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  • Jesus My Peace

    Wendy Blight FEBRUARY 1, 2016

    Jesus My Peace WENDY BLIGHT

    "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 (NIV)

    A few years ago I found myself in one of those busy seasons of life. You know, the kind where your calendar is void of white space. Where you spend your days trying to balance the daily tasks that have to be done with the fun events that keep you a well-adjusted, delightful-to-be-with co-worker, girlfriend, wife and mom.

    Mentally, I thought I was balancing it all well. I was reading my daily devotional and praying my neatly ordered list of prayers.

    But my body said otherwise.

    My spirit felt uneasy. Anxious.

    My heart beat erratically.

    These symptoms escalated with each passing day.

    Night after night, I lay awake counting my heartbeats, faster and faster they came. Lack of sleep led to exhaustion. Exhaustion to withdrawal. I felt disconnected from everything around me.

    One morning I stepped into the shower. Within moments, I struggled to breathe. Inexplicable panic ensued. I flung open the shower door, enveloped myself in a towel and collapsed on the tile floor. Tears poured uncontrollably.

    What was happening to me? I felt as if my life … my faith… the very core of who I am was unraveling. I felt like a failure.

    I mustered what little faith I could find and dropped to my knees. It was weak faith, but it was there. And that’s when I realized I needed more. More of Jesus. The One who is our Peace.

    My sweet Savior met me right there on the carpet. He turned my eyes to my bedside table where my unopened Bible lay.

    My heart ached as I made a startling realization. I had not opened that precious book in weeks. Sure, I had been reading my daily devotional. Reading what another woman had to say about the Bible. But I had not been in my Bible, listening for what Jesus — God Himself — had to say about His Word.

    In fact, I had been spending very little time with Jesus. Not a single time did I simply take time to sit quietly with my Lord and Savior.

    I crawled over to my precious Bible, cradled it in my hands and opened it. With each turn of the page, truths spilled into my empty, thirsty heart … truths to cling to … to pray … to quench my empty, thirsty heart. Truths I want to share today.

    First, from the Old Testament:

    "For to us a child is born … And he will be called … Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6a & c, NIV).

    "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you" (Isaiah 26:3, NIV).

    Then, from the New Testament, including our key verse, too:

    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33, NIV).

    "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" (Philippians 4:6-8, NIV).

    Jesus is our Prince of Peace, and His Peace is ours. It’s a fruit of God’s Spirit that lives and breathes in those of us who are children of God.

    Believe it.

    Claim it.

    And the key to believing and claiming it? Personalizing and praying these truths. When we pray God’s living and active Word (see Hebrews 4:12), His Word comes alive in us. It infuses every part of our being.

    So, how do we go about personalizing and praying God’s Word?

    Here are a few of my prayers.

    Thank You, Father, that You will keep me in perfect peace when my heart is steadfast, because I trust in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

    Thank You, Father, that You fill me with Your Peace, not the world’s peace. It’s a gift from You. And thank You that when Your Peace consumes me, I need not be anxious, troubled or afraid. (John 14:26-27)

    Father, thank You for the promise that if I will stop being anxious and give everything to You in prayer, Your Peace, the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 4:7-8, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: Save the date! Our in-depth Bible Study Class of Wendy Blight’s latest book, I Know His Name begins Monday, March 7. Click here for registration opens information.

    Do you want to experience more of the Prince of Peace in your life? Stop by Wendy Blight’s blog and sign up for her FREE 5-day devotional for a sneak peek at her new book, I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God, and a chance to win a signed copy.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Invite the Prince of Peace to rule and reign in your heart today. Personalize the promises we learned today. Insert your name and pray these heartfelt prayers.

    Wake up each morning for the next 7 days and invite the Prince of Peace to fill you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Keep His Name on your lips throughout the day.

    © 2016 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Finding Peace in the Chaos of Christmas

    Amy Carroll DECEMBER 7, 2015

    Finding Peace in the Chaos of Christmas AMY CARROLL

    "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

    Peace is a word that gets thrown around a lot at Christmas. It’s on cards, decorations and sometimes even lit up in bright lights.

    It’s a word that seems to stir a longing in all of us, yet it also seems hard to come by — especially at Christmas. I mean, seriously … there’s a house to decorate, gifts to buy, meals to cook, relatives to connect with and loads of events to attend. How on earth are we expected to find peace in the midst of the extreme hubbub?

    There was one Christmas in particular when I had to reevaluate and seek God for a change in my heart to establish peace in my heart and home.

    We all started well — my hubs, our two boys and me — peaceful and focused as we decorated early in December. Christmas music played in the background. We sipped egg nog from the red glass teacups I snagged at a tag sale and boxes of decorations from the attic lined the walls.

    But it started to go downhill over Christmas tree lights.

    A squabble erupted over a tangled string of bulbs. Then someone turned on the football game, and the sound of the TV clashed with the music from the stereo. Instead of sharing lovely stories of the ornaments’ histories as we hung each one, my boys began to make fun of the 70s-style bobbles from my childhood.

    Our peaceful tradition of tree-trimming fell apart faster than you could say, "Mama’s in a snit."

    Maybe they just got distracted or maybe it was the maternal growls and snarls that drove them away, but suddenly I found myself sitting alone on the floor in front of the tree.

    I furiously gave the tree a yank to position it for another ornament, and … TIMBER! The tree fell on me and drove a metal rod from one of the artificial branches into my arm.

    That’s when it happened. Out of my mouth popped some of the overflow of a peace-deprived heart — a big fat four-letter word … which brought my family back into the room.

    To this day, there is one favorite Christmas story at my house. It’s not The Gift of the Magi or The Polar Express. Not even How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes the cut. Our family’s favorite story is titled, The Day Mom Cussed When the Christmas Tree Fell on Her.

    I’m not proud of this story. As Scripture says, "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Luke 6:45b, NIV). My outburst revealed what was in my heart — overload, frustration and anger. I’d love to blame the stressful circumstances, but the truth is there was something missing inside of me.

    Consider this: The circumstances of the first Christmas were very stressful, too. There was an unmarried, pregnant teenager. There was a scared but faithful fiancé. There was no room in the inn. There were smelly animals and scratchy straw. There was an unidentified star in the sky.

    Yet God gave the gift of prevailing peace in that story in the same way He longs to give our hearts the gift of peace. How did Mary and Joseph overcome the chaos of their circumstances and embrace peace instead? They implemented the truth in today’s key verse. Their trust in God made them steadfast.

    Just listen to how they responded when they were first given the startling and stressful news of being parents to the Messiah:

    Mary said, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior," (Luke 1:46-47, NIV).

    Joseph put aside his plans to divorce Mary quietly, and per God’s instructions, took her as his wife.

    Perfect peace isn’t dependent on circumstances. It comes from a steadfast, trusting heart. Let’s start the Christmas season by intentionally growing our steadfastness by focusing our trust on God who is faithful. The resulting peace will point to the Savior we’re celebrating!

    Lord, I set my heart on You. You are trustworthy, faithful and the Giver of the gift of peace. Please fill me this Christmas season. As others see Your peace in me, let them recognize You as Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: Start your day in God’s Word with our free First 5 App. We’re in the middle of studying Matthew and will begin Exodus on January 4. Click here for more information on our Experience Guides.

    Amy Carroll invites you to visit her blog today where she will have a downloadable PDF with Scriptures and a prayer for peace at Christmas.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Do your verbal responses and actions reflect the peace or the chaos in your heart?

    What action step is God calling you to take to build your trust in Him so that your steadfastness grows?

    © 2015 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • How to Find Peace Under Pressure

    Leah DiPascal OCTOBER 12, 2015

    How to Find Peace Under Pressure LEAH DIPASCAL

    "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

    Frantically pushing my grocery cart through the parking lot, I glanced back and forth, trying to remember where I had parked the car.

    The sun was blazing hot and as a bead of sweat dripped down my back, I couldn’t help but think of my hungry kids, waiting at home to consume the food I’d just bought.

    It was way past lunchtime and knowing my family and some visiting relatives were waiting at home created anxiety in my heart. But I figured I would make things right by serving up a delicious pizza, freshly baked in the deli department.

    As I continued to hunt for my car, the swirling aroma of mozzarella cheese, sweet basil, grilled garlic and fresh tomatoes was calling my name. I was tempted to snatch a slice, but decided to wait until I got home.

    Besides, I could almost hear the cheers of approval as I imagined the moment I would place this scrumptious meal before my clan. Sure, it wasn’t homemade, but at this point anything edible would have been welcomed with open arms.

    However, my thoughts came to an abrupt halt when my cart bobbled and suddenly stopped.

    I glanced down, and there it was. My deliciously fresh stone-baked pizza — on the ground with a tire mark across the top of the box. Sure enough, I had rolled over it with my grocery cart.

    You’ve got to be kidding! Honestly, who does that?

    In my haste, I hadn’t noticed that the cashier placed my pizza carton on the lower rack of my cart due to the overflowing groceries.

    With no time to have another one made, I rushed home with a car full of groceries, a smashed pizza and a very heavy heart.

    I tried to fake a calm smile when I got home, but the house erupted in laughter when everyone saw my fumbled fiasco. As my younger son tried to scrape off the gooey cheese from the broken pizza lid, everyone else opted for sandwiches.

    In situations like this, I need to be reminded of today’s key verse: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"

    The whole pizza mess could have easily been avoided if I weren’t in such a rush and worried about my peeps back home. Sure, it’s important to take care of family, but when meeting their needs creates anxiety and stress, it’s an indication that something is out of balance.

    Oftentimes, it’s not what my family asks of me — it’s what I demand of myself: I want everything to be perfect. I want to meet all my family’s needs. I want to please everyone.

    But that’s not possible, and God doesn’t require it of me. Instead, based on Isaiah 26:3, He promises to keep me in perfect peace, despite any situation, if I willingly commit to doing these two things:

    1. Trust God, instead of trying to master things on my own.

    2. Keep my thoughts fixed on God, instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks.

    Are you feeling rushed or anxious today? Would you like a slice of peace to calm your nerves and settle down the stress you’re experiencing? Jesus wants to offer you a holy deposit of His perfect peace that will last a lifetime — and not just satisfy you for a few hours.

    Dear Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace. Help me to trust and focus on You every day, so I can be calm and stress-free in any situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: 2 Peter 1:2, "May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord." (NLT)

    Philippians 4:7, "Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT)

    RELATED RESOURCES: If you’re craving a slice of peace in your life, you’ll appreciate Tracie Miles’ book, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World.

    Connect with Leah DiPascal on her blog today and enter to win a Peace Under Pressure giveaway.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: What is creating stress and anxiety in your life today? Is it a situation or a person? What are ways you can trust God and keep your thoughts on His promises as you navigate this challenge and seek to experience His perfect peace?

    © 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • True Peace is Possible

    Micca Campbell OCTOBER 2, 2015

    True Peace is Possible MICCA CAMPBELL

    "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

    Growing up, my father had a philosophy when life became hectic. He’d cross his arms over his chest, and in a joking kind of way say, "There will never be any peace until we’re all laid to rest."

    I knew what he meant. Life is hard. And sometimes it’s easy to despair over finding peace when trouble seems to lurk around every corner. When hard times come, many emotions rule my heart and mind. Like my dad, peace is usually the emotion I sense the least when life turns topsy-turvy. But this is not God’s plan.

    Peace is God’s will. Heavenly peace is a state of tranquility or quiet amidst anxious thoughts and emotions. It speaks of freedom from external pressures.

    The kind of peace God gives remains. It’s not something that comes and goes depending on our circumstances. Divine peace should govern our lives in all things at all times. When the things of life haunt us — that stack of bills, new tires for the car, anxious feelings of inadequacy — don’t we long for peace?

    Here’s the good news: We can have that kind of peace. Jesus told His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV).

    Jesus is not talking about the kind of peace we feel when a debt is finally paid. That’s relief. It’s not the kind of peace we experience when we can purchase that big house we’ve always wanted. That’s gratification.

    The peace Christ gives is fully satisfying. It’s peace of mind, heart, body and soul. It’s contentment knowing that no matter what happens, you are in the care of the Almighty.

    Sadly, it’s my selfish nature that tries to obtain peace by my own efforts. Perhaps you’re like me. We try to persuade God with promises. We even attend church more often than usual. We think: If I follow all the rules and do the things that please God most, then maybe I’ll find some peace.

    In the end, we’re working at peace instead of resting in it. This reveals one thing: My trust is in myself instead of in God. In other words, I put my trust in what I can do, not what God is truly capable of doing.

    The Bible has something to say about putting our trust in someone other than God: "He who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe" (Proverbs 28:26, HCSB).

    If we don’t actively seek God’s help when we’re afraid or facing trouble, we’re probably trusting in our own resources and abilities. Therefore, Isaiah warns, "Don’t put your trust in mere humans" (Isaiah 2:22a, NLT). Doing so often leaves us disappointed and defeated.

    In times of doubt and fear, let peace rule.

    Resting in God’s promises give us the hope we need to stay focused on Him and His faithfulness, instead of on our circumstances. One way we can be certain that we’ve really placed our trust in God is when we experience an indescribable peace.

    Let this promise from the Lord reassure you today from Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (NLT)

    Dear God, I know peace is Your will for my life. Help me to trust You with my worries and rest in Your care, not my own abilities, when life gets tough. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 29:11, "The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." (NIV)

    Matthew 6;34, "Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (HCSB)

    RELATED RESOURCES: If you find yourself lacking peace, tangled in a web of worry, Micca Campbell’s book, An Untroubled Heart, can help you find the peace you seek.

    Visit Micca’s blog for a chance to win a pair of Faith Collection Earrings from Fashion & Compassion.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: What can you do to stay focused on God’s promise of peace when life turns upside down?

    © 2015 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • True Peace

    There are so many trouble spots in the world.  It is overwhelming and can be depressing to watch the news; it appears that so many places are on the edge of disaster.  You have the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the tension between the Ukraine and Russia, the issues in Syria and, even here in the United States, we have the fighting from the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

    It can be so unsettling.

    Business is hard, it is competitive and changes quickly and you have to be on your game daily.  I just transitioned to a new role.  After 19 years with the HoneyBaked Ham Company I recently became the CEO of Family Christian Stores.  And while I am excited to be at Family Christian and feel called by God to the position, there are significant challenges to be addressed.  In addition, I am meeting new people and learning new processes.  I am working to get a better understanding of the business and its risks and opportunities.

    It can be so unsettling.

    And yet… I have complete Peace.

    I care deeply about those things.  I follow the international situations carefully and I care deeply about the direction of our country and the results of our business.  I pray faithfully for all of these issues and candidly they are not all moving in the direction I prefer.

    Yet… I have complete peace.

    Why?  How?

    The peace I have is not one that is dependent on external circumstances.  It is not dependent on the situation I find myself in.   I have lived long enough to know that I can never have true peace if it depends on circumstances.  My experience is that there are always struggles and challenges in life.  I have found that I cannot escape it.  Even more, I have found that in periods when all appeared to be going well, I still had this unsettled feeling, this tension.  I have concluded beyond a shadow of a doubt that peace cannot be “found” in circumstances.

    The peace I have is born out of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    This peace is a tranquility of the soul, a calm despite circumstances, it is born out of a dependence on a loving and sovereign God who has my best interest at heart… always.  It is not born out of the absence of trouble but from a God who comforts and guides me in the midst of the trouble.

    Jesus said (John 14:27) “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you… let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”.  He delivered this amazing message of comfort to his disciples the night before he was crucified.  Reflect on those words, chew on them.  The words are powerful and they are true.

    It is His peace that is available to us.  It is a supernatural peace.

    In Philippians (4:7), Paul writes about the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.  It is hard to make sense of this peace in a fallen world, but it is real.  It is a peace that is not logical, it makes no sense and it exceeds our wildest expectations.

    I have experienced it.

    It seems to me that the more I am overwhelmed, the more I struggle, and therefore, the more I cry out to God… the more peace I have. The routine goes something like this.  When I think I am in control, when I am worried about me, when I am unilaterally acting without seeking His guidance, I get anxious.  I want more, I want it faster and I want it better; always and without fail.  On the other hand, when I am over my head, when I am failing, when I am worried, when my family is hurting, when I have no options, then, I cry out to God.  I go to Him in desperation, and it is there, not in the circumstances that I find peace. He comforts me; always and without fail.

    His Peace he gives to me.

    My second son was a Marine Infantry officer.  He fought in Iraq and he fought in Afghan.  He received a Bronze star for valor in combat.  He fought a lot back in ’08 and ’09.  My son was on the front lines fighting almost daily and I knew that.  Yet I had complete peace.

    Why?  It was during those years that I learned the true nature of the peace that is only available through Christ.  It was the first time in my life that the circumstances that affected me were completely out of my control (at least my perception of control).  My son was in Afghan and I was in Atlanta.  There was nothing I could do to help him, nothing.

    Except pray.

    I realized the depth to which I was not in control.  I cried out in desperation and I cried out in total dependence.

    You know what happened?

    During those two years, God transformed me.  He gave me a peace that I cannot describe and it was not a function of the expectation that my son would come home alive.  It was based on a trust that His ways are best and that His love is unconditional and fully comforts.  I was not worried about the outcome.  I simply wanted more of God.  It was an incredibly sweet season for me in what should have been a period of extreme anxiety.

    I have not forgotten that lesson.  I had become a Christian long before my son went to war, but I had never cried out to Him so passionately and so earnestly.  I understood my helplessness and my total dependence on Him.  I was not fooled into thinking that I was in control and only needed God occasionally.  I needed Him “full time” and He was there to comfort me and give me peace.

    Here is the deal… if you want peace… Trust Christ fully and completely.  Do not wait for the world to give you that peace.  That will be a long wait.



    Chuck Bengochea


  • In Me you may have peace

    "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.

    In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

    (John 16:33)


    Jesus spoke these words to His disciples in one of their last meetings together. In the hours that followed, Jesus would be severely beaten, mocked, humiliated and ultimately hung to suffer on a Roman crucifix. The disciples' world was quickly turned upside-down and sideways, simply because they followed a humble carpenter from Galilee.


    The same is happening today to hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world.



    The list goes on and on; persecution of Christians is taking place on a worldwide basis. Check out this list our friends at Open Doors USA put together. It's called the "World Watch List", and it shows you which countries have the most violence against Christians.


    Peace may seem hard to find in this chaotic and often-violent world.  When peace is elusive, at least in my case, anxiety is quick to set in. When situations and circumstances spiral out of control, my knee-jerk response is to worry and fret.


    "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


    These simple statements a two-fold promise: you will face trials, but you will also overcome them. We often don't know how the Lord will help us get through a hardship, or when we will see Him act. But, the end result is promised: we will overcome.


    When you know how a story ends, it often provides peace to "ride out the storm" and endure whatever challenges come your way.  Please join me today in praying for peace and endurance for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

    Tornadoes, like the one that came through our neighborhood earlier this year, can cause major destruction in a matter of minutes. How do you find peace when the tornadoes of life come?

    How do you find peace in the middle of life's storms?

    BY: Katey Hearth

    Katey is a Staff Writer/Social Media Coordinator at Mission Network News. She has a heart for global missions and desires justice for the “least of these” around the world, from victims of sex trafficking to India’s Dalit people.

    You can find her latest thoughts at Mission Network News.

  • Peace I leave with you

    John 14:27-Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    Storytelling is something I really enjoy. I hope you enjoy my short feature.
    with god

    Gazing out my window I see the slight movement of the leaves as they dance back and forth upon their branches. The sun is shining but that slight breeze causing the leaves to sway back and forth is providing the perfect sense of relief. It was a stressful day and all I could think about were the tasks at hand and the obstacles I was to overcome. Overwhelmed with the stress of the unknown. Fear was setting in, but that tiny brisk breeze blowing in through my window was enough…enough to relax me for just a moment. A moment long enough to take my mind off of the fears…the unknown.

    Suddenly I was starting to see things in a different light. My mind was turning and as the light shown in through the window onto the wall in front of me I knew…I knew there was a light at the end of my dark tunnel. At that very moment it hit me that I was no longer in control of my situation, I never really was to begin with. How quickly we forget that we are not in control. How quickly we forget that even when it’s dark and all doors seem to be closing, there is always a bright light. We just need to wait in the hallway and open that door when the time is right!

    But how do I know when the time is right? How do I know when I’m going to feel that peace, that sweet peace that overcomes my body and leaves me with the most serene and calm feeling? When will I be overcome by peace? And then my mind started to wonder…

    But it didn’t take long for that breeze to sweep in through my window. It catches my attention and leaves me thinking…wondering…mind in motion…

    In an instant…a sudden instant, my fears, my worries…they seem to disappear, because it is in that instant that I realize I haven’t truly given my worries to God. For had I given my worries to God I wouldn’t be struggling to understand the things that just don’t make sense. And in that moment I hit my knees and I was overcome with peace…sweet peace.

    When life is just to hard to stand…kneel.

    I pray that you find that peace. I pray that you are overcome with a peace and understanding. I pray that you can be the bright light to others that are struggling with finding their peace.

    John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

    This post was written by Mandee Suchland. Mandee is a very busy woman! She has 5 BOYS and is writer and owner of the websitmee www.raisingmy5sons.com, a site all about Mandee's life as the only female in a house full of males. She says life is Crazy, Hectic and LOUD, but it's always full of love and laughter and she wouldn't have it any other way. As if that isn't enough to keep her busy, Mandee is also the owner of www.sheblogsit.com, a site where she shows a little more of her writing talents and shares her faith with others.


  • Peace: Unreasonable doubt or incomprehensible peace (scripture to combat mommy guilt)

    Bekah writes for  I Prefer My Puns Intended, a blog that explores the fact that life can be punny.  Her articles span topics like faith and family as well as education, wellness, and dapper infant style.  The titles of her posts may be cheesy, but the content gets feta.  Sorry. Better.

    I thought I was doing pretty well this morning.

    Little bear woke me up at 6 a.m., he ate at 6:30, and we played from 7:00 until 8:00.  He has gotten strong enough to sit up with the boppy and play with his toys.  It was an exciting playtime for this proud mommy.  I looked at the clock and thought, ‘if I leave now and run at my fastest pace with the stroller, I can be back in time for his nap time.’  It was a good plan.  I could, realistically, tick all of the boxes off of my very full mommy planner before our playdate.  Then, we could have the day free to do anything. No mid-afternoon sweltering run; just a nice, cool morning jog to start our day.

    Combatting Mommy Guilt

    Well, unsurprisingly, I didn’t hit my goal pace of 10:00/mile with the Bob.  I was struggling with side-stiches, which has been a new thorn in my side during my postpartum training. I was about a minute over my pace and six minutes away from home; my run had crossed over into nap time.  Most mommies know what happened next.  Little bear began to cry and fight the sleep he so desperately needed.  I felt horrible. There was nothing I could do but keep going and try to make it back home, ignoring the irritating pain in my side and devastating pain in my heart.

    And then, another runner passed by.  She was a tall, slender woman who looked to be in her mid-forties, and perhaps two miles into her run.  She glanced down at my little bear, and up at me.  I smiled, but she cocked one eyebrow up and pursed her lips.  It was a momentary glance that stuck with me the rest of our run home. ‘I bet she thinks I am such a selfish mom; I am sure she is wondering why I am out running when I should be tending to my baby. Am I selfish?’

    Little bear is asleep now.  He went right to sleep as soon as we made it home. No harm, no foul.  He will probably sleep for another hour or so.  So why do I feel so guilty?

    My mother-in-law once told me, “motherhood is guilt.”  Oh, how right she was.  My typical worries span the length of the day:

    Did I let him talk too much in his crib before I got him up for the day? Was he uncomfortable in his crib because of his dirty diaper and I waited too long to change it? Is this diaper rash my fault? Did I feed him enough? He threw up, did I feed him too much? Am I making enough for him to grow taller? Should I take him in to see his dad while he gets ready for work, or will that bother his morning routine?  Did I wake up his dad? Should I make myself breakfast? Should I just play with him and wait to eat when he takes a nap? Should I put him on his tummy now or will it upset his tummy? Am I interactive enough? Did I hold him too much? Did I hold him enough? I checked my phone.  I remember that article about checking my phone too much and missing out on time with my kids.  Will I teach him bad habits if I keep checking my phone?  I care way too much about how many people read what I have to say. The TV was on.  Bear saw the TV and watched it for a few minutes.  I remember those articles about how screen time ruins little brains.  Did I scar him for life? Did those two minutes of screen time delay his speech development? His eyesight? His language acquisition? Did he exercise enough? He is rubbing his eyes, but it isn’t nap time. Should I keep him up? If I keep him up too long he won’t sleep and then it is my fault for not putting him down soon enough.

    …and that is just a typical morning in our home. Imagine what your mind can do when your baby cries in public places; on a plane; in a restaurant…the guilt is unbearable. The doubt is unreasonable. Instead of looking to the real heart of the issue (i.e. baby is tired, hungry, or needs to be changed), moms tend to put all of the blame on their shoulders.

    In Psalms 38:4, David talks about guilt;

    My guilt is like a heavy burden.  I am sinking beneath its weight.

    Any moms in this boat? Pun intended.

    Some days, I find myself sinking in this endless sea of guilt.  Guilt, however, is stumbling block to righteousness and real relationship with Christ. If you aren’t a Christian, it is simply an obstacle to a fulfilled motherhood.  Instead of praising God (or celebrating the fact that we kept our baby alive through the night), we replace our joy with worries.  For Christians, this robs us of our witness.  For all mommies, this guilt gives us anxiety.  Here are a few scriptures that I use in order to replace worry,  doubt, and that ever-present “mommy-guilt” with joy and peace in the Lord.

    1. Take away my guilty thoughts.

    “Scrub away my guilt.  Wash me clean from my sin.” Psalms 51:2

    Am I sinning when I worry too much? Yes. Anything that takes me away from giving the glory to God is a sin.  I need to remember to let it go.  God has equipped me to be the mother that little bear needs. And that is enough.

    2. Remember the goodness of God.

    “You have forgiven the bad things your people did.  You have taken away the guilt of their sins.” Psalm 85:2

    It is so important to remember that God doesn’t keep a tally of our sins.  Or, if you want to think about it practically as a mom, he takes away our mommy-mishaps.  He promises to “take away the guilt.” We just have to let him.

    3. Direct us in how to “let it go.”

    “For my yoke is easy; my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

    God has given us the power to leave our worries with him and take on a much lighter load to carry.  We just have to praise him in all that we do, and seek him first. Don’t seek to be the “perfect mom.” That particular role is elusive and impossible to attain. We are not gods, after all.

    4. Become healed from guilt.

    “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.”Jeremiah 17:14

    No where in that prayer are the words, “my children are my praise.”  Parenthood is oh so important. We are tempted to believe that our children are our everything, however.  This is not the case.  God promises to heal our worried hearts and save us from the sinking ship of guilt if we focus on him.

    5. Release the guilt given to you from other people.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

    I once read a Buddhist fable about a man walking up to Buddha and criticizing his teaching, sincerity, and intelligence.  Buddha said nothing and the man walked away.  An onlooker asked why he didn’t respond and Buddha simply said, “when someone offers you a gift you don’t want, you throw it away.  I refused to receive the negativity the man was offering, so I didn’t respond.”

    That really stuck with me.  God has promised us peace; the world gives us anxiety.  I would much rather choose peace; and yet some days I am riddled with guilt.  This particular scripture is so important when it comes to mommy-shaming, or even those sideways glances when you’re a few minutes from home and your baby starts crying.  Mommy guilt is real, but God’s peace is a much greater alternative than bearing it all on your shoulders.

    6. Live in the abundant peace that surpasses understanding.

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4: 6-7 Paul suggested that the people of Phillipi live a life filled with the peace of God that “transcends all understanding.” All mommies want to know if what they are doing is best for their children.  Somehow, God beckons us to live each day apart from the full satisfaction of knowing whether or not we made the right choices moment-to-moment.  Living in the worry of our guilt will never bring us satisfaction.  As our children grow, the guilt will only carry higher stakes.  The sooner we release our anxiety to the one who rescues, the sooner we can live a life separate from our guilt, and full of the presence and peace of God.

  • Peace of Mind


    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

    Peace of mind begins with peace with God. Inner peace is only sustainable when the created has made peace with its Creator. This peace with Providence comes in surrender to the Lord. It is not a negotiation, compromise, or deal with Divinity. Tranquility comes from trust, a complete capitulation to Christ. Peace with God brings the peace of God.

    “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

    Peace of mind is a gift Jesus gives to all who will receive. He bequeathed His bountiful blessing of peace before He departed back to His heavenly home. Part of the legacy our Lord left was one of quiet confidence based on the belief of His sufficiency. When we have Jesus, we have all we need for genuine fulfillment. Peace accompanies His purposes.

    There is a pseudo peace of mind the world offers, but its slick packaged appeal quickly gives way to its destructive contents. It offers an alluring escape through artificial stimulants, busy schedules, material possessions, power, and control. However, these external facades of peace fade away; only the inner fortitude of the peace of Christ is lasting.“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

    It is this bond of peace that enables believers to come together with courage and conviction to accomplish Christ’s plan. The enemy shrinks back when followers of Jesus forgo fighting each other and unify in prayer, love, spiritual warfare, the proclamation of the gospel, and making disciples. Peace of mind propels us forward by faith to serve Him.

    “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

    Above all, allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart. Trouble and fear will tremble in the face of peace because they lose their grip to God’s grace. No longer are you whipped around by the cares of this world because your compass is Christ. You have peace of mind because you have Jesus. Submission to His Spirit produces real peace.

    “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

    Prayer: Is my peace based on external circumstances or my internal intimacy with Jesus?

    Related Readings: Numbers 6:25–26; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:16

    Post/Tweet: Inner peace is only sustainable when the created has made peace with its Creator. #peaceofmind
    Related Resources Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation
    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Peacemakers


    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

    An eight-year-old boy named William once wrote his pastor a letter. "Dear Pastor, I know God wants us to live in peace with everybody, but He never met my sister. Sincerely, William."

    I bet you and I could write similar letters. There's always someone who seems to get under our skin, isn't there? In a world filled with irritating people and problem makers, being able to bring peace in the midst of it all can feel impossible.

    Because we are born into a world of sin, we don't always have automatic peacemaking reactions. One of our responses may be to engage our defense mechanisms and retaliate when provoked. Or we may turn inward and shut down, not seeking to work things out. This is why parents and schoolteachers struggle to train children to resolve their issues with each other peaceably.

    While I am no longer a little girl flustered by the annoying boy pulling my pigtails on the playground, I still find myself not responding well when irritated or aggravated by someone. It's hard to want to bring peace to situations with people I don't like.

    God, however, modeled the right way to seek peace. When we offended God with our disobedience, He took the initiative to reconcile a relationship with us through His Son's death on the cross. Through Jesus' sacrifice and salvation, I'm no longer subject to my defensive reactions or to shutting down. Instead, I have access to His peace, which makes being a peacemaker possible.

    Recently, while going through some conflicts with people, I read Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers ..."

    When I first read this I thought, "If I will just memorize this verse, boom ... I will be a peacemaker." So I did. Big surprise ... I wasn't a peacemaker the next time conflict arose.

    I recognized that I needed to have a deeper understanding of what it meant to be a peacemaker, so I dug into the scripture.

    If we look back to the original text, we see the word for peace here means harmony, security and rest.

    These words that define peace remind me of the things Jesus brings into our lives. Because we follow Him, He gives us the ability to make peace. When we do, He promises we "will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9). We can be a representation of the peace He gives.

    So when Jesus said we are "blessed" when we bring peace, it is because being a peacemaker allows us to represent the depth of who He is as His children.

    Some people will go to great lengths to prove themselves right. Pride and arrogance convince them that laying aside differences is a sign of weakness. But if we can catch God's vision of what it looks like to be a peacemaker—to bring harmony, security and rest to a difficult situation—it will allow us to feel secure and at rest in the midst of conflict. We can stand confident as children of God.

    As we let go of petty stuff, we are peacemakers. When we are the first to say, "I'm sorry," we give peace. When we talk calmly, rather than yelling, we bring peace to the situation. By learning to give peace the way we receive peace from Jesus, His peace flows through our lives.

    Being a peacemaker is challenging and may not come naturally. But may we be reminded today that in every conflict we have the capability to bring resolutions of peace. We can bring harmony, security and rest because Jesus' death and resurrection gave that to us.

    Dear Lord, You are the ultimate peacemaker. Help me keep my eyes on You in difficult circumstances. And to bring peace to conflict with others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Unglued and accompanying Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond: How would being a peacemaker and having peaceful reactions change your relationships?

    Pick three ways you can react peaceably today. Here are some examples: Changing your tone of voice. Forgiving. Being humble. Talking a situation through. Not being defensive. Choosing kind words. Believing the best, rather than assuming the worse. Not interrupting, or taking sides.

    Power Verses: 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (NIV)

    Romans 8:16, "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

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…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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