Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Confession: I have control issues and I'm a fixer.

That confession will hold not one iota of surprise for anyone who knows me. I like things to go the way I think they should, and when they don't, I want to fix them so they do. If things aren't right in someone's life, I want to fix the problem, or maybe even the person.

Intellectually, I know I am not in control and it is not my job to fix all that is wrong in my world (or yours). I realize there is freedom in surrendering my control, laying down my fix-it tools, and being still.

Late last year, I was sitting in church and my mind was racing over a situation  I wanted to desperately fix (still do). I was flipping through the pages of my Bible and lighted upon Psalm 46:10:

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted upon the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

This was not an unfamiliar verse from the Psalms. I had a name written by this verse, the notation dated 2007. It was name of the person involved in the situation that I was currently fretting over. Nearly nine years ago, I had underlined and noted this verse for this individual. For nine years, I had periodically and temporarily laid down my control and was still. Yet I found myself in the same place again and again. I still find myself there.

Since that Sunday, "Be still" has been rolling around in my heart and my mind over various situations. I try to remind myself to be still when I find myself reverting to my default of controlling and fixing. Some days I am more successful than others. I may always want to control and fix, and being still may always need to be a daily mantra and endeavor.

I didn't make resolutions this year, but have decided to focus on being still. I'm going to make a concerted effort to control my control issues (oh, please see the humor there) by:

  • Reminding myself to be still, and wait and watch and pray. Autocorrect myself out of control-and-fix mode.
  • Listening longer and well. Chances are I don't know or understand the whole story and can glean insight by listening more. I may never have complete understanding and I need to work to be OK with that.
  • Judging less (or at least less quickly). My perceived solutions may not be applicable, wanted, or even remotely viable.
  • Encouraging more and acting when appropriate. Being still doesn't mean throwing my hands up and watching situations and people disintegrate. It means waiting, watching, and using the skills and tools I have at the right time and place.

I'm hoping that my focus on being still will spill over into other areas of my life. I hope to read more (even more!) and write more. I hope to spend less time filling in downtime by mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed. I hope to continue to spend more time with the people who matter and to cull through my to-do list and commitments and identify the priorities that truly matter.

Here's to a new chapter of being still.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to the Blog

Well, it's been an entire year since I've typed words into this little corner of the World Wide Web. I didn't intend to come back on the exact anniversary of when I stopped, but here I am. I started 2015 with the best of intentions but fell far short of the goal, which was unspecified beyond "write more regularly." The longer it went since I wrote, the less inclined I felt to jump back in, although there certainly has been plenty to write about. Writing it out - whether here or somewhere else - would possibly have helped quiet the seemingly incessant cacophony of thoughts and words in my mind. The clamor seems especially resounding during the wee hours of the morning when I wake without a worry, just a lot of mental noise.

I'm here now and I'll keep my intentions unspecified, but my hope is to write more. It may not be anything deep, but it doesn't need to be. To be a better writer I simply need to write. I've had this little book on my desk for months and may draw upon it from time to time. It takes me back to the timed creative writing competitions during the fine arts festivals in elementary school where the proctor would throw out a topic and ready, set, write!

Next up: I'll write about my word for the year, or at least for this season.