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About the Writer:
Sherrill Schlimpert

An ordinary suburban girl with an extraordinary passion for seeking the Lord’s will in her life, Sherrill is more than a poet. She is a retired elementary school teacher, mother of two grown children, and wife for over 31 years. One dreary morning's drive awakened her passion for writing prayer-poetry as God greeted her with a spectacular sunrise. Her flow of words and faith has filled two self-published books so far.



Journey Into June

By Sherrill Schlimpert

“School’s out, school’s out. Teacher let the monkeys out.” Remember singing that way back when? Was there ever a more glorious feeling of freedom than the last day of school? After 49 years of being in school – from attending to teaching – I’ve experienced that bird-out-of-a-cage release over and over. From my elementary days of hearing that inevitable chant, to the tremendous relief of taking that last college exam of the semester, to packing away the last bulletin board and shutting the door for the summer during my teaching years…there was always that sensation that can only be described as “AHHHH!!!!”

In early June there always seemed to be the newness of summer activity to replace the burden of forced routine – the summer sports, Vacation Bible School, and yard sales. But what I always looked forward to most as a working mom was the increased time for quiet. The early morning times on the sun dappled deck with the background symphony of bird song replaced the few stolen sleepy moments on the couch with my devotion before the morning dash. And as summer afternoons heated up to slow the step and stifle activity, my escape reading changed too. The few moments before turning out the light exhaustedly during the school year metamorphed. Instead of losing myself in the simple love stories of Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts, I would spend some of my sultry afternoons inhaling the deeper thoughts of Charles Stanley or Brother Lawrence or St. Augustine.

And, inevitably, there came a bright early morning or a mellow afternoon when I took a deep breath and recognized the cool, almost imperceptible stirring that filled my lungs, slowed my heart, and stilled my soul. What was this long-forgotten sensation – like the warm fragrance of a vanilla candle, or the anesthesia of turning off the alarm on a snow day when school was cancelled, or the sinking down into a warm bath at the end of an achingly long day? Peace…that’s what it was…the peace that passes understanding…the contentment under all circumstances that Paul speaks of. For truly, the biggees on my prayer list remained. But now I felt more clarity in my thoughts toward unresolved issues. The pleasure of this peaceful, easy feeling more than overshadowed the hassles that still remained in life. It seemed I could depend on rejoicing in this rediscovery every June – or at least by July.

Of course it had something to do with the increased opportunity for spending more time. I wasn’t as rushed. I was quieter longer. I began to feel my soul. I began to see a-ha’s in His Word. And, yes, I began to clearly hear God’s still soft voice as He spoke into my thoughts that were no longer completely occupied every second. And suddenly, life seemed to be simpler, annoyances smoothed, blessings noticed.

So do I have to wait until June to find this gear I seldom shift into? And what if I hadn’t been a teacher and had this freer schedule in the summer? And what about people that work full time year round? And, for heaven’s sake, what’s my excuse for not being in this state all the time now that I’m retired?
As I ponder these questions, I do think some of the answer lies in the amount of time I spend. It’s not like we all don’t have free time that could be better put to use in our search for God. But that’s not the whole equation because I do have more time now.

I’m beginning to get the picture that it has more to do with my readiness to listen, the softness of my thoughts, the passion of my search, and an awareness of my dependence upon God for my every step. I looked forward to these summer mornings and afternoons. I expected these times as ones to be savored. Couldn’t I have that same reverence for any stolen moment with the God of the Universe? Shouldn’t I always have a pen in hand, waiting for that next word or revelation that I sometimes just let slip by in my more hurried times, so that I can go back to them if time doesn’t allow me to savor them right then?

As I write these words, the picture continues to form of keeping a quiet heart, not just during my times of quiet – but during the activity of all of my days. Times of devotion or study must not be neglected, but I need to keep the awareness of God’s guidance in all of my thoughts, reactions and passions. I need to filter all of my fears, angers, and hopes through my relationship with my savior whether it’s in stolen minutes or more leisurely times of focus. Whether it was found in the helter-skelter of my full-time work and raising kids, or even now in the activities that may be less hectic, but still fill up my retirement days – I am beginning to see that this journey into peace has more to do with my expectation and my readiness than just the fact of having more time to spend.

Just taking this time today gives me new insight into familiar passages:
* “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” (Matt. 6:21) I need to treasure any minute of time I have to turn my thoughts toward my Lord.
* “Awake my soul.” (Psalm 57:8) I need to be aware that I may need to shake my soul into readiness rather than just going through the motions of quiet times.
* “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thess. 3:16) I am promised peace at all times, not just in June when I can relax!!!
* “Hope in God.” (Psalm 42:11) I need to look with trust and hope to each prayer as a potential time to hear from Him, not just when circumstances are optimal.
* “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) It is not in the setting, or the time, but in my mind that the opportunity for peace lays.
* Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) I can be still, anytime, any place, not just in a vacation atmosphere. I can take minute vacations with Him!!!

I am beginning to see that this journey into the quiet mornings and still afternoons of June can become part of all of my days, in all seasons.


whispers in withdrawal


I hear the sigh of my soul…
I need this ah-ha moment
To feel restored and whole.

Out in the world I’m battered.
I feel restless, insecure.
But when I steal away,
I find peace strong and sure.

He won’t shout above the frenzy.
We must seek Him, step away.
We must listen closely…
There will be a Word amidst the fray.

Then the soil in our souls is loosened,
The darkness wiped away,
The depth of our soul is awakened...
We’ve heard from God that day!!!!

Now we must hide it deep within our hearts,
And come back again and again.
We don’t want to miss His guidance.
We must be still away from the din.



Copyright © June 2009 - Sherrill Schlimpert. All rights reserved.

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