Knowing Peace

cloudHello friend.

How are you? How is your heart? Are you finding peace among all the darkness this week? Or maybe you’re really struggling & need His peace more than ever.

There are few things in life that take such a toll on our bodies, minds & hearts as spiritual unrest does. When my spirit is stirred, when it senses a battle or is a part of one, my whole world feels… heavy.

I think it can be a very good thing. It causes me to pray harder, stretch my faith further & re-prioritize things that really matter in life; focus on the eternal, not the dirty dishes in the sink. But it can definitely become overwhelming if my eyes wander off of Jesus & focus on the world.

There is so much happening right now, on our own soil & around the world. No matter where I am, I hear stories of riots, violence, persecution, fear. I see pictures of hurting faces, angry mobs, innocent children being targeted by evil. There are moments where I feel like my heart & mind just can’t “go there”. I can’t think about it for too long, because it’s just so…scary. I want to feel safe, both physically & mentally.

But I know it is important that I do allow my heart & mind to “go there” sometimes. We do not need to focus on evil or meditate on fearful thoughts. But we do need to stay focused on praying for our persecuted brothers & sisters, asking God to protect the innocent, to bring light to a very, very dark world. It truly is a matter of life & death.

The truth of Ephesians 6:12 becomes more raw when I hear their stories, see pictures of their faces & am faced with the realization that this is actually happening to regular families like mine.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

The last few weeks have been a challenge for me. I want to know what is going on. I want to know what is happening. But with that information comes a lot of other elements. I do not want to get wrapped up in fear. And if you’re like me, I have plenty of other things happening in life that cause me to battle anxiety & fear. I have to constantly guard my heart & mind so anxious & fearful thoughts can’t take root.

But I’m learning that there’s a difference between staying informed & meditating on fear. It can be a tricky balance indeed.

So as we are praying for our brothers & sisters around the world & asking God to change hearts & protect the innocent, may we also guard our hearts & minds against fear. Let us praise Him for His sovereignty. Let us thank Him for His steadfast love.

May we focus on His peace.

May we remember He is greater than any evil.

May we cling to His truth.

Our God is in control.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

It’s Going To Be Okay

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Sometimes we just need to hear- “It’s going to be okay.”

We need to know that whatever is going on in our lives won’t last forever. We need to know that our circumstances are temporary & that the pain, the frustration, the exhaustion, the anxiety will not ruin us. We need to hear it out loud. “It’s going to be okay.”

For the second time in a week, I was calling my OB about a pregnancy “concern”. The first time I called, it was about accidently eating blue cheese. Yes, blue cheese & yes, eating it accidently. Now there are certain things I know I shouldn’t do while I’m pregnant. Water skiing, bungee jumping, deep sea diving. Basically all extreme sports are a no-no. But there’s something else that the internet tells you to stay away from. Blue cheese. (The internet has never steered me wrong, so I obviously listen to it on important matters such as pregnancy. Insert sarcastic tone here.) You will either get sick, or grow an 8-legged child, or jeopardize your baby’s development & ruin their chance at getting into an Ivy League school. Or something like that.

But the reason I was calling my doctor this time was about a different food. Raw chicken. I accidentally ate some on purpose.

It’s very complicated being pregnant. But to put it simply: my brain stops working.

I was making a crockpot dinner & placed the raw chicken in along with all the seasonings. I grabbed a spoonful of the sauce to make sure it tasted good. Two hours later, I realized I had swallowed a spoonful of raw chicken.

Now if it were just me, I’d wait it out & see if I started to feel sick. But c’mon. I’m growing a human being here. And I have to do everything I can to keep that little person safe & healthy. No water skiing. No deep sea diving. No blue cheese. And no raw chicken.

Even though my brain was telling me that “The Blue Cheese & Raw Chicken Incident of 2014” would be okay, I really needed to hear it from someone else.

Even though it sounds sort of silly now, the moment my doctor called me back & assured me that my baby would not grow any extra legs, I felt…relieved. It was going to be okay.

No matter what is going on today, whether you unknowing ingested blue cheese, or you’re facing one of the biggest obstacles of your life, I want you to hear something…

It’s going to be okay.

The family drama, your breaking heart, the pain you’re feeling. It’s going to be okay. Your busy schedule, that seemingly impossible project, that huge unknown thing that is ever-so-close to your heart. It won’t last forever & it will not ruin you.

It’s going to be okay. YOU are going to be okay.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, & do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5