“Be still, and know that I am God.”
It had been a Monday. Have you had those days? You know, those days when you are looking forward to night, sleep and a do over in the morning! Sundays always left her house a mess, and Mondays seemed to come too quickly. That morning had been a blur. She had desperately tried to clean and check off items on her thousand page to-do list, but when you have four kids, well, it doesn’t quite go as planned. They had been bouncing all over the house and picking fights; she felt like she needed a striped shirt and a whistle! Tyler was especially bouncy today, like he had ants in his pants, and boy, did you know when things weren’t going his way. Lunch passed with only two spills and one bath; now, it was time to do school. These were the days that she questioned their decision to homeschool! Tyler was struggling to read, and she thought she might poke her eyes out if he cried over one more word! Finally, it was dinnertime. Food was on the table. So close to bedtime, they were in the home stretch now. With every last ounce of energy she had, she sat at the table and tried to enjoy a peaceful dinner. But Tyler wouldn’t stop moving. Up, down, bouncing, touching, fidgeting. “Tyler, just be still!” She exclaimed exasperated. He looked up at her with all seriousness and replied, “I can’t. I have movitism.”
If you haven’t figured it out, the exasperated mother in the story was me, and I had to smile when he said that. He can be so creative sometimes! What a beautiful way to describe his discomfort with being still. You see, I think my handsome little boy has ADHD. He struggles to focus, concentrate and regulate his emotions. Most of all, he is always moving! There are so many wonderful things about his personality. I absolutely adore his imagination and how protective he is of his siblings, and he gives the best hugs! He is tenderhearted and fun! But there are other things about his personality that I are difficult for me to understand. In the midst of it all, God is teaching me so much through the life of my sweet boy! Just today, as I was thinking of that verse from Psalms 46 and the conversation with Tyler at the table, I wondered, Does God sometimes say the same thing to me? In all the craziness, does He ever feel like shouting, “Marie! Just stop moving!” Stillness makes me uncomfortable, too. I thrive on deadlines and busyness. Maybe I have a touch of movitism, and I might be missing something when I choose to not be still before the Lord.
“[He] stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.”
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
The quiet game doesn’t work in my house. I’m not even sure there is a reward I could give my kids to make them quiet for longer than five minutes. Car rides are certainly entertaining! Only a moment ago, Tyler came bursting in the back door full of excitement. He couldn’t wait to tell me about their outdoor obstacle course. The more he talked, the louder his voice became. I found myself saying “shhh” quite a bit. At times, I’ve even encouraged him to “match my voice.” Then I read that verse from Zephaniah and am reminded how glad I am that God quiets the noisiness inside me with His love. When so many voices and demands are pulling for my attention, He speaks peace to my troubled heart . . . when I listen, that is. And I have found, for Tyler, he doesn’t always have to be quiet to listen!
“He will exult over you with loud singing” (emphasis mine). It is not always a good thing to be quiet. I did a quick word search for “shout” in the Bible. When people shouted, the walls of Jericho came down. The nation of Israel shouted in jubilation as the Ark of the Covenant was returned to their camp. David shouted praise to the Lord. Maybe I need to shout a little more, too! “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,7b). Too often I speak when I should keep quiet, and I keep quiet when I should speak up. I want my life to be a loud proclamation of God’s glory, but I fear I may only be squeaking it out. I’m so thankful for Tyler who shares his love without holding back. I’m thankful for all the ways he moves and shouts that makes me laugh. He cracks me up! Tyler is a priceless addition to our family!
“In him we live and move and have our being.”
Acts 17:28 (emphasis mine)
We aren’t done having Mondays in our house. I am sure there are days when I will long for the sun to go down and look forward to another day beginning. I’m still learning what it means to parent a child with an attention deficient. I want to find ways to help him succeed, and I want him to see how wonderfully God made him. So, if you pass my house around dinnertime, you might just hear “Tyler, be still!” And if you happen to catch me on the phone, you are likely to get interrupted by “Shhh! Be quiet! Hold on!” My life is never boring, and I am always learning!
Lord, let this be my prayer . . . May, I intentionally be still before You. Quiet the storms inside my heart so I can hear You better. Help me to listen for the sound of Your voice. I don’t just want to be an okay parent, Lord, I want to be an excellent mother. Show me how to lead the children you placed in my care. Help me to teach them. And, Lord, please help me to stop and listen to them. May I never forget to learn from the lessons they teach me. Thank You for entrusting them to me for a short while. Let me give it my all. Help me to not grow weary in doing good but run the race you have marked before me. Show me when to move with them and when to hold them back. Instruct me on ways to raise them in the grace and admonition of You. May they forever abide in the true Vine. Please, Lord, bless Tyler especially today. You made him so wonderfully unique! May he see the gift in that and never feel unworthy or a curse! I love and praise You, Lord! Amen.
Orginially published on Wonderfully WOVEN (http://www.wonderfullywoven.com/).