Saturday, January 8, 2011

Practicing Stillness

My sweet husband got me a New Mom's Devotional Bible for Christmas. He surprised me by adding it to my stocking - the one 'gift' we get each other that we don't know what it will be. It's usually candy & some other goodies - like one year he surprised me with a deck of cards, but instead of the playing cards, he had replaced them with gift cards to my favorite restaurants and coffee places, bookstores, etc. He's actually really good at gift-giving and thinking of good, creative, fitting gifts for folks.

Anyways, I cracked it open this morning for like the 3rd time since I got it...praying that God will help me be more consistent with my time in the Word & prayer this year. I find myself defaulting to reading devotional emails and blog posts as my 'personal devotion time' during the day - which isn't bad in and of itself, but I definitely want to actually have His Word in the palm of my hands more often. There's something to be said about that tangible act and being intentional to get into a quiet environment to meet with the Creator of the Universe (wow!) instead of trying to squeeze in some edification and encouragement at my office at work for 5 minutes. I think God meets us wherever we seek Him, but whether or not I'm really able to 'meet with Him' in those environments is another story...

Anyways, this nifty little Bible has some extras added to it - like pages with topical little devotions with 1 minute, 5-minute, and 10-minute versions, depending on what kind of 'mommy' day you are having and the time you have at the moment. The one I opened up to this morning is based on Psalm 46 - and was entitled "Stillness." I immediately knew that this was not a coincidence. Especially with working from home 3 days a week now, I find myself rarely sitting down and being still - even in the quietness of my own home. There is always something to be done and something in sight that is beckoning for my attention. I find myself starting one task and getting sidetracked by another in the middle of the 1st...and such goes my life with my new 'mommy ADD' that I've succumbed to. Rarely can I finish a thought, let along a task, without getting caught up in the next thought or task.

And a perfect example is this blog post! HA! Okay, focus, Jenny, focus...

Psalm 46 - this Psalm screams of God's sovereignty despite the busyness and chaos we may be experiencing. It exclaims in verse 1 that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble." I've read this more than few times, but this morning the truth of the statement that He is ever-present, ever available for us just when we need Him- that hit home with me in such a sweet, confirming way.

I had just finished writing an email to a sweet, close friend who I have not been able to see or talk to much lately, and was just telling her how I desire to be more available in 2011 - to God, to my family, and especially to my friends when they need to talk, vent, or just need to get out of the house and have coffee with someone. And it's awesome to know that we have a God who IS AVAILABLE. He is there and willing to meet with me, despite the fact that I fail so often to even seek Him or get into His Word. He IS AVAILABLE to hear my worries, my complaints, my ventings - and then my subsequent "I'm sorry for my attitude" prayers. He doesn't get tied up with other things and start to listen to me and get distracted by the next task that is calling. He IS THERE, always.

Selah. Let's take a minute to let that sink in.

Then, moving into verse 2 - as if verse 1 isn't enough to meditate on for the rest of the year and then some...it goes on to say that because HE IS AVAILABLE, FAITHFUL, THERE -"therefore we will not fear" - (meaning, we choose to claim the truth of verse 1 and trust Him, and therefore choose to not give into fear) - "though the earth gives way..." Even when the very foundation under you seems to be shaking and falling away - when the job you've had for the past 10+ years is no longer there, when the relationship that you've relied on for so long isn't there to lean on anymore - when the thing in your life and your heart that you so often place your trust in for stability and comfort isn't offering that stability and comfort anymore. He IS THERE.

"and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..." What mountains in your life - those huge, seemingly permanent structures - have changed? Disappeared? Proven to not be so study?

The message that I'm receiving loud and clear this morning is that God is there despite the chaos and craziness and hectic-ness of my own life, schedule, mind, and heart. He is there for me to lean back on, unchanging, unshaken, not disturbed by the latest 'new' change in my life. He is my mountain and my rock and the foundation under my feet. He is the ONLY one that can offer this promise and follow through with it. He is FAITHFUL.

Sometimes , I just have to claim these truths over my competing thoughts & emotions. I have to just write (or type) out what I know in my heart to be true - get these truths back in front of eyes so they can once again transform and renew my mind.

And in the same way, I have to choose to be still - to step back and gain perspective on what is a priority and what isn't, to allow God to start ordering my day and the to-do list, showing me what ranks higher on that list and what, even though it may scream the loudest, doesn't really matter that much. Even though clutter can be pretty loud for a girl with OCD tendencies, I know that in the long run it doesn't make a difference whether it's picked up today or tomorrow, but there is a huge difference in my life on whether or not I choose to pick up the Word tomorrow instead of today.

"Be still & know that I am God; I WILL be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." v.10

I pray that today you can find a little 'stillness' and take some time to take in the fact that God is there, waiting to meet with you!

2 comments:

  1. Haha, I almost got you the same bible!! I was standing in line at Target before Christmas and someone had placed it on the magazine rack. I flipped through it and thought it was good, but wasn't 100% sure about it so I put it down. I guess God is guiding my thoughts even when I'm not totally aware of it :-). Either that or He had Jordan get it because I put it down. Haha

    I'm glad you've started the blog back up! We can all use the reminder of being still and reminding ourselves of who God is. Make the choice to exercise your spiritual muscles (read, pray, worship) girls! so we can get strong spiritually (recalling and speaking His Word into our lives and the lives of others) for the battle that is all around us whether we acknowledge it or not.

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