Be still!–for your Ears’ Sake

“Both my noses are clogged!” my then 6-yr-old son woke me in the darkness of morning. I consoled the patient and dug for remedies, while my mind realized that it was “night time” to him, but this was my early morning. I was now not only

English: Alarm clock

missing my last couple winks of sleep before my alarm would sound at 5:30, but soon my exercise time and Bible time would vanish…again… while I coddled him, allowing him to get needed sleep leaning on me.

I always feel like I can’t fill the needs of my family until my needs have been met, and yet once again, I started my day of filling their needs, while my tank was “on empty,” despite my intentions.  The clock continued its never-ending race, while I ran the laps up and down the stairs to rouse children for their school day.

Breakfast- breakfast dishes- wipe the counters (after the 6-yr-old had already wiped them) – split up sibling squabbles – clean up dog mess – wipe tears over the “eaten” toy – get to the car to take the oldest to school, then back home quickly to get the other three started in their homeschool around 8:30.  This was the daily routine of this entire school year.

We had our family Bible time, then math, grammar, the regular subjects – I switched from one subject to the next, sometimes teaching one, while spinning plates in the background with two who didn’t have my full attention at the time. The day continued at breakneck speed.  I looked forward to after school, when all were settled, and I would have an hour of silence before heading with the taxi-full to evening activities.

That’s when the 11-yr-old said, “Can you cut my hair before pictures next week?”

“Sure!” I said, as if it were an easy task. The week’s schedule flashed through my mind. Weekend travel and week night activities, concerts, and the like made me realize that my “hour of silence” that afternoon would once again be taken by something more urgent: haircuts before pictures next week.

Cutting my boys’ hair began as a money-saving venture when we had one child. It grew into an ear-saving venture, when my second son wouldn’t sit still long enough and I was worried the “ear-ritated” barber would cut off his ear. (Sorry – I couldn’t resist the pun!) But at this stage in my life, the currency being saved was time. I could cut three boys’ hair in 45 minutes, which is how long I would have to wait before even starting at some salons.

I began with the oldest and worked my way down to the youngest. I probably should have used the opposite sequence, because by the time I got to the 6-yr-old with a cold, my patience had waned lower than his.

“Be still, please.” I said as I went over the top. He squirmed side to side, and tilted his head at every snip.

“Be still.” I said more firmly, worried I would clip his ear, but hardly slowing my scissors.

“Be still!” I practically shouted at him as I continued my race to get it done before the evening schedule commenced.

Ps 46:10 abruptly came to my mind: “Be still! And know that I am God.”

I smiled to myself thinking of God shouting to me to “be still!” with an explanation point, or He would chop off my ear.

Regret filled me as I realized how “not still” my day was. I felt like promising I would do better tomorrow. “Tomorrow, I will have a quiet time with You.” “Tomorrow,” I will have a less rushed day of motherhood.” “Tomorrow, I will BE STILL and KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOD.”

As quickly as I made promises, I wondered what part of my day I was supposed to have done differently.

Was I supposed to tell the sick child to “go back to bed! I want to be with Jesus now!”?… I don’t think so.

Should I have skipped breakfast or lunch so I could “have a quiet time”?!… Not necessarily.

Should I stop homeschooling, or take kids out of activities, so I can sit around with my me-time and make it God-time?

What am I doing wrong?!

A.W. Tozer in his book, Pursuit of God, hit me hard. I wasn’t born when he wrote the book, but his seeds were planted for a harvest in this year and eternity, I’m sure. In Chapter 10, he talks about ME!

The day of the haircuts was as though I was saying, “Sorry I have to do all of this menial stuff called life, but God, I want to be with You, and tomorrow morning, while it is still dark, THEN will be my sacred life.”

The conflict comes when I try to separate my “sacred” life and my “secular” life.

The “stillness” God wants from me is that my sacred life and my secular life are one. It is then that we truly can be still.

1Cor 10:31 says that whether we eat or drink we should do it all for the glory of God. It’s so significant to me that it says “eating and drinking” – such “menial stuff called life.”

Be still, and recognize the gift of motherhood He gave.

Be still and be thankful for the usefulness of my life; I have something to exhaust me every day!

Be still and praise God! …while I go to work, attend school, cut hair, drive the carpool, coddle the sick one.

But don’t wait for quiet time to do it. Believe me: I LOVE quiet time, and set my alarm clock early on purpose. But if God’s purpose for me wakes me before the clock, I can’t second-guess His plans for my day. It is then that I can be still, and know that He had it planned just perfectly, all along.

I suppose being still has little to do with cutting off ears, and more to do with opening them to hear God’s plan for the day.

May you enjoy this day the Lord had planned for you!

Terri Brady

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20 thoughts on “Be still!–for your Ears’ Sake

  1. Terri,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and even more thank you for your perspective! As i read, i could feel myself first take a deep breath and then become a little more still inside:) I love the wisdom of not trying to separate my sacred life from my secular life! I have a great focal point for the days ahead!!

  2. Thanks for the great message Terri! It is a great reminder of how important it is to take time to thank God for all the blessings he has granted us with, even though during the busiest of times and the moments of doubt, we tend to forget that there is no where we can go that God has not preceded us. A few years ago, I painted the words, “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it”, around our kitchen ceiling, to greet me each and every morning, reminding me that God has once again granted me the gift of another day to enjoy. Whether I choose to enjoy it or not is totally up to me. It is easy to forget, though, as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of being a mom, spouse, friend, and business partner plus many other hats, throughout the day. It always amazes me of how God does bring a moment of stillness to our lives every now and then, reminding us of the beauty of the world he has created and the blessings he has so lovingly given each of us. Thanks be to God, and to you, Terri, for leading the way!

  3. Terri, Your an amazing woman thank you so much. How often do I get caught up in the busyness of life. It’s nice to be reminded that God is with us during the crazy time as well as the quiet stillness times. Thank you for your perspective and encouragement

  4. Terri. Thanks so much for a little perspective this morning as I enter into my busy mom day and so need to remember that all is sacred and that even in the storms of business our Heavenly Father is always there ready for us to “Be still and know” Him.

  5. Terri,
    I truly love your “real-life” stories. It helps to know that we are all human and have similar challenges and, but, our GOD is bigger. Be Still and Know that he is God verse has gotten me through some VERY difficult times. I appreciate your transparency as a mom, and as a
    Godly lady. I love you so much! Have a blessed day!

    Jeanne Keena

  6. HI Terri,
    Thanks for the reminder that God is part of every moment of our day ~ makes me happier remembering that he is all around us!
    Marcia Gratz

  7. Thank you Terri for sharing your life with us in such detail. You have described my feelings about how my days go sometimes. I appreciate your encouragement to know that God has ordered our days. It really hit home for me when you wrote “The “stillness” God wants from me is that my sacred life and my secular life are one. It is then that we truly can be still”. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!  Terri, you expressed my current feelings exactly.  Thanks for putting things in perspective.  Think I will print this & tuck it in my Bible to review often.  Our children are all grown with children of their own, now; however, husband, house, church, garden, etc.  still can eat up the day and I often wonder “God, what did I do for you & me, today?”.  Thanks for sharing that the day as it happened was for HIM.

  9. Thank you, Terri, for yet another of your real-life stories of a Christian mother at home. I was just griping that my morning time with God got “robbed” and I often think that God already knows what was going to happen in my morning before I did. I like the idea that God sometimes has to (practically) yell, “Be still!” I NEED it that way sometimes! 🙂

  10. Girlfriend your timing is impeccable, lol… Boy did I need that one cause you basically summed up my yesterday – minus the hair cut, ha ha. The truth that you share with grace is like a breathe of fresh air because it takes away any condemnation. It’s so true, our whole day is to be one with Him, and yet we still forget that the sacred and the secular are one in the same when we are hidden in Him. May our whole day glorify Him!
    Blessings!

  11. Oh how I wish I had read that 1st thing this morning. I do believe my day would have been a lot different. I definitely had one of those days today. Tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow is a new day.

  12. This is EXACTLY what I needed this morning. Knowing that we can be both still and strengthened through God in the midst of our daily lives rather than just in spite of them is so very encouraging. Because, as we are all, sometimes painfully, aware… those daily lives don’t ever stop. Thank you for sharing this piece of peace with the world.

  13. Terri,
    You said,
    The “stillness” God wants from me is that my sacred life and my secular life are one. It is then that we truly can be still.
    I cannot tell you how much those words impacted me, how much I have been lately striving toward this same goal. Thank you for the encouragement I am on the right road.

  14. Terri,
    You are an awesome inspiration for women. Thank you so much for sharing this. I so needed to hear this.. more than I could ever explain on here. Keep up the outstanding work and walk in your life with Christ.
    ~Weslie Wells~

  15. Thanks for sharing. Another great reminder that God is there in everything we do and we can rely on Him to get us through.

  16. I intentionally sought out this post this evening: 1) to see what time it was you got up in the morning and 2) because I knew I needed to re-read the encouragement I gained from the last time I read it! I know I need to do some P.D.C.A in’, however, I also know that I cannot feel like every day is a failure because it did not go “as planned.” Thank you for the reminder that God’s plan is perfect — and to not miss the beauty of it because I am focused on “my” plans — the reminder that wiping off messy tables is not purposeless — and finally, to be thankful I have something to exhaust me everyday! You are an amazing encouragement, Terri! I appreciate your example so very, very much! It gives me so much hope 🙂 Thank you!

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