DePiano Porch

Find Your Special Place and Relax

Phyllis Inspiration 38 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I am having a time this week working through uncertainty. Oh my goodness, I wish I could see everything clearly and know how things will turn out. I think of the time those precious kids spent waiting in the mine before they were rescued. I think of my two friends whose children were stuck in Haiti due to a strike over gas prices. And one of them was set to be married the very next week! Though both situations were resolved, as a mother, I could almost feel the anxiousness those parents must have experienced. 

Uncertainty is a tough cookie to wrestle with. Of course, the turns of life are unpredictable—no one can know what is coming tomorrow or this afternoon—but how sweet it is to remember that our faith is in a God who does know what tomorrow holds and whose love for us never wavers even the slightest bit.

However, even in the midst of such hope and truth, waiting is very hard, especially when it involves children.

From my time living at home, I clearly remember my mother’s Biblical reminder: “Be still and know that I am God.” Always emphasizing the “be still” part, I think she knew that stillness is 95 percent of the solution to anxiety. Be still and relax. I wish I could stop my thoughts and mind from making a never-ending to-do list or rehashing things over and over, but that’s human nature, isn’t it?

Be still. Part of pondering the beautiful moments in our lives is slowing to a halt and embracing the moment. I am learning to relax. It doesn’t come easy for me because of my nonstop nature. Even as a child, sleeping was a waste and naptime was nothing short of torture. Now, that one I have grown out of!

Be still and take in the moment. Be still and rest your mind. Be still . . .

A week ago, I made a commitment to sit down and do nothing but relax at the end of each day.

The first couple of days, everything in my house seemed to beckon me into action. The mat needed to be thrown in the laundry, the orchids needed their weekly watering, and good grief the peace lily had already wilted!

The third day, I decided that being outside was better. So, as I sat, God sent the most beautiful red birds to greet me. I watched them as they ended their day flying about without a care in the world. The bright red male birds showed off soaring while the drab females seemed to gather food. I often wonder why the females are drab . . . but that’s another blog.

So, my place is on my porch, where clouds slowly shape shift and the sunset takes its time. The leisurely pace of the evening sky creates a beautiful backdrop to my world and reminds me to set my own agenda to a similar speed.

Where is your place of relaxation? Where is your place of rest?

Comments 38

  1. I agree with your comments word for word.
    Mrs. Phyllis, this blog is your mission field though which God is using your faith to be a witness. It is such a blessing to read your faith inspiring words of encouragement, hope and love. You truly are an amazing woman and you put many of us to shame!

  2. Your beautiful post made me cry. How I wish I had your faith and that of those who commented earlier on it. In its place, I look to nature. Perhaps nature and God are one and the same. Thank you for reminding me simply to be.

  3. Oh Phyllis, thank you for your continuing inspiring words of wisdom and continually sharing your faith. By doing so, you bring us all together under the light of the world, who is God!

    I too have always had difficulty being still, as there is much to do. But in the last few weeks, I have been trying to take time to “be still and reflect, as well as pray. My husband and I are in the decision making process about several situations, so our minds often run rampant. Therefore, I just recently decided to be still more often and pray and reflect. This has been eye opening and a fruitful respite. Thank you for reminding us often of our prayer life!

  4. Hello Phyllis,

    I write this from MY place, my backyard swing with coffe on my side table, my dog at my feet and the birds visiting my various feeders. I have weathered many storms and counted many blessings from this spot. As they say, there are no coincidences. I’ve encountered that a few times with your posts, starting with the very first one! I’m in a personal place that requires me to be still and trust God, after I’ve done all that I can do. And my issue also involves motherhood. I take time to read inspiring encouraging quotes that help me to lean on faith and hope and not give in to fear. As one quote says, “fear cannot exist where faith resides.” Wishing you peace and comfort in your special place.

  5. My favorite coffee cup in the morning says “Be still. I am God”. My husband and I do our morning devotional together with me drinking from that cup. Literally and figuratively.

  6. Thks so much for the lovely words. They encouraged me. I am away from home taking a course and have been very anxious abt it and it is a reminder to know that God is in charge and he will be with us no matter what the circumstance. When I am home Inlove to read in my sunroom with a view of a ravine. Thks again

  7. I do not like to rush. I find relaxation in doing the Rosary daily with my sisters. We also watch the morning Mass on EWTN every day. It is a great way to have peace and calm times in my day. I do like to snuggle up with a good book or magazine, too.

  8. What an inspiring post. I always take time to just do nothing. I do some of the work needed in the house a little at a time. I relax with a book. I love to read. I like to study and look at the stars,planets and the moon with my sisters.

  9. Phyllis you aright about needing to settle down. I like to relax with a good book or magazine. I try to take time to do a few constructive things throughout the day.

  10. Today, I opened up Rachel Hauck’s (a favorite author) Instagram and there was a beautiful photograph of a calm…still…lake with Psalm 46:10…’Be still and know I am God’ on the photo. She had, also, typed: Just be. #be still #rest #peace. I am getting the message. Thank you, Lord, for the message and your messengers.

  11. What a lovely reminder to take time and enjoy the moment! Our world is filled with so much stimulation these days, and it is so easy to lose our peace and joy. We should always take a moment each day to just be.

  12. When your son, Brian, told me that you played the organ at your church on Sunday, I asked him,”When does your mother sleep?”. Glad to know you are taking time to relax. This conversation took place many years ago when I visited him in Alaska. He is a dear person, and I know you are so proud of him.

  13. Phyllis, thank you for your beautiful thoughts. Being still…I have a hard time turning off my mind racing with what needs to be done. I am reminded of Mary and Martha in scripture. Mary chose the most important, worshipping at the feet of Jesus while Martha was busy with what she thought needed to be accomplished. Mary chose the best!

  14. I have such a fight being still! My moments of peace are in the morning. I go in my room and Max the cat follows me. I look through one of my magazines at first (Victoria, Tea Time, or Southern Lady <3 ) and play with Max. Then I read my devotion from Prov 31 ministries, and then my Bible. I try to be still and I fight myself !! Many blessings to you –

  15. Beautifully written and speaks directly to the heart. God is working through you to share with others the word of God. Please continue in this endeavor for it offers balm for troubled souls. Bless you and yours.

  16. A little over a year ago I was going through thyroid imbalance that caused me to have anxiety. It was awful. I was going through life asking God when this would end. All medication to correct the imbalance did nothing to stop the anxiety. My husband and I had planned a vacation in Cabo and while there one night God spoke to me those very words in my sleep, ” Be still and know that I Am God” and not once but over and over until I woke up. I didn’t know how to do that with the awful anxiety and so I prayed and prayed and repeated over and over to myself Be still and know I am God. And it was soon after that that I received the very last medication available for treatment of thyroid that worked. Praise the Lord! He is faithful and He keeps His promises. He is still in the business of healing us if we have faith and wait for His timing. We have a very big God.

  17. I’d forgotten that I’d subscribed to your blog. The email reminder was so welcome this morning. I’d just finished reading my devotionals (from online ministries) and I was feeling very loved by God and promising to love my neighbors better, when I read your blog and the many wonderful comments of my sisters. Right now I’m just sitting here at my beautiful computer desk (which contains a lot of cubbies and I’ve surrounded myself with beloved books and objects and framed pictures) and I started thinking that this is my place to be still. I’m finishing my cup of Lipton tea, feeling very relaxed. I’m thinking that I’m really going to enjoy this blog and fellowship with my new friends. Thanks Phyllis and everybody!

  18. Phyllis, thank you for this lovely reminder. I love to sit in my little garden, early in the morning and marvel at all of God’s beauty. I think to myself how grateful I am for such a spot to enjoy the birds, bees, butterflies, and blooms. It is my place to Be.

  19. Lovely thoughts, Phyllis, and a wonderful reminder to us. Words and thoughts like these, lovingly expressed, gentle us all down as witnessed by the wonderful comments to the blog.
    Reading all of them created the reminder that my sisters in Christ are all around me!

  20. Phyllis, this is such a much needed post for me, it truly spoke to my heart today. I am so grateful that through the difficult things in our life, God has been so faithful and been with us every step of the way. It has taught me to let God be in charge of the things my mind tries to wrestle with. (Well, I am mostly able to do so!)

    But then there is that “be still” part. Like you, it’s not really my nature to do that. But I know that it is a good thing to relax and enjoy a time of relaxation, and it’s only when I am still that I can hear God’s voice. Marie, your last sentence in your comment is a keeper- beautiful!

  21. God has been showing me about the importance of ‘intimacy’…as Jesus prayed in His beautiful prayer in John 17 that we would be ‘one with the Father as He is one with the Father’….and as Paul talked about in Ephesians the 5th Chapter about the marital relationship between husband and wife…the two becoming one flesh…and how this is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church…the Church is referred to as the Bride of Christ and Jesus as the Bridegroom in the Bible. Intimacy…being one with our spouse and one with the Father as Jesus prayed…takes time…something hard to find in this world today…but so important. Out of intimacy between husband and wife, children are birthed into the world and the home is strong and loving. Out of being ‘one with the Father’…time spent in His presence…God will dwell in us…we can ‘know’ Him…and He will do His work through us as Jesus said He would in John 14:10 & 12. According to John 17, from this intimacy, the world will see that God sent Him to the world and that God loves the world as He loves Jesus. Our world today really needs to see & hear this message. May we all learn to ‘be still’ and ‘know’ Him. May we, also, give time to our spouses…honoring them, respecting them and showing our love to them. This unity…this oneness..both in the natural and in the spiritual…is powerful! That’s why the enemy tries to keep us busy, occupied, unaware of how we are ‘missing it’ with our earthly relationships as well as our heavenly relationship…and our world is suffering because of it. God is more than able to get us back on the ‘right track’ when we become still in His presence and listen and obey His will for our lives. Since He created us and knows us so well…even the number of hairs on our head and the number of steps we took today…Wow! He really pays attention…He knows exactly what is best for us. We can trust Him, PTL!
    Thank you, Phyllis, for encouraging us to ‘be still’ before God. I believe much ‘fruit’ will come from your encouragement. God bless you and yours!

  22. Phyllis and Ribbon Friends, Your sweet thoughts touched my soul tonight. Our life has become very complicated of late and being sill too often falls by the wayside. Thank you for reminding us all once again that if we are to truly hear Him, we must BE. A cup of fresh brewed tea and a bit of quiet ~ preferably outside (in non100+ weather) ~ help me find peace.

  23. Phyllis, Your words so often reflect the cares of your readers’ hearts and speak to each of us in a different way. Thank you!
    Many years ago someone shared a special way to concentrate on “Be still and know that I am God.” As you say the verse in your mind or aloud, drop off the last word:
    Be still and know that I am God.
    Be still and know that I am.
    Be still and know that.
    Be still and know.
    Be still and.
    Be still.
    My favorite way to relax is sitting in a chair with tea at hand, my daily readings and prayers at the ready, and looking out at the sky and trees, marveling at the work of His hands.

  24. Thank you, Phyllis. Your most thoughtful words always seem so timely for me.
    I will try to do exactly that tomorrow. It will be difficult but I will try to “be still”.

  25. Beautifully written, wisely expressed, Phyllis. Thank you. I love the song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” I thought of it as I read your post. A song of peace and hope.

  26. Thank you Phyllis for your boldness of continually sharing your faith. I can’t imagine this tumultuous life without God’s peace and knowing He knows the outcomes of the many things we face.
    My favorite place is our large deck in NC. It is our getaway retreat and if I have ever glimpsed what heaven could be like it is here. I would trade any great restaurant dinner to stay and sit outside in our wooden rocking chairs to watch the sun set over the mountains and yes to see the stunning male goldfinch and the muted female at our feeder. Best seat there is in which to pause and be thankful.

  27. Our sermon last Sunday was about waiting! And making it fulfilling and productive.

    As we clear out our old house and refine and refresh, keep and purge items, we are reflecting and trying to simplify not only our list of possessions but our lives as well. We have been retired but with family and health issues and a move, haven’t really “retired” yet! We are trying to do what you are doing, and have promised ourselves that we will sit down for tea every afternoon it is at all possible.

    I suppose many of us are now not only evaluating a new home and a new lifestyle, but a new outlook on life and a new focus on time we never could carve out before.

  28. Thank you dear Phyllis for the reminder of God’s wisdom..I too have had difficult and anxious days recently….I nursed my friend of seventy years as he died at home of leukemia,
    helped his wife and my best friend with all the final preparations and cried tears of joy when those children were rescued from the cave. Today my seventeen yr. old cat is shutting down and I must make important decisions by tomorrow. She has never been sick and vet cannot diagnose the problem without more painful procedures etc. When temperatures in the triple digits cools down I will retreat to my lovely patio where I can hear the babbling creek and listen for God’s voice answering my prayers. Faith will bring the calmness to our daily storms of uncertainy.

  29. Another wonderful blog to inspire! The female cardinal (and other birds) is drab because it is God’s way of protecting her-the mother of new birds. The bright red of the male is to distract enemies away from the female cardinal, and she is supposed to better blend in with nature/surroundings, in order to protect herself and new babies. Pretty clever, right? God knows what he is doing, for sure, even when giving colors to different birds!

  30. Great thoughts today in your post! My favorite place is to sit in my sunroom and stitch on my many pieces of needlework. While I am stitching I love to watch the birds and look at the lake! This brings me peace!

  31. So well said, Phyllis. To be still means to believe that we are worth relaxation and our world will continue without us for that short time. It’s a humbling thought, I think. To be refreshed and relaxed at the end of each day is a real gift we owe ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. Think I will sit on our screened porch and wait for the robins’ last call tonight. Blessings.

  32. I love sitting on my sofa with a cup of tea and looking at the display of seashells on my coffee table. I also have a candle lit in the middle of one box of seashells. This reminds me that God created everything and He loves me and takes care of me.

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