I've been thinking a good bit lately about being still. For the past six months, my life has not looked like my own. I've slowed down considerably, I've cut down on commitments, and I've learned to rely on others. Those are the things I've had to do to make it to this point in pregnancy.
Despite those things, I find that my mind is constantly buzzing. It's filled with all sorts of thoughts.
Should we put the baby in a cradle in our room or start him off in his nursery?I need to remember to send in treats for our son's Friday treats.We need to find tickets for the Clemson game in a few weeks. Is my husband tired of me not feeling well?Should we go with a bright nursery or a calm one? Is my sister doing ok? Is it horrible that I don't feel like going to choir during this season? Do I seem slack because I'm not doing as many things as I used to? Are the boys going to forget how much I love being on the floor playing with them and running around with them? Am I going to feel like going out on a date for our anniversary next month? Am I ever going to feel like myself again? This miracle growing inside me gives me an inexpressible joy. What is this world coming to? I need to read my Bible more. I need to visit my grandmother.
Why can't I just be still?You get the point. My mind isn't still. Ever.
Sometimes, I think it's a curse to have a mind that constantly thinks, but other times, I'm thankful that I have so many people and things to be thinking about. One thing that's a constant though, is my thought about not being able to be still.
I think it's somehow written on my DNA that I think I have to constantly be doing something. I feel like a failure and a slacker if I sit down without doing something. Yes, it's gotten better over these past six months of pregnancy, but I wonder if when the baby is born and I'm no longer feeling rotten, will I revert to my normal thinking of equating stillness with failing?
That's not how it should be and that's not how I want it to be.
For me, and maybe for you, this inability to just sit still and not be constantly stimulated is born, I believe, through the lives we live. Think about your life. How often are you quiet? How often do you have time (or make time) to be still?
I know, for me, it feels weird to be still. Even when I'm still, I'm not really still. I find myself scrolling through Instagram while watching TV and having a conversation with my husband. My mind is focused on three things at once, which means it's really not focusing on any of those things at all.
When I'm at work, I have a list of tasks I want to complete each day and do so while listening to Spotify and taking a break to check the news and read a thing or two. At home, I'll straighten up the kitchen while making breakfast and talking with my kids.
Do you see a pattern? It's very rare for me to focus on one thing at a time. Often, my focus is on two or three things at once, which is great when I'm cleaning, but not great when it comes to spending time with my family or taking time to be still.
The Bible tells us that Jesus went out alone to pray (Matthew 14:23). He, the Son of God, needed time away from His regular life to recharge and connect with His Father. I need the same thing, but I find it hard to do this.
This week, I'm challenging myself to be still. I want to learn to quiet my thoughts and not have my mind buzzing a million miles per hour. I long for time with my Savior to reflect and recharge, but I can't have this successfully when I'm constantly thinking of everything else. I'm giving myself a mandatory time out to just focus on nothing for a few minutes each day and see where that leads. Most of all, I'm giving myself grace to learn how to be still during this season of my life.
What are some things you do to help quiet your mind and be still?