Ways to Be Still When You’re Distracted and Busy

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One of the hard parts about being still and knowing God is that we've grown accustomed to being busy. Change is hard. But I'm ready. Will you join me?

One of the hard parts about being still and knowing God is that you and I are accustomed to being busy. We like filling our days with activity and our minds with information.

I’m busy doing and I love it. If I’m not doing . . . I’m sitting on the couch with the television on, my tablet in my lap, and my phone beside me. I know, it’s a problem. I even read books with a pen and paper in hand.

So, to stop and sit quietly is more than a little challenging.

And I’m pretty sure you can relate. From the comments you left on Friday, you struggle with being still, too.

Let’s talk about different ways you and I can embrace and enjoy stillness even though we’re distracted and busy.

Ways to Be Still When You’re Distracted and Busy

Places To Be Still

I’ve asked a few friends for ideas of places they go when they want solitude and stillness. Here are some of their answers:

  • Sit in a Cozy Corner.
  • Take a Walk.
  • Gaze at the Stars.
  • Drive in Silence.
  • Enjoy the Quiet of an Empty Church or Chapel. 

One of the hard parts about being still and knowing God is that we've grown accustomed to being busy. Change is hard. But I'm ready. Will you join me?

. . . Just find a place to be alone and still.

How To Be Still 

I’ll be honest, this is all very new for me. I’ve enjoyed a time of prayer and Bible study for years, but just added this time of quiet stillness last week.

So, here are my best tips from my first week of practicing stillness:

1. Set a Timer – 5, 10, 20 minutes or longer. Just set a goal and stick with it.

Come near to God, and God will come near to you. James 4:8

2. Surrender – Begin with a prayer asking God to fill you with His Spirit and teach You what He wants you to know that day.

“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!” ~Elizabeth Elliot

3. Sit Quietly or Walk Slowly  – I’m using a corner in my office where I keep my Bible and journals, but in the future, I would also like to sit out on our patio in the early morning or late evening.

“To wait on God is to live a life of desire toward Him, delight in Him, dependence on Him, and devotedness to Him.” ~Matthew Henry

4. Ask God to Speak to You Through Scripture – I pray and ask God to show me a chapter to read and think about that day.

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4

5. Read and Write – I read through the chapter slowly and write any verses that speak to me.

“The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.” ~Augustine of Hippo

6. Pray and Ask  – I stop and ask God what He wants me to know and remember from the verses I’ve read.

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:5

The Holy Scriptures are letters from home. Quote from Augustine of Hippo

7. Sit Quietly – This is the hard part . . . clearing my mind of thoughts and listening for the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

“Nothing can compare to the joy and privilege of sitting and learning at the feet of our heavenly Master.” ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

8. Write Your Thoughts – I write whatever God imprints on my heart and mind. I’m trying to spend 5 – 10 minutes on #7 & #8.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

9. Thank and Praise God – I am so thankful for the blessing of this time with the Lord. I’m ending this time the way I began . . . with thanks and praise.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

The stillness is blessing me.

It’s more structured than meditation, but my goal is not to become centered or in tune with my thoughts or feelings. My goal is to grow in knowledge and love for the Lord.

When He tells me He how much He loves me. Me. With all my faults and failures. He loves me. When He teaches me His truth – I can’t help but know Him better and love Him more.

Here are some…

Things I’ve written as the Lord spoke to my heart:

My grace is all you need. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

Stop chasing things that won’t last. Simply trust me and obey – I love you and will provide you with everything you need. 

I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. Let me lead you to quiet places and restore your soul. You are mine. I will always love you. 

There may be hard days ahead, but I will not abandon you. Trust me. I am doing a new thing. Be patient and pray. 

I love you. I only allow that which accomplishes my plans and purposes . . . things that help you grow and increase your faith. Listen. Love. Be patient and humble. I am with you. 

 God is so good. I’m learning, growing, and praising Him. 

Do you enjoy a quiet time listening? Do you have a plan you follow? I would love to hear about it.

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below.

Would you do me a favor — if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…

Don’t forget to leave your prayer requests…

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and pray for others who have left requests.

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Thank you so much for visiting CMB. I'm glad you're here. Please visit About Blessing Counting and Deb at the top of the page, and don't forget to leave a comment and subscribe before you go. God bless you!

31 thoughts on “Ways to Be Still When You’re Distracted and Busy

  1. I loved how God spoke to your heart with these beautiful thoughts, Deb. Thank you for sharing!
    I do need to spend much more intentional quiet time – love the idea of setting a timer, too. Will have to try that.
    Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Martha! The first few days were really hard, but it is getting easier. I want that time listening for Him. But oh my, being quiet does not come naturally for me. You’re right. It has to be intentional. Blessings, my friend!

  2. Great tips here. It is so important to take time to be still but not always easy to do. I usually find it easier when I’m out walking, and writing or journalling as I’m praying or reading Scripture also seems to slow down my mind. Visiting from Holley Gerth.

    1. I haven’t tried adding this to a walk because I usually have our dog with me and she is distracting. I know many who do though and love it. I love having my journal close by to write the thoughts the Lord gives. I’m learning I need this quiet time added to my time in word and prayer.

  3. Love this post! Walks are my favorite thing in the whole wide world! I always get sad when I can’t squeeze a walk into my work day. They provide so much clarity for me.

    1. That’s so great, Lauren! It is so good for you. And it is a wonderful way to clear your thoughts and just listen. Blessings to you!

  4. I’m not so good at stillness but I want to get better. I think I’ll start with your suggestions of driving in silence or taking a walk. I can do those things.

    1. I’ve never been good at stillness either, Dawn. I’m hoping that it will be a habit by the end of the month. I am so thankful for the blessing it has been this first week, I believe God will help make it part of my days going forward.

  5. Deb,
    This is exactly what has been my hearts desire since I went part time. Devoting some of my extra time to sitting at His feet & hearing His voice!
    I forwarded this to several friends who will love what you have shared! Thank You so much!

    1. Enjoy your extra time. And I’m so excited this blessed you. The Lord used time in the Word and prayer to restore me after a terribly difficult time in my life. I’ve wanted to add a time of just being silent with Him for ages. I’m so thankful He is giving me this time now. Thank you for sharing this, you’ve definitely blessed my day!! Hugs to you!

  6. Being quiet and still is not only a luxury, it’s also a necessity! I find it’s so very important for me to have moments to myself. Even if I’m reading blogs or doing some little bit of thought on work or harnessing my creativity. I love looking up and out at the world, the sky, the yard, nature. All these things calm me, they center and ground me, but they also fill me and soothe me. 🙂

    1. Thanks for this, Kendall. Rev loves to walk our yard to spend quiet time with the Lord. I tend to go to a quiet corner of my office. Wherever we head it’s all about spending that time listening for His quiet voice. Being still and knowing our Creator. God’s blessings!

  7. I’m a doer too and I have tried quiet moments at night before bed and in the morning at the kitchen table, but neither has worked very well b/c I’m too easily distracted by stuff to do. Pick up, clean up, organize something, make a mental list etc etc. Distractions are everywhere. Just recently I made a spot way over in the back of our basement… cleaned it out, bought an exercise mat for the floor and a small blanket. I set up a lamp next to my Bible and a notepad and that’s all that’s in there. So far it has helped tremendously to have a special place to go that’s not in the normal traffic of the day and free from anything that needs my attention. I can pray, read, journal and listen to the Lord’s voice. It’s become a little sanctuary and facilitated being quiet so well. If you have trouble like me, you should make a special place and give it a try!

    1. Karen, I love it! Quieting my thoughts is the most challenging part for me. I love what you’ve done to make a distraction free zone. I know God is going to continue to bless your intentional efforts to seek Him. Thank you so much for sharing this great tip! Many blessings to you!

  8. A lovely list! For me the thing that sets my quiet time apart where ever it may be is a couple of deep breaths, acknowledging my Creator as the One who keeps that air flowing into my lungs. It helps me connect my mind and body with His presence. Blessings!

    1. Liz, What a great way to start your quiet time. Each moment and every breath a gift from the Lord! Thanks for sharing this I will definitely remember this one. Blessings to you!

  9. I needed this reminder! I have such a hard time being still. Lately I’ve been taking walks to be still before God, and I love that! It doesn’t work well in the winter, though.

    Another thing I’ve been doing is praying through the Psalms. I read one a day, and then I pray the words back to God. I’ve also been writing some of my prayers in the margin of my Bible. I love the reminder of what God has been showing me!

    1. You’re right, Lynnae, harder to get those walks in the winter. But good for you for getting out there now and using them as a time to be still with the Lord. I love that you are praying through Psalms and adding your own prayers to the margins of your Bible. You will love going back and reading them. Thanks for blessing us with that idea. Blessings to you!

  10. Such great insights, Deb. Being still is something we should all learn to do. I know life gets busy, but there’s nothing like quieting the mind to conquer the rest of your day, right? Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop this week!

  11. I see me with the tv on right now, laptop in my lap, cell phone and home phone right here. I have started just going outside on the patio and being quiet and savoring some time with HIm.

    Great post, as always Deb.

  12. Deb, Thank you for sharing these great thoughts. Late last month I finally started a prayer journal/notebook. I have a variety of sections in it–including a journal section where I simply write. I think it may be helping…my focus…

    Being quiet in His presence. A great place to be!

    Blessings!

  13. These are very good, Deb. I love the Augustine of Hippo saying so much I wrote it in my Bible. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  14. Sitting quietly has become one the the most necessary parts of my journey with Jesus, Deb. I am learning the art of stillness leads me fully into the simplicity of extravagant worship. It is literally a place where I decrease so that He can increase within me and it is the most needed prescription for each day.

    I like to be busy too, but I am being forced to choose less distraction and more focused waiting. It isn’t always easy, because it is different and somewhat uncomfortable, but God is so good in meeting me with Mercy in the process.
    Thanks for sharing this at the #GraceMoments link up!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  15. Thank you so much for sharing. I have started the same kind of thing in the last year and have experience very similar things. And I have mostly grown to love my father as I have gotten to know him better! It’s so encouraging to hear from other people learning the same things! God is incredibly good!

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