Monday, May 8, 2017

Be Still ...

Some days I feel like a hamster on a wheel, going around and around and around yet not getting anywhere! I imagine most of you know that feeling from time to time. Life is just so dadgum busy these days!! Emails, cell phones, computers, apps, jobs, kids, marriage, home life, church life, life life ... it can be all-consuming at times. There are days when I get so frustrated and overwhelmed I want to scream, "Get me off this wheel!" The ride ceased being fun.

I'm in a season of life I've looked forward to for a very long time. After writing and submitting and writing and submitting for more years than I care to admit, my first novel, The Planter's Daughter released in March. Many of my author friends who've walked the road to publication ahead of me warned that the work doesn't stop once your book is published. Nope. One might go so far as to say that's when the hardest work begins! The work of marketing and selling is just as challenging as the work of writing, editing, and submitting. In the latter case, you're trying to get a publisher to buy your work. After publication, you're trying to get the public to buy your work. Both can be daunting. Add to that the amazing blessing of two more book contracts, both with release dates in February 2018, you can color me one busy--and blissfully happy!--writer!

I think that's why Psalm 46:10 is so meaningful to me these days: "Be still, and know that I am God." It's hard to be still when you're on a hamster wheel going ninety-nine miles per hour and barely hanging on! It's hard to be still when life is so full you can't catch your breath from all the running, plotting, working, playing.

This past week Psalm 46:10 has come to my attention three different times in three different ways. I hadn't connected the dots until today, and now I'm wondering if perhaps God has been trying to get my attention, reminding me to be still so He can move in my life. How can I know what God is up to if I'm not listening to him?

I have a plaque hanging above our door that a dear friend gave me with Psalm 46:10 on it. I read it most every day as I walk by, thinking, "Yes, Lord. I hear you!" and then go about my business. A few days ago I discovered this journal (pictured) in a junk drawer. I'd purchased it several years ago but only wrote on two pages. I needed a new journal to takes notes at church and this was perfect. I read the verse aloud and said, "Yes, Lord. I hear you." I put the journal with my Bible and kept on truckin'.

It wasn't until we were at church yesterday that it finally stuck! Pastor Max Lucado asked the congregation to join him in "40 days of listening prayer." He said, "Pray and then be still. Listen." Jokingly, he added that we go into prayer with two ears and one mouth. Use them wisely.

So today I'm trying to be still. To listen. To pray ... and then shut my mouth! Thankfully our God is a patient God. My babbling won't turn his ear away from me, but I also believe he has things to teach me in the silence.

I'm determined to stay off that ol' hamster wheel! How about you? I invite you to join me in 40 days of listening prayer. I'll check back here from time to time throughout these next weeks and post my progress, what God is teaching me, and see how you're doing. Feel free to share in the comments.

Have a wonderfully still day!


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