I am excited to have Gayl here for #wholemama. She has a beautiful way of letting us see the world through her eyes and borrow a slice of calm. So inhale the goodness and read on.
Finding a Place of Calm
The dark rose Lazy Boy rocker/recliner with wooden arms is still comfortable even though it is old. As I sit here this morning looking out my bedroom window, I see the tall oak tree with its leaves, some brown, some still green. Looking past it to the edge of the woods I see more color as there are yellows and dull reds. The sun is shining through the clouds with its brightening rays causing some of the leaves to look almost on fire.
The air seems very still, but a closer look reveals the leaves gently moving as they are kissed by the breeze. I watch as one lone brown one floats to the ground, and I hear the porch chimes every now and then. The only other sound I hear is an occasional car going by on the road below.
Sitting here I realize that my brow is furrowed, my jaw tight and my teeth clenched. These past few weeks have been full, and I guess I’ve just gone from one thing to another without taking time to relax.
When there is chaos all around, how can we find a place of calm?
I close my eyes, rest my arms, lean my head back and continue to rock. As I consciously try to relax I feel the tension slowly begin to subside. I sit quietly this way for a few minutes.
I stop rocking, lift up the foot rest and lie back for a time. I take long, slow, deep breaths trying to relax more with each exhale. I yawn a few times as my body calms. I begin clearing my mind of the many ideas and to do lists that are vying for attention.
It’s not easy.
I pray, asking God to help me relax, to give me wisdom for setting priorities, to help me be sensitive to His leading. The quiet is suddenly disturbed by the dogs barking outside, and I wonder what they see. At this point I get up to check on them and find something to eat, but not before God brings to my mind this scripture:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things. (Phil. 4:8 ESV)
When I am constantly busy I don’t stop long enough to SEE much less THINK about something lovely. As I ate my cinnamon bread and drank some tea, I mused on these words wondering why that particular verse came to mind.
Could it hold a key to finding a place of calm?
What if instead of rushing to get everything done, letting #allthethings bother me, I slowed down enough to think about what is right and good and beautiful?
What if in the midst of the chaos I actually find beauty?
What would happen if I take a few minutes out of a busy schedule, to observe and think on that beauty?
Would I really lose that much time?
In reality I think not. I think doing that simple act would energize and enable me to accomplish the tasks in a much more meaningful way. It could actually have a calming effect.
After eating I came back upstairs, checked a few things on the computer and returned to my rocking chair. I glanced at the dresser and saw a CD of Gwen Smith that we had been given at the recent Allume conference I attended. I have had it for over a week and never took the time to listen to it. I decided it would be good to have some uplifting worship music to accompany my writing.
I don’t think it was an accident that I first put on the album at this particular time.
As I sat there listening, writing about finding a place of calm, a song came on entitled “Quiet Me.” Talk about perfect timing. Gwen sings about our need for calm and is asking God to come and quiet us. It’s a beautiful song.
There may be times when you find yourself overwhelmed and can’t stop for even a moment.
The kids are bickering, the baby needs changing, the dog barks, the phone rings, the doorbell chimes – all at the same time!!!!!
Sometimes it seems like all you can do is say, God, please help me. I wrote a short prayer to memorize for the times when I feel pressured and need to be calm. Feel free to copy for your own use, if you’d like.
What helps you to be calm? We’d love for you to share here in the comments or link up your own blog!
Gayl Wright makes her home in beautiful upstate South Carolina. She is a seeker of truth who looks for beauty in ordinary things. A self-taught poet, photographer and artist, she loves to capture what she finds using her talents to encourage others and glorify God.
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We also have our #wholemama facebook group where I (Erika) post our prompts early (we have through December, at the moment!) and would love to have you there!