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A picture of a peace sign.

Spark up peace…

By Katherine White

How are the holidays having you feeling? Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and all of the chaos in between leading up to the advent season, we can feel a bit exhausted. Even if this doesn’t sound like you, there is more than likely someone in your life whose stress around this time could have an affect on you… sometimes without you even realizing it!

All of the excitement from the holidays can leave us a bit anxious or overwhelmed. Maybe you’re an introvert having to spend a day with fifty people. For some, family functions are not always ideal. Sparking up some peace within, however, will ease not only your experiences during this busy time but remind those near to keep calm.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.”

A lot of feelings can flood in during the Holidays. If your family dynamic feels a little off, you’re missing a loved one, or have some negative memories related to this time of year, keeping your chin up can be a challenge. Remember that God is right there with you in those moments and pray for His peace to guard your heart. Sometimes this is hard to imagine and fully believe, but if we pray and ask God for peace and trust that He hears us -despite our inability to see Him or feel Him at times, He knows our desires and will be there!

Embodying peace in stressful times like these holiday gatherings will help you and everyone else around you slow down and take a breath.

A picture of praying hands

Spark a Prayer Today…

By Katherine White

It is time for a shift in focus. Life feels so small when we only look within. Take a step away from your worries, your current situation- it will still be there! Give a moment to God in prayer. He has the power to transform your outlook in rejuvenating ways.

Prayer draws us into quiet, deep, peaceful moments of refreshing power. We realize so much when we take the time to engage in God’s restoring love. Remembering to pray -anytime and anyplace- broadens our outlook and reminds us that we are never alone.

Focus on the ones you love today in prayer. Instead of feeling stuck in your own agenda, lift up the people around you. Let your mind and soul appreciate the connection through prayer and with the people in your life. This switch in perspective makes life truly full.

Sometimes we go to God desperate in prayer. In these hard times, we just need to trust Him. Rarely can we hear His voice right away, and that can feel discouraging. But as we learn to live slowly we can see His ways in response to our desires if our eyes are open to the truth. Maybe today is not the day you want, in these times trust that God has got you and still your heart in prayer.

I know I’m not alone in wanting this; I need to start taking the mind and heart to live a better way. If we are not constantly trying to improve all aspects of ourselves, we are not doing ourselves or anyone any favors and we can lose the people most important to us. Even when we fail, try along with me to make this a new priority and constant prayer:

Simply think about others before you do something, and your relationships will blossom in strength, dignity, and truth.

1. Have concern for yourself
2. Always be considerate

Let’s think about how we act, the choices we make. Maybe a new identity is in order. How does the way you live affect the ones you love? Do you show them that you care by considering them in how you behave? It is so easy to fall into a selfish mindset, but everyone represents something. What, and who, do you choose to represent with your actions?

Show the ones you love you care about them because they are the most valuable part of your life! Pray for them daily. When we are more conscious of others, we live how we were created to. They would do anything for you, so take conscious to do everything for them. This starts with simple, constant prayer.

Always act in love.