Trying to be Still… And Usually Failing

I’m normally not one for girlie kinds of books. Aside from my devout adoration of Jane Austin (and BBC’s interpretation of her greatest work, Pride and Prejudice), I’m generally more of a thinker-type reader. I delve into the works of CS Lewis, grapple with Andrew Murray and find solace in Richard Foster. I read on business, leadership, news and everything in between. I’ve discovered the beauty of an expanded mind through the written word. Then I write furiously of the great nuggets of truths I’ve discovered, working to apply them to my life. So, generally, I scoff at current works on marriage, being a wife, or being a woman. They are well beneath the level of spiritual greatness I normally enjoy. I prideful response to be sure. But time is limited, is it not?

An unknown time ago, I somehow downloaded a book entitled Beautiful Wife. I subscribe to some updates that tell me about free books. It must have been one of those. And then it sat in that list of books I’ll probably never open. However, this morning while enjoying a nice cup of coffee wrapped up in a blanket and watching the sunrise over the neighboring buildings, I found myself drawn to this book. I cannot attest for any information beyond page 27, but I was inspired.

Although her premise is becoming a lovely wife, I was struck by a section on being still. This isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve read the scripture in Psalms about being still. I know the song. I’ve read countless books on being still and letting God take over. And yet I find myself worrying or trying to force something to happen or telling the Creator of the universe my grand plan and then expecting his help when things go sideways. As I reread parts of my current journal this morning I was struck by how often I’m simply not still. I’m antsy. In life I’m pretty quiet, but with God I’m a chatterbox, constantly badgering him with my wonderful ideas or great requests or desires for becoming a better person, wife, leader, or whatever other role I play.

I thought I had learned this lesson the hard way – through a time of total desperation living in a land full of adversity. I thought I understood how to match my priorities with God’s and be obedient. Maybe I did. But now I find myself relearning how to stop striving for perfection and allow Christ
to be perfect in me. I’m relearning how to pause and simply listen to the voice of the Spirit gently guiding me. I’m relearning how to take a breath amidst the insanity of life and praise God for the beauty of the geranium growing in my living room. I’m learning to stop and thank God for the journey our business is still on and the lessons I have learned as we struggle to even open it.

With so much emphasis on being intentional I’m finding myself at war within my heart to simply be. And I’m praying that the Holy Spirit wins and that I am closer to God in the process. I’m praying my plan for every day matches his and that when I fall into bed at night I can rest with a smile knowing my heart and my life brought him glory. And I’m praying that I learn to be still and know that he is God.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

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