You are entering the first week of Advent. Already your breath is uneven and scattered as your to-do list for the holidays looms large. Your heart is racing and you cannot even imagine making it through four more weeks at the pace you are going.
As you draw in your next shaky breath, you know that survival will not happen without change. The holiday deadline is still circled boldly on your calendar, but this year you desire something more than just making it to the finish line. A fleeting thought that sounds like sacred stillness fills your mind.
You reach for hope and the idea that someone once shared with you that involves quieting your mind. You wonder if hope is attainable and in your wondering, your breathing slows down just a notch.
Hope is Possible
Let me assure you, friend, that there is such a thing as hope. You see a little over four years ago, I began my own journey to find hope and in the process found stillness. My own Advent celebrations looked like a short pause each Sunday of Advent by lighting a candle and saying a prayer. I began to question this practice and decided diving deeper was the way to go. I began extending the practice of preparation and waiting into the weeks between each of those Sundays. Monday through Friday never looked so good. I looked forward to the time in-between because in the sacred pause I found God.
I not only found hope during the season of Advent but found that in the waiting and preparing, God was never far away. When I struggled to make sense of how busy coincided with stillness, God was waiting there in the middle. When I pushed against slowing down, God gave me reasons to listen and hear His voice in the chaos. And when I let quiet fill even five minutes of my day, I found Hope and His name is Jesus.
Verse of the Week
Let’s begin Week One by putting aside our agendas for at least five minutes each day. Breathe in some deep cleansing breaths and blow them out slowly. Read through the verse of the week daily with intentionality and hope knowing that God will speak to you in the process.
Deep breathing and intentionally focusing on the quiet frees up space for you to hear and listen. The beauty is how God is in the inhale and exhale. There is no agenda during this time. Let it be what it needs to be.
Give yourself grace when your mind wanders and starts again. There is not only a verse to pray, but I have included a poem, a prayer, and resources.
I am praying for you as you slow down and accept the invitation for stillness. May you feel a sense of renewed hope and the underlying peace of God. Please email me with any questions or prayer requests.
In the Stillness
At first light, my eyes flutter open
I fight against dawn’s rays and roll over
The sun’s milky beam finds its way between the blinds
And I curl up closer and cocoon myself under the blankets.
First light, new day, a quiet awakening
In the stillness, I lay neither ready or prepared for what’s to come that day.
I’m a creature of habit and each new beginning requires a gentle start and time to prepare
I believe a slow transition into the new day is always better
I hold tight to the tradition of allowing myself to ease into whatever the day holds – busyness will come soon enough.
My thoughts begin to form in the stillness
The quiet fills my heart with God’s peace
I embrace the peace and permit the memories of yesterday to connect with all that will happen today.
In the stillness, I find God, hold His truth, and open myself to reaching for the day.
Click HERE for the In the Stillness printable.
For more guidance
1. Breathe in for five counts, breathe out for six.
2. Center your mind with a “Breath Prayer” such as “Lord, have mercy” when you inhale and “Christ, have mercy” when you exhale.
3. Read the verse of the day or the poem and invite God to be with you.
4. Listen and know God is with you.
5. Journal anything you learn during this time if this is something you like to do.
6. Thank God for His presence in the sacred stillness.Today begins the first week of Advent. Join me for Week One – Sacred Stillness over on the blog. #ASacredPause #Adventseries #weekone Click To Tweet
I am grateful that in my busy schedule you still desire to show up, every minute of every day. My striving overwhelms me even on my good days but you reassure me that your expectations are not found in to-do lists. You created me to love and that is enough. As this season of Advent begins and the holidays loom large, show me the way to sacred stillness. Lead me in a daily time of quiet that reveals peace and hope. When I struggle and my breathing becomes ragged with unrest, point me to your Word and the peace that is beyond my understanding. I thank you, God, for your patience and desire to show me that in you there is so much more. I love and praise you, Lord. Amen.
Many blessings as you seek sacred stillness.
***Tis the season for sharing, giving, and receiving. If you know of some other friends who would enjoy this series, please share and invite them to join us. 🙂
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