One Word ~ Still

From OneWord365, January-2012,

“One word can change everything.

….Choose just one word.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012.

….

 “But since we are halfway there, let’s check in with each other for a One Word 365 update.”

“If you haven’t chosen a word for yourself yet, it’s not too late. It’s never too late to choose to live each day with intentionality and focus. So choose a word, blog about it, and dive right in with us.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So here I am…

I actually did choose a word in December, 2011, for this year of 2012, but never knew about this “One Word 365” so am joining this conversation in July-2012:  My word is still.

   Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.  Selah  Psalm 4:4  NKJV

LORD, please take all that I am this day and hold me until I become still, quiet, calm in Your arms.  May my heartbeat be in rhythm with Yours.  May I slow to the pace of Jesus, my LORD.  Love me into stillness.  Caress me still.  Surround me with Your Stillness.  Open me to be still in You.  Amen. 

This year of 2012, I want to slow down, to smell the Texas Mountain Laurel.  I want peace; I want to stand still so God can show me His creation, His beauty, His lessons.  I desire the calm so that I can contemplate all that He has done in this world, and what I might do for Him in this world (and all that I do in the names of pride and selfishness so I can turn from that, repent, change).  I want the moments to stroll by the eyes of my heart and give Him the glory each day.  A morning appointment with Him will direct me to His path for the day.  For any of this to happen, I must be still, breathing in His breathe for life in me, His life in me.  I can and I shall be still for I love Him so and desire to walk with Him, be still for Him, be loved by Him.  I came to Christ by faith and through that door, I entered His rest.

  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Hebrews 4:10 NASB

Entering His rest requires some steps on my part…obedience and faith.  I pray for a Sabbath Rest and feel a stillness, am brought to a standing still, a peaceful calm, a quiet place.  I can slow down, be still in an earthly sort of way… and know my God.

    “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 ESV)

I have wanted to slow down from concern and worry over my mother, my 98 year old mother in the nursing home.  I want to enjoy each moment I have with her from now on.  That happens more often than not these days.  I love my time with her on most days.  We may spend the time talking, chattering.  We may watch a Cubs game together.  We may not be communicating because Mama is sleeping but I sit in her recliner and watch her, pray over her, journal of things said before, of thoughts crossing my mind that moment.  I may just be there in the room with her.  Night’s like tonight where Mama was extremely hyperactive, talkative, glad to see me, never allowed a moment of silence to occur between us, still just does not happen unless I can allow her to be her and allow me to be in the moments as they roll by.  Sometimes, I succeed; other times, I just do not.  Tonight was a hard night for “still”.  Activity, mind-boggling words and moods, a visitor of hyperactivity, talk, and bias…I was able to let it all float through and by, then drift away giving me at least partial “still”, more so after I left the nursing home!  I could absorb His still.

Being still may take me to a green chair in our spare bedroom where I read God’s Word and soak in a bit more than when I am not still and trying to read the Bible.  I have found that there is a difference between reading in God’s stillness and trying to read.

Being still may take my mind to a quiet stream in the mountains.  I see God’s creation and rejoice as I can hear the ripple of the water, or feel the cool breeze rushing through my hair.  Still soothes me.  I have lived in the place of motion where I notice nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing.  I do not want to live there anymore.  I want still so that I may feel, hear, see, touch, contemplate, adore, rejoice, glorify God, and adore Him.  What better place than this still place, this resting point, this quiet order.

I have had three surgeries during the past year.  My body has been through a lot of stress.  My mind has been on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Stillness is where I need to be as the healing process continues.  Even though I chose this word in December, and had two surgeries ahead of me, one unknown, God knew what I would need in the days and months ahead.  Stillness has ebbed and flowed these months as pain and struggle made it difficult to even remember that I wanted to be still this year, to sit in the stillness of God, in His cloud.  Yet, He always meets me, waits for me when I get distracted and forget.  He is so wonderful and His Still is so beautiful in all.  They are a calming balm to me.

Johnny_Jump_Up_by_kitkat878

Just as Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the sea, peace is amidst the wild when the LORD is there in the midst.  That is what I am learning through this “still” year.  Keeping my whole self focused upon Jesus and not upon the situation, the circumstance, the pain, the noise.  I am learning to allow myself to know the peace of the Lord, the stillness of God.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  Mark 4:39

 


Johnny Jump-Ups
photo:  KitKat @ DeviantArt  Link: http://fav.me/d277000   http://kitkat878.deviantart.com/art/Johnny-Jump-Up-133016256

Peace, Be Still graphic:  John Bell, July, 1999; http://www.jrbell.com; http://www.heartlight.org

Nap Time


For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.

Jeremiah 31:25-26 ESV

 

How rarely I take naps, but when I do, and the day has worn me thin by 4:oo in the afternoon, and I do not have to prepare dinner, my body just wants to zone out.  I want to relax.  I am on my bed, pillows wrapped around, under, and even over me.  I become comfortable with my back adjusted by pillows under my legs.  My head is propped just enough to curve the upper back slighty.  When my body is relaxed, my mind settles, thoughts on the Lord, or in prayer, or on a Scripture, or on a pleasant pastoral scene; I succumb to a light nap, maybe even a heavy nap, to sleep!

Naps take me adrift into the wilds of nowhere.  I don’t know if I dream or just drift.  It is all good. A nap seems to leave me more tired when I first awaken, for at least a little while, but then I feel revived after that initial weariness.  A nap gives me energy for an evening at home with Kenneth, or for time with Mom at the nursing home.  I still enjoy these activities without a nap, but I feel better with one, that is for sure!

Relaxing.  Spending time in the arms of my Lord.

“I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.”  Ezekiel 34:25

 

 

“Kid”, photo by wilhelmien @ stock.xchng,  Mar 15, 2007, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/739830

“Sleeping Puppy! 2”, photo by SilentFury @ stock.xchng, Apr 3, 2007,  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/754054

He Rested

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.   So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.  (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)

God blessed the seventh day and made it holy: He sanctified it; He set it apart from all the others.  God rested on this day; He was not inactive; He reflected upon His own Creation; He took pleasure in it; He saw that it was ‘good’, ‘very good’.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  (Genesis 1:31 ESV)

Augustine said in “Confessions and Enchiridion”, “After all thy works of creation which were very good, thou didst rest on the seventh day, although thou hadst created them all in unbroken rest…thou art the Good, and needest rest, and art always at rest, because thou thyself art thy own rest.”

    Have you not known? Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
        the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint or grow weary;
        his understanding is unsearchable.
(Isaiah 40:28 ESV)

God needs no rest because He is tired or weary as His Word says He does not grow weary.  God rests to survey His works and delight upon it all.

    So God created man in his own image,
        in the image of God he created him;
        male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:27 ESV)

God created made for Himself.  Man exists for God and for fellowship with Him.  Man is to love and delight in all that delights God, in God Himself, His Creator, thus is man’s purpose of existence.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
(Matthew 22:37-38 ESV)

Man is obedient to His Creator.

You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
(Leviticus 20:26 ESV)

God sanctified a day for man to rest, to delight in all that delights his God, to rest in his God, to pray, to meditate, to calm the soul.  Once again, Augustine said, “Thou has made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.”

    It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
        to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
    to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
        and your faithfulness by night,
    to the music of the lute and the harp,
        to the melody of the lyre.
    For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
        at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
    How great are your works, O LORD!
        Your thoughts are very deep!
(Psalm 92:1-5 ESV)

O, Precious Creator of mine, and all the world around me, You have brought me into Your Rest, into Your sweetness.  You have soothed my very soul with Your Voice, with Your Hands, with Your Gentleness, with Your Love.  O, LORD, thank You for this beautiful gift of rest.  We lay by the creek, listening to the water flow over the rocks.

We see the lovely animals about:

some large ~ some in between ~

some tiny~

We share the music of the clouds.

We watch Your magnificent sunsets.

We reflect upon the beauty of Your rugged mountains,

of Your open meadows,

of Your power upon the land.

I lay my head upon Your chest and know You are my God for the beauty of all Creation reflects You and You Alone.  Blessed be my LORD.  Blessed be my God.  O, how I love You.  Amen. 

Cloud photo:  “Green Field and Light Rays” by boogy_man on stock.xchng @ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1392861

Other photos by me