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Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
It seems as if I’ve been meditating on that verse a lot, lately.
My life has been insane.
In case you didn’t notice, or perhaps some of you already knew this. It is December, I’m sure your life has been hectic too. I don’t want to count how many “holiday” parties I’ve been to (can we please just call it a Christmas party, that’s really what we are celebrating), or the awesome sessions I’ve worked on this month that have kept my calendar so packed. I do so very much and feel so blessed. From life changes or new gadgets to figuring out how much time to dedicate to each of my loves – photography, graphic design and marketing while trying to be every one’s bff, I was getting a bit burned out there!
I had to take days off just to, be still. To quiet my soul. To tackle my never ending “to do” list on iGoogle (everything from checking my credit score to getting a new car insurance quote) to not Twitter, Facebook, or answer emails and texts. It’s no wonder my Droid 2 always dies by 6 pm. It’s attached to my hand! I even tried texting while getting my nails done only to have the girl behind the table tell me if I didn’t put my hand under the UV lights my Shellac polish wouldn’t dry. By the way, have you tried Shellac? Oh my gosh, that nail polish lasts for like three weeks with no chipping!
Sometimes I wish I could be content where I’m at. Satisfied that this, that I am enough. But I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not empty or chasing the things in this world. I’m just constantly striving to be better, to do more of what I love, and to be happier doing it. That also means letting go of the things I don’t like doing so much of, so I can make time for the things I love. … I think I already said that.
I had been so stressed out since early November that when I packed to go home for Thanksgiving, I almost forgot to pack pants for my week long trip. I threw them in there once I remembered driving home before heading to the airport. Then, it was at the airport when I realized I totally forgot to pack underwear! I just about died. The next day, just to tie me over before I demanded someone take me to Target, my mom found an old pair of my VS cotton undies. I had to roll them down to my hips. Why on Earth were undies back then that high waisted anyway? Along with my absent mindedness, this girl, me, who typically is done shopping for Christmas before Thanksgiving, was scrambling with gifts the week of Christmas, buying things online (Zappos.com, I owe you).
Being home in Granite Bay, Calif. was exactly what I needed. No internet, because my parents have dial-up, and my lack of patience will not tolerate that. And, no cable, because my dad swears he doesn’t watch enough TV to have it which is totally not truth. So, I did what anyone would do without high speed internet or cable. I slept a lot. If you live in another state or faraway city from your folks, you might be like me. You are excited to go home and see your family and then within the first hour or so of landing you’re questioning why you booked your trip home for so long and you remember why exactly you don’t live at home – other than your adult age.
But, then I remember all the blessings that I have been given. More time with my dad who is one of God’s miracles, surviving from lymphoma cancer. My parents and brother, alive, healthy and well. An awesome church to go home to with Lincoln Brewster as the worship leader. A 15 minute conversation with Pastor Ray Johnston which I needed – a talk that I swear came directly from God’s mouth, a message, just for me to encourage and uplift me.
Often, as a family, we sit in the car in silence when we are going places. There are only four of us, after all. At first, I thought it was weird when you think of four of your friends in a car. At least with my gfs, our conversations are much longer since we have to take turns talking and sharing opinions. With my family, we sit still. We’re quiet. We often gaze out the window and we think. Yesterday as my brother drove me to the airport at 5:30 am with my mom in the front seat (she just wanted to come because, well, she wanted to spend as much time with me as possible), I sat in the back and looked out the window. I looked at the rear view mirror on my mom’s side and watched her as she looked out the window. We were all quiet just listening to my brother’s iPod. I got a bit emotional. Being still typically does that to me.
Sometimes I like to stay busy in attempts to not stay still because I’m afraid of what I’ll start thinking about. I realized that I spend more vacation days and use more flights to see friends. I need to see my family more. I know that even if I moved home today, when my parents pass, and my brother has a family of his own, I will regret not spending enough time with my family. I will regret not phoning them, every day, and not going on trips with them. If there’s one thing that is certain, it is that our life is a vapor. The things we have collected -all that “stuff”- will be gone but the relationships we have made here that we hope to take into eternity, now that’s what counts.
Over Thanksgiving was when I thanked my mom and dad for all they have given me. The stable home life to grow up in, a model marriage, love, my education they paid for, opportunities they allowed me to have (did you know unpaid internships only exist in the journalism field?), and the countless times they bailed me out in so many ways (no, not jail).
So, recently, I have been reminded to not panic about where I think I should be, or the decisions I think I should be making, or the pressures every one, including myself, wants to put on me. God has an amazing plan for me, this I know because the Bible tells me, but so did Pastor Ray Johnston as a reminder. I’m reminding myself to be still, to know God is in control. And, to reflect in silence and enjoy and appreciate hearing the three different breathing patterns when I’m in the car.
Diana Elizabeth is making her new years resolutions now. She can’t wait to share them with you and maybe you can find inspiration in her list. She is also making sure she goes home much more often, she believes she should be going home more often than anywhere else in the world.