Prioritizing Peace

Over the last few months, I’ve gotten into a routine of taking Abby for a hike on Tuesdays and Thursdays, right after dropping Selah off at preschool.⁣ It’s a 30-60 minute hike, depending on my schedule. While hiking, I usually catch up with clients on Voxer, which is great.

But this week, I decided to try something different: complete silence.

I was truly craving it. So, I blocked an hour in my calendar during the workday to catch up with my clients after my hike. During that silence, I found myself talking to God, looking at the trees, and simply being at peace. It was incredible, and two essential insights came to me: 1) prioritize peace and 2) remove buffers from your life. I’ll be diving into both of these topics in upcoming podcast episodes, starting with today’s focus on prioritizing peace.

Keep Your Mind Steadfast

The first way we have to prioritize peace is by inviting God into the center of our world, our lives, and our hearts. We can do this by seeking Him first, loving Him, focusing on Him, and being with him – literally just talking with him throughout the day. It’s not just about religion, it’s about having a relationship with God, having a relationship with Jesus.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” – Isaiah 26:3

This week, my main focus is on prioritizing peace by surrendering things to God, practicing feeling just peace and presence in my body, and trusting that God is a big God.

He’s got everything under control. So if I trust that he’s in control and I’m trusting in his sovereignty, then I can prioritize peace in my life because the only times that I don’t feel at peace are often when I’m feeling out of control or I’m trying to control something instead of trusting him.

We can pray, “God, help us to live each day more and more in alignment with you and your will. Help me to seek you first.”

Invite God into all aspects of your life – your marriage, your business, your parenting, and even during life transitions. Whether you’re becoming a parent for the first time, getting married, or experiencing an empty nest, keep your focus on God. Ask for His presence and guidance, allowing Him to lead while you become the co-pilot so that you can live each day more and more in alignment with him and his will.

God knows our hearts and he knows when we are seeking him first. He knows when our biggest desire and our biggest craving is him and his will and more of him in our lives. And I totally believe he will honor that. He will honor when he sees your heart focused on him, wanting him more than anything else, and everything else will be added to you.

Walk by the Spirit

In Galatians 5, we learn that walking by the Spirit will result in the fruit of peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

We are also told to walk not by our own flesh, not by our own human ability and capability, but we are told to walk by the Spirit. So, what does it mean to walk by the Spirit? It means that we are relying on God, trusting Him to lead us and guide us in our decisions. We can start by repeating the fruit of the Spirit to ourselves and inviting the spirit to fill us.

Let’s look at this through the lens of peace first. If I really trust God with everything, I will experience greater peace because I’m putting him in the driver’s seat of my life and I become the copilot. I have faith and hope, I listen to what I believe he has called me to do, I take action, step forward, and walk in faith. Faith with works, as the Bible talks about, but doing it with God, as I say in Live Brightly, co-creating a bright and purposeful life with him.

He is the driver. I am in the passenger seat riding along with him, being with him, doing life with him, but trusting him to drive my life.

Prioritize What Brings Peace

Considering that first and foremost, we need to have God at the center from there when we’re living hand in hand with God, walking with him, living by the spirit, what are the habits, behaviors and thoughts that bring you peace? When you feel and experience that peace of God in your life, what is your mind focused on? What are you doing at that moment? What habits and behaviors are you engaging in? And likewise, on the other side of that same coin, what is stealing your peace? When you look at the fruit of your thoughts. habits and behaviors, which ones are giving you peace, and which ones are stealing your peace?

I think it’s so important for us to take note of these things, and write them down really lovingly. Call them out and say, Hey, scrolling my phone for two hours every single night is stealing my peace. I’m not sleeping well. I’m waking up with anxiety. My cortisol levels feel spiked through the roof. The second I wake up, I need to prioritize my peace.

What if you made prioritizing peace this week a priority? What would change in your life? Think about your routine and your schedule – not only when, but how you do things. What do you decide to worry about versus surrendering and entrusting to God?

Be a Peacemaker

When we walk by the Spirit, we walk by God leading us, his Spirit within us, guiding us through our days. When we walk by the Spirit, the fruit of that Spirit is peace. So we don’t need to try and do everything that we can to fix ourselves. We can literally pray, God, help me be a peacemaker. Please increase the peace that I’m feeling each day. Please help me respond in peaceful ways.

One of my favorite things that I’ve heard about being a peacemaker is the difference between peacekeeper and peacemaker. A peacekeeper never wants to address things or go anywhere near anything that feels like confrontation or conflict. A peacemaker is willing to have hard conversations and approach those they may be in conflict with or need to confront and have a loving conversation with the goal of peace. Peace for all parties involved.

Be Consistent in Goodness

What is God asking you to focus on and be consistent in?

Those things that when you do them consistently, you feel so peaceful, you feel purposeful, intentional, consistent. These things feel so good. You find it easier to keep your mind focused on God. You feel more calm in your life, you feel more patient and present. You maybe have more joy.

What are those routines that you’re in when you are feeling that way? Because it sounds like those routines support you. You are able to choose what leaves you feeling good and choose those things repeatedly.

Experience Peace as you Practice Consistency

Discover what brings you peace and what steals it away. Evaluate the impact of your thoughts, habits, and behaviors on your life and choose the things that add goodness. Choose the things that allow you to feel more joy, that allow you to feel more loving.

Then, find ways to be more consistent with those things. When you have seasons of consistency, take a look at what’s making it possible for you to stick with the plan. And lastly, appreciate the benefits that come from staying consistent and connected with your faith. The more you trust God to be in control of your life, the greater peace and satisfaction will come from within.

Listen to Podcast Episode #112 Prioritizing Peace

If you, too, are craving to prioritize peace in your life, I invite you to listen to today’s episode #112 Prioritizing Peace. Listen on Spotify or Apple.

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