One Secret To Peace And Joy

May 14, 2012

Accept, Faith At Home

My wife had just returned from the grocery store with $300 of food items stuffed in easy-to-carry plastic bags piled in the minivan.  She did the shopping, my job was to carry them in.  Determined to make as few trips as possible from the minivan to the kitchen, I grabbed as many plastic bags as I could with each hand…and then some!

I climbed the three steps to the door and teetered there for seconds, trying to open the door, refusing to have to put anything down.  I can be so stubborn at times!  I had the door almost open…when…I lost my grip, stumbled backward, and wound up on the ground, groceries flying everywhere!

That’s what I get for refusing to put anything down!  Amazingly, we all do this.  For me, that day, it was groceries.  For you perhaps it’s been a huge bundle of laundry.  For almost all of us…it’s been our pain.

It’s such a simple thing.  But how many moments can you count where you’ve refused to put down the pain that you’ve been lugging around?  Time and time again we are offered a chance to learn this lesson:

We cannot hold on to a lot of emotional pain and open the door to peace and joy.  

We must put down what we carry, open the door, and then only pick back up what we need to bring inside.  I struggle with this concept.  But I’m getting better at learning what is mine to carry…and what is not.  And I want to share a secret with you what’s helped me because I firmly believe that it will help you too…if you put it into practice.  My secret:  The Serenity Prayer

  • “God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,
  • The COURAGE to change the things that I can,
  • And the WISDOM to know the difference.”

Take some time today to reflect on some aspect of caregiving that you struggle with.  Quietly and slowly repeat the Serenity Prayer allowing each word to sink in.  Allow Him to help you to identify those things that you cannot change…those unproductive thoughts that you need to let go of…those painful feelings that eat away at you like a cancer.  Let go of the things that you cannot change and put them down.  Then, and only then, can you open your heart’s door to the inner peace and joy that await you.

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods

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2 Comments on “One Secret To Peace And Joy”

  1. Jo Ann Conard Says:

    This SERENITY prayer is just what I need right now. My husband of almost 3 years (June 6) has Alzheimer Disease. Thank you.

    Reply

    • SpecialNeedsMinistry Says:

      Jo Ann, I’m very sorry to hear about your husband’s diagnosis. I do not personally have any experience being a caregiver for a spouse who has Alzheimer, but I imagine that it would require all of the love, faith, trust, and perseverance the Lord could give me…

      Reply

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