Two Words

29 Aug

These two words have the potential to be world-changing for that Nolen fam.

Today at my Community Bible Study class (which is awesome and you should check out in your area, by the way), a lady mentioned the 1932 book God Calling. “Two Listeners” are the authors, and they decided to sit quietly and listen for God to speak to them, then the women faithfully wrote what they felt God was telling them.

What? Yup. They wrote a year’s worth of short devotions, and you can see them here.

Just yesterday at the close of my quiet time, which was more of a written monologue in my journal, I wrote, “I want to hear from You.” So then, the concept of just sitting quietly, pen in hand, ready to write wisdom from heaven appealed to me. I was curious. Would this work for me? I tried it this afternoon after I put Kid #4 down for her nap.

Wanna know what I heard?

A moment after I silently prayed, “Lord, I want to hear from You,” the words be calm popped into my head.

Hm. Looks like God was talking to the British government in 1939, too.

I admit I was a little shocked. “Be calm?” Really? No great theological truth? So I started thinking about it. I’d had a busy morning that didn’t go quite as I’d planned, I’d gotten an e-mail from Kid #1′s teacher that wasn’t good news, and my to-do list for the next 24 hours was growing almost by the minute. I realized I was starting to feel stressed out. No…not stressed – more like agitated. Unsettled. Slightly upset. A little worried about stuff. Just about that time, the school nurse called because Kid #3 was sick and needed to come home. Oh, joy.

After I fetched Sickie from school and got her settled in her room, I grabbed my external brain (a.k.a. my smartphone) and went to sit with Kid #4 as she was trying to wind down to take a nap. I just converted her crib into a toddler bed and she’s still having “I-don’t-have-to-stay-in-bed” issues, so sometimes she needs some fussing at encouragement to stay put. While I was trying to simultaneously ignore her antics and keep her in bed, I decided to look up the antonym of calm. I know what calm is, but I wanted to know what calm isn’t.

Guess what it’s not? Agitated.

Be calm.

Yeah. It resonated. I realized that it’s a decision I have to make. It’s the choice to let go of the stress related to my life at that moment and focus on the tasks at hand. So I decided to be calm.

Yes, I was still thinking about all of the things that had transpired and those things that still needed to be handled, but I decided that all of those things didn’t get to set my mood. I’m not going to lie to you – it was tough, especially when Kid #3 (Sickie) all of a sudden felt better and started giving me some serious bad attitude. Or after I confronted Kid #1 with the teacher’s e-mail and meted out the consequences…keeping calm then was an exercise.

So those were my two words. It’ll be interesting to see what God says next. Stay tuned. This might be a fun ride for all of us.

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4 Responses to “Two Words”

  1. iampotassium August 29, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    This is so inspiring to me! I love the idea of sitting calmly and telling God “I want to hear from You…” I think I need that in my life: both the quiet, calm time and the talking to God time. And His response to you is so powerful… Good luck! I can’t wait to hear more about it…

  2. Christine August 29, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    This reminds me of the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” Some translations read “cease striving” instead of “be still.” Love your posts–keep ‘em coming!

    • That Nolen Chick August 29, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      I keep hearing the refrain, “be still and know/that I am God”…over and over and over. No that it’s a bad thing to be reminded of.

  3. Christine August 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Calm is so very difficult for me. Always has been. Shoot, my nickname in high school was Spaz. When I see someone who is calm by nature, I am in awe. As soon as I get some quiet around here, I’m going to try and quietly listen. It’s such a simple, obvious idea, yet we have to be reminded to do it. Thanks for the reminder.

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