Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting to Be Still

My three year old has decided to give up naps.  To some of you, this may not seem like a big deal.  To those of us work from home parents, you realize that naps are like the Ark of the Covenant.  They are rare, precious, and contain in them all of the makings for a peaceful world with direction, forgiveness and patience.  You also know that to lose this precious artifact is akin to losing your best friend.  

So I was not going down without a fight.  Unfortunately, neither was he. 

My compromise was to let him nap in my bed with me.  He got to lie down. I got to lie down.  Win-win.  Well, no laundry got done, but I still call it a win.

You know those mattress commercials where one person is jumping on the bed and the glass of wine doesn't spill?  Have you ever noticed they don't use children in those commercials, and it isn't just because a toddler in bed with a glass of wine is kind of inappropriate.  It is because no matter how little the child, when they move in bed, you are going to feel it.  Every fidget, kick, roll, taking off their socks, putting their hands over their eyes, their ears, your eyes, your ears. You feel it all. 

This is the case for our recent nap times.  The number of times I've uttered the words "Be still," must be somewhere in the thousands. When I'm really serious, I gently place my hand on his chest and whisper softly in his ear, because for some reason my kids know if I'm whispering, I'm not messing around.

Turns out, I'm way more like my three year old than I desire to admit. For years Psalms 46:10 has been my favorite verse.  ""Be still, and know that I am God;"  Unfortunately, knowing a verse and applying the verse are two very different things.  

I was recently in the hospital for several days.  By day two I was feeling physically better and was more than ready to go home.  The doctors didn't share my enthusiasm.  They told me it would be at least two more days before I could be discharged.  

I'm not a huge fan of hospitals to begin with, but when you are feeling good they start to seem more like a prison.  A prison where nobody wants you to sleep.  Every two hours, all day and all night, someone is coming in your room to check something, administer something, or just to wake you up and make sure you are still breathing. For a gal who has trouble sleeping in the best of circumstances, sleeping in a hospital was impossible. So I moved the bed up and down, fluffed up pillows, flattened pillows, paced around the room, listened to music, watched re-runs of Seinfeld (it is on at 2 a.m. in case you are looking for it).  My patience waned and my frustration increased.  

Finally, on night three as I once more lamented the fact I was still trapped, it was as if I literally felt God gently put His hand on my chest and say, "Kristen, it is time to be still."  

I still didn't want to be in the hospital, the bed was still uncomfortable, and the nurses still woke me up every time I drifted off.  But something changed.  My heart softened and I felt at peace. Given how I feel about hospitals, finding peace inside one is sort of like my three year old volunteering to nap.  It doesn't happen. 

Or rather, it doesn't happen without God.

I don't know what you is making your restless today. Maybe it is health challenges, marital strife, or your three year old giving up nap, but it is a safe bet that if you aren't facing a storm right now you either just emerged from one or are on your way to one. I want to encourage you not just to read the verse, but to claim it as a promise. God is God. He is bigger, stronger, and smarter that you are.  He feels ever toss, turn, kick, and fidget you make and He is right there next to you with his hand on your chest whispering, "Be still."

Because we all need a rest sometimes.


  1. Wow Kristen, I think God is talking to alot of us women right now. The last three days I have heard this "Be still and know that I am God"... I think for us women especially, it is hard to be still. We are expected (and taught) to be the one running around and "getting stuff done". Thanks for posting and reminding me again of the Beautiful Psalms.

  2. Thanks for the nice comment. I know, for me, I need to hear things a lot before they sink in. Some people can hear God's still, small voice, I need a billboard.