite part of spending time with him was when he said ‘yellow’ … pronounced ‘Lellow’. Could there be anything more preciously perfect than a child who mispronounces words? I love it! How is it that pronouncing a word wrongly could create such delight in my soul?

Everything is exciting for this little guy (and, by the way, I would NEVER refer to him as a ‘little’ guy to his face … he thinks he is an adult). And he even has future plans … romantically. Apparently he has a girlfriend in daycare who he is planning to marry, and if that doesn’t work out, there are other possibilities. Gotta love a guy with options!

While he was at my parents he eyed a snowman decoration (I’ll Be Home for a White Christmas) that he was more familiar with than me. It was a simple, tacky cute ( 😉 ) beaded snowman. And when Little Mister picked him up, and pushed a button, the snowman lit up, in colors that faded from one to another like the colors of a rainbow.

Then, the real magic began.

Little Mister stood there, delighting in the color changes, and the shining of the beads, for the longest time. It was a moment of joy, amazement and wonder. He was captivated by the simple beauty that he created by pushing the right button. So simple, so beautiful … not the snowman, but the reaction of wonder that it caused. He was still.

What captivates me? What makes me stare in amazement? What causes me to wonder … to really wonder to the point of stopping all that I do to be amazed?

This is the season of wonder. This is the season of amazement and captivation. This is the season of miracles and a gift giving so grand that the celebrations have lasted for a couple of thousand years.

But, do we stop long enough to be captivated in wonder? Can we, like that delightful nephew of mine, be still long enough to see the beauty of the light that came down at Christmas time? That is the challenge.

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