Calm

I’m drawn to calm people. Not vacant, like the light is on but nobody’s home. Not arrogant, as if they’re holding tight to the reins of control. I’m drawn, instead, to those who exude “settledness,” a centeredness. Their insides aren’t churning. Their tongues aren’t wagging. They aren’t fretting, stewing, or clamoring. They are functioning in their gifts and aren’t threatened by yours. They are anchored in Christ, and the sea within them is still. I find that kind of steadiness compelling.

Calm isn’t innately who I am. My insides have always been skittish, which I’m sure is why I’m drawn to soft music, gentle rain and quiet spaces. I need the soothing influence they offer.

Some time ago, a friend who hadn’t seen me for a couple of years commented that I was much quieter on my insides than she had known me to be in the past. “That’s the only way I know how to say what I’m feeling and experiencing, Patsy”, she said sweetly after a lengthy visit.

I remember being so heartened by her assessment because I felt God was confirming the work He was doing in me. Like sparks from a flint when they catch soft kindling, the flame of Christ’s prescence and the work of His Spirit were being seen in my life. I was thrilled.

Do others see a calm spirit in you?

  • Anita

    This sounds so much like me!

  • Robin

    Unfortunately, they probably do not. It’s a constant struggle for me to be at peace about anything. I hope I’m not tiring friends out or pushing them away.

    • Barbara O

      That is how I feel too. As if I don’t worry enough, I worry that I am tiring out my friends too! I would say, for me thst is a sure sign that I am not feeling calm about things and trusting God to take or have control. Thank you for reminding me to change that.

  • This is a really exceptional, relevant post Patsy. I love it. It’s something that I’ve had to work on a lot lately and a great question to ask myself often. I want to have that calm spirit and to be known for it. I recently went on our first, wonderful family vacation to Naples, FL and found that the Holy Spirit was really working on this in my life and He lit a fire in me that has slowly thawed my innermost being. It feels so wonderful to have that warmth in me again and to be able to share it with others. Sometimes we grow so cold and rigid, and lose sight of the beauty of His work in our lives. We need to renew that calm spirit by drawing near to Him.

    Thanks for sharing these lovely words.

  • LOVE this, Patsy. Calm and contentment are two things I crave, and try to cultivate (usually not very successfully). Love this verse in The Message version: “He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul…” Psalm 62:2

  • Peggy

    This blog made me cry. I feel the same way. I am, by nature, a sanguine personality. I have a situation in my life (two rambunctious, special needs boys) that keeps me up in arms too much of the time. i too am drawn to calm people and calm situations. I have a dear friend who welcomes me to her cottage by the water and almost every time i get there, i go down to the water and cry. The beauty, peacefulness, and calmness have a profound effect on me that i am so in need of. My son gave me a beautiful table top water fountain for my birthday which i keep next to my bed. There is more of a calmness, i hope on the inside of me than there has ever been, but i desire more! God continues to do this work in me also. Thanks for sharing. (sorry, didnt meant to ramble on!)

  • Pastor Clara Dvorak

    Pasty, I have lost my warmth. My life is up for grabs right now. You know how all the plans we make might not be God’s plans well that is where I am standing and don’t know what to do. I have finally said to God I really don’t care you and my husband take care of all of this. I wasn’t really in agreement with him retiring this year but he said he needed to so what could I say. He is a pastor so we have to move out of the parsonage and I thought we had a place to move to because I have a small church but that place now will not be ready for 6 months. It seems like God might have provided us with a house but my husband doesn’t even want to live in this state and wants to move out of state and away from my family. This is a second marriage my first husband died. And I will have to leave my little church which I only work 1/4 time but it is my baby. But I can let go. We have to move June 20th so the new pastor can move in. My husband is looking all over the place. I have looked at so many apartments I can’t stand to look at another one. I really just want to be where God wants me but I think my husband just wants to move and may not be listening to God. Help my stomach is in knots. I can’t move my head and my back is giving me so much trouble. I also have Fibromyalgia, stress is not helping. I just need someone to pray for me and for my husband to make the right decision. I am tired and I need God’s calming peace in my life. Thank you Pasty and friends.

    • Peg Whitaker

      Oh, my dear Clara – as I have been praying for you in the last few minutes, I’ve sensed clearly that God wants you to come to Him and be still in His arms for awhile. There, pillowed upon His breast like an infant in a Parent’s arms, you can find love, concern, freedom from anxiety, fear and doubt. There you will find the peace to listen to what God is telling you every day.

      Retirement and leave-taking are major chronic stressors along with the death of a loved one. I know this because my situation may be the poster child for husbands retiring and very tired and sick wives having their lives turned upside down. Many of the worries and many of the emotional and physical pains you talk about are those I have. Honey, you are exhausted and on an absolute treadmill. Try snuggling into your Father for an extended period of time each day just listening before telling. (I like to tell first – and it doesn’t work that way.) Take your rest being with the Lord and knowing in your heart that He is with His child in every trial.

      This time of your life is a struggle and so very hard. I am standing with you as you wait for God to change hearts, confirm hearts or turn hearts in His direction. Sweetheart, stop striving so hard. Jesus is so very near. The Godhead is active all the time, even though we don’t see it or feel it. Cuddle up, Little Sister, and be still for awhile. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in your life.

      Blessings to you as you wait for Him.

  • Dear Clara…I am sorry your journey is so difficult during this season. I can’t imagine what God is up to…but you know from your history with him that it’s good. But I’ve found getting to good sure can feel circuitous. I will be praying for open doors and open hearts. God bless you.

  • That’s a great question, Patsy. I’ve had a lot of people tell me I have the gift of gab. But, nobody has ever mentioned me being calm or chaotic. I’ll have to ask and see what people say.

  • Becky

    Calm….what’s that! I may from time to time experience it in myself. I see it in my DH. ( <3 love that man). I have to force my calm….mostly it comes when I am asleep.
    When I have it in times of stress or a chaotic event, I know it is not coming from me….I know that it can only be the Holy Spirit giving me the ability to experience the truth.

  • Linda Freeman

    Dear Patsy
    I often use the phrase “Calm is Good ” when I feel the world trying to overwhelm me and that dreaded Anxiety starts to kick up within I have learned that a few Deep Breaths and speaking my phrase out loud helps me to reset my thought and bring me into a place where I can focus on Calm things….. God often speaks to my heart at these times saying “Be still and KNOW that I am YOUR GOD !!!! “Calm is Good ” But Jesus he is AWESOME !!!!!

  • Patsy, As the first male to comment 🙂 I want to say this post is beautiful! It has layers of meaning that wash over me.

    Thanks!

    Randy

  • Pastor Clara Dvorak

    Thanks Peggy and Pasty for prayers. You know in my case I know what I need to do, and if I were counseling someone Peggy I would give them the advice you gave me. But when you are living through the pain of so many things happening in your life at the same time it is so hard to follow that advice. I know with Jesus I would not make it. Last night as I was praying I did ask Jesus just to let me rest in his arms because if I am not calm I cannot hear what he has to say to me. I know that the Lord has something wonderful for me in his plans and that to grow in the Lord we will all go through tough times. I want to go through this time in my life blessing and honoring God. I just right now need some extra prayer to help and I thank you so much for your words of wisdom. You women are such a blessing to me. Clara

  • Boy, do we have that in common, Patsy! When my family can’t find me, they know to look in that quiet little spot on the back patio next to the fountain and goldfish pond. It’s where the rest of the world stops and lets me think, drink my coffee and listen for His voice 🙂

  • Peg Whitaker

    Dear Clara, I’m often amused at myself that I am able to council myself as a long time Bible teacher and speaker. But overwhelming is overwhelming, and the things we know to do, we are usually already doing! You sound as if you are covering all the bases with the Lord in the storm, but the storm keeps raging. What we often need is a fresh perspective from the Lord. Yes, the way of the world is that we often have too many things on our plates, and our good God forces us to depend upon Him to handle them. I am trying to stay afloat in such a place now for many, many years. Aside from almost all the family in my life seeming to have variations of the same brain disorder, my very elderly mother is becoming more feeble. Then just yesterday after many doctors and tests and chronic pain, I was told that I must have a double spinal surgery taking about 6-7 hours. Recovery is up to a year. The very difficult thing about that is that I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, making me deathly allergic to drugs of all kinds and anesthetics. I don’t even know if I’ll make it off the table when they put me to sleep. My thoughts are running all the time to “who will take care of him, her if I don’t make it?”, very likely in human terms, and “who will care for my mother and her end of life needs?” Knowing we are expendable is one thing, but having a whole immediate family who thinks backwards, forgets most times, is distracted or impulsive to care for others is a tough prospect. Please pray for me to give all the “What ifs” to the Lord as I am staid in Him. He knows the first from the last, and will help me with the rough decisions I must make. He is the peace and calm I seek. I receive a portion every time I come to Him, but tend to receive a double portion if He comes back into the world of problems with me. Either way, “with” is a beautiful word! Praying for God’s intervention, Clara, for deep needs. I care. And prayers for you, dear Patsy, in this wonderfully uplifting ministry. Thanks so much!

  • For brief moments I am calm. Maybe I should not call them moments, more like seconds. I have dangled from the chandeliers since a wee child, my poor mama. I too, am drawn to those who are calm. I guess that is why I married one 🙂 Bless him! However, in those moments when I am still, I have learned the most, felt God’s presence and His beautiful stirrings in my wiggly soul. I wish I could be different – more like my sweet sister and my quiet husband and it distresses me to no end. But I also know that I am loved by my God who is not finished with me yet. I am glad you posted these thoughts. I am a work in progress, an ever moving work in progress, but I’m trying.

  • I had a similar experience not too long ago when a friend I haven’t seen in a long time told me I had changed. So many times, as we are walking with the Lord and working on our “stuff” we don’t see the change that is taking place. When she said that, I was so overjoyed…because I was at a place in my life where the Lord was doing a work in me and I felt like I wasn’t getting it.

    My first response to much of life is not calm, quiet surrender…much like you I have a skittish way about me. I also have to find those places in my life and my heart that bring me peace and calm me down. I guess some of us are wired that way.

    Many years ago I was diagnosed with Panic disorder…and that expalined my fears of everything…even leaving my house! Thankfully the Lord has done a work in me and I am no longer bound by fear…however, it rears its ugly head from time to time. However, the Lord and a few therapists (lol) have taught me that I can find a calm and peace when life gets chaotic and my emotions are frantic. That peace comes from Lord and can show itself within friends who have the innate ability to be calm in all things.

    Thank you for this post!