God

Finding Peace

How do we balance this crazy world we live in? With the faith that we have in the Lord!

A Picture of Peace Lily Indoor plant

A Picture of Peace Lily (credit: Wikipedia)

When little children are killed randomly and violently?
When good people tragically and unexpectedly die?
When loved ones battle illness, depression and loneliness?
When a soldier fighting for freedom doesn’t come home?

Faith. It’s the only thing that holds me up. St. Paul tells us “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that

surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

These words and many scripture passages help me keep in balance. It is the only thing that can. When our nation mourns the tragic loss of children in Newtown, Connecticut, we seek answers. There are no answers, there can only be questions. But we also

must realize our questions may not be answered.

I have heard news reporters say “it’s gonna take a long time to heal our wounds.” And it should. We lost children filled with potential, dreams, hopes and love. We should never heal. This nation has a hole in its hearts, for every child lost, for every soldier lost, for every parent lost, for every lost soul. We need to gather and hold each other through it. We need to soften the raw edges of the hole, but it can never be filled with anything but the love of Christ.

The preciousness of life was cracked once again.
The school did everything right procedurally and still great sadness entered the world.
May we find peace in Christ, who is Peace. Because the peace of God surpasses all understanding and will guard our nation’s heart.

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Categories: Balance, God, Gratefulness, Peace | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a beautiful day..

It’s a beautiful day…

Today’s a new day, a fresh start to a life anew. Each of us have this opportunity every day. We are given a new day to use it as we see fit. Will we do something worth while or waste it way? Don’t throw this new beginning into the wind. Embrace it as a gift and open it slowly.

Allow the world to wrap its arms around you and leave pieces of peace throughout your day. When you open yourself to positive energy flowing within you, love and happiness spreads to everyone around.

You are in control of how you share the day with others, so,

1.    Be kind. You may not know what the person you meet is dealing with. They need a kind word or smile. It will make a difference in their life.

2.    Build relationships. A true relationship takes time, patience, effort and compromise. Whether a friendship or intimate relationship, treating each other with respect is essential.

3.    Stretch yourself and grow.  Never fear what stretching may do to you, you will always grow from new experiences. The potential is unlimited in what you can achieve.

4.    Be grateful. Grateful for what you have and what you don’t have. There is a reason you do not have everything. Life is about graces that are given us, when we truly appreciate them we are filled with more. If you are grateful for the blessing you will always be happy.

5.    Show appreciation every day – do a daily examen at night. Look at your day and tell a loved one what you appreciated from your day.

6.    Leave a path of goodness behind you – in each situation presented to you throughout your day, try to leave a good thought, good deed or good feeling behind as you leave.

7.    Be open to new opportunities – change allows us to grow

8.    Love yourself – know that you are a loving, caring child of God and accept yourself for who you are and who God is allowing you to become.
So as U2 sings so beautifully…

It’s a beautiful day…don’t let it get away…it’s a beautiful day…

Categories: Balance, Family, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Peace through pieces

What is happening?

How do we find peace through the pieces of our lives?

Especially when the pieces are falling apart…

I can’t stop thinking about all the pain that surrounds us every day. The horrific lost of life in Aurora, Colorado, the loss of a loved one unexpectedly, the loss of someone after a long illness or the devastating diagnosis of disease.

What holds your life together? What keeps the pieces from falling apart?

Years ago my nephew was asked by his first grade teacher what he was thankful for. He said his bones, because without them he would be a puddle of skin on the ground. So insightful for a first grader! He knew his bones were a vital part of his body that held everything together.

I reflected on that with all the uncertainty in my life. With all the uncertainty in society around us. The only certainty in life, is that nothing is certain.

What  I know is that Christ is certain. Christ holds all my pieces together and makes a masterpiece out of my life. I only have to release the wheel and let him drive.

Sometimes giving the wheel to Christ is hard to do. We are programmed from a young age to be independent and a leader. But a leader does not always be the smartest or most successful. Usually the most admired in the room is the humblest, kindest and selfless person. A trait I am sure that you would discover in each of those people is that Christ is at the center of their pieces, holding them together.

As I watched the videos of families that lost loved ones in Aurora Colorado, you could see the strength of those being held together by faith. Amid the horrific and senseless loss of life, there is hope, strength and faith. Balancing life and faith in inconceivable moments – thank God He is the glue!

Psalm  23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the  shadow of death,  I will fear no evil, for you are with  me; your rod and your staff,  they  comfort me.

No matter what this world throws at me, I am strong because not only is Christ with me, but He has a mighty staff, He is in control.

Today, my sister posted on Facebook this beautiful image for me as I go through some challenges and for her girlfriend, who just lost her 23-year-old son.

Beautiful! God knows what He is doing. I am a firm believer that we may not understand why something happens and we may never have the answers that we seek, but God’s plan is perfect and He is our Father who cares for us and loves us and will always protect us with His staff. So as Wilson Phillips tells us hold on for one more day…things will go your way! One thing is for certain…it is totally true is God is holding all your piece together to give you complete peace!

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Balancing Life and Faith

Balancing life and  Faith has been the name of my blog for over four years and this stunt really puts those words to the test.

Last month, Nik Wallenda completed something no one has ever done. 116 years ago, someone did walk across Niagara Falls on a tight rope, but never this close to the falls. With the water misting and affecting his vision and the winds pushing Nik more than he anticipated, he accomplished what no one else have ever attempted. But as a seven generation tight walked he was up for the challenged and worked years to make his challenge a reality.

He balanced his life and prayed the whole way across. Truly, physically balancing life and faith, or maybe balancing your life by faith.

When Nik was interview with ABC and the image of him praying before his wall was a beautiful image we need  more of on television. With God all things are possible and with faith mountains can be moved, it’s great to see that on tv too.

What is your Niagara Falls , what is your mountain?

Maybe it’s a challenging job or teenagers in your home. Maybe your mountain is an illness or family discontent, whatever the mountain, even with faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains.

Don’t ever give up on your goals in life, be vigilant  in prayer and bring all your petitions to the Lord. And you too can cross the gap and balance your life and faith.

Categories: Balance, God | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A drive or a journey…

So what do you call your travel to and from work each day? Commute…Travel…Drive…Madness…Stressful?

I use to consider mine a “commute”. I’d drive ten minutes out of my way to catch the expressway for the 36 minute drive in. It was easy, I could put the cruise on 70 and coast to work, saying the morning prayers along the way. It became routine, humdrum, monotonous, tedious…boring. I was looking at concrete and watching mile markers tick away.

Then came January 1st.  In Illinois that meant the tollways almost doubled and I vowed to put my money in my tank and not in the tollways system.

So onto the direct route. Stop and go for 160 blocks. But I was determined to make the best of it and what I discovered surprised me!

I did not want to handle the madness on LaGrange Road filled with busy shopping centers and towns, so I opted for Wolf Road and Willow Springs Road. I know what you are thinking…that way is single lane all the way!

But what I discovered was sheer peace.
First – it only took me on average 5 minutes longer (fewer miles but slower traffic)
Second – the traffic was not as bad as i thought and I liked that I wasn’t having to drive 70 to keep up with traffic

But most importantly is what I noticed.

Driving through Mokena’s quaintness each morning. Flags in front yard, stopping guards and children, churches welcoming signs, flowers beginning to bloom. The slower pace was a welcome addition to my morning.

My prayers were less rushed because I was less rushed. I took time with the Lord and was much more thankful for situations around me.

In the 160 block, I pass eight churches! I love being reminded of the importance of God in my life every few blocks.

Then after a short pass through the outskirts of Orland, I head into the Cook County Forest Preserves and the beauty of peace begins.

Traveling for miles and miles of nothing but lakes, trees, forest…green surrounding me, engulfing tree branches over the road, God’s design for our pleasure. Ducks lazily floating in the water, bikers and jogger enjoying the paths of nature, the warmth of the sun filtering between the trees into my sunroof, the deers grazing by the golf course.

I notice the greatness around me.
I bask in the beauty of creation as I reflect on my day.
I pray for those in need and my family’s needs.
I begin each day in peace.

My drive has been transformed from a commute to a journey, my thoughts are filled with positive energy and love. I never am bothered with a slow driver, because it just means I get to see something I might not have seen otherwise.

May you experience a beautiful, creative palette of splendour as you drive to work…and may it forever wonderfully affect your attitude!

Categories: Balance, Create, God | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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