Lately I have been thinking alot about what it really means to be "still."
Some days I will come home from work to "rest" but I will end up cleaning, cooking and picking up the house all while listening to Pandora with the TV on the background and David and Abe wrestling in the background. As fun as this can be some times, this is not exactly what being "still" looks like.
On our trip to Italy I took one book with me- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest. I bought this book on a whim because I like Shauna's writing style and thought this book could apply to my life lately. Little did I know that this book would have SUCH an impact on me that once I finished reading it, I opened it back up and read it a second time. And I am tempted to read it a third time. It was truly THAT good to me.
What really spoke to me in this book was when Shauna urged readers to start saying "No" to things in their lives. Not just bad things, but good things too. Sometimes good things can become bad things in our lives when we over commit. It's painful to say "no" to things at first. That awkward silence on the other end of the phone when you tell your friend you can't do something. That weird pain when you cancel plans or bow out of a team or group-even if it's a group that you love deeply. Sometimes, alot of times, we just NEED to say no to things in our lives and experience true stillness.
It really is in these moments that we grow, we learn and we become who we were meant to be. It's hard to make a change or see the potential for growth when we have noises from every direction. Even if it starts with one hour a week of true stillness--- no noise, no TV, no Pandora. Just some true stillness.
As we enter into the busiest season of the year, it seems like my season is going to be even busier than normal. We are building a house, expanding rooms in both Escape Experience Nashville and Escape Experience Chattanooga and all of that is piled on top of normal life commitments of work and family and friends. Even when it hurts this season, I am challenging myself to say no and experience some stillness in my life. And I urge you to do the same thing.
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments. All”
― Shauna Niequist,