Tag Archives: peace

Wise men still seek Him

Wise men still seek Him not through study or intellectual knowledge, but in the depth, silence and peace of their own hearts.  Dear and sweet Lord, in this new year filled with new distractions please help us to choose Your Peace over the chaos.

Your peace you have freely given, but in our helplessness we still haven’t chosen it.  Please take our hands and lead us to choose Your Peace!

His tears…

We have an ornament in the shape of a cross that hangs on our Christmas tree.  It has tiny plastic jewels glued onto it in the shape of teardrops.

A few weeks ago as I was putting our Christmas tree away I found one of the teardrops on the ground.  It fell off the top of this cross as if our Lord was crying.

It made me think of His tears and the sorrow He feels when we are cruel, when we speak to each other without thinking, without consideration, and without kindness.  He cries as He sees the cruelty ripple outward and downward in a revolving cycle of hurt, anger, and gossip.  He cries as He watches His peace slip from our hearts as we lose sight of Him and begin this downward spiral.

I have hurt and been hurt with words.  Many times I have begun this cycle or been swept away by this cycle wasting minutes, hours and days obsessing over an unkindness rather than gazing at You.

Lord please let only kindness pass my lips or nothing at all, please open my ears to Your voice alone calling me out of this spiral, and please open my eyes to You alone so that I might not be a cause for Your tears of sorrow, but instead bring You tears of joy.

A worshipful life!

Why do we try to eat healthy and feed our families good food?  Why do we workout and encourage our families to exercise?

For a long time I was trying to eat well and workout to stay strong, to stay healthy, to avoid heartburn, to live longer and most of all because that it is what people do when they grow up, they begin taking responsibility for their health, it is one of our rules.  Right?

About a year ago things started to change.  I didn’t realize it at first, but my workout was becoming a time of worship and prayer.  It was slowly becoming a time for me to empty my head of myself and think of Him, talk to Him, read about Him and sometimes just be silent and listen for Him.  I was becoming addicted to it not for the endorphins the workout provided, but to the time it gave me with Him.

Without realizing it I brought it into my yoga class.  I started imagining our sweet Love helping me breathe and ease into each position.  I imagined Him gently massaging the areas of tension in my legs and my back and then gently helping me ease out of each move.  I imagined Him sitting with me and holding my hand throughout the meditation at the end.  I have fallen in love with yoga and the precious moments it has given me with Him.

I am not sure why He has given me this Grace, but He has changed the intentions of my workout and my health and I have started calling it my worshipful workout.  He has removed my longing for the goals of this world and He has shown me that even through my workout He can and should be my focus and my end goal.

I am longing to change the intentions of every moment of my life as I care for and love my wonderful husband and my sweet girls.  I want every action to be done with Him in mind, for Him and with the intention of glorifying Him, pleasing Him and bringing a smile to His beautiful face.  I want not just a worshipful workout, but a worshipful life!

I want it this way so that someday when I breathe my last breath, He will be my final thought.

Let the celebration continue…

Jesus is here, Jesus is born, Jesus is with us and yet what are we doing?

We are quickly taking down our decorations and we are preparing ourselves for the grind, for the coldest part of our winter and the coldest time in some of our hearts.  Our heads are down and the parties are over.

Was it the same back then in Bethlehem?

The angels were not still singing their praises for us to see and the shepherds had to move on with their flocks.  A few still sought Him in this quiet and peaceful time, but the majority of people returned to the routine of their lives.

Yet in Matthew 9:15
Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

This is not the time to return to our normal and every day lives.  He is here, He is born, He is with us!  I pray to continue seeking and celebrating because He is here!

Glory to God in the highest and on earth may we all seek Your peace!

Wake up!

God really wanted me to wake up this morning.  I first woke up at 5:40 am and thought to myself, I should get up and read the Bible or my devotional, but I felt too tired so I rolled over and went back to sleep.  I woke up again at 6:03 am and again rolled over to go back to sleep.  Finally at 6:10 am, I had to get up because the alarm in the girls bedroom went off and was blasting NPR all over the house.  I took this as a sign that God was not taking “No” for an answer this morning :)  Thankfully none of the girls woke up… I’m not sure how they slept through it, but they did!

I think what I took from all of this was a reminder not to get swept away by the wrong things this Christmas.  The last few days have been a little hectic as I have been preparing for Christmas, sending cards, shopping, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, etc. I haven’t found much time to sit in peace and quiet and just listen.

I want to listen during this Holy time.  I want to sit in peace and think of our Savior, His Mother, His earthly Father and His Holy Birth.  I want to be moved to depths of my soul as I reflect on Him.

Thank you my Loving and Heavenly Father for nudging me awake this morning.  Please help me to keep You always in my sight and to stay awake!

Listen carefully my friends, He might be trying to wake you up too!

Bottles at sea…

I have been a recluse over the last few months.  I haven’t had much interest in seeking out or calling my friends to talk, watching the news, or even sending out Christmas cards to my friends and family.

Today while I was running I was thinking about this and wondering why?  The thought crossed my mind that maybe Jesus has been sheltering me.  Maybe He has been protecting me from the competition and constant comparison of the world by taking away my motivation to talk with my close friends and others who could spark envy, competition, or comparison within my heart.  Maybe He has been giving me time to grow stronger and really imprint upon my heart the necessity to stay outside of the race going on in our world while still fully living in our world.

Maybe this is just my overactive imagination, but I still like this explanation, because today I finally called one of my best friends.  I was so happy to talk with her and hear about her life and what she has been doing over the last few months.  While we were talking though I felt myself being pulled back into the race, not because I compete with her, but because she has so many wonderful plans and ideas.  She is an amazing mom and wife.  She will soon be back in the workforce and I am sure she will someday start the amazing business of her dreams.  In our 30 min conversation we covered all of this and following months of talking to only the same small group of people, I started to question my plans or lack of plans, my ideas or lack of ideas and began to worry about where I am headed.  Luckily, although I felt myself being pulled into the race, I was aware of it which I hope is a start for keeping myself out of it.

As I was running home, I pictured all of us as bottles bobbing in the sea.  As bottles in the sea we don’t realize that it is impossible for us to sink as we are tossed about in the waves, dunked under water, and crashed into each other.  We are all fighting to stay afloat even though it really isn’t possible for us to go down.  Then by the grace of God, sometimes we float into a secluded harbor where we can see the beach and we know that true peace exists.  The waves slowly wash us in and then drag us back out in a repetitive motion.

Jesus thank you for the safe and secluded harbor You have given me over the last few months.  Please help me to remember that no matter how many times the waves pull me back, I am a bottle filled with Your spirit and I can’t sink.  Knowing this gives me faith to brave the open sea again and brave the waves with a new perspective.

Maybe on my next trip in You will bless me with a job to help You bring a few more bottles into Your peaceful shores!

Free will…

I have had three discussions about our free will over the last three months that have stuck with me.  Then last night I was watching the documentary The Human Experience and I saw the following quote.

“The last of the human freedom’s is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
– Viktor E. Frankl

As soon as I saw this quote I immediately thought that this seems not only to be the last of our freedoms, but also the first and original freedom we were given when God gave us our free will.

Until recently I have limited my thoughts of our free will to only our physical actions. When I think of free will only in relation to my physical actions such as taking the stairs vs. the elevator or going to work vs. staying home or doing something wrong vs. doing something right, then I become quite confused because if God gave me free will, but knows what I will choose to do and can bring about events that will cause me to make a different choice then my free will seems limited.  Please don’t misunderstand me though. I am not saying that this limitation means our physical actions have no bearing or carry no weight.  I believe God still wants us to do the right thing.  I believe He still wants us to be generous rather than selfish, He wants us to not steal, He wants us to not kill, He wants us to love others, but we can’t forgot that God is bigger than we can imagine.  God can take any bad physical action we make and combine it with other actions to make it good in the end.

Isn’t this what he did through Jesus’ death and resurrection?  God took the worst imaginable physical action (us killing His son Jesus) and turned it into good (resurrecting His son Jesus).  By combining these, Jesus’ death becomes good because without it He could not have been resurrected.

Now, if I change my perspective of free will and look at it as my freedom to choose how I perceive things or to choose my attitude as Viktor Frankl put it in his quote above, then the limitations I spoke of disappear.

God can give me a sunny day, but it is up to me to enjoy the sun or complain about the heat.  God can give me a rainy day, but again it is my choice to complain about the rain or to instead look for a rainbow.

He completely relinquished control of our consciousness through free will giving us complete freedom to perceive the world as we wish.  This doesn’t mean that God will ever stop trying to convince us to perceive good in all things, but he literally cannot make us see the good in all things.  He is limited to trying to convince us that all things are good through combining bad actions with others to make them good in the end and through showering us with grace and inspiration which we have the choice to accept or decline.

It is completely up to us to see the good, but what happens when and if we do perceive the good in everything?

I think we will have found our own unique perspective of the good in everything which will mean that we have also surrendered to God’s will because God’s will is Good!!!

Therefore I think we will have found God’s peace!!!

God thank you for loving us so much that you gave us free will.  Please help me to use my free will to find the good in everything and therefore surrender to Your will!

I want to stand for good… it is everywhere even if we don’t think we can see it, it is hidden from view, but it is there!

I want to stand for Jesus… he is Good, Oh so Good!!!

Peace

I am reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  Today I read chapter 3, The Man Who Loves Peace, and I want to share a bit of it with you and a few thoughts I had while reading.

Thomas a Kempis wrote
The good and peace-loving man turns everything into good.  The man who dwells in perfect peace suspects evil of no one.

The man of blind passion even turns good into evil and is quick to believe evil of others. The man who is discontented and disgruntled has a heart filled with suspicion.

I want peace!  How do we teach/learn peace?  Is it being taught?  I am honestly asking and would love your thoughts.

Does finding peace lead one to believe that everything is good?

Or

Are peace and believing everything is good equivalent, meaning that once you believe everything is good then you have also found peace and vice versa once you have found peace then you believe everything is good?

If the latter is correct, then seeing/finding the good in everything should lead us to peace. This seems like a great place to start if you are looking for peace!

I know I am not the first to say this, but I think

  • Believing the glass is half full could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finding the sliver lining in the clouds could help lead us to PEACE
  • Looking for the rainbow through the rain could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finally whoever came up with the slang expression, S’all good, hit the nail on the head and wanted to help lead us to PEACE

Jesus said in John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Let us reclaim the PEACE Jesus has left with us, the PEACE He has given to us.  Let us live with untroubled hearts and let us live fearlessly!

My friends, I wish you peace from the bottom of my heart!  Let us live Our Best Life in Peace!