COLUMNS

Smile, God Loves You: Protect your peace

Tiffany Chartier
Special to Texoma Marketing and Media Group

Robert H. Schuller is quoted as saying, “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime.” Schuller’s words have come to mind again and again this week. A part of me encourages my spirit to stay hopeful and positive. To remain steadfast. Another part of me wants to throw in the towel. Or, more accurately, use the towel as a blanket and take a nap for days. But when it is your soul that is tired, you know very well that sleep is as restless as your mind.

In my restlessness, I think. In truth, I overthink. I think about the amount of peace I have traded to maintain other things. A relationship. An expectation. A false calm.

I also think about what brings me peace. Meditating on God’s Word. Singing praise songs (even if I get half the lines wrong). Dancing in the kitchen to the best of Van Morrison. Sipping tea with a good book and a good dog upon my lap. Writing. Noticing wild, yellow flowers and golden haystacks. Tracing the smooth lines of a beautiful sculpture with my fingertips. Listening to a dove coo.

My list is always uneven. I have yet to come up with more which succeeds in robbing my peace rather than promotes it. Why? Because I am keenly aware of what I value and what keeps me balanced. And yet, I know, at times, I have allowed thieves into my mind – even held the door open for them.

It is not healthy to cultivate a pattern of devoting energy to circumstances or people who do not move your best self forward. If our attention is spent in a stagnant pool of dirty water, soon enough parasites breed. Infection seeps into our thoughts. And in our hyper-focused thinking on the negative, we consider cutting down the tree in the wintertime, as Schuller notes. Meaning, we are tempted to make decisions based on our mood, create worst-case scenarios, and react hastily and harshly, forgetting that spring will come again.

If we are to be persistent in our thinking, may our thoughts be expressed in ongoing prayers and praise. It is impossible to stay stagnant in worry and negativity while actively trusting God. In this trusting, we learn the importance of clarity and boundaries - of knowing what to let go of and Who to hold on to. We learn to give up what does not matter to gain all that does.

What truly matters?

What are your current thieves to your peace?

What will you do today to protect your peace and live from a position of God’s presence and power?

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.