When I envisioned the building blocks of Global Trellis, I knew that this space would lean into the tension of being and doing. That we would tend our souls and build our skills . . . thus Soul Tending Tuesdays and Skill Building Thursdays. Like the rhythm of breathing, we would inhale and exhale as we “be” and “do.”
This quote from from Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible helps me understand why doing is often easier than being. It is spoken by Orleanna after the death of her youngest, Ruth May.
“As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer’s long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn’t touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come float in around my face, catching my arms and throat till I began to drown. So I just didn’t stop.” (Emphasis mine.)
My mother tells the story of me rolling from one side of my crib to the other on my fifth day of life. To say that stillness comes naturally to me is to say that I enjoy holding my breath and seeing how well I do without oxygen.
Most of us are from cultures that value movement. And movement is not bad! To this day, I love moving and doing. But one experience rafting with friends illustrated to me why I need to practice stillness. Having completed the paperwork and gotten the gear ready for our rafting adventure, I went to the bathroom.
Standing in line, waiting my turn, a wave of grief snuck up. I grew up rafting with my family and my deceased dad loved rafting. I honestly wasn’t thinking about him or family memories, I was having fun with friends. But like Orelanna, it was only when I stopped that I could hear and notice something the Holy Spirit had for me.
If you are like me, stillness, silence, and solitude feel a bit ridiculous at first. And unnatural and eternal.
I can produce like a workhorse. If you need something done, I am your person. But withdraw and sit alone for five minutes? Agony. Be quiet without any background noise or multitasking? (Isn’t that why God made podcasts?) Boring. Stop moving without reading or scrolling through my phone? I start jonesing like the distraction addict I am.
Today, instead of merely talking about stillness and silence, let’s practice it for ten minutes. Starting the first Tuesday of every month, for “Soul Tending Tuesday” we will practice stillness and silence in community for ten minutes. Use this zoom link and use the phrase “bestill” when asked for a code to enter. We will start at 7:00 a.m. MST (time zone converter).
I read about practicing stillness and silence in the book The Sacred Enneagram and the way the author spoke about sitting in a room with others . . . the young parents bringing their kids, the adults nodding at each other as they entered, and the routines that built up around practicing silence in community was so inviting. I wanted that for myself and for you. So, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to “float around our faces,” ala Poisonwood story as we practice being still and silent individually together.
I’ll be honest, I’m concerned it will be awkward and harder than it “should” be—it is only ten minutes for heaven’s sake! But that is why we have Soul Tending Tuesdays. To create space for us to tend our souls in ways that allow God to speak.
Use this zoom link and use the phrase “bestill” when asked for a code to enter. See you there.
Marriages are not meant to be endured. They are to be enjoyed! In this month’s workshop Jonathan and Elizabeth share four practical tools that you can start using today to experience more connection and joy in your marriage abroad. Get the workshop today!