05/05/2020 Be Still. Know God is God. – by Shannon Anderson

A few weeks ago, I wrote my first blog. I’ve never been much of a writer, but had this moment of trying to look past the doom and gloom and see the hope on the other side of this pandemic. It got me thinking of my favorite phrase, “Choose joy”.
 
The first time I heard that phrase, I was working for a mission trip company and apparently was a little crabby. Ha! I was the Site Director in charge of three staff. One morning, my program staff person, Joel, looked directly at me and said, “Shannon. Choose joy.” Who knew those three words said to me 14 years ago would still affect my daily life?
 
Since then, I’ve tried daily to begin each day with the conscious decision to find moments of joy in the day. Oh, it’s not always easy! Sometimes, I’m tired. Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed with the day’s plans. Sometimes, I am sad. Sometimes, I just don’t want to. Sometimes I am just too busy to pause and think through any moments of joy.
 
Lately, because of the isolation I sometimes feel with our stay at home orders, it is REALLY a conscious decision! Oh sure, there are good days – but there are also days where I just miss people. Mostly, my family. We usually have a big Easter with my mom’s whole extended family. There are my siblings and their families, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins and their families. It is such a time of pure joy. Kids are smiling. Adults are catching up and sharing what’s been going on in their lives since Christmas. It’s loud. It’s crazy. It’s happiness. It’s JOY! I really, REALLY missed that this year! And knowing around the corner is Mother’s Day, while that isn’t as big of a celebration with extended family, my immediate family (with in-laws) of 21 people being unable to gather, has made me a little melancholy.
 
I was sort of dwelling on this thought this morning – “First Easter and now Mother’s Day. I am SO OVER this pandemic thing.”
 
Then, this still small voice reminded me to “Be Still. Know that God is God.” (Based on Psalm 46: 10.) Seriously. Be still? How can I when I am overwhelmed with a day of gloom? Where is the JOY in today? While I didn’t stop to be still and just pray, I began to look around me.
 
“Wait – is that the sun and bright blue sky I see out my window?”
“Oh, here are the flowers and candy from the May Day basket that my sister, nieces and nephew delivered.”
“And the special May Day craft project from my best friend and her family. I should put that where I can see it to make me smile.”
“Oh, and here’s the beautiful bouquet of flowers from another dear friend.”
“And the fun mail I have been getting from family and friends.”
 
I was just starting to notice the things around me that make me smile. Just as I realized that instead of thinking of how overwhelming it is at this time, I started to see the JOY around me.
 
When I sat down to begin writing this – my phone rang. It’s not too often that I get phone calls – texts, yes, but not phone calls. It was my 10 year old niece, video calling me “just because”. I told her that I was having a day where I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed and was finding JOY around me and that her calling added to my JOY for today. Through people God has put in my life – I was “seeing Him”. There were many moments of God Sightings – I just had to look.
 
I want to encourage you to find your moments of joy – especially now. Take a moment, look around, be still, know that God is GOD and He has incredible plans for you and thank Him for His gifts of JOY in your life.
 
Shannon Anderson
Children, Youth and Family Minister

One Response to “05/05/2020 Be Still. Know God is God. – by Shannon Anderson”

  1. joanPeterson says:

    Thank you. It is hard some days to do more than just plug along. I’m staying with family and have a lovely situation. But it’s not home, hard to keep at my projects, hard to stay motivated with the projects I’ve brought along. Your message is just what I needed. There is so much around me to enjoy, grand kids, the gardens to rake and enjoy, the quilt I’m working on, and the bags of books a friend gave me to read. So gave myself a little talking to, will have a little discussion with God tonight and tomorrow will look different. Be Still and know that I am God.

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