This message keeps popping up in my life. And when something shows up more than once, pay attention.
The first time my mother called me. “What are you doing?” Oh you know, getting wedding band tattoos. And she says, “Your dad wants to see D’wan to get a tattoo.” Firstly, this shocked me a bit, I thought my Dad would never get a tattoo. Secondly, I was curious as to what he wanted……..be still.
Next instance, I was sitting in worship at church. I have been prone on occasion lately to be super emotional due to all the changes and uncertainty going on in my life and just scatteredness. As I sat there the message came so clearly: BE STILL. Very much along the lines of this photo. Be still and know I am God. When we finally stop. When are still and open enough, we will receive guidance and direction.
Thursday I had this crabby, sadness going on. Hike. I need to hike. It is missing from my life. I have built in habits that help me in life. Hiking and baking are my big two. When I am facing uncertainty. When I need clarity. When I need a moment to get back to myself and God and my path, I hit a trail. Or I get in the kitchen and bake. I let my creativity flow. I let go. I let go of all the thoughts (especially negative self-talk) and bullshit. It brings me back to peace. To calm. They are my outlets. They remind me that it is all good. Life is good. I am good. I am blessed. And it fills me with those positive vibes that everyone expects from me. Being in the woods is humbling. It cuts out the bullshit of everyday life. Maybe this is why I love traveling and mountains too. In their perfect creation and grandeur and beauty, they morph me and my problems. How small I am, how unimportant the things worrying me are. I can see resolution rather than focusing on what doesn’t seem to be going ‘right’. It allows me to step back and see the bigger picture. What is going oh-so-right in my life. All those beauty and gifts.
We have been in a constant state of motion since our June trip and getting married. A whirlwind of constant changes and big areas of unknown. Lots of time traveling. Living in two cities. Living in a frat house. Just going nonstop. I have not been hiking. Which is probably why these emotional outburst keep happening. They are very unBrittany. And so recently I was knocked over: slow down and be still.
And I literally got a stop sign to slow WAY down. We had car troubles and on a Tuesday it decided to not start at all. I had been lazy for a week and drove to work. This got me back on my bike to work and about. I slowed back down. Had time to let go. To see the new city we’re living in. To really appreciate the cooler Fall temperatures and nice breezes. Zach and I finally HAD time to walk because that’s the only way we could get things. So I got in the walks and hikes I needed just by needing groceries. And in those trips we found our joy. Walking to get our battery checked, Zach looked at me and said, “there, we just found it. Our joy. Just in walking down the street, we found our joy.” He was right. We were carrying our heavy, dead battery all over town, yet we were smiling and laughing as we walked down the street taking in the perfect Autumn day and breeze. Joy in our time of fellowship. Joy in our marriage and each other. We found in when we slowed down and weren’t in a hurry, passing it by.
And God really wanted us to be still. That Saturday we thought we were going to go camping (maybe to Chicago for the Lions game too). Another week on the road. That was not what was intended for us. I woke up Saturday to a dead battery again (Friday our new alternator had arrived and been placed in). However, perspective in life is important. We could have totally let this get us down. But it is not in our circle of control. So I text Zach, “I love you. Today is going to be a great day. The car didn’t start, but it’s all good we’ll get it worked out.” And it was a great day, because we declared it to be so. We walked to getting a filling breakfast. And then we got a new battery and the car ran smoothly. So, even though we thought we were going to have a busy weekend of camping and football, we instead had a slower, calmer, chill weekend in Champaign instead. No time on the road. Leisure time and date nights.
We needed to slow down. To be still for a while because we will both go fast all the time. In the midst of all this uncertainty and change, especially, when we are not sure what is coming next, this message has come through crystal clear. To slow down. To take hikes. To regain perspective. To view the bigger picture. To be still and talk to God. To listen. To enjoy the moments and time we have. Not to let our lives slip away into busyness. But to find joy in our lives more. In rest.