Tag Archive | peace

Something I Never Thought I’d Achieve

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. No heavy editing allowed. Today’s word is “achieve.”

I’ve never been a big one to have large goals. But one thing I’ve always wanted to do is write a book. I’m a creative writer, majored in that in college, but most of the writing I do now is devotional writing. I had very little hope of achieving my goal of getting a novel published. But God had other plans, and they didn’t look exactly like mine, go figure.

And so, I wrote a book!

I kind of feel like I cheated a little because the book is for my employer, Abide Christian Meditation (now part of the Guideposts family, btw). They got the contract with Zondervan, after all, not me. But the task of putting together the book fell on me as the senior editor for Abide.

And not only one book, but two.

So the first book released October 12, 2021. It’s called Peace With the Psalms: 40 Readings to Relax Your Mind and Calm Your Heart. It’s a collection of Abide’s meditations from the Psalms that I edited into devotional format. They are beautiful and calming and I highly recommend the book (of course).

But the second book is the one I’m most proud of. It’s called Cast Your Cares: A 40-Day Journey to Find Rest for Your Soul. It will be released on February 8, 2022. It started out as the same format as Peace, but because of the depth of the subject matter, Zondervan’s editor asked me to expand on every chapter. And so, I would say the writing is about 80% mine. That’s just a guess.

And this one actually has my name on the title page: with Stephanie Reeves.

I’m super excited for you to get this book. It’s on presale now at your favorite bookseller. It’s the #1 new release in the “religious meditations” category on Amazon. Need rest for your soul in the areas of anxiety, fear, loneliness, finances, self-image, shame and more? Cast Your Cares speaks to them all.

These books were a gift, basically dropped in my lap by God. It’s not how I pictured achieving my book-writing goal, but for now, it’s the avenue God gave me. And I’m very happy to share it with you!

It’s Your Choice

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “yours.”

[start timer]

Boy is it ever easy to get sucked into the shallow thinking and arguments of the world around us. What I really want people to get is that the choice of whether or not to go to those places is completely theirs.

I used to tell my kids this all the time: You have no control over how someone reacts to something you do, but you can totally control your own reaction. If you choose to get mad at small offenses, then that’s your choice.

If you choose to engage in reckless rhetoric or intentional shaming or hurtful speech, that’s your choice.

If you make the decision to be more like Jesus in all that you do, think and say, that’s your choice as well.

What you need to know, though, is that each and every choice has a consequence. Will you be a peacemaker or will you contribute to the vitriol?

Romans 12:18 in the Common English Bible says, “If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.”

To the best of your ability.

That’s huge. Because there are some things we can’t control. The weather, the stock market, our kids’ decisions. Other people. But we can control our tongues, and we can control our reactions.

Ah yes, you might say, but easier said than done. Granted. But if you are submitted to the lordship of Christ, then that control is given over to him as well. And he is able.

[time’s up]

photo by Aaron Burden from UnSplash

Do The Next Thing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes without heavy editing on a one-word prompt. Today we talk about the word “next.” 

I have a tendency to get overwhelmed fairly easily. I can look at all the things I have to do, all the things that are coming up, and stress about what that’s going to look like to my low-energy body. And I have a heart rhythm issue that rears its ugly head when I am stressed. This week had that over-stressed potential.


My husband has been gone this week, my daughter and mother in law, who lives with us, have both been sick, and life still had to go on. I still had to have food in the house. I still had to care for my 15-month-old grandson most of those days.

And then our water heater went out.

And I have 36 people coming for Easter.

And my oldest is graduating from college in a couple of weeks.

And now I’ve got the cold my daughter had, albeit a light version.

So how do I maintain peace and not let the stress, well, stress me out?

Just do the next thing. Don’t look too far down the road. Just take the next step.


And I breathe deeply, letting the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

It’s oh so necessary.

Especially when I just now got a text that my husband’s flight home this afternoon has been cancelled.

Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress. Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress.

FMF button


Would You Be Your Friend?

Are you someone you like to hang out with? If you had a choice, would you be your own friend? Do you like who you are? Do you enjoy your own company?

Have you ever looked at yourself from someone else’s eyes? Do they see someone who displays the fruit of the Spirit?

Love: unselfish, putting others first, not jealous, keeping no record of wrong

Joy: not grouchy and discontent: radiating happiness that transcends circumstances

Peace: unflustered, unfazed by what’s going on around you, trusting in God beyond what the circumstances might seem to dictate

Patience: peacefully waiting for God to move, knowing that He’s got things under control

Kindness: caring deeply about others and expressing that to them

Goodness: displaying the character of Christ, godliness; striving to always do the right thing

Faithfulness: displaying an unwavering faith in God and not straying from your walk with Him

Gentleness: not harsh, having a soft hand and voice when it comes to dealing with others, no matter their attitude

Self-control: not reacting to or following along with other’s bad behavior; not being erratic so that people don’t know what to expect from you

Doesn’t that just seem like a person you want to hang out with? I know I’d sure like to have that friend.

Guess that means I should work on being that friend.

Thankful today for:

102. brownies baking in the oven

103. 80 degree weather with only 31 percent humidty

104. a change in plans

Fear Itself

Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Call it what you want. None of it is good.

God gives us so much reassurance in His Word that we really have nothing to fear and that, in fact, perfect love casts out fear (There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” 1 John 4:18).

Jesus told us that there was no use in worrying about tomorrow; today has enough trouble of its own (“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matt. 6:34).

In Psalm 27, verse 1, King David encourages us: The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

There are many, many more verses I could list with the uselessness of worrying or being afraid. God gives us an abundance of promises that He will always be with us. We don’t need to fear those who can kill our bodies but cannot touch our immortal souls.

I used to fear disease and serious illness. God has given me a measure of victory over that. Do I still get anxious about things? Yes. I don’t feel comfortable going to new places by myself. I don’t like it when my kids or husband are sick. But I don’t live in fear. I life in faith.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his inaugural address in 1932, said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” At the height of the Great Depression, the president was attempting to communicate to the people that their fear of the future was causing panic and irrational decisions. If they would remain calm, believe in themselves, they’d be all right.

A healthy dose of faith in the Living God would have helped many of them also, but FDR’s heart was in the right place. If we let fear overtake us, then we’re bound to go down the wrong road. Hand in hand with the Prince of Peace, we will live healthier and happier lives.

Thankful today for:

84. the happy heart my daughter has that causes her to sing, whistle and hum ALL THE TIME

85. new challenges

86. forgiveness