How to Maintain a Spirit of Peace in the New Normal
It’s happening! Life is changing and seems to be accelerating all at the same time. What felt like slow motion in many areas of my life now feels as if the pace has picked up, and this pace is very fast!
In many regions, life is getting back to normal, our new normal. School is starting, and businesses are opening back up to the public or sadly closing their doors forever. The hustle we once knew looks different, but change or no change, the hustle begins again. There is a familiar sense of urgency in the air, and with this new urgency, you may be feeling anxious, uncertain, and possibly a bit restless. I will admit I have my days where I start to feel a bit uneasy with this new normal.
So, how can we maintain a spirit of peace in the ever-changing bustle of life? Let’s take a look at some practical applications for maintaining a tranquil mind, body, and spirit.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
A sound mind…It can be so hard to settle our thoughts when we have laundry lists. With so much to do, how can we take time to just “sit?” Being intentional about refocusing our mind, and allowing ourselves the time to process through the busyness is vital to maintain a peaceful composure. Here are some helpful applications for this practice.
Refocusing our minds is essential to maintaining peace. Remember last week’s post on shaping our minds? We shared the importance of filling our minds with positive, uplifting thoughts. What we allow to fill our minds eventually comes out in our words and actions? The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is an excellent example that our input will always equal our output!
How do you refocus and reframe your thoughts? A simple and practical application for you to put into practice is journaling. As I share with my mentees, keep it simple. The tips I share with you are to help you maintain peace, not add to your frustration.
I am a huge fan of journaling. I have a prayer journal, a blessings journal, and a creative journal where I write all my ideas for safekeeping.
Did you know a 2006 study published in the American Medical Association Journal provided many benefits of journaling? The study followed patients struggling with a chronic illness. The findings showed that the patients who jotted down their stressful thoughts and feelings experienced fewer physical symptoms from their stress than those who did not journal. I prefer to let it out, not keep it in!
In journaling, my advice is to write as much or as little as you choose, about whatever it is that is filling your thoughts and stealing your peace. Jotting down your feelings is therapeutic and uplifting. Some journaling enthusiasts refer to this process as morning pages or mind dumps, where they put all their thoughts on paper to get the swirling thoughts out of their heads.I love to pour my heart out in my prayer journal through letters to God. Talk about healing, and it's incredible how good it feels to give our cares to Him! Dr. Robin Revis Pyke Click To Tweet
I love to pour my heart out in my prayer journal through letters to God. Talk about healing, and it’s incredible how good it feels to give our cares to Him!
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (AMP)
Stress, anxiety, and fear can be detrimental to your health. Stomach upset, headaches, shortness of breath—worry and lack of peace can seriously harm a person. Web MD defines stress as the body’s reaction to harmful situations, perceived or real. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body, and this reaction is the body’s stress response. Stress can impact your mind, feelings, and physical health, and the result of stress can damage your health. So, how can we care for our bodies?
If our body is a temple, a dwelling of the Holy Spirit, we should take the utmost care of our body, and physical activity of any level is a must in caring for our health. Movement and exercise reduce the body’s stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body’s mood elevators. Simply put, exercise helps you feel better!
The benefits of physical activity are numerous. Did you know regular physical activity increases the flow of blood and oxygen in your body? Exercise also stimulates the production of hormones, which increases the growth of brain cells. And, who doesn’t want to improve their memory and focus! Exercise also improves your skin health, strengthens your core muscles, and improves your immune system.
Are you a bit slow to get going in this direction? That’s okay take it slow, one step at a time. You know I’m a big fan of baby steps to get us going.
Here are a few simple activities you can implement daily to improve your mind, body, and soul.
Begin your day with stretching, which decreases stress, improves digestion, and reduces the risk of injury. Spend time in stillness. Sit quietly and practice your breathing. Deep breathing has a positive effect on the heart, the brain, digestion, and the immune system. Take a walk! The movement and fresh air improve your breathing, immune system, and burns off calories.
Another important method is to detox your body. Our foods and environment are laden with chemicals, and our bodies were not created to process these chemicals. The result is a toxic build-up, which creates a situation for fungus, bacteria, and viruses to grow. If our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, what type of environment do you prefer the Holy Spirit reside in? Remember, garbage in and garbage out. A more extensive list of simple steps for improving your body can be found in my blog post on wellness tips.
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. For I was greatly pleased when [some of the] brothers came [from time to time] and testified to your [faithfulness to the] truth [of the gospel message], that is, how you are walking in truth.” 3 John 1:2-4 (AMP)
God desires for us to succeed. God loves us and shows His love for us throughout the Bible. He is concerned for our spiritual, mental, and physical health. As John urges in 3 John, to be in good health, we must walk in truth, God’s truth. And, when we walk in the truth, God will provide for our needs. He will replenish our soul.
Scripture tells us that reading from the Bible is our daily bread. Daily. Remember the Israelites when manna fell from heaven? In Exodus 16, we read the Israelites are grumbling again. Life is challenging, and they are complaining about the life they left back in Egypt. I guess they had forgotten about their life of slavery. Our thoughts can do this to us. In the challenging times of today, we look back and think if only ____________ (fill in the blank).
God heard their complaining and offered to meet their needs, but He also gave specific instructions. In verse 4, God told Moses, bread would rain from heaven, but the Israelites were instructed to only gather enough bread for a day’s portion. God was testing their faith and obedience. Would they trust God to provide for their needs and follow His instructions, or would they gather as much bread as possible to store for their future needs, relying on their own strength and not God’s strength?
Do you believe there may be an area of your life where God is testing your obedience? Are you relying on God’s truth daily to provide for you? I understand this season of life is challenging, but let’s not focus on the past or what tomorrow may bring. Let’s commit to today. Let us be present and truly rely on God.
You ask me how? Through prayer and petition.
Prayer and Petition
Prayer nourishes your mind, body, and soul. When we pray according to God’s will, our prayers are heard and answered in His time. We know He desires to meet our needs, so when offering up prayer requests, pray for His will, His way.
We are encouraged throughout the Bible to turn to the Lord for our comfort and peace. As believers in Christ, we ultimately know the only way to peace is through the Prince of Peace himself. So, why do we fret about any and everything? Why do we text and post our frustrations and disappointments to anyone and everyone that will respond? Why not stop and pray? Why not nourish your soul through prayer?
I keep a list of answered prayers in my prayer journal. I write out my prayer requests, and as my prayers are answered, I note the date my prayer was answered, and I give thanks to God for the answered prayers. This method also allows me to seek God’s will about unanswered prayers, and I believe we all have experienced unanswered prayers.
I encourage you to spend time with God. Listen intently for His voice and leading. In my prayer time, I take the opportunity to ask God to reveal anything in my life that could be hindering my prayer request. It is powerful to look back and see how often God has provided for my family and me through answered prayers!
Peace to You
“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)
My friends, I pray you will find rest for your soul and maintain a spirit of peace in this ever-changing world. I hope you’ll join me in the daily call to rely upon God and His word.
Let’s be careful what we allow to fill our minds, our bodies, and our souls. Let’s be present and walk in obedience as we seek God’s guidance. He will give us the peace we desire, Amen.
Keep on shining!
PS – Please send prayer requests to me via email at email@example.com, or you may post to the Reflecting Life Community Private Facebook Group.