Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Being Still"

"Be Still" Day 1 (Saturday 2/8/14)

     I woke up today honestly a bit torn.  Normally my Saturday mornings are the ones I look most forward to.  They are slow!  I get to sit and drink my entire two cups of coffee and search Pinterest for sometimes over an hour.  My husband sleeps, my daughter is on her i-pad, having not had access to it all week.  My son is content to watch a show as long as I am cuddled up next to him.  All of us in this "other realm and reality" that is so very far from our own and even farther from Gods:(

     But this morning I do feel a tinge of excitement to try something new.  Kind of like when you start a new diet or exercise routine.  I was excited and intimidated all at the same time.  

     So I get my coffee, sit in my comfy spot on the couch where I usually have my "quiet time".  The first thing I realize is this is much different then "quiet time".  "Quiet time"  I have gotten pretty ok at.  Reading my devotional and spending 15-20 minutes "alone" with God is something I practice on a semi-regular basis.  I do however feel like it is something I just check off my list, feel challenged as I read and then move on with my day.  However, "Being Still" is something that I desperately need to work on.  I don't just "need to" I really want to.  I feel God's Grace and Mercy drawing me into this new discipline.  I really miss Him and desire more of Him in my life.

      I begin to ask God to reveal what is standing in the way of my being still before Him.  Gentle conviction begins..... My overachieving nature, being "everything to everyone", my social media distraction and all it holds over my life, my "mother's guilt" and my unrealistic "to-do lists".  I begin to confess and feel the Grace and forgiveness come. 

     I am determined to put into practice and recall all the different "tools" that were shared last night.  I start out with deep breathing and move onto repeating "Abba Father I belong to you!"  I try focusing on the raindrops I hear hitting the window and my wind chimes outside.  It is amazing to me just how many times my mind trails off.  It reminds me of that dog on the movie "Up" when he is so easily distracted..."Squirrel!!"  I am just like that dog!  My mind is so easily preoccupied.  I realize just how deeply I need this discipline in my life. 

     Did I feel God?  Yes, for brief moments.  But I can honestly say it was not something that came easy for me.  However when my son finally realized I was gone and scampered out to find me it had been a solid 15 minutes.  This was actually surprising to me and I was encouraged and found myself wanting more.

     So Day 1 down!  "Stillness" was not natural at all, actually very foreign.  I look forward to growing in this area and am grateful for this study and my precious Jesus. 
"Be Still" Day 1 (cont.) (Sunday 2/8/14)

     My husband was gone this evening which is actually very rare.  I got the kids in bed and the house was quiet I felt drawn to practice this new discipline of being still.  Don't get me wrong I also felt drawn to searching Facebook and Pinterest.  However, I decided to push past that desire trying to be very aware of how those forms of distraction have been placed before God so many times in my life.  

     This is very typical for me to start strong at new things and then fizzle out after a couple days.  It is a regular pattern in my life.  One of which I need God to uproot and replace with consistent perseverance.  As I close my eyes and begin to breath I begin to also confess.  Jesus I am sorry that I am so inconsistent in sitting at your feet.  I am so sorry that I have put so many things ahead of you.  Forgive me Lord and teach me, draw me to this place more and more.

     God has created me to be a very visual person.  He often speaks to me in pictures or almost movies played out in my mind.  He began to do this last night as I sat there.  I was in a vast open grassy field and I was standing with my arms outstretched and my face turned towards Heaven.  I visualized being enveloped in the brightest light.  It was warm and it felt so good.  It reminded me of when you have been in a very cold room and step outside into the warm sunshine. It felt really, really good! 

     Unfortunately, I was there one moment, in this glorious place all warm and content and then....."squirrel!"....I was drawn away.  Thoughts of my to-do list and preoccupation with how limited my time was before my husband got home competed with this place of glory I was experiencing.  Sad but true.  I have much work to do but I am grateful to have warmed my face in His glorious "Sonshine" this evening.

"Be Still" Day 2 (Sunday 2/8/14)

     Again, I awoke and felt the desire to connect on social media drawing my attention away from the space and time I had to "Be Still".  Boy I am recognizing some serious "issues" here:)  However, I decided to be press through that desire and again sit at His feet and practice being still.  

     I "assumed the position" in my cozy nook and began with prayer.  I again, being a visual person often use an image I once read about in a book by Emelie Barnes.  I visualize myself as a teacup that has old, stagnant tea in it.  You would never pour more tea into the cup without first dumping the old and cleaning it out so it is fresh and ready for a new serving of tea.  So I pour my old out and ask God to come and "cleanse me from all unrighteousness" to prepare my vessel for what He has for me.  

    I begin to see myself immediately in the field and feel the warmth of His Glory on my face.  It feels so good and I am so content.  Then I hear them....bare footsteps on the floor..."mom!  Where are you???"  And....reality sets in!!  So there you have it! I made it 12 minutes this time. It was sure good while it lasted but I believe my "being still" is over for this moment:)

"Be Still" Day 3 (Saturday 2/15/14)

     This morning I slept in and decided to try and slip out to the quietness of the front porch before my husband and children started needing anything from me.  My son was awake and I told him that I needed to go spend some time with Jesus on the front porch and that he could stay inside with Daddy for a while.  I sat there with my coffee and Bible and not more than 3 minutes later my son came out with his crafting supplies and said he wanted to do crafts with me.  "Son, you are welcome to sit here and craft quietly while mommy has her time with Jesus."  "OK mommy, I'll be quiet".  Thirty seconds later..."mommy look at my robot!"  I will admit it I began to get a bit frustrated and disappointed.  I sent Anna a text and a photo of my situation, knowing she would appreciate my dilemma.

     I decided to look up verses on "stillness" in my Bible and came across a verse I fell deeply in love with.  I love the ocean and God knew it was the perfect visual for me.  Psalm 89:9 "You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up you still them."  What a beautiful verse that speaks of God's incredible power! 

     I began to meditate on this and think of how the moments in my life sometimes feel like "surging seas".  Even my thoughts when I am trying to "be still."  They just continually crash against the shore of my mind.  One distraction after the other, they just keep coming...  But HE is able to still the mounting waves in my life and in my mind.  He is all powerful to change what looks like a moment that appears to be swelling into a major wave and calm it in an instant.

     This is what He did for me this morning.  My son disappeared for a couple minutes and came back with his Bible in hand.  He sat across from me and opened it and began to flip through it quietly.  The "calm" lasted only a few short minutes but it was so quiet and "still".  I was able to see Him in this moment and I was overwhelmed by His Grace and goodness.  

     I was also just struck by the fact that I am a mother of a son who just desperately wants to be in my presence.  He wants to just sit with me and craft and read and be.  He is an example to me of how I want to want to be in Gods presence this way.  I want to have that desire to be nowhere else but just beside Him.  I want to desire His presence the same way my son desires mine.  It's a beautiful lesson and I am grateful God allowed me to see this today in the "stillness" of my moment on the porch.