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Be Still

May 3, 2008

It had been “one of those” mornings.

It was the middle of December–Christmastime. Things were crazy. Everything from the past two months seemed to have hit me that day–my newborn, my husband’s surgery, a trip to Colorado, Christmas preparations, and a deployment date looming in the near future. This particular day was filled with a million little things, and I felt I was hanging by a thread.

In the late afternoon, I finally managed to find a moment–one moment. I thought if I could just take a quick hot shower right then, it would wash away the craziness of the day and all would be fine.

An hour passed, and between several phone calls and door-bell rings, I still wasn’t in the shower.
A harried mess. That’s what I was. I sat Troy down in my bedroom with a stack of books and a couple toys, put 6-week-old Merritt in his bouncy seat, and hopped in the shower.

But, unlike my expectations, the stress didn’t wash away with the water. I could only feel the tension in my heart building as I ran my long to-do list through my head. I could hear the ringing of the phone–again. The baby was beginning to get fussy and Troy was tired of looking at books. It had been all of two minutes.

I pushed my hair under the stream of water, letting it rinse the shampoo out of my hair. As I wiped the water beads out of my eyes, I heard it.

Be still.

Gently the words came. I pushed them out of my head, trying to focus on the days, weeks ahead of me. There was so much to think about, plan for, keep straight in my head. How desperately I wished time could stop and give me a week to catch up. It was all just so much and I…

Be still.

So softly, that Voice spoke directly to my heart.

Lord, don’t be ridiculous. Be still? Now? Not happening.

I heard the baby crying with all his might. Hurry. Rinse out the conditioner. This shower had taken long enough. Next on the list? Get dinner started and then I’d have to hurry…

Be still. Quiet your heart. Know I am God.

I sighed aloud. Okay, Lord. Okay. Quiet my heart. I’ve made a note of it and I’ll be sure to do that. Maybe once the kids are in bed. Or something.

That still, small voice is persistent. Our little back-and-forth continued as I finished up my shower and went about getting ready.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Lord, my heart replied. I already do know you are God. Of course I do.

Be still, and know that I am God. Quiet your heart before me.

~*~

This evening, things were completely chaotic in our house. What was really only about thirty minutes felt like days.

We were on our way to our church’s annual mission’s dinner. I had made food, was scheduled to work in the nursery for the service after the dinner, and was hoping to catch some of the preaching through the television screen in the nursery.

But my reality at that moment wasn’t so rosy. Both boys were crying. This was not just fussiness or whimpering. Troy was sobbing as if his life was ending. Merritt was screaming with everything in him.

I was beside myself.

I hurried them both along. I tossed brownies on a plate. I ran in my heels to fill diaper bags. I replaced the binky. I consoled. I held. I got impatient and spoke too harshly. I walked into the kitchen, away from the boys, and let out a long, at-my-wit’s-end-again groan. I put the baby in his carseat, directed Troy to the door, slung my purse and the diaper bag over a shoulder and picked up my plate of brownies, nearly forgetting to grab my Bible with that extra hand I don’t have.

And then I heard it in my heart, always so soft and gentle.

Be still.

I was frustrated. Lord, this is NOT the time. I don’t have a second for stillness right now. This is crazy. I feel like I’m falling apart. I don’t even know what I was thinking in imagining I could go to this dinner on my own with the boys.

I locked the front door.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Lord, please, please… what are you trying to tell me? I DO know You are God. You know I can’t be still right now. I don’t understand.

My Jesus is so loving. You know I’m God? Do you really know I’m God? If you know I’m God, you know I’m capable of handling all of this. You know this moment would be better if you placed it in my hands. You know I will fill you with My perfect strength in this moment of weakness. Quiet your heart before Me. Be still, and know that I am God.

I was stopped at a red light. I closed my eyes. This wasn’t a mere suggestion. It was a command.

Be still. Know I am God.

The boys were still crying. I told myself to never again pack so much into one long day.

I don’t feel it, Lord. I don’t feel quiet or still. But I do want to truly know you are God. Please let me see You in this moment, Jesus.

Are you weary tonight? I am. Are you frazzled or is your heart troubled? To say that there is ever time for real stillness in the life of a woman is nearly laughable.

And yet, He whispers…

Be still.

Know that I am God.

Until we’re still… until our hearts are quieted before Him… until we stop waiting for things to slow down before really looking into His face… until we obey His command to be still, even when there is no stillness in sight, we can never expect to fully know He is God.

Be still.

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21 Comments »

  1. Ginger says:

    I loved this post like all of your posts you have such a way of capturing the moment. I think I might have needed this post!! Thank you for being so “real” you are a true blessing!!
    Ginger~

    [Reply]

    May 3rd, 2008 at 6:26 am

  2. Megan says:

    p.s. i linked to you yesterday.

    i love these words– be still, know that I am God, quiet your heart before me.

    The other day I was stressing about parenting and discipline… i felt like I had NO clue what to do & the more you read, the more confusing it gets because of all the theories out there. anyways, i heard that quiet voice so so clearly. “Just love them”

    Again, “That’s it. Just love them.” I’ve heard those words in my heart during so many moments since then.

    Isn’t it amazing that our God cares about us in our moments and in our (small, in comparison to our Lord’s greatness) struggles?

    [Reply]

    May 3rd, 2008 at 7:38 am

  3. Kelsey Smith says:

    Amazing Absolutely Amazing!

    [Reply]

    May 3rd, 2008 at 9:43 am

  4. Mrs. Butler says:

    Hey Ashleigh,

    This is a great post. So many, many times we need to remember this.

    And, I loved your post about your late night with your son. Just ask your Mama – one day you will miss those kinds of night :) I’m sure a great many Moms could tell you how much they’d like more of them.

    be blessed and hang in there during these little storms. i’m praying for you :)

    ~Kaira

    [Reply]

    May 3rd, 2008 at 3:00 pm

  5. Lady Ruth Ann says:

    Oh Ashleigh – thank you so much. I need to hear this – again & again. I hope it does eventually sink in. Thank you for writing it down…right now it’s a rushed life I’m living, and I need to slow down, and most importantly: “Be still and know that HE is God.” Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

    [Reply]

    May 3rd, 2008 at 8:05 pm

  6. Tiffany says:

    Great post!!! How I just need to be still in life. I can’t tell you just how much that really meant to me! Love you lots!!

    [Reply]

    May 5th, 2008 at 10:39 am

  7. Heather says:

    Ash, I SOOO needed to read this today. I borrowed Brian’s ipod to “drown” out sobbing, cranky children today…”Be Still” perfect for today.

    [Reply]

    May 5th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  8. Faerylandmom says:

    Hi. Came over here via “Rocks In My Dryer” and had to say something. I’m the mom of 4 kids – ages (almost)5, 3, 2, & 9mos.

    That alone should tell you how much I needed to read this today.

    [Reply]

    May 17th, 2008 at 9:39 pm

  9. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience says:

    And when we still… really still… we really come to know Him.

    I can never hear this too often.

    Thank you, sister…

    [Reply]

    May 17th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

  10. Llama Momma says:

    Thank you for this. Beautiful.

    [Reply]

    May 18th, 2008 at 5:07 am

  11. Worlds Greatest Mommy says:

    Wonderful.

    As I prepare to bathe and feed 5 kids, find school clothes, backpacks, permission slips, etc. Do some work, and clean the house…

    I read this and feel His spirit close to me and feel still.

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    May 18th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  12. Richelle says:

    Very great. That really is something we need to remember. I know my day goes much better when I take the time to pray and read scriptures in the morning.

    [Reply]

    May 18th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

  13. Mrs. Walker says:

    I came over here via Rocks In My Dryer.

    You have NO idea how much I need to be reminded of this today, this past week, this whole MONTH!!!!

    Thank you for sharing.
    Rebekah

    PS I’m going to link to this on my blog!

    [Reply]

    May 19th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

  14. MagenRanae says:

    I am praying right now that you will remember these words you wrote this week. They blessed my heart, and I know the Lord uses lessons like that over and over again in my life.
    Keep up the good work – motherhood is HARD work, but it’s soooo worth it!

    [Reply]

    May 20th, 2008 at 11:56 am

  15. Kristine says:

    What a sweet, honest post. I know it spoke deeply to me, as I hear that Voice and have those same conversations wondering how in the world I’m supposed to be still. This is my favorite, favorite verse in the Bible. Thank you for this. I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to link to it on my blog…

    [Reply]

    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:07 am

  16. Liza's Eyeview says:

    Thank you….

    [Reply]

    May 27th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

  17. Juicy Jenn says:

    Words…while some may use them frivolously, you used them with the greatest care and truth. Well said. Very well said. Extremely well thought out and…I will add, truly blessed by God. You wrote it beautifully.

    Thank you for writing it.

    [Reply]

    June 4th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

  18. Becca says:

    I come over via Shannon at
    http://cookingwiths.blogspot.com/.

    What a beautiful, and for me, timely message, thank you.

    Becca

    [Reply]

    June 4th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

  19. Julie says:

    What a sweet post. How sweetly He pursued your heart. His pursuit is relentless. I love that He does not give up.

    He’s been speaking to me about stillness. I wrote about it on my blog and at the Internet Cafe where I write a monthly devotional. At first I had no clue what stillness was. So He gently pulled me in to learn.

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I found you from Lysa’s blog. It’s nice to meet you!

    Julie

    [Reply]

    October 17th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

  20. Jami @ livelaughlove5 says:

    Thanks for this post. I totally can relate! Praise God for loving us so much and reaching out to us moment by moment, day by day!

    God bless you!! (I’m over from Lysa’s blog)

    [Reply]

    October 18th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

  21. Out of Tune | Young Ladies Christian Fellowship says:

    [...] are busy, and sometimes it is hard to stop, to take the time to Be Still and know Him. But the truth is that we need this getting in tune time much, much more than we need [...]

    June 14th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

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