Inside: 3 easy steps to help put a smile on your face and get you “God, Give Me Peace” back on the days you lose your cool.
When you stress, do you look like you’re about to blow a gasket? Or are you a silent seether where something ruins your whole day because you stew? No God-given peace there.
I’m embarrassed to admit it. I scream.
But as I worked on this post, God not only gave me peace but showed me how to stop the cycle.
For a long time, He’s been telling me I’m a scribe and all I need to do is write what He says. Sure enough, when I do, I get downloads. And all I do is take notes.
Of course, I think getting more done faster is better, so I get antsy as I wait on Him.
“Relax,” God teases, “you’re a scribe, not a strive!”
So why didn’t I just ask: God, Give Me Peace
Next time, instead of waiting until we get desperate, let’s pray first, okay?
God’s given me a little helper. My dog, Malachi, comes running when he hears a shift in my voice.
Yes, Mal and I live alone, but anyone who knows me is probably not surprised to hear that I talk even though there isn’t another person in the room.
I talk to God, the dog, and the computer. When Mal hears my voice change, he gives me this look:
When I ignore him, he paws me.
If I stop and take a break, it always helps. That’s what we need to do when we get like this, right? But usually, I don’t.
Mal eventually gives up. Walks away. And then it only gets worse.
So in the midst of our next crisis, let’s decide now that we’re going to do something different. It sounds so simple, but let’s pray first.
God, Give Me Peace?
And then let’s take that break.
Prayer is probably all we need to get back on track, but let’s stop strife from ripping us off and get our joy back, too!
Taking a break is the last thing I want to do when I’m in this place. For some reason, I think plowing through and getting my project done is going to work, but by the time Mal walks away, he knows.
So let’s take ten to do those personal things we probably need anyway, like a bathroom break or to make a cup of tea.
And let’s not forget, while we’re taking that break . . .
That certainly couldn’t hurt.
And I’m going to ask you to do one more thing . . .
I think God wants us to lighten up, go easy on ourselves. I think I’m a tougher taskmaster on myself than He is. So on that break, let’s do something for ourselves!
What would feel like a special treat to you?
I like chocolate, but if I ate it as often as this has been happening, well, it would clash with my plan to get in shape. So what else?
Wouldn’t your co-workers rather see this look on your face after that break?
I know my dog would.
Another simple thing that helps me is . . .
I make thinking lists.
Do you know how you get frustrated in the first place?
For me, it happens when I don’t know how to solve a dilemma, big ones and small ones. Three things on my list right now are:
- How will I get everything done before I fly back to Boston to care for my Dad next week?
- Since I’m moving, what should I do with all of my stuff?
- And that leftover cream cheese is begging to be part of a yummy treat. What ingredients do I have to make that happen?
Okay, so my list really looks more like this:
After I make the list, I take it with me to the grocery store or on a walk with Mal. From time to time, I glance at it and let my mind wander.
I tell God what I wish would happen.
He doesn’t solve everything all at once, but the ideas that come seem so simple and the peace. You can’t mimic that.
Easy and light-yoked, just like He promised
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you . . . For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30, New Living Translation)
As I prayed for my friend one day, that Bible verse came to mind. Knowing what a yoke is:
I wondered how it could be light and easy. In my mind, just like God was answering me, I saw a picture.
Do you know what the yoke was? Jesus had his arm around my friend! Now that’s easy and light.
Thank You, God, not only for giving us peace but also, joy.
This morning, I woke up early. Usually, when that happens, I strive to get back to sleep. Isn’t that stupid?
Of course, it doesn’t work, I only get cranky.
This time, like the scribe God’s been telling me I am, I listened to His ideas. I got up, took a morning walk, and wrote down all the ideas that came. Now I’ve got a cool list and I’m in a much better mood.
So, don’t forget, you’re not a strive!
***But here’s the key***
If we really want this to work, we have to commit.
I’ve made big changes in my life, things I couldn’t have done without God. And without my agreement, I don’t think they would have happened.
This sounds weird to say, but it seems like God needs our permission to change us. I think its part of that giant gift He gave us called free will.
When I tried to quit smoking, all 792 times without God, it was a strive. But with God, I can’t believe how easy it was.
So the next time we get an opportunity to hold it together
What are you going to do?
Will you agree to stop, pray, and receive His peace?
I will. That’s my pledge to you, that I aim to walk my talk.