Three weeks ago, I sat on the back porch at a dear friend’s house. The sloping hill of her San Diego backyard drew my eye out toward the horizon where mountains and hills shaded the orange ground, pulling me into the tranquility of that one, quiet moment.
It was peaceful and lovely and beautiful – a complete contrast to the horror of the world outside these California hills.
The night before, a gunman opened fire on a Las Vegas strip. When it was all said and done, there were 59 people killed and up to 500 people injured. How can this be? How can such evil and hatred exist in a world that boasts such beauty?
I listened to the whine of a nearby horse, and a bird cried out from the sky above. The sounds were almost mournful that morning. It’s as though even the animals knew that the world around them was hurting.
There is a lot of noise out there today. From hurricanes to fires to mass shootings, all heaped on top of political rhetoric and each one of us trying to make sense of it inside the boundaries of our own small spheres. It seems that the noise and the heartache are beyond what we can handle.
So what do we do in this world that is in constant motion? How do we take the time to simply be still?
My children are good at being still. Sometimes, it seems they are too good at it actually. (Seriously, why are you just sitting there when I need you to PUT ON YOUR SHOES?!)
Even my older two children, the ones who have settled nicely into the tween/teen years, have an innocence that allows them to withdraw from the world and simply be at peace.
I want that innocence back, and I want to protect it in them for as long as I possibly can.
Being still is an art form. It requires the deliberate act of drawing away, of shutting out the noise of the world so that you can simply soak in a moment.
Here are a few suggestions for being still in a world that feels like it’s gone mad.
We cannot overemphasize the power of prayer, especially not in these seemingly dark days. Prayer in and of itself requires us to draw inward. It pulls us from a moment, and shifts our gaze away from the world and onto One who is better equipped to carry our burdens.
Prayer not only forces us to be still, but it strengthens us in the quiet moments.
For a resource on brief 5-Word Prayers to help you as you draw away, check out Lisa Whittle’s new book, 5 Word Prayers: Where to Start When You Don’t Know What to Say to God.
2.) Pull Away
Time doesn’t always allow us the freedom to go far, but we can always find a little space to draw away to a quiet place and simply…sit. No phones or television giving us the latest headlines or inappropriate presidential tweets.
No children vying for attention, or dirty floors mocking us.
Sometimes, all we need is a few minutes to take in deep breaths. Other times, we may need a few days. Either way, there is something to be said about pulling away from the noise and letting ourselves be enveloped in blessed silence.
My kids know how to forget about the problems of the world and have a little fun. Any given moment of the day is ripe with potential for fun, and more and more I find myself wanting to join in those moments with them.
It takes nothing more than a good song, cranked loud enough to make the walls thrum, and the willingness to dance to feel the problems of the world begin to take backseat. Try an impromptu dance party with your kids and tell me if it doesn’t work to still your anxious heart.
(And might I suggest “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake or “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars as your go-to dance jams? They work every single time.)Being still won't stop the world from chaos, but it will stop the chaos from ruling our lives.Click To Tweet
It seems trite, and perhaps even oversimplified, to assume that any of these three suggestions can quiet this noisy world, and it’s true that they will not prevent any more heartache from overwhelming us.
But there is power in being still. It can lower anxiety and stress, allowing us to better handle the heartache and overwhelming noise outside our walls.
Being still won’t stop the world from chaos, but it just might stop the chaos from ruling our lives.
robin rue says
I tend to get wrapped up in chaos, so I try to stay away as much as possible. Great advice.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
This is something I definitely needed to see today. I was just thinking about how hectic my life was getting. Thank you!
Kelli Stuart says
I’m so glad. I pray you have a few moments to pull away today!
Liz Mays says
I do think it helps to pull away every now and then. Sometimes I just have to take some time away from my computer and my devices.
Kelli Stuart says
Yes! It’s so hard, but so good for us!
Taking some time to be at peace does come naturally when we’re kids. I think we just get too daggone busy when we’re grown to carve that time out anymore.
It can be so easy to get overwhelmed by all that is going on around us. Pulling away can be really beneficial.
Marcie W. says
As a Las Vegas local, the need to be still has definitely magnified over the last month. I feel that stepping away from the constant chaos is absolutely vital for overall wellness and proper self care.
Sara Welch says
I love seeing people remind others to pray. It goes such a long way for your attitude.
Louise Bishop says
Thank you for the encouragement. This time of year is always heavy on me.
I am constantly on the go and keep telling myself I need a vacation. It’s so important to just live in the moment.
Kristine Nicole Alessandra says
Thank you for this timely post. It is true that the world is in chaos, not only among nations, but within nations. Nature is running amok, and we stand witness to all these every single day of our existence. As I read about how your children can sit still, I thought about my grandson. Every evening, he tugs on my shirt and points to the door. I take him in my arms and as soon as we are out on the porch, he looks up, points to the moon and says, “moooom.” And then he just stares, smiles and repeatedly whispers, “mooooom.” Innocent, trusting, mesmerized by a beauty he cannot explain.
God bless the children. That their world will be better that what we have today.
AnnMarie John says
It’s tough especially when there’s just too much going on in the world. I think these are lovely tips on how to cut yourself away from all the fuss and just be in the moment.
Carol Cassara says
I just love this. There’s nothing like allowing yourself to enjoy the quiet. I have limited my use of my laptop to check on all the social media sites that I’m in. News is just something that I watch from time to time. It’s so much easier that way.
Kelli Stuart says
I agree. Good for you for taking steps to quiet things around you!
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says
There’s so much that our kids can teach us without them even realizing. It’s really important that we learn how to slow down and not focus so much on what’s going on in the world.
Oh I just LOVE this! It is so difficult to get caught up in the game of life, especially lately. I needed to read this today for sure! So glad you shared this!
Kelli Stuart says
I’m so glad you read it and were encouraged!
I’ve tried to shield my kids as much as possible from the harsh realities of the world. I know I won’t be able to do it for long, but these are great ways to embrace the joys in the world.
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
I agree with all these. Sometimes you need to stop and be quite.
I think we are so busy we forget to slow down. We need to put all of the devices down sometimes and enjoy life in the moment.