Are you busy? Do you long for a little sliver of peace and quiet in the chaos of your day?
There’s the housework and the toddler and the job and all that. And there are friendships and social events and appointments and ministry nights.
And then there’s the relentless inner chatter, the mental to-do lists, the Pinterest projects that I see potentially all over my house, the nagging question “Am I being a good wife and mom?” and the buzzing ideas that keep me up at night.
This quote describes my life well:
Our lives often seem like over-packed suitcases bursting at the seams. In fact, we are almost always aware of being behind schedule. There is a nagging sense that there are unfinished tasks, unfulfilled promises, unrealized proposals. There is always something else that we should have remembered, done, or said.
Henri Nouwen, Making All Things New
I am tired not so much because of the hard physical work that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers did sunrise to sunset on their farms. My weariness is an internal, mental and emotional tiredness that comes from the frantic pace of life around me and inside my mind. It’s from trying to keep my suitcase from busting open even as I try to stuff more things in there.
Not-So-Quiet “Quiet Time”
The worst part is that this internal chaos distracts me from spending “quiet time” time with the Lord. I often rush through it, body sitting but mind racing with everything I need to get to next. You know that A-Z worship experience I shared last week? I don’t know what that was like for you, but this is how it’s played out for me most mornings:
A – Lord, you are awesome in all your ways. Gosh, I have to remember to wash Carissa’s summer clothes. She’s only got long-sleeved shirts and pants. ..Wait, where was I? Oh yeah. Um, B.
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B – You are bountiful in Your goodness, Lord. Thank You for bestowing blessings on me and my family. Is Flaviu playing in the worship band this Sunday? I need to check so I know what I’m doing this weekend. Oh no. I’m getting off track again. Ok Lord, um, C?
C – C, hm… C… For a writer, you’d think I’d be better with this alphabet thing. God, You are Creator. You made the world so beautifully and creatively. You are so caring. That reminds me: Mother’s Day is coming up. I need to get Mom a card and finish that project I was working on. Hm… When can I squeeze that in?
Even when I try to focus on God, I keep getting distracted by my own thoughts. Can you relate?
A Prayer for Stillness
This past week, going through Linda Dillow’s book on worship, Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, I’ve begun to pray that my soul would find stillness in God alone. (Her thoughts on stillness, in chapter 3, have heavily influenced this post.) This Psalm has come alive to me this week in a way it never has before:
Be still, and know that I am God.
I’ve written a prayer for me, for you, and for everyone else who’s hustling and bustling and exhausted by this pace. A prayer for stillness. Would you pray it with me today?
You are in Your holy temple; let all the earth, including my mind and heart, be silent before You, resting in Your sovereignty. Like Elijah, teach me to wait for Your still, small voice and quiet the earthquakes and blazing fires in my life.
Replace my restless doing with inner calm, and help me, like Mary, to sit at Your feet in quiet adoration even if there are a million things clamoring for my attention. Just as You spoke over the tumultuous sea and storms, so speak over my heart Your shalom.
“Peace. Be still,” You said to them, and immediately they quieted. Teach my heart to cease striving and to know– to yada, to have an intimate and deep, personal, first-hand experience–that You are God.
Help me cultivate a quiet heart, like a baby content in its mother’s arms, no longer coming to You with a “gimme” spirit but instead calmly nestling against Your heart. Help me find quietness and happiness in intimate communion with You. You will be exalted over all the earth, and You’ve got the details of my day covered. I can rest in You.
What does it look like for you to be still and know that God is God?