Stillness Week 1: Step away from busyness

Throughout our abundant lives, we can find simple and quick ways to connect our learning and growth at church to our lives at home. 
STILLNESS: Spotify Playlist

At Church:

We learned that our faith guides us to find beauty, peace, and stillness during the holiday season even when our culture turns it into a time of commercialism and stress.  It takes an effort to step away from the media messages that buying things and busily planning events will make us happy. So what’s one of the ways our faith guides us into becoming a people of stillness? It tells us, “Step away from the busyness!”

Morning Time:

PEACE, LOVE, and JOY yoga or Mindful Moments with Lea

Consider these words by Rev. Lynn Unger ~

“Don’t tell me to be calm

when there are so many reasons

to be angry…

I didn’t say to be calm, said the wind,

I said to breathe.

We’re going to need a lot of air

to make this hurricane together.”

Weekly Chalice Lighting:

(By Paul Stephan Dodenhoff)

For this one hour, Spirit of Life

we let go.

For this one hour,

may we let go of our anxieties,

our fears,

our anger,

our self-doubts,

our regrets,

our petty grievances,

and our distractions.

If only for this one hour,

let the flame of this chalice

burn them from our hearts and minds

and light our way to peace and serenity.

For this one holy hour.

Meal Time: 

Discuss: How can you learn to hear your still, small voice when the world is very loud?  What are some ways we can learn to find “still spaces” in the midst of busyness?

Drive Time:

Listen to:  One Voice by Wailin Jenny’s, performed by Choral West (AWest choir)

Bed Time: 

Read: The Silence Slips In by Alison Hughes

A World of Pausabilities by Frank J Sileo

The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild

Family Time:

Check out the Peace Out podcast, which includes short stories to help kids learn about mindfulness and self-regulation.

Blessing of Stillness

Stillness is a grace, coming not because we earned or deserve it, but simply as a gift, a pregnant pause, a blessed openness, a beckoning expanse. Whatever stillness grows in you, may it bless you with joy. Whatever stillness unlocks for you, may it bless you wish wisdom. Wherever stillness takes you, may it lead to peace. In the stillness of this season, may we all gather what we will need for the struggles ahead, knowing that we wait together, we work together, and when the time comes, we celebrate together. Blessings of stillness to you, to yours, to all of us. 

-Teresa Honey Youngblood

Monthly Meditations

PEACE, LOVE, and JOY yoga (courtesy of ABC Yoga for Kids)

Embody stillness by practicing the yoga poses captured in PEACE, LOVE, and JOY as acronyms.  Kids and families could pick one or more words each day to find and embody a few minutes of stillness, which is so valuable during the busy holiday season.

To do PEACE, LOVE, and JOY yoga:

Start by sitting comfortably, ideally with one or more other members of the family.  Just breathe and relax. Then try each of the following movements, or asanas, in order within their respective word (click on word links to see pictures of poses):

  • PEACE 
    • P is for pretzel pose
    • E is for easy pose
    • A is for airplane pose
    • C is for cobra pose
    • E is for elephant pose
  • LOVE
    • L is for lion pose
    • O is for oyster pose
    • V is for volcano pose
    • E is for eagle pose
  • JOY
    • J is for Jack-in-the-box pose
    • O is for otter pose
    • Y is for yes, yoga! pose

Mindful Moments with Lea STILLNESS

  • Remind the children about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
  • Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us about the importance of this month’s theme: Stillness.
  • Since you are using the 4-minute (longer version) video, tell the kids that we are going to sing along with Lea and her children and then listen to their conversation. Tell them that afterwards you will have your own conversation.
  • Center the children before playing the video.
  • After the video talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together