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The Sound of Stillness…

Is stillness really a sound?

I think it is and sometimes it is absolutely deafening.

Our society within the American culture is extremely uncomfortable with stillness.

My personal comfort zone is uncomfortable with stillness. But, I think silence is different than stillness though.

When my girls were little I absolutely craved silence by the end of the evening. I will admit that one of my favorite games sometimes was “The Quiet Game” ~ if I could just get 15 seconds or even a whole minute of silence, I could refocus my brain and continue on with our day. Even though I’m an extrovert and a 2w1 on the Enneagram scale, there are times I must schedule time to be quiet. But that can look different depending on the day. Sometimes the quiet I need is to take a long nap in the middle of the afternoon. Some days, like today, it’s to find a quiet local coffee shop, where I can collect my thoughts and put them down for you to read. Other days, the silence is reading a book or sitting with a friend.

But to be still….to truly be still…that’s a whole other story.

When I’m fighting the stillness, it is in that exact moment I have to stop and realize that in the stillness is where God speaks to us the loudest.

I’ve shared a story before how God spoke to me about my priorities (and my mothering!) when I’d been in car accident. The result was a fracture in the T5/T6 part of my spine. The miracle was two-fold: The night before I was to be fitted with a body brace that I’d have to wear for 6-12 months, God healed me through the many prayers of friends and family members. The other came when although I didn’t need the brace, I was still prescribed 3 weeks of complete, upright bedrest: no laying down, no slouching, ice packs, heat packs, no going downstairs, and basically no physical contact. You tell an enneagram 2 that they can’t hug anyone (or be hugged!) for THREE WEEKS!! May as well of told me to stop breathing!! This is where God used the stillness of those three weeks to draw me back to Him. Partly because I was alone A LOT and I had to rely on Him for my sanity, but more so in the fact that since my girls couldn’t hug me before and after school, they began to kneel down and “hug” my feet. Big lesson in humility for sure!

Psalm 46:10 {AMP} “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”

But God knew I needed that ~ He had to ‘still’ me because I was too busy running around acting like I had it all together and didn’t need Him. When God wants to get our attention, He will!

Right now, I feel like I’m in a place of stillness. And I really, really, like not all, really don’t like it. I’ve been walking with the Lord long enough now to know that He is about to do something big. Not in the way the world would necessarily think is big, but big for Him and His name sake. That doesn’t always equate right away with feeling peace in the stillness.

Mark 4:39 ” {AMP} And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness].”

I love the verbiage in the Amplified Bible, especially in this verse in Mark 4. When Jesus hushed the sea and told the wind to stop, it stopped as if it was a child who’d been fighting a nap and suddenly realizes they are weary. They need to stop fighting. They need to be still. I love the last two words of this verse ~ perfect peacefulness. That just gives me chills! Notice here with me, that the wind did nothing to gain the peaceful calm EXCEPT to obey the voice of the Lord.

Stillness before the Lord that brings that kind of peace. 

The Lord has been whispering plans and ideas to my heart for a while now and I am so excited to share it with you when the time is right. At any rate, a few weeks ago I was feeling so confident and telling everyone how great it was to be able to hear what the Lord was telling me were my next steps. Usually the “next steps” are great because it means were in a path of forward motion and most of the time that is a good thing. I loved the fact that God was showing me what ministries and activities I needed to say ‘no’ to in order to get me even more ready to be available to say ‘yes’ to the new things He has for me in the near future. It was exciting. Honestly, it felt empowering to be able to do that. 

But now, I’m feeling like I’m in a wonky in-between place. I’ve cleaned out my schedule of anything that would distract me from hearing the Lord’s direction. Now what? 


Psalm 23:1-3 {AMP} The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Like me, you’ve most likely read these verses in Psalm 23 many times. Today, I’m soaking them in a little deeper. I’m taking note of the clarity of these verses and it is beginning to help me settle into this stillness I’m feeling.

Just as the seas and wind only needed to obey the voice of the Lord, I cannot DO anything to gain peace or refreshment. In the stillness, look at what the Lord wants to give us:

to be fed

to be guided

to be shielded

to be provided for

to be still

to be led

to be refreshed

to be restored

And none of that is for my glory but for His. But it is ALL for my benefit! Whoa!! I do not find my own stillness. I do not create my own stillness. Only the Lord can orchestrate stillness in my life that will be of any use to my soul. My part in the stillness is to listen to His voice and trust that He loves me enough to create seasons of stillness.

Out of those seasons, the stillness will bring a new sense of peace that only He can give.

I can honestly say that after putting the words of my heart down on this page, I am feeling a new sense of contentment in this season of stillness that God has welcomed me into. I will move forward each day, trusting that He has a good plan for tomorrow, next week, and beyond. He desires for me to join Him in it! That’s pretty cool friends!

Stillness may not be one of my favorite things, but it is definitely one of the most important things I can do as the Lord moves me into new opportunities to learn and to teach.

Where is the Lord calling you into stillness right now? If you’re not sure, sit with Him in the stillness and ask Him. Even if you have to “run away” to your car in the driveway…find a few moments of quiet stillness.

Because in that place, you will be able to hear Him the loudest.




Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash




Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Take Care

“Take Care” ~ this is a common phrase in the English language.  People sign their emails with this sentiment, we end a phone call speaking these words, we tell our loved ones to do this.  But what does it really mean?  This blog idea actually came to me from a very unlikely place.

A darling young girl that used to go to my church, recently reconnected with me on Facebook.  It’s been fun to see the new journey she has embarked on…health, eating good food, and exercising.  We had a little “back and forth” with some messaging and she asked how my family and I were doing.  I wrote an update back to her with updates on everyone.  The response I received back startled me a bit…only because I needed to hear this.  She said, “You mention taking care of the girls and Tony but don’t mention that you need to take care of yourself too!” Whoa!!

I wrote back and told her that she was right!  We talked about a few other things and she ended the conversation with, “Don’t forget to take care of yourself first! otherwise you can’t take care of anyone else.”  The sweet words of encouragement from the heart of my Lord through a willing vessel who felt lead to speak truth in love.

This happened about a month ago, and sadly I haven’t done a whole heck of a lot to really take care of myself better.  It’s so easy to put everyone else on my list first.  I love being a wife and mom, a daughter and a sister, a volunteer and an organizer, a friend and a mentor.  But if I am only concentrating on the “out-pouring”, there will soon not be very much to pour out!  For one, my devotional life and bible reading has been extremely lacking in the past few months.  How interesting (and not too surprising) that the Lord will allow a variety of circumstances to bring me running back to Him.

Here’s the part I’m hesitant to share ~ but I feel I’m among friends when I tell you that I want to be closer to the Lord but I’m a bit afraid to see what He will require of me next.  Because I know a bit of what that’s going to look like.

Let me back up a little bit, and go back to “take care” ~

To take:  to get into one’s hold or possession by voluntary action; to hold, grasp, or grip; to get into one’s hands, possession, control, etc.,by force or artifice; to seize or capture; to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered).

To carea state of mind in which one is troubled; worry, anxiety, or concern; a cause or object of worry, anxiety, concern, etc.; serious attention; solicitude; heed; caution; protection; charge; grief; suffering; sorrow.

So when we tell someone to “take care” ~ we are guiding them to pay serious attention to whatever it is they are holding onto; to proceed with caution in their actions; to be aware of protecting what it is that they have received or what they’ve been given. Even as I read through these definitions (, I may rethink using this phrasing as easily as I have been in the past years.  Do I take care with all that the Lord has given me?  My family, my friends, my home ~ it’s all His.  But the one thing that is at the top of the list when it comes to my life, as a born-again believer in Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit ~ am I truly taking care of René??

Tears are threatening to run down my cheeks and there’s a lump in my throat.  I don’t like to be in this place. However, it’s the best place to be ~ the place of a softened heart that can be molded to what God intends.  Do you ever feel like this?  That there is a physical change that happens literally, when you cry?  Like the chemical make-up of our tears can physically alter the muscle of our heart?  I think it does ~ our God is amazing and as part of His creation, that means I’m pretty amazing too!

About one year ago, I was at a women’s day conference at our church, and the whole time I felt God whispering eight little words with huge implications to me…”I am calling you to be set apart.”  Um, no thank you!  I don’t want to be set apart…I want to stay comfortable.  I like the way things are going!

I have not felt settled in my spirit since then ~ but I haven’t run off to Tarshish completely. (check out the story of Jonah – chapter 1 –  in the bible if I’ve lost you.)

So at the day retreat, during the sessions, I kept finding myself without a “seat saved” for me by anyone!  At first I was so sad…and that was the first time I heard God say, “I am calling you to be set apart.”  Well, I was doing a part of the introduction to the morning, so I was sitting up front with the other amazing women that I’m on Council with.  We all did our thing and went back to sit down…but I was the only one who went back to sitting in the front row…by…myself.  Then I heard it again, “I am calling you to be set apart.” Uh, yeah…I get it…I’m literally sitting in the front row BY MYSELF.  Well, the speaker was about 5 seats away from me, but once she got up to speak…oy vey!  And I hate sitting by myself!

Guess what?  I didn’t hate it that day.  

Guess what else?  That scared me!

After lunch, we went back to the main sanctuary for the last session and I ended up walking in just before things started…and no one save a seat for me.  And I heard the kind whisper of the Holy Spirit, “I am calling you to be set apart.”  So I went back up to the front row….to sit…by…myself.

Guess what?  I wasn’t by myself ~ I was surrounded by the greatness and glory of my Heavenly Father.  

I didn’t hate sitting by myself.  

I felt free.

I think maybe part of the reason that the Lord has put this particular story to come to mind today, is to remind me that He is still calling me.  I am called to be set apart.  It’s frightening but freeing all at the same time.  Today, I’m embracing anew the call I know that is on my life.  I don’t have to have all the answers, but I need to pay attention to God’s direction.  Where to walk and what direction to take!

Life is full of various experiences that God uses to grab our attention.  I’m going through a few, shall we say, interesting situations (yeah…that’s code for frustrating, sad, irritating, and ridiculous) and out of all of it, I know that God is STILL on the throne and that He is STILL in charge, and that I can STILL trust Him fully with my whole heart, mind, body, and soul!

I Peter 5:10-11 says, Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.  The dominion belongs to Him forever.  Amen.” 

YES!  There isn’t anything that I’ll go through that the Lord doesn’t already have control over!  This is a great source of joy for me!  It’s not that God allows difficult circumstances to come into my life, it’s that He will use those times for my good and His glory.  I may not always understand them, but that’s not the point.  The point is that I continue to run to Him and His Word, to bathe in the truth of His grace and love.

Colossians is a beautiful book of the New Testament full of so much encouragement and direction in how we need to be living our life as true followers of Jesus Christ.  I love chapter 3 the most I think ~ balm to my soul on many occasions.  Verses 1-4 say, “So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” 

To follow the road that God has called me to, the way that He has called me to allow Him to set me apart ~ it has a simple first step ~ to look up and set my mind and heart on the things of the Lord.  The next logical step to help accomplish that goal ~ be in His Word daily and have many times throughout the day that I’m in conversation with my Lord.  How else can I know what He wants from me and where He wants me to go?

Guess what?

God has called YOU too!

You have a unique purpose that only you can fulfill ~ that’s how God works.  He’s so creative to fill this world with people who have talents and gifts to do His will.  But we have to surrender our own comforts and desires ~ trusting that God’s best is better than we can ever imagine!

Galatians 1 verse 15

When you hear the whispering of the Holy Spirit, reminding you that you are called to be set apart, don’t run to Tarshish ~ run to Him and embrace the adventure!