I think that it is important to mention, as we are just beginning this blogging adventure, that when we titled this blog, The Mama Birds: the best from our nest, we had no intention of sharing just the seemingly good, happy and perfect things from our nest. We all have messy parts in our individual nests. Nests are messy! Life is messy. It is in our messiness that the Lord can teach us. I have felt so strongly that He is trying to teach me lately. Over and over I am hearing one simple message from Him. Today I feel like I am supposed to share that message. The message is: Be Still.
I have not had much personal interaction with depression in my life until recently. I have been one of the lucky ones. But at this point it is very clear to me and the closest of my people that I am experiencing some pretty dark darkness. There are a lot of factors that are possibly affecting my emotional well being right now. It might be that I am a tired and kind of an old mother of tiny children. It might be that I just turned 40 and that my body is going all skiwampus. It might be our finances, our growing business, health issues, high expectations, big life changes, or a dozen other things. There could be lots of reasons, but I am coming to the conclusion that the biggest reason I am struggling right now is just because I am human. None of us are in the exact same situation right now, but as I watch, listen, and read status updates, I can tell that many of us are struggling. Really seriously struggling!
Today I want to simply share some thoughts that I cannot get out of my head. These are messages that I feel the Lord has given me, and there seems to be a common theme. It is a principle I believe He wants me to learn and then to live fully.
This first thought is from a book called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer.
What manifests in front of us at any given moment is actually something truly extraordinary – it is the end result of all the forces that have been interacting together for billions of years. We are not responsible for even the tiniest fraction of what is manifesting around us. Nonetheless, we walk around constantly trying to control and determine what will happen in our lives. No wonder there is so much tension, anxiety, and fear. Each of us actually believes that things should be the way we want them, instead of being the natural result of all the forces of creation…
Without realizing it, we do this with everything in our lives- it’s as though we actually believe that the world around us is supposed to manifest in accordance to our own likes and dislikes. If it doesn’t, surely something is very wrong. This is an extremely difficult way to live, and it is the reason we feel that we are always struggling with life…
There is so much evidence that life does quite well on its own. The planets stay in orbit, tiny seeds grow into giant trees, weather patterns have kept forests across the globe watered for millions of years, and a single fertilized cell grows into a beautiful baby. We are not doing any of these things as conscious acts of will; they are all being done by the incomprehensible perfection of life itself. All these amazing events, and countless more, are being carried out by forces of life that have been around for billions of years. If the natural unfolding of the process of life can create and take care of the entire universe, is it really reasonable for us to assume that nothing good will happen unless we force it to?
Here are other some scriptures and words from hymns that have also continually been on my mind.
Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
(Be Still My Soul, LDS Hymn Book pg 124)
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed. For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand. Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand (How Firm a Foundation, LDS Hymn Book pg 85).
Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not (Doctrine & Covenants 6:36).
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
This principle of stillness is one that the Lord is trying to teach me. I am practicing living this principle. It is going to take more practice. Sometimes I go for a day, but mostly it is small moments here and there, but I want to keep coming back to it. For some reason I resist. My resistance to the call to be still looks like me constantly trying to figure out my life, sprint to the finish, or obsessing over how I have created such a mess. The more I resist, the tougher life is. My minimal experience is that each time I surrender and trust that God has me and my family in His loving care, the fear and darkness disappear.
Today I will practice stillness.