Today's Devotional Thought
August 20, 2010 by Rachel Piferi
Becoming a Woman of Peace
What do you do to refresh and rejuvenate yourself each day? How do you maintain a refreshed spirit each day amidst the business and craziness of being moms, grandmothers, wives, friends, employees, and other roles?
Yesterday, we started our discussion of ways to refresh ourselves each day. And, we explored the importance of maintaining our physical health each day through sleeping well, eating well, and exercising. As we mentioned yesterday, your physical health has a great impact on your emotional health and maintaining your emotional and spiritual health starts with maintaining your physical health.
But, what else can we do (aside from the physical health recommendations made yesterday) to feel refreshed and rejuvenated each day? Today, we will focus on emotional health. When we think about emotional health, we think of things like stress, anxiety, anger, among other negative moods and emotional states. On the positive side of things, we can think about feeling confident and empowered, happy, optimistic, and resilient to the hassles of the day.
How can we battle worry and stress and replace it with optimism, confidence, and resiliency as we face our daily hassles?
Friends, the first thing that we must all realize is that maintaining our mood and sense of confidence and resiliency is a going to be a daily struggle. Each day, we will be faced with things that challenge us and disrupt our mood and require a response from us. How we respond is so very critical. And each day in each stressor, we must choose to respond to those things with a calm heart and mind. And, we must choose to use strategies that will help us combat our daily stressors.
So, how do we choose to take on those things with a calm heart and mind? Well, we must choose actions and responses that help us with those daily stressors. So, what are those responses to our daily hassles that we can choose that will help us be a woman of peace throughout our day?
1. Prayer. We repeatedly talk on After the Miracle about prayer in our daily life. If you do not have a regular prayer life, then I beg you to start praying regularly. Each morning, start your day with prayer. Ask God to give you a calm heart as you face various things in your day. Tell Him that you want to be a woman of peace throughout the storms of life. In addition to starting your day with prayer, when a situation arises, then pray specifically for that. Pray that God will help you deal with it in a way that will not disrupt your mood that day. And pray that He will give you the mental clarity and peace that you may need to deal with your children, your husband, your boss, or anything else that needs that clarity and peace.
2. Be a delayed responder. When faced with a situation that challenges you, walk away and then respond with love. Oftentimes when we face daily hassles and challenges, we also experience a physiological reaction. You know that feeling: increased heart rate, palms get sweaty, you almost can feel your mind clouding over as you are so angry, frustrated, sad, or disappointed. When you feel that response to a daily stressor, then walk away. Breathe deeply, go for a walk, listen to music, pray, but do not respond to the other individual while you are in that state. I think we all have experienced what happens when we do and it usually is not very productive to the problem at hand. It is so very important to be what I call a delayed responder. Our initial reaction when we have been hurt or angered in our day is often self protective or combative and is often times not very Christ-like and not full of love. Unfortunately, it seems as if our Christ-like responses are on a little bit of a time delay, so we must walk away and let our physiological response to the hassle subside so that Christ can reveal Himself in us.
One of my favorite set of verses is in Romans 7. And in these verses, Paul is talking about how his physical body is unspiritual and that he often does what he does not want to do because his body is sinful. But, he must choose to focus on Christ and emulate Christ even though his body is sinful and constantly battling him. When we face a challenge in our day, our natural, physical bodies will automatically respond poorly. But, we must choose to respond in a manner that is Christ-like. And that begins with prayer and then walking away in the moment so that we will not respond poorly.
Your emotional state will fluctuate each day. With kids and husbands and jobs and friends, we will face many challenges each day. But one thing that we must all remember is that each day is a new day and we can lay the challenges of yesterday aside and start fresh today. Pray that the Lord will give you a calm heart and clear mind today as you face today’s challenges. And then use strategies throughout your day to maintain emotional calm and peace throughout life’s daily hassles. One such strategy is to not respond in the moment. Maintaining emotional health is a big job and we will share more strategies on Monday for how to combat those daily stressors. Today, I encourage you to pray and ask God to fill you with a peace and calm to face your day.