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Thursday, June 4, 2009

BE STILL AND KNOW

Summer might be a good time to start a journal! I have been spending a good part of this day being quiet, reading, journaling, "allowing my body to catch up with my soul", as my Mama often said. Mama would stretch out in bed or on the couch without an excuse, except to be still and spend time resting herself.

As a 50 something woman, I do not believe women do this enough!
We hustle and bustle around taking care that everyone has what they need and want, and we too often forget that we, too, have needs.

When I am in my "being still" mode, I frequently ask myself:

"Is there a private world beneath the noise and action at the surface?
A world that needs to be explored and maintained?
Can strength and resilience be developed that will bear up under the pressure at the surface?"


As I have shared before, I find that one practical way to learn to listen to my soul speak, and also to listen to God speak in response to my soul, is through journaling. In fact, I have three ring notebooks that date back to 1989.
With a pen in hand ready to write, I have realized that there is an expectancy, a readiness to hear anything God may want to whisper to me through reading and reflection.
Some that have never really tried journaling might find it a bit intimidating. Your journal can be a pretty purchased one, simply a spiral notebook in your favorite color, or anything in between. I use loose leaf three ring paper that I keep in a notebook that is five by seven in size. If you are not sure what to write, just sit, be still and wait. At first it may be difficult. You may feel self-conscious, odd, just waiting to begin writing. If you try this, I can almost guarantee that you will soon realize that the journaling will help you come to grips with an enormous part of your inner person that you may not have ever been truly honest with. This tool can help you to develop more inner candidness when you are ready to do so. Your fears and struggles can be surfaced and confronted through journaling. Especially in our economic times of this day, we need a place to calm ourselves, a place to express deep concerns we are having.
One trick I like to share with journal newbies it so set a kitchen timer for 10-20 minutes, and do not stop writing until the timer chimes. Just write what is on your mind, in your heart, or even just details of your day.
God offers us more than 7,000 promises from Genesis to Revelation, one of them being to watch over us. Still, He asks us to do our part:
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Proverbs 4:23
So why not consider starting a journal today? If you do, journal keeping can become a habit for you if you will stick with it for the better part of a year.
Most people quit too quickly, never acieving the habit pattern, and that is too bad.

In closing, I have found journaling to be a wonderful way to commune with our God, to hear His still, small voice, as stated so well in Psalm 46:10,

"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

In the words of C. Austin Miles' old hymn "In the Garden", consider heeding his advice to BE STILL.

"He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing."