Be still!

(On Mondays I plan to write posts that come from my reflections on my word/topic of focus for this year—which is stillness, rest, sabbath.)

Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10a



I have often described myself as an ESFP with ADD. My friends may tell you I’m somewhat outgoing, seemingly scattered, and  often unfocused. Perception is pretty close to reality.

I don’t like the description of the Proverbs 31 woman or Peter’s instruction: You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God (1 Peter 3:4, NLT).

Gentle and quiet are two words few people associate with me.

In fact, if for some reason I am quiet, people ask me what’s wrong. When I’m in public, I don’t do quiet well.

As I have aged, however, I have found I enjoy being alone…and quiet. I can turn off the TV, sometimes even goe sans music—and just be still.

But my stillness, my quiet reveree, lacked something. Until recently when I began asking God to reveal my direction for 2018.

Several years abo, I started writing a Bible study and one of the chapters was on the command to keep sabbath. I found myself being drawn back again and again to  the books I had gathered on the topic and stuck on a corner of a bookshelf in my office.

Holding one of the books, I felt a strong resonning in my spirit. A loud “YES!” Resonated within me from head to toe.

Okay, God. I got it, but I don’t get it.

And the whisper came back, “You will.”

Then one of the devotions in the first week of the year reflected on how Elijah didn’t hear God in the storm or earthquake—but in the quiet whisper. And the whisper was a question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Sitting in my quiet family room, holding the small book, I sensed my eyes filling with tears…and I heard God whisper, “Tina, what are you doing here?”

I didn’t have an answer. Still don’t. But you better believe I’ve been thinking about it. Even created the meme at the top of this blog.

The question is one of those kinds that when you say it you can put emphasis on a different word and change the meaning: What are you doing here? What are you doing here? What are you doing here? What are you doing here? What are you doing here?

After determining the direction, I felt compelled to be accountable. In the past I’ve lost interest and attention to my word/focus before I reached February. I might remember it later in the year—and have a few moments of guilt. I decided to not let that happen this year.

So every Monday I’m going to reflect on this with you, or at least with myself. I don’t know where it will go. Thankfully, I don’t have to…I’m just going to be obedient, and still, and listen for the whisper.

What are you doing here?

Breakfast Pause

My spiritual focus for the year comes from John 15 and Jesus’ repetition of the word “meno” to abide.

I’m not usually hungry when I first wake up. Maybe I worked up my appetite taking the dogs out in the frigid cold and then cleaning the snow and ice off my husband’s van. Whatever it was, there was definitely a very large “rumbly in my tumbly.”

I decided to have an English muffin, fruit, and tea. I had to defrost the gluten free muffin. When I pulled it out of the package it was solid like a hokey puck. I had to double the usual defrost time. I opted for butter and honey. I’m not sure where the reference to molasses came from because in my experience honey is excruciatingly slow.

The honey may have seemed that slow because I had already spent forever gleaning the precious and delicious seeds from a pomegranate. Husband had purchased this special treat and he picked a great one. I don’t think I’ve ever had one with more seeds. But more seeds resulted in more work. I started to wonder if I was ever going to be done…ever going to get to eat.

This morning I felt more like tea than coffee, so I put a large amount of water in the microwave to heat, loaded my tea ball with loose leaf tea, and proceeded to steep a large mug of tea. To be done properly the process takes about ten minutes.

Finally, as I bowed my head to give thanks for my meal, I felt that reminding nudge. I confess I was a bit grumbly–can I blame it on the hunger?

I am so used to instant meals. Grab and go. Wolf it down. There’s a time to savor, but that is rarely when I’m by myself.

God’s word to me was that I wasn’t by myself. And I didn’t need to rush. Rushing is the antithesis to abiding, dwelling, to being still.

There’s an old hymn that admonishes “take time to be holy.” Here are the lyrics. You read them and let God speak to you and I’m going to finish my tea. Breakfast may be gone, but there’s still a need to pause…

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above. William D. Longstaff, c.1882

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