Sunday, April 15, 2012

The meaning of still

My words for this year are "Be still and know that I am God."
I've been thinking about those recently.  (Good thing since they are supposed to be my theme for the year.)  I've been thinking about what it means to be still.  To help me, I went looking for a definition of still.  Here's what I found.  And I found it here.

still 1  (stl)
adj. still·er, still·est
1. Free of sound.
2. Low in sound; hushed or subdued.
3. Not moving or in motion.
4. Free from disturbance, agitation, or commotion.
5. Free from a noticeable current: a still pond; still waters.
6. Not carbonated; lacking effervescence: a still wine.
7. Of or relating to a single or static photograph as opposed to a movie.
1. Silence; quiet: the still of the night.
2. A still photograph, especially one taken from a scene of a movie and used for promotional purposes.
3. A still-life picture.
1. Without movement; motionlessly: stand still.
a. At the present time; for the present: We are still waiting.
b. Up to or at a specified time; yet: still had not made up her mind.
c. At a future time; eventually: may still see the error of his ways.
3. In increasing amount or degree; even: and still further complaints.
4. In addition; besides: had still another helping.
5. All the same; nevertheless.
v. stilled, still·ing, stills
1. To make still or tranquil.
2. To make quiet; silence.
3. To make motionless.
4. To allay; calm: The parents stilled their child's fears of the dark.

There's a whole lot in here.  I think I'll just focus on still as an adjective since I think that's really how it is used in the verse.  

Still - free of sound.  I'm not so good at that.  I usually have the radio on (with CBC most of the time) or I have some music on.  I'm not sure whether that's good or bad.  Maybe a bit of both, depending on what's going on in my life.  I know that music can totally fill my soul and heal my heart.  But maybe it also distracts my mind from important things I should be thinking about (whatever those may be).

Still - low in sound, hushed or subdued.  That's generally how I am in the world, but I'm not sure that's what's important in the verse.

Still - not moving or not in motion.  Hmmm.  That can be a good thing, and it can be a bad thing.  I think it is good for me to know when to stop and when to say no, to make a decision that I can't do everything.  BUT, there is the danger, then, of not saying yes when saying yes would be a good thing.  I think the intent of the verse is not so much about being physically still and not moving, but more of an emotional or spiritual stillness and resting in God.  And that can be more challenging.

Still - free from disturbance, agitation, or commotion.  This is important.  But it's difficult.  There will be disturbances, agitations, and commotions in this life on earth.  Of that there is no question.  I suppose the goal is to remain still in God while I traverse through these times.  To know that God is there.  To know that God will always be there.  To trust God.  To feel hope.

Still - free from a noticeable current.  The examples are a still pond or still waters.  At first I didn't know how to apply this one.  But after I thought about it a little while, I came to this.     One way I could be free from a noticeable current is to make a conscious effort to disconnect from the computer periodically.  Not that I'm always connected, but more that I'm connected more than I think is good for me.  Sometimes.

As I glance over the other usages of still, I see other applications.  But I'll save those for another day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How many eggs can you hold?

I've been reading more in a life of being, having, and doing enough (by Wayne Muller).  One of the chapters had the title of this post.  How many eggs can you hold?  What a great image to help me think about trying to maintain balance in my life.  I need to think about how I'm handling the eggs I'm currently holding and then decide if I can add another egg.  If I believe I need to add an egg, but I can't keep all my eggs in my hands without dropping one, then I need to think about what egg I can carefully lay down.  While I like scrambled eggs, I don't think having scrambled raw eggs in my hands and on the floor around me is a great idea.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I've had a book sitting on my coffee table for about two months now.  I got it from the library and I've already renewed it twice.  Its title called to me.  It speaks to who I want to be.  And, yet, I couldn't find it in myself to stop and be still enough to let my mind be filled with what it has to say.  This week I finally started to work my way through it.  It's by Wayne Muller and it's called a life of being, having, and doing enough.  Tonight when I took the time to focus my mind on it, I found a passage that resonated with me.  

If we indeed choose a life awake, we will embark on a journey not of our own making.  It is a journey that may lead us deep into the country of kindness, loss, beauty, heartbreak, love, honest, and friendship.  In this landscape of the joys and sorrows of a human life, the touch of a tiny hand, the impossible blue of a crisp winter sky, the fragrance of jasmine, can take our breath away.  And every one of these tiny surprises, these unexpected miracles, become, in each moment, without a doubt, enough.   (pages 98 and 99)

I love the idea of really feeling full, feeling enough, when I truly stop and appreciate the tiny miracles. I know that I do feel the love of God more when I actually do that.  While I have reached 1000 on my list of gifts, I know that I need to continue to strive to stop and see the gifts as I live each day.  So I renew my commitment to try to be sure to stop and be still - in order to remember that God is God and that God is good!

967) the "misteriousness" of driving to church through a dreamy, foggy land
968) celebrating communion
969) grilled cheese sandwiches with a steaming bowl of soup
970) the Internet - did you know that you can soften stale marshmallows?
971) peanut butter rice krispie squares - made with those stale marshmallows that were softened
972) sunshine breaking through tray skies
973) listening to children sing at their grandmother's funeral
974) physio and tea with a friend (yes, we did both together)
975) being trusted with information
976) Spring Break!
977) quiet days with a peaceful feeling
978) slower pace which allows me to walk to a nearby appointment
979) finishing 4 sewing projects (bags) that had been in process for a long time
980) a mistake that made one of the bags better - I love it!
981) inviting myself out for dinner, offering to bring dinner, and being offered dinner instead
982) a dear 4 year old telling me she loves me as I walk by her
983) a friend who really understands my frustration with a project - helping me persevere and work through the challenge
984) tea with that same friend
985) the delight on my friend's face when she shows me the gifts she is collection for Korean orphans - she has galvanized an army of knitters!
986) noticing a flock of birds overhead because I heard the flapping of their wings
987) the beauty of fresh snow and blue skies
988) talking about a movie with my 14 year old nephew
989) visiting with my grandma
990) dinner with my brother and his family
991) the joy my youngest niece exudes
992) Saturday morning with one of my sisters and her husband
993) an afternoon walk with two sisters and a brother-in-law
994) Good Friday
995) Easter Sunday
996) family dinner
997) being able to connect with two cousins you are going through tough times
998) safe travels on a busy highway
999) golden landscape with blue sky, sunshine, and a backdrop silhouette of the Rocky Mountains
1000) one year since my surgery - on Easter Sunday.  This was quite meaningful for me - new life for me through surgery and through Jesus' death and resurrection!
1001) a day that opens up - more breathing space on the last day of Spring Break
1002) a friend who is spontaneous and time to go out for tea