Friday, May 22, 2009

Uplands of God

I saw this on my sisters site and couldn't help but feel like it belongs here ..may you always strive for the uplands my sweet friends ...

Not many of us are living at our best. We linger in the low lands, because we are afraid to climb the mountains. The steepness and the ruggedness dismay us and so we stay in the misty valleys, and do not learn the mystery of the hills.

We do not know what we lose in our self indulgence. What glory awaits us, if only we had the courage for the mountain climb, what blessing we should find if only we would move to the uplands of God. - J.R.M.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Destress: Others

In light of an experience I had this past week, I wanted to repost this thought that became so real to me once again. I hope that it reminds us all that we need to reach out and touch each other so that we all can strive for that life that is closer to God :)


Something that has occured to me alot lately is that we have so much to do with OTHERS' stress levels.

We have mentioned our kids' and our hubbies stress, but beyond that we have so much that we can do over the stress of alot of people we come in contact with.

I have learned of myself recently that this is something I love doing. In fact, on the retrospect I realize that the reason I do SO many things is that I truly want to relieve stress in others. I want to take that tension from their chest, in so much as it depends on me.

As an RN in Critical Care, I especially love doing this for patients and their families. One of my favorite roles is to educate, inform and update. Why? Because information and attention to explaining relieves stress.

There are SO many ways that we can help to decrease the stress levels of those around us, be they friends, extended family members, the bagger at the grocery store, the customer service rep on the phone, the neighbor..etc.

Here are some thoughts ..

  • Prayers. This promise, and the follow through really does relieve stress for people. Its a reminder that they are being remembered to God himself. How is that for stress relief?
  • Cards/Emails. This is stress relieving for both parties I think. For me, it means that I have touched someone today. For them, they are reminded that they have touched someone enough to be remembered and thought of.
  • Touch. This done appropriately is a great stress reliever. Hugs, hand squeezes, shoulder pats ..again, reminders that they are not alone in their struggle.
  • Listening. Girls especially need to relieve their stress by talking! Being a good listener is a great way to be a stress-relieving friend :)
  • Controlling your emotions and your reactions. This is a big one for every relationship you have. When negative things happen, especially, your control of your reactions can go a long way to relieve another's stress. Have you seen relief on a persons face when they expect you be angry or negative and you respond with a gentle or positive answer? I love that feeling.
  • Sharing Scripture. God uses us to remind each other of his promises. Remember to stay alert when a scripture brings a person to mind, it could be God asking you to share with them.
  • Example. I can relate to this one, as I have several people in my life who handle every day chaos with such grace. They relive my stress when I remember them, how they keep their priorities in line, they control their reactions, they stay positive and at peace...even though they dont have everything totally together :)
  • Service. Being willing to serve each other is a big way to relieve stress for another person. Whether it be preparing a meal, keeping children so a weary mommy can get coffee alone, running errands for a shut-in, visiting someone in the hospital ..we can do so much for each other that will take the burden of stress from them.
  • Forgiveness. I left this one for last, because I think its the hardest but one of the most important. Being able to give someone forgiveness is stress relieving for ALL involved. How much stress of yours is related to frustration over something someone has said or done? Your forgiveness gives you peace, and allows them peace as well.

A life full of peace cannot help but touch others with a sense of calm. I pray that you are seeking to do that. By decreasing our stress, we dont find peace..God is the only way to that. But, by our clearing our minds, spirits, bodies and hearts of stress we are more capable of being touched by the peace He brings us.
May you find many opportunities to decrease your stress level today, and make a difference in someone else's stress level as well :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

What is Peace?

I think that everyone wants peace ..but do we know for sure what that means?

One thing that we can look at is what peace is not ...

  • Peace is not pretending that everything is "fine" ...because things dont have to be "fine" to be at peace.
  • Peace is not something we can achieve on our own ..its a gift of the Holy Spirit. Its a result of having Christ in our heart, not what we do or dont do
  • Peace is not "having it all together" ..because you can be at peace even when things around you are going crazy
Peace is ...
  • a result of our perspective that God is bigger than everything we see or experience ..its trusting that God will work it all out ..Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
  • a result of allowing the Spirit to reside in your heart ..Romans 8:6 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."
  • something that is achievable in every situation, in all things ..Philippians 4:12 "...I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
  • a feeling that comes from bringing all things to Him Philippians 4: 6-7 " Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
  • affected by our thinking "...Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things... And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9
  • considered a blessing and gift in scripture ..Psalms 29:11 ..."The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."
  • One of the most precious blessings to pray for someone else ..."The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." ' Numbers 6:24-26
This is certainly not an all inclusive list ..I am excited to keep adding to it as I keep learning. Peace is an incredible thing that we have as a resource through life in the Spirit!

Do you have an aspect of peace that you would like to share?
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