Don’t Dwell, Become the Dwell

Psalm 4:8


3. to linger over, emphasize or ponder in thought, speech, or writing (often followed by on or upon).

4. (of a moving tool or machine part) to be motionless for a certain interval during operation.

2. a period in a cycle in the operation of a machine or engine during which a given part remains motionless.

In the hurry and bustle of life, my mind usually fills with thoughts and images that take up space. I dwell on them. I can’t change them; they happened in the past, but I ruminate on them as surely as a cow chews its cud whilst standing in the field.

Why didn’t I starting hunting the Internet sooner when Sarah’s depression didn’t go away once she started medication? Why didn’t I investigate her odd behavior in more depth during the middle of her Argentina year? Why didn’t I write down the name of the medication that she went on or ask her to bring home a report from the doctors that she saw down there?

The whys pour in and flood me with remorse. I knew about diseases that afflicted young adults away at college—things like spinal meningitis (she received her vaccine) and mono and battling self-image and eating disorders. Why didn’t I know about mental health?

I must forgive myself for what I did not know. I must remain motionless and gaze in wonder at the stars and become the dwell. As a child of God, he asks me to be still, to know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). I must deliberately calm myself and clean out the thoughts and know that my job consists of exalting Him.

My work does not consist of parading my mistakes over and over through my tired brain. It consists of exalting God and pointing out how each step of the way, he promises to do something good. He has worked in the situation and he will continue to work in the situation to bring about his greater purpose.

When I become the dwell in the great machinery of life, I can dwell on His love and power and mercy and grace and truely dwell in the safety of his plan.

God will continue to work out the situation according to his greater purpose. #mentalhealth Click To Tweet

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Profound, my friend. Great insight with this word! I’m glad you are becoming the dwell. Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorites! God doesn’t want us parading our mistakes in our minds, but to give them to Him. I’m encouraged you are doing that. My desire is to do the same. It’s a joy following you this week! Bless you!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted…Five Minute Friday – DwellMy Profile

  • Anita, thank you for your transparency. and the idea of becoming the dwell. I like that. When I read the definition of dwell tonight, I didn’t see it the way you’ve shared it. Thank you for that.

    You may not have known about your daughter’s condition, but it didn’t take our Abba by surprise. He knows how limited we are in our humanity. I appreciate your reminder that, no matter what happens in this life, our job is to be still before Him and exalt Him. So easy to say. Sometimes so hard to live out. I pray Psalm 46:10 each night as I’m going to sleep. I suspect I’ll be sending up a few prayers for you now, too.
    Hugs, friend.
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Dwell: Where Joy DwellsMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jeanne, and for your prayers! Parenting is hard and it’s a learn as we go sort of endeavor, isn’t it? I’m always thankful that the Good Shepherd promises to gently lead me!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Introducing Hypomania-the Third Bipolar SiblingMy Profile

  • Well-said, Anita.

    The other place in which we must dwell…hard though it may be…is in the land of our own limitations.

    I went through this with a family member who was bipolar, and who refused to take any sort of medicine, in fact refused any help at all.

    I could merely stand by and watch this individual use a great resource of talent for self-destruction.

    And there was nothing I could do to help/
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 85 – Con Thien {FMF}My Profile

  • Yes, we can dwell in the safety of his plan. There have been times when I’ve dwelt in the past too. But God is our true hope; the one in which we should and can dwell in. Visiting from FMF where I’m parked over in the #13 spot.
    Tara recently posted…Dwelling in AdventMy Profile

  • I laughed aloud softly when I read the first few lines of your post. I did the same…posted about the definition! I guess our minds work similarly. I also share in your daughter Sarah’s story a bit. I struggle with depression and anxiety. It is a rough road. It is hard for others to know what to do. Thanks for sharing #mentalhealth posts. They matter.
    Jenn, FMF #25
    jennifer recently posted…Dwell, Because Pausing is NecessaryMy Profile

  • I liked how you describe becoming the dwell- I hadn’t thought of the word in that way. I have a close friend who struggles with mental health issues and there have been times when I’ve gone over the past wondering if there is something I could have done differently, or else exhausted myself taking on too much responsibility and trying to fix things. I’m eventually learning there are limits to what I can do and that I need to be still and dwell in God and trust him with the situation- not always easy!
    Carly recently posted…Dwelling In His ShelterMy Profile

    • You’ve got that right! It’s not always easy. But God is always there to sustain us! I’m definintely learning to let go of the absurd notion that someone else’s destiny rests in my hands. After all, God assures us the HE has the whole world in his hands.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Forgiveness and Caregiving Create Amazing ChangesMy Profile

  • Amen! The “what ifs” suck the life out of us. Pointing and looking to Jesus is going to bring us life every time. Happy weekend!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ DwellMy Profile

  • I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: None of it is your fault. Life is hard and sometimes things fall to pieces. But our God is a Master at putting those pieces back together in an amazing way.

    Thank you for reminding me that my job isn’t to beat myself up, but rather to exalt Him. I needed to hear that today.
    Marie recently posted…Five Minute Friday: DwellMy Profile

  • I wondered, after I wrote, if anyone would take up the negative aspect of dwell… the harder, often more real aspect, if we are honest! Thank you for being consistently that! Love you, friend!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…Dwell… A Five Minute Friday PostMy Profile

  • I remember when my kids were little being so afraid I would make mistakes with them. Finally I realized it’s going to happen no matter what because I am fallible. And in the case of bipolar disorder – I don’t think anyone knows what to look for or what to do until they walk through it with someone. I’, so thankful God redeems our mistakes and works to bring about His best in situations.
    Barbara H. recently posted…Friday’s Fave FiveMy Profile

  • I am so happy you write about this journey of yours. Mental health is hard… As you know I have PTSD and that has manifest itself in soo many ways in my life, but I never considered how difficult it is on my family to see me going through it all and feeling helpless. Your family is so blessed to have you researching and learning. I would be proud to call you mom!! Many hugs to you sweet friend!!
    Marisa recently posted…Those Bars #ISurvivedMy Profile

  • Dwell, the noun. Interesting twist my smart friend!
    Susan Shipe recently posted…new solutions to file awayMy Profile