Family Friday: Be Still

“God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (International Children’s Bible)

My favorite movie is The Sound of Music. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen it, but enough to know the words to every song. In the song How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, the nuns are exasperated with Maria for being too much of a free spirit for the austere life at the Abbey. They paint a picture of a young woman always on the move and restless.

While the nuns are bemoaning Maria’s unsuitability for abbey life, Maria is in her happy place. Close your eyes and bring to mind the image of Maria on that mountain top, arms outstretched, turning around to take in the beauty of the mountains, a broad smile on her face. Even though she is in constant physical motion, Maria has found, on that mountain top, the place within her soul that has found rest and joy in the presence of God.

A friend of mine recently shared on her Facebook page, a conversation she had with her daughter after a particularly challenging day of homeschooling. With her permission, I share what Emily wrote:

This is what she said to me: “Mama, I know 99% of this is on me, I know I can focus and do better… but 1% of this is not my fault.” At this point I was fully prepared to take my 1% of ownership, and feeling a little more encouraged about her math skills… and said “Oh really, who owns the other 1%?” Carter, completely serious, “Coronavirus. I mean, without coronavirus… I would be at school and my teacher would be the one working with me, and we wouldn’t have this issue between us.” Right on girlfriend… and let’s be honest… I would happily put 99% of this challenge on darn COVID.

Included in the post was picture of Carter holding some wildflowers in front of some water near their home in New Hampshire. Instinctively, mother and daughter knew they needed to take a break in one of their happy places, where they could cease the frantic mental and emotional stimulation and reset so tomorrow could be a better day.

I’d like to give a shout out to all the parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and children who have had to navigate the uncharted territory of these last months. My heart can only imagine how challenging and exhausting it has been for them. The school year has now ended and with it comes a sigh of relief, lazier days, and opportunities for fun. Within all of us is a deep-seeded need to be quiet and to find places and ways to recapture our trust in God, who is our refuge and strength. When nations are in an uproar and kingdoms fall, it is our God who can make wars cease and who is exalted in all the earth.

For all who are restless and crave a moment of rest in God’s presence.

Let Your God Love You
Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty. Before your God. Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent. Be still. Let your God look upon you. That is all. God knows. God understands. God loves you. With an enormous love, and only wants to look upon you with that love. Quiet. Still. Be. Let your God—Love you.

Children’s Activity Suggestions

Find a grassy spot. Lie on your back and watch the clouds go by. What shapes do you see?

You are never too old or too young to grab a pack of crayons and spend a quiet hour coloring. Click here to color verse 10 from Psalm 46.

Ponder where your happy place(s) might be. Where do you go to calm your thoughts and to be still with God?