My son, when he was little, had trouble settling down for bed. It wasn’t so much energy oozing externally, propelling him from bed. It was all about how to still his mind to sleep.
It was the thinking, the ideas needing to be expressed – from his eyes, to his mouth to his fingertips to his feet – and not knowing how to still it all.
“Your fingers need to go to sleep, too,” I’d say, sitting with him, – and he’d still his fingers. One by one, he’d try to still thoughts and expression – kind of like turning the house lights off one-by-one. He wasn’t even 5 years old.
Learning how to still it all isn’t just a 5-year-old thing .
I know how he feels. Except it’s not always a stilling for sleepy-time things – a stilling of fingers and toes.
My self-perception is affected by thoughts that need stilling. To-do list thoughts, How-to, How-to-achieve-things-like-dreams thoughts, creeping-in-sly-fearful thoughts, less-than-my-better-self thoughts.
When I think of God, His plans for my life – I think of action, doing, achieving, always feeling behind the plan instead of ahead of the plan – never just where I need to be in the unfolding of the plan.
Motion – never stopping, never stilling – for fear I’ll end up to far behind to catch up.
All types of motion are required for real, living relationship with God.
Sometimes with God, I am to just stand, in a withstand way.
Sometimes, He carries me.
Sometimes, I am to read love letters He left outside my door, in a nature walk, in the journey to a waterfall, in a thunder storm.
Sometimes, we walk, heads bent together, arms linked
Other times, it has been like sitting on a porch swing, quiet, no talking, nothing happening but just being together – being still together.
That was this week.
Being still was a tough lesson for me last week. For a time, it left me confused, empty, insecure, sadly forlorn.
Instead of me soothing my children to still themselves, He kept admonishing me to still myself.
He sat with me on a porch, in the mountains, during a storm that blew dust particles from trees into my face before spraying me with a misty coolness.
I wanted to read a love letter, to find a message from Him, but He just said,
“Be still. Just be with me. You can read the letter later. It will keep.”
Sitting in a chair, casting and reeling because I couldn’t do much else, in a little pond in a little cabin where cleaning and cooking were off-limits for my surgery recovery, I tried to build a post out of it all.
“Be still. Just be with me.Everything else will keep,“ He said.
I couldn’t swim in the pond, couldn’t go rowing in the boat because of my stitches, so I watched my boys, took pictures and sat on the sidelines. I kept trying to find meaning for a message
But He just said, “Be still. Just be with Me. Everything else will keep.”
Sometimes I need to live out the “being” – let everything unfold – let it swirl down inside and “be” a part of it, even if it is just sitting.
Sometimes just to be with Him, recognize that He is sitting with me, beside me – that He wants to have relationship like that – like on a porch swing late in the afternoon when no words are needed, and we just watch together, just be still together.
I don’t think He created Adam and Eve for Big thoughts, Big tasks, Big achievements. Sometimes He calls us to those – the Father, also wants to walk with us in the cool of the day and spend time with us (Genesis 3:8).
“Be Still,” He says – fingers, toes, and, yes, my mind.
“And Know that I am God”(Psalm 46:10)
He doesn’t want us to just know He is God – He wants us to know Him – even in the stillness of just being.
When He wants us to be still, everything else will keep.
- Prayers from friends in the blogahood and the neighborhood.
- No pain
- the ability to stretch
- little guys who still give hugs
- the ability to recuperate without pressure
- pink, yellow and orange zinnias with bergamot blossoms in Mason Jars
- uninterrupted time with my husband
- waking my little guys up at the cabin to go fishing, counting ribs to get their muscles moving, their voices woke up, and shrieks of laughter filling my ears
- a blue gill I caught with the wrong bait and a bobbin – it matched my glasses. We released it
- my husband putting the worm on my hook – for some reason, it was easier a long, long time ago when squirmy wasn’t as yucky
- watching the boys play in the pond, one in an inner-tube, one on noodles, another rowing
- knowing that sometimes the figurative dragging to an experience is a moms job – knowing what the result can be when they get there – and see it all come about
- peace that I did not have to be doing, achieving or even being productive as I recovered
- air-conditioning and plenty of hose water for my tomatoes, zucchini, squash and zinnias
- the blessing of healing
- Sons who find our home comforting, a place to replenish, refresh
- Sharing Sunday dinner, even if it is leftovers
- Answered prayers unfurling
- Evening walks with my husband, water, finding watermelons growing, red tomatoes, a rain tree flourishing.