Monday, August 25, 2008

Give Peace a Chance

So tonight I was watching one of my favorite ministers recorded on DVR and it was about putting on the full armor of God and I was just thinking about the shoes of peace. She (the minister) asked the congregation what stole their peace. I began to think about the things that literally steal my peace and I came up with the following list:

1. Procrastinating-- When I procrastinate on things I really need to get done I lose all of my peace. I can't sleep well, I don't enjoy rest time, I don't feel good in my spirit and it makes me feel badly toward the project or task I need to do. An example of this is having an assignment to do for school. Let's say I have to read 25 pages of text by the next Wednesday. I have one week to complete the reading assingment and get the material digested. I will not do this until Tuesday night possibly Wednesday morning and then I might not even do it at all if I am pressed for time. This makes me want to skip school and not go to class or it makes me feel inadequate once I am in class. I often don't do as well on assingments as I could have if I finished the reading and I can not really engage in class discussions without having read the assignment. Procrastination steals my joy and my peace!

2. Being spread too thin -- When I overbook myself I tend to lose all of my peace. Sometimes I will take on too much in order to look like a superhero and in turn, wear myself out and I end up doing nothing to my full potential. The house will look awful, my school assignments will be half done and my clients suffer in my attention span and rest. I have learned not to do this but the old self sometimes rears up and I want to take on more in my 24 hours than I honestly can do. I am ok being a human, superhero status steals my peace!

3. Not keeping comittments -- When I fail to keep a comittment I have no peace in my life. This might happen in something I have agreed to do for my husband, an appointment I have slept through or cancelled due to earlier said procrasination, forgetting to call a friend, etc... Not keeping comittments steals my peace!

4. Money issues -- This one is going away slowly day by day with God's help but when I am in financial crisis, I have no peace. This is usually brought on by myself but lately God has really been changing me. Before, I might go out and buy lunch out, a new shirt, spend $60 at target on absolutely nothing, etc... and I would have no peace about it after I did it. Now, I know how to tell myself no and there is so much peace knowing I am doing the best thing for me, my marriage, my home, and my God. Money issues steal my peace!

5. Feeling Ill -- Being sick makes my peace go out the window. Again, usually this is self-inflicted as I am a diabetic and have often not taken good care of my health. I gain weight, my sugar goes out of control, I get headaches, I feel depressed, I get infections of all sorts and my doctor visits are always bad news. This completely steals my peace!

These are the big 5 things that steal my peace. The minister also said that we need to change ourselves in order to walk in peace. If we know what steals our peace, we should be making changes to walk in peace like the Bible tells us in Ephesians. That is part of our armor against the Devil's attacks. The way I plan to make changes are below:

1. Stop procrasinating and do things when I think of them and when they are assigned. Give myself shortened periods to be on the internet by setting a timer and only earning time on the internet when I have completed my tasks. Get adequate sleep, rest, and self care time in order to refuel myself to do assigned tasks.

2. Say no! Think logically about the responsibilities I have in life such as keeping my house clean, making meals, shopping for the household, laundry, homework, client paperwork, practicum hours, class time, work projects, etc...and realize that no new comittments really fit!

3. Let my yes be yes and my no be no. Remember that faithfulness is one of the fruits and when I am not faithful to my word, I am not sharing the fruits. Do not comitt to things I can't do.

4. Let God have the money issues and pray over the things God trusts us with and learn to say no to myself about things I might want but will regret later.

5. Take time to exercise daily, eat correctly for my disease, take all necessary medications, listen to the doctor, attend all appointments, and try to make healthier choices daily.

This is what God spoke to me tonight and I wanted to share it in case someone else struggles in letting their peace get stolen. I am no longer allowing my peace to be out there for the thief to steal!

--Erica Lewis--

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