Cradling Stillness

Naturally, I am a go-getter. When I focus on a particular job or interest (a.k.a obsessive/compulsive drive to improve and succeed), I become determined to conquer it. Therefore, many of my days are spent running from one job to the next or from my son to the kitchen to cook, without stopping to bask in the joy of the simple.

My nature is to schedule in what I can to keep myself motivated, protecting my mind from becoming negative. When I stay inside or have nothing going on for too long, I feel depressed easily. It’s no problem for the enemy to drop in a line like “You have nothing going on. You have no purpose. What’s the point?” Gladly, I am highly aware of when lies cross my mind, as I usually choose to reject them and accept His truth instead. But in this season, my schedule is jam-packed. Yet, I need calm, quiet moments alone. We all do. How I crave stillness, holding it affectionately like a precious newborn, treasuring this gift from God.

Yesterday in the Publix parking lot after picking up more odds-and-ends groceries on my break from work, I sat in my car and started writing. Just a little bit—enough to slow me down, permitting my brain to unwind the cooped-up craziness of what only half a day brings. My tense muscles relaxed as I let my windows down, turning off my beloved, tranquil Ray LaMontagne tunes, feeling the breeze play with my hair, tickling my face. I long to breathe in fresh air; really inhale deeply.

That moment speaks such significance to me now. The ability to enjoy those precious minutes; to cherish the simple and hear Him in the quiet means a lot to me. Stealing away those few minutes in my car, writing down my thoughts said: This matters to me. I find value in this simple, still moment alone with my God.

Everything small action we take matters, especially the still ones. What unexpected places have you stopped to be still alone? What did you get out of it? Why is it important to you?

Some verses and quotes to remember:

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)—

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Exodus 14:14 ESV—

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”—Hermann Hesse

“The sound of  ‘gentle stillness’  after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate Word from God.”—Jim Elliot


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12 thoughts on “Cradling Stillness

  1. Leslie Santamaria on said:

    Hi Crystal,
    At first, I felt too busy to read your post today (sorry!). But I pulled my vehicle into a public park in between dropping off one child and picking up another, and enjoyed your important message. What a blessing! I’m so glad I did! Now I plan to sit on the swing in my backyard this evening and breathe deeply! ~Leslie

  2. THanks for sharing =) Today I am alone at home, taking time to write and spend time with God. Usually I try to fill every moment with people and then complain that I never have time to write. So far I am getting alot out of it. Sometimes I think I avoid being still before God because I am afriad of what he will say to me. Usually God challenges us to make changes and take risks. But He always gives us the tools to take those risks. These moments are so important because they give me strength to live in obedience to God. I know I can’t do it on my own and this moments of quiet, writing, reading, and listening to God, is what prepares me for when I’m in action.

    • That is awesome, Brandi! Good for you. Whatever we choose to do is what we value and place as a priority. I totally agree w/ what you say about “God challenges us to make changes and take risks”. It’s easy to “get comfortable” in our God relationship & in general but I believe to live fully we have to get uncomfortable and put ourselves out there. We just have to believe. I am so glad your still moments are making a difference! They sure do for me.

    • I can so relate to what you’ve written. I love to write, but find little time to be alone long enough to process all that’s in my mind into words….that make sense at least. 🙂 I don’t believe reading these post today are by coincidence, thank you both for your words…they have spoken to my spirit.

      • I am super glad (is your name Crystal??)! It is tough for me to process everything too. Sometimes, at my day job (like right now) I will take a few minutes to regroup, maybe jot down my thoughts, worries, anxieties, etc. and then continue on with the day. Sometimes that helps me flow through the day instead of getting stuck somewhere feeling like I can’t shake off my crazy thoughts:) I pray positive beliefs into your day and that you will make decisions about what means a lot to you! Thank you for reading and taking part in the conversation.

      • Yes, Crystal is the name 😉 thank you for the prayers. I’ve spent today reading and praying….not too much writing but feel that will be on its way.

  3. sammiebennett on said:

    Love this so very much, Crystal Lou! And Leslie and Brandi, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! What fabulous conversation. Crystal, I love the scene you painted in your car–I could absolutely feel it. In answer to your question, I normally have still times on my patio (with a chai latte nearby, of course), but I can also have them when walking. Outside time in general helps with this.

  4. Mike Black on said:

    Being still is a trait that is being lost exponentialy in todays society. We are stretched, pulled and slammed with media to a zombie like exsistance. Heeding the words of Christ is a challenge even for the strongest of Christians, but the quietness required to really hear His words is probably the most difficult to learn. On top of this being difficult is the fact that many people don’t like the silence because it’s so foreign to them and they must rely on themselves and Jesus for communication.
    Problem here is a lot of people don’t like themselves and therefore don’t want to spend that time with someone they don’t like.
    Thank you for bringing the necessity for quietness in our lives to the forefront.
    Keep up the day to day foundational grunt work!
    I love reading your blogs.
    Mike Black

    • Mike Black on said:

      Oh, wow, sorry I lost the thread, didn’t realize it was from Crystal, but still feel the same ya’ll.

      • 🙂 Thanks for reading, Dad. Your encouragement is pretty awesome. You are so right about people not liking the silence. I used to be like that. Now, I just love it. You are also head-on about people not liking themselves! Anything can be a distraction so that you won’t dig deep and ponder the things of God, and what you need to be doing. We all decide what and who we listen to, what makes us feel alive and if we will listen to the lies instead of what God wants us to believe. Thanks for reading!

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