Be Still

by Doreen Stelling

My work hours have changed this fall.  Instead of a random part-time schedule set by me, I am working full-time, Monday through Friday.  This has changed my weekend experience significantly!  I have found that physically I am not too worn out, but rather, mentally and emotionally I am depleted.

I am blessed to have a husband who pitches in around the house a great deal.  As many of you know (especially if you have children at home) there is always laundry to be done, bathrooms to be cleaned, errands to catch up on, piles of “stuff” to sort through, and for a person like me, alone time, quiet time, self-care time to attend to.

If I don’t incorporate self-care I will surely implode!  My threshold for patience, empathy, love and capacity will be significantly lowered.  Self-care looks different for everyone.  It depends a lot on a person’s personality.  What refreshes one person doesn’t do a thing for another.  Most of us need exercise.  I need and crave alone time.  I want time to do my own thing.  BUT, I really need alone time with the Lord, Jesus.  I might sit down with a book about Jesus, or about spirituality or the Bible.  During this time I lay all the burdens and exhaustion I feel before him.  I tell him like it is, the good, the bad and the ugly.  He tells me like it is from his perspective.  I like to sit quietly to “listen” and just be still.  This is difficult for the human mind!  Thoughts fly in and out at rapid speed or we wander into a daydream.  This is okay though.  As my Spiritual Director once told me, “Jesus doesn’t condemn you for that, he just likes it when you turn your face back to him.”  Quoting from one of my favorite authors, Philip Yancy says in his book The Jesus I Never Knew, “We sometimes use the term “savior complex” to describe an unhealthy syndrome of obsession over curing other’s problems (or our own I might add).  The true Savior, however seemed remarkably free of such a complex.  He had no compulsion to convert the entire world in His lifetime or to cure people who were not ready to be cured.  In short, Jesus showed an incredible respect for human freedom.  ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ Jesus said, in the least manipulative invitation that has ever been given.”

Jesus is so kind and receptive to messy-minded people like me.  He doesn’t force his ways on us. He understands our humanity.  When I sit with people in spiritual direction I say that this is a time to hit the pause button, stop all the doing and practice just being.  This doesn’t have to happen just in spiritual direction, but can be practiced any time, any place.  It’s more important than ever for me on the weekends to take time to pause.  With the help of my spiritual director, I have learned to listen and to notice the movement of God in my life.  I have learned and am still learning to lay all things at his feet…everything from chores to relational conflict to self- doubt to celebrations.  This is good self-care!

“Be still and know that I am God,” says Psalm 46:10.  Be still my body, my mind, and my soul, and the true Spiritual Director, Jesus, will mysteriously give me perspective and moment-by-moment strength through his Holy Spirit.

Categories Article | Tags: | Posted on November 30, 2014

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