Peace

Do you ever go to bed at night, especially after a particularly hard day, and say “I’m going to make tomorrow a better day”? I think we all have, but then we find that the next day is just as hard to get through as before. Having a good or bad day starts the moment we wake up and it’s a process that is continual until we go back to bed. Things are going to happen during the day that we may or may not have the ability to control. How we confront each circumstance determines the mood for the rest of that day, or sometimes even the week! There are strategies that we can utilize to enable us to handle every circumstance well, but it takes resolve and determination on the inside before we can be successful overcoming anything that happens on the outside.
Step one: When you wake up, what is the first thing that goes through your mind? Are you already mentally going through the list of things you have to do, or worrying about something that you feel that only you can fix? Stop it! If it’s clear and sunny outside, take note and appreciate it. If it’s gloomy and rainy, do the same thing! There is always something to see and appreciate when you look for it. If you get out of bed in the morning and find things to appreciate, you are able to view your current circumstances more broadly rather than focusing on the one thing that perhaps you cannot fix.
Step two: Don’t put on the sweatpants. Sweatpants are a wonderful thing, comfortable and warm, but they have this ability to create a haze inside our heads. Next thing you know, you have a sink full of dishes that haven’t been washed and all you feel like doing is ordering in pizza or fixating yourself to the TV all day. Falling into this trap is very easy and hard to climb out once you’re in. Best thing to do is take that shower, put on some jeans and go outside. There is always something to do once you’re out there. If you’re in the city, walk around the block. You will be amazed at the things you notice, especially if you are doing step one and finding things to appreciate. If you live away from the city, you can find lots of things to do in your own yard, like pulling a few weeds or sweeping your driveway. Granted not everyone can do this, but you can use your senses to absorb your atmosphere. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? Well it is if you are still finding things to appreciate.
Step three: Do what you know to do and allow time to help you figure out whatever is plaguing you. For instance, you have bills that are due and not enough money to cover them all. This is a common one and a lot of people know this situation pretty well. You already know what’s in your bank account and it will stretch only so far. There are some bills that can be paid in part, so budget for that so you can pay the ones that must be paid in full. Oh yea, it’s okay to work a second or third job for a while if you have to. I don’t care what they say about the jobs market, there are jobs to be had if you would only swallow your pride and take them. People are still frequenting the fast food places A LOT, so you can bet you will be able to find something a few days a week at one of those places to help you supplement that income somewhat. Just remember, it’s not forever and you are no less of a quality person than you were when you were rolling in the dough.
Step four: Remember, nothing lasts forever. Life is like a rollercoaster. We have our highs and lows, but we don’t have to act those times out. If we can remember to constantly be appreciative of the smallest things, we don’t have to worry about how high or low our life seems to get. As a matter of fact, things tend to even out a bit when we stop looking at all the bad and remember how much good we actually have.
These steps are not easy, I know. We can’t do it alone, but we don’t have to. There is someone who is always there, waiting for you to ask for help and is more than willing to give it. His name is Jesus Christ and He is the one who said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
If peace is there for us, we should all be taking part in it.

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