Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stillness and the Slow Word

Did you write out Goals for yourself at the start of the New Year? Or did you, like many of us who have a hard time looking ahead at a sea of possibilities, choose a #OneWord for your theme this year? How are you doing with the practice of that word?

It's hard to imagine, but it's already the beginning of the 2nd quarter of this year! Many bloggers are doing a check-in about now, to evaluate their progress in how that One Word has affected their days this year.






 My heart has been resting,
and my mind has stopped
spinning so fast,
as I've begun 
the journey
to center
my 
heart
with Jesus.









If you chose a word for your focus, have you seen that word popping up everywhere?

Or perhaps you are finding many variations on your word that help to expand its meaning?


I began the process of slowing down several years ago. 
But there is a difference between moving slowly,
and being still of heart and soul.  

A slow life can just as easily be a
hard-hearted life

And believe me,
I have had enough of those 
hard-hearted moments
to last a life-time!   


God's Presence
and God's Word
have a way of seeping into the 
crevices and cracks of my heart
when I make the choice
to find stillness
and 
softness of heart. 

 
 

One of the ways that God began to stir my heart to see the difference between "slow" and "still" came as I followed a sweet blogger in her leading of a type of Scripture Reading called Lectio Divina.  I popped in at her Youtube channel several times last year, and always came away so refreshed.  When two other friends, from different sources, also joined in with the Lectio Divina, or "Slow Word-Divine Word" type of study, then I knew God was asking me to pay attention.

Lectio Divina is a type of Scripture listening, often read aloud.  This type of pausing and being quiet with the Scriptures is one more way to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.


But it was this particular passage, led by Summer Gross, for one of her Lectio Divina, that confirmed the direction in my Stillness Journey early this year:


 "Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you."


As the words of Scripture were read, and listened to, and I waited to hear what God would emphasize to me,
these words jumped out at me:
"you're already there waiting."

He had been waiting and speaking 
these same thoughts to me
for over a year:
"Come inside with me. I'm already here,
I'm not offended by any pain or shame you feel. 
I'm waiting for fellowship with you."


Only in softness can our hearts 
respond
when the invitation of God 
is given. 

Only in stillness can our minds
hear His call
when the Lord of Creation
speaks our name.


I have found a sweet rest in a quiet slow-word
Lectio Divina
type of hearing the Word of God.


During these final days of Lent,
as we wait for those moments
when we will pause and remember
the Cross that Jesus
carried,
are you ready to still
and to hear
HIS WORD
for you?

  




If you have a stirring in your heart to pursue more of this Slow Word movement, you can find a good description of Lectio Divina at the BibleGateway site
here.

And if you would like to hear a beautiful reading by Summer Joy Gross, please allow yourself a few moments to rest with God's Word here:

  




I am linking this week with: 






22 comments:

  1. Oh Bettie: this is beautiful. Just so love hearing of how God has been leading you...something I've also seen so vividly in all you've shared with me personally this year. This so speaks to me too:

    "Come inside with me. I'm already here,
    I'm not offended by any pain or shame you feel.
    I'm waiting for fellowship with you."

    I now understand why God put boundaries around me, to stop me striving to belong, and to instead receive His love in a place where at first all I felt was rejection, a cold shoulder and shame. He wanted me to go to those emotions that I feel so often, so that His truth could set me free. The truth He spoke to you, to come as you are to receive more of His love for you. Oh how healing the shelter of His wings are. Thank you for the enormous blessing you have been in my life in this short space of time. I may no longer have my Mum at my side, but God keeps gifting me spiritual Mommies to bless and encourage me: and you are one of them 😊. May God continue to pour out His blessings into your and your family's life as you delight in Him.

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    1. Dear Anna,
      I am so thankful that you have been blessed here! You have been such a blessing and encouragement in my life also. Isn't our Lord so good, to make the connections that He knows we need, at just the right time? He brings His Word to us, and speaks His truth to set us free, and bring us into a deeper fellowship with Him--right there in the shelter of His precious wings. May the Lord continue to bring us both into a deeper heart stillness with Him, my friend! Blessings and Love to you and your family also! xo

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    2. Anna, I've missed seeing you "around." Are doing well?

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    3. Hi Susan, Sweet of you to ask. I stopped blogging in December last year and closed my Facebook account. It's been a beautiful few months of drawing close to God: especially in the deepening friendships and blessings God has woven (especially with/from Bettie 😊). Also much spiritual attack...but so thankful for the growth that has come from that too.

      Hope you are doing well.

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  2. Dear Bettie,
    After reading your words here I think God might have had more in mind when He gave me the word "wait" for my one word. Here I'm thinking I need to learn to wait on Him and not rush ahead, which is true, but He also wants me to know that He is waiting patiently for me. ""Come inside with me. I'm already here,
    I'm not offended by any pain or shame you feel.
    I'm waiting for fellowship with you.""
    I had gotten out of the habit of my Bible reading and prayer in the mornings after breakfast. I knew I needed to get back to it, not because it's my duty, but because that's where I am refreshed and fed spiritually. So you reminded me today that He is actually waiting for me, too. I'm happy to say that I've been able to meet with Him every day this week so far, and I can tell a difference in my life. So thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Love and blessings to you, dear Bettie, my sister/poet/friend! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Dear Gayl,
      I'm so thankful the Lord let you know that He was waiting for you too! Isn't that an amazing thought, that the God of the Universe waits for our response? He is so full of Grace to us, and so patient, when I am so IMpatient. I have rushed through the quiet times with Him far too often, when a pause would have filled my heart with so much refreshing! Blessings and love to you too, sister/poet/friend! xoxo

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  3. It's interesting how God is teaching you the difference between slow and still, Bettie. This especially touched me:
    "Only in stillness can our minds
    hear His call
    when the Lord of Creation
    speaks our name."
    This is quite a learning process for me.
    Love and hugs to you!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Trudy,
      Yes, it is such a learning process to let Him bring stillness to our minds. I am so thankful for your kindred heart that longs for more of Jesus, my friend! You bring such encouragement to me, as you share your open heart. And I am grateful that even in the slow that chronic illness requires, when we let Jesus have our hearts we find a fullness from being still in Him that we could never have imagined! Love and Hugs to you too! xo

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  4. This is lovely. Wonderful differentiation between slow and still. Makes me want to squirrel away some more time this week for quiet time.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Theresa! Isn't the Lord so gracious when He calls us to be still with Him? May He bless you with His Presence this week!

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  5. Haven't listened yet but will. Stillness - hard to practice in this very unstill world. xo

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    1. Yes, this world clammors for every bit of our attention, doesn't it? Thank God that He knows how to touch our hearts in the middle of it all. xo

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  6. Beautiful post! Still life and soft heart......yes this is a restful place. Enjoyed both of your links as well:)

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    1. Hi Gretchen,
      Thank you for stopping by! I am thankful you were blessed here. These places of rest as we are still and soft, are such a gift from God arent' they? Blessings to you!

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  7. Still and slow? Wonderful words and powerful distinction you have described here.
    Thank you Bettie for the video ;)
    Blessings to you

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    1. Dear Ifeoma,
      I'm glad you were blessed with the video! And, yes, when God shows us His convictions, and His distinctions, He brings His power to help us obey! I'm thankful for your encouragement and good words, sister! Blessings to you also!

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  8. I love your beautiful words and how you draw us in to them. I have headroom Lectio Divinia but have not tried it. I can never get enough of learning about slowing down and then working toward what this looks like for me. Thank you for this offering today.

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    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, I hope you will be able to listen and try a Lectio Divina. It really is a blessing on the journey of learning more about slowing and stilling. I am thankful you were blessed here today!

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  9. Dear Bettie, while my restless soul is still working on the "stillness" it requires as much (if not more?) than physical rest, this beautiful post is just what I need to remind me of the fundamental difference between slowing and stilling. These words:

    "Come inside with me. I'm already here,
    I'm not offended by any pain or shame you feel.
    I'm waiting for fellowship with you."

    They are a lovely reminder of our Lord's continual presence, and they also speak of how we are rooted in Him continually, whether we feel it or not. I think my natural tendency is to strive in some way, so it soothes my soul to think of "rooted" being a place of grace and rest rather than a position based on effort. Though we need to maintain our faith practices and aim to keep in close contact with God, it is reassuring to know we are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, rooted in love and bathed in His amazing grace! Thank you for these timely words. Forgive my tardiness. I'm still playing catch up with my blog reading. Blessings, love and hugs to you, sweet, faithful friend. Your stillness is bringing forth some lovely fruit! xoxo

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    1. Dear Joy,
      I am so thankful that the Lord brought a measure of understanding and comfort here, my friend! I love your thoughts about rooting, and how His Grace brings us to that place of fellowship as we are rooted. I think that the stillness that comes from that place of rooting is such a beautiful thought that Jesus is bringing forth in you also! Please don't apologize for tardiness! I am just so blessed that you are feeling well enough to be "out and about" reading and writing! May our Lord teach us more about the Grace He's giving to us in these seasons of slow. Love and Hugs to you! xoxo

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  10. Bettie - I am so sorry, it has taken me almost a whole week to stop by and comment from #TuneInThursday linkup last week. I was away at a Conference since last week and the wifi was practically non-existent.

    My word is dwell, very similar in stillness, I love your post and your thoughts about quieting your mind and your body and your heart. I am going to check out the youtube stuff you mentioned as well. Keep up the good work on your word. I just love your writing style and your thoughts.

    Again thank you for linking up last week, and I hope to see you tomorrow at #TuneInThursday

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    1. Dear Debbie,
      It's always so good to have you here, no matter the time! That sounds like such a wonderful conference that you were a part of. And it sounds like Jesus is giving you new ways to "Dwell" with Him also. I am so thankful that He leads us on the path to bring us closer to Himself, and to hear more of His Word to us. Thank you again for your community of linking together to share what Jesus has been speaking. May you be greatly blessed this Easter!

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