Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cups Of Stillness

{via here}

I have been meditating for two weeks on that verse above and then I read this beautiful, beautiful quote this morning:

"Gratitude never comes from avoiding difficulty, but from finding yourself sustained through it. The degree of joy rises to the degree of gratitude, and the level of gratitude corresponds to the level of God’s grace experienced..." 

(It's from this link - it's incredibly worth reading.)

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be still. Is it silence? Not speaking? A posture? Different translations of the Bible I have looked up write that verse with the following words: silent, keep your mouths shut, hold your peace and remain at rest, just stay calm...

I have wondered, though, if it's not physical silence, but an internal stillness, that then bathes our words with a perspective of quiet.

Calm. Peace. Trust. I have wondered what would my words sound like under pressure if they were genuine, authentic, truthful - but still? If there was space to admit weakness, panic even, fears and doubts and worries and concerns - but an underlying stillness in a capacity so far greater than mine.

I wonder what this would look like?

As a family we have been growing a lot recently. Growing in our own capacity to handle pressure, growing in choosing to see our lives through the lens of gratefulness, growing in creating a reflex of trust and worship rather than panic and doubt. We have been fighting to sustain a work we have spent six years building. We thought we had one challenge, it developed into many more. We are facing mountains of impossibilities that we are still praying will be possible.

And, actually, I should say I have been laying down that fight. The one that so often rises up in me, and instead choosing to trust. I am trying to cultivate a place for words that have been first bathed in a still place, a still awareness, of who He is before how I feel.

Our pastor mentioned a couple weeks ago that we begin to crave what we most often feed ourselves. That we can direct our cravings through habit and exposure, through what we fill ourselves with. Shortly after that I read this:

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”

~ Amy Carmichael via this friend

I am realizing that for my words to be bathed in stillness, I have to be. My home needs to be. My heart needs to be. That what I read, watch, listen to, think about, talk about, include - it all comes out under pressure. It has produced an expectation in me. An expectation that when I fill my heart with the kindness and beauty of who God is, that what (I pray) will come out of my mouth when the pressure is on will be the same.

To live fearlessly, I have to be consumed - filled  - with the fearless one.

I am inspired by that. I am praying for that.

"The words we speak, the words we write, the words we serve our little worlds with, they are meant to only be echoes of the Word.

Meant to make Him smile. Meant to make a way back to their source...

What shapes the way we speak, forms the way we use our words, need only be the Word Himself.

from here


Jessica said...

There is so much good and true here that I so needed to read tonight! Thank-you for this.

Sarah said...

I've lurked around your blog for a while now but this post draws me out. That very verse sustained my meditations for several months last year, and it still catches me whenever I see it. HE will fight for ME? Really?

When I can believe that, I am truly strong. And fearless. Amen.

WordGirl said...

Stillness is something I crave and I do believe it's a quietness of spirit more than an absence of movement or sound that I must find. I'm able to find it periodically. I especially felt it during Advent, but have, of late, felt stillness and internal quiet as just beyond my grasp. My spiritual director reminded me today to stand against the thought that God is distant. It was just what I needed to hear, so that I can still my fears to hear him better. Thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

Chelle said...

My heart resonates with a great big resounding yes to every single beautiful sentence of this post, my friend...I love all the beautiful things he is teaching you in these days of sheer trusting.

emily wierenga said...

oh misha... to be so still, so full of the fearless one, that our words are beauty.... i crave this too. i keep fighting, when i should just rest, and let him fight for me. this brings tears. i'm praying for you, and your family, and all you are learning and being, friend. don't give up. love e.

Hi I'm Sarah said...

I was just reading this while waiting for my computer to work...it reminded me of this post a few days ago. It is a quote from God calling by A.J Russll

"ALL Agitation is destructive of good. ALL calm is constructive and good, and at the same time destructive of evil. When man wants evil destryed so often he rushes to action. It is wrong. First be still and know that I am God. Then act only as I tell you. Always calm with God. Calm is trust in action. Only trust, perfect trust can keep one calm. Never be afraid of any circumstances of difficulties that help you to cultivate this calm. As the world, to attain, has learned speed, you to attain have to learn calm. All great work for Me is done first in the individual soul of the worker."
May God find us all calm and trusting Him as we face the giants and do goodness and rightness in the world where He has placed us. Shine from pure joy of knowing HE is near, faithful and good as you rest. He does the work.

Ruby Red said...

To live fearlessly, I have to be consumed - filled - with the fearless one. I love this!

Katie Schomberg said...

This is so crazy...you just saw my email last week frm a while back about trying to find your blog after you said goodbye from the old one...now worries:). Just glad you happened to see it...and I feel like it was actually the most perfect timing possible! I have three small kids 5 and under...with a sweet 6 month old in the mix:). And lately...dupe to tiredness I guess have been craving my time with the Lord, but did not always get it. I have been trying to do some things to make this part of my life easy to reach no matter the circumstances. So...one of thie things I have done is download a "verse a day" kind of thing on my phone. And just the other day this exact verse popped up...I don't think I have ever really read that verse...really! And like you...I have just been meditating on it constantly. It was so great to see it here as well and to read your post. Thanks for being so open on your blogs...love it! I think God is trying to tell me something...I really want to listen...and just BE!!! Thank you!

Cottage Mommy said...

So glad I stopped here this morning...so what I need right now. Thank you so much for sharing so beautifully. And knowing just a bit of some of your struggles I think your response to what the Lord is doing is beautiful and inspiring. You give me hope...

Kirsty Lee said...

I knew this was waiting to be read and today I read it..just perfect for me today. Thanks Misha for using your gift of putting your life of thoughts into words that spurs others on to be vulnerable, to seek truth and apply it to their lives!