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Be Still

August 13, 2010

It had been “one of those” mornings.

It was the middle of December 2007–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 a whisper.

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.

This was originally posted May 3, 2008 ~ halfway through our first deployment.
But I needed it… today. Five months into our second deployment.
For exactly the same reasons it was written over two years ago.

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  1. Mary says:

    Bless you. I know these days are hard and long sometimes. DH was just mobilized for a year long tour to Afghanistan. Be strong. As He says, “Be still.” You can do this! :)


    August 13th, 2010 at 12:17 am

  2. Barbie says:

    There is a common theme amongst many of the blogs I read. This discipline of learning to be still and knowing that He has it all under control. This is just another confirmation that God desires that I quiet my heart so that I can truly heart His heart. To be still just for a moment, before that moment flees away.


    August 13th, 2010 at 12:24 am

  3. Lisa says:

    I needed this today. Yesterday was one of those “ball your eyes out” days, and today was marginally better. And yes, while I did start my day out reading the Bible, sometimes I still need to “regroup” with a stillness before my Lord. Thanks!


    August 13th, 2010 at 6:58 am

  4. ladyfelicity says:

    Praying for you this weekend …


    August 13th, 2010 at 8:41 am

  5. Elaina says:

    Thanks for this. I needed it. So very badly.


    August 13th, 2010 at 8:49 am

  6. Tweets that mention Heart & Home ยป Be Still -- says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elaina Avalos and rebeccannb, Ashleigh Baker. Ashleigh Baker said: It had been one of "those" mornings… [...]

    August 13th, 2010 at 9:12 am

  7. JD in Canada says:

    Praying… thank you for sharing.


    August 13th, 2010 at 9:53 am

  8. Anna says:

    Thank you for this, Ashleigh. It brought tears to my eyes (something blog posts rarely do). He is SO full of grace and goodness.


    August 13th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

  9. Kiersten says:

    Ashleigh, I just want you to know that I really enjoy reading your blog. You write with honesty and real-ness (I’m making that a word!), and it is so refreshing. I recently read an article that I might email you…your post today reminded me of it.



    August 13th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

  10. Ginger says:

    Thank you. For your real true self. Every word in these posts speaks at how real you are and how real and amazing our Lord is.

    Thankyou for your realness,


    August 13th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

  11. sara sophia says:

    this minute.
    this midnight hour.

    for a hundred different anything but still reasons.

    thank you love.



    August 13th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

  12. To Think Is To Create says:

    I thought of this today as we ran around getting things done, being sucked into the clutches of traffic and potential frustration, and I smiled. And was still.



    August 14th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

  13. Jenny says:

    This is what I am trying to do in this week of “capturing my moments” – I am trying to Be still. to listen. to engage. To relish in the moments before they are gone forever.

    this is so beautiful.


    August 16th, 2010 at 8:06 am

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