Slowing the “Unholy Smear”

“In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear.”

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

On page 67 of Ann’s book, this one sentence stopped me.  In fact, I stayed there – rereading, pondering, praying, and confessing – for a few days.   My heart weighed heavy at the conviction of my own smearing of life’s moments, my own haste to accomplish the day’s tasks, my own guilty addiction to speed.   Soul-weary and with deep desire, I confessed and prayed for strength to s.l.o.w. In the weeks since, I’ve found my strength is not sufficient to tackle the depth of my addiction to the rush.   Every attempt to calm the tempest on my own has been met with feverish urgency, necessary tasks forgotten, last minute hurry, and {more often than I’d like to admit} words that reflected the haste in my heart.

I’m unable to win this war. This constant tug-of-war between flesh and spirit … between rush and still. It’s too much for me.   And in a quiet moment, early one morning, before the chaos began, He spoke:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  {2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB}

Truth echoed through the weary caverns of my heart … I am unable to win this war.  It is too much for me.

But He …

He is able.

It is not too much for Him.

For He is the God of our stillness, the One Who speaks in the gentle breeze, the quiet voice heard even when the storm rages around us.   The rush, the speed, the urgent, is not too much for Him.   And so, I slow … and the smeary blur grows clearer, the lines of grace more distinct, the colors of joy more vibrant, the shapes of gratitude more visible.

Will you slow?

{Counting graces … with photos and words}

moments with the girl

lessons learned from two mothers

drawing close

new friends

    encouraging others


      friends who share their gifts

      mothers who seek to grow in Him

      blessing those across the world

        sweet friends


        swapping seats

        “If only she had some personality!”

          The wonder of creation – both tiny…

            and huge.

            the gift of blurry made clear

            14 Replies to “Slowing the “Unholy Smear””

            1. Going through the same battle here. Desire to slow met with my inability to do it. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for you…

              And on another note, aren’t you so thankful that you were on a chartered bus and not a school bus. 🙂 We recently had a long field trip too and I was so thankful that I wasn’t riding on a big yellow bus. 🙂

              Have a nice slow week.
              Stephanie recently posted…Monday FunMy Profile

              1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

                Yes … thankful for charter buses!! So thankful!! 🙂

                And praying for you too, dear friend.

            2. Love all the moments you captured with your camera this week! Praying for a slow week for both of us!
              Sandra recently posted…By Grace I Will LiveMy Profile

              1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

                Thank you, my friend! And yes … slow. 😉

            3. Seriously, thanks for the encouragement. Needed that. With Joy, Carey
              Carey Bailey recently posted…He can do anything! Do you believeMy Profile

            4. Yes! Yes! To slow, to seek, to see the lines without the blurring rush and madness. Only He can provide and by grace alone can we have that given to us. Thank you for your post! Bright blessings!
              Shanyn recently posted…Rebuilding WallsMy Profile

            5. That book had so many of those moments with me…and this was one of them. Trying to take it slow right along with you.
              Melissa recently posted…God is still in the miracle businessMy Profile

            6. […] learning to s.l.o.w. a lifelong lesson?  {I hope so! Because I’m not making fast […]

            7. {Weekend Challenge} S.L.O.W. says: Reply

              […] Monday I shared with you my desire (and struggle) to s.l.o.w.   Perhaps you are like me … blurring life in to an “unholy smear” and longing […]

            8. Hi, Terri Lynn! I found your blog through the Staycation blog party. 🙂 We’re fellow South Georgians, although we’re brought here by the Army. We love it here! I’m reading through Ann’s book slowly, and chronicling it on my blog as well. 🙂 Glad to have “met” you.

            9. […] I fail … every. single. day.  I rush through life missing the blessings of the small.  I neglect the call to be still.  I fail to reach out to those in need.   I’m a sinner […]

            10. […] shared about my desire to move past “the unholy smear” and to s.l.o.w.   I’ve been reading and studying what the Bible teaches about rest, […]

            11. […] I fail … every. single. day.  I rush through life missing the blessings of the small.  I neglect the call to be still.  I fail to reach out to those in need.   I’m a sinner […]

            12. […] 10.  The way I am learning again to count – not offenses or failures or even successes – but rather the beauty of the mundane and ordinary as well as the spectacular and unimaginable. […]

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