Stillness and Simplicity

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As a child, my parents played Michael Card’s music all the time.  He’s an amazing Christian singer/song writer and author of biblical studies.  Most of his lyrics are based on Bible verses. He has an incredible way of making very complex theological concepts relatable and understandable. His music has been a constant in my life and I sing several of his songs to the kids at night.   When Sienna was under two, I recall her correcting me when I accidently said the wrong word while singing “Could it Be” – one of my favorite songs of his.  It felt so special to pass down this music to the next generation.

This awesome song is like a musical representation of the idea “be still and know”:

In Stillness and Simplicity

In stillness and simplicity
In the silence of the heart I see
The mystery of eternity
Who lives inside of me
In stillness and simplicity
I hear the Spirit’s silent plea
That You, oh Lord, are close to me
In stillness and simplicity
You’re the Word
Who must be heard
By those who listen quietly
Is the reason we’re not still
To hear You speak because
We don’t believe You will
In stillness and simplicity
I lose myself in finding Thee
Oh Lord, You mean so much to me
In stillness and simplicity
So, seek the One who dwells in you
The kingdom that within is true
That innermost reality
In stillness and simplicity

I love the lyric- Is the reason we’re not still / To hear You speak because / We don’t believe You will. 

Whoa, that was a long introduction to this story…

When I was in the midst of my struggle with anxiety this past summer, there was one day that stands out.  I’d slept very poorly and woke up exhausted, anxious, and just a total mess.  After pulling myself together enough to get Sienna to school, I called my mom to talk (aka analyze myself) and she encouraged me to take a day off.  We agreed that I needed some time to just be, without the pressure to use my time productively.

I’ve lived within a short drive of the ocean my entire life.  However, I’ve never considered myself much of a beach person.  Recently I realized that I had a melancholy association with the ocean.  Something about its grander and majesty stirred up emotion in me, which I realize now, I’d been trying to avoid.  So, on this day, when I wanted to let myself feel my emotions, I headed to Torrey Pines State Beach.

For about two hours, I sat on the beach and prayed, cried, and tried to look composed as other people passed by. I ate lunch at a cute little café, walked around the shops, bought a chocolate treat, and then headed home.  Feelings of sadness and hopelessness stuck with me all day.

As I went inside my house, my tears turned into uncontrollable sobs.  I lay down on the couch and thought about all the prayers I’d been saying and felt frustrated that God hadn’t taken these anxious feelings from me like I asked.  In a pretty distressed voice, I said aloud: “God, where are you?”

Immediately I heard a calm, masculine, authoritative voice in my head respond: “I’m right here, Child.”

It got my attention.

The message was clear.  Even in my darkest days, God was there.  He may not have taken away all the pain and suffering, like I’d asked, but that didn’t mean he had abandoned me.

That day was a turning point.  Now, looking back, I see that there were important lessons that this pain was teaching me: to stop trying to be in control, to surrender to God’s will, to trust in His peace.

feetYes, I took this picture of my feet at the beach on the day described above.  One of my early attempts to practice being in the moment.

4 thoughts on “Stillness and Simplicity

  1. stace4

    Thanks for sharing your soul. I have been reading your blog posts and at times I feel as if I could have wrote a post describing the same feeling and struggles that you have expressed. Anxiety and the feeling associated with it are excruciating and debilitating. I struggled with severe postpartum anxiety and depression and from time to time I feel it creap back in and try to take over. Prayer is my only fight against it. How strong you are to find the lesson amongst the pain, something I need to try and focus on. Thanks again for sharing. Gods blessing to you and your family.

    • Thank you for commenting! I’m (slowly) leading up to sharing a book that’s been so helpful to me: The Happiness Trap. I’ll get into it in more detail shortly. It’s been a Godsend – literally! God bless you too.

  2. Vicki Wilson

    I love the way you have woven the beautiful music of Micheal Card from your childhood with your present day experiences of God working in your life. The gift of singing these wonderful songs to your children, will be a blessing to them for their entire lives. It certainly worked in yours!! xo

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