Tag Archives: Stress

Peace in the New Year

January 4

peaceWe all want peace, don’t we?  I mean, really, all the beauty pageant finalists answer their questions with the desire for ‘world peace’.   (That always cracks me up – it’s such a safe answer.)  But really, our homes, our community, our state, our country, our world would be a much better place to live if there was peace.

What about ourselves, do we have inward peace?  I remember a time when I was full of fear, afraid for my children, afraid for circumstances at work, afraid of just about everything.  During that time something profound happened in just a short little phone conversation at work.

Now, the caller didn’t know that I was experiencing such fear, but she ended the conversation with ‘God’s peace be with you.’  That statement hit me like a ton of bricks.  I thought to myself, that’s it – I don’t have peace, that’s why I’m so fearful, so nervous, so edgy.  I need peace amidst all of the circumstances surrounding me.

We all do, don’t we?  Every time we turn on the TV we hear of shootings like the ones in Newtown, CT, robberies, the fiscal cliff, stock market declines.  It is enough to make us fearful all the time.  But I learned a truth from that phone call years ago.

I need to remember where peace comes from – it comes from God.  I like to think on Scripture to help me internalize and live out my faith.  I wanted to know how to daily experience God’s peace amidst all the sometimes overwhelming non-peaceful things coming my way.

This is the verse I landed on and cling to in these times, ‘You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.’  Isaiah 26 NIV   I know that when I trust God – trust that He is in control, trust that He knows the beginning from the end, trust that He loves me –that He will keep me in perfect peace when the overwhelming circumstances and the bad news of the day come my way.  I don’t just know it, I’ve experienced it.

God’s peace be with you.

Today’s Topic: (Gulp)…Relax

January 2

Relax-and-Unwind550First off, I can’t believe I’m blogging!  Last year, the subject of blogging came up at one of my friend’s small dinner gatherings.  (Now keep in mind that I didn’t know the other ladies at the gathering.)  I thought I’d try and participate in the conversation by putting in my two cents’ worth and stated that many people with blogs have no business blogging because they don’t have anything ‘educational or useful’ to say.  The ladies around the dinner table became awkwardly silent.   Apparently, there was an avid blogger in my midst and I had no idea.  Oops!  Talk about inserting foot in mouth!  Anyway, I wanted to confess that to you and say that I’m one of those ‘bloggers’ that doesn’t’ have much to say:)

Here it goes: relaxation.  It’s ironic that I’d get this topic.  I’ve had several VIPs (very important people) in my life tell me to relax in the last week or so.  I’ll admit, I’m no good at it!  So I decided to research how to relax and here are my findings.  Step 1 in how to relax: accept stress.  Lately, my biggest stress has been my new, old house.  Yea, confusing!  My husband and I just bought a house in Bellefonte, PA and moved in 2.5 weeks ago.   The house is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it is old.  We went from a home built in 1999 to a home built before my grandparents were born!  I absolutely love many aspects about it…the hardwoods, pretty molding, beautiful fireplace, etc, but there’s one thing I don’t like.  The place never looks clean!  Part of it comes from boxes still strewn about the house, but the other part of it comes from the age of the home.  It’s been ‘seasoned with love’:)

Anyhow, on to relaxation steps 2 & 3.  Step 2 is relax your body, you know…the stuff your doctor lectures you about…eat right, exercise, etc.  Now step #3 is the one I really need to work on and that’s relaxing my mind.  I’m a product of my mother, so relaxing my mind is almost impossible.  Haha!  No, really, my mom always has new ideas…sometimes for her, sometimes for dad, sometimes for me, sometimes for the president.  Now I’ve found in my researching that there are many tools to relaxing your mind, from positive thinking to pampering yourself, to prioritizing your schedule.

The most important way to relax your mind, though, is by relaxing in Him.  We do this by spending time with Him, by focusing our thoughts on Him, and by being still in His presence.  As a result, He gives us fuel to accelerate into our day and to face the road ahead.