Day 3 – Stillness

Happy day! I hope you’re having a lovely day.

Today, I’m speaking on stillness. It’s about steadying your body, as well as your mind. The brain is alive and it’s only natural to have ongoing thought patterns not only consciously, but subconsciously. There is no way to clear 100% of the chatter, or else, well… you’d be dead. Even in sleep, our brain/mind stays busy, whether we remember the dreams or not. Simply focus on your breath if your mind strays. It will stray. Just bring it back to your breath or make up a mantra, like the word “Still”. Feel free to observe the thought as if a passing train, and then let it pass.

During meditation, you must find a quiet space, sitting up, preferably, with your head free. You can lean against something like a chair or wall or what have you but lying down is not a great idea, as you may fall asleep. Rest is great and everything but if you want to gain the positive aspects of meditation, you must stay awake to reap the benefits.

You want it to be a still, quiet place. If you’re on the floor, use soft pillows or a comfy mat. I prefer using my home office chair. It has a head rest but I don’t use that. I actually prefer 100% quiet, though the Chopra and Oprah meditations have music in them. I get more out of the quiet, because I can hear nature. I soooo relax more when I can hear the birds chirping, the frogs croaking in the rain, the crickets (if I’m meditating in the evening), the rain falling, the breeze blowing – you get the idea.

I think the best time of day to meditate is first thing in the morning. I find it’s a great way to start my day.

First, I give thanks for all our many blessings and praise the Lord for all his love, mercy, forgiveness and generous nature. I even thank him for what seems bad, only because I’ve learned there are valuable nuggets of wisdom and learning in those situations. I don’t always get the lesson in the moment but I usually do later, sometimes much later – like years later –  😛  but at least I eventually get it, and that’s what matters. It’s growth. It’s the “bad” stuff that makes me appreciate the “good” stuff even more.

Second, I start my coffee, and after Hallie has left for school or while she’s still asleep (if it’s early or the weekend) and go sit in my chair and get in my 20ish minutes of meditation. Right now, I’m doing the Deepak Chopra and Oprah meditations, as I spoke about earlier. I also like the Android App Mindfulness Meditations for Presence and Peace by Diviniti Publishing Ltd (fyi, I receive no money from anyone for advertising – I try to be helpful for free). I listen to the Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety Free version, which is 23 minutes.

More benefits you’ll receive from meditation:

  1. Meditation can relieve pain.
  2. It helps you in harnessing Neurogenesis (change the adult brain through meditation). Wikipedia defines it as” Neurogenesis is the process of birth of neurons wherein neurons are generated from neural stem cells. Contrary to popular belief, neurogenesis continuously occurs in specific regions in the adult brain.
  3. Cure anxiety – I could use that! How ’bout you?
  4. Lucid dreaming – Wikipedia says a lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment. How cool would this be?! I don’t believe I’ve ever had a lucid dream. I hope to very soon, though.

More to come tomorrow. Let me know how it’s going for you. What’s your method? What are you listening to, if you are listening to anything? Also, please let me know if you have any questions. Always happy to help a friend out.  🙂

Y’all have an amazing day! Hugs!

-Carol xoxo

Day 9 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Job 11

Zophar the Naamathite replied to all Job’s complaining and questioning, asking him, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?  …  Who can oppose him?”  And he said that if Job devotes his heart to God and stretch out his hands to him, put away sin and allow no evil to enter his tent, then he could lift his face without shame, standing firm and without fear, then life will become brighter, he will be secure, have hope and take his rest in safety.  But the eyes of the wicked will fail, escape will elude them and their hope will become a dying gasp.

Job 12

Then Job replied, “But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things?  I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called upon God and he answered– a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!”  He goes on to say all God is capable of — anything and everything.

Hallie:  “Basically, no one knows what God has in store, not even the things he created with his own hands.”

Job 13

Job is slamming Zophar and wants him to leave him alone.  Job wants to speak with God, one-on-one.  Job pleads his case before God, questioning why God is torturing him and why he will not show his face.  He speaks to God of all his cruelty that is undeserved.

Job 14

Hallie says this is a sad chapter.

Speaking of birth as if life lasts for but a second and death comes too quickly.  A tree has a longer life and even if it dies, a water may bring its rebirth.  Men have no hope, even for his children, but only for himself as he will not witness his children after he is dead.

Job 15

Hallie says this chapter is mostly about Job not being appreciative.  The Bible is like a riddle.

You perceive something else than what it’s actually saying.  We had to read this chapter a few times to even get what it was saying and we are still not 100%.

Eliphaz the Temanite is talking to Job, accusing him of speaking evil and rage against God and goes on to tell how the wicked will not escape God’s wrath.

Reading these chapters makes me see Job differently.  I’ve always been told and taught that Job was a blameless man who had everything stripped away from him, yet never stopped worshipping God.  However, these chapters make me believe that Job is questioning God, yelling at God, accusing God, blaming God for torturing him.  Are these not sins?  To me, it sounds as though he wants to turn his back on God, because it seems God turned his back on Job.  Am I wrong here?  Am I misunderstanding all these chapters we’ve read?  In the past, all I’ve learned is from “church going people” and ministers.  We have never sat and read the Bible chronologically and are learning all sorts of things we did not realize before.

I am not saying God turned his back on Job.  He was allowing Satan to test him.  We know this.  What I’m inferring is what Job is seemingly feeling in this and earlier chapters.  I just wanted to elaborate.

Day 8 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Too much going on today, so only had time to do one chapter.  Tomorrow will be like 10 chapters!

Job 10

This chapter was so beautifully written.  The short version:  Job is complaining about his struggles and pain and suffering and wondering where God is in all of this and why all this is happening to him.  He admits to being innocent but cannot speak up for himself to God because he is full of shame.

Day 7 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

I just wanted to add something from one of the days before.  I said that Job had lost everything but he had not lost his wife.

Job 6 thru 9

Hallie and I agree that Job 6 reads beautifully.  Job is complaining and ready for death, hoping for God to crush him.  We believe that Job is accusing God of being unjust in terrorizing the blameless right along with the wicked.  He punished and tortures those who are good and those who are evil.

Job 7 – Hallie says, “Oh, so true.”  She feels that God is torturous, or at least at times, it feels that way.  I, too, have felt that way quite often.  In this chapter, Job is accusing God of torturing him and testing him every single moment and questions him as to why, why can’t God just leave him alone and let him die, look for him no more.  Do you ever feel God is testing you every minute of every day?  And in those darkest of times when there seems to be no light that you can find, God sticks the fork in and twists it?  I have felt that way.  Hallie has too.  We have blamed God for our misfortune, our problems, struggles, depression.  Do you feel God is to blame?  Do you feel the devil is to blame?  Do you blame yourself or someone else?

Job 8 is spoken by Bildad the Shuhite.  He replies to Job and defends God suggesting that Job plead with God and God will relieve him and bring him joy and happiness once again.

Hallie says the Book of Job is really deep.  Indeed it is.

Job 9 – Hallie says, “Deep, bro, deep.”

Job expresses the injustice that God brings with all the suffering, all the torture of the righteous and of the wicked.  He punishes them all.  He mocks the innocent as if it brings him joy to cause their suffering and pain and sorrow.  Job wishes there was a way to plead his case with God in court but knows that his own words would make him guilty and knowing that God could crush him in a blink puts him in great fear.  He knows God can destroy him in an instant and make his pain and suffering even greater than it is now.

Until tomorrow my dear lovelies, sweet dreams.