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Be still

Be still

I couldn’t move.

Nor did I have any desire to move.

Finally, my 6-month-old fell asleep. He fell asleep in my arms. He’d been fighting sleep for a while. We did that nap-time-please-fall-asleep-baby-dance for a while.


He’d cry.

I’d hold him.

He’d cry some more.

We’d go for a walk.

He’d cry some more.

I’d feed him and burp him.

He’d cry some more.


Fortunately, it’s not an everyday occurence, this restless, fighting of naps, but today it takes so much energy and feels like the end of the world. So finally when he was curled up in my arms, sucking his thumb, and drifting off to sleep, I didn’t move.


I didn’t want to take any chances. I didn’t want to wake him.

My son slept in my arms as I rocked back and forth.

We sat nestled together in the darkened nursery.


My phone was in another room – so no endless scrolling through social media.

My Kindle, too, was in another room – so no books to read.


I sat and felt my baby’s breathing in and out.
I sat and felt the warmth of his body.

I sat and felt content to be nowhere else.


And in the silence, in the stillness, the not having to be or go anywhere, I let my mind be at rest.


Most moments of the day my mind is constantly moving every which way. But there in the nursery, with just the breathing of my baby in tune with my breath, I sat in peace.


My mind turned to a song, a prayer. A Taizé chant lifted into the air.


Come and fill our hearts with your peace.

You , alone, O Lord, are holy.

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.


Come and fill my heart, O Lord.

Help me to rest.

Help me to sit in the stillness.

Come and fill my heart, O Lord.


For the minutes my son slept, peace was not far. It was within reach. Within me. If only for just a fleeting moment.


I can only do so much to make sure the world is a peaceful place for my children. I can do my part, but it never seems enough. But I can take the time to cultivate peace within. I can turn off the phone. I can turn off the 24-hour news cycle. I can rest and pray and trust in God. I can look my children in the eyes and tell them of my love and the love of the God who created them. I can rock back and forth cradling my son, listening to his breath, and praying over and over again: Come and fill my heart with your peace.


At some point this day, take a moment, and pause.

Breathe in and out.


Sing a song.


Listen for the Spirit’s voice.


Come and fill our hearts, O Lord.

We are waiting and ready.



Come and fill our hearts with your peace.

You , alone, O Lord, are holy.

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.




Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website: or follow her work on Facebook:


Image: Pixabay


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