Be Still and Know

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Life is unpredictable. One day the sun warms my neck, the next day I awake to rain beating against the window. Joys appear, intermingled with unexpected sorrow that stings to the bone. No day is like the one before or the one that will come after. The noise of this world is constant–trains rumbling, cars honking, text messages arriving musically or with a series of fast beeps. Microwaves sound the alarm when the hot chocolate is warm. Doorbells announce another sales pitch. Emails pour in, each with a familiar bell.  Close your eyes. What do hear this very minute?

I hear the living room blinds tapping against the window frame, blowing with a breeze that is lifting the branches of the front-yard maple. I hear the gentle hum of a fan inside my widescreen Mac, cooling this tool that allows me to make art and sell it halfway around the world.  At my feet lies my sleeping dog, Buddy. I hear him gently snoring, legs twitching in a run-dog-run dream.

But somewhere out there before the break of Day and return of Night is quiet. A stillness so sweet, it’s palpable.

“Be still and know that I am God,” says my favorite Psalms (46:10).

It’s a stillness that ushers in peace. Calms the storm. Settles any stress that may be niggling at the back of my mind, taking frog-leaps from day to day. Be still and know

Nothing else quiets a day like realizing my littleness, my dependence, and my total awe of God’s provision, down to the very last detail. When I pause to remember, my ears are blocked to the daily cacophony. (And yes, that is one of my favorite words. Cacophony. I like the way it rolls off my tongue.)

I don’t crave a noisy crowd or music piped into headphones hours a day. Not crazy about the idea of a fancy cruise or shoulder-to-shoulder concert, either.

What I do need is that occasional peace and quiet, and a knowing that in the stillness, I will find Him waiting.

My favorite piece of advice from the Bible...Click image for print info

My favorite piece of advice from the Bible…Click image for print info

Childlike Wonder

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“Nature herself makes the wise man rich.” – Cicero, Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC – 43 BC)

In years past, I’d be flocking to our local nursery about now to buy flowers and veggies for our summer garden. Not this year, though. A friend gifted us with a greenhouse she no longer needed. We set it up in a sunny spot, covered it in special plastic, and were fortunate to be on the receiving end of used wood planks from a neighbor who had torn down a backyard shed. The wood made perfect shelving! For the first time in my adult life, I was able to plant seeds and watch them spring to life within just a few days in that balmy environment. I now have containers of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers that didn’t come from a plant nursery. I’m in gardening heaven!

There’s something of the miraculous in every little planter in that greenhouse. First a tiny green leaf emerges…unfurls itself like a newborn unfolding its arms for the first time. I shouldn’t be surprised, not really, because I know that’s how God planned his world; yet each new starter plant thrills me like I’ve never seen the process before.

And you know what? I hope I never lose that sense of childlike wonder.

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