The Act of Standing in Stillness

The Act of Standing in Stillness.docx

I cannot begin to convey how many days I’m fearful to walk in my calling. Sometimes, it’s hard just to hit publish on a post I’ve written. When I stand behind a keyboard to lead worship or hold a microphone to speak at an event, I become riddled with doubt in who Christ has called me to be. Past sins come to mind, the quick and unkind response I may have made to my husband or children plagues me and gives me great reason to stop, but I can’t.

Yesterday, we talked about Jeremiah and how he, too, was tempted to quit. However, we quickly learned that it couldn’t be an option for him because the word of the Lord was shut up in his bones. He had no choice but to carry on.

And, once again, Peter comes to my mind…

Peter had been through a lot. He was a passionate individual who did the unthinkable when he denied Jesus not once or even twice, but THREE times. Can you imagine the guilt and condemnation swirling in his soul?

In John 21 Peter is restored by Jesus, and then we see that after the ascension Peter’s ministry really begins. In Acts 1:15 we find the disciples are at work to choose someone to replace Judas Iscariot.

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said…

-Acts 1:15

I don’t want to discuss what Peter said, I want to focus on the fact that he stood up. It’s symbolic. Peter fought against guilt and condemnation from past mistakes to stand in his calling and do what Christ purposed him to do.

To truly live a still life, we often must face our negative feelings and stand up to be who we are called!

I recently heard the following quote from a seminary professor…

“What you desire in the future has to be stronger than the chains that hold you to the past.”


Don’t be afraid to stand, friend.

The act of standing, as a willing vessel, is often all it takes to understand true stillness of the soul.



If you’ve missed any part of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here and scroll down to find previous posts.

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Because Stillness Doesn’t Always Feel Still

grace airplane pictureI’ve been hurt in ministry, and I’m sure that if you’ve served the Lord in any capacity for any length of time then you have, too. The call of God on our lives doesn’t always make sense to everyone else. And when flesh and blood get involved, people envision climbing ladders.

Corporate America and ministry in America often feels frightfully synonymous. (Tweet that)

I’ve been known to wave the white flag of surrender.

I’ve been tired, weary and of the mentality that I just want everyone to get along and like me. And God has spoken strongly to my heart saying, “This is about Me and not you, get it straight. Do what I’ve called you to do and go where I say.” It sounds harsh, I know. But it isn’t.

You see, If I’m ever going to walk inside the stillness of the presence of God, then I have to do what He says and not be intimidated by, limited to, or worried about everyone around me. It’s in His hands, and if I refuse to listen then I’m holding myself back from being saturated in the stillness of His presence.

The prophet Jeremiah’s ministry didn’t exactly make him well liked. He often delivered words no one wanted to hear and experienced harsh circumstances because of it. He wasn’t exactly fond of what was happening and so he also waved his flag in an attempt to give up, but he soon discovered it was an impossibility.

O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.

-Jeremiah 20:7-9

Jeremiah said that he wasn’t going to speak in God’s name anymore. He wasn’t happy with how things were playing out; it was painful. However, when something is shut up in our bones, when God lights a fire, His children cannot stop. They must be used like instruments for His glory doing whatever is necessary to fulfill his call.

There are two ways we can feel the burn of His call.

  1. If we are obedient, we will feel it inside the passion to minister in His name. It’s not always easy, but it’s a good burn.
  2. If we aren’t quickly obedient, we can become confused and stuck in our circumstances. After that, the burn becomes hot, not in a good way, it stings until we finally give up and move in the area and call He intends. (The Holy Spirit won’t ever give up on us!)

Friend, I’m going to be honest and tell you I’ve been feeling a burn for a very long time. Not a good one.

We all have a call on our lives. Each of us was created with purpose. And on top of that, we all have gifts which intersect with passion, helping to ignite the fire of fulfillment to the ministry He’s given us.

Too many of us, including myself, have bowed out, blamed the church, and stopped pursuing our callings because we were too busy trying to fit our callings into someone else’s expectation of us.

It’s time to run free. If God is moving you onward, don’t be afraid, go with it. Be brave!


Ready and


Vying for

Everything God wants to do in your heart and life.

Sometimes walking in stillness means making decisions that at first don’t feel still. There doesn’t seem to be peace, but if we take the step He’s beckoning us to take, then peace comes next. And, friend, it flows like a river!

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

-Psalm 27:13



If you’ve missed any posts in my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, just click here and scroll down to see previous entries.

Stillness Requires a Heart Willing to Respond

Stillness Requires a Heart Willing to Respond

Many of us struggle with deciphering what God is speaking to our hearts. We are often hoping for confirmation before we move ahead, and it almost always takes a period of waiting.

In my life, over the last year, God has been speaking, “Get your home in order.” And I don’t mean metaphorically. Now, it’s not that my house was a huge mess, but I definitely wouldn’t have wanted you going into my closets and drawers.

The issue was that this mess was always on my mind, keeping me from being able to focus on other matters. It really bothered me that toys weren’t in the proper places. It made it twice as difficult to entertain for dinner parties and fun activities I thoroughly enjoy. This literal mess in my home was slowing me down. I would sit in the morning to study my Bible and the chaos weighed on me. My focus wasn’t on what it needed to be.

Now, I know some of you might think it’s only common sense that told me to do what needed to be done in order to take back some peace and sanity in life, but I’ve learned through my years of serving God that I can easily shake off unimportant details. However, when God speaks, I can’t stop thinking about it. Conviction pours, and the feeling is much different than agitation from stepping on a Lego or not being able to find a particular dress I want to wear.

God has plans for us and in order to walk freely in His will according to the story He has written, we need to respond to what He is speaking to our hearts.

The example I’m giving you today might seem small, but I started in a full time seminary program this fall and had I not responded to what seemed like a tiny command, then I wouldn’t have time to study, attend lectures, or read the overwhelming amount of text assigned.

At the time I felt Him first speak, I had no idea I would be attending school. But He knew.

Friend, to be still in God means responding to the big and little in life. And truthfully, nothing He asks is little because He sees everything within a much larger scheme. He can see the whole picture because He’s the artist. The Beauty is that we get to behold His work, one brushstroke at a time, just by living our lives in response to His call.

If you’ve had something on your mind that you cannot seem to shake, pray about responding. Sometimes, taking slow steps is better than doing nothing at all.

Oh, and If I’m being honest, I haven’t made it to my bedroom closet yet. Can you pray for a sister? It’s next on the list.



PS: If you’ve missed any part of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here and scroll down for previous posts.


Stillness Begins in the Heart

Stillness Begins in the Heart photo

The longing for stillness is placed in our souls by God. As we get to know Him and learn who He is, He draws us toward Him. And those who long for the things of God, long to be still inside His presence. We want to be locked up tight, unavailable to anything that might hinder our relationship with Him.

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

-Proverbs 4:23

It all begins with the heart.

If we want to move within His presence, under the shadow of His wings, then our hearts depend on stillness.

Proverbs tells us that out of heart spring issues of life. If we don’t properly deal with matters of the heart, we cannot rest fully and wholly in the stillness of the Almighty.

Yesterday, we talked about confronting our brokenness. We know that brokenness is a matter of the heart because everything we suffer and face in life sticks there first. How we deal with issues that arise dictates who we are. It also has the ability to influence our witness.

When we allow brokenness to turn to bitterness, it’s as if it hardens the arteries – blood can’t flow and before you know it, all other organs are shutting down.

The things of God we are so desperate to emulate within our search to discover who we are in Him, and what gifts we possess to give away for His glory in the process, become clogged. We can’t flow in His grace and mercy in the stillness of His presence when we allow matters of the heart to be ignored.

If we want stillness within His presence, having the ability to move inside His will for us, then a good question to ask is…

Do I have negative feelings trapped in my heart?

Last night my husband and I were discussing a situation that’s been quite painful, and we both came to the conclusion that to move freely in the new thing, we must let go of hurt from the old.

If we intend to run in His stillness with His grace shining down as the sun, then we must allow grace to flow from our hearts, and that means letting go and letting God.

It’s a process that leads to good things.

Oftentimes, we aren’t even aware that we are carrying negative feelings. We become so wrapped up in justification for our situations that the validation we long for actually ends up serving as a boa constrictor – constricting the oxygen we need to breathe and hindering the flow of blood we require to survive.

I’m thankful the blood of Christ flows continually.

It flows to every area and performs spiritual open heart surgery.

We all need spiritually resuscitated from time-to-time.

However, open heart surgery requires a cracking of the chest. It’s painful.

It hurts to confess the pieces deep inside our hearts that hold us back. It can be painful to apologize, (Especially when you’re convinced you’re right.) but it’s never about the original circumstance in which we might be correct, it’s about how we live after that moment.

Humility is required for the blood to flow.

Whether we are right or wrong, we can never be too humble.

Everything that happens to us sticks in the heart, and so we must deal with every issue, large and small.

And then stillness comes…

Yay, God!



Today is day 10 of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, to catch up on posts you might have missed, click here.


Confronting Brokenness Leads to Stillness

Confronting Brokenness Leads to StillnessWe’ve already established that God has a plan for each life. There is a calling and purpose for every one of us that leads to using our gifts and being confident in who we are in Jesus.

We also know that if we are alive and breathing, we have issues of brokenness. All of us will ultimately face something that will threaten our desire to move forward in all God has for us.

The danger of living inside brokenness is the possibility that we will trip over what hurts and never recover. But I have good news. It’s a choice.

The Lord gave each one of us freewill, and what we do with it is entirely up to us. It’s scary, isn’t it? How is it possible to face the trials and tribulations in life, and stand up in the middle of pain, pushing on through the brokenness of whatever it is we are facing? It’s only Jesus. Nothing is impossible with Him, and we have hope.

Hope stabilizes us. (Tweet that.)

It gives us the ability to not only stand up, but to walk and conquer victoriously in Christ.

However, to continue onward takes more than just moving our feet. It requires confrontation.

We must confront all the pain we have in order to walk through the process of restoration. And friend, the pathway of restoration leads to stillness of the soul. It takes us to a place of peace, regardless of the problem that continually stares us in the face. We are more than able, because Christ already conquered every dark place.

And so it’s time to turn on the light, because think about it…

Where does your light shine brightest? Among the darkness, that’s where.

Do not allow yourself to be subject to the dark, broken places. Allow the light of Christ to shine brightly that your pathway to restoration might be illuminated.

You must be healthy to move about freely in His will.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

-Psalm 34:18

When you are seeking Christ while dealing with the mountains you face, stillness is yours. Your pathway is already lit with His mercy.

Deal with what hurts you, cry out to Him, worship Him through it. He is near to you.

We will always deal with pain. We will all constantly have issues to confront because we are broken people living in a broken world, but we serve a whole God. And His wholeness wraps us up and binds every wound.

From your beginning He has been with you, and He will never leave.

Give every wound to Him and be free to move in stillness. Use your gifts to help bring healing to yourself and others. He will minister through your broken places.



If you’ve missed any part of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here.



Stillness Requires Vision

Stillness Requires VisionEverything that’s human about us requires more than just staying in the same spot. We are eager to move on to the next big thing and usually we have it all planned out in our heads. This is why it’s frustrating when God calls us to a season of waiting and praying.

However, deeply tucked inside the waiting for whatever comes next, bubbles hope.

I love watching my children blow bubbles in the summertime. Each one glistens in the sunlight showing off a rainbow of colors that float into the air just like our prayers.

And I have to think that our hope and prayers, when given with a thankful, repentant heart waiting still in His presence, must translate into beautiful colors reflected off the hope we have in Christ. Our hope glistens in the S-O-N.

Yesterday, I mentioned that God places our desires deep within our hearts and the more we seek Him, the more available we are to His will rather than our own.

I tend to see those desires as tiny bubbles releasing in the air one by one. Those desires translate to hope, and hope leads to visions and dreams of what’s to come.

I’ve said this already, but I’m going to say it again: To be still in God doesn’t mean we can’t move ahead. It doesn’t mean we can’t pursue dreams and passions placed deeply inside our souls. Being still in His presence actually means moving within it. it’s about stepping forward at His pace and never our own.

In order to do that, we must have hope and vision for our future. It’s time to build on a solid foundation of Christ understanding that being still really means listening intently to His voice in our lives, even when we are running full speed ahead. As long as each stride is in Him, we will be okay.

If you’ve somehow lost the vision for your life, if you’ve forgotten how to dream, you must remember hope.

We have a sure hope in Christ Jesus and stillness in Him requires to trust in that hope. Open your eyes to things ahead, and let your dreams bubble forth.



If you’ve missed any part of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here.



Finding the “Still” Inside the Storm…


Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. 29 He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. 30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. -Psalm 107:28-30 I wish I could say you will have everything […]

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Because Stillness and Condemnation Don’t Mix…

Because Stillness and Condemnation Don't Mix

Good old Peter. When I think of Him, I think of a passionate individual ready to take on the world. From the first day Jesus met him by the Sea of Galilee and spoke the words, “Follow Me.” Peter stopped what he was doing and immediately went with Jesus. The text actually uses the word […]

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You Have the Ability to Soar in Stillness

You Have the Ability to Soar in Stillness

In Christian art throughout the ages, the representation of John is an eagle. It’s been said that John took the gospel and soared with it. No one could stop him. An interesting fact about eagles is that they fly toward the sun. What if we all lived our lives soaring toward the Son? S-O-N. John […]

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For When the Break Isn’t Clean

For When the Break Isn't Clean

I was a young twenty-something looking around the waiting room at a bunch of forty-something year old women. Infertility branded me barren for a season and anger seeped out of my pores like sweat. Like so many other appointments gone wrong, the treatment wasn’t working and I couldn’t wish away the pink grave stone in […]

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