Monthly Archives: December 2014

Be Still and Know that I am God.

be-still-recby Lydia Floren

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

In the swirl and stress of the holidays, or just daily living, God often uses these 8 words restore my soul.

Be still and know that I am God.

The simple acts of being and knowing free us from the Twilight Zone of Anxiety, the Abyss of Never Enough:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be.

  • Just be.
  • Be aware of being alive. Appreciate that you have a beating heart, and air to breathe.
  • Settle into the truth that
    • You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
    • You are wanted. Treasured. Valued. Loved.
    • You are known and you are loved.

Be still.

  • Just stop. Rest. Take a breath. Or two. Be still.
  • Be still on the inside, as well as the outside.
  • Release all those thoughts swirling around in your head.
  • Take your mind off your responsibilities, your concerns, those things in your head that are nagging you.
  • Let go right now, and just be still.

 And know.

  • Let truth sink in.
  • Be aware of what is real, and what is not.
  • What is beyond seeing and understanding—and in the realm of just knowing.

Know that I

  • Know the Person who made you,
  • Who knows you better than you know yourself.
  • Who loves you with an everlasting love, which is in no way dependent on what you do or don’t do.
  • Who lives within you.
  • Who has your back.
  • Who has shown, and will show you how to live.
  • Who will never steer you wrong.
  • Who goes after you when you stray—deliberately or unintentionally–and brings you back to the path of life and joy.
  • Who restores your soul, leads you into the light and away from the darkness.
  • Who will never leave you or reject you.
  • Who keeps you safe—protects your identity, value, belonging and calling—for all eternity.

 Know that I am God.

Know that this person–your heavenly father, your friend, your one and only guide in life, your creator—is God.

He is God.

He is

  • 100% good.
  • The most powerful being in the universe.
  • Wise
  • Trustworthy
  • Present
  • compassionate
  • understanding
  • forgiving
  • uncondemning
  • full of life and joy
  • available
  • ready to show you a better way to live
  • Committed to walking with you on that way.

Be Still and Know that I AM GOD.  Psalm 46:10

How has this truth changed your life?  Please share with us!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Escaping the Twilight Zone of Anxiety

Escaping the Twilight Zone of Anxietyby Lydia  Floren

In the holiday season it is easy to get stressed.  Anxiety can slip up on you–or just slam you– but it always keeps you from enjoying life.  When we are anxious, we are fretful, not fruitful. We frown. We are easily annoyed. With all the activity and stress of this time of year, it is doubly important to recognize the signs that you may be entering the Twilight Zone of Anxiety.

 It starts with The Coulds.

I think we all have a little ADD.; it’s hard not to get distracted, given the world we live in.  And any tendency our minds might have to wander will kick into overdrive at the holidays.  We think about The Coulds.

There are so many things we COULD do.  We COULD entertain like Southern Living, decorate our home like Architectural Digest, create gifts like Martha Stewart, dress like Vogue, bake cookies like Good Housekeeping.   We COULD attend the office party, the theatre production, the carol sing, the sleigh ride.   We COULD do all the things we didn’t do last year, that we promised ourselves we would do “next year for sure.”  These “coulds” don’t order themselves into a neat list; they swirl around in our heads like a thick fog on a stormy night.

 Then come The Shoulds

Once The Coulds establish themselves, The Shoulds creep in.  We SHOULD make this gift.  We SHOULD call so-and-so.  We SHOULD attend that event, buy this present, send that special card, call that person, volunteer for this cause. SHOULDS go very deep in our psychy.  Beneath the layer of things we SHOULD DO, is the even more corrosive/destructive layer of the things we SHOULD BE.  We SHOULD BE more loving, and caring, and patient, and giving, and thoughtful, and organized, and disciplined.  Between the Coulds and the Shoulds, everything in our heads becomes a muddled mess.  

The Abyss of Never Enough

Eventually, we are forced to face the fact that we don’t have enoughof anything.  We don’t have enough time, or energy, or resources, or even compassion–to do what we think we SHOULD do, much less what we COULD do.  At first we might complain (whine) “if I just had more _______”  Or we might try whipping those around us  (usually less than enthusiastic family members) into action to help us  get some of those Shoulds off our backs.   Finally we get it. We admit to ourselves: “There is never enough–and there is never going to be enough–of me to do all these Shoulds, no matter how hard I try.”

While this truth should be freeing , it is not. Not yet.  We aren’t finished sliding down into the pit, and we do this by saying to ourselves “somehow this is all my fault.  I SHOULD have done this, I SHOULD have planned that.”  We get frustrated, depressed, and twice as stressed, beating ourselves up for every missed opportunity, every less-than-perfect outcome. When we reach the SHOULDS of REGRET, we have tumbled headlong into the Abyss of NEVER ENOUGH.  Here we are truly at a standstill.

 Escaping the Twilight Zone of Anxiety

The way to freedom from all this anxiety and stress is 180 dgrees opposite the busy road we have been traveling.  Our freedom comes when we decide to quit focusing on ourselves, and our little corner of the universe, and turn our eyes to Jesus.   Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but through me.”   When we spend our efforts connecting with the Maker of the Universe we get to know Truth—in Person.  That Person also said “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

I find when I choose to make time with God my top priority—more important than anything else on my schedule—everything changes.  The fog clears. I start to see the world more from His perspective.  The things I was worried about don’t seem as important. And other things—things that weren’t even on my radar before—take precedence. The hymnist Helen H. Lemmel expressed  it this way:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.                                                                                                                  Look full in His wonderful face,                                                                                                              and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,                                                                                in the light of His glory and grace.

The psalmist David said it another way:

…I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God… Isaiah 40:1-3

What ways has God freed you?  We’d love to hear from you!

For more on staying focused at the holidays, watch for upcoming blogs.

For more reflections about the holidays, check out  Perfect Holidays, Shine your Heart, or   Crunch Time.