On stillness

Exodus 14:14 - "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” image from

I’ve done it. I’ve stopped being a weekend warrior.

I’m no longer manic about accomplishing so much. Instead, I putz. And – to my surprise -I’ve gotten rather good at it.

Saturday mornings find me reading and lingering over coffee, instead of racing through a grocery store check-out line.   I take my time doing whatever – a load of laundry, sorting papers and sometimes – sometimes nothing at all. And when I get bored with the nothing, I bundle up for a walk with old dog.  I’ve quit listening to music every time; no more marching to the beat for me. Nope, I’m saying “no” to the mania.  Instead, I take in the quiet, the birds and his frequent sniffs and stops.   Nature restores me, the sunshine invigorates me and the exercise .. it delights me.

Sometimes, in the pace of day to day living, I feel a little bit like the pea in a shell game; the shells are moving and I get dizzy trying to keep up.

Mixing it up means a few of my chores get moved to another time in the week. It’s not like they’ll just do themselves: I don’t have a cook or housekeeper and most likely never will.  But what I’ve learned is this:  somewhere in these days, between the dizzy and the doing,  I’m making room for stillness. For down time.  For me time.

And I’m making room for Him, too.

How about you?  Do you make a conscious effort to be still?

Categories: Faith, Growth, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “On stillness

  1. I have made a conscious effort to lead a quiet life
    Now I just have to stop talking!
    God Bless

  2. Sounds like you have learned a lot about being quiet, as have I. Blessings to you, my friend.

  3. Reminds me of a comic strip I cut out for my hubby and taped to the wall in his office:
    Two men are sitting together, and one asks the other: “What are you doing?”.
    The other says: “Nothing”
    “I thought you did that yesterday.”
    “I didn’t finish”.
    Good for you!

  4. Good for you! It’s taken me a long time to do that as well. But I’m so much happier enjoying the weekends rather than running around like a crazy woman.

  5. I believe it takes time to learn to take care of ourselves. Years even. I love the restorative qualities of nature and just breathing…and talking in prayer.

  6. I’m in the same boat MJ, just enjoying the sounds of life around me. I’ve been working on a speech/sermon that I’m giving in a couplea weeks, honing it, reworking it here and there, inflections, punchlines and keeping Him the focus of it throughout.

    I feel bad for those folks who can’t stand the stillness and silence, makes me wonder what they’re trying to drown out.

    Good post! 🙂

    • You make a great point, Rich: if there’s anxiety in being still, what’s being suppressed? Good luck to you on your sermon; I just know you’ll do great 🙂 MJ

  7. I’m learning to. Old habits are hard to break. I stopped making a mile-long list and instead figure out what needs to happen, and go at a more leisurely pace. Some days I take it too far the other way 🙂

    • Yes, for sure. I find it easy to slip into the nothingness and I have work to do to balance it all. But I like the way the teeter is tottering now – no more manic scurrying for me 🙂 MJ

  8. This is the second blog post I’ve read today about stillness and hearing God’s voice. Minimalizing is a part of my life the last few months and its effect on my blood pressure is proof of its benefits. With the decluttering comes more time to muse, more time to hear Him speak instead of paying attention to the many distractions the enemy finds to his liking.
    Keep the Faith – but not from others!

    P.S. I wonder if the next blog post will be more of the same. 🙂

  9. Yes yes yes gf…..this is so very true! “Be still and know that I am God”….was the verse that said ok cowgirl slow it down…I used to feel guilty if I did not do something…clean or do or kids or horses or worry…worry took up my free time too way back when…like you about 10 years ago I found that yes…it is ok to have “me time” and God loves me…and my family loves me more too:)

    • “Ok cowgirl .. slow it down.”

      LOVE that! And you’re right …. worry can take up just as much free time as chores can 🙂

      Thanks so much MJ!
      – MJ

  10. You betcha I do :-). Glad you are making space for the joy of being still.

  11. “In the stillness, I heard the beating of my heart.”

    • That’s it, LeRoy … being still and enjoying the gift of the moment instead of squandering it being “busy” – wow, who knew?

  12. Isn’t it odd that we have to work at being still and doing nothing? We get so used to running at life and getting the maximum results out of each moment that to sit still, or walk leisurely without destination – just for the sake of the walk or the moment – takes effort. Good for you. Putz on my friend!

    • For me, “busy” and “to dos” have become habits – and I’ve learned they’re necessary but also – at times – a screen to cover what’s really needed – which is a lot of nothing!
      Putz on!!

  13. Good for you! I have my days where I should make some down time, but let other things distract (it’s so easy to) but I am getting better. I meditate often and just breathe. I also take a moment to pray a bit every day to ground myself. I find that when I’m more connected to these things, I’m much calmer overall. When I let these things slide, my life is a hectic mess of anxiety.

    I’m excited the weather will be warmer because now I have an excuse to go for a long walk and just sit outside for awhile. Really soothes the soul.

    • You’re so right, Darla .. when I make the time for some peace & quiet, it turns every day into a better day and not, as you said, a “hectic mess of anxiety.”

      I’ve been walking outside for a few days now but we’re having T-storms tonight and old dog is hiding in the bsmnt — no walks for me tonight.

      Cheers to you!

  14. Here’s to being ‘still’, MJ! While I try to enjoy each and every day, I find myself growing increasingly excited about getting closer to Sundays. I love, love, love my still Sundays. Good for you for embracing the downtime. You’ll find the chores will wait patiently and quietly … let ’em wait. 🙂

    • I love your Sundays, too 🙂 You’ve been a good advocate for the importance of getting still and your reminders have not gone unnoticed, LD. 🙂 MJ

  15. Mmmm… I’m SO not good at that! I’ve tried, but can’t seem to let go of the anxiety over all the things that need doing!

    • Understand — my experience? Try it for a few minutes at a time. Then block of a manageable chunk of time – 30 min, 1 hour etc. C’mon you can find 1 hour per weekend just for you, right? Luci-pie says yes!! 🙂 MJ

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