Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Peaceful Pause

There are so many things that can preoccupy us as mothers.  It is sometimes hard to feel peaceful, or even get a moment of peace ourselves.  When you have young children, you always have company!  I am creative about finding my peaceful moments.  I can experience them most through prayer, writing, and yoga.  In addition, I enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.  No matter what is going on around me, a warm drink in my hands feels like a warm hug.

I have found that peace requires cultivation to attain.  It takes time alone for reflection, activity that we find replenishing, and mental discipline.  With all that can weigh on our minds, it is a worthy pursuit.  We learn in scripture that peace is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), so it makes sense to turn to scripture to learn about it.  I recently read a devotion about peace that I wanted to share.  It is entitled "Mental Excellence," and it is by the head pastor of the church where I am Parish Associate. 

Jeff Ebert wrote on February 5, 2013:

Today I'm reading Philippians 4:6-9.  One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture.  If I could just live out these three verses...

I like it best in the New Living Translation (NLT):  "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me - everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you."

...Our identity is shaped primarily by what we allow into our brain...into our thinking.  And when it's "garbage in" then it's "garbage out."  What we feed grows.  So if we feed the negative into our minds, the lies of the Evil One, and things that come from our sinful self or the attitudes of the world, then no wonder we feel like crap.

The battleground is the mind, so be aware of what you are feeding your mind.  Be intentional about putting God's good things into your thoughts and beliefs.  Everyday, dwell on the good things of God.  When good things go in, good things come out.  "THEN the peace of God will be with you."

I like Jeff's devotion because it gives us some ownership on our path to peace.  We can control how we think about things and how we allow our attitude to inform our choices.  Our choices matter.  Despite all of the craziness that can sometimes unfurl around us, we have the opportunity to craft each day, steer clear of over commitment, and take time to slow down.

I have read countless times that our children learn how to handle stress by what they observe at home.  Moms, we are surrounded by little students.  A pause in the peaceful direction will not only bring us relief, but we will be planting seeds for a healthier tomorrow in our children.  Ultimately, we will be giving them a gift:  Fortitude.

You can check out Pastor Jeff's blog by clicking here.

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