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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 10, 2015.

“Be still and know I am God.” We’ve likely heard that verse, but in our culture of to-do lists and commitments, family obligations, and chasing our dreams, it can be hard to know how and when to “be still.” Where do we start? What does it look like to “be still,” and what can God do in our lives when we choose to listen to His quiet whispers in this loud world that can make us feel like we have to do it all?

(in)courage exists as an online community committed to making safe spaces for women to connect over topics just like this one. Every Wednesday this month we’ll be sharing some of our stories about discovering the blessings of being still. We hope you’ll read along and then join us in a weekly Community Challenge geared toward discovering who God is calling us to love and some practical steps we can do together.


As I write this, our suitcases are packed. This time tomorrow, my husband and I will be 30,000 feet in the air, flying to a place where palm trees wave and white-sand beaches beckon.

My soul is so happy about this trip that it wants to hug me.

You see, for the past 18 months, the pace of my life has been a bit frenetic (but fun) because of a new season in my life. I wrote my first book and then, unexpectedly, God called me into a speaking ministry. Meanwhile, our family took two overseas missions trips, while staying busy with day-to-day duties on a farm in Iowa.

For sure, vacationing in a sunny paradise will offer a welcome respite. I would guess that I will have several opportunities to “be still and know that He is God” under a palm tree or umbrella. I would be willing to bet, in that moment, that the fragrance of Christ will smell something like coconut-scented sunscreen.

Don’t hate me.

I look forward to each precious moment of stillness that I’ll find in the coming days. I know I will feel God’s presence in that place where the ocean kisses the shore. But I’d be a fool to think that a woman has to travel hundreds of miles to find stillness in her soul.

The truth is, God didn’t say, “Be still and go” on vacation. He said, “Be still and know.”

Truth is, vacations like the one I’m taking are few and far between for most of us. Most of our days are spent in a loud world where we have job deadlines, committee assignments, laundry piles, and Lego cities that are experiencing urban sprawl in our living rooms. Someone’s got to take the garbage out, and someone’s got to make dinner. I’m guessing that a lot of the time? That person is you.

Our beleaguered souls crave stillness, but we aren’t always sure how to find chill-time with Jesus. Sometimes, we really do need a vacation. But a vacation isn’t the real secret to stillness. (You know that for sure when you see those poor, stressed-out parents at Disney World. Amen?)

We could travel the world in search of stillness, but if we don’t have the courage to look within, we will never find what we’re looking for.

Stillness isn’t an escape. It’s an entrance, to your innermost self, right where you are today.

Sometimes, it means you’ll drop down in that Lego city, put your head on the floor, and listen hard for the whisper of God. Or maybe you’ll stretch out on the cool grass of your yard, under a canopy of stars, while marveling at what He made.

But inner stillness also can happen in the busyness of your day, too. That’s how it went down for Brother Lawrence in the 1600s when he was washing pots and pans at the monastery. In the clatter of the kitchen, Brother Lawrence said he possessed this: “God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Stillness isn’t the absence of movement. It’s the presence of God.

Stillness is the inner peace you experience when you brush up against the Kingdom of God, being built within you right now. It’s what happens when you remember that you are a child of light. It happens when you remember that you are a treasure, apart from the nonsense your inner critic tells you. Stillness is what happens when you let go of self-criticism and live unabashedly beloved. It happens when we take more time to count graces than catalog grudges. And it happens even in this crazy, chaotic world. Because true stillness happens apart from our circumstances.

Yeah, your search for stillness might find you on some dream vacation somewhere, where you can set yourself under the shade of some palm tree. But you could find it right now, right where you are, when you see that you’re standing in the shade of something greater — of Someone greater.

Look up to see it all now — the arms of your Father, stretching like branches over you, like the shade of a palm tree.

“I delight to sit in His shade.” ~ {Song of Solomon 2:3}

Community Challenge: Today, let’s ask God to develop a stillness within us, despite the busyness around us. Like Brother Lawrence, let’s practice the presence of God when carrying out the ordinary tasks of our day.

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