Journal Entry 2 – April 20th, 2020 6th week of social distancing & self-isolating
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
How can I possibly have PEACE with everything that’s going on in the world right now??
Just “let go and let God,” as the saying goes… but, how do I do that?
I’ve discovered it’s a choice – one that I have to make over and over again. I’ve meditated over Philippians 4: 6-8 for quite some time now. Years infact. Whenever my heart gets anxious, this is the verse that comes to mind.
As I conciously bring my anxious thoughts into the light, I find they start to lose their power. The battle, I find, is truely in my mind.
Taking thoughts captive and redirecting them, or reframing them in a way that creates a healthy thought, takes concious effort. I have to choose to do this over and over again. Yes, even today.
I’ve planted the seed, now comes the watering and nurturing. The fruit of PEACE is worth the fight.
As I bring my troubling concerns to God, we have a conversation.
- I intentionally pass all my cares on to Him.
- I make a point of choosing to trust Him to take care of my every need.
- I hear His voice in the Words of the scriptures.
I remind myself to be patient – to not waver in my resolve to believe that God’s Word will do what He says it will do – that I will see the fruits of my intentionally choosing to walk in God’s PEACE.
Being at PEACE does not mean I do not care, am compacent, or am off in loo loo land hiding my head in the sand. NO… Just the opposite. Peace brings clarity, is energizing, and heals divisions.
As the verse in Phillipians instructs, I take the time to be thankful. What can I be thankful for right now? I find it’s not hard to find a whole list of things to be thankful for, yes, even during this pandemic. Again, thankfulness from the heart brings PEACE to my soul. Sharing with others what I am thankful for helps solidify my resolve to stay in PEACE.
(You can see “My thankful list for today” at the end of this post.)
I find comfort in the promise that God’s PEACE guards my heart and my mind – through Christ Jesus. It is a well-known fact that anxiety contributes to heart health and mental issues. PEACE is my antidote – my prescription – How practical is that?
The Scriptures are filled with verses that address both anxiety and peace. God wants to free us from our fears. He wants to see us experience PEACE in the midst of our circumstances.
1. Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2. Psalm 94:19
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
3. 2 Timothy 1:7
God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind.
4. Proverbs 12:25
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (A good reason why we need each other.)
5. Psalm 4:8
In PEACE I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (A great verse to meditate on while lying awake at night.)
Those who love the Word have great PEACE, and nothing offends them.
Thou will keep him in perfect PEACE whose mind is stayed on thee.
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord smile on you
Shine his light upon you
May the Lord lift you
Turn His face towards you
Give you His PEACE
Today I resolve to keep watch for any anxious thoughts that might wanter across my mind, to address them quickly, and to choose to trust God to turn those thoughts into thoughts that produce peace. Today I choose PEACE.
My THANKFUL List:
- I am thankful I live in Canada in beautiful British Columbia.
- I am thankful for being able to connect and talk with family and friends.
- for my family and friends.
- For the opportunity to ZOOM with a small group of women; Bible study hosted by Rushia Klassen, women’s pastor at Central Heights church – a great experience creating new brain cells.
- for the opportunity to reach out to others – neighbors helping neighbors.
- for the opportunity to spend more time talking to God.
- For our silly bunny, Cocoa, who helps us keep a perspective on things.
- for more time to reflect.
- for more time to tend to my garden and to enjoy every flower and herb.
- for more time to learn new things.
- for more time to paint and create.
- for more time to blog and work on filling in the chapters of those novels I’ve got in the works.
- for a warm home, food on the table, fresh water. Things never to be taken for granted.
- for all God’s promises.
Journal Entry 2 – Finding PEACE During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020
Journal Entry 1- Finding HOPE During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020
April 7th, 2020 4th week of social distancing & self-isolating
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. “
“HOPE” can be identified by it’s own chemical response in the body! When you feel hopeful, the body releases this chemical, rushing it through your veins, bringing life, healing and energy.
HOPE is very powerful and without it we cannot survive. (Dr. Caroline Leaf – Who Switched off my Brain?”)
Today everybody in the world is trying to process this new life we are forced to live. People are trying to stay calm, trying to make sense of it all, while using as little toilet paper as possible. I’ve caught myself counting the squares. Don’t tell me you haven’t done the same.
Having said that, I’ve been “privy” to using Sears or Eaton’s catalog pages in an outhouse – I most certainly am not too concerned about a little lack of TP.
Hope spreads as readily as any virus. If bad can spread, so can good.
Let’s get those HOPE chemicals flowing today by thinking the right thoughts; thoughts that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report … thoughts that encourage.
So…how does this painting relate to HOPE?
I started working on this oil-painting in February. Initially I painted simply for the satisfaction of it all; painting with friends at the Abbotsford STREAMS Ministry led by Mike and AnnaMarie Bakker, and enjoying the therapeutic side-affects of creativity. (Note to all you Streamer artists: I miss our Monday paint-day – simply can’t wait till we can get back at it.)
At the time I started this piece, I had in mind a title that reflected
light in the darkness.
Little did I know, that in a few weeks our world would literally come to a standstill.
Now, several weeks later, having come to grips with the fact that we are all fighting a dark, evil enemy, and we might be doing this social distancing and self-isolating for some time, I settled into finishing the painting with purpose.
Title: Bringing Light to the Darkness
Inspired by: Deuteronomy 33:26
26 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.”
This Bible verse, Deuteronomy 33:26 was the inspiration behind the novel, The RYDER – a fantasy adventure. Here is a quote from The RYDER that brings this message of HOPE to David and Jessica; brother and sister who have been transported into another world, the world of Antoch, where they too come face to face with a dark and evil enemy.
“When lost in the mysterious forest
Through enemy land he rides
Call for Him and He will be
The Light where darkness hides”
I place my HOPE in Jesus
He is our Light in the darkness
Our salvation. Our healer and protector
“He rides across the heavens to help you!”