I hear my husband open and then close the front door. I lay quietly waiting to see if I get two or twenty more minutes alone in bed before the kids wake up. A sleepy eyed child enters 30 seconds later and climbs in with me. Ugh, here we go again. I pull them into me, squeeze them tight, breath in their semi-sweet morning hair, add ‘bathe the children’ to my list. We stumble downstairs, I go to make coffee and pour cups of ‘appa juice’ for three little ones as I hear the baby cry for his morning nursing. I climb back up the stairs to snatch him from his crib as I hear the TV switch on and little giggles. After nursing I pour the coffee and toss some breakfast together for the kids. I glance at the clock and quickly hustle to get everyone dressed, shoes on and out the door for the third child’s therapy appointment. I pull my sneakers on and after buckling 2 car seats and 2 booster seats we pull out. I turn the DVD system on for them to watch a cartoon; I return a phone call and try to remember everything I need to do that day. I realize I am wearing the same sweatpants and sweatshirt I had worn the previous day and slept in.
I chase a baby around the waiting room. I get them all back into the van. I do dishes, I make lunch, I do laundry, I try to quiet everyone for an afternoon of naps and rest – but I am still going a million miles an hour, I answer another phone call….and another comes in…and someone won’t lay down, and someone is up already, and the dryer dings….and the phone rings…and it’s time to make dinner, and that laundry that was done hours ago, and I’m doing more dishes and oh it’s bath day….and I tuck the last one into bed…and I climb into bed in the same sweatpants and sweatshirt……….and my mind is racing and what happened? Where did today go? Did I speak to my husband? Did I fold that laundry? Did I listen to my children when they talked to me? What were they wearing if they would have been stolen would I have known…
This was my life 10 years ago. And then one day, it stopped. I stopped. I was done. Or I had become undone I should say. I was living like my life and everyone else’s as an emergency. I needed quiet. I needed silence, I needed peace. I stopped…answering the phone as soon as it rang…I stopped staying in bed until the kids woke up…I stopped not showering…I entered into a quiet place with the Lord. I sought Him. I sat alone in the still. I listened to my thoughts and wrote them down. I prayed continuously throughout the day, little breath prayers. I turned off the TV and on worship music. I sat with my kids and watched them play. I asked hard questions of myself and I worked to find answers, which were only revealed to me through His word.
My days had been filled with phone calls of gossip, my mind filled with what I thought everyone else was thinking of me and my kids….what I thought they thought I was supposed to be doing. I was overwhelmed that I had no village, and yet I wouldn’t ask for help. I had this…but this was slipping away faster than dry sand through a pasta colander. And then… Psalm 131:1 My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. I had to humbly come before Him and ask for help. Help with surrendering this mess I had made. I had to do the work of sitting in the still and quiet. I didn’t like what I was hearing, because it was me that needed fixing. I was me that needed to stop and be still and humble myself to hearing that I needed to stop – stop racing, stop concerning myself with things that were out of my control – stop being proud and ask for help.
All these 10 years later and I crave my quiet, still time with the Lord. I crave a quiet peaceful home. I crave uncomplicated intimate relationships. I crave a simplistic as can be schedule for our family…I tell our children ‘no’ to activities because it won’t be a good fit for our family and I help them navigate something else. I don’t answer the phone when it rings all the time. I turn down opportunities to serve if I won’t be able to do it with joy and excellence because it’s a crammed in extra. And this is all hard, and it’s been a journey of 10 long years, and it’s been worth every opportunity that I have sought to listen to the crazy in my head. And in the midst of people not liking that I don’t answer their calls in the manner in which they would like, to those who tell me I am not doing the right sports program for my kid, for those that tell me I am too Christian, I can say to my Lord, But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2
As I look around this world of rushed, of chaotic schedules, of keeping up with the rest of the herd…I look around this land, this community and wonder why? And I wonder what? What are we chasing? I see this even more so during certain seasons, most especially the holidays. The perfect dinner table, the perfect meal, the perfect invitation, the perfect tree, the perfect gift…when we have already been given the most perfect gift. What if we all just said no to this…no to caring what someone else thinks, no to what we think we are supposed to do just because it’s what is supposed to come next, no to saying yes all the time…what if we all just cried out and surrendered and said, “I am done, and I am quieting myself…I am content…I am not going to concern myself with things that are greater than I…I am not proud.” And while I would love to say after 10 years of working on being still and quiet and content that it comes easily, I would be lying. It takes constant intentional effort to toss aside the ways of the now world and sit quietly before my Father. Go to Him first and not pick up the phone to tell a friend. I have found that when I am intentional and I do these things, the blessing of the peace that fills me is greater than I could ever describe.
Meet Jaime Bassett is the founder of FizlDizl, LLC along with her husband, Bill Fizl. They have been married for 18 years with four children. Although she got her associates degree in Specialized Technologies in Interior Design, Jamie has spent most of her time at home raising her children. As a couple, they share their heart, passion and insights in parenting, marriage, and Jesus.
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