Be Still

Sometimes and most recently I have gone quiet and Still. So so so unlike me, but sooo how I desire to be more like on a consistent basis.  Most recently I have found myself sitting in the middle of  inconceivable firestorms as they are whipping around me.

Firestorm, is my word of the month. In my assessment it is when you sit in utter and complete dissalusion, lack of any control over the situation, sometimes the world is spinning, feeling hopeless, reeling, something that seems out of control, whipping around. Heat. When you are forced to reflect. Opportunity for advocacy.

one example:

I sat at a table of acquaintances recently, one of them while in mid conversation started to jokingly describe this random guy as …. “R-e-” …(he quickly raised his hands to his mouth, turned red in complete embarrassment and looked at me and apologized, ” I am so sorry Erin”.) He caught himself in mid-word in front of a group of people, the word was… Retarded.  Momentary Mamma Bear Firestorm. While everyone got uncomfortable and glanced at me,  I glanced down at my little baby boy, who I don’t see as Retarted. My first encounter with this word in relation to Grady. It felt odd, strange, and inconceivable. I was Thankful that someone was trying to omit the word in my presence but I left scratching my head that my baby is put in the same context as this word to others.  I’m not going to go on and on about the word, I don’t like it, we don’t use it in our house, I have used it in the past, I get it. I think everyone should think hard about the word, and make a personal, informed and prayerful decision on it. If you so feel the desire to use a descriptive word to describe someone try my 2 year old’s vocabulary, it will not only get you farther than using Retarded but probably won’t offend anyone (poopyhead, moosehead or dodo bird). Many people won’t think about it or stop themselves in  mid-word….

My reaction.

I was… Still.  Quickly praying silently in my mind. I’d like to think God is doing a Proverb 14:29 work on me (slow to anger). But this particular situational reaction doesn’t translate in all areas of my life…. But it did in this one small victory.  When I am Still, I am more likely to hear what God is trying to tell me and show me. Advocating comes in many forms, I think one way is just being Still. Not all situations call for a quick emotionally driven reaction, I think If  I would have reacted immediately it would have overshadowed the situation.  The word almost spoken (but heard at the same time) in the same room over my child evoked enough personal evaluation from all parties present.  The awkward fidgeting and silence that spread through the room like  fire looked like advocacy to me. Atleast I’d like to think.

Just so you know, I hold no hard feelings to the friend who sparked the fire for me. I’ll continue to love on them.

I am glad I am getting to know myself better in God in response to situations. Glad I’m not following my emotions as much or what everyone else thinks should happen. I’m praying that it work through me in many more situations to come.

I didn’t share this experience until now. Sharing is good.

Grady's first Train Ride, we went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC with the boys last week!! He loved the train!




4 thoughts on “Be Still

  1. Adrienne says:

    Oh, Erin, I know that was awkward and uncomfortable but I think you handled it perfectly. And I’m sure that person feels terrible for it but it was nice that you didn’t try to make them feel even more terrible. I have still not had this happen but I’m sure it will and I will try to do as you did;)

  2. aprilnarretto says:

    erin, I have been in that same situation too, thankfully not many times. I think not saying something many gives everyone time to think about what was said…that word is too accepted and most people dont realize how much it hurts. great post

  3. Elissa says:

    I worry about this every day. I run through what my response would be, yet I think silence is often enough. I hope that I handle a situation like this as you did, with quiet advocacy and grace.

  4. Melissa says:

    Being still has worked for me too. I have one friend who uses the word still. She knows it hurts and is working to eliminate it from her vocabulary, but it still sneaks out. When she apologizes she usually gets a sad smile and a nod. I never can find the words to say, so I usually just don’t…

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