I’ve completely forgotten how to be still and rest.
I just can’t do it anymore. And it’s creating a frazzled, panic-y, busy, stressed, peace-less feeling in my heart. Talk about unpleasant.
I mean, I can be physically still. Kind of. But even when I’m physically still, I nearly always have some form of technology in my hands—a phone, my computer, a camera, my tablet. So that’s not actual stillness.
And don’t even get me started on being mentally still! From the moment I wake up, my mind is a whirring mess of things that I need to do, conversations I need to have, texts I need to send, emails I need to write, and issues that I need to fix in my life.
But admitting this is the first step on the road to recovery, right?
“Hi, my name is Carley, and I have a busy-ness problem.” “Hiiiii, Carley.”
The trick is that a lot of the things filling my mind and time aren’t necessarily bad things. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, meal making, and diaper changing are all important. Even the technology things have some value…
Facebook is great for connecting with others, especially those who are geographically distant.
Blogging is great for processing my thoughts and encouraging others (which I hope I do…at least some of the time). Plus it’s a super easy way to make sure my mom has up-to-date pictures of the girls.
Hi, Mom. The girls say thank you for the sweaters.
To do lists are great for organizing the chaos that is my house and life.
Facebook, blogging, to do lists, emails, phone calls, texting, podcasts, and music have value.
But these things have absolutely zero value when I spend every free moment reaching for something to fill my free moments. It’s gotten to the point that when I do sit down to read my Bible and pray and journal, I can’t even focus. My mind is a ricocheting mess!!
[Last week, I realized I couldn’t even just watch March Madness with Ben without feeling like I need to be watching and doing something else. Granted I don’t really love basketball, but that’s not the point. I couldn’t just be present. This is clearly become quite an issue.]
I claim that I want 2014 to be marked by listening. I claim that I want Psalm 46:10 to define my relationship with God—“Be still and know that I am God.” Something needs to change.
So today, I practiced stillness. For 15 minutes. Don’t laugh. It was hard.
I made a cup of coffee, set my cell phone alarm, sat on the couch, and watched my girls play.
Within that time, I had to battle the urge to fill the time with less-still activities. Seriously. It was a battle!!
Do you know how many times I wanted to just grab a piece of paper and jot down a quick to do list? Do you know how many times I wanted to grab my phone and shoot off a few quick texts to organize my week? Do you know how hard it was to not grab my computer and scroll though facebook and some blogs? Do you know how hard it was to let the basket of laundry just sit there?
I cheated a little and took a picture.
My plan is to keep practicing stillness. And perhaps that stressed-out, frazzled, tense, unpleasant feeling will be replaced by peace and joy and rest.
What about you? Do you find it hard to be still? Is it challenging for you to rest physically and mentally? How do you unplug?