Today I am forcing myself to sit down and write as I have been putting it off for way too long. Once I get started, I usually enjoy the process but it seems that every fiber of my being fights the actual sitting down. I have finally admitted to myself that being still is not a gift I possess. Constant movement might be one of my gifts. I have found myself contemplating this more often lately as I realize my toddler is forever calling for me to “come, mama!”
I had previously noticed my frustration with that beckoning call but now I have gone a step further and allowed myself to see how hard it is for me to really answer and take the time to see where it leads. How quickly I jump back up after I sit down! How quickly I start to think about something else and then flit away to follow up on that! I am in need of practice at being present. I have always been the one trying to finish someone else’s sentences (How annoying is that?!?!) or assuming what someone is going to say. For a time, after doing some soul work, I was able to slow myself down and I disciplined myself to be a better listener. Then over more time, somewhere along the way….(ahem…likely when my attention became fully devoted to our tiny precious blessing) my attention wavered and my relationships have suffered.
I know I need to also have grace for myself and where I am at, but I also know that if I don’t recognize these things and get down to the bottom of them, I can miss out on a whole lot of beauty. I trust the process of life and I know I can get to a place of being more present and that is what I commit to do.
It actually just occurred to me that this lack of stillness is likely rooted in fear. Seems like so many things are, but as Luke 12:27-32 says, “27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[a] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
When I find myself unable to be still, usually it is about something I am afraid I will forget to do, or it is something I feel needs to be done right away, but really most of the time it is not that urgent. My mind is in hyperdrive or warp mode or something and I miss so many of the little precious moments that my daughter is inviting me into.
Sometimes it is actually a literal worry about what we are going to eat. Not because we don’t have enough food, but because we have so many choices and I have to decide and prepare whatever it is I choose. My mind is consumed with worries like this! I worry about the schedule, the nutrition, the friendships, the time here or there. So many things that I have choosen to worry about!
So, it is time for a new direction. It is time to practice presence again. It is time to tell my mind that those things will wait, but THIS moment will not. Love is patient, love is kind, and what I have finally come to see is that love is also present. As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words” so if I am continually telling my daughter I love her, but then not taking the time to see what she is excited about, I am really just telling her that my little distractions are more important than her. There are things that do need to get done, but my message has been stuck on absence and distration rather than presence and attention for too long. That changes now.
Did this sound familiar? If you find yourself being distracted by all the little things, what have you done to get back into the now and be present? Leave a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas!