I have found a pattern for me in writing, posting on FB or instagram, or other forms of social media. I get really motivated and I go full steam for a while and then I fizzle out. I really don’t mean to ghost you. It’s just that a lot of times, life just has a way of getting in the way of some of these things. We have moved twice in the last 6 weeks, once from our home into a hotel (all of our belongings in a storage unit) , and then again from the storage unit into our new home. And the moves were 2 Saturdays in a row! It was crazy.
Then, the very next Saturday we got on a plane and flew to Utah for my son’s wedding for a week (my last child to marry). The wedding was absolutely beautiful and I got to see so many of my old friends and family! Being in the Salt Lake City temple with all four of my children and their spouses was an experience I won’t soon forget. The tears were flowing before the ceremony even started! For those of you who may not know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One of the things that we believe is that families can be together forever through temple ordinances that are performed there. We also believe that this blessing extends to those who have passed before us. And so we do what we call “proxy” work for the dead so that they can have the promised blessings if they so choose. For more information about temples and what we believe you can click here.
Now we are back in Tennessee and settling into our home (but still trying to unload the storage unit, haha). And then in about another week, we will be moving my husbands office space to a new building. Phew! It has been a crazy summer!
Amidst all of this craziness it has become apparent to me how important it is for us to learn how to “be still”. What do I mean when I say that? Well, it’s more than just sitting quietly cause we all know that rarely happens (although it’s great if you can), or praying, or reading scriptures. While all of those are good means of being still, do you think that there is more to it than that? One of the reasons that I attend the temple as much as I can, is that it is so peaceful inside. As soon as you walk in those doors, the whole world just melts away. It is quiet, everyone is equal, there to serve and to love. There are no sounds from traffic or other outdoor noises. Just a peace and a reverence that can’t be found elsewhere. However, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been REALLY HARD this past few months to maintain my regular attendance with everything that is happening. (Which I am positive Satan is getting ready to put a little tic on his side of the board, lol.) However, as I contemplated what I would write about, I kept just coming back to “be still”.
So again, what does it mean to “be still”? In the Bible in Psalm 46:10 we read Be still, and know that I am God..
and in Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, aPeace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great bcalm.
When I ponder on those scriptures, I feel that being still is more than just the action of quieting our mind. It also requires an action of believing that God will enlighten our minds as we do so. Faith to know that He wants us to be still so that we can be given revelation for the direction He wants us to take. To grow and progress in ways that we can not do on our own.
Twice in the Doctrine and Covenants it mentions the words “stand still”. first in section 5:34 Yea, for this cause I have said: Stop, and astand still until I command thee, and I will bprovide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee.
and then again in Section 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us acheerfully bdo all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the csalvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
In the dictionary, one of the definitions of “stand” is to face or encounter. And the definition of “be” is to take place, to happen or occur. And then the word “still” in the dictionary, silence, or at this time. If we put those words together, I think that maybe God is telling us if we can BE (something is about to happen), STILL (silent), STAND (Face me, pray, ask!), He has something important to give us, tell us, or show us. An encounter or something special to take place. I am in awe of the greatness that those scriptures offer to us. “Stand still, with the utmost assurance”. “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” There is so much that He wants to tell us that He wants to share with us that He wants to show us! But it’s not just the act of silence or being quiet, it requires us to be willing to face or encounter what it is He is trying to share with us. And then… the most important part….believe Him! And if your answer involves action on your part (most often it does) then you get up go and DO! Even if that answer is a calm peaceful feeling. Go and let that resonate with you, don’t just brush it off.
I had an experience a few months back when I was stressing out about everything that was happening in my life and I was having a particularly bad day with my illness. I was angry, frustrated, felt like it was unfair that I had to deal with this every day. See that’s the thing with mental illness, chronic illnesses, mental health issues, diabetes and so many other illnesses. You never just wake up and it’s all gone. It is with you every ding dong day! I was SO ANGRY and I knelt down and I was kind of shaking my fists at the Lord saying why? WHY do I have to deal with this every day of my life? Why did you do this to me? And within seconds of my tantrum, I had one of the most incredible experiences. It’s like the curtain opened for a minute and I got to see all the miracles that have taken place since my diagnosis. All the answers to prayers, all the changes in direction (that have been so positive for us) all the experiences that have happened since then. It was like He was saying: “Oh my daughter, look at all the good that has come through this illness, look at all the ways that you are better, look at all the ways that you have helped others. STAND and LOOK (FACE). I have not forsaken you. BE STILL!”
And then of course the reprimand, “now get up, wipe those tears and do what you need to do!
I picture a child throwing a temper tantrum and the parent becoming frustrated and just getting down to the child’s level, grabbing that child by the face saying, Look at me! Listen to me! I’m going to tell you one more time! Now, go and do what I have asked you to do (of course in the most gentle of ways ;)).
What a beautiful opportunity we have at any time of day or night, in any situation, with all that the world throws at us. We can “be still” or “stand still” (face Him, talk to Him, be open and ready to what His plan is) and we will receive the strength to move forward, to be stronger, to be as He would have us be. I say it all the time, His plan for our life is a MUCH BETTER PLAN than the one that we think is going to be great! But we have to be willing to be ready for the encounter, be silent so we can hear it and face Him. He has all the answers. Trust Him! Be still, and Know…