Sometimes, in past years, after the "new-ness" of the new year wore off, after the goals had been set, and a few weeks had gone by, it happened - work happened - life happened. The routine that existed the December before began again. Work, errands, events, responsibilities, to-do lists. They all began again. And they came as an ocean wave - fierce and powerful enough to overwhelm the plans we thought we could carry forth on our own.
This year has felt, for numerous reasons, entirely different. It's felt heavy, yet freeing. I haven't felt the same urge to plan or set goals as I have in previous years. Yes, I've taken the time to intentionally sit with the Lord and pray over 2015 - but those hard, closed plans and goals - I have yet to set even one. I've processed and prayed over some places in my life that have been on my mind for a while now and I'll share those next week, but this year has begun in solitude, in rest, in a place of stillness. Even while work resumes, regularly homemaking tasks return, and the days fill more quickly than over the holidays, I feel this continued urge to remain still and at rest.
Stillness looks like pressing into the early morning hours either for extra hours of sleep after a late night or long day or for a quiet morning awake when space and breath are all that's needed to begin the day.
Stillness looks like saying yes to our family. Saying yes to watching reruns with my husband, a bowl of buttery popcorn and sliced apples at our sides.
Stillness looks like reflecting on the past and hoping for the future, but not asking to move to quickly through either nor holding onto either too tightly.
Stillness looks like listening. Listening to God most assuredly. But also listening to my students, my friends, my family, my husband as if we were sitting over a cup of coffee - every time.
Stillness looks like pouring over the Word before I pour over social media, blogs, television, and the like.
Stillness allows space for creating to happen without the need to look to others for inspiration. It flows out of the space that God has uniquely created in each of us.
Stillness means I revel in the silent spaces, but seek my joy in Him in the loud and full spaces too.
Stillness leaves striving behind. Allowing contentment to follow in it's place.
Solitude, rest, and stillness before the Lord. May these be a starting place for yourself, for your creating, your family, your plans, your business, whatever it is you have in store for your year.
I've added my Winter Playlist for your enjoyment - for your still places. My hope and prayer is that they lead you also to a space of solitude, rest, and stillness this month and throughout the months to come. Have a beautiful weekend friends.