Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finding Some Stillness

"The more on my schedule, the more I get done." I confided in a friend. It seems the busier our days, the more likely I am to do it all - plus a little bit more. Starting the morning with lists and more than a few cups of coffee to rev me up, I can go all day at top speed, whipping through work and getting people where they need to be and really, on paper, winning the day.

But sometimes winning isn't about crossing that last item off the to do list. Because I don't know about you, but my lists rarely include everything I value. Sometimes the things that matter the most are too complex to be reduced to an item line on a to do list. Sometimes they require a little space. A little air. A little openness.

After reconnecting with some old friends who live near enough for our children to visit back and forth, I've recently found myself with some unexpectedly quiet afternoons. The littlest ones down for naps or playing quietly, the bigs out on some adventure and me just here.

There's always plenty to be done, and sometimes I do it. Organize a cupboard. Get a head start on dinner. Fold a few loads of laundry while listening to a podcast or some music just for me. But sometimes, sometimes I just don't. Sometime I make a cup of coffee and sit out on the back porch with knitting in my lap, my hands motionless. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I nap. Sometimes, when the kids come flooding back into the house and the babies wake up, I feel a little bit guilty about it all. Shouldn't I be doing...something?

The crush of hurry, the rush of urgency leaves little space for the stuff of life. Long, thoughtful silences between friends, at times more healing and helpful than any words. A child finding your empty lap and climbing right up for a spur of the moment reassurance of love and home. Kitchen table conferences with your spouse over the troubles and triumphs of the day. All of these things require a stilling of heart and mind. A submission to the leading of life. An admission of non-omniscience.

Life isn't a race to get it all done, to check the last box. Perfectly organized closets sound lovely and I one day hope to have them, but today? Today I'll talk on the phone to a friend. Tickle a baby. Live life in sometimes messy ways. Find some stillness, not just when everything is perfect and peaceful, but now. In the middle of it. Because that's where it's needed the most.

Sometimes, taking a moment or two is the radical reiteration that we are not God. And the world won't stop it's incessant whirring if we step back, breathe deep, and look up.

{Joining Ginny today in her lovely Yarn Along (still working on my Peter sweater), and also linking up her thoughts over at Ann's place which inspired this post. So much beauty and wisdom there.}

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.


  1. That guilt of stillness is such a trap to me and it is very difficult to make myself be quiet in the middle of the day especially. Lovely sweater, and weren't Ginny's words on Ann's blog wonderful? They have stayed with me since yesterday morning and I am even now having to fight to just rest instead of working on resting - I am such a slave to my own legalistic expectations of myself that I forget that grace means I can't DO it myself...

  2. I like to listen to podcasts while I do house work too! Do you have any you can recommend? I'm always searching for something good to listen to! :)

  3. these podcasts are SO good, no matter what denomination you are.

  4. Legalistic expectations - oh my, YES. That. Definitely. Praying rest for you today!

  5. Oh I'd love to hear some recommendations too, I do the same! I like CraftLit, Dave Ramsey, and Steve Brown Etc.


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!