Does your heart long for blue skies
Is there a clutter
It seems that everywhere I turn lately, people are lamenting over the stress and disruption ruling our days. If we aren’t busy at work, then we are busy at leisure. If we aren’t overwhelmed with finances, then we are overwhelmed with business choices. We have become a people named by Hurry and labeled by Over-Full.
Is this state of mind
a place where we are meant to dwell?
When the pace of my life came to a sudden, grinding halt a few years ago, because of my chronic illness diagnosis, I found myself grieving the busy way of life I was accustomed to living. I felt like the rest of the world was passing me by. But as I gradually came to an acceptance of the SLOW that would mark my days, and the PACE that I needed to maintain in order to have even a small amount of energy, I found that I didn’t miss all of the busyness quite as much as I thought I would.
But, like an underlying current, I didn’t see
the busyness still clinging to me.
My mind had never slowed
and my thoughts still flowed,
Ever rushing onward
Ever flooding full.
As this year began, and I searched my heart for a word, a direction given from the Lord, He spoke a word that I thought I had already mastered.
“Learn what it means to
be still with Me.”
Apparently, I had not mastered the art of stillness. For even though my body had slowed, my mind had not. It was never more clear to me how far I had to go, than when I first sat down to practice the Spiritual Discipline of Centering/Silent Prayer. One of my dear blogging friends, Joy Lenton, who blogs at: Words of Joy, spoke about an app for your phone that could help you begin the process of learning to sit in God’s Presence for Silent/Centering Prayer. The app is offered through the resources at Contemplative Outreach. (You can check out their website for a wealth of information.) So, I excitedly downloaded the app, and read through some of their information.
Yes! Of course I want more communion with God! Isn’t this where I spend most of my prayer time anyway?
I know how to listen to God, so I will love to practice
being silent in His Presence.
What I discovered was that I loved to hear myself talk.
I loved to ask God questions. I loved to look into His Word and listen to what He might say there. I loved to pray for my friends. I loved to pursue thought processes with the Lord as my guide.
But just to sit with Him in silence?
The minutes ticked by in agony that first day. This was most definitely something that did not come easily for me. But as the days passed, and I learned to give myself grace for my errant thoughts, continuously pulling them back to the name of Jesus, I began to notice the Presence of Jesus there with me in a way I had not known before. Quiet, hovering, and all-consuming, this was the God who would not be hurried, and would not be directed by my own terms or worries.
Here was a LOVE
where peace began.
Here was a CALM
where storms were stilled.
And I felt a nudging to walk with Jesus through these days in a new stillness, to learn more from HIS heart about peace.
Shortly after I began this process, a poetic stirring began in me that you may have been reading these past few weeks. As my heart has hungered for words that would still my racing thoughts, poetry has met a deep longing planted years ago in my soul. Looking through old recipes that had belonged to my Mother, I came across a spiral–bound notebook that flooded my mind with memories. I was suddenly a child again, watching my Mother cut poems out of magazines and newsletters, and pasting them into her journal. But it was this page that stopped me in my tracks that day:
were made by my
or the hands of another,
the message was clear:
this longing for
runs deep in my veins.
Do you have a longing for the busy
to be stilled?
Is your mind tired of the
Join me this month here,
as we step closer to Easter,
face the call towards Lent,
where we will seek to lay down our clutter
and take up His Communion.
as I turn towards Him
and learn more
of the call
to be still with Him?
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength‘”
Isaiah 30:15 NIV
If you are looking for a great Devotional during these days leading up to Easter, my blogging friend, Susan Shipe, who writes at: Hope, Heart, Home, has written a beautiful 40 day walk through this season. Find it at Amazon, here.
I am linking this week with:
Debbie Kitterman #TuneInThursday