Cease from striving


Only six days into the new year and already the Lord is honoring my humble cry for Revolution.  No, walls are not rattling and rocks are not rumbling and men are not marching, but there's an uprising in my heart, because I asked The Lord to Resolve to do a new thing.


See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19


At the turn of the year I refused to focus on external goals, but committed instead to surrender the wasteland places of my heart to the only One able to bring them to life again; to change and transform me from what I have been to what He has purposed.  And I feel this new thing springing up, I do!  How do I know?  Simple.  There is peace.  My heart is less constrained within my breast and my palms are lying face up.  Vulnerable, resting, upturned, and expectant.


There is no striving here.


It sounds like a simpleton's barometer to calculate the Holy Spirit's presence, but try it for yourself.  Open your hands.  Not necessarily in Praise, though that may come, but simply turn your palms up there in your humble lap, upon your worn jeans or faded yoga pants.  See how your heart ceases to push itself and slows instead to the rhythms of rest.


When I turn my hands this way it's as though I'm giving it all up, expecting better in return.  And my breathing slows.  And my striving stills.  Fingers gently curl around nothing and everything at once, and my eyes prick with tears. It's a Holy thing this vulnerable, upturned, empty-handed life.


There is trusting here.


I'm learning in the midst of this revolutionary nearness that Striving and Trusting cannot coexist.  They are light and dark.  They are polar extremes.  But so often, here in our Christianity, we think that one leads to the other. We think that striving leads to more faith, and that striving will bring us rest.  We think that striving will allow us to love God better, and that striving will allow us to love others better with His love.


But it doesn't.


Striving and Trusting will never coexist.


We strive to decorate His Name with our pens and with our invites, with our crafts and with our menus, with our volunteering, and with our eloquence... but we can only glorify His Name if we are dwelling, resting, abiding... in His Love.


Abide in my love. John 15:9


Here in the hollow of my upturned hands, where my life line and love lines cross, I find myself abiding.  It was not my New Year's Resolution, it was simply all that remained when I gave the year completely to Him.  These next 365 days are cradled in the hollow of His hand, and so am I.


Cease from striving.


And the miracle of all New Year's miracles, is that many of the resolutions I have made in years past are finding their way into my life.  I'm not striving for them anymore, but surprisingly there they are!  The laughter, the calm, the joy...


Striving must have made me mad.


I don't know how else to say it.  Striving must have absolutely worn me down and worn me out.  "I resolve to love better and be more patient..." and the striving for the peace left me wearier than before.  "I will laugh more and play with my children..." but the striving kept me busy so I never sat down.  "This year I will be in God's Word each day and memorize this and lead a small group there and bring a breakfast dish to our playdate each week..."  And suddenly all the fun and laughter has been crowded out with the striving and the going.


You need only to be still.


Our new year began with it's bells and sparkle, and snow falling just up the mountain from our home.  My husband said, "let's go," and because I was not consumed by my goals I said a simple yes, and began the crazy race to find snow clothes for three boys and a man and a woman.  And we went up the mountain.



be still


What more could a woman want but room to live lives free from striving, that we might simply enjoy knowing that He is God together.    With upturned hands and resting hearts.




Cease and Know

Abide and Grow

Slow and Low

for I Am God

Peace be still

resting 'till

you know my will

for I Am God

Stop and rest

against my breast

My Peace is best


Abide in Love

Here in my Love

You are my Love

Peace, be still.