Even one second of peace is difficult for most of us, but now more than ever, we must find it. Shared grief, trauma, and anxiety hang heavy in the atmosphere.
I practice yoga to dig up my peace.
There are 8 sacred limbs of yoga. Achieving them takes much time and much practice. To find them is to find peace. I believe it. I practice it. I also mostly do yoga to un-sacred punk rock music, while I bang and stomp on my mat and sing and fire breathe at the top of my lungs. This isn’t popular or “correct” according to most enlightened yogis, and I’m all the way cool with that because this is my peace. Here’s my punk-rock yoga playlist… it fluctuates. https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/punk-yoga/pl.u-DdANxxNCg6JoWM
Your peace doesn’t look like mine, or anyone else’s. Respecting others’ space for peace is vital in this climate. Bare in mind, if there is hate present, peacefulness will not be achieved.
Some phenomenal females weighed in on their peacefulness point of view for me. The running theme is calmness with a side of relief.
Find your peace and rock it. Help others find their peace.
Stop judging people.
We must strive for freedom from disorder, war, commotion, strife, and violence.
I implore you to take this as a call to action. Find peacefulness in yourself. Whether it’s through God, creativity, physical activity, meditation, or your own special blend of weirdness, find it! Then spread the love, patience, empathy, compassion, joy… share the burden of the heavy.
To The Indifferent Women
BY CHARLOTTE ANNA PERKINS GILMAN
Yet you are mothers! And a mother's care
Is the first step toward friendly human life.
Life where all nations in untroubled peace
Unite to raise the standard of the world
And make the happiness we seek in homes
Spread everywhere in strong and fruitful love.
all around weirdo
This week's blog writer Natalie Hogan is a mom, wife, writer, yogi, and outdoorsy.
Looking around our world today and its state of affairs, compassion for one another seems to be absent. At least, it seems so on the surface. But what does it really mean to show compassion? Compassion is the feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another, particularly if they have experienced a hardship or misfortune, and includes the desire to help alleviate that circumstance. So, compassion is not just a feeling or emotion, but includes the instinct to take action, to help, to console, to comfort.
Why do we fail to show compassion? Perhaps it’s because showing compassion requires us to put ourselves out there, to show vulnerability, to feel, to sacrifice something. Sadly, the side effect of shutting ourselves off from our fellow human beings is a sad, ugly world.
My faith requires me to be compassionate, to learn more about compassion and how to show it to others. The greatest example to me of compassion is Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Through this example we learn that when we see someone suffering we are to recognize that one, the person is suffering and two, we are to help alleviate their suffering. We are to help our neighbor. And who is our neighbor—everyone. Our fellow human beings. Not just our own family, not just our own countrymen, not just those like us—but everyone. Because we are all part of the human family. In other words, we are to treat others the way we would want to be treated.
We can reach beyond our efforts of individual compassion. As a society, we can practice collective compassion. We can support programs in our communities that lift up others who are experiencing difficult life situations, whether those situations be temporary or perennial. At the state and federal level, we can support policies and statutes that reflect the value of compassion. We can advocate for programs and services that meet the needs of the most vulnerable—those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
The most important place to start, however, is right in our own heart. Mother Teresa reminds us that, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” The next time someone cuts us off in traffic, we can offer them a little grace and not yell ugly words at them. The next time we see someone without a basic need, we can offer what we have. When we know someone is elderly and lives alone, we can take them a meal. There are so many places to start and so many needs to meet. Maybe, if we all just practiced one act of compassion each day, the world could become a kinder, more compassionate place.
This week's blog writer is Sabra Tucker. Sabra Tucker is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association, representing the interests of over 62,000 retired teachers, support professionals, and school administrators. She has been with the association just under two years. Prior to serving at OREA, she spent a number of years in education as a National Board Certified teacher, curriculum director, and school administrator. She has experience in all levels of education from early childhood to college. She also has worked in state government at the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management. With degrees in both education and business, she now focuses on the public policy that affects education professionals, retirement issues, and public pensions. She specializes in assisting retirees and in protecting the benefits they have earned as school professionals. She and her husband of 31 years, Mike, a retired air force officer, live in Shawnee. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
To be grateful when the world feels hateful.
Ah yes, to be grateful... we hear it all of the time, don’t we? Be thankful, they say, be positive. The glass is half full, now drink up and don’t complain! But, what does it look like to be actively grateful? Is there special formula? And if so, can it make me happier, more content, and less impatient while waiting in any kind of line?!
The truth is, gratefulness comes in every shape and size. You can be grateful that you caught the bus, made the team, or aced the test. You can also be grateful that your mother’s cancer is in remission, or that you didn’t lose your job during the pandemic. It may seem boorish to value the former as much as the latter, but in my opinion, both are equally important. There is an extreme power in being mindfully thankful— for everything. This simple yet courageous act can absolutely change your life and that of those around you.
There are a plethora of studies that reiterate this fact to me, and yet I still forget the power of gratitude. I heard an interesting study about the neurological implications of practicing gratefulness on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast (which is amazing and you should totally check it out). Shawn Achor, a Harvard graduate and happiness research expert, conducted a study where his team took “high level pessimists” from the ages of 10-80 years and made them think for 2 minutes about 3 things they are grateful for in life. They continued this practice for 21 days. After just a few short weeks, these super sad folks turned into some “low level optimists!” Basically, they reported happier outlooks towards themselves, their relationships, and their livelihoods. In addition, they found that by slowing down the brain and focusing on the present, the subjects experienced lower levels of stress and higher levels of focus. Interestingly, those around the subjects also experienced lower levels of stress. This indicated that contentment, gratitude, and happiness are somewhat contagious. Now, I’m no scientist, but anything that can turn a “get off my lawn” grandpa into a “get off my lawn, but have a nice day” grandpa sounds effective to me.
So, you’re saying that you can take a mere 2 minutes out of your day to be grateful and reap all of these wonderful benefits? Seems like a no brainer on paper... But at times, this simple act proves to be more difficult than we imagine.
It is hard to appreciate and accept our lives for what they are right now- at this very moment. Messy, crazy, uncomfortable, anxious, angry, gassy, pissy, and all. But, it is looking at the mess and choosing to create a kinder path amid the storm. This path may not have all of the answers or prevent any suffering, but it has far more flowers and sunsets along the way. It is a path paved with stones made from the gravel of our guts that we’ve spilled out in times of pain. We work with these painful moments. We scream, cry, and cuss. We reflect, nurture, and heal. And it is through thankfulness, that we are able see the value of our mistakes, accept the broken pieces, and truly grow. We turn those pieces of gravel into something useful- a lesson to inform our journey. By being gracious in a world that thrives on discontentment, we take our power back. We are able to recognize our humanity and grow in humility. It is only then that we are able to feel more warmth, inspiration, and love as we pave our winding paths of life.
Along my journey, I’ve found that human suffering is inevitable. It is the dichotomy of good and evil- the yin and the yang. You cannot recognize the face of one without staring directly into the eyes of the other. That is part of trying to be a wholesome individual— knowing both pain and sorrow and choosing goodness anyway. It is through the acknowledgement of our brokenness, that we will be able to cultivate a different consciousness. A consciousness that values human life. Our priorities will change from getting a promotion to healing the sick, lifting the marginalized, and recognizing one another in a deeper way. Radical change starts by looking at ourselves and taking action— big or small. During these heartbreaking and unprecedented times, we need this skill now more than ever.
I encourage you to sit down 4 times a week and think for two full minutes about everything you are thankful for. The shoes on your feet, the food in your belly, the hair or absence of hair on your head, the relatives you have that are still alive, the house you’ve made a home, the car you drive, the smile you exchanged with a stranger, the laugh you shared with a co-worker, and the fact that an asteroid hasn’t destroyed us all... think of everything you can!! Another popular gratitude practice is to keep a journal of thankfulness. This works for some, but for me it feels like a chore. Thinking and reflecting is much easier and more tangible for my life... ha-ha, I’m lazy. But hey, I’m thankful for these lazy bones!
Overall, gratitude is the golden ticket to the chocolate factory. It brings you to a place where you feel happy and proud of your journey. In that space, you are able to own your faults, shame, and guilt, and realize it’s those very moments of brokenness that made you who you are today. So, go, be grateful! Sing with the Oompa Loompas! And see how a tiny thought can bloom into a more beautiful reality.
This week's blog writer is Ellis Jones. She is from Shawnee, Oklahoma and recently graduated with a Psychology degree from Abilene Christian University. This fall she is headed to the University of Texas at Arlington to complete a master's of Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Commitment…the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. Is commitment scary? Is commitment rewarding? In my opinion -- yes and yes!
What have you been committed to in your life? A marriage? A job? A long-range goal? A group of friends or your community? A sense of personal calling?
As I ponder my commitments over the years, my first thought goes to accepting my marriage proposal. The initial agreement to commit was easy for me because I loved him and was hoping to spend the rest of my life with him. We enjoyed each other’s company and had fun together. However, keeping this commitment—through all of life’s ups and downs—hasn’t been easy, but well worth it.
Another commitment I have made more than once was to train for an endurance race. This has included five marathons, two half-ironman races, one Olympic distance triathlon, and numerous half-marathons and sprint triathlons. The decision to participate was easy. One reason I made these race commitments was to spend fun training times with amazing friends, who provide a life filled with joy and fun. However, keeping this commitment was not always easy with many early 5am training runs and four- to five-hour Saturday trial races before the actual race. Do I feel these commitments were worth it? Yes, the feeling of accomplishment and finishing alongside friends provided many memorable moments.
As I was researching for this blog, I came across this quote by Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Reading this reminded me that you can also commit to a specific way of living life. As I approach turning 50 years old in less than a month, I feel like this is a commitment I want to reexamine. How do I want to commit to live my next 50 years? Like Maya, I desire to focus on having more passion and compassion, laughing regularly, and doing so in the style of Jesus.
Committed to you,
This week's blog writer is Tonya Ricks, co-creator of Living52.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
--President John F. Kennedy
Trustworthiness is defined as “the ability to be relied on as honest or truthful.”
In this day, where there is so much chaos and concern around us, we need to seek and be able to find comfort in people and environments we trust. As the famous quote from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address states, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I am relating this quote to “trustworthiness” because we need to be able to have trust in our own communities and surroundings in order to have faith in our country, but also within ourselves and others.
Whether you find yourself to be comforted through the news outlets, social media, or rather by steering away from those mediums to find your comfort during these challenging times, that is your own prerogative. The world around us is changing daily, or more less hourly.
For you to have peace of mind and to overcome the uncertainty of what the future holds, find someone or something that is reliable, truthful, honest, open, and unbiased towards you, your beliefs, your faults, your strengths, and your weaknesses, but also be able to reciprocate that in the relationship. Find sources that will hold “trustworthiness” to them. It may not always be an easy task to let your guard down and let your complete self be shown--but once that happens, there will be a new greatness and feeling in your life. Once you know there is someone/something you can depend on to keep you safe, hold your secrets, talk out your fears and worries and to hold accountable, then you will know peace.
Trustworthiness is a vital characteristic for a human being to experience. So, going forward in the days to come I hope you are able to find someone or something that gives you the feeling of trust which then brings out more and more positive feelings for you and also those around you, which can then lead to a more positive impact in the community, the country, and the world! This is what we can do for our country, ourselves and all existence!
This week's blog writer is Kaily O'Connor. Born and bred in Shawnee, Oklahoma, she is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Communications. After graduation she worked for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, submerging herself into the not for profit world and seeing the impact that all of those great organizations around the state provide for others. In 2017 she moved to New York City in support of her long-time boyfriend who is currently in his 3rd year of Podiatry School. She currently is the Marketing & Sales Coordinator of the East Coast US for Valmont Cosmetics, a luxury Swiss skincare brand. Exercising her social skills as well as organizational skills implementing and executing in-store and off-site events, charitable partnerships and more.
SERVICE ~ It's a word you may have heard many times in your life. Here are ways I heard this from my parents throughout the years:
“You must service your car.”
“You shouldn’t yell at the customer service rep on the phone!”
“It’s important to serve others and volunteer your time.”
“Serving your country is the greatest service as an American.”
“Serving God should be a priority every single day.”
For me, this word takes on many meanings. Writing this blog has helped me consider these meanings and think about the true depth of service. While waiting on the phone for an hour to hear back from a customer service representative after being put on hold, my opinion of customer service isn't always great. If the definition of service is the action of helping or doing work for someone else, it makes you wonder if anyone in customer service jobs are really trained to embrace this concept let alone know what it means.
Two days ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a man named Patrick Riley. He knows about service! He is an older gentleman who has lived a full life. Not only is he a talented artist, but he has spent much of his life teaching art to children and yoga to prisoners. Listening to him, I recognized the beauty of service. I doubt, as humble as he is, that he would call it that but I felt at peace being in the calming presence of him (someone who has given his life to others). He said to me “When you're in touch with your Creator you know everything is as it should be.” In that moment, I realized his purpose of service was greater than himself. And wouldn’t be great if we all tried to live that way! Maybe I shouldn’t get so frustrated with the reps on the phone. Ha Ha!
Back to my earlier thought, I was raised to service my car on a regular basis or my dad would flip out. If my car was overdue for an oil change or my gas tank got too low, I would hear a lecture on how important it was to take care of your car! “That car costs too much for you not to be responsible enough to take care of it. If you can’t take care of the things we give you then you don't deserve to have them!” Hmmmmmm… That's a thought.
I assume that would also apply to serving God, serving country, and serving others. After recently talking with a close friend, I would also add serving ourselves to this list even though sometimes it feels like serving yourself is a selfish act. Many Americans take the vow of serving their country seriously through joining the armed services, becoming a public servant, or participating by voting. Many gifted people I know get up every day to serve others, whether it's in their job duties or in the time they give after work hours to volunteer in local non-profits or their church. Parents serve their children. Pastors serve their congregation. Nurses and firemen serve everyone in their communities. Soldiers and police serve even with the chance of dying during their service. With all of these amazing ways of service, the thought of serving or doing anything for yourself does sound selfish, but what about that car we talked about earlier? Maybe it's a happy balance? If I don’t serve myself at times, I can’t serve others at all. Just like a car won't drive your family, if you don't take care of it. The flight attendant does say to put your mask on first then your child’s mask, so maybe service to myself sometimes is necessary and not selfish at all.
I believe service can be one the greatest purposes of one’s life. In my opinion, a known reality is that we are here to do and give for others. Yet if you run out of all the steam you have, you can’t give it any more. I recently had a friend share with me his struggle with giving everything he had. Getting back on track and refueling needed to be a main priority. Sometimes, it is important as humans to serve your soul, serve your mind, and serve your body. Regroup, refill and refocus or you can't fulfill your purpose to serve others or God. We are given the freedom to serve, but also the knowledge of when to refuel ourselves so that our service will continue in the long-haul. Maybe we should be as responsible with our own well-being as we are with the service of our car. We are valuable too. Refuel and do maintenance, so that you can continue to be of SERVICE to others!
This week's blog writer is Julie Brittain, co-founder of LIVING52. Read more of Julie's story at www.living52words.com/stories.
Contentment - The state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are.
We’re all looking for it and it means something different to each of us. The word equivalent of a fingerprint, if you will. Each definition unique and taking on its own shape and form. Our thoughts of what it means are constantly changing and evolving through different stages in our lives. It’s not just a thought, or a short-term feeling, but more of an authenticated situation we strive for that produces long-term satisfaction.
While writing this I tasked myself with peeling back the layers and differences between happiness and what gives me sustained contentment. Happiness to me may consist of hearing a favorite song from my childhood, having my favorite dinner or watching a good movie. While we enjoyed these at the moment they took place, and they made us temporarily happy, it doesn’t take long for the song or movie to end and our level of contentment most likely isn’t advanced moving forward. While I personally believe these little bouts of happiness are imperative for our short- and long-term well-being, contentment is most likely unaffected.
Often times I believe contentment is incorrectly intertwined with complacency. We may fear if we are too content with our current situation then we aren’t striving to become a better version of ourselves. Our thoughts may tell us that if being content goes hand-in-hand with complacency then why work towards it. I admit this perfectly describes my thought process for a large portion of my life. Looking back now I realize how unhealthy that was, both mentally and spiritually. The time I spent only fixating on the future and not enjoying the current moment, can never be recaptured. It is possible to be content and at the same time aspire to achieve more, be it professionally, physically or spiritually.
You may have noticed I freely listed a few things that supply happiness for me but have not yet touched on what I personally believe contentment is. I find it is much more difficult to describe and wrap our arms around as it often times isn’t tangible. It’s possible some people may not agree with that statement as their definition may partially consist of material things they can reach out and touch. While this can be true, as each person rightfully defines their own definition, some of the most truly content people I’ve ever been associated with don’t necessarily have the highest net-worth or collection of things. This isn’t to say material items can’t bring contentment for some but more of a belief that material satisfaction is less important to our overall well-being than a consistent positive mindset and the relationships we foster.
If contentment is so great then how do we find it? Can we just hope to one day have it? Will we get it at a certain age? Do you already truly have it? Is it tangible? The answer is different for everybody but it is out there and it’s for each one of us to continually look for it. We can begin by taking the first step by creating a plan and following where our spirit is leading us. As cliché as it sounds we owe it to ourselves to find not only what allows for bursts of happiness but also what helps fully complete us as individuals on a more permanent level. Although I’m cognizant of the search, sometimes it’s more elusive than others. My reliance on spiritual faith brings me contentment as does a feeling of self-independence. I do know for certain when my family and those closest to me are healthy and I think of my future with them, I am truly content. The thought of completing the ever-changing bucket list of adventures I’ve created over the years, pales in comparison to a genuine connection of the soul that takes place with those I love and cherish the most. Here’s to finding your own slice of contentment – Onward!
Responsibility is often viewed as an obligation to a task or duty. That responsibility can take the form of many things like taking out the trash, showing up to work, or guarding the nuclear launch codes. Directly tied to responsibilities are consequences. Consequences, despite their negative connotation, can be good or bad. Failure to meet responsibilities can lead to stinky homes, unemployment, or- well, let’s just avoid nuclear annihilation all together. But just like consequences, responsibilities are not simple.
The word ‘responsibility’ is a complex word that can be both a positive and a negative. One can exhibit responsibility by any number of things. Examples include walking the dog, paying bills on time, or proper containment of a plutonium-239 reactor. Responsibilities can be good and can be a sign of trust and of adulthood. But, when life goes awry we must take responsibility for our actions. Even when we try to be the most responsible, irresponsibility can occur. It is conceivable to do everything right, yet still make mistakes. Well-intentioned ideas may not pan out.
As an enterprising young man, I like to think of myself as a responsible individual. I enjoy being entrusted with responsibility, and I feel like most people - in some way or another - also feel the same. It makes me warm to feel entrusted with a job or a project, and even warmer to see a positive resolution. So, whenever things do not turn out, I feel especially bad. Taking responsibility for projects that do not yield as expected was one of the most difficult lessons to learn. My personal perfectionistic and professional nature did not allow for tasks to fail or any result other than as planned. And maybe there are people out in the world who do not fear failure as I, but I do not know any. It is when the outcome is failure that I find it is most useful to take responsibility. True character is shown in those moments when responsibility is not a positive but a negative.
If the ability to take responsibility for one’s action is indicative of good character, then with great responsibility comes great power.
Liam Larson is a 19-year-old college student at Oklahoma Baptist University pursuing a degree in Music Composition with Honors. This Shawnee-native has been involved with Band and Music Theatre at SHS and OBU. After college, he hopes to find a career writing music. A personal goal is always finding the humor in life.
The word faithfulness has been on the tip of my tongue for some time now. I realize it takes on a different meaning from person to person; however, to me it’s power posts a strong presence in my reality. This characteristic of our Lord keeps my mind and emotions sound. His faithfulness is imprinted throughout my life, miracles big and small. Creating a faith-filled legacy commands being faithful to God.
Wikipedia states faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. If you have been on this earth long, I bet you have had one or a few of extenuating circumstances. How did you react? Where did you turn? For me, I turn to God. Remaining faithful to God, has been the key to seeing God’s faithfulness in my life. Let me explain.
Three years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and my world came to a screeching halt. My relationship with the Lord was strong but boy I needed extra strength, discernment, peace and comfort. My dad was extra special to me, he truly unconditionally loved me and his family. We were both in turmoil over his health and situation. You see, my dad’s legacy of hard work was on the line because of some poor choices he had made, choices that were out of my control. He had allowed sin to take root in part of his life and it was jeopardizing everything. I had never experienced this type of suffering in my lifetime nor had he. All I could do was pray without ceasing for God’s will and redemption. Throughout this painful journey of his illness and passing, God’s word and faithfulness endured.
As my sweet friend Bridgette and I were discussing God’s faithfulness, I was reminded that God wants us to partner with him. Let’s think about this, in a marital relationship there are two people involved. It’s difficult to maintain a healthy relationship if it’s one sided. God is sitting in the background waiting for us to partner with him. He doesn’t force himself on us, he just asks that we chose to have a relationship with him through Jesus Christ. I chose God. I chose to partner with God. I chose to build a relationship with him through consistent prayer, quiet time and studying scripture in the Bible. As my dad’s illness and legacy was in the midst of a spiritual battle, I chose to partner with God and fight. Yes, days were long and dreary, my mind would go dark, but I chose to surrender the illness, the pain and the legacy over to God. I chose to remain faithful on good days and bad. I believe this is how I truly began to understand and see God’s faithfulness in my life. Over and over and over again, God provided. God’s faithfulness left me absolutely speechless! I witnessed my father’s heart turn towards the Lord and God redeem his legacy. Psalms 100:5 states “For the Lord is good, his unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Amen!
So, how can we remain faithful to God when we live in a world where it seems faithlessness is the new norm instead of faithfulness? You get to decide. It’s your choice. I encourage you to do your part in being faithful in partnering with God, faithful in prayer, faithful in sharing the gospel, faithful in the small things, faithful in trusting God completely with your life no matter what the battle.
The faithfulness of God will withstand time here on earth and eternity. The fruit of your relationship with the most high God is eternal. I leave you with this: God is faithful. Where in your life can you show more faithfulness? We have the privilege to create the legacy we leave behind. Choose a faith-filled one!
Towry Barnard is a native Oklahoman who graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Business Communications. She received her Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training and continues to utilize this skill set today. Throughout her adulthood she has focused on topics including: student leadership development, character first, early childhood education and God’s word.
Towry worked in higher education for over a decade. She combined her work, personal passions and parenting experiences to pursue writing and producing a children’s DVD and Book, titled: Zugio and the Sunshine Kidz which are tools encouraging children to lead a healthy lifestyle. Currently, Towry owns and operates her family’s real estate company and is working on her next creative writing adventure.
She met her husband Adam Barnard while attending OU and they have been married for 13 years. Together they moved to McKinney, Texas in 2011. Towry has a 13-year-old daughter, Tatum and a 5-year-old daughter Tindyl.
She has been a member of Cottonwood Creek Church for 8 years where she has enjoyed volunteering in children’s ministry and teaching God’s word in the women’s ministry.
I am sure by now you have heard of a certain prayer that goes “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.” Have you ever thought about what the word Serenity means?
Serenity according to the Oxford Dictionary means “the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.” If you’ve ever been out to a lake, either the Twin Lakes outside of town or driven out to any lake on a day when the Oklahoma wind is not living up to its billing, you might have felt that serenity through the water – when there aren’t any boats on it of course.
If you have children, more than likely you probably have felt that serenity either when they are sleeping or if you left them with Grandma and Grandpa for a few hours. My wife Sharon and I do not have any kids together (we do have two older daughters that I inherited when we got married) but when that day comes, we will probably take advantage even though my parents live two hours away – doubt it but worth the shot.
You might be looking at the word serenity and thinking “now isn’t it the same thing as having peace?” From what I have read in researching for this blog, it is. In fact, an Australian named Kevin Bar on the site quora.com puts it this way: “Each one of us has our own degree of consciousness and our own unique density of intelligent light/love. The true meaning of peace and serenity is that they are positive catalysts that we can aim to achieve on an individual basis.” So while everything around you is collapsing, you can have a sense of peace (serenity) that everything will turn out fine.
The prayer that I mentioned above is not in Scripture per se, as it is used by those who are involved in Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step programs to encourage those who might be struggling in their recovery. But the Scriptures do make a lot of references when it comes to peace. A notable example would be when Jesus talks to His disciples. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV)
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi tells them to not be anxious about anything “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your prayers be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6,7)
Think about any situation right now that could use a little bit of serenity…and work toward changing it. As we move into the summer months, it will make things a lot easier, even if it does mean leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa.
Robert Keil is Tonya’s brother in law. He and his wife Sharon live in Shawnee where you might see him as a block leader for Community Renewal or as a volunteer for the American Red Cross …or you can hear him on the One Ten Broadcast Group stations -- KWSH (1260 AM/97.7 FM), KSLE (104.7) and KIRC (105.9)