Stillness

During the month of January, I’m participating in a writing project allowing for….

A month of reflections.

Contemplating last year.

Planning for the future.

Thanking our Creator.

Improving our writing.

It’s a good discipline for me and will no doubt encourage me to write on some topics I might not approach otherwise.  One of the prompts for this week is on the topic of {STILLNESS}.

Another prompt is on laughter.  And yes, I thought long and hard about combining them into one prompt as stillness seems laughable these days with a busy 3 1/2 year old and an almost 3 month old.

 

Case in point.

 

This morning, after having a half naked boy wake me up and ask for help putting on his Spiderman underwear, the Reverend and I groggily begged him to go and entertain himself in the family room for awhile.  You see, as intense and busy as Alex can be, he slept through the night at 6 weeks and slept in his own room from there on out.  Drew is another story.  He is sleeping in the cradle that has housed many, many babies back to Matt’s generation, right next to my side of the bed.  And these days, he’s waking up to be fed starting at 2am and continuing every 90 minutes until it’s time to just get up and get going with the day.

So, suffice it to say.  We’re a bit tired these days.

Well, Alex did as we asked and went on to entertain himself.  I had my ear plugs in and Matt sleeps like a rock.  So, we didn’t hear him upending all of his toy buckets.  Each and every one of them.  Here’s the start to some of the “creativity”.  And as a sidenote, CLEARLY my child doesn’t have enough toys.  Send more now.  Before he suffers any longer.

The funny thing is, Alex truly had a purpose.  He was creating tables for his restaurant guests (excuse the blurriness….I must have been crying laughing over the clean-up that would eventually ensue and couldn’t keep the camera steady).

We picked up this little restaurant cardboard box gizmo at Cost Plus yesterday.  It was on a deep sale and I figured it could entertain him on a rainy day.  It didn’t last til that “rainy day” since Matt forgot to hide it, but oh, well.

As much as I am “type A to the core” kind of girl, something shone through for a bit and I started trying to see the creativity in the midst of the insanity.  The pile of items that had to be eventually dealt with and put away were actually dumped out there for a good reason (at least in a 3 1/2 year old’s mind….).  He needed TABLES, folks.  For the GUESTS.  I mean, c’mon!!!  Lighten up, MOM.

And, he was even trying to share.  Poor Drew.

Being fed wooden cheese.  Once he’s mobile, he’ll be running for sure.

 

But back to the original prompt….stillness.

Is it possible to have stillness in the whirlwind?  In the hurricane?  In the storm?

I’m hoping to God that the answer is yes, otherwise I’m sunk for the next 18+ years.  In an attempt to claim that stillness, I’m realizing that it requires intentionality.  Matt and I were graciously given the opportunity to go out to dinner last night for our seventh anniversary (shout out to the sweet Debbie Klein!).  We spent an hour sharing about our answers to the questions Tsh Oxenreider posted which I shared about on the 31st.  We had a quiet moment.  An INTENTIONAL moment.  It afforded us the chance to actually get on the same page so that when the storm hit today, I could mentally go back to the stillness and thoughts we’d shared last night and stay somewhat grounded and focused.

I found moments of stillness in 2010:

~on the beach in Manzanita, Oregon

~during our weeklong conference at Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina

~sitting on the couch prior to Drew’s arrival

~nursing a newborn (any other moms use that as an excuse to escape a crazy older sibling?!)

~in the evenings after the boys have gone to bed

~doing dishes, surprisingly

~journaling along Dutch Bill Creek on the last day with our coordinators after summer camp ended

 

 

And as for 2011, the writing prompt asked if we crave stillness for the upcoming year.

Ummm….YES!  Please!


As for the how, well, I guess I will need to be proactive and seek ways to make that happen.  Psalm 107:  23-31 gives me some perspective on this.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the LORD,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

In 2011, I will reel and stagger and cry out to God.  I will be at my wits’ end.  But I look forward to the day(s) when I can keep perspective and remember to give thanks for God’s love.  A love that does not fail.

When I’m having trouble remembering that truth and need a reminder to chill out and laugh, I’m grateful for those that bring perspective to the mayhem.

(Amanda, Me & Casey last January….and btw, it’s Casey’s birthday today!!!!!  WOOP WOOP!!!!!!)

My dear friend and amazing photographer, Amanda Silas, shared with me that it often helps to imagine that the insanity that unfolds before you could be seen as a movie.  You can ask yourself questions like, “Hmmm….I wonder why the director chose to do the scene this way?”  or “Clearly the producer must have a deeper purpose by allowing this temper tantrum to erupt and last FOREVER.  In public.  What might the reason be?”  This perspective made me laugh about the whole scenario today with Alex.

So, Amanda’s option, or receiving amazing champagne via Fed Ex in the height of the tantrum, could be helpful….(seriously, this happened to me today.  And no, I still haven’t opened the bottle…yet….).

Or…

claiming that promise in the Psalm that God will indeed still the storm to a whisper.

Amen to that (and pass the wooden swiss cheese, please)!

 

p.s.  The top pic was taken at my parents house in February of 2008 right after a dusting of snow.  Love the blueberry bushes no matter the season!  And the beach shot was taken at sunset in Manzanita, Oregon in 2009, just south of Cannon Beach.

5 thoughts on “Stillness

  1. Love your comments on all that you touched. Having had my 3 (2 boys;17 months apart) and then Ashley 3 months short of 3 years later) I got such a chuckle out of little Alea’s antics. At least he was offering “wooden cheese” to Drew; I found Scott, at 20 months, feeding an all too willing Michael(3 months), pennies! Needless to say, had to turn Michael upside down; not only pennies came out but a recent feeding! And yes, I didn’t appreciate the humor of it all till later(AFTER cleaning up the mess) and I realized that Mike was fine and Scott was just too young to know pennies don’t fall in the same catagory as “Momma’s milk.” We do have an Awesome God and may we give thanks to Him as we see his hand in our everyday lives. Love and hugs to you all, Aunt Linda

  2. Hi Christine – You don’t know me but I grew up at FPCB and we have many mutual friends (like S. Brady and T. Shaw). 🙂 Just wanted to say that I love reading your blog – you and I could be great friends! I have 2 kiddos – boy, 7.5 and girl, almost 6. I, too, have had to seriously adapt to the whole stay-at-home mom thing. I come from a family of girls and sometimes look at my boychild with only wonder in my eyes (as in, what in the world is he doing now???) My house is frequently a sea of toys and I love the amazing creative things my kids do.

    I live just down the street from Sunnyvale PC – literally, down the street and around the corner. If you ever need a break or want to take a walk or need entertainment for your 3.5 year old (my 7.5 year old is an amazing big brother to littler people!), please contact me!

    I look forward to reading more of your adventures in life, marriage, and parenting!

    1. Carol,
      What an incredible treat to receive your comment! And it truly is a small world. I would love a walk for sure!! Why don’t you send me your email and we can set up a time. It means a lot to me that someone’s actually reading this and enjoying it!
      Look forward to meeting you in person soon.
      Christine

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