no longer pretending

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Every kid tries it. Sometimes a kid even excels in this trick. It is the trick of pretending to be asleep. I remember telling my body to hold still, not to figet, and close my eyelids ever so lightly. The trick was always in the eyes. My four year old can lay perfectly still, pretending to be asleep but squeezes her eyelids shut so tight it looks as if she is squinting in the dark. The eyes always give away the truth.

The issue is that pretending sleep does not give your body rest it daily needs. It might fool others, but your body knows it is not shutting down into a dreamlike state. Just as our bodies require the deep rest only sleep can give, our souls need a deep rest only trusting in Christ can provide. I've had moments or seasons when I pretended my heart was still and in complete trust but in reality my heart was far from stillness. If anything, my heart was busy. Busy coming up with my own plans. Busy making lists of items needing crossed off. Busy thinking of the next week's schedule and how to make it all work. Busy worrying. Busy...busy....busy.

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him;" Psalm 37:7a

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10a

Not stand still.
Not sit still.
Not stop still.
Be still.

To "be" something is to let it take over your everything. It is not a one time deed that starts, then stops. It is a state of continual being. Stillness is not just an act of the body, but of the heart and soul. To be still is to trust in faith in the Lord. To rest in Him. To wait on Him. To be with Him. To know the character of God.

Not do something good, and know that I am God. 
Not keep yourself busy, and know that I am God. 
Not act like you have it all together, and know that I am God.
Not try your own way first, and know that I am God.
Be still, and know that I am God. 

Why stillness?

Maybe because being still means we trust Him to act rather than forging our own ways and agendas. Maybe it is really not about us and the best way for us to realize that is when we are still and only have hope in the Lord acting on our behalf. When I am still and let God act in His timing, trusting Him to do something that only He can do, then He alone gets the glory. There is no chance of me stealing His glory.

In a world that says: be busy in order to be effective                                                    Be still.
                                  make your plans work no matter the cost.                                    Be still.
                                  keep up your social media status to prove your importance.       Be still.
                                           validate your worth by your success.                                           Be still.
 self-promotion is the only way to get ahead.                               Be still.

Proverbs 27:19 says, "As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person."

When does water best reflect an object? When it is stirred? Choppy? No, the best way for water to reflect something is when it is not moving. Only when water is calm and still will it give the best reflection.  I wonder if this is what the Solomon meant in the proverb. When we are still and trusting in God, our heart reflects our Lord and our trust in Him. 

Just like as a kid, trying to pretend I was asleep, my eyes always told the truth on my reality. There was no pretending the complete stillness that only comes with sleep. So too with our hearts.  There is no pretending trust in God. Our hearts will reflect the truth of our reality.

When our Lord is calling us to trust in Him, He asks us to "be still." When He's calling us into obedient action, He asks of us to "be strong and courageous."  (Deut 31:6; Josh 1:6, 9, 18; 2 Chron 22:13, 2 Chron 32:7). Stillness of our trust needs to coincide with strength and courage of obedience. Let us be known as a people of God who's hearts are not racing with worries and man-made plans. Let us be known as ones who wait on the Lord in complete trust, resting in stillness before the Lord. Let strength and courage flow from our lives as we put our trust in only God and Him moving on our behalf.



My Five Faves on the 1st

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I love when friends share referrals of books, products, recipes or any other idea that makes life a little easier. Pinterest is great, but scanning through thousands of ideas/products overwhelms me. On the first of the month, I'm going to try to post my five favorites from the past month. If you blog, please join with me on the 1st of the month. If you are not a blogger, comment below on some of your faves or comment in the Facebook post. I would love to hear about the stuff you enjoy.

1. World Market.

When I lived in St. Louis, this was one of my favorite stores. It has been years since I entered the doors of this store due to the distance while living in Houston. When I realized I now live 15 minutes away from one, I took my three little ladies here just as an excuse to get out of the house. What I remember of this store still remains: unique furniture and home decor inspired by cultures around the world. Little did I know that they now carry gorgeous jewelry and scarves. Move over Charming Charlie's.

2. "Praying Circles around Your Children" by Mark Batterson

Every year I make a reading goal of how many books I want to read, and the carpool line to pick up my daughter from PreK has helped me meet my goal. I finished this one on the last day of school. All parents need to read this one. This is the perfect little book to leave in your purse and pick up when you have a few minutes. Thank you to my MIL for giving this one to me.

3. Lowe's Valspar Ultra paint.

I love Benjamin Moore paint colors. Fan of the price for Benjamin Moore paint, not so much. Did you know that Lowes can match any designer color? (Thanks again to my fabulous sister for this tip). Lowes has every Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc color imaginable in their computer system and can replicate the exact match. The beauty of this: Valspar paint is half the price of Benjamin Moore. The Valspar Ultra was smooth going on the walls and only needed one coat.

4. Nosefrida 

Vivian caught her first cold this past month and the Nose Freida is a huge help for your little one's breathing. I'm not even going to attempt explaining how you use this as it sounds gross. Please trust me though. If you have an infant to child under one years old, this is a must have for colds. Our pediatrician in Houston (Blue Fish Pediatrics) recommended this product to us when Emmalyn had her first cold.

5. Priceline "Name Your Own Price"

In the past 5(ish) years that Priceline has had the "Name Your Own Price" option, I have never paid full price on a hotel room. We recently made a trip to Oklahoma and knew we were going to need a hotel room.  I used the Name Your Own Price option and paid 60% off the list price for a night at the Holiday Inn. Pretty much you say the area of town, the number of stars of the hotel, and how much you are willing to pay. Priceline then tells you if a hotel accepted your offer. Here's some tips for using the Name Your Own Price option:
1. To get the lowest price accepted on the room, you have to be willing to book the day of your trip.
2. Check out Priceline first to see what hotels are available in your desired area. See how many stars are used to describe the hotels you wish to stay in.
Example--when we went to Oklahoma, the town we were staying in had a Hampton Inn and a Holiday Inn, either of which I wanted to stay in. Since these were the only 2 1/2 star hotels in the area, I only placed offers on 2 1/2 star hotels.